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Paulette Cooper’s ‘Scandal of Scientology’: The book that made Miss Lovely a target

This week we’re looking back at ‘The Scandal of Scientology,’ a book that drove L. Ron Hubbard to distraction. It was written by a New York magazine writer named Paulette Cooper, who was only 28 when it came out on June 1, 1971. Even before its publication, Paulette became an obsession with Hubbard as he tried to destroy her utterly with a series of complex operations that we detailed in our own book, ‘The Unbreakable Miss Lovely,’ referring to the code name Hubbard’s espionage corps the Guardian’s Office gave her. Paulette gave up her rights to the book in a 1976 court settlement with the church, and so an actual paperback copy will cost you dearly, if you can find one. But you can still read the entire book online. She’s still trying to get the word out about Hubbard, and recently wrote several essays for ‘Battlefield Scientology,’ a collection of some of the Bunker’s best stories. Now, here’s a taste of ‘Scandal’…

It may seem by now that Scientology is filled with followers who dare not speak out against it and are being held at the Orgs against their will. While the first may be true, the second is definitely not. Although Scientologists are not permitted to speak against Scientology, most of them don’t want to, because they truly and unquestionably believe in Scientology’s principles and practices, and sincerely want to stay there and be a part of it.


In fact, it is because of this unquestioning dedication that they react so strongly against those who try to turn or speak against them. Most Scientologists are perfectly content to work for the Org, be audited or audit others, “disconnect” or divorce themselves, if necessary, from their “suppressive” spouses or parents, remarry other Scientologists, and bring their own children into the group.

The result is that the Scientologists have formed a little world of their own, a world that seems removed from the real one. From the moment you walk into an Org, it hits you like heat on a hot summer day.

L. Ron Hubbard, or “Ron,” is the unquestionable leader of this world and some of his Orgs are said to have an office for him just in case he should drop by. Although he never does, his presence is felt, seen, and heard nonetheless. In one room, Scientologists may be listening to tapes of him speaking on Scientology, in the next room others may be doing their homework (which often consists of reading one of his books and sometimes writing a synopsis on it), and elsewhere, newcomers may be watching a movie about him. Huge posters of his face hang from the walls, statues of him rise from the floor, and photographs abound, sometimes of Hubbard in a nautical outfit with one of his ships as a background.

The world of Scientology not only has its own leader, but also its own language, look, and behavior. This language is so specialized that Scientologists have had to print a special dictionary to translate all their words, some of which are neologistic combinations of science, science fiction and mumbo-jumbo (enturbulation, engrams, enmest, dub-ins, entheta, rock-slams, Boo-Hoo, etc.), along with so many abbreviations (itsa = it is a; uncon = unconscious), and acronyms (PTS, PABS, LRH, SP, WOG, MEST, PC, HCO-WW, etc.) that most Scientologists sound as if they’re eating a metaphysical alphabet soup.

In addition to their own language, Scientologists have their own look and behavior that enables a trained Scientology spotter to discern one easily. The giveaways are their eyes. Scientologists are trained to stare relentlessly in to the eyes of others and acknowledge everything said to them (Thank you, OK, beautiful) in a way that can sometimes be unnerving.

Sexual behavior in this world is also said to be different, and Hubbard has admitted that some of the Orgs have had sex problems. The London Sunday Times quoted him as saying “I know of four Orgs in all our years that have collapsed or nearly collapsed. And each one was sex crazy.” The Australian Inquiry investigated these sexual attitudes and found that some Scientologists believed it was all right to seduce, say, a fifteen-year-old-girl, because a thetan has had many sexual activities, and furthermore she was really over seventy trillion plus fifteen years old (and obviously past the age of consent).

The Inquiry also reported that Scientologists’ casual attitude toward sex was apparent in the case of one Scientologist who read his wife’s Scientology files in the course of office routing and discovered she was having an affair, either real or fantasied, with another Scientologist. He simply endorsed the files of his wife “lacks morals.”

The Board was also disturbed to find that abortions were “almost a regular coffee break topic” at the Australian Org, and they attributed this to Hubbard’s constant mention of abortions in his writings. The Board also claimed to have found evidence that many of the staff, both married and unmarried had undergone abortions, but since this report was written in 1965 when attitudes toward such matters were less liberal, its importance today is questionable.

In addition to their own language, look and morality, the Scientology world has its own definition of crime and punishment, with certain acts labelled as “misdemeanors” (e.g., refusing an E-meter check), “crimes” (e.g., heckling a Scientology supervisor) and “high crimes” (e.g., yielding a Scientologist to the demands of civil or criminal law).

