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Scientology gets away with abuses because it has friends like author Orson Scott Card

Once again, the L. Ron Hubbard Writers and Illustrators of the Future awards ceremony is upon us, and once again it provides a clear example of how Scientology manages to go year after year without a reckoning for its abuses.

We first wrote about the contest and its annual awards gala for the Voice back in 2012, providing for the first time a direct tie between the science fiction event and shocking abuses in the church itself. We demonstrated that one of the Scientology ‘Sea Org’ executives running the contest, Barbara Ruiz, was also, at the same time, running ‘The Hole,’ David Miscavige’s notorious prison for his own executives at Scientology’s secret Gold Base near Hemet, California.

Former inmates in The Hole distinctly remember Ruiz helping to order them around in 2004, also the last year she was seen running the contest. After that she vanished and we’ve never received any information about her whereabouts, and the church never responded to our inquiries about her. No other media seems to care.

In the last few years, former contest participants have on occasion raised a fuss online as it dawns on them that there might have been something a little fishy about unpublished short story writers being flown out to Hollywood for a week of workshops and fittings for tuxedos and then a lavish ceremony with Hollywood-level set design.


This year’s celebrations began a few days ago, and once again we were reminded what a gut-punch this thing is. Take a look at that photo above from Day 1 of the weeklong celebration.


The bespectacled greybeard in the middle mugging for the camera? That’s Ender’s Game author Orson Scott Card, one of the contest’s judges and its biggest “name.” And the lady he’s next to? That’s Emily Goodwin, someone we’ve watched as much as we can here at the Bunker.

Why? Because Emily is the daughter of Phil and Willie Jones, a former Scientologist couple who have spent years and a lot of money trying to defeat Scientology “disconnection” so they can get back in touch with their children, Emily and her brother Mike, both Sea Org workers who have signed Scientology’s billion-year contract. Emily has a real plum assignment, at Author Services, Inc. and Galaxy Press, which publish L. Ron Hubbard’s fiction and put on the contest. So she gets to hobnob with bigshots like Card and go to conventions to hawk Hubbard’s old short stories.

Her parents, meanwhile, were tossed out of Scientology for having some doubts. Phil and Willie don’t care that their children are still in the organization, they just want to see them. But Scientology rips apart families as standard policy, and Phil and Willie never hear from their kids.

They’d give just about anything merely to be standing where Oscar Scott Card is in this photo, and have a chance to see and talk to their daughter.

So, just as last year, the contest week has launched with a reminder of Scientology disconnection. And tonight, at Taglyan Complex, a new, smaller venue this time, the awards gala will take place, and once again we can watch along to see if every writer and illustrator winner remembers the obligatory thank you to L. Ron Hubbard… (The awards show begins at 7:30 pm Pacific, 10:30 pm Eastern)



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!

[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] What do super powers smell like? For around 30 grand, Scientology can help you with that.
[TWO years ago] Bryan Seymour: Scientology’s sniffer-dog problem is bad timing for Narconon in Australia
[THREE years ago] After their daughter died at Scientology training, a friend makes off with the funeral money
[FOUR years ago] Saturday Night Live’s genius spoof of Scientology: Lyrics and images
[FIVE years ago] Jon Atack’s final weekly column for us on Scientology, and it’s a doozy
[SIX years ago] Remembering Diane Colletto, Who Would Have Been 60 Today


Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley has not seen his daughter Stephanie in 5,408 days.
Valerie Haney has not seen her mother Lynne in 1,537 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,041 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 1,521 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 584 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 472 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 3,779 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 1,647 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 2,421 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 3,195 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 2,541 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 11,107 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,027 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 3,194 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 2,775 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,036 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 2,075 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 1,787 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,313 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 5,402 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 2,542 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 2,862 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 7,718 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 2,837 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,193 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 5,495 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 1,601 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,003 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 1,875 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 1,458 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 1,953 days.
Mary Jane Sterne has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,207 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,316 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on April 5, 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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