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Government comes down hard on Scientology — in Canada, where worker abuse matters

Breaking news out of Quebec, where journalist Gaétan Pouliot has been covering an investigation by the government into workers at Scientology facilities being paid less than minimum wage.

Scientology paying less than minimum wage is practically a sacrament in the church, so the only surprise is that any government agency, anywhere, actually decided to do something about it.

Today, Pouliot reports that the Standards Commission, Equity, Health, and Safety (CNESST) concluded its investigation by finding that Scientology needs to pony up almost a million (Canadian) dollars…

CNESST is asking the Superior Court to sentence the Church of Scientology of Quebec to pay the following amounts on behalf of 62 employees.


Salaries + Holidays: $ 754,048
Allowance for CNESST: $ 150,809
The amount of $ 904,857 will be subject to interest.

“[The CNESST] may, on behalf of employees, claim from their employer the sums due under the Act respecting labor standards,” says the Commission in its application filed in court.

Pouliot added that the church hadn’t responded to a request for comment.

Quebec is also the Canadian province that closed down a Scientology drug rehab when whistleblowers came forward with documents about the way patient lives were at risk.

And Canada has never granted Scientology charity status as a church, for reasons which we detailed in a lengthy piece about a man named Gregg Hagglund.

Pouliot said that a church spokeswoman had explained that they didn’t pay minimum wage because Scientology staffers are volunteers:

By e-mail, the spokesperson for the Church of Scientology maintained that her staff members were not “employees” but “religious workers”. “They voluntarily contribute to the activities of the Church and its humanitarian purposes. They do not work for monetary gain, but to help others, “said Michelle Lacombe, spokesperson for the organization.

UPDATE: We asked Gaétan Pouliot if there was anything else he could tell us about the situation at this point, and he had a pretty stunning update for us…

Quebec’s labour watch dog offered the Church of Scientology to settle this case out of court for 986,639 $CAN. The Church refused for unknown reasons. This is why we could have a legal fight between the Church and Quebec’s government about the status of the “religious workers.” But unlike the USA, the concept of “religious workers” doesn’t exist under the Quebec province’s labour law.


Start making your plans!


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

[Elisabeth Moss, Michael Peña, and Laura Prepon]

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!

Scientology Lit: Books reviewed or excerpted in our weekly series. How many have you read?



[ONE year ago] ‘It was my job to get Mike Rinder’s trash’ — A former Scientology spy begins to spill her guts
[TWO years ago] L. Ron Hubbard’s writing about women that Scientology DOES want you to see!
[THREE years ago] ‘Archetypical newshound’ Paulette Cooper described in ‘thrilling account’ — Kirkus
[FOUR years ago] Full Forrest Ackerman interview from 1997 ‘Secret Lives’ film released for first time
[FIVE years ago] Jeff Hawkins: How Scientology’s ‘Third Party Law’ explains anything they want it to
[SIX years ago] Excerpts of Lawrence Wright’s Book on Scientology are Predictably Awesome
[SEVEN years ago] Scientology: Secrets of the Super Power Building


Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley has not seen his daughter Stephanie in 5,324 days.
Valerie Haney has not seen her mother Lynne in 1,455 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 1,957 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 1,437 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 500 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 388 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 3,695 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 1,563 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 2,337 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 3,111 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 2,457 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 11,023 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 6,943 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 3,110 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 2,691 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 2,951 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 1,991 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 1,703 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,229 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 5,318 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 2,458 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 2,778 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 7,634 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 2,753 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,109 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 5,411 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 1,517 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 1,920 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 1,791 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 1,374 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 1,869 days.
Mary Jane Sterne has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,123 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,232 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on January 9, 2019 at 18:00

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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. Our book about Paulette, 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, 1995-2018 Just starting out here? We’ve picked out the most important stories we’ve covered here at the Underground Bunker (2012-2018), The Village Voice (2008-2012), New Times Los Angeles (1999-2002) and the Phoenix New Times (1995-1999)

Other links: BLOGGING DIANETICS: Reading Scientology’s founding text cover to cover | 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 | 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, or 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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