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Insider reports on Scientology’s grand openings in Silicon Valley and Salt Lake City!

[David Miscavige at Sunday’s Silicon Valley grand opening]

We really have some great tipsters. Once again, one of our longtime readers managed to get into an “Ideal Org” grand opening to provide us an eyewitness report. Thank you, Free Minds, Free Hearts for your dispatch from Sunday’s event in Silicon Valley. We also have an insider account of the Salt Lake City opening that took place the day before and was posted on Facebook.

The Silicon Valley org is located at 1080 Linda Vista Ave, Mountain View, CA. It is at the end of an industrial cul de sac, up against a 20 foot freeway sound wall which does a very good job of blocking out the freeway sound. There is zero foot or vehicle traffic.

The final two short blocks of the cul de sac were blocked off by two police cars – this did not disrupt traffic since it was a Sunday, no businesses were open, and it’s not clear there are any businesses there anyway. It might be just storage.

I didn’t need a ticket. There were two sets of metal tables in the street. At the first table we wrote our names on little cards. At the second table they took my card and I showed my ID. She looked in the laptop (maybe checking for SPs?) and then gave me gave a wristband.

I walked another 50 feet and was there. As I walked I noticed two white drones so I hope someone got footage. A Sea Org member called out from time to time, “Does everyone have a wristband?” but I didn’t get a sense there was much security there.


It is a two-story building. They had a stage and podium, and about 150-200 chairs set up out front. There were also about 100 people under the freeway sound wall to the right of the chairs as you faced the building, and about 150 in the standing area on the other side of the stage. Maybe 500 people total?

The crowd was overwhelmingly white in one of the most diverse counties in the country. I saw three African-Americans besides the two black speakers. There were a few Indian/Southeast Asian, and a few people speaking Spanish. The Spanish speakers were young, and they seemed to be staff – maybe trafficked from Mexico? The crowd was much younger than I would have expected – maybe two-thirds were age 40 or under. I think maybe 50 to 75 were dressed like valets, white shirt and black vest, so I assume they were Sea Org.

Some people were dressed up, but nothing very fancy – maybe sort of like going-to-church clothes – and many weren’t dressed up at all, wearing T-shirts and jeans.

I overheard a couple of young men saying “I was at Miami, Atlanta, I’ve been to 5 openings” and the other said “I was at Seattle, etc etc.” At the sign-in table someon said, “Hey, I saw you at Salt Lake City yesterday,” but the man he was talking to tried to brush that off. So I know they fly people from one to the other but maybe not always brag about it.

Jan Silber, the Executive Director, was the emcee. She announced that there are 30 executives and staff trained at the new model org in LA, plus 15 auditors trained at Flag, and a total of 160 staff in Silicon Valley Day and Foundation. She then thanked people for flying in from all over the western US, coming from LA, Sacramento, etc. They didn’t even pretend to have 500 local Scientologists willing to come to a party on a beautiful sunny though cool and windy February day.

They started with the musicians playing “It’s the Best Day of My Life” which got the crowd up and clapping, which was a good move.

The speakers:

Jan introduced Anu Peshawaria, who works in the City Manager’s Office for the City of Fremont. It sounded like she has taken classes and may be a Scientologist. She said she would send everyone to the org!

Jan then introduced James Sweeney as a lobbyist for the California NAACP, who talked up his work with CCHR – I see that he was a keynote speaker for CCHR in Sacramento in 2015.

Jan then introduced Lt. Glenn Walsh from the LAPD, who wants to mandate every school to have drug training classes where they hand out Drug Free World/Truth About Drugs pamphlets. I see from his Feb 2016 talk that he was a sergeant in the LAPD and was apparently safepointed there and also promoted.

He was also introduced as Narc of the Year (true, in 2015).

Jan then introduced Pastor Alice Baber-Banks of the Christian Fellowship Ministry Church in Sacramento. Alice said she met the Scientologists at an interfaith group. I wonder if she knows it’s just an implant.


[Scientology’s official portrait with Miscavige: Lt. Glenn Walsh, Rev. Alice Baber-Banks, Anu Peshawaria, and James Sweeney.]

