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Scientology celebrates 30 years of duping wealthy people on the high seas!

Thanks to Pete Griffiths for making us aware that Scientology has posted its photos from this year’s Maiden Voyage activities at its website.

Thirty years ago, in 1988, Scientology first started sailing its barge, the Freewinds, after purchasing it from a previous owner who had called it the Boheme. Since then, the vessel has been used to deliver the highest auditing level on Scientology’s “Bridge to Total Freedom,” known as “Operating Thetan Level Eight” or OT 8, to wealthy church members who consider it the ultimate rite of passage.

Those who have been through OT 8 tell us that it’s actually the ultimate rooking. After years and perhaps millions in fees and donations, you learn that it’s all been for naught and you’re no closer to learning who you are than when you started. But hey, you get that certificate.

And every summer, that 1988 maiden voyage is celebrated with another round of fleecing of Scientology’s most wealthy and dedicated members. This year, to mark three decades of floating on the Caribbean, Miscavige has really pulled out all the stops. We’re going to take a look at some of the images posted by the church and ask for your thoughts about them.



Actual Scientology caption: “Dignitaries, musicians, dancers and friends in the island nation of Barbados send off the Freewinds in celebration of her 30th Maiden Voyage Anniversary cruise. As one island Minister said, ‘In every island, you are highly regarded, and highly appreciated.'”


Actual Scientology caption: “Attended by the most dedicated Scientologists from around the world, the week-long cruise gives an overview of the past year of accomplishment and looks forward to a future full with possibility.”


Actual Scientology caption: “Mr. David Miscavige, ecclesiastical leader of the Scientology religion, launches a week punctuated with captivating nightly events and briefings covering the legacy of Freewinds’ accomplishment on her Pearl Anniversary.”


Actual Scientology caption: “‘We will always hold a special place in our hearts for the Freewinds.’ —Prime Minister, Dominica”

The current prime minister of Dominica is Roosevelt Skerrit, who resembles the man on the far right in the photo.


Actual Scientology caption: “‘We thank you for your valuable campaigns and achievements to create a peaceful Cartagena.’ — Captain, National Police of Colombia”

Translation: “We have no idea what you do on that ship, but we love that you spend a shitload of money in our port every year.”


Actual Scientology caption: “A presentation of the unending parade of upcoming Orgs embodied the spirit of the cruise, with new projects rising across multiple continents from Port Elizabeth, South Africa to Newcastle, England and San Juan, Puerto Rico to Santa Barbara, California.”

What’s this? A new face allowed to speak at a Scientology event? Heavens. And this fellow wasn’t the only one. Can our former members please identify this up-and-comer for us?


Actual Scientology caption: “An energetic recap celebrated the historic launch of the Scientology Television Network in March and a behind the scenes look at Scientology Media Productions. In fact, attendees discovered how the Church-owned and staffed Hollywood studio generates original content and manages the million-and-one details involved in broadcasting to the world.”

Another new face. Experts, fill us in.


Actual Scientology caption: “The presentation further featured the impact of the Scientology Network launch across all media, as well as a detailed look at streaming in 17 languages to each major digital platform—Apple TV, FireTV, Roku and all mobile devices.”

Another new young face! Can our experts identify this gent?


Actual Scientology caption: “Rounding out the presentation was an international review of how the religion’s expansion is impacting local Scientology Churches around the world, with numbers walking through their doors now highest in the religion’s history.”

And another one! Wow. Of course this claim about people breaking down doors at Scientology orgs is utter bullshit, but it’s amazing to us to see so many new young figures being allowed to share the podium with Miscavige. Oldtimers, tell us what it means!


Actual Scientology caption: “Dan Sherman presents an illuminating tale of L. Ron Hubbard’s fight for human rights in Southern Africa. In particular, it tells of Mr. Hubbard’s legendary Bill of Rights and Constitution for Rhodesia—a document designed to break down walls of racial prejudice at the height of apartheid.”

Of course, what would a Maiden Voyage celebration be without Dan Sherman spinning a tall tale about L. Ron Hubbard. Human rights in Africa! That’s rich.


And Chick Corea performed.


Actual Scientology caption: “On behalf of the National Colombian Police, General Carlos Ramiro Mena Bravo presented Mr. Miscavige with the Brigadier General Jaime Ramírez Gómez Inspector General Transparency Medal. In presenting the medal General Mena declared: ‘The National Police praises, acknowledges and materializes our great gratitude for all the training, motivation and respect Mr. Miscavige has given, not only to every police officer and Colombian military officer, but to every citizen that has benefitted from L. Ron Hubbard’s technology and the humanitarian campaigns he inspired… Thank you for your invaluable support in helping us build a new society and for making us part of your team.'”

Well, they saved the biggest whopper for last. It’s pretty amazing what results Miscavige gets when he spreads his money around. The nations of the Caribbean just love him so.

Until next year, suckers!


Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley has not seen his daughter Stephanie in 5,162 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 1,765 days
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 308 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 196 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 1,371 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 2,145 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 2,919 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 2,265 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 10,831 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 2,499 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 2,759 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 1,799 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 1,511 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,037 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 5,126 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 2,266 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 2,586 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 2,561 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 917 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 5,219 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 1,325 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 1,728 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 1,600 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 1,182 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 1,687 days.
Mary Jane Sterne has not seen her daughter Samantha in 1,931 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,040 days.


3D-UnbreakablePosted by Tony Ortega on July 1, 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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