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Clearwater city council candidate gets ringing endorsement from a Scientology front

[John Funk]

One of our tipsters forwarded to us an email put out by Pat Clouden of the Concerned Businessmen’s Association of Tampa Bay, which is a ringing endorsement for candidate John Funk in the upcoming March 13 election for Clearwater city council members.

“There is one guy running who we really like. We’ve met him and he is a like-minded fellow who would be awesome for Clearwater City Council Seat 5. His name is John Funk,” the email says.

Well, that’s nice, but Mr. Funk is apparently a bit of a longshot. As Tampa Bay Times reporter Tracey McManus explained last week, he’s a political newcomer who is trying to unseat a popular incumbent, Hoyt Hamilton, and he has some dodgy things on his record.

There are some tax liens and bankruptcies in his past, for example, but Funk explained to McManus that in his 40 years selling real estate, there have been some tough years, which we can certainly appreciate.

But there’s also the thing about running over a motorcyclist in 2011. McManus found that Funk was cited in an accident that killed 53-year-old motorcyclist Eugene Harris.


“That was not my fault but I did get cited, yes, because they were on a mission to make sure that I got a ticket,” Funk told McManus. “It was horrific. … It’s something you don’t ever forget.”

So, OK, this guy has some hurdles to overcome as he attempts to get elected to Clearwater’s city council.

But hey, with the CBA and Pat Clouden on board, maybe he’ll get some momentum going?

That is, if an endorsement by a Scientology front group and one of the church’s most active members and boosters is the kind of thing that helps a candidate get elected in Clearwater.

We sent an email to Funk, asking him what he thought about a Scientology front organization endorsing his run for city council. We’ll let you know if he responds.

McManus, in her profile, had mentioned that Funk believes downtown revitalization “must include improving the city’s relationship and communication with the Church of Scientology,” but that’s a pretty generic position for a Clearwater pol to take.

We’re not really sure Clouden’s endorsement is going to help much. Clearwater’s population is around 110,000 and Scientologists only make up about 5 percent of that. But who knows. Here’s Pat’s glowing email…



Roger Friedman says he’s got evidence that Paul Haggis was set up by Scientology

We do love it when Roger Friedman gets one of his killer Scientology-in-Hollywood scoops. And he sure uncorked a beauty last night.

Friedman says he has two former Scientologists, two women who worked with Paul Haggis in Hollywood, who have signed written statements claiming that they were approached by a high-ranking Scientology official who was asking that confidential information about Haggis held by unidentified Hollywood guilds be illegally accessed to get the church information about possible complaints made against the director.

Says Friedman: “When she balked, the Scientology exec tried to convince her that he already had someone to speak against Haggis. ‘We have a woman,’ the exec told her.”

Friedman’s account contradicts statements made by attorneys for Haleigh Breest, the woman suing Haggis for sexual assault, and an unnamed woman who wrote a first-person account for The Hollywood Reporter, who said that the allegations being made against Haggis had nothing to do with the Church of Scientology.

Also, the AP is reporting that a deposition of Haggis planned for next week won’t happen, and Breest’s attorneys have asked for a reschedule.


Gerry Adams latest to prod Ireland’s PM about Narconon

Sinn Féin leader Gerry Adams is the latest Irish legislator to bore into Taoiseach Leo Varadkar (Ireland’s equivalent of a prime minister, pronounced TEE-shook) about a proposed Narconon rehab preparing to open up in County Meath. Varadkar throws up his hands and says, well, if people want to assemble and aren’t being held against their will, what can we do…


It’s a shame the Taoiseach hasn’t availed himself of decades of good work exposing Narconon as dangerous quackery that has literally caused deaths, and that operates from a deceptive business model. Come on, are there no laws in Ireland?

But still, we have to hand it to the Irish press and these Irish pols for speaking up.


Make your plans now!

Head over to our HowdyCon 2018 website to start making your travel plans!



Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley has not seen his daughter Stephanie in 5,006 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 1,609 days
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 152 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 1,215 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 1,989 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 2,763 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 2,109 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 2,603 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 1,643 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 1,355 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 881 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 4,970 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 2,110 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 2,430 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 2,405 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 761 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 5,063 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 1,169 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 1,572 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 1,444 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 1,026 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 1,531 days.
Mary Jane Sterne has not seen her daughter Samantha in 1,775 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 12,884 days.


3D-UnbreakablePosted by Tony Ortega on January 26, 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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