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KID CORPS: When a disease outbreak brought Scientology unwanted attention

Like anything else in Scientology, how children are treated is governed by a huge number of policies and reports, and in this series we’re looking at documents that show how children were treated under the ideas of L. Ron Hubbard. We’re fortunate that one man has done so much to collect huge numbers of such documents — Mark “Warrior” Plummer, who left Scientology in 1983, and is pretty legendary for the collection of church materials he’s amassed. Also helping us is Sunny Pereira, who spent several weeks working with Mark to pull out key documents for us to discuss.

The Bunker: Sunny, today we have another 1979 document, this time about an outbreak of hepatitis at Scientology’s Los Angeles headquarters, known as Pacific Area Command, or PAC base.

Sunny: I’ve been able to confirm that when this outbreak occurred, there were approximately 600 Sea Org members at PAC, and of those 600, at least 240 adults were infected with hepatitis A. The document doesn’t reveal what caused the outbreak. But one floor of one wing at PAC base was closed down and became off limits to everyone except those with confirmed cases. That’s 45 percent of the staff, a very high percentage, and that doesn’t include the children who were infected.

The Bunker: Maybe just as much of a concern to Scientology, besides so many people falling ill, was the attention they got from local government.


Sunny: The base was swarmed by city officials. But the document says they didn’t inspect the Fountain Ave. building, which is where all of the children would have been at the time of inspection. And because one of the inspectors was an ally of the church, they knew that an inspector would be coming later to Fountain, and they needed to get the kids out of there. It wasn’t up to code.

The Bunker: They made the most of that tip.

Sunny: They readied the annex building quickly to be up to code, and they were ready when it was swarmed by inspectors. They were proud that they had fixed everything before they had been caught housing children in an unsafe place. They knew that if they had been caught in violation again (a citation from a few years earlier is mentioned), things could have turned out very bad.

The Bunker: Where was this annex where the children were moved to?

Sunny: It was right next to the Celebrity Centre, but it’s been bulldozed since then. The document talks about having the facility open from 7 am to midnight daily. This shows how long Sea Org members worked, and needed care for children. We will see in later issues how even this was being violated, with some children being left overnight, some for weeks at a time, while the parent was not around. Sometimes the parents were sent out of town, out of state, out of country, for months at a time, and the children would just be left behind. Sometimes the parents told the child, sometimes not. They are indicating that all children must be at the annex, and not at any other property from here on out, once all inspections have been done and facility approved.

The Bunker: The document mentions Sea Org parents taking their kids home at night.

Sunny: Right, but it’s only a temporary situation “to handle the above mentioned items.” They knew they were only putting on a show for the inspectors, and had no plans to actually follow the guidelines approved by the city and state.

Mark: Guidelines? At just 5 years old, my son, along with other kids, would often sneak out of the ATA and jump on the RTD bus and ride around Los Angeles all day, unsupervised! His nanny, Joanne Byrd, was so lax that she didn’t keep her eyes on the kids. My son would ride the bus as far as LA airport. At 5.

The Bunker: Your son was truly a mighty thetan.

Mark: Another time, Joanne took the kids to the Halloween parade on Hollywood Blvd. and let my son get lost at night in the crowd. Fortunately, nothing bad happened to him. I was on post working Halloween night when I received a call from the LAPD informing me that they had my son at the police station because he had gotten lost from the group of Cadets during the insanity on the boulevard. That is no place for a kid alone.

The Bunker: And yet this document makes it sound like the Sea Org was getting its act together.

Mark: According to this issue, they were looking into getting a “final location” for the kids. By the time I left the Sea Org more than four years later, Scientology had still not found a new building.

Sunny: No other building was ever found and acquired. It was just another lie told to the Sea Org parents. The next property they got for kids was the Ranch, and you know how that went from Scientology and the Aftermath.

The Bunker: Thank you both for those insights. And here’s the document itself…


CADET CO ED #4 5 May 1979

To: All PAC Parents
CCO Staff
Those Concerned

From: Assistant Guardian Cadet


I wanted to let you all know what the PT scene is and why we moved to the Annex and what is in store for the future.

The main thing that led up to the move to the Annex is that the Fountain Building is illegal for organized child care. This is for a number of reasons, i.e. the building is not the right type of construction for group care of children (not what they call Type I construction — concrete and steel), no children may be cared for above the first floor when they are under 5 years, all children’s rooms must have an exit directly to the outside of the building, etc. These are all City Codes for the safety of the children.

