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Scientology’s space opera ideas aren’t just for the upper levels, as one key early book shows

Rod Keller reminds us that space opera is not just for the upper levels in Scientology, and it’s actively part of what Scientologists learn today, as much as David Miscavige wants to promote a more businesslike, self-help image.

The Cincinnati Ideal Org is holding an event today with Jeanie Sonenfield and Rachel Kasle. The lecture is likely based on a non-confidential Scientology book, A History of Man, written by L. Ron Hubbard in 1952. It’s one of “the basics” series of books that Scientologists are expected to purchase and complete a course on the contents of each.



A common misconception is that Scientologists are unaware of the science fiction aspects of the “technology” as the attempt to improve themselves through study, auditing, and other processes. When they reach the advanced auditing level of OT3 — which can take several years — they are introduced to the bizarre science fiction story of Xenu, the evil space tyrant. That revelation can be a shock, but the space opera of Scientology starts long before that, with A History of Man. OT3 was released in 1968, but all the elements of it existed as far back as 1952, just two years after the publication of Dianetics. Originally titled “What to Audit,” History of Man describes alien invaders, memory implants, and other beings that exist inside one’s body. The foreword begins: “This is a cold-blooded and factual account of your last sixty trillion years.”


Hubbard describes a person as a composite being in History of Man. The Thetan is the entity with a personality, the self of a person. The body itself is created by the Genetic Entity, or GE. Just as the thetan continues after death to another lifetime, the GE continues after death to create a new body usually to be inhabited by a different Thetan. Incidents in previous lifetimes of the GE create engrams, which need to be audited out using Dianetics.

Other entities exist in the body, each in its own part. The right side is home to a being Hubbard says responds to the name “crew chief.” This collection of entities makes up a person, and Hubbard claims, “if the preclear were suddenly opened and the balloons let loose, the ‘I’ balloon would float free clear and unmistakable and that ‘I’ balloon would be the theta being, it would be who the preclear always thought he was anyway. All others are simply modifiers.” By the time Hubbard writes OT3, he has discovered the existence of “body thetans,” which are also independent entities attached to a person’s body. By then the goal is no longer to audit the GE but to remove the body thetans, convincing them to go find a body elsewhere.

Hubbard writes that the GE can have engrams from past lives, and these lives go far back into the evolution of animal species on earth. One of these is the clam, but that does not mean that people evolved from clams. The GE that created a modern person’s MEST body long ago created an ancient clam body. The problems of long dead clams can cause problems for a person because of incidents experienced by their GE.

Should you describe “the clam” to some one, you may restimulate it in him to the extent of causing severe jaw hinge pain. One such victim, after hearing about a clam death could not use his jaws for three days. Another “had to have” two molars extracted because of the resulting ache. The clam and all these incidents are very much present in the GE and can be restimulated easily.

Hubbard describes the Fourth Invaders, a group of aliens that implant memories into Thetans in an incident he calls Facsimile One and the use of a device known as the Coffee-grinder.

FAC ONE was an outright control mechanism, invented to cut down rebel raids on invader installations. It was probable designed by the Fourth Invader and used by him in its original state and “ritual” for a considerable time. It gave him a nice, non-combative, religiously insane community.

The “Coffee-grinder” (which might be an alternative name for it) is leveled at the preclear and a push-pull wave is played over him, first on his left side, then on his right and back and forth from side to side, laying in a bone-deep somatic which cannot be run unless you recognize it as a vibration, not the solid board it seems to be. When this treatment is done, the preclear is dumped in scalding water, then immediately in ice water. Then the preclear is put in a chair and whirled around. He was quite swollen after the pummeling of the waves and was generally kept in a badly run (but quite modern) hospital for a few days.

