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Scientology relies heavily on Russian immigrants — and ‘disconnection’ doesn’t spare them

[Katrina Reyes and her mother Yelena, in their Sea Org whites]

We first heard from Katrina Reyes some nine years ago, when Jason Beghe encouraged her to talk to us for a story at the Village Voice. For various reasons, Katrina wasn’t ready yet to tell her tale.

We’ve been waiting patiently ever since. And after you read what she’s been through, we think you’ll agree the wait was worth it.

Yekaterina Tihonova was born in November 1987 in Tashkent, Uzbekistan, because her grandmother Nina had moved the family there from Siberia. But when she was 3 years old, Katrina and her mother Yelena and grandmother moved back to Siberia and the city of Barnaul, a town that is about as close to the center of the Asian land mass as you can get.

“It was a poor city, and very cold, and my mother was irresponsible, to put it in the nicest terms,” Katrina says. Yelena was only 17 when Katrina was born, and she struggled to find her way. “She married a couple of times. She got divorced when I was three, and that’s why we moved. She got married a couple more times, and I had bad relationships with my stepfathers. They abandoned me half the time.”

Still looking for some stability, Katrina’s grandmother Nina got involved in Herbalife, which eventually brought her to the US for a conference. At the conference, in Tampa, Florida, Nina met a Scientologist.

“Within a few weeks she joined the Sea Org at Flag. She was in her late 40s. But she overstayed her visa, and she had to come back to Russia and was banned from coming to the US for ten years,” Katrina remembers. “So they set up a job for her in Moscow as a Flag Service Consultant.”

Nina’s job would be to sign up Russians to fly to Clearwater, Florida, for courses at the Flag Land Base, Scientology’s worldwide spiritual headquarters. And that’s when Nina got her daughter Yelena acquainted with Scientology.

“In the summer of ’99 we came over to Moscow and grandmother got us to do courses so we could join the Sea Org.”

In July 1999, Katrina signed the billion-year contract of Scientology’s Sea Organization, promising to work for the organization lifetime after lifetime.

She was 11 years old.

“I had no idea what we were getting into, I only knew we were going to the US. And coming from a small town in Siberia to the US was pretty exciting,” Katrina says. “I just went with my mother because what else was I going to do. We signed the contract, went to the embassy to get our visas, and they sent us our tickets to go to Flag. My grandmother coached us to say we were coming back, or they wouldn’t give us the visas. I had to lie.”

After a delay at the Tampa airport, they were shuttled to the Fort Harrison Hotel and then taken to a smaller berthing hotel. They spoke no English, but there were plenty of other Russians at the base and the people ordering them around spoke it.

“The next day, we were routed in and had to fill out a life history. They asked if I was KGB or a government agent. I laughed.” In the past, we’ve explained how invasive the Sea Org “life history” process is, particularly about the sexual history of a new recruit. But as an 11-year-old girl, Katrina didn’t have much to include on her form.

“Then you have a meter check on your life history form. I couldn’t pass it. They told me I must have missed something. I was 11, what could I have missed?” They determined that she was having a hard time with the e-meter because she was hungry. After lunch, she passed.

The next day, Katrina and her mom were routed on to the Estates Project Force — the Sea Org’s boot camp.

“We were sent to the Hacienda, in some non-renovated berthing, which was disgusting. There were leaks and wet carpet and mildew. It was horrible. We were sleeping in a bunk bed. Six people in one small bedroom,” she says, referring to a large apartment complex in Clearwater that houses many of Flag’s workforce. “The first day we went on courses. You work, then study for five hours. We started reading all the policies, the rules and regulations of the Sea Org.”

It was beginning to dawn on them that they had joined a paramilitary organization with degrading conditions. “I remember mom stepping out for a break. She was so upset. ‘I can’t have any more children,’ she said, after reading the rule that you can’t have kids in the Sea Org. She was upset, but I was thinking, why would you want another one after you messed up my life?”

Even at only 11, Katrina knew she wanted to have a family someday. “From there on I had an idea in my mind that I wasn’t going to be there for the rest of my life.”

