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Scientology scores with political conservatives in Europe using the ‘religious freedom’ gambit

Rod Keller has a pretty alarming update for us on Scientology’s sneaky “interfaith” efforts scoring some pretty serious paydirt…

On June 28 Scientology is co-sponsoring an event in Brussels with ACRE, the Alliance of Conservatives and Reformists in Europe. Faith and Freedom Summit 2018 is the most important political event for Scientology in years. Speakers and participants include ambassadors, United Nations officials, diplomats, professors, and human rights activists. The list of speakers is packed with Scientologists and their allies.



The Solvay Library was constructed in 1902 to host an Institute of Sociology. Scientists such as Albert Einstein, Marie Curie, and Niels Bohr participated in the 1927 Solvay Conference during which Einstein was quoted as saying about Heisenberg’s theories of quantum mechanics, “God does not play dice,” to which Bohr replied, “Einstein, stop telling God what to do.” Today the library is open for tours and may be rented for private events.

ACRE is a Eurosceptic political group in the European Parliament. Member parties hold seats in 18 countries and are the governing parties in the U.K. (Conservative Party) and Poland (Law and Justice Party). They are European politicians coming together to oppose further cooperation and integration of the EU, and they hold 71 seats in the European Parliament. It’s a huge opportunity for Scientology as it attempts to prevent European interference in its activities.


[Eric Roux]


[Ivan Arjona-Pelado]

Eric Roux is in charge of the European Office for Public Affairs and Human Rights, but the reality is that he heads the Office of Special Affairs (OSA), Scientology’s secret police which is housed in the Brussels Ideal Org. He will be delivering a keynote speech in the afternoon. Joining him at the event will be Ivan Arjona-Pelado, founder of Fundacion para la Mejora de la Vida, la Cultura y la Sociedad (Foundation for the Improvement of Life, Culture and Society), a Scientology front group in Spain. Also speaking is Greg Mitchell, a Scientologist and lobbyist for the church in Washington, DC. Mitchell brings in an average of $80,000 per year from Scientology.


[Dr. Ahmed Shaheed]


[Ambassador Sam Brownback]

The most influential participants are Ahmed Shaheed, Special Rapporteur on human rights to the UN Human Rights Council, and Sam Brownback, former Kansas Governor and the U.S. Ambassador at Large for International Religious Freedom. Brownback’s office issues the State Department’s annual Report on International Religious Freedom. Shaheed is the former Minister of Foreign Affairs for the Maldives and has a long history of supporting human rights and working against government corruption.

Bashy Quraishy, the Secretary General of EMISCO, the European Muslim Initiative for Social Cohesion, will also be speaking. In 2013 he attended a conference by the anti-cult organization FECRIS (Fédération Européenne des Centres de Recherche et d’Information sur le Sectarisme) and was accused by the participants of participating on behalf of Scientology. We think Scientology considers him an ally, but there is no evidence he is a member.


Human Rights attorney Patricia Duval has participated in Scientology-sponsored events, including the March 2018 panel at the U.N. Human Rights Council in Geneva arranged by Arjona-Pelado.

Willy Fautré, director of Human Rights Without Frontiers participated in a March 2018 Scientology-sponsored event in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan.


[Aaron Rhodes, President of the Forum for Religious Freedom-Europe]

When Aaron Rhodes was President of the International Helsinki Federation for Human Rights in 2000, French officials claimed the organization had been infiltrated by Scientologists. Rhodes admitted receiving donations from Scientology to help pay for publications in Russia, but denied any infiltration or impropriety.

Professor Marco Ventura testified on behalf of Scientology at the 2016 trial of Scientology in Belgium, arguing that Scientology is a legitimate religion and the E-meter is a religious ritual object. Scientology was successful in the case.


Dr. Juan Ferreiro-Galguera Professor at the University of A Coruña in Galicia, Spain currently has a video on a Scientology website in which he praises the opening of the Brussels Ideal Org.

Johannus D. T. (Hans) Noot serves on the steering committee of the European Interreligious Forum for Religious Freedom and in 2017, along with conference participants Ahmed Shaheed and Jan Figel, signed a letter to the U.N., the EU, the Council of Europe and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe on behalf of Scientology to protest its treatment in Russia.

Scientology hopes to cement relationships with their allies in the religious freedom community through this conference. They continue to expand these relationships to prevent actions such as those in Belgium in 2016 and the €600,000 fine they paid in 2013 in France for violating its members’ religious freedoms. While they have thus far made no headway against official crackdowns in Russia and Hungary, they have friends in high places that will continue to pressure these governments to back off on Scientology.

— Rod Keller



Hey, we’re just four days from this year’s HowdyCon in Chicago, June 21-23. Here’s what we have in store for you…

Thursday evening: Author Alec Nevala-Lee joins us for a casual evening of discussion. We’ve read his forthcoming book, Astounding: John W. Campbell, Isaac Asimov, Robert A. Heinlein, L. Ron Hubbard, and the Golden Age of Science Fiction, and it has some wonderful insights about how Hubbard moved from the pulps to Dianetics. Take this opportunity to get to know him and hear about his book before it makes waves in October!

Friday afternoon: Friday is Fly Day at HowdyCon Chicago! Our buzzing insect can only join us for this event, so plan to hang out with us. Bring your own LEGOs.

Saturday evening: Our big event this year features Chicago Fire actor Christian Stolte, who tells us he’s cooking up a good show for us. It takes place in a theater, and you need to reserve a seat by dropping a note to the proprietor at tonyo94 AT gmail as soon as possible.



Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley has not seen his daughter Stephanie in 5,148 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 1,751 days
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 294 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 182 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 1,357 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 2,131 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 2,905 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 2,251 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 10,817 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 2,485 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 2,745 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 1,785 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 1,497 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,023 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 5,112 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 2,252 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 2,572 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 2,547 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 903 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 5,205 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 1,311 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 1,714 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 1,586 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 1,168 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 1,673 days.
Mary Jane Sterne has not seen her daughter Samantha in 1,917 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,026 days.


3D-UnbreakablePosted by Tony Ortega on June 17, 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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