The book contains descriptions of many such implants. They are similar to the implants described in OT3, which says “36 days of picture implants which give a vast array of materials and three explanations for the bombing, The pictures contain God, the Devil, angels, space opera, theaters, helicopters, a constant spinning, a spinning dancer, trains and various scenes very like modern England. You name it, it’s in this implant we call in its entirely ‘R6’.” History of Man also describes the Jiggler, the Whirler, the Bouncer, the Spinner and others in which a thetan is bounced around to create implants.


[History of Man lecture given in Mexico]

History of Man has all the elements that were later used in OT3. Alien invaders, implanted memories, and beings that are part of the human body. A Scientologist who encounters Xenu in confidential materials should be well versed in the building blocks of the story from the non-confidential book and associated taped lectures by Hubbard. Scientology mandates the story of the book, and lectures on the space opera stories included are given at orgs around the world.

— Rod Keller

SEE ALSO: We read ‘History of Man’ with Prof. PZ Myers


Graham Berry’s eulogy for Arnie Lerma

A memorial service was held yesterday in Sylvania, Georgia for noted longtime Scientology critic Arnie Lerma, who died on March 16. Our old friend Graham Berry, an attorney in Los Angeles, wrote this eulogy for Arnie.

It is with great sadness that I eulogize Arnie Lerma, who left this life too soon on March 16, 2018. What happened on March 16 was an unexpected tragedy; both for himself and his widow Ginger Sugerman. My condolences and respect go out to Ginger who I wish the very best for a full and speedy recovery herself. And to Arnie’s son I convey my sympathy at his loss.

Arnie was my good friend for 25 years. Like most of us Arnie had his flaws and what happened on March 16 was inexcusable, although explainable in retrospect with reference to the severe pain, extremely strong medications, and abnormal mental state of his last few days. They are a sad coda to a remarkable life. As William Shakespeare wrote, “(t)he evil that men do lives on after them; The good is oft interred with their bones.” So today I celebrate Arnie’s life and remember some of the momentous things Arnie has accomplished. To that end, I am going to write of some of the great good that Arnie Lerma did for a cause he worked tirelessly on for nearly three decades: stopping the human rights abuses of his former church of Scientology, its use of hypnosis, mental manipulation, fraud, disconnection, and lies.

Arnie was born in 1950. His mother was a Scientology staffer and she urged him to join the church’s Sea Organization at the age of 16. In 1978 he had to leave Scientology because, as he later said in an interview, he “was a troublemaker who could not be controlled.” That was when he “woke up and snapped out of the [Scientology] trance.” However, Arnie’s days as one of the original “old guard” of anti-Scientology protesters would not begin until February 1993 when he started posting messages to ‘alt.religion.scientology’ (“ARS”), one of the Usenet groups of the early Internet. A Usenet is an old-school newsgroup where users posted messages, news articles, engaged in debate, and sometimes encountered vicious “flame wars.”

The ARS newsgroup was started after the May 6, 1991, publication of the Time magazine cover story “Scientology, Thriving cult of Greed and Power.” Scientology responded to Time magazine with three lawsuits. One lawsuit was against two sources, Steven Fishman and his psychologist Dr. Uwe Geertz, regarding allegations of Scientology related instructions to Fishman to commit fraud, murder Dr. Geertz, and then commit suicide. This lawsuit became a large and very expensive federal defamation case. I led a team of lawyers in the defense of Dr. Geertz. During the case, Fishman wrote a declaration attaching all of Scientology’s trade secret and copyrighted confidential upper levels, called OT 1 to OT 8. I filed the Fishman Declaration in court. Then we successfully defended all of the church’s attempts and appeals to seal the Fishman declaration and its exhibits. Humiliated, Scientology dismissed the Fishman-Geertz case on the eve of trial.