 

[Russian recruits at Flag celebrate New Year’s Eve 2000. Katrina is the 12-year-old with a noisemaker.]

Katrina was separated from her mother as the base tried to deal with an influx of children. “The kids from PAC ranch were sent to Flag at that time,” Katrina says. “There was Mike Rinder’s son Benjamin, Mirriam Francis’s brother Sam, about 50 kids in total. And since they had a lot of kids, we were all put in one unit, away from the adults. I only saw mom at meals, which lasted half an hour.”

And the reality of her situation continued to get worse. “We were assigned to do a lot of hard manual labor. We had to renovate the Sandcastle Hotel and the Advanced Org. So we were using sledgehammers, painting. We had to renovate the RTC berthing, do all the landscaping. I’m talking about all-nighters.”

Katrina had some issues with her kidneys and wasn’t supposed to be lifting things. “Shut up, stop complaining, they said. And I had to scrub dumpsters. I couldn’t get out of that dumpster by myself. Spent all night scrubbing dumpsters at one point. That’s when I realized I couldn’t complain about anything.”

She made a conscious effort at that point, she says, to cultivate people who could give her lighter work. “I started working with decorators, people who set up events.”

Her mother had finished the EPF in three months, but Katrina was stuck in it for almost a year. By the time Katrina finished it, her mother was in a relationship with a Russian man who is to this day her stepfather.

As a married couple, Yelena and her husband would get their own room in an apartment — but without room for Katrina. Unhappy that her mother was pulling even farther away from her, she complained.

“I had a big fight with her. But she went to the courthouse and got married without telling me about it. I was pissed off about it, but she wrote a Knowledge Report on me, that I was causing her problems. So I had to write up my ‘OWs’ for a month to handle the problems I was causing my mom,” she says.

Finally finished with the EPF, Katrina was assigned to the Advanced Org, at the Sandcastle, where wealthy Scientologists come for high-level auditing.

“My job was to make sure that the auditor and the preclear go into their session on time without problems. Basically I did scheduling, and I made sure they were sessionable, that they had slept and had eaten. I needed to make sure the auditor didn’t miss a single minute in the day,” she remembers.

With auditing at that level costing up to $1,000 an hour, getting those sessions going on time was of high importance.

“That was something pushed on us on a daily business. We had RTC on top of us, on our floor, standing on us all the time,” she says, referring to the Religious Technology Center, the nominally controlling entity in Scientology’s complex alphabet soup of dozens of individual companies. Its chairman, David Miscavige, is referred to as “C.O.B.” by Scientologists, for chairman of the board.

“DM would wake up in the morning, and ask first who blew, then about media, and then he’d ask, what did Flag make. So we had a lot of pressure to make that money,” she says. “We’d muster at 7:30 am. And we didn’t go back home to the Hacienda until 12 midnight or 1 am, every day. Sometimes later.”

Scientology’s processes are still rooted in L. Ron Hubbard’s “technology” from the 1950s, and even today everything in a subject’s folder is hand-written by “case supervisors.” That work updating a folder could take until three or four in the morning, Katrina says, and they couldn’t leave until it was finished. But then they’d have to have everything set up for the morning to make sure a session didn’t start a minute late.

At the Sandcastle, some of the people coming in for the expensive courses were Scientology’s famous celebrities, and Katrina saw her share, including John Travolta and Kelly Preston.

“I had one interaction with Kelly. I was in an elevator with her, just the two of us. She said, ‘Oh, that’s a really nice ring.’ And I was shitting my pants because I didn’t want to say something that I would get in trouble for.” When Tom Cruise came through, he always had a large entourage. But Kirstie Alley made perhaps the biggest impression on her.

“Mom was deputy to the person who ran the Sandcastle and the Osceola across the street — now she is the person who runs them,” Katrina says. “Mom said Kirstie had to have orange Egyptian cotton sheets, and everything had to be restaged in the room before she got there. And every time I saw her at the Sandcastle restaurant — and I saw her there a lot — She always looked like a hot mess. Wearing sweats, her hair unbrushed. For me, it was really weird because we had to look good at all times. And it made me wonder, she had money and assistants, why did she always look so terrible?”

