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An Austin Powers Scientology party? Sure, anything to get locals to fork over cash

Rod Keller helps us keep an eye on Scientology’s ‘expansion’ plans…

It was a year ago that we reported that members of Scientology were doing minor work on the Duckworth Essence Distillery building in Manchester. It’s the site of the UK’s next “Ideal Org,” and has been sitting empty since it was purchased in 2006. The past year has been spent raising funds for the project, not just in Manchester, but from the other orgs in the country.



It’s going well as the org holds frequent themed fundraising events. Work by professional builders will start in the next few weeks, and members have been told to expect a grand opening in May 2020. It would be unusual for Scientology if that date didn’t slip into summer or fall, but that’s the plan for now. Scientologists have also been told what to expect when the new building opens.


[72 people on the Purification Rundown per day.]

[18 auditing rooms]

[1125 well done auditing hours per week, not including staff going up the Bridge.]

[186 students in the Academy at any given time.]

If it comes to pass it would be a major expansion of Scientology in the UK, making it bigger than the London or Birmingham Ideal Orgs. Birmingham has been particularly silent since opening in 2017. It’s probably like Ideal Orgs around the world, mostly empty. We obtained a graph of Ideal Org donations and Birmingham doesn’t appear to be booming.


It shows a six week period of fundraising for the Ideal Org Alliance which Scientology uses to concentrate donations to each Ideal Org project in turn. First it was for London, then Birmingham, now Manchester, perhaps Plymouth or Edinburgh will be next. The numbers appear to refer to thousands of pounds raised from each org’s public. Saint Hill is in first place and HAPI in second. The Hubbard Academy of Personal Independence is the name of the Edinburgh, Scotland org.


Outside of those two, donations a harder to come by, with Birmingham contributing zero for this period. In Manchester, donors who make a ‘flow,’ the Scientology word for a donation, receive a worker bee pin. It’s the symbol of the city, adopted to represent the work ethic of residents during the Industrial Revolution of the 19th century.

[The worker bees of Manchester]

Construction is about to start in Manchester. Thousands are being raised every week in hopes the locals can reveal the traditional “Done, Sir!” banner that marks the completion of the fundraising goal. Perhaps after opening they will really have 72 people on the Purif and 186 in the Academy. More likely they will follow the example of mostly empty Birmingham. By then the attention and excitement will be for the next Ideal Org, and we’re betting it will be HAPI.

— Rod Keller


60 Minutes Australia takes a look at Shelly Miscavige

The full 25-minute segment…



Start making your plans!


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!

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



[ONE year ago] Come on, people. Even Star mag’s own article doesn’t claim Tom Cruise has left Scientology.
[TWO years ago] Can a celebrity Scientologist like John Travolta really commit murder under the rules?
[THREE years ago] On the 8th anniversary of the Anonymous protests, more signs of Scientology’s desperation
[FOUR years ago] ‘You encourage people to leave the Church of Scientology’: The Mike Rinder deposition
[FIVE years ago] MEDIA ADVISORY: Stop saying that Scientology is infested with big movie stars already
[SIX years ago] Tom Cruise can raise the dead! …And more Scientology Sunday Funnies
[SEVEN years ago] Scientology vs Debbie Cook, Day 2: More Live-Blogging by the Voice


Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley has not seen his daughter Stephanie in 5,356 days.
Valerie Haney has not seen her mother Lynne in 1,487 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 1,989 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 1,469 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 532 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 420 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 3,727 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 1,595 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 2,369 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 3,143 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 2,489 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 11,055 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 6,975 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 3,142 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 2,723 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 2,983 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 2,023 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 1,735 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,261 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 5,350 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 2,490 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 2,810 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 7,666 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 2,785 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,141 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 5,443 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 1,549 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 1,952 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 1,823 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 1,406 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 1,901 days.
Mary Jane Sterne has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,155 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,264 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on February 10, 2019 at 07:00

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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 | Battling Babe-Hounds: Ross Jeffries v. R. Don Steele


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