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A Scientologist is running for lieutenant governor in Nevada — and it’s who you probably suspect

 
Brent Jones is back, and this time he’s aiming high.

You might remember the name. He’s a Scientologist who was elected to Nevada’s Assembly and served from 2015 to 2016. We wrote about him at the time not only because it’s pretty rare for Scientologists to hold elected office but also because of his involvement with the sale of snake oil and ostrich eggs.

Way back in the year 2000, our colleague Ron Russell at New Times Los Angeles wrote about Jones’ involvement in the sad case of Raul Lopez, a Southern California man who received $1.7 million in a settlement after suffering brain damage in a car accident. Scientology pounced on the suddenly wealthy young man, finding creative ways to get him to part with his money, including investing in ostrich eggs, which Jones, his attorney, helped facilitate.

More recently, Jones has a company, Affinity Lifestyles, that sells “Real Water,” which the company claims has all sorts of good health effects because it is “alkalized.” In a 2011 article, the Guardian debunked that claim, but Jones continues to sell Real Water today, and some of the proceeds go to the Citizens Commission on Human Rights, Scientology’s unhinged front group that demonizes the psychiatric profession.

In 2016, the Daily Beast reported that an Affinity Lifestyles employee was suing the company for forcing her to watch Scientology videos as part of her job.

Despite that track record — which gets brought up every time Jones is in the news — he’s aiming high and this time is running not for Nevada’s legislature, but for lieutenant governor.

He’s facing state Senator Michael Roberson in the Republican primary on June 12.

Wouldn’t it be fun if Joy Villa were to show up to campaign for him?

 
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SMERSH Madness 2018

We’re down to the championship match! We want to thank our readers for taking part in our big dance that featured the people we believed are working hardest to defend Scientology against its enemies. These were not only Scientologists, but also the people who enable the church as it works against its foes. And which of them did you decide deserved the most recognition for Keeping Scientology Working, spreading disconnection, and litigating former Scientologists into the ground? Well, our final pairing features Scientology leader David Miscavige and his former top enforcer, Mark “Marty” Rathbun!

Miscavige defeated Mike Ellis in the second round, Bert Deixler in the third, and Monique Yingling in the Final Four. He’s our #1 seed because he’s been leading the Scientology movement for more than 30 years now. His biggest accomplishment in that time, no doubt, was winning tax-exempt status for the church in 1993. In more recent years, he’s been consumed with making appearances of Scientology “expansion” with his “Ideal Org” program, opening buildings around the world as a media strategy. But the relentless pressure he’s put on members to donate, coupled with his legendary ruthlessness, has produced a steady exodus of many longtime, loyal fans of L. Ron Hubbard. And now, his new grand scheme: Scientology TV. We were actually surprised to see him introduce the new TV channel with a short monologue. Now, if he’d only sit down for a real press interview.

We rated Rathbun as our #11 seed, but he defeated Danny Masterson in the first round, Trish Duggan in the second, John Travolta in the third, and Tom Cruise in the Final Four! Rathbun is clearly popular with our readers as a champion of Scientology, which is a pretty stunning turn of events considering his trajectory from Miscavige enforcer (1980s to 2004) to reclusive defector (2004-2008) to Indie champion (2009-2012) to anti-church litigant (2013-2015) and then back to Miscavige defender (2016- ). In his professionally-prepared attack videos, he’s taken a shotgun approach with blasts at everyone from Lawrence Wright to Paul Haggis to Leah Remini. But it’s his vicious swipes at Mike Rinder, formerly such a good and supportive friend, that really strike us as ugly in the extreme. It’s a pretty bewildering U-turn for a man who once said, “Just so everybody knows, as Miscavige just won’t seem to get it through his head, I will never fold to any pressure no matter how intense, and I am not for sale – at any price.”

 

 
Who is the champion of Scientology? Who has done more to perpetuate the church’s reputation in this time of crisis? Cast your votes!

 


 
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Make your plans now!

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

 

 
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Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley has not seen his daughter Stephanie in 5,070 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 1,673 days
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 216 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 1,279 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 2,053 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 2,827 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 2,173 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 2,667 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 1,707 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 1,419 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 945 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 5,034 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 2,174 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 2,494 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 2,469 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 825 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 5,127 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 1,233 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 1,636 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 1,508 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 1,090 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 1,595 days.
Mary Jane Sterne has not seen her daughter Samantha in 1,839 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 12,948 days.

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3D-UnbreakablePosted by Tony Ortega on March 31, 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

Our non-Scientology stories: Robert Burnham Jr., the man who inscribed the universe | Notorious alt-right inspiration Kevin MacDonald and his theories about Jewish DNA | The selling of the “Phoenix Lights” | Astronomer Harlow Shapley‘s FBI file | Sex, spies, and local TV news

 

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