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Why we think nutty Las Vegas councilwoman Michele Fiore might be a Scientologist

 
Last October, we sent Michele Fiore’s office a request for information, and we never received a reply. What we wanted to know was, what was the infamous Nevada politician doing on Scientology’s private cruise ship, the Freewinds?

Since then, we’ve noticed that Ms. Fiore, in interviews, is awfully quick to bring up one of Scientology’s pet issues — that psychiatric drugs are what cause mass shootings — and to direct reporters to information from Scientology front group the Citizens Commission on Human Rights.

And just yesterday, Pete Griffiths forwarded to us a notice that the Las Vegas Scientology Ideal Org would be hosting a Drug-Free World event on Tuesday, and its guest speaker is the gun-toting city councilwoman.

From time to time, we check to see who is this country’s highest elected Scientologist. After Brent Jones lost his seat in the Nevada legislature (and recently lost a bid for lieutenant governor), the only elected Scientologist we could find was a county court clerk in Houston. But with evidence mounting, we now have to ask, is Michele Fiore this country’s most powerful elected Scientologist?

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Fiore has an illustrious career of making outrageous statements. A new profile of her by Nevada Public Radio assures us that Fiore is more thoughtful than she’s given credit for, and that she’s less controversial now as a city councilwoman serving local constituents than she was as a more outrageous state assemblywoman. But even this glowing feature includes most of Fiore’s greatest hits, including her claim that cancer is a fungus that can be flushed out with water, that undocumented immigrants are “terrorists,” and our favorite, that she starred in a self-made indie film about becoming a singing sensation.

Sure, she’s nutty, but as the public radio piece explained, that might not hurt her in a local post like the city council. But Fiore herself is talking about bigger and better things — a run at mayor, to be sure, but perhaps something even bigger.

We knew most of that background when, last year, we were stunned to see Fiore’s face in a Scientology magazine, specifically in a promotion for the Freewinds. We were so taken aback, we didn’t believe our eyes and asked our readers for some help deciding if it was really Fiore we saw in a photo of her swimming with dolphins. It was, and even her own campaign put out its own copy of the photo…

 

 
Her campaign didn’t, apparently, tell Nevada reporters that the photo was taken during a Freewinds cruise.

We know that it’s quite possible for a politician to refer reporters to CCHR literature without being member of the Church of Scientology. Fiore’s appearance at the Scientology Ideal Org to give a speech on the evils of drugs is also not, on its own, proof that she’s become a Scientologist.

But attending a seminar on the Freewinds? The more we think about it, the more striking it seems.

If Scientology considers just about anyone who buys a book or takes a class to be a Scientologist, with the Freewinds there’s little question about it. Only Scientologists go on the ship, where wealthy church members go in order to finish off the highest level of the “Bridge to Total Freedom” — OT 8. But the ship, desperate for more business, also runs various other seminars for Scientologists, and adds excursions like swimming with dolphins to increase turnout.

We turned to two former Scientology executives who both used to work at the Flag Land Base in Clearwater, Florida for their thoughts on this.

When we told him about Fiore fronting for CCHR and Drug-Free World and taking a Freewinds excursion, Tom DeVocht told us it was “likely” that she’s a Scientologist. But he also pointed out that the church might be so interested in forging ties with a politician that they would invite one on a cruise even if they didn’t get involved in the church.

Mat Pesch saw it a little differently:

“She isn’t just interested enough to attend a seminar, she is actually working to promote and spread Scientology programs and LRH ‘tech’ as the solution to common social problems. She is ‘sold’ on Scientology at least to that degree and is working as an agent for the organization. I don’t know what Scientology courses or counseling she has done, but she is a Scientologist in that she knows, applies, and actively works to get others to apply the teachings of L. Ron Hubbard. That’s a Scientologist.”

 
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HOWDYCON IN FULL SWING

Our thanks to author Alec Nevala-Lee, who spent time with us last night on the first night of HowdyCon 2018. We really enjoyed talking with him about his upcoming book, and we might just have some surprises for you thanks to Alec down the road.

 

 
Today is Fly Day! Some of us will be meeting with our resident insect for an excursion to a famous local museum. We’ll try to be better about posting pics.

 
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Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley has not seen his daughter Stephanie in 5,153 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 1,756 days
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 299 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 187 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 1,362 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 2,136 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 2,910 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 2,256 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 10,822 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 2,490 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 2,750 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 1,790 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 1,502 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,028 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 5,117 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 2,257 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 2,577 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 2,552 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 908 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 5,210 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 1,316 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 1,719 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 1,591 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 1,173 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 1,678 days.
Mary Jane Sterne has not seen her daughter Samantha in 1,922 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,031 days.

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3D-UnbreakablePosted by Tony Ortega on June 22, 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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