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Scientology’s smear machine hurting your reputation? For $1,500 they can help with that.

 
Before we continue with our year in review, we wanted to share with you something a tipster forwarded to us. It’s an advertising mailer for a particular wing of Scientology that targets businessmen, trying to convince them that L. Ron Hubbard was a genius-level business administrator.

The flier offers to help deal with poisonous attacks from competitors who engage in what Scientology calls “black propaganda.”

Well, that’s pretty rich. No one does “black PR” like Scientology itself. Leah Remini, Mike Rinder, and heck, your proprietor, are constantly targeted with smear campaigns by Scientology, conducted at huge expense on social media.

But here, Scientology is offering to help neutralize that kind of malicious gossip with a $1,500 set of books.

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Isn’t that convenient?

 

 
OK, enough frivolity. Now back to our review, and this time we’re looking at the stories of March.

 
As the month opened, we were still anticipating the launch of ‘Scientology TV,’ looking for signs of when it might turn on. Expecting it to be a firehose of unwatchable propaganda, we offered Scientology some advice on what the channel ought to be about…

Scientology was intended to be a sort of Space Age faith healing, and it promised space opera super powers right out of Hubbard’s career as a science fiction writer. It’s also endlessly fun, and it’s a shame the Church of Scientology is so shy about it. If only Scientology TV had the guts to deliver this to the masses.

The next day, we responded to a thoughtful essay which wondered if Scientology, especially considering its small size, deserved all the attention that it gets from the media. It was a fair question, and we hope we adequately explained our own reasons for dedicating so much time to it.

The day after that, Chris Shelton found a real gem for us, a letter that L. Ron Hubbard wrote to President-Elect Ronald Reagan in 1980. Hubbard was in hiding at the time, and he called Social Security a “farce.” Hilarious.

And what a day March 12 turned out to be. ‘Scientology TV’ debuted on DirecTV the same night that Vanity Fair Confidential was airing its episode about the fate of Shelly Miscavige, which featured your proprietor.

While we were pleasantly surprised that Scientology’s TV channel kicked off with a brief monologue by David Miscavige himself, it soon settled into just exactly what we were expecting, unwatchable propaganda.

It was also in March that we got news that a third season of Scientology and the Aftermath would be coming. We asked readers what they wanted to see in it and got a lot of great suggestions.

On March 16, we had a really fun item, a photo submitted by a very observant tipster who noticed something interesting in a photograph of David Miscavige published by the church. Zooming in, he saw that Miscavige was wearing a watch worth about $19,000. We thought the IRS would like to know.

Two days later, we covered a grim news story: Longtime noted Scientology critic Arnie Lerma shot his wife Ginger Sugerman in the face and then turned the gun on himself. He was 67.

We learned in March that Kirstie Alley, about a year earlier, had completed Scientology’s ultimate auditing level, OT 8. This made her master of matter, energy, space, and time!

On March 26 we reported that a retired New York Police Department detective had been hired to tail Leah Remini for Scientology, and was creeping around the set of the movie she was shooting with Jennifer Lopez, Second Act. It was only the latest indication that David Miscavige was pretty freaked out about a third season of Aftermath coming.

The next day, Scientology TV finally put something on air worth watching, and it was bizarre. It was a look inside its L. Ron Hubbard archiving project done at a super-secret location where its workers (one of whom, we believe, is Shelly Miscavige) use incredibly expensive technology to ensure that Hubbard’s words will last thousands of years in underground vaults. It’s kind of incredible that Scientology thought it was good PR to show off this nutty use of money.

And finally, we finished the month with news that Brent Jones, a Scientologist who had served briefly as a Nevada state legislator, was now running for lieutenant governor. Fun times.

 
MOST-READ STORIES OF MARCH 2018
1. Tonight, ‘Vanity Fair Confidential’ brings the Shelly Miscavige story to the ID network
2. What do you want to see in Leah Remini’s third season of ‘Scientology and the Aftermath’?
3. Leah Remini is still being stalked, and now Scientology has turned to an ex-NYPD detective

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4. Kirstie Alley goes OT 8, celebrates her ‘confront’ level on Scientology’s cruise ship ‘Freewinds’
5. Noted Scientology critic Arnie Lerma shoots and injures wife, then kills himself

 
A LOOK BACK AT MARCH 2017: Scientologist actor Danny Masterson was under investigation for multiple rapes. Joy Villa mulled a run for Congress. We caught Marty Rathbun helping his old nemesis, the Church of Scientology, in a court case. We traced Marty’s dramatic arc from Scientology critic to Scientology attack dog. Leah Remini turned out to have helped finance the Scientology/NOI dance.
Kuba Ka charmed us in a lengthy interview. And Reza Aslan laid an egg.

A LOOK BACK AT MARCH 2016: Attorney Ken Dandar dodges a million-dollar bullet. Tabatha Fauteux’s boyfriend tells us what really happened in her death while training for Scientology’s Narconon network. Belgium blows its prosecution of the church. And the saga of former Scientology helper cop, Skip Young.

