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The Mike Rinder bobblehead: Turning the tables on Scientology’s smeary harassment

In November, we pointed out that Scientology had responded to the start of Leah Remini’s third season of Scientology and the Aftermath with a typically smeary video taking swipes at Leah, her costar Mike Rinder, and guests on the show.

But what really caught our eye was that they had gone to the trouble to create a bobblehead toy of Rinder to make the point that he tends to agree with what Leah is saying on the show. (Imagine that.) Here’s the still from the video we posted, showing their unique little item…



Our quote: “They have a MIKE RINDER BOBBLEHEAD? How do we get one!”

Well, the folks at the Aftermath Foundation heard our plea. Last night, Foundation board member Marc Headley texted us the image you see at the top of the page and let us know that Mike Rinder bobbleheads are available for purchase with proceeds benefiting the Foundation, which helps Scientologists leave the organization and land on their feet.

Is there a more brilliant way to turn around Scientology’s smeary harassment than with humor and to benefit a good cause?

We’ve reached out to Rinder to see how he feels about being immortalized in this way. Here’s what he sent us…

We thought it was a fun idea to raise money for the Aftermath Foundation. What drives Miscavige nuts is not taking him seriously. I know he thought the bobblehead of me they put in that video was a stroke of genius. The sycophants around him no doubt told him how brilliant it was. Sweet irony to know it inspired this fundraiser and now every one sold is putting money towards helping people escape from Scientology. Marc and I thought of sending him a card to thank him as each is mailed out, but decided not to waste the money…

We plan to develop more products — all themed around having some fun at the expense of the cult. Depending on the success of this first bobblehead, we may even do more of them. It would be great if they would show us some other bobbleheads in their videos. But we have some other ideas percolating too.

There is no better response to Scientology’s efforts to smear, harass or intimidate than laughing in their faces. And supporting The Aftermath Foundation at the same time is a double whammy.

We are hoping the SP Shop is going to be a big success. We are of course using Hubbard’s standard administrative tech (and intend to sign the shop up for a full WISE membership) so you can expect us to be rocketing up the conditions of existence into Affluence and Power in short order.

We also asked Mike if he had any news about the TV series.

We hope to be able to announce the next step in the very near future. Leah and I want to make sure that it is as certain as it can be before any public statements are made given the earlier history of missteps and misstatements. Be sure, we will let everyone know the minute it is final. Be just as sure that our efforts to bring an end to the abuses of Scientology are far from over.

Thanks for those updates, Mike.

As much as we’re looking forward to obtaining our own copy of the bobblehead for the Bunker, there’s another item we covet even more. At one point, in one of many ways Scientology leader David Miscavige came up with to humiliate his top lieutenants, he had puppets made of some of them, including Rinder.

Mike tells us that Miscavige would use the puppets to mock his underlings at Gold Base, and as far as he knows, the puppets are still there.

Will the last Sea Org member leaving that place not only turn out the lights, but bring us the Mike Rinder and Heber Jentzsch dummies? They’re sure to be collector items.



Your proprietor on the airwaves Down Under

The Morning Show on the Seven Network in Australia had us on last night (which was their Wednesday morning) to talk about our Isabella Cruise story. If you’re wondering about the cityscape in the background, we just happened to be in Philadelphia visiting friends, and popped into a studio there for this quick segment. Isn’t technology grand?


This has been a big couple of weeks for Tom Cruise-related stories here at the Bunker. On March 15 we revealed evidence that Tom Cruise and John Travolta had been in the front row at the L. Ron Hubbard Birthday Event in Clearwater, Florida, a rare double-appearance of the celebrities that the church itself is keeping quiet about. Then we revealed that Tom’s daughter, Isabella, is being used in a promotional email sent out by the London Scientology Org with her success story about completing an internship in auditor training. And yesterday, we picked up a story by Australia’s Woman’s Day that Tom’s son, Connor, is engaged to a Scientologist named Silvia Zanchi, and we showed that she’s a staff member at the Belleair mission.

We’ve noticed some reactions at Facebook asking why we would cover these stories, which surprised us. The Bunker has always paid attention to Scientology’s celebrities, because the deep dedication of Tom Cruise and his two older children is literally one of the things that keeps Scientology in business. Time and again, tabloids quote anonymous sources saying that Cruise or Bella or Connor is “rebelling” or leaving the church, and time and again we find evidence that it’s not true. And as long as David Miscavige has the Cruise family making shows of support for him, he’s going to use it to shore up support from his big donors.

This stuff really does matter, and we’re going to keep at it.


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] Scientology’s secret vaults get their star turn on the new TV network, and it’s nutty!
[TWO years ago] Reza Aslan’s ‘Believer’ episode about indie Scientology lived down to all expectations
[THREE years ago] Scientology’s European mouthpiece speaks at DC event honoring Marco Rubio
[FOUR years ago] ‘Going Clear’: Spanky Taylor on John Travolta, Priscilla Presley, and escaping Scientology
[FIVE years ago] Belgium will try two Scientology organizations and 10 Scientologists for fraud
[SIX years ago] LEAKED AUDIO: David Miscavige Declares Scientology’s Golden Age at LRH Birthday Event
[SEVEN years ago] Scientology’s Concentration Camp: Where Can Miscavige Put “The Hole” Now?


Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley has not seen his daughter Stephanie in 5,399 days.
Valerie Haney has not seen her mother Lynne in 1,528 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,032 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 1,512 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 575 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 463 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 3,770 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 1,638 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 2,412 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 3,186 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 2,532 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 11,098 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,018 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 3,185 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 2,766 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,026 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 2,066 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 1,778 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,304 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 5,393 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 2,533 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 2,853 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 7,709 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 2,828 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,184 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 5,486 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 1,592 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 1,994 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 1,866 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 1,449 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 1,944 days.
Mary Jane Sterne has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,198 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,307 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on March 27, 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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