For eight years, Katrina made sure the celebrities and other wealthy Scientologists got into their auditing sessions on time, while she slept in a bunk bed in a room with six other people. Her mother and stepfather had moved to a berthing hotel about 30 minutes away. “I couldn’t see her at night even if I wanted to,” she says.

 

[Katrina and her mother with other Russian Sea Org workers on Sea Org Day]

As for schooling, she says they were told they could go to school on Saturdays from noon to 8 pm. “It was all the kids, all different ages. We had school books and check sheets. Do this paragraph, do this clay demo. You studied on your own pace. We had one supervisor for 30 kids. But when the AO stats were down, the school would be canceled. And when once in a blue moon you got a day off, your school day would be taken away for it.”

Katrina focused on learning English in her school hours, and she was close to getting her GED when she turned 18 — and at that point, school hours were canceled for her.

“I begged them to allow me to go to more school to get the GED, but I was told because I was 18 there was no longer a legal requirement, so no, you’re not going to school.”

Then, in October 2006, while she was still 18, Katrina returned for a short trip to Russia.

When she had come to the US at only 11 years old, she had no passport, and now she needed one. So, on her own, she traveled from Clearwater back to Barnaul, Siberia.

“I have a very volatile, lifelong-criminal great uncle. He got really drunk and he dragged me out and threatened to throw me off an eighth-floor balcony. He’s not a Scientologist. He’s been in jail most of his life,” she says. “He was blaming me for leaving. ‘You and your mom, you live in the US, the American dream. We had to take care of your great-grandmother.’ That picture he was painting is not the picture of what was going on. But I was very upset and shaken up. I went out to a bar that night, with a classmate of mine. In Siberia it was legal to drink at 18. We were there with a whole bunch of other people, friends of friends.”

She remembers going outside the bar to smoke a cigarette, and then climbing some stairs. The rest is a blank.

“I woke up in the morning with two guys in bed with me. I realized I was probably drugged and raped,” she remembers. My flight was leaving that day, in the evening. I had my passport by then. So I just packed up my stuff and flew back to Flag. And I went back on post.”

For a week, she did nothing about what had happened to her, worrying that if she said something she might end up being punished or interrogated.

“Then this fear started creeping in. What if I was pregnant, or if I had an STD? So I went to security in the Fort Harrison. I knew the security chief. I told him what happened. Can you please take me to the doctor, I asked him. I want to make sure that I wasn’t sick or pregnant. I had been feeling pain, and I wanted to get checked out.”

And as she had expected, they reacted by interrogating her.

“Other security guards came in. They took me to the interview room in the parking garage of the Fort Harrison and started meter checking me. They didn’t believe me. They thought I was making it all up. Alfonso, the security chief, he was drilling me. He was trying to get the details of the rape out of me. Tell me again, tell me again, what do you remember. After a few days, they finally believed me,” she says. “What’s going to happen with me, I was asking. They were saying, it’s not in our hands.”

Katrina says she was put into an apartment by herself and was put on a 24-hour watch. “I wasn’t allowed to talk to anybody. Then, I finally saw my mother. She suggested that I petition to go to the RPF.”

The only way to get out of that seclusion, in other words, was to petition to be put on the Sea Org’s prison detail, a degrading assignment that could mean years of being segregated and mistreated — but at least with the prospect of eventually routing out of it.

Her request was denied.

“So then I had a tailor-made sec check, made just for me. The same guy, Alfonso at the Fort Harrison, did it. Have you ever been promiscuous, he asked, stuff like that. I was doing the sec check for about a week. At some point I realized that Alfonso had an earpiece, and I could hear that someone was giving him the questions. They were guiding him. ‘Have you ever been sexually assaulted previously?’ they asked. And I told them I did have a stepfather who would physically abuse me. OK, tell us time, date, what happened.”

She described being beaten with a leather belt by a previous stepfather for making mistakes in a math assignment.