[Arnie Lerma and Tory Christman, 2011]

One of Scientology’s responses to the filing of the Fishman Declaration was to have staff check out the court case file all day every day, and this continued for long after we had won the litigation. Despite the church blockading the court file Arnie Lerma, a handful of other individuals, and the Washington Post newspaper somehow obtained copies of the Fishman Declaration. Among other things it was posted to the ARS newsgroup and to other Internet locations. What followed was described by many publications as Scientology’s ‘War against the Net.’ The church filed three high profile lawsuits for trade secret and copyright violations and obtained ex parte federal court orders to raid the homes of a number of critics and Lawrence Wollersheim’s At the time, Arnie was a member of FactNet’s Board of Directors.

Arnie Lerma’s Washington, DC home was raided on August 12, 1995. Federal marshals, Scientology lawyers, church officials and computer technicians stormed into the house. They spent many hours ransacking his home, seizing his computer, backups, disks, modem, scanner and files. Subsequently the federal judge excoriated the church for misleading her regarding the request for the raid, and she ultimately awarded the church only $2,500 in damages and costs for five instances of non-willful copyright violation. The judge’s decision was extremely critical of the church’s motives in bringing the litigation and the published opinion judicially acknowledged Scientology’s “Fair Game” policy which the church had long denied. Arnie responded to Scientology’s ‘War against the Net’ by establishing what became one of the most extensive anti-Scientology Internet websites under the banner of, and a blog as arnielerma at Those two resources are huge. They are among Arnie’s lasting legacies to the anti-cult abuse movement. Indeed, just Google the “Arnie Lerma” name and one will see tens of thousands of items either by him or referring to him. However, Arnie’s contribution to the anti-cult cause went much further than playing a large role exposing Scientology’s dark side to the Internet.

In the mid-1990s Arnie became friends with Ida Camburn who he came to call “Mom.” Ida had lost her son to Scientology “Disconnection,” and she was one of the first people to speak out publicly against the cult. From the early 1980s Ida had been writing letters to every politician, clergyman, newspaper and person who might listen to her pleas for something to be done about destructive cults such as Scientology. Ida Camburn became one of the heroines of cult critics. Inspired, Arnie began writing letters exposing Scientology’s abuses to members of Congress and others. Arnie would assemble the materials and Ida would send him the stamps for postage. Eventually, Arnie would walk through the various congressional and senate office buildings distributing his anti-Scientology materials to the various offices. He also appeared on numerous news, cable and talk shows explaining why Scientology, its training, hypnosis and e-meters were so destructive and harmful to society, individuals and their families. He even testified before the German government’s commission into harmful cults.

Arnie had an eagle’s eye for technical details. In 1993 Scientology finally succeeded in it’s thirty-year “War against the IRS” to regain its IRS non-profit status. The church celebrated at a “War is Over” event in Los Angeles. It published a large photograph of the event claiming that 10,000 people had attended. Arnie skeptically examined the photograph and determined that the cult had manipulated the picture by superimposing thousands of identical heads into otherwise empty seats. It was yet another Scientology ‘foot-bullet’ that was revealed by Mr. Lerma. In 1996 the highly publicized death of Scientologist Lisa McPherson occurred. This became an international legal and public relations crisis for the church. Robert (Bob) Minton, a multi-millionaire, established The Lisa McPherson Trust with Stacy Young (nee Brooks) in Clearwater, Florida, right next door to the cult’s complex there. Arnie became closely involved and an enthusiastic supporter of both the work of the Lisa McPherson Trust, and of Bob personally, during the vicious and bitter years of Scientology attacks that inevitably followed. Arnie was devastated by what the cult did to Bob Minton, and by his sudden death in 2010.

