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Finally, Captain David Miscavige’s faux-military Scientology ribbons, described and decoded!

We have a real treat for you today, something we hope will add some levity to your day. It’s also timely as things play out in the South American nation of Colombia regarding Scientology’s involvement with the military there.

To preface this nonsense, we wanted to remind you how curious it was back in 2013 when we were in a Texas courtroom and lawyers for the Church of Scientology objected to attorney Ray Jeffrey referring to the leader of the church as “Captain David Miscavige.”

Of course, that only motivated Ray (and us) to continue referring to Miscavige that way, once we knew that he is apparently sensitive about it.

Miscavige rules Scientology with an iron fist, and what gives him the authority to do so is the fact that he is the captain of the Sea Organization, the collection of hardcore inner elites who run the vast collection of entities that make up the Scientology movement even though, curiously, the Sea Org has no standing as a legal entity.


The Sea Org was created by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard in 1967 when he decided to run his worldwide cabal from sea after things had gotten too hot for him in the US and the UK. From 1967 to 1975, Hubbard ran Scientology from his “flagship,” the Apollo, with a crew of completely dedicated and mostly young people who made up the Sea Org. After Hubbard took his navy back to land in 1975 in Florida, a new base in Clearwater became the “Flag Land Base,” and the Sea Org continued to operate with naval ranks and cute uniforms.

Hubbard was the Sea Org’s “Commodore,” and he was elevated to admiral when he died in 1986. No one else can have those ranks after him, and so the highest ranking officer in the Sea Org, and hence in all of Scientology, is Captain David Miscavige.

In past years he was less shy about it, at least behind closed doors when he was around other Scientologists.


[Miscavige at the Maiden Voyage celebration in 2006]

These days, it’s less common to see Miscavige wearing his naval regalia. And what a shame. Take a look at how adorable he looks dressed up as a pint-sized Lord Nelson back in the day…


But hey, what about that board of ribbons on his chest? What do they all mean?

From time to time, we’ve seen people ask about that, but we never had a good answer for it. Until now. Thanks to a tipster who has helped us in the past, we now have a nearly complete guide to Captain Miscavige’s naval dress-up decorations. And it’s even more fun than we expected.

To decode his ribbons, our tipster dug up a couple of obscure Flag Orders that refer to Sea Org uniforms. Those orders describe each of the ribbons on Miscavige’s chest, except for one that we’re unsure about. Here’s the full set, in all of its glory…


There really are some wonderful results, aren’t there? You have to love a military ribbon for “A/V Specialist” (Dave was Hubbard’s video cameraman during early shoots in the California desert while still a teenager.) Or how about that harrowing campaign at the Battle of Portland in 1985, circling a courthouse with protest signs. War is hell, man!

We were surprised to see that Miscavige wears the badge of a Class XII Auditor and Case Supervisor. Karen de la Carriere, who was an actual Class XII trained by L. Ron Hubbard, tells us that she too was awarded the red badge that Miscavige wears, but she says it’s ludicrous to think that Miscavige earned it.

“He did not even graduate the Class IV Interneship at Saint Hill, because he punched his preclear and was asked to leave the campus,” she tells us.

There’s a lot of great late 1970s and early 1980s Scientology history represented in those decorations. Imagine how many ribbons Miscavige would have to add if he were to wear his uniform today: Tax-exempt status in 1993, quashing the Lisa McPherson criminal prosecution (2000) and wrongful death lawsuit (2004), disappearing his wife Shelly (2005), and lots of stars and clusters for every Ideal Org on Earth! Surely, he’d run out of uniform.

Anyway, here are the ribbon identifiers taken from a Flag Orders pack that our tipster put together to identify the ribbons. As you can see, one of the ribbons doesn’t seem to be on the list. We hope someone can fill us in on that.



Here’s the full Flag Orders pack about uniforms, with all of the ribbons and other insignia…


Sea Organization – Uniform Series Flag Orders by Tony Ortega on Scribd

Tell us what you think the missing ribbon might represent. What does David Miscavige deserve recognition for?


Bonus items from our tipsters

We have a date — October 5-7 for this year’s IAS gala in East Grinstead, England. Will Tom Cruise make the scene this year? Will Trish be there again without Bob? Who’s taking home a Freedom Medal? Oh, the anticipation!


And get ready, Boston, Flag is coming your way!


Also, we have a report from Chicago that the Ideal Org grand opening in that city will take place on May 1 or May 15, 2019. So mark your calendars!




Please join us at the Underground Bunker’s Facebook discussion group for more frivolity.


Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley has not seen his daughter Stephanie in 5,229 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 1,832 days
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 375 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 263 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 1,438 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 2,212 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 2,986 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 2,332 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 10,898 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 2,566 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 2,826 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 1,866 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 1,578 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,104 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 5,193 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 2,333 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 2,653 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 7,509 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 2,628 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 984 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 5,286 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 1,392 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 1,795 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 1,666 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 1,249 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 1,754 days.
Mary Jane Sterne has not seen her daughter Samantha in 1,998 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,107 days.


3D-UnbreakablePosted by Tony Ortega on September 6, 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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