“I could hear the question in the earpiece before he asked it: ‘Did you enjoy that?’ I lost it at that point. I put the cans down. I’m done, I told them. This is just torture.”

At that point, two officials who had been outside the room monitoring the interrogation and supplying the questions walked in and began yelling at her.

“If you don’t pick up the cans we’re going to declare your ass,” they said to her.

She refused. They walked out.

“A couple of hours later, the security chief comes back and he tells me that I’m leaving. They’re kicking me out.”

She was required to sign numerous agreements while being videotaped. “One was if I ever speak ill of Scientology or go to the media or sue them, I will be liable for $500,000. They videotaped me signing that agreement.”

At about 9 in the evening, they told her they had bought her a ticket to fly back to Russia at 6 the next morning.

Katrina says she tried to argue with them to let her stay, that she had a green card and didn’t want to go back to Siberia.

“I saw my mom that night. I was devastated, I was crying. Why are they shipping me off to Russia, I said. I haven’t lived there since I was 11. But my mom just pretty much sat there. She didn’t really have anything to say,” she remembers.

Before she was escorted to the airport in the morning, security went through her luggage and took away any evidence that she’d been in the Sea Org.

Her mother accompanied her on the drive to the airport with a Sea Org official to make sure she got on the plane.

Katrina flew to Moscow, where her grandmother was still working at the Scientology org.

“She arranged for me to rent a room with this other Scientology lady. I was renting a couch. I think it was $40 a week. I looked for a job. I couldn’t figure out what to do. I had $80.”

Her grandmother mentioned that one of Scientology’s front groups, Applied Scholastics, taught English to non-Scientologists, and Katrina got a job there, making just enough money to cover her couch rent. But when she fell behind, her landlady kicked her out.

“For a week or so I actually slept in the Applied Scholastics office. I would go out walking until everybody left. I had a key and I’d sneak back in and put some chairs together and sleep in the office,” she says.

She kept interviewing for jobs in translation, and eventually she found herself talking to a Starbucks executive.

She had put together a resume that was “bullshit,” she says, claiming, for example, that she had graduated from Clearwater High School, knowing that it was something an employer in Moscow probably wouldn’t check out. But the resume itself wasn’t the problem, she says.

“The interview wasn’t going well. So I decided to tell him the truth. About Scientology. About the Sea Org. Getting kicked out and being homeless. But I told him I’m a hard worker and he could hear that my English was very good. And so he hired me,” she says. “He liked that I told him the truth.”

It was a good job, and she was soon able to rent a room and save some money. She wanted to get enough to return to the US. And after two years in Moscow, she had enough to fly to Florida and have enough for a downpayment on an apartment and some money for a car.

She was also paying off Scientology.

When people leave the Sea Org, Scientology hits them with a “freeloader’s debt,” claiming that they owe the church money for courses they had taken or other expenses. Legally, the debts are unenforceable in US courts, but Scientologists generally don’t know that and can spend years paying on the debts.

“My debt initially was $21,000. Then I asked them to give me a full printout, and I bargained them down to $5,170.”

Katrina was paying down the debt even after the way she had been treated because she wanted to remain “in good standing” with the church — if she returned to Clearwater, she would need to be around other Scientologists if she wanted to see her mother.

And that was her plan as she set out for her return to Florida in September 2008.

On the way, she had some time to wait between flights at Kennedy airport in New York.

At one point, she went out to have a cigarette, and asked a tall man for a light. His name was Jose Reyes.

“We started talking. He was a gentleman. He gave me his business card and wrote his cell number on it. He said if I was ever in Orlando, I should give him a call,” she says.

When Katrina got back to Clearwater, she moved into a studio apartment, and got a job as a nanny for a couple of “OT” Scientologists and their two children.

But not long after she’d come back, she had an encounter at a local bank. Although the bank branch wasn’t close to the base, when she was leaving she notice a couple of Sea Org officials coming in. She passed them without saying anything.

