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Remembering that Scientology comes from a mix of science fiction and ghost stories

[Coming back from Target Two?]

An unexpectedly mirthful moment during Tuesday night’s Scientology and the Aftermath episode about Shelly Miscavige was Tom DeVocht’s explanation that remaining wretches like Norman Starkey put up with imprisonment and abuse from Scientology leader David Miscavige because they are waiting for L. Ron Hubbard to return and put things right.

Hubbard died in 1986, and church members were told at the time that he had decided to leave his body to pursue his studies elsewhere. But it made for awfully good television to see Leah Remini react to the news that some high-level Scientologists are waiting for Hubbard to return to Earth.

It was a great moment, but we were also struck by the big reaction from the audience (judging by what we saw online). Was this really a surprise? Have people forgotten how much Scientology comes from a tradition of spiritualism gussied up as midcentury science, of ghost stories passed off as advances in “technology”?

Well, with perfect timing, we received something in the mail this week from a reader — a package of old Advance! magazines, some of which we have excerpted in the past, and some that were new to us. And in one issue from 1972, we found some pretty great stuff that we thought we’d share with you to help remind everyone just what mystical silliness Scientology has always trafficked in.

First, get a load of this classic cover, with Hubbard doing his best Rick Wakeman impression…



And the equally great back cover reminds us that “going OT” — the expensive, ultimate secret levels of Scientology — promised that, like Hubbard, you could go exterior and travel around the solar system and beyond…


Advance! magazine has long been a favorite of ours because it’s aimed at convincing Scientologists to pursue the mysteries of the upper levels, and it does this by tantalizing readers with wonderful yarns by OTs relating the miracles they’ve experienced with their newly acquired superhuman powers. And this issue featured a couple of beauties. First, check out this classic tale, and we think you’re going to enjoy seeing its byline…



Dave Foster and I just had one hell of an experience and I wanted to share it with you. What a success story!

We were walking home when all of a sudden, we became aware of another being. We located “him” in a thicket. We stood there and confronted him and he just about freaked out. Then he flashed a picture of being burned at the stake. “He” was a “she,” about 6 – 7 feet tall which was why the townspeople thought she was a witch. Her dress was gray and falling around her shoulders because she was struggling so hard. We dated it, or rather got her to tell us the date, around 1640. She had been burned right there on that exact spot and had been there ever since!

Well, we helped her through the incident and she flew, dress, stake, fire and all. It was incredible. Dave and I were seeing the exact same things, no one but an OT could believe it, but there it was, right in front of us.


We were still marveling at the experience and how “clean” the space was now when all of a sudden another thetan flashed down to the thicket.

This guy was pretty powerful and had been making a game of frightening passers-by, a ghost, if you will. But, he was in for a surprise when he picked on us. We did not react, just confronted. He turned on the power and flowed incredible fear at us trying to make us afraid. He even threw up a picture of a ferocious looking animal (his last life). Applying the Tone Scale, David lunged at him and yelled and that poor guy got the shock of his life.

He’ll remember that incident as the turning point of his spiral because at that moment he recognized us as OT’s who were going to help him. He “stood” in awe as we as-ised his “bonds.” He then sent out a thought of deepest gratitude (he knew no apology was necessary — shows how aware he had become) and immediately picked up a little girl’s body.

And then still another thetan appeared, he came for help. David said goodbye, and explained that we had a lot to do and must leave. They were actually standing in line.

As we continued walking home, we were followed by literally thousands of thetans. We were being deified.

I had a really good look at clearing the planet. I mean actually getting it done, and then the Universe and how easy it really is. A piece of cake.

— Pat Broeker

And then there was this tasty morsel, another classic from the demon-haunted world of Scientology…


My encounter with a ghost

While living in England and working at Saint Hill during the ’60s, I lived in an old house on a hill.

The drive was long and lined with trees and large shrubs. Visitors would remark that they got a “spooky” feeling when walking up the drive at night. I noticed the same thing. There seemed to be a beingness of some sort lurking in the bushes. On several occasions I looked for a cat or dog but found nothing visible.


Eventually one night I recognized the being as a disembodied thetan and acknowledged it for what it was.

After having established some sort of communication, it became bold. Several times it started to come into my room while I was Solo Auditing and I had to boot it out with a bit of chastisement for interrupting my sessions.

Then it would come into the room while I was trying to get to sleep.

Finally I decided to handle the situation once and for all.

By using common old garden variety intention learned on the comm course, I got into two-way comm with the being.

“All right,” I said in exasperation, “what do you want?”

“I’m awfully sorry to keep bothering you,” it answered timidly, “but I have the feeling that you could help me with whatever it is that you’re working on in the evening.”

“I’m sorry,” I thought to it, “but you must have a body first.”

“Why?” it asked.

“To hold the cans!”

“Oh!” it replied, completely stumped at this point.

I took pity. “I’ll tell you what to do. Go over to the hospital, pick up a body. Grow it up and in a few years go on up to Saint Hill and they’ll help you out.”

