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Scientology’s blatant social media fraud fuels attacks on Leah Remini and Mike Rinder

[Concerned Scientologists gather at Flag for a briefing on how to use social media]

Jeffrey Augustine keeps us up on Scientology’s latest strategies online…

The Church of Scientology is well known for fudging its membership numbers. The Church has absurdly claimed to have anywhere between and 6 and 12 million members over the years, which aren’t even close to the real numbers in the tens of thousands. But Scientology has a long and well-documented history of prevarication.

Scientology’s habitual lying has now migrated into its social media platforms, particularly on Twitter, where the church has stepped up its efforts to attack Leah Remini and Mike Rinder with season three of A&E’s Scientology and the Aftermath coming next month.

Most recently, Rinder has come under heavy bombardment with the use of his estranged daughter, Taryn Teutsch, and her mother, Cathy Bernardini — both active Sea Org members. As Tony covered in an article here recently, this attack is based on a 2010 incident when a group including Bernardini ambushed Rinder.

As we showed in our article on the Scientology Money Project, Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office deputies on scene reported there was only incidental contact when Rinder sought to move through the Scientology mob that was surrounding him in a Fair Game ambush.


But ever since, the church has used the incident to smear Rinder as attacking his former wife, and now Teutsch and Bernardini are trying to turn it into a part of the #MeToo movement.


One element of Taryn’s Fair Game attack against her father is an OSA stock-in-trade technique: Fake Twitter followers and lots of them. Taryn claims 24,100 followers. Below is a sample of one of Taryn’s followers; like so many of Scientology’s Twitter followers that were purchased offshore, we see various languages including Russian, Hindi, Japanese, Chinese, etc. A review of the fake followers’ pages shows no references to Scientology whatsoever.


The essence of Taryn’s operation is that she went to a woman’s event in Los Angeles and was able to get herself photographed with Gretchen Carlson and Los Angeles District Attorney Jackie Lacey. Taryn then misleadingly used these photos on her Twitter account to imply that Carlson and Lacey were in solidarity with her cause to get her father fired from the A&E series. The 24,100 fake followers were used to deceptively imply that an obscure Sea Org member has a large base of support from women.


The Church of Scientology’s so-called STAND League is supposed to be about “Scientologists Taking Action Against Discrimination.” The International Director of STAND is a long-time Scientologist named Ed Parkin who works for Scientology’s notorious secret police, the Office of Special Affairs. Parkin claims to have 39,600 followers on his STAND Twitter page. However, when we actually investigate Parkin’s followers, we find the overwhelming majority of them to be fake. While Parkin professes to be about truth and justice, the real story is that he is just another Scientologist engaged in social media fraud. Below is one of Parkin’s fake followers. This follower is factory fresh and was created in a foreign clickfarm just a few days ago as Parkin prepares for a renewed round of Fair Game attacks on Scientology and the Aftermath’s season three launch:


Scientologist singer Stacy Francis launched into an attack against Leah Remini on Twitter this past week. The Scientology singer Francis claims to have 269,000 followers.


However, when Stacy Francis appeared at Scientology’s Hibiscus restaurant at Flag Land Base, only 21 people indicated an interest in attending. This massive variance between Stacy’s claimed Twitter followers and the actual response to her personal appearance shows her social media following to be bogus:


As Scientology critic Justin Templar Sr. noted on Twitter, more than a few of Stacy Francis’ supporters who retweet her are basically identical:


Scientology’s outrageous use of “Stock Photo Scientologists” has been well documented. Scientology uses stock photos to create the impression that Parkin’s STAND group has more members than it actually does. Scientology critics on Twitter exposed this Scientology social media fraud. For example, OSA purchased a stock photo on Shutterstock of a young woman and named her “Alicia Selverson.” She has since become the poster child for Scientology media fraud:


Although “Alicia” doesn’t exist, she has us blocked from viewing her tweets. KSW, Alicia.

But is Alicia long for this world? Gizmodo reports that Twitter is nuking more than a million fake accounts per day. Over 70 million fake Twitter accounts have been deleted since May. As the fake accounts come down, Taryn Teutsch, Ed Parkin, Stacy Francis, Joy Villa, and other Scientologists will have to say goodbye to their fake Twitter followers.

We’ll keep an eye out to see if their stats are crashing.

— Jeffrey Augustine


Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley has not seen his daughter Stephanie in 5,170 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 1,773 days
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 316 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 204 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 1,379 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 2,153 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 2,927 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 2,273 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 10,839 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 2,507 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 2,767 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 1,807 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 1,519 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,045 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 5,134 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 2,274 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 2,594 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 2,569 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 925 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 5,227 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 1,333 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 1,736 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 1,608 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 1,190 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 1,695 days.
Mary Jane Sterne has not seen her daughter Samantha in 1,939 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,048 days.


3D-UnbreakablePosted by Tony Ortega on July 9, 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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