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In the US and Australia, new Ideal Orgs are increasingly isolated and uninviting. What gives?

By the time this story posts on Saturday morning here in the US, it will already be Saturday evening in Perth, Australia, and Scientology’s newest “Ideal Org” would have had its grand opening, complete with a visit from church leader David Miscavige.

But in the days leading up to this event, we were hearing some pretty unusual things from our friend Chris Shelton, who visited Perth last year and stays in touch with people he met there. We asked Chris for a summary of what he was hearing about Perth, and why it was evidence that the “Ideal Org” strategy may be starting to unravel…

I was directly involved with the openings of Ideal Orgs in San Francisco, Seattle, Orange County, Los Gatos, Las Vegas, Pasadena, Portland and of course Twin Cities. What I mean by that is I was either on the ground doing renovations myself in these places right up to the opening or, in the case of San Francisco, Seattle and Portland, was hearing daily briefings and details from Sea Org friends of mine who were there. In every case, the last week or two was always an insane crunch time with contractors, staff, public, and Sea Org members up almost 24/7 getting the final bits of renovations done or doing the last bits of fundraising for last-minute expenditures that hadn’t been foreseen earlier on as well as buying and stocking the books, meters and lectures. While these buildings are empty after their opening, they are sometimes jam-packed with workers of all kinds literally right up to the point of the ribbon cutting. The whole effort aims at having things ready by the time the ribbon is cut so the org can then get on with the business of servicing its customers and bringing in new people. Sometimes, like with Las Vegas, there would be unpaid contractors or some bits to clean up afterwards or some minor renovations to complete, but for the most part the new Ideal Org was a done deal come opening day. There were two or three cases where the opening was even delayed for a few weeks or months if it didn’t look like everything was going to be completed on time.


In Perth, what I’m hearing is that all that precedent is being thrown out the window for the sake of opening on May 5, because Miscavige can only be in Perth this weekend. The fundraising isn’t completed to the tune of a 5-6 million dollars, the staff in training at Flag and LA are not yet completed and fired back, and even all the renovations may not be complete. I’m told that they’ve been trying to jam two to three months’ worth of renovation work into this last week. This has involved flying in extra Sea Org members (like 50 to 60 of them total) from across Australia to help with the renovations.

Perth being a tiny field of perhaps a hundred or so active Scientologists (very similar to Twin Cities and so many other small, struggling Scientology orgs), the Sea Org missionaires have been pounding the pavement to try to recover or activate every one of these Scientologists to get them back on service, mainly for the sake of photo shoots and to give the appearance of success. I’m told that it’s so blatantly obvious what is going on that they’re not even trying to hide that they’re mainly doing all this only to satisfy Miscavige and for the sake of Scientology PR rather than actually doing the work that orgs are supposed to be doing.

Short of life on the RPF or in the call centers when the Basics were first released, there are very few events I was ever involved in as a Sea Org member that were more stressful than Ideal Org openings. No one is getting sleep, all the planning for the opening usually changes two to three times at the last minute, and with Miscavige and his entourage around everyone is walking on eggshells. It appears that even though they’ve been doing this nonsense for over a decade now, they haven’t learned much of anything when it comes to pushing unreal targets/quotas and shoving everything into the last second to get done.

— Chris Shelton

We look forward to seeing photos from today’s opening. Meanwhile, we’re hearing some similar problems are occurring in New Mexico, where a building is finally being purchased for the Albuquerque Ideal Org. A tipster there filled us in on a little history in Albuquerque, and then forwarded us this message from the local Executive Director…

Fun fact, the Albuquerque public and staff already raised money for and bought a building (much closer to downtown), and the Landlord Office couldn’t get plans and designs approved for it because someone realized, after the fact, that the building was located too close to a bar.

So for at least the last ten years now, they have been pushed to raise more money for a different building that was not next to a bar. About three years ago, the last time Quinn was there, someone asked about the sale of that building and the money being used to help fund a new building. Quinn said that was “definitely part of the plan.” Not sure what he is saying now, but we’ll see I guess…


The building is a bit authoritarian looking, and not exactly inviting…


…but it’s a steal at a marked-down price of $2 million.


Brian Sheen is back with another video

Says Brian: “I still can’t believe it is now over three years since I have been disconnected from my daughter. It is unreal to think I have never seen or held my grandson. And I am horrified by the notion that he will be indoctrinated into this madness and will be caught in this insanity for the rest of his life.”



Bonus items from our tipsters

Another celebrity endorsement…



Make your plans now!


Wow, we’re now less 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 5,105 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 1,708 days
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 251 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 1,314 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 2,088 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 2,862 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 2,208 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 2,702 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 1,742 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 1,454 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 980 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 5,069 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 2,209 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 2,529 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 2,504 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 860 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 5,162 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 1,268 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 1,671 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 1,543 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 1,125 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 1,630 days.
Mary Jane Sterne has not seen her daughter Samantha in 1,874 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 12,983 days.


3D-UnbreakablePosted by Tony Ortega on May 5, 2018 at 07:00

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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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