Scientologists must obey an enormous number of rules, some of which are outlined for them in HCO (Hubbard Communications Office) orders, which are usually posted on the bulletin boards.

On a bulletin board in England, one HCO order read: “To all Staff. Subject: B.O. All staffers are to wear a deodorant.” Another prohibited all Scientologists from seeing the movie 2001: A Space Odyssey because it “produces heavy and unnecessary restimulation” (in other words, it will perhaps remind them of their past lives when many of them believed they lived in outer space).

A third HCO order declared a person “suppressive” for likening the Sea Org to the Hitler regime. A last one concerned someone who was “unshaven and scruffy on public lines.” For this, he was not only fined by the Scientologists and ordered to buy a $50 suit and have his hair fixed, but was also told to take and pay for certain Scientology courses. Sometimes the notices are a bit lighter. One person once posted a notice on the bulletin board to tell the others how great he felt the moment he had paid his Scientology bill!

Punishment for infractions of the Scientology rules depends on the crime, but it sometimes seems well out of proportion. While some of the punishments may perhaps have some educational value, like writing additional words or adding case studies to their thesis or even making them undergo additional auditing, other punishments seem to be merely humiliating. Scientologists may be made to perform menial work, deliver a “paralysing blow to the enemy,” admit their errors, and petition every other Scientologist in the Org for forgiveness.

Other punishments are even worse: a person may be declared “nonexistent,” and may not be allowed to bathe, wear makeup, go to their hairdresser, shave, take lunch hour, leave the premises. A person may be put into a “condition of liability” and be confined to the premises with a dirty grey rag on his left arm. For a greater infraction a person may be put into a “condition of doubt” and confined or barred with a handcuff on one wrist. A person may be declared an “enemy” and restrained or imprisoned, have the label of “Treason” attached to his records, and be turned over to civil authorities with his “full background to be explored for the purposes of prosecution.”


Alex Mitchell, who writes consistently interesting articles on Scientology for the London Sunday Times, found that in the basement of the Scientology Queen Street office, London, the Scientologists actually had a prison — a tiny padlocked room known as the “dungeon” where erring Scientologists were locked up, sometimes for several days, on bread, butter and water. “If a member of the staff made an accounting slip, or infringed on an ethics order,” he wrote, “he is taken to the dungeon to enable him to find out where he is in Scientology.”

One Scientologist told Mitchell that after he was locked up for two days, “I signed an order saying I would observe all regulations of the org, but they weren’t satisfied. I was told to go on a £6 (about $14) an hour course to improve my ethics. I couldn’t take anymore so I quit.”

Punishments administered by Scientologists are not restricted to erring members alone. In Tunbridge Wells, Kent, England, Willa Hickman, owner of the Harewood Hotel, decided not to cater to the Scientologists after they placed him in a “condition of liability” (which meant he would have to wear a dirty rag on his arm) and told him he would have to get his Scientology customers to sign a petition of forgiveness — all because he had run out of apple pie.


There are two types of people that the Scientologists are very anxious to attract: children and celebrities. In England, the Scientologists already have a number of children in the Org, although Hubbard wrote that “serious processing” should not be done before a child was five years old, “extensive Processing” except in very unusual circumstances, should not be done before he was eight, and that no child should be “forced” into the prenatal area until he was twelve.

The youngest Scientology clear right now is said to be eleven, although the Scientologists have reported “processing” an eighteen month baby, and a baby who was just a few days old (by saying to him repeatedly, “Lie in bed. Thank you.”).

Hubbard has an extremely permissive attitude toward child-rearing: “So he tears up his shirt, wrecks his bed, breaks up his fire engine. It’s NONE OF YOUR BUSINESS,” he wrote. He also said in Child Dianetics:

Care for the child? — nonsense! He’s probably got a better grasp of immediate situations than you have. Only when he’s almost psychotic with aberrations will a child be an accident prone.

Hubbard also believes that it’s pretty difficult to make a child grow up to be a pervert, and his description of what can lead to perversions is an example of Hubbard’s amazing imagination and facility for cataloging a variety of unbelievable tortures: “Kicking a baby’s head in, running him over with a steam roller, cutting him in half with a rusty knife, boiling him in lysol, and all the while with crazy people screaming the most horrifying and unprintable things at him.”

Hubbard’s permissiveness, however, does not always extend toward children who don’t want Scientology auditing. “If the child is even faintly unwilling to be audited, you can coax the child into short sessions, and then, as time goes on, lengthen them gradually,” he wrote.

