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A Scientology enforcer dies, and one of his former victims is the only one to eulogize him

[Lajos Fritzlauf, 1963-2018]

Our man in Hungary, Péter Bonyai, has a special piece for us today that, sadly, fits in with a history of similar remembrances here at the Underground Bunker, where we memorialize Church of Scientology figures that the church itself never will.

Lajos Fritzlauf, a former prominent official and high profile member of the Church of Scientology Hungary, died this summer. He was 55.

He was the longest serving Commanding Officer (CO) of the Central European branch office of the Office of Special Affairs, Scientology’s public relations arm but also its secret police force.

To be honest, it is rather odd to write a eulogy about a former CO OSA, as I am a key name on the Hungarian list of enemies of the Church of Scientology. Still, knowing how the Church handles matters like this – either I write something or he will be totally forgotten, as if he never existed.

The tall, corpulent, aggressive and temperamental Sea Org officer was a rather divisive figure. He was transferred to Hungary from the OSA office in Moscow. According to his rather nebulous account of the events, he suddenly became a person of interest in an investigation launched by one of the notorious Russian intelligence agencies. His European superiors did not want to wait until Lajos was called in for questioning, so he was immediately ordered to Copenhagen (where the European headquarters of the Church is located), and after a short deliberation he was named as the new CO of the Central European OSA office.

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We worked together for roughly five years on the Sea Org base in Budapest which operated under the name “National Council and Clergy” as a cover, as the initials in Hungarian (Országos Tanács és Lelkészség) matched the initials of the actual name Operations & Transport Liaison (OTL) Hungary. (Fortunately, this base ceased to exist in 2012.)

While Lajos was not really popular with the staff and public, he was undeniably successful – at least by the standards of Scientology. He thwarted the first attempted attack by the then-ombudsman for Data Protection, hired a notable constitutional lawyer as the attorney of the church, battled in court with the Hungarian Labour Inspectorate and had all their decrees and fines cancelled, and at the end of a tax office inspection — dressed in full ministerial garb — he went in to see the department head assigned to the case, yelled at her for 30 minutes about religious persecution and bargained the fine down from several million forints to a mere 50,000 (around $170).
 
In addition, he and the constitutional lawyer worked out how not to pay taxes and social security for the 80 Sea Org members working on the base at the time. Only a few key officials were registered as employees, the rest were “volunteer helpers” on paper (that’s how I lost nine years, which will not count when my state pension is calculated later – just like the other 200 people, who worked there for shorter or longer periods of time).

Additionally, he organized a few Drug-free Marathons and other PR events and even had time to hire private investigators to go after people he identified as the enemies of the Church. He had a good number of OSA volunteers working on secret and shady projects.
 
 

[Fritzlauf, in front of Church of Scientology Budapest around 2008]

To be honest, we had a rather bad relationship. We never liked each other much, even though we had quite many interests in common.

Just like with other Scientologists, there was not much wrong with his basic personality. When he was not under tremendous production demands (which rarely happened), he was like a kind of a nice, helpful, witty, chain smoking “funny uncle” figure, with whom you could have great conversations at length about any subject (but only through thick cigarette smoke).

As time passed in the Sea Org, he developed some unfortunate characteristics, which made him increasingly similar to L. Ron Hubbard (a path that many Scientologists undertake).

He was telling exaggerated (or completely false) stories about his past (for example, that he prevented bloodshed at the 1990 Taxi Blockade by wrestling a taxi driver to the ground who aimed an assault rifle at the then Minister of Interior Balázs Horváth, etc.), yelling at “non-producers” and coining degrading nicknames to publicly humiliate them. And naturally, he thought he is a natural-born spymaster and a larger-than-life figure.

In 2005, when the internal investigations focusing on my activities were concluded, he personally threw me out of the Sea Org, and as a parting gift, he seized any and all electronic storage devices I had in my possession (he removed the hard drive from my laptop when I was present – to prove a point and teach me a lesson, I guess), so I would not have any sensitive information in my possession.

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He then tapped me on the shoulder and stated that I should be happy, as I got away with merely being offloaded – as he was sure that I would be SP-declared as well.
 
When I left Scientology for good, I thought about my former friends, who remained there as the prisoners of their own faith, as victims. Except for one person – Lajos Fritzlauf, whom I just could not see as a victim. I decided then and there that I would never feel sorry for him no matter what happened to him later.

