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Dave’s shrinkage: Help us determine turnout for Scientology’s IAS 2018 gala

Pete Griffiths brought our attention to something interesting yesterday. He noted that Scientology, as usual, posted numerous pretty photos from its most recent big event at its various websites. In this case, we’re talking about the annual gala for the International Association of Scientologists (IAS) held in a giant tent at Saint Hill Manor in East Grinstead, England over the weekend.

Pete has been watching these events very closely for many years, and he remarked that the crowd seemed distinctly smaller than in past years. We noted that even Scientology’s own (always bogus) estimate had gone down. This year, they’re claiming an attendance of 5,500 members under the big tent, but just a couple of years ago they claimed 7,500.

And looking at images of the event, we have to agree with Pete that those figures do seem pretty high for the actual number of people in the snapshots.

So, here’s the thing. Scientology actually posts GIGANTIC photos of these events, and we thought some of our more meticulous readers might have some fun with them. We’re asking for your help on three of them.


Photo 1: The overall crowd from the back

This shot is surprisingly distortion-free, and doesn’t make use of the fish-eye lenses that Scientology loves for making a crowd look bigger. The image you’re looking at here is cranked down to fit on this website, but in the original shot, at 8 megabytes, you can blow it up pretty well — the kind of thing that a patient observer can use to count rows of seats and individual heads. What’s your ballpark estimate, or your painstaking one-by-one count for total attendance in this shot?

Photo 2: The crowd from the side

This is a really intriguing shot and a view we don’t always get to see. It gives a really detailed and fish-eye view of the crowd from about halfway back. As a way to cross-reference with the first shot, it seems like a good way to increase our accuracy for the overall count — at least for those patient enough to count heads. This is another enormous photo that can be zoomed into pretty extensively.

3. The whales in the front row

Another great shot we don’t always get, this time looking at the crowd from behind Miscavige. Blowing it up, we get a pretty good look at the wealthy donors who got to be in the first row of seats…


We’re seeing Tom Cummins, the tall guy on the right, and then Trish Duggan, and Nancy Cartwright. The other tall gent is Alan Atkinson-Baker and next to him his wife Sheila. The photo allows you to blow up the view for the entire front row to the left and right — who can you manage to identify?

So for those who want to partake in this painstaking fun, here are links for the original, large images. Have fun sifting through them!

Photo 1, the full crowd from behind
Photo 2, the crowd from the side
Photo 3, the whales in the front row


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

[Doug E. Fresh and the Brussels Ideal Org]

We’re building landing pages about two of David Miscavige’s favorite playthings, his celebrities and his ‘Ideal Orgs.’ We’re posting pages each day, and we’re hoping you’ll join in and help us gather as much information as we can about 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 celebrities 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, Juliette Lewis, Kelly Preston, Kirstie Alley, Laura Prepon, Marisol Nichols, Michael Peña, Nancy Cartwright, Tom Cruise Danny Masterson, Stanley Clarke, Edgar Winter, Alanna Masterson, Billy Sheehan, Judy Norton-Taylor, Terry Jastrow, Eddie Deezen, Sofia Milos, Bodhi Elfman, and Rebecca Minkoff. 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; Orlando, Florida; Moscow, Russia; Amsterdam, Netherlands; Seattle, Washington; Dallas, Texas; Melbourne, Australia; San Fernando Valley, California; Pasadena, California; Bogotá, Colombia; Budapest, Hungary; Phoenix, Arizona; London, England; Orange County, California; Atlanta, Georgia; Auckland, New Zealand; Miami, Florida; Basel, Switzerland; Berlin, Germany; and Birmingham, England.

Today it’s Doug E. Fresh and Brussels, Belgium!


Coming November 1

Paulette tells us we can reveal the publication date she has set. We’ll let you know when pre-ordering begins.


Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley has not seen his daughter Stephanie in 5,235 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 1,868 days
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 411 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 299 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 1,474 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 2,248 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 3,022 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 2,368 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 10,934 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 2,602 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 2,862 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 1,902 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 1,614 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,140 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 5,229 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 2,369 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 2,689 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 7,545 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 2,664 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,020 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 5,322 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 1,428 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 1,831 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 1,702 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 1,285 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 1,790 days.
Mary Jane Sterne has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,034 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,143 days.


3D-UnbreakablePosted by Tony Ortega on October 12, 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

Watch our short videos that explain Scientology’s controversies in three minutes or less…

Check your whale level at our dedicated page for status updates

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

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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