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We were stunned this morning to receive a copy of an email sent out to Scientologists on March 19 that contained a bizarre “success story” from a parishioner encouraging other Scientologists to do an “internship” to become an auditor at the London org. We did a real double-take when we realized that the Scientologist in the photo was none other than Tom Cruise’s daughter, Isabella.

We’ve been writing about Bella for years, so we recognized her instantly, even though she looks a bit different than the last time she was featured in the tabloids. Her hair is darker, but it’s definitely her, with some tell-tale tattoos on her arms that we remember.

And what a success story! This is one of the longer and more meandering success stories that we’ve seen, but it’s typically spacey as Bella talks about the difficult moments she had getting through auditor training so she’ll be able to quiz other Scientologists using an E-meter.

“I became that annoying girl in the org who would just talk endlessly about how incredible training is and how phenomenal the internship is,” she says at one point. But as challenging as the experience was, she urges her fellow Scientologists to go through the experience as well: “We all need to do this. It’s hard work…but it is worth everything because you will get through.”



[Tom Cruise with his adopted kids, Isabella and Connor]

And then the best part, she thanks her famous actor father and Tom’s sister, Cass Mapother: “Thank you to my Dad for everything. To Cass. To Tash. I would have drowned in my own problems if you hadn’t been there to sup me or get me through the preliminaries.” We don’t know who “Tash” is, and if you do please let us know.

For years, the tabloids have spilled oceans of ink claiming that Tom Cruise or his daughter had left or were thinking of leaving Scientology. When Isabella married Max Parker in London in September 2015, reporters asked us if Max’s lack of history with the church was a sign that Bella was defecting. Not at all, we said, and pointed out that Max’s best man was from one of the most prominent Scientology families in the UK. And now, Bella herself is extolling the virtues of training to become a Scientology auditor.

Just nine days ago, meanwhile, we found evidence that Tom Cruise attended the latest major Scientology event, the L. Ron Hubbard Birthday Event in Clearwater, Florida, a celebration of the holiest day on the Scientology calendar. And between the two of those two things, there really should be no doubt that the Cruise family is still fully on board.

Here’s the image from the email and then the text of Bella’s message…



Wow. What an accomplishment.

I’ve written this success many, many times over in my head. I want to get it just right. But now that it’s time and I’ve forgotten many of my mentally penned notes, here comes the real one.

This journey started with my training, and even that was a bullbait. I knew I needed it but every fibre of my being fought me on it. Said I was the PC, that if I did it I’d get nothing from it and many more delightful little criticisms. I was overwhelmed before I started.

Finally I got through that and what a ride. It was incredible but I was BIs at the end. I had gotten SO much out of it but there was something missing and it really was messing with me. Hard. I couldn’t figure out what it was.


The next thing was internship and lord knows I was not into it. I tried to get into it but it was even worse than the training. I had so many reasons and excuses as to why I didn’t need to do it and how it just wasn’t right for me.

It turned out it was exactly what I needed. I dragged out the testing and correction, just made it through the drilling and then finally began my auditing adventure, and wow, I wasn’t prepared. This IS what I had been searching for. The missing piece. Suddenly everything began to make sense. My metering… Wow. It became clear I actually knew my metering. Even to the point of having any slight doubt on a read. I know it wasn’t a read. Beautiful thing about drilling, of course. The tech that I felt was wavering and on the verge of disappearing from my mind became part of me. I know it. Like really know it to the point that it’s just there man. I never thought I could know something like that.

I became that annoying girl in the org who would just talk endlessly about how incredible training is and how phenomenal the internship is. I’m sure a few people couldn’t deal just like I couldn’t. But I won’t stop with that because now I KNOW.

We all need to do this. It’s hard work. It’s a lot of effort. It’s a few melt downs and running to the bathroom to have a mini episode, but it is worth everything because you will get through. This is a gift to yourself and so many others. It doesn’t matter if you aren’t going to be an auditor or aren’t going to join staff. If you are going to make it as a being for the long run you NEED this. That’s the truth. You won’t stay Clear or OT without it. So stop messing around and get going.