“An hour later I’m getting a call from security guard Spencer at Flag. You better get your ass down to security booth at Fort Harrison right now, he said. I went down there, and Spencer is yelling at me, ‘You fucking bitch. Your petition was approved, but you’re not allowed to go anywhere near Sea Org members.’ He said I had enturbulated the people in the bank. I didn’t say anything to them! I didn’t know you went there to get cash, I told him.”

They gave her 24 hours to leave Clearwater.

“I called my mom and told her what happened. Once again I’m fucked. I just put my money down on an apartment. I’ve been here a couple of weeks already. She contacted some Russian public they had in the area. There was a guy who drove an 18-wheeler for a living. He needed some admin help. He can maybe give you a job and a place to stay, she told me. He said he was going to California and going to need my help on the road,” she remembers. “So I went with him, a week and a half to California and back. He paid me $400. I helped with some admin help. It was very uncomfortable. He was married, but it was very uncomfortable. Nothing happened, but it was just uncomfortable.”

After that trip, Katrina found another Scientologist in Orlando who was willing to rent her a room.

“I was staying there for a while. Then through the local newspapers I found some babysitting jobs. All kinds of off-the-book jobs.”

And she remembered that business card she’d had since her JFK layover.

She called Jose Reyes, and they began dating.

“He was taking a lot of business trips for Disney. He was in Orlando every week. And that’s how we started dating. Then I moved to New York to be with him.”

Meanwhile, Katrina says she was constantly getting harassing phone calls and emails from Scientology. She says she tried to work out something with the church.

“I wanted a clean slate. In order to keep speaking to my mother I needed to be in good standing. And of course they would never take responsibility for what they’d done to me,” she says.

It bothered her that they were keeping a close watch on her use of social media. “They would call and tell me the number of suppressive people I was attached to on Facebook.”

It was then that she reached out to Jason Beghe, who had made a stir in early 2008 by being the first former church celebrity to criticize the church so openly. His video made a huge difference for her, Katrina says.

And her boyfriend, Jose, was getting fed up as well. “He couldn’t understand why I was getting these calls from a church at midnight.”

But Katrina continued to try and find a way to make peace with the church as her 2013 wedding with Jose in New York approached — she wanted her mother to attend.

And she did come. “I had a big heart-to-heart with her before the wedding,” she says. “I told her I had no problem with her being a Scientologist. But this isn’t going to work as long as she was in the Sea Org. I was going to get pregnant. And when I went into labor, she wouldn’t be able to leave without going through a sec check. She wouldn’t be there in time. I saw in her face that it did hit her. And I tried to appeal to her human side. ‘Mom, I can’t call you and ask for relationship advice,’ I told her. You haven’t been a good mother to me my whole life. Why don’t we start over and try to have a different relationship. She cried and apologized.”

 

[Katrina and Jose with Katrina’s mother Yelena and her husband Andrey, left, and grandmother Nina, right]

But her mother showed no interest in leaving the Sea Org.

Katrina says she began reaching out to other former Scientologists who had spoken out.

“I was still afraid of being declared. I made my Facebook private so no one could see my friends list. But I got called by Flag. They read out my friends list to me in late November 2014. How did you find out who are my friends on Facebook? They wouldn’t respond. I told them I’m done. You’re not my mother. You’re not my father. Even my husband doesn’t have the right to tell me who I can be friends with. I told them to fuck off and hung up the phone.

“Then my mother called a week later and we had our last conversation.”

Her mother had received a print-out from the Office of Special Affairs, Scientology’s secret police. It included a Facebook posting by former Scientology executive Tom DeVocht about his dog.

“I had liked the photo of his dog. And I had liked a photo Valeska Paris had posted of her youngest son. That’s why I was getting declared. For being in contact with enemies. I told my mom that I could have done press, but I didn’t for her sake. But this is why I was getting declared? Over this? I remember telling her that I’m not disconnecting from her. I can call her tomorrow, but she’s the one disconnecting from me. She has no freedom to communicate with me. I told her that I would never change my phone number, and if it’s ten years from now or 30 years from now, if you come knocking at my door I’ll always be there for her.

“That was November 2014. It’s the last time I heard from her. In January 2015, I received my declare order.”