Then in Feb. the hepatitis scene happened and we were swarmed over by County and State Health Inspectors. The County Inspector (an ally) found out about the existence of the Fountain and said this is not OK and let’s quickly work together and handle it. He continually predicted an attack from another agency and was not able to say which one. We found the Annex could be used and was legal with a small amount of renos and started to work. Sure enough, we were raided by 2 Special Agents of the State. But because of our taking full responsibility for our scene and wall into having the Annex ready for use, there was nothing they could do to us. I will not go into detail of what they could have done but will indicate that we were suited in 1972 for running illegal child care and this would havee been our second offence. First time we got probation and you could imagine what the second offense would have gotten us.

Now all the potential flaps have been handled in good Sea Org style but we are not out of the woods yet. Moving into the Annex, we still must have inspections and show we are able to care for our children properly, we will have approval from City, County Health, and State Health to run the day care center at the Annex when we are done from 7 a.m. to midnight.

The annex is the only place where we can legally and safely care for our children as an organized group. This is why the policy that no organized children can be cared for at the other buildings. Also this comes down to the fact that the children will stay at the Annex until after org hours each day.

So if you take a look at this, you will see that we are changing conditions for the better of our children. The data I present here is not meant to upset or worry anyone. It is put out to clear the air and de-PTS the situation. We have upgraded the conditions for the children, and are no longer hiding of running a withold on anyone, and the flows are broken open and continue to improve.

The night scene of taking your children home with you is temporary and is done to handle the above mentioned items. The future is that we will be moving to our final location. This is being done in a new unit of time. The lines for getting this property have been streamlined by the Commodore. There is a Building Investment Committee at Flag which is assisting on this, along with CS-5 and Estates Bureau WUS. We have many commlines and resources for finding a place that will fit our needs and is CLOSE. I can and will get us 24-hour care at that time which will end the night scene here. We don’t have the facilities to have it now but will have it soon. I’m very optimistic about this.

So please bear with us, what we are doing is the only sane thing to do and is for the good of the group. Your PLC Reps probably answer any question you have on this or has a line to me for clarification on any point. We are entering a new era for our children in PAC.


Bonus items from our tipsters

Winter won’t actually be here until December 21, but Scientology has all sorts of new ways for you to give them money…



Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley has not seen his daughter Stephanie in 4,943 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 89 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 1,152 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 1,926 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 2,700 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 2,046 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 2,540 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 1,580 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 1,292 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 818 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 4,907 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 2,047 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 2,367 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 2,342 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 698 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 5,000 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 1,106 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 1,509 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 1,382 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 963 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 1,468 days.
Mary Jane Sterne has not seen her daughter Samantha in 1,712 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 12,821 days.


3D-UnbreakablePosted by Tony Ortega on November 24, 2017 at 07:00

E-mail tips and story ideas to tonyo94 AT gmail DOT com or follow us on Twitter. We post behind-the-scenes updates at our Facebook author page. After every new story we send out an alert to our e-mail list and our FB page.

Our book, The Unbreakable Miss Lovely: How the Church of Scientology tried to destroy Paulette Cooper, is on sale at Amazon in paperback, Kindle, and audiobook versions. We’ve posted photographs of Paulette and scenes from her life at a separate location. Reader Sookie put together a complete index. More information can also be found at the book’s dedicated page.

The Best of the Underground Bunker, 1995-2016 Just starting out here? We’ve picked out the most important stories we’ve covered here at the Undergound Bunker (2012-2016), The Village Voice (2008-2012), New Times Los Angeles (1999-2002) and the Phoenix New Times (1995-1999)

Learn about Scientology with our numerous series with experts…

BLOGGING DIANETICS: We read Scientology’s founding text cover to cover with the help of L.A. attorney and former church member Vance Woodward
UP THE BRIDGE: Claire Headley and Bruce Hines train us as Scientologists
GETTING OUR ETHICS IN: Jefferson Hawkins explains Scientology’s system of justice
SCIENTOLOGY MYTHBUSTING: Historian Jon Atack discusses key Scientology concepts

Other links: Shelly Miscavige, ten years gone | The Lisa McPherson story told in real time | The Cathriona White stories | The Leah Remini ‘Knowledge Reports’ | Hear audio of a Scientology excommunication | Scientology’s little day care of horrors | Whatever happened to Steve Fishman? | Felony charges for Scientology’s drug rehab scam | Why Scientology digs bomb-proof vaults in the desert | PZ Myers reads L. Ron Hubbard’s “A History of Man” | Scientology’s Master Spies | Scientology’s Private Dancer | The mystery of the richest Scientologist and his wayward sons | Scientology’s shocking mistreatment of the mentally ill | Scientology boasts about assistance from Google | The Underground Bunker’s Official Theme Song | The Underground Bunker FAQ

Our Guide to Alex Gibney’s film ‘Going Clear,’ and our pages about its principal figures…
Jason Beghe | Tom DeVocht | Sara Goldberg | Paul Haggis | Mark “Marty” Rathbun | Mike Rinder | Spanky Taylor | Hana Whitfield


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