But, in the light of the information I obtained recently, I had to re-think my stance about the line between victims and perpetrators in a system like Scientology.

A few years after I was kicked out the Sea Org, the same fate befell to Lajos. He was already struggling with multiple and rather serious illnesses which were mostly ignored, especially by his seniors, as he was supposed to “produce” and “handle” the internal and external enemies of Scientology.

When he became incapable of working (even holding a desk job), he was simply declared unfit for duty and offloaded from the Sea Org. This was the equivalent of signing his death sentence, since he was in terrible shape physically, and had virtually no money or possessions. He had no marketable skills, no acquaintances outside Scientology and a two-decade hole in his CV.

Lajos had been a key official of Hungarian Scientology who was serving and defending them for a long period. He was a powerful OSA boss who had became a pariah, a persona non grata. He was left to his fate, and the Church did not provide any moral or financial support to him. He had to beg for unemployment benefits and social allowance at the very agencies he was fiercely fighting in the defense of Scientology.

The situation was rather simple from the viewpoint of the Church: He was no longer useful, he could not “produce” anymore, so he was thrown out like a broken-down machine.

He died this summer, after a lengthy battle with a serious illness. He was in constant physical pain, abandoned, forgotten, and in poverty. He remained loyal to his Church till the very end – even when everyone there turned his back on him.

There is no mention of this former influential leader on the official Church website; even though he made sure that they can operate in Hungary at all. As if he never existed.

What is his legacy? What is left after him?

If you look him up in Google, you will find a few statements and news items from the times he served and defended his Church. The very Church that exploited and betrayed him, and then left him to die.

He has a Facebook page which is unchanged – no one seemed to care to notify Facebook to turn this into a memorial page.

I could not visit his grave, as according to his last wish, he was cremated and his ashes were scattered.

That’s what has remained from the dreaded spymaster and “lead pastor” of Hungarian Scientology, the tormentor of the tax office, the conqueror of the National Labour Inspectorate and the relentless defender of Scientology.

Ashes. Ashes in the wind.

 
— Péter Bonyai

 
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Hair and make-up is a crime now, apparently

Scientology, doing what Scientology does…

 

 
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Underground Bunker TV

The programming just keeps coming at Underground Bunker TV. After posting short videos about ABCMouse, Bob Duggan, Scientology attorney Gary Soter, and David Miscavige’s position in the church, today we have another short spot that brings up something we’ve covered here before. We hope these vids will draw people back here to the Bunker to seek more information. So please help us get them out into the world!

 

 
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Scientology’s celebrities and ‘Ideal Orgs’ — now with comments!

[Kelly Preston and the Moscow Ideal Org]

We’ve started a new project, building landing pages about two of David Miscavige’s favorite playthings, his celebrities and his ‘Ideal Orgs.’ For the next several weeks, we’ll post a couple of pages each day, and we’re hoping you’ll join in and help us gather as much information as we can about each of them, in order to build a record and maintain a watch as Scientology continues its inexorable decline — and yes, we finally have comments working on these new pages! Head on over and help us with links and photos and comments about all of your favorite celebrites and failing Ideal Orgs

Previously, we posted pages for celebrities Anne Archer, Beck Hansen, Catherine Bell, Chick Corea, Elisabeth Moss, Erika Christensen, Ethan Suplee, Giovanni Ribisi, Greta Van Susteren, Jenna Elfman, John Travolta, and Juliette Lewis. And for the Ideal Orgs of Portland, Oregon; Sydney, Australia; San Diego, California; Denver, Colorado; Nashville, Tennessee; Perth, Australia; Tokyo, Japan; Sacramento, California; Las Vegas, Nevada; Silicon Valley, California; Rome, Italy and Orlando, Florida.

Today it’s Kelly Preston and Moscow, Russia!

 
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MEANWHILE, AT FACEBOOK…

 

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

 
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Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley has not seen his daughter Stephanie in 5,247 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 1,850 days
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 393 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 281 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 1,456 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 2,230 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 3,004 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 2,350 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 10,916 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 2,584 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 2,844 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 1,884 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 1,596 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,122 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 5,211 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 2,351 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 2,671 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 7,527 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 2,646 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,002 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 5,304 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 1,410 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 1,813 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 1,684 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 1,267 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 1,772 days.
Mary Jane Sterne has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,016 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,125 days.

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3D-UnbreakablePosted by Tony Ortega on September 24, 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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