All four speakers were effusive in their praise of Scientology and its good works. And they clearly introduce CCHR and Drug Free World as Scientology groups. I thought of what Leah Remini has said about going to these events and always feeling so proud of her involvement in Scientology when she heard their good works and how well they were accepted by these other opinion leaders and faith leaders.

Then came David Miscavige. Unfortunately none of what he said made sense. It was gibberish and Sherman-speak. I tried recording on my phone, which automatically transcribed it. Here is a partial transcript of the beginning. I actually couldn’t make heads or tails of what he said, so it is hard to clean up the transcript.

Oh then everything else they say about this valley must be true, that you were rebels with a cause, a party with purpose, since you were running rings around digital technology spiritual technology which means you were salvaging our technology Scientology and that it will replace digital and yes on every Internet device thousands and unstoppable…

In point of fact … your universe .. are you with a glorious holy Trinity …inextricably linked in massive quadrangle they are your ideal humanitarian work at San Francisco another again in Sacramento your humanitarian with honors at Los Gatos and silver humanitarian at Stevens Creek, in total Norcal-wise indomitable as represented by your alliance.

He could have just said that there are now 5 Ideal Orgs in NorCal.

Then he went on and on naming donors, including several who had given at multiple orgs. As the camera panned onto the faces of the individuals and couples being called out for their donations, you could see how overwhelmed the people were by the recognition. One man almost wept, and another woman looked like she was so thrilled she was about to faint.

I didn’t catch all the names:
Jan and Marc Silber
Susan and Tom Collins
Becky Huber
Rick and Vikki Petersen
Rick Manning
Alexa Alborzi and Harry Wong
Charlie Snyder
The Twaalfhovens

Jan called about 14 people up to the stage – all the big donors – they yanked the ribbon, which was totally anticlimactic. Then Jan said thank you for coming and it was over. Took about an hour. Well, at that point everyone started streaming toward the building (Jan did not announce an open house but it was) so I went in and toured both floors. It is beautiful, top notch, classy, they could see what their money bought. I went in the building, and it is quite lovely. Everyone was oohng and ahhing. Food was upstairs in their cafeteria – it was not impressive. Cheese and crackers trays, little mini-quiches from Costco, some vegetable trays, another type of pastry from Costco, paper plates, all finger food, no forks. I didn’t see any drinks either. All in all a very cheap reception for a very fancy building that people had donated millions of dollars for.

— Free Minds, Free Hearts

And then there was this account of what went down in Utah which was posted to Facebook…

The Salt Lake City shills…


Utah State Voluntary Agency Liaison Ken Kraudy, Utah state senator Margaret Drayton, Director of Operation Underground Railroad Taryn Dipo, and Utah Major Crime Unit Sergeant Brandon Burgon (retired).

We found State Senator Drayton’s statement especially eyebrow-raising:

“Together we enacted legislation protecting families from being broken up just because parents wouldn’t put their children on dangerous psychotropics. And when that bill passed, together we had secured the most important right for Utah families: The right to be a family.”

Scientology, the right to be a family? Oh wow, that is some pretty impressive “safepointing” of the state senator, we have to say.


Chris Shelton on the ‘Brainwashing Manual’

On Tuesday and Wednesday, we presented a two-part series by historian Chris Owen about an elaborate hoax by L. Ron Hubbard in 1955 that became a touchstone for far-right politics through the 1960s. After that, the prank seemed to have died off. But Chris wanted us to know that the Brainwashing Manual is still being used inside Scientology, where all of Hubbard’s writings are considered sacred.



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 5,033 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 1,636 days
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 179 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 1,242 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 2,016 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 2,790 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 2,136 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 2,630 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 1,670 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 1,382 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 908 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 4,997 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 2,137 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 2,457 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 2,432 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 788 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 5,090 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 1,196 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 1,599 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 1,471 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 1,053 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 1,558 days.
Mary Jane Sterne has not seen her daughter Samantha in 1,802 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 12,911 days.


3D-UnbreakablePosted by Tony Ortega on February 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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