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An eyewitness report from Scientology’s LRH Birthday Event Saturday in Los Angeles

Once again our correspondent attended a Scientology event in Los Angeles. In this case, it was the LRH Birthday Event that was held on Saturday. The week before, on March 9, the actual live event with David Miscavige was held in Clearwater, Florida. So on Saturday video of that celebration was played for the members at other facilities around the world. In the case of Los Angeles, the video was seen by members at the Dolby Theater…

Joy Villa attended the event. She sat in the reserved seating in the front. I did not see Tony Muhammad or any other members of the Nation of Islam. I suspect they attended the event at the Inglewood Org. Unlike the New Year’s event held at the Shrine Auditorium, the LRH Birthday Event at the Dolby Theater is only for PAC Base and the Celebrity Centre. The other Orgs (e.g., Inglewood, Pasadena, Valley) hold their own events.

The crowd shots in the video of the event held in Florida the week before included Erika Christensen on multiple occasions. There were no shots of John Travolta or Tom Cruise.

Even compared with past LRH Birthday Events, the LRH biographical presentation by Official LRH Biographer Dan Sherman was uninspired. It was disjointed, jumped back and forth in time mindlessly, and was without any particular theme or point. It continued last year’s practice of including several testimonials from non-Scientologists who had supposedly benefited from meeting Hubbard sometime during their lives. Even these were not especially powerful. It seemed like the people giving these testimonials were trying really hard to please, but couldn’t quite come up with anything sufficiently fantastic. One gets the impression that Sherman may be running out of things to say about Hubbard.


The biographical presentation did, however, include a surprise for serious Scientology watchers. While discussing Hubbard’s travels in his Bluebird motorhome in 1983, there was a reference to his “caretakers.” It was likely of no significance to 99 percent of the audience, but to me that one word was striking. It was the first time I had ever heard any Scientologist even suggest that Hubbard ever had or required “caretakers.”

There was a change in how the Birthday Game trophies were presented. Recently, the trophies were presented by Chairman of the Board David Miscavige. The standard practice was Miscavige would stand to the side while the Executive Director of Captain of the winning Mission, Class V Org, Sea Org Service Org, or Sea Org Continental Liaison Office delivered their speech. The winner would thank Miscavige second to last. Miscavige would then humbly acknowledge the thanks with a slight head bow and a hand gesture. The winner would then thank Hubbard, and everyone would stand and applaud LRH.

Miscavige did not present the Birthday Game winners this year. Instead, the Birthday Game trophies were presented by Nicholas Banks from the International Management Public Relations Office. As always, each winner thanked Miscavige second to last, before Hubbard. However, Miscavige was not on stage to acknowledge the thanks. Banks was standing on the side of the stage, ignored.

The winners were:

Mission: Ulm, Germany. (Ideal Mission opened in October 2018).

Class V: Stuttgart, Germany. (Ideal Org opened six months ago.)

Sea Org Service Org: Saint Hill, England.

Sea Org Continental Liason Office: Europe

It probably was not a coincidence that the winners for Mission and Class V Org were both from Germany. A point was made. The fact that the winners in those categories had recently had Ideal Org openings is consistent with the results of recent Birthday Games. Every year, it appears the winners in these categories are Missions and Orgs that recently had their “Ideal” opening.

The largest part of the event was devoted to the opening of the Advanced Organization Saint Hill of Africa. (Indeed, the Birthday Game portion of the event seemed somewhat rushed.) Not only was a video of the opening shown, but video of the grounds, various facilities, and a week of post-opening events was also shown. To me, most impressive was the video of the very nice exterior of Sea Org housing and, even more so, the interior of a bedroom. The bedroom looked like an up-scale hotel room.

AOSH Africa was officially acknowledged for achieving Saint Hill size. That was extraordinary. It has been many years since an Org has been recognized for achieving Saint Hill Size. The importance of AOSH Africa achieving Saint Hill size was emphasized by the fact that, unlike the Birthday Game trophies this year, the award for achieving Saint Hill size was presented by Miscavige.

The importance of the opening of AOSH Africa was also emphasized by: (1) the issuance of a free special, 114-page edition of Advance magazine devoted entirely to AOSH Africa: and (2) the sale for $10 of a commemorative music CD “Africa – The Winds of Change” containing ten songs.

The importance of the opening of AOSH Africa is further emphasized by the fact that the next two Saturdays on L. Ron Hubbard Way are devoted to the opening. The Grand Opening is going to be presented on Saturday, March 23, 2019, at 7:30 pm, despite the fact that we have just seen it. The Premiere Winds of Change Concert featuring music from the CD will be held on Saturday, March 30, 2019, at 7:30 pm.

Season 2 of Scientology TV premiers on Monday, April 8, 2019. There will a Premier Party on L. Ron Hubbard Way on that date. While there was no official announcement, from the coming attractions montage, I expect we will finally get a Freedom Magazine show, as well as at least a segment on the Writers of the Future. One wonders how the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America will react to the latter.

Finally, despite the sale of the CD, there was no regging. None. While several tables sold the CD, nobody approached any of the public to sell the CD or anything else.

Thanks for that eyewitness report, correspondent!


HowdyCon 2019 in Los Angeles

This year’s HowdyCon is in Los Angeles. People tend to come in starting on Thursday, and that evening we will have a casual get-together at a watering hole. We have something in mind, but for now we’re not giving out information about it.

Friday night we will be having an event in a theater (like we did on Saturday night last year in Chicago). There will not be a charge to attend this event, but if you want to attend, you need to RSVP with your proprietor at tonyo94 AT gmail.

On Saturday, we are joining forces with Janis Gillham Grady, who is having a reunion in honor of the late Bill Franks. Originally, we thought this event might take place in Riverside, but instead it’s in the Los Angeles area. If you wish to attend the reunion, you will need to RSVP with Janis (janisgrady AT gmail), and there will be a small contribution she’s asking for in order to help cover her costs.

HOTEL: Janis tells us she’s worked out a deal with Hampton Inn and Suites, at 7501 North Glenoaks Blvd, Burbank, (818) 768-1106. We have a $159 nightly rate for June 19 to 22.



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] Ginger Sugerman is facing enormous challenges — and here’s how you can help
[TWO years ago] Judge: Testimony about Scientology’s abuses so bad, it should get kicked out of the country
[THREE years ago] Got a war wound? Scientology can help you with that, and more in our social media review
[FOUR years ago] ‘Going Clear’: Jason Beghe, the actor who left Scientology and made a stink about it
[FIVE years ago] What will you do with your Scientology E-meter tchotchkes?
[SIX years ago] Scientology Ordered to Turn Over Confidential Files in Forced-Abortion Lawsuit
[SEVEN years ago] Jonny Jacobsen: A Q&A with Europe’s Premier Scientology Blogger


Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley has not seen his daughter Stephanie in 5,392 days.
Valerie Haney has not seen her mother Lynne in 1,521 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,025 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 1,505 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 568 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 456 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 3,763 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 1,631 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 2,405 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 3,179 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 2,525 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 11,091 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,011 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 3,178 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 2,759 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,019 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 2,059 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 1,771 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,297 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 5,386 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 2,526 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 2,846 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 7,702 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 2,821 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,177 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 5,479 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 1,585 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 1,987 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 1,859 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 1,442 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 1,937 days.
Mary Jane Sterne has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,191 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,300 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on March 20, 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

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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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