Hubbard, who has seven children, plus seven grandchildren naturally has devised an auditing technique for kids. Children are given such simple processing as “Feel my arm. Thank you. Feel your arm. Thank you.” They are also sent back to relive their birth, and it is apparently as painful an experience for them as it is for some of the adult preclears, since Hubbard wrote:

If the auditor should make a slip, like telling the child that birth won’t hurt him much when he returns to it, the child will be expecting a mild or nothing at all … an auditor hasn’t known frustration until he has run a child halfway through a painful experience only to find that a happy ending has been tacked onto it.


Scientologists feel that their treatment is of great benefit to children, and they have made a number of active attempts to get their methods taught in schools. Below is a quote by Hubbard, ostensibly telling Scientologists how to deal with the press, but in fact telling them how to get Scientology in schools.

Hubbard recommends Scientologists put teachers and students on “meters” (E-meters), and give “daily mental activities” — which is what they do in Scientology. It is interesting to note that Hubbard’s obsession with sex and violence become apparent once again, inasmuch as the hypothetical case he chose concerns a teen-age girl who was raped.

Teen-age girl shows up in H[ubbard] G[uidance] C[enter] who has been beaten and raped by teen-age boys at High School and withholding it since. Audit it out, get parents to OK investigation. Call in press. Release story of vice and crime at local high school with the Org doing the investigation. On subsequent days, criticize laxity of police. Criticize principal. Finally, take more teen-age sex cases. Just day by day deal off a new action to the press. String the story out. Take an action. Hold a press conference. Put students on meters. Put teachers on meters. Get parents to sue. Finally, advise school hire a permanent mental consultant and give daily mental exercises to “teen-age monsters.” Then wrap it up and skip it. You’ve made something evil become something good attained — Scientology in schools.

At the end of this piece he gave the Scientologists another exercise to do: “Do a story design and calendar for Scientology Ministers demand FDA prove sterility pills aren’t sex stimulants.”

One case in which the Scientologists did get into a school caused a scandal in England in 1960. At that time, Miss Sheila Hoad, owner of the East Grinstead Aston House Prep school for boys and girls from three-and-a-half to eleven, became friendly with an American Scientologist named Dr. (perhaps of Scientology) Thompson, who lived in an apartment adjoining the school.

Dr. Thompson gave Miss Hoad a book called Creative Learning: A Scientological Experiment in Schools, which was written by two Scientologists and was once actively promoted in Scientology publications. Miss Hoad proceeded to follow the instructions in the book, and for twenty minutes each day, instead of English grammar lessons, she gave the following exercises to do.

Session 1 consisted of 20 minutes of obeying simple commands like “stand up” and “sit down.” The purpose of this was to have the “pupils follow the order without questions and happily.” Session 4 consisted of the teacher saying “hello” and the kids saying “all right” for ten minutes, and then this process was reversed. In session 5, the teacher asked them to “remember a time that seems real to you,” “remember a time when you were in good communication with someone” and “remember a time when you a felt some strange affinity for someone,” and the teacher then acknowledged it. (“Thank you” “All right”) There was a note that simpler words could be used for that lesson.

Then came the death lessons.

Miss Hoad told 25 of her pupils to “close your eyes. Concentrate. Now imagine you are dying. Imagine you are dead. Now you have turned to dust and ashes. Now imagine you are putting the ashes back inside yourself.” These “death lessons,” as they came to be called, were given behind locked doors with a “Do Not Disturb” sign outside, and the children were told “never think about these lessons after they are over,” which suggested to many that she was warning the children not to tell their parents about it.

But one nine-year-old pupil became so depressed after the lessons that her mother had to take her to a doctor and she whispered the secret to him. Another child, after ointment was rubbed on her chest for a cold said “Mummy, I am going to die. I feel funny inside.” That mother, who had perhaps heard about Hubbard’s attaching an E-meter into plants to see if they could feel pain, said “Let Dr. Thompson inject his cucumbers when he thinks they are in pain. But let him leave my daughter alone.”

The other parents were equally outraged, although Miss Hoad insisted that the lessons were the same as saying “The Lord’s Prayer.” The parents disagreed. Miss Hoad resigned after several parents pulled their children out of the school and even more were absent. The Scientologists dissociated themselves from the treatment saying that those methods were “outdated and dangerous” and that the current practice was to imagine “beautiful things.” Dr. Thompson, who had a child in the school, said he would not remove the child. Rumors to the effect that death lessons were being given in other English schools persisted for a long time after the incident.

In addition to trying to get children to become Scientologists, Scientologists also actively solicit celebrities. Their celebrity chasing goes back to around 1955 when Hubbard invited his followers to write and tell him which celebrity they wanted, promising to allocate one to each person who asked for one. The person, however, was responsible for all the expenses involved in getting the celebrity into Scientology. Anyone who succeeded would receive two weeks of special coaching at the Phoenix Org, although they would have to pay for their own living expenses and transportation.

