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Scientology celeb Joy Villa takes down her ‘testing the waters’ for Congress web pages

[Milo Yiannopoulos and Joy Villa, in happier days]

Thanks again to one of our alert tipsters, it was brought to our attention that Joy Villa’s “testing the waters” web pages for a Congressional run have come down.

Both “bringjoytocongress.com” and “joyvilla.com/testingthewaters/” now redirect us to Joy’s general website.

On February 9, the Internet Archive took a snapshot of “bringjoytocongress.com” that showed she was still soliciting donations…

 

 
Previously, we had found that clicking on her “donate” button had revealed that she planned to run in the 27th District in Florida, which is in Miami and South Beach. But now, “bringjoytocongress.com” sends you to her general website with the message, “We couldn’t find the page you were looking for.”

According to federal law, Joy could “test the waters” and raise up to $5,000 before having to make a decision whether to file for a candidacy and run. The disappearance of her web pages suggests that she’s chosen not run after all. We sent her an email asking whether that was the case, and if she is not running whether she plans to refund the donations that she received.

Another indication that her run for Congress has ended before it began was that in January, she had said she needed to leave her position on President Trump’s Campaign Advisory Board in order to prevent a conflict of interest…

 

 
…but now she’s speaking again for the board, suggesting that she’s no longer running and so doesn’t have a conflict…

 

 
We also spoke to Robbie Olson, her former political manager, who had predicted when we spoke to him in January that she would end up not running.

“There’s no way she could run without support from the people on our side. The only person she would have on her side is Greg Mitchell, the lobbyist in Washington,” Robbie says. Mitchell is a longtime lobbyist for Scientology, and the fact that he’s also worked for some George Soros-affiliated groups makes him political strychnine as far the MAGA crowd goes, Robbie points out.

“She stood up Donald Trump Jr at the end there,” he says, referring to a December event she couldn’t make as her loyalty to Scientology caused her to miss events Robbie had set up for her. “She was supposed to show up at an event with 3,000 kids.”

Olson is a Tucson Republican who was inspired by Joy’s bold gambit at the 2017 Grammy Awards to wear a pro-Trump dress. He helped her to meet political figures like Roger Stone and Seb Gorka as she became a minor figure at the White House, and was even encouraged to run for office in a tweet from Donald Trump in October. But Olson tells us that he wasn’t familiar with Scientology or how deeply involved Joy and her husband were when he met her.

Joy Villa has been one of the most visible and active members of the Church of Scientology in recent years. We’ve been keeping tabs on her since at least 2014, when she continually showed up in church publications and was working with Scientology front groups. In October 2016, Joy and her then-fiance Thorsten Overgaard became “Patron Meritorious” donors for having given at least $250,000 to the church, and they were married at Scientology’s holiest site, the Fort Harrison Hotel in Clearwater, Florida, on Christmas Day 2016. Joy has reached the state of “Clear” in Scientology, which can take years of work up the “Bridge to Total Freedom” and requires many hours of “auditing” — Scientology’s form of counseling — which involves having a subject “remember” their experiences in past lives going back millions of years and on other planets. Mike Rinder, meanwhile, has asserted that any Scientologist who goes as far as Joy Villa has would have been convinced to give up what are called “other practices” as they absorb Hubbard’s teachings that the world’s other religions are all false, and that Jesus Christ, for example, is an invention, a figment of the imagination. “There was no Christ,” Hubbard can be heard to say on a 1968 recording.

Olson says Joy’s loyalty to Scientology got in the way of her political ambitions. “Everything fell apart. I still have the emails from people saying they wouldn’t work with her anymore,” he says.

At one point, Olson had worked out a meeting with alt-right figure Milo Yiannopoulos, to see if Joy might become an opening act for him on an upcoming tour. Robbie said he was stunned when she used the opportunity to bring up another Scientologist conservative in the meeting.

At the end of December, Robbie and Joy went their separate ways. In January, Yiannopoulos had Olson appear on a Facebook live interview show to discuss what a disaster Joy Villa’s political journey had become.

“She took advantage of everybody,” Robbie says. “She was trying to get the Church of Scientology into the White House. You can’t deny that. Everything she did was coached.”

Well, we can’t help being somewhat disappointed. A congressional run by a Scientology celebrity would have really been something.

We’ll just have to make do with the Scientologist couple who are running for state elected positions in Nevada.

 
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Orlando going Ideal — the new date

Rod Keller tells us the Orlando Ideal Org’s new grand opening date is…

May 19!

That should give C.O.B. just enough time to get over his jet lag from Perth.

 
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Make your plans now!

HOWDYCON UPDATE

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.

 

 
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Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley has not seen his daughter Stephanie in 5,107 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 1,710 days
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 253 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 1,316 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 2,090 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 2,864 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 2,210 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 2,704 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 1,744 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 1,456 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 982 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 5,071 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 2,211 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 2,531 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 2,506 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 862 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 5,164 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 1,270 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 1,673 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 1,545 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 1,127 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 1,632 days.
Mary Jane Sterne has not seen her daughter Samantha in 1,876 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 12,985 days.

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3D-UnbreakablePosted by Tony Ortega on May 7, 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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