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L. Ron Hubbard defines religion for you skeptical non-Xenu believers

Rod Keller has the week off, and we’re grateful to Rasha for coming through in the meantime by sending us the new issues of Impact and International Scientology News. Today, we’ll look at a couple of choice items from the former.

In the movie Going Clear, Lawrence Wright asks a great question: “How do you define a religion? It’s not so easy.” And in the case of Scientology, it’s a little tricky since in the ‘Assists’ lecture of 1968 Hubbard essentially shat all over the world’s religions, saying in particular, “There was no Christ.”

In Scientology, you are a fallen god, a mighty thetan who has been pranked by evil psychiatrists to forget your omnipresent powers. Scientologists worship their own potential selves, not “God,” (although they hold Hubbard in extreme esteem, he is not considered a deity). So, when Hubbard wants to get all churchy, as he does in this 1976 essay, he has to be a little coy about his own previous statements.

Give it a look and let us know what you think about it…



When a culture has fallen totally away from spiritual pursuits into materialism, one must begin by demonstrating they are each a soul, not a material animal. From this realization of their own religious nature, individuals can again come to an awareness of God and become more themselves.

Medicine, psychiatry and psychology “solved” the whole problem of “human nature” simply by dumping it into the classification of material nature — body, brain, force. As they politically insist on monopoly and use social and political propaganda to enforce their monopoly, they debar actual research for real answers to human nature.

Their failures are attested by lack of result in the field of human nature. They cannot change man — they can only degrade. While asserting dominance in the field of human nature they cannot demonstrate results — and nowhere do they demonstrate that lack more than in their own persons. They have the highest suicide rate and prefer the use of force on others. Under their tutelage the crime rate and antisocial forces have risen. But they are most condemned by their attacks on anyone who seeks answers and upon the civilizing influences of religion.

Of course, if one is going to find fault with something, it implies that he wishes to do something about it and would if he could. If one does not like the crime, cruelty, injustice and violence of this society, he can do something about it. He can become a VOLUNTEER MINISTER and help civilize it, bring it conscience and kindness and love and freedom from travail by instilling into it trust, decency, honesty and tolerance.

Briefly, a Volunteer Minister fulfills the definition of religion in this increasingly cynical and hopeless world.

Let’s look again at the definition of religion.

In a few words, religion can be defined as belief in spiritual beings. More broadly, religion can be defined as a system of beliefs and practices by means of which a group of people struggles with the ultimate problems of human life. The quality of being religious implies two things: first, a belief that evil, pain, bewilderment and injustice are fundamental facts of existence; second a set of practices and related sanctified beliefs that express a conviction that man can ultimately be saved from those facts.

Thus, a Volunteer Minister is a person who helps his fellow man on a volunteer basis by restoring purpose, truth and spiritual values to the lives of others.

A Volunteer Minister does not shut his eyes to the pain, evil and injustice of existence. Rather, he is trained to handle these things and help others achieve relief from them and new personal strength as well.

How does a Volunteer Minister accomplish these miracles? Basically, he uses the technology of Scientology to change conditions for the better — for himself, his family, his groups, friends, associates and for mankind.

A society to survive well, needs at least as many Volunteer Ministers as it has policemen. A society gets what it concentrates upon. By concentrating on spiritual values instead of criminality a new day may yet dawn for man.


One other item in this issue caught our eye. It was an ad for the IAS that included an interesting statement about donations…


“ADJUSTED IAS MEMBERSHIP FEES: Take advantage of the adjusted membership fees, which are now set in your local currency and join the greatest humanitarian force on Earth: the IAS.”

Oh joy. Does this also mean that the IAS takes bitcoin?


Report from the capitol

One of our correspondents dropped in yesterday on the Youth for Human Rights Concert in Washington yesterday, and filed this report…

The concert took place on the Mall, just outside of the Smithsonian Metro Station. We could hear the music as we rode the escalator up to the green space. Pop out, turn right and there they were: The Jam Band. I recognized them from various CoS videos, particularly the drummer.



There were a couple of people watching them, but for the most part the crowds strolled on past the stage. Maybe five people in blue YHRI T-shirts were passing out booklets. One duo was a teenager and a very young girl. A lady walked by and physically recoiled when the younger one got in her space to offer her a booklet.


I asked one of the participants if by “youth” it meant that only under 18 years old could join? He said, “Oh no. People of all ages can participate!” I inquired if this was a Washington DC based organization to which he replied, “We are a national group. Even International!” Honestly, he tripped and fumbled his generic answers as if he never expected anyone to ask him anything.

YHRI had a full slate of CoS musicians lined up for the day’s entertainment. My friend and I didn’t stick around for more — one group was plenty.


The Jam Band: Global touring classic rock and human rights advocates. The Jam Band has toured Bangladesh, Brazil, Haiti, Sri Lanka, Israel, Nigeria, and throughout the U.S. The band started in 2006 out of Florida, and supports human rights education!

WD-HAN: WD-Han is an alternative indie rock band based in Tampa Bay, FL. Starting as a high school jam band in need of a name, WD-HAN (“We Don’t Have A Name”) was considered and loved instantly. As the band evolved and the drummer and lead singer were added, their sound became pop rock heavily influenced by a love of classic rock and blues.

Wil Seabrook of Rock for Human Rights (will be performing with WD-HAN): Will Seabrook is a singer and guitarist from Rock for Human Rights — a group of a varied and ever-expanding group of like-minded musicians. They bring human rights awareness to youth using the power of rock music, social networking and visual media from Youth for Human Rights international.

Trinity Skye: At just fourteen years old, Trinity Skye is a singer, songwriter, ukulele player, and human rights advocate out of Clearwater, Forida. She has already performed with high-end live bands, and is a great example of the power of our youth!

Dave Kline: Dave Kline is a fiery electric and acoustic violinist, creating an impact with his fresh take on fiddling. A transplanted Brit, Dave has been performing since 1972, sharing the stage with the likes of Dwight Yoakum, Chick Corea and Veronneau. Dave’s music has been featured on NPR and DC’s local stations WUMC and WPFW. Dave and his band, the aptly named Dave Kline Band are based in Washington DