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[Scientology leader David Miscavige has some explaining to do to Rev. Dr. Chip Murray]

We’ve told you that Scientology’s “grass roots” effort it calls the “STAND League” is a fake. But even we were stunned when we learned that Scientology’s astroturf attack on Leah Remini’s A&E series has allegedly engaged in an outright fraud that has a major American university launching an investigation.

In December, the Stand League claimed that the Rev. Dr. Cecil “Chip” Murray, the well-known former leader of the First African Methodist Episcopal Church in Los Angeles who joined the University of Southern California as a University Fellow in 2005, had written a letter to Disney CEO Bob Iger complaining about the “one-sided” nature of Remini’s television show about Scientology.

Murray has been very friendly with Scientology in the past, and in 2011 spoke at the dedication of a new Scientology “Ideal Org” in Inglewood, California…



So we weren’t too surprised that in December Murray had seemed to help out Scientology with a letter complaining to Iger at Disney, which owns half of the A&E network that airs Remini’s series…


Here’s the full text of the letter…

Mr. Bob Iger
Chairman and CEO
The Walt Disney Company
500 South Buena Vista Street
Burbank, CA 91521

Dear Sir,

I have recently become aware of a program being aired on the A&E Networks, a subsidiary of The Walt Disney Company, which is hateful towards several religions. This is Leah Remini Aftermath reality series. This is apparently its third season. A&E’s recent programming persecutes American religions — Scientology, Jehovah’s Witnesses and many other denominations. They say they are “looking” into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. Their programming is one-sided and does not attempt to show the other side.

By condoning the airing of this series, Disney makes itself a party to the violence resulting. I understand that the Church of Scientology has had hundreds of threats of death, violence or vandalism incited by the show. Including their Church in Twin Cities being set on fire, another church having a car driven purposefully through their front windows, etc. Since the Jehovah’s Witnesses episode was announced there have been five of their Kingdom Halls burned down. I am sure you are aware of the recent shootings in the synagogue in Pittsburgh and other such incidents against churches around the US. That Disney would sponsor programs that incite hatred against religions from my perspective is unconscionable.


I have worked beside the Church of Scientology for over 25 years when they helped greatly to bring calm during the Rodney King riots, with their tutoring of underserved children, work to get the anti-drug messages out as well as teaching human rights.

Combating religious intolerance, stigmatization, discrimination, incitement to violence and violence against persons based on religion or belief is a matter of the highest importance as United Nations global policy.

Do you have to wait until something worse happens to stop this hate-mongering?

Ephesians 4:32, says “Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.”

It is time sir, to act with courage and compassion — as would the great Walt Disney and many of his contemporaries — and not merely turn a blind eye to the discrimination and persecution by the few with a mouthpiece, against the many who diligently seek to follow their religious convictions.

I respectfully request that you look into this from a dispassionate perspective and a broader vision of the world, not just ratings. We need to allow other views than yet another hateful assault on peaceful religions. During my 30 years of being in contact with executives of Walt Disney, I know that you are dedicated to community outreach and applaud the diversity that our country stands for. You are respected beyond your campus, but in any outreach service that models the American dream of diversity without adversity. Will you please consider full cooperation with the above churches and because chemistry is at risk, will you please respond positively to my request.

I look forward to hearing from you and will pass on your response to the hundreds of pastors who have completed our 13 weeks of training at our Cecil Murray Center for Religion and Community Engagement at the University of Southern California; each has received a certificate of completion upon graduation, and goes out to the community to implement what they have learned in civic initiatives. They will applaud hearing from us on this issue.

Sincerely Yours,

Rev Dr. Cecil (Chip) Murray
Cecil Murray Center for Religion and Community Engagement

But an enterprising brand marketer in Arizona, Robin Athlyn Thompson, was concerned that USC’s Center for Religion and Civic Culture would allow its brand to be used in this manner, and she inquired about it with her public relations counterparts at the university.

She informed Leah Remini that she received this stunning reply from USC:

Dear Ms. Thompson,


I want to personally acknowledge your letter to President Austin, which she has read and shared with me. She has asked me to respond on her behalf.

We strive for accuracy and appropriateness in all of our university communications. Reverend Murray has stated that he was not the author of the letter that was addressed to Mr. Iger on a discontinued letterhead. We are currently looking into the misuse of the university’s trademarks.

Thank you for sharing your concern with us.


Brenda Maceo
Vice President of Public Relations and Marketing
University of Southern California

The Center for Religion and Civic Culture put out its own statement, saying that the Center and Dr. Murray take no position on Disney’s programming…


We spoke last night with Thompson, who lives in Phoenix. She explained that she was an avid fan of Scientology and the Aftermath who was devouring whatever she could about the show. A tweet led her to the Stand League website, where she saw Murray’s supposed letter to Iger.

She says that the letter caught her attention because it wasn’t the kind of thing that an institution like USC would allow.

“I researched USC’s website and examined their permissions on using their brand. I know the implications of writing on company letterhead. I wrote to the brand protection office telling them that I’m a fellow marketer, a brand steward. I explained that their website prohibits the use of their brand without permission. And it was unbelievable to me that USC would take this kind of opinion,” she says.


“I waited and waited. Then I finally called. I got a young woman and told her about my letter. And she said yes, they were looking into this because he never wrote that letter.”

Thompson says she was stunned. She told the young woman to please tell her boss that the university needed to put out a statement as soon as possible distancing themselves from the Stand League.

“I then got that letter from them,” she says.

We told her she had done a brilliant job.

Last week, Scientology doubled down on its deception by holding what it called an “emergency press conference” of the “Los Angeles Faith Coalition,” a group whose website the church owns. The hastily arranged event, featuring only a couple of dozen attendees, was held across the street from the Disney Studios in Burbank so that Murray’s (faked) letter could be presented to Disney in person.

Jeffrey Augustine reported on the scene for us, and since then has dug into the clergy members who made up the “coalition.”

— Rabbi Steven Jacobs, who married California State Controller Betty Yee in 2015, and was the subject of a 1993 book about how an affair he had with one of his congregation resulted in the woman being killed by her husband, who hired a hit-man to do the job, and is today serving life in prison.

— Reverend N.J. “Skip” L’heureux Jr. His appearance, Augustine tells us, was not a surprise as he has long been a Scientology apologist. At the event, it was L’heureux who asked, “What would Mickey [Mouse] do?”

— Bishop Craig Worsham of Agape Church of Los Angeles, a longtime student of Murray’s.

— Worsham’s protege, Shane Harris.

— Mahomed Akbar Khan of American Muslim Strategies

Augustine has been reaching out to these attendees, asking them why they would want to get involved with Scientology attacking a television show which has been exposing the church’s controversies and abuses.

And now, with the revelation that USC is investigating the letter sent out in Murray’s name, they may realize that they have even bigger credibility problems.


Meanwhile, on Australian television this weekend…


And now that the cat is out of the bag, we can finally post this photo. What fun it was finally to meet Ron for the first time, and right outside the org.



Start making your plans!


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

[Kelly Preston, Beck, and Anne Archer]

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] David Palter, 1952-2018: Remembering a Scientologist who became a steady critic
[TWO years ago] Ron Miscavige on life at Scientology’s secretive Gold Base (and getting thrown in its lake)
[FOUR years ago] Ryan Hamilton’s plan to consolidate his lawsuits against Scientology rehabs is denied
[FIVE years ago] Jon Atack on Scientology’s methods of ‘thought stopping’
[SIX years ago] Scientology’s Atlanta drug rehab buys its way out of courtroom nightmare
[SEVEN years ago] Scientology’s gag reflex: The Church’s history of enforcing a vow of silence


Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley has not seen his daughter Stephanie in 5,354 days.
Valerie Haney has not seen her mother Lynne in 1,485 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 1,987 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 1,467 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 530 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 418 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 3,725 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 1,593 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 2,367 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 3,141 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 2,487 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 11,053 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 6,973 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 3,140 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 2,721 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 2,981 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 2,021 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 1,733 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,259 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 5,348 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 2,488 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 2,808 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 7,664 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 2,783 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,139 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 5,441 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 1,547 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 1,950 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 1,821 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 1,404 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 1,899 days.
Mary Jane Sterne has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,153 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,262 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on February 8, 2019 at 07:00

E-mail tips to tonyo94 AT gmail DOT com or follow us on Twitter. We also post 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 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 | Battling Babe-Hounds: Ross Jeffries v. R. Don Steele


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