The internship, for me, is what made me a Scientologist. I don’t just believe the tech works now. I know without any doubt that it does.

Thank you to my Dad for everything. To Cass. To Tash. I would have drowned in my own problems if you hadn’t been there to sup me or get me through the preliminaries. And every other single person from the C/S to the Qualifications Sec, who has taken even just a minute of time to help me get through. It took a whole family and org to get me here. So thank you to all for the endless support. And to those who saw me in my moments. Thank you for seeing me to the end. This isn’t just my product but yours as well.

Thank you to COB. This wouldn’t be here without you. I can’t even begin to describe. It would take me a few centuries.

Thank you to LRH, on so many levels. I’d need another few centuries to even find the words.

— Bella

At the end, she thanks “COB” — chairman of the board, Scientology leader David Miscavige — and “LRH,” for Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard. No success story would be complete without those two nods.

Former Scientology Sea Org member and technical expert Sunny Pereira says the success story is vague about which particular program Bella has completed: “It doesn’t say anywhere which internship she’s talking about. But based on what she’s describing it’s probably a Class IV Internship, which means she can now audit someone from Objectives through Grade IV on the Bridge to Total Freedom.”

The email was sent out by Scientology London staff member Kate Wakley, who is married to another notable figure at the London org whom we’ve seen in various promotions, Charlie Wakley.

Scientology London itself posted this photo of Kate Wakley last year:


With this caption: “Meet a Scientologist! The wonderful Kate Wakley! She’s one of our full time volunteer staff at Scientology London and works miracles with helping people every single day!”

At the end of Wakley’s email, Scientologists are encouraged to click a link that will take them to find more information about getting trained as an auditor.

Veteran Scientologists will tell you that training Scientologists to become auditors was the main thrust of the organization in previous decades, but then it seemed to suffer under church leader David Miscavige’s intense focus on fundraising for new “Ideal Org” churches around the world. Promotions were more about raising money for those buildings, and for low-level processing on courses like “Student Hat” and the “Survival Rundown.” We still do see advertising for the expensive and lengthy commitment it takes to become an auditor, but we can’t remember a celebrity being used to promote it as in this email. So that seems a bit unusual. And we’ve never seen Isabella or her brother Connor used in any official Scientology promo or publication of any kind before this.

Isabella was adopted by Tom Cruise and his then wife actress Nicole Kidman in 1992. When Cruise and Kidman split in 2000, they agreed to 50-50 custody of Isabella and her brother, Connor, but the children lived with Tom in California at the time while Kidman went home to Australia. So Tom got to raise the kids in Scientology, and it was very obvious to us that they were dedicated members as they became young adults.

Bella lives in England, where she has pursued a career in fashion, coming out with a line of clothing last year, BKC, after Bella Kidman Cruise, which was a nice tribute to both of her parents.


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!

[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] Leah Remini talks ‘Aftermath,’ developing a new show, and more with Chris Shelton
[TWO years ago] DREAM LAWSUIT: ‘God of Pop’ Kuba Ka vs the Church of Scientology. THANK XENU, IT’S ON!
[THREE years ago] Chris Shelton: How Scientologists can use critical thinking to break free
[FOUR years ago] ‘Going Clear’: Paul Haggis pens a description of the Scientology experience you won’t forget
[FIVE years ago] Jillian Schlesinger says Scientology now ‘sneakier’ about forcing abortions
[SIX years ago] It’s Ron’s Birthday, And Your Present is More Scientology Stuff to Spend Money On!
[SEVEN years ago] Scientology 451: Commenters of the Week!


Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley has not seen his daughter Stephanie in 5,396 days.
Valerie Haney has not seen her mother Lynne in 1,525 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,029 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 1,509 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 572 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 460 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 3,767 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 1,635 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 2,409 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 3,183 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 2,529 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 11,095 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,015 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 3,182 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 2,763 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,023 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 2,063 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 1,775 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,301 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 5,390 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 2,530 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 2,850 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 7,706 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 2,825 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,181 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 5,483 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 1,589 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 1,991 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 1,863 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 1,446 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 1,941 days.
Mary Jane Sterne has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,195 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,304 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on March 24, 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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