In January 2008 an embarrassing internal Scientology interview with Tom Cruise was posted to the Internet. It rapidly spread while the church chased after it with ineffectual cease, desist and take-down orders. This offended a leader-less Internet-based group called Anonymous who counter-attacked the church with their Project Chanology, which included large non-violent protests around the world. Arnie eagerly participated and would drive around Scientology facilities with large mobile anti-Scientology messages. On Saturday, July 19, 2009, the “Over 9,000 Anonymous March” was held at the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, DC. Anonymous sent me an airfare and so I attended the “Over 9,000 Anonymous March” as well. I stayed at Arnie Lerma’s house along with former Scientologist and activist Tommy Gorman. Arnie was crippled by severe back pain the entire weekend. It was so bad he had to crawl along the floor and crawl backwards down the stairs. He was in miserable shape and a pitiful sight to behold. A few years later Arnie sold his house in order to pay for very expensive back surgery. The surgery was only partially and temporarily successful. Several years later he had more back surgery which did not improve his unbearable situation. Arnie had long trafficked in some of the far right conspiracy theories; black helicopters, the deep state, etc. There were also the decades of Scientology “Fair Game” operations against him; gas-lighting, surveillance, spies planted among his friendships, and the like. Things that can eventually cause a type of Post-Traumatic Stress condition. By March 16, 2018, Arnie was wracked by extreme back pain, overly medicated on opioids, and having delusions. In what must have been a fit of temporary madness he lost his life. And so Ginger lost her dear husband, many of us lost a dear friend, and the anti-cult movement lost a dear giant.

Not everyone was enthralled with Arnie or was his friend. The Internet can be a verbally abusive forum and Arnie was nothing if not provocative, colorful and interesting. I did not share all of his opinions, beliefs, and idiosyncrasies. However, Arnie was my friend; flaws, quirks and all. Like many of us in these public causes, Arnie had his share of critics, cynics, detractors and haters. He was the subject of many abusive “flame wars” between on-line forum users. However, one of Arnie’s mantras was “I’d prefer to die speaking my mind than live fearing to speak.” “The Internet,” he wrote, “is the Liberty Tree of [our time].” And Arnie took the liberty of speaking his mind in many volumes of writings, comments and interviews that can be found across the Internet.

That is Arnie Lerma’s lasting legacy to those seeking information and opinions about cults in general and Scientology in particular, considered by many to be the most dangerous of all cults. The author Margaret Mead wrote: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” These are words that Arnie Lerma lived by. Arnie helped change the world’s ignorance of Scientology’s evil and dark side. That is an exceptionally good thing to have done, and that great good will live on. May God bless Arnie Lerma, and may he rest in eternal peace.

— Graham Berry


Bonus items from our tipsters

Actual caption: “I cannot express how excited I was to park in the Church of Scientology parking lot! It made my day. I even got a goodie bag full of propaganda. Downside- I will now forever be on their mailing list.”



Make your plans now!


We’re just a little more than two months out, and Chee Chalker is working hard to make sure things are going to run smoothly at this year’s HowdyCon in Chicago, June 21-23. As in past years, we’re looking forward to meeting readers of the Bunker, culminating in Saturday night’s main event.

The biggest difference this year is that our Saturday night event is separate from that evening’s dinner. Chee is setting up an inexpensive pizza dinner that you don’t need to pay for ahead of time, after which we’ll walk over to the theater where our event, hosted by Chicago Fire star Christian Stolte, will take place.

Because it’s a separate event, we’re asking that you pay $10 each to get into the Saturday night event, which will help us recoup what the Bunker paid for the venue. (We have never made a penny on our HowdyCon meetups, we only try to break even.)

Please email your proprietor (tonyo94 AT gmail) in order to reserve your spot for Saturday night’s main event. Seating is limited, and we’re going to have some really interesting people on stage and they may make a few announcements that you don’t want to miss.



Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley has not seen his daughter Stephanie in 5,085 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 1,688 days
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 231 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 1,294 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 2,068 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 2,842 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 2,188 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 2,682 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 1,722 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 1,434 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 960 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 5,049 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 2,189 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 2,509 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 2,484 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 840 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 5,142 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 1,248 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 1,651 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 1,523 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 1,105 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 1,610 days.
Mary Jane Sterne has not seen her daughter Samantha in 1,854 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 12,963 days.


3D-UnbreakablePosted by Tony Ortega on April 15, 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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