Some of the people whom Hubbard hoped would become Scientologists, and whom he offered to allocate, were: Walter Winchell, Ed Sullivan, Marlene Dietrich, Ernest Hemingway, Danny Kaye, Joseph Alsop, Stewart Alsop, Sid Caesar, Liberace, Fred Allen, Arthur Godfrey, George Gobel, Fulton J. Sheen, James Stewart, Howard Hughes, Billy Graham, Bob Hope, Pablo Picasso, Walt Disney, Milton Berle, Jackie Gleason, Lowell Thomas, Red Skelton, Henry Luce, Walter Lippman, Groucho Marx, Cecil B. DeMille, Arturo Toscanini, Bing Crosby, Greta Garbo, Charles Addams, Donald O’Connor, Edward R. Murrow.

Hubbard admitted that pursuing these celebrities would be a bit difficult, but he told his followers not to be dismayed and to pursue them relentlessly. “Put yourself at every hand across his or her path,” wrote Hubbard, and do not permit “discouragement or ‘no’s’ or clerks or secretaries to intervene in days or weeks or months to bring your celebrity in for a formal auditing session.”

Project Celebrity still seems to be one of their policies, since the Scientologists recently opened a Celebrity Center in California allegedly for the purpose of attracting Hollywood personalities. Last year it was claimed that the following celebrities were Scientologists: Tennessee Williams, Leonard Cohen, Mama Cass Elliot, Stephen Boyd, Jim Morrison, William Burroughs and possibly the Beatles.

One famous, in fact infamous, person interested in Scientology that they do not boast about, talk about, or probably even want is Charles Manson, the convicted murderer of Sharon Tate and her friends. The New York Times stated that Manson first got interested in Scientology while he was incarcerated in the McNeil Island Penitentiary in Washington (Scientology has programs for prisons).

After his release, The Times reported, he went to Los Angeles where he was said to have met local Scientologists and attended several parties for movie stars, possibly the July 18 dedication of the celebrity center. Scientology literature was also said to be found at the ranch when Manson and his family were captured. But for reasons unknown, it is claimed that Manson may have been made a “suppressive person” by the Scientologists, and there have also been hints that he may have joined the Process, the sex and Satan group which originally broke away from Scientology.

Another bit of publicity that the Scientologists are probably not too pleased with concerns the murder of three people in Los Angeles. Two were Scientologists. According to The New York Post, all three were brutally beaten, ritualistically stabbed, had their right eyes cut out, and were dumped 100 yards from a Scientology commune. One of the girls, Miss Doreen Gaul, nineteen, who came from New York to study Scientology, was naked except for a strand of Indian beads. The boy, James Sharpe was fifteen years old. The third was unidentified. Doreen Gaul’s father allegedly told a New York Post reporter that she had lately become disenchanted with Scientology.

She was not the only one. For the past fourteen years, John McMasters, the first Scientology clear, appears to have been groomed by Hubbard to take his place when he dies. McMasters recently wrote a letter to Hubbard, and sent copies to “suppressives” and Scientology enemies. Although McMasters declared that “I shall never withdraw my allegiance to Ron or Scientology” he announced that he was leaving Hubbard’s ships to spread Scientology in Africa, because of his “horror at what such people on the Sea Org could do to mankind.”

He criticized Hubbard and Scientology for their “savage and vicious ethics” and seemed particularly perturbed over the death of the three Los Angeles teenagers. Their deaths may have partially precipitated McMasters’ decision to dissociate himself from certain aspects of Scientology. “Somehow we are violating our basic ethics for such things to happen to us,” he wrote. “These last two ghastly murders of our students, one of whom is a clear, need never have happened if we hadn’t been mocking up [making] enemies so solidly.”

— Paulette Cooper


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!

[Erika Christensen, Ethan Suplee, and Juliette Lewis]

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] Is Scientology really any different than other ‘churches’? Oh, you bet. Here’s one example.
[TWO years ago] Scientology disconnection: A toxic policy that punishes innocent people every day of the week
[THREE years ago] Lucia Ribisi ditches Scientology and says of famous dad Giovanni: ‘He’s questioned it’
[FOUR years ago] Mike Rowe uses Facebook to rip Scientology over the treatment of his friend Spanky Taylor
[FIVE years ago] Scientology Sunday Funnies: Sydney nears its big day, and Silicon Valley is in high gear!
[SIX years ago] Reporter Sues Scientology’s Drug Rehab Facility, Alleges She Witnessed Sex for Drugs
[SEVEN years ago] Nancy Cartwright and Karen Black Announced For ‘Writers of the Future’ Gala — a Direct Response to the Voice?


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 6, 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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