Katrina says she still gets information about her mother through relatives in Russia, and she knows that her mother gets news about her, like the devastating news when Katrina and Jose lost their first child, who was stillborn in July 2015.

“I was hoping for something, even just a postcard. Nothing.”

Then, Katrina became one of several former Scientologists we’ve talked to who became part of a television project that was filmed in 2016. Previously, we recounted the experiences of Derek Bloch, Phil and Willie Jones, and Carol Nyburg, who were each the subject of episodes in a show that was being produced for the A&E network about Scientology disconnection.

For Katrina’s episode, the production team wanted to film her being reunited with her mother.

“We went to Florida in March. They tried to catch her walking on the street. It didn’t happen. The producers told me they wanted to go back. They were super nice. They really tried their best to get me to see her. We went back in May 2016. I was already pregnant with Nolan, my son. I was six months pregnant. I was huge.”

Waiting in a car nearby, the production team spotted Yelena walking between the Sandcastle and the Osceola.

“She’s manager of those hotels. I came out of the car, with Jose, who had a little camera in his hand. I called out her name. I called ‘Mom!’ She turned around and looked at me, and she just ran away.

“I was pissed. I walked into the Osceola and demanded to see my mother. We were escorted out by security and told to leave. Seven or eight security guards surrounded me but none of them were talking to me. So I called the cops. A cop came and we explained the situation. He spoke to them. They wanted to file a trespass order on me. But I asked the cop if he could do a wellness check on my mother. I had a copy of a sonogram with me. I wrote a note on the back and asked him to deliver it. He went into the Sandcastle with OSA,” she says. “He came back after about 10 to 15 minutes. He checked my mother out for bruises, and she looked OK. I asked her if she was being abused or held against her will. He tried to give her the picture and she said she wanted no contact with me. Their security was standing not far away. She gave him the line she was told to say. And that was it.”

The show was completed that summer, but by then A&E had decided to air Leah Remini’s series about Scientology. Since then, the participants of the disconnection series have received no word about whether their series will air.

Katrina, Jose, and their son Nolan moved to Austin in October. Nolan is 17 months old.

“I honestly feel lucky about my life now,” Katrina tells us. “I look back and think about everything I have gone through and sometimes wonder how did I end up being sane at the end of it all. I’m finally coming out with my story now for my mother, who didn’t get the chance to hold my baby boy Hunter, who just stopped breathing on July 28, 2015. She was not able to stand by my hospital bed and hold my hand while I was in labor for 32 hours, giving birth to my dead baby. My mother didn’t get a chance to hold him and say her last goodbyes. My mother didn’t attend his funeral. My mother wasn’t there to hold me while I cried for months on end after coming home with empty hands and cleaning out the brand new nursery.

“I did this for my mother, so that she could hold my baby Nolan now, so that she could love and be in his life. So that she could be a grandmother to my living child. She already missed so much, Nolan’s baby shower, his birth, his first laughs, his first food, his first steps. I don’t want her to miss anymore. Of course she might never leave Scientology, but letting people know the truth about it just may make a difference. I can never give up the hope.”

 

 
——————–

Make your plans now!

 

 
——————–

Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley has not seen his daughter Stephanie in 5,002 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 148 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 1,211 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 1,985 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 2,759 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 2,105 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 2,599 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 1,639 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 1,351 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 877 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 4,966 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 2,106 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 2,426 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 2,401 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 757 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 5,059 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 1,165 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 1,568 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 1,440 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 1,022 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 1,527 days.
Mary Jane Sterne has not seen her daughter Samantha in 1,771 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 12,880 days.

——————–

3D-UnbreakablePosted by Tony Ortega on January 22, 2018 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, 1995-2017 Just starting out here? We’ve picked out the most important stories we’ve covered here at the Undergound Bunker (2012-2017), 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 | The mystery of the richest Scientologist and his wayward sons | Scientology’s shocking mistreatment of the mentally ill | The Underground Bunker’s Official Theme Song | The Underground Bunker FAQ

 

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