A LOOK BACK AT MARCH 2015: Federal Judge James Whittemore hamstrung the Garcia fraud lawsuit with a stunning ruling, we dug up even more evidence that L. Ron Hubbard used the threat of “R2-45” to intimidate former church members, Paul Haggis gave us his thoughts as Alex Gibney’s Going Clear debuted on HBO, and we got to hear Sylvia DeWall being declared an SP while it was happening,

A LOOK BACK AT MARCH 2014: John Travolta mangled Idina Menzel’s name at the Oscars. We interviewed Russell Miller as his book Bare-Faced Messiah came back in print after 27 years. Jillian Schlesinger told us her gripping story of escape from the Sea Org.

A LOOK BACK AT MARCH 2013: We had fun with SMERSH Madness. We leaked Sea Org life histories. Narconon Arrowhead CEO Gary Smith lost his professional certification.

 
Five of our favorites from the most-upvoted comments of March 2018

March 3: bixntram
Slightly off-topic, I guess. I’m disgusted with the despicable non-Scientologist lawyers who work for the cult. What a bunch of scumbags! They’ll perform in court as they’re paid to do and chock up the billable hours. They’ll scream about “religious intolerance,” blah, blah, blah – but they know better than to get involved on a personal level. What do they talk about around the dinner table. “Daddy, or mommy, what did you do today?” Honest answer: “I thoroughly prostituted myself defending a malicious cult and I’m a disgrace to the legal profession; but hey, it’ll take care of your college tuition, buy us a new Mercedes whenever we want and pay for trips to the Bahamas and the ski resort.” I just wonder: how can these dirtbags look themselves in the mirror?

March 4: Pete Griffiths
Oh the irony! As less people watch TV worldwide, Scientology invents the most amazing event EVER and launches TV! Yay, 1950s forever!

March 5: RMycroft
As a result of the focus groups, their next Super Bowl commercial will be “Scientology: WTF?”

March 10: Eric J Vaughn
When I left the Sea Org in the late 90’s, I had virtually nothing. Two polo shirts. A single pair of threadbare khaki long pants. A few pairs of underwear and socks, and about $60 cash. No car. No place to live. No job. Fortunately I had a valid drivers license and my SS card. An old friend and his wife were willing to let me sleep on their couch for a couple of months. I had been in sales before the SO, but with no wardrobe and no car, there was no way I could pursue a professional sales gig. So I started out doing day labor at a local labor contract office, $60 to $80 a day, when they had work. For a guy used to making $2K per week or more before going in the SO, this was an embarrassing income. But it was better than nothing. I needed cash now. For a guy used to driving a nice car pre-SO, walking everywhere (no real bus service where I lived) was strange. But it also felt good. After slaving 100 hours a week for $25 per week (most weeks) I was free and a few hundred per week is a hell of a lot more than $25. After 6 weeks of day labor, I still couldn’t afford a decent car, but I had enough money to get some decent clothes and get a box store job for $400 per week. When I had that job I could afford to rent a cheap room and start saving for a car. After 6 months at the box store I was able to buy a couple nice suits and put a down payment on a nice looking car. Then I started going after a good sales job, which I found within 2 months. So, after leaving the SO with nothing, it took me about 10 months to put myself at the beginnings of a decent life. It wasn’t easy, but I learned a lot about life and myself going through it. If I had left without having my license and SS Card? Or if I didn”t have a place to land for a month or 2 rent free? Getting myself back on my feet and self sufficient would have been a hell of a lot harder. And a lot of the folks leaving, don’t have an extensive pre-SO job history or skill set to fall back on. This Aftermath Foundation truly has the potential to be the Underground Hyperloop out of slavery for a lot of SO members who wise up and leave.

March 12: Once_Born
My impression of Shelly’s plight is that she has been isolated for so long now that she is psychologically broken. Her husband could not let her out before, because she knew too much. Now he has another reason – questions would be asked as to how she got into that state. She will die in captivity, and it is astonishing beyond almost anything that the Church of Scientology routinely does that they should be able to incarcerate an individual and break them because, apparently they had become inconvenient. This is happening in a liberal democracy that values personal freedom – and goes unremarked except by a few specialist observers.

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

[Catherine Bell, Chick Corea, and Nancy Cartwright]

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!

 
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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.

 
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THE WHOLE TRACK

[ONE year ago] A look back at the month when all hell broke loose for Scientology and Danny Masterson
[TWO years ago] LAPD needs two more weeks to respond to Leah Remini about missing wife of Scientology leader
[THREE years ago] Scientology’s 2015 in review: In March, HBO went Clear while we eavesdropped on Flag
[FOUR years ago] Scientology hit with 25th lawsuit by Las Vegas attorney as he goes after Florida rehab
[FIVE years ago] Scientology’s mecca wants you to come to Florida and run circles around a pole
[SIX years ago] Scientology’s 2012 in Review: Debbie Cook Makes Us Remember the Alamo

 
——————–

Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley has not seen his daughter Stephanie in 5,307 days.
Valerie Haney has not seen her mother Lynne in 1,438 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 1,940 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 1,420 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 483 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 371 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 3,678 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 1,546 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 2,320 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 3,094 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 2,440 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 11,006 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 6,926 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 3,093 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 2,674 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 2,934 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 1,974 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 1,686 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,212 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 5,301 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 2,441 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 2,761 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 7,617 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 2,736 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,092 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 5,394 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 1,500 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 1,903 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 1,774 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 1,357 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 1,852 days.
Mary Jane Sterne has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,106 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,215 days.

——————–

3D-UnbreakablePosted by Tony Ortega on December 23, 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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