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Scientology celeb Kerri Kasem marches for religious freedom in Hungary

[Scientology celebs Kerri Kasem, right, Jeff Pomerantz, and Hungarian actress Timea Vojtilla]

 
You’ve probably seen some of the reporting coming out of Budapest this weekend as Scientology put on a big show Saturday to protest Hungary’s crackdown on its “Ideal Org” there.

We’ve been gathering a few different reports on the event, and we asked for some help from our correspondents on the scene as the church seems to be going for some of that old Portland “Religious Freedom Crusade” magic that it put on in 1985.

In that case, a former church member was suing the church and had won a $39 million judgment, and the church mobilized thousands of members — mostly bused up from Los Angeles — to surround the courtroom and put pressure on the judge, who eventually caved and vacated the jury award.

This time, Scientology’s beef is over a series of raids made on the Ideal Org in Budapest and a subsequent investigation that is focusing on the way Scientology gathers information about its members and what it does with that information. Chris Owen went into depth for us about the Hungary investigation and how Scientology’s methods clearly violate modern data-protection laws.

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But Scientology isn’t going quietly. Rather than address the allegations of the investigation about the way it invades the privacy of its members, the church is putting on a show about “religious freedom” and claims to be the object of persecution.

And it wouldn’t be a Scientology effort without a little of that OT magic. The Facebook account of Scientology Europe claimed that the marchers used their OT powers to keep the snow from falling on the day of the march…

 

 
Bunker reader Mark the Hungarian gave us his impression of the procession through the city.

I live in District 6 in Budapest, which is where you will find Andrassy Avenue, probably Hungary’s most famous street. Whenever there is a rally, march, or event where masses of people walk on the streets to raise awareness, that march inevitably goes down Andrassy at some point. Today’s Scientology march is no different, and when I caught up with it, it was making its way towards Hosok Tere (Heroes Square) from Deak Ter. There were masses of Police, and a far greater turnout than I expected. As I was recording, I was passed by a bunch of children who turned out to be American (or Canadian). I also heard German and Swedish being spoken, so I’m guessing many of the people taking part in the march flew in from elsewhere to make a “statement.” I saw Greek flags as well, so perhaps there was a Greek contingent here too. The crowd was chanting “Vallas Szabadsagot,” which is Hungarian for “Relgious Freedom,” even though the reason Scientology is in deep water here in Hungary has nothing to do with religious freedom. I’m guessing that’s the sort of entheta that followers are taught to avoid. Some of the protestors were carrying white signs, with details of times when people were persecuted because of their religion. The 1938 Jewish law was one (Hungarian Jews suffered terribly in WW2), the Mindszenty Trial (1949) was another; needless to say, what Hungary is doing with Scientology can not be compared, in any way, to those events. One of the signs read “Who will be next?” There were also two or three trucks with speakers out of the back, blasting the people with the same messages over and over again. There was a male American voice, speaking in English about events in Hungary and how religious freedom is under threat, followed by a woman speaking in Hungarian who also told people what to chant. I’m guessing the American voice was for those people shipped in for the event, while the Hungarian voice was for the locals.

Mark also mentioned that there was some sort of “reality TV” celebrity at the front of the march, but he didn’t recognize her.

Well, who would! It was none other than enthusiastic Scientology booster Kerri Kasem, a minor radio figure whose claim to fame, of course, is that her father was legendary radio deejay Casey Kasem. We’ve seen Kerri show up at a lot of Scientology front group activities, but we have to wonder how many people in Hungary had any idea who she is.

We also heard from Péter Bonyai, who has been helping us make sense of the raids and the investigation there.

“First of all, there was zero media coverage,” Peter tells us. “Not even the smallest media outlets bothered to cover this. And the rally wasn’t that big, by the way. It is quite evident from video of the event that even the participants were not taking this seriously. The local Scientologists were just chatting or strolling around during this ‘protest’.”

Given that impression by Mark and Peter, we’d be surprised if the Hungarian government backs down. But as in Portland, you never know.

Meanwhile, back in this country, a tipster sent us this gem from a Facebook group of Los Angeles actors who use their forum to trade job information….

 

 
And one more item today from our great helpers. From our man in Italy, Richard, we received this fun illustration in a Scientology flier, which he helpfully translated for us. This is how you shatter suppression!

 

 
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Make your plans now!

 

 
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Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley has not seen his daughter Stephanie in 5,003 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 149 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 1,212 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 1,986 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 2,760 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 2,106 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 2,600 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 1,640 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 1,352 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 878 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 4,967 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 2,107 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 2,427 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 2,402 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 758 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 5,060 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 1,166 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 1,569 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 1,441 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 1,023 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 1,528 days.
Mary Jane Sterne has not seen her daughter Samantha in 1,772 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 12,881 days.

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3D-UnbreakablePosted by Tony Ortega on January 23, 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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