“Oh thank you!” came the grateful reply. “Where was it I can get a body?”

I took it on a fast trip pointing out the maternity ward at the hospital and Saint Hill.


“Oh! Oh! I don’t know how to thank you!,” it gushed getting a bit sticky. “What can I do to repay you?”

“Well…just get a body and get some training, become a good auditor, and help others.”

“Oh! I will, I will. And I’m sorry for having annoyed you so often.”

“That’s OK,” I thought, “but you better get going!”

“Oh! Yes!” it replied. “Thank you so much!”

“OK, OK,” I said, “Good luck.”

“Good by, and thank you again.”

“OK! OK! Good bye!”

It took off.

No one ever complained about my driveway after that.

— Fred Hare

Advance! magazine is still publishing “OT Phenomena” today, but the church itself has spent a couple of decades trying to tamp down the impression that it is based in Hubbard’s wild space opera, or that its OT miracles sound like pretty standard ghost stories and occult nuttiness. Which is a shame, really. Come on, Scientology, let your freak flag fly. Stop trying to convince the world that you’re some sober self-help “social betterment” group. We know what really turns you on. And pining for the return of Hubbard is who you are — embrace it!

See you soon, L. Ron!



The new Ability magazine is more entertaining than usual

Our thanks to the tipster who sent in this gem. It’s two versions of the same magazine that come from different areas in Los Angeles. The one on the left was sent to Scientologists near its San Fernando Valley org, the one on the right to its members in Inglewood.

Spot the difference?

Scientology tries so hard to attract more African-Americans to its mighty white club. Something tells us pandering with this kind of thing isn’t going to do the trick.

Another tipster, meanwhile, pointed out that in the same issue of that magazine that was distributed in the Cincinnati area, there was this classic shot of a new graduating class of Scientology “ministers.” Praise Xenu and pass the crucifix!


And one more detail from the Valley version of this monthly rag, it appears that OT 8 celebrity Nancy Cartwright, the Royal Governess of the Vast Valley Territory herself, has completed some low-level courses on the Bridge. This is something like a PhD going back for a refresher on their kindergarten certificate, and it’s adorable…




A holiday treat for a Big Being

Finally, we have this wonderful holiday surprise from Richard, our correspondent in Italy. He let us know that the new IAS Christmas card had arrived…


So he got creative and turned it into his very own Freedom Medal of Valor. Merry R6mas, Richard!



Scientology’s celebrities, ‘Ideal Orgs,’ and more!

[Jenna Elfman, Giovanni Ribisi, and Greta Van Susteren]

We’ve been building landing pages about David Miscavige’s favorite playthings, including celebrities and ‘Ideal Orgs,’ and we’re hoping you’ll join in and help us gather as much information as we can about them. Head on over and help us with links and photos and comments.

Scientology’s celebrities, from A to Z! Find your favorite Hubbardite celeb at this index page — or suggest someone to add to the list!

Scientology’s ‘Ideal Orgs,’ from one end of the planet to the other! Help us build up pages about each these worldwide locations!

Scientology’s sneaky front groups, spreading the good news about L. Ron Hubbard while pretending to benefit society!


Now on sale: Twice the Miss Lovely!

Our new book with Paulette Cooper, Battlefield Scientology: Exposing L. Ron Hubbard’s dangerous ‘religion’ is now on sale at Amazon in paperback and Kindle formats. What a pleasure it is for us to work with her on this after we wrote about her ordeal as a victim of Scientology’s “Fair Game” campaigns in our 2015 book, The Unbreakable Miss Lovely: How the Church of Scientology tried to destroy Paulette Cooper, which is also on sale in paperback, Kindle, and audiobook versions.



[ONE year ago] AUDIO: David Miscavige’s claim that Mexico has officially recognized Scientology as a religion
[TWO years ago] The fight over the secrets on a Scientology spy’s seized laptop that no one is talking about
[THREE years ago] Augustine: Compton scam rehab and ‘literacy crusade’ have vanished since raid
[FOUR years ago] Jon Atack looks back at his final Scientology auditing session — and how he broke free
[FIVE years ago] Tom Cruise drops his disastrous suit against Bauer Media and its magazines
[SIX years ago] Scientology in 2012: John Sweeney, Paulette Cooper, and More In a Year of Crisis for the Church


Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley has not seen his daughter Stephanie in 5,304 days.
Valerie Haney has not seen her mother Lynne in 1,435 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 1,937 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 1,417 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 480 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 368 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 3,675 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 1,543 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 2,317 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 3,091 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 2,437 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 11,003 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 6,923 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 3,090 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 2,671 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 2,931 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 1,971 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 1,683 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,209 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 5,298 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 2,438 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 2,758 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 7,614 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 2,733 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,089 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 5,391 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 1,497 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 1,900 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 1,771 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 1,354 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 1,849 days.
Mary Jane Sterne has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,103 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,212 days.


3D-UnbreakablePosted by Tony Ortega on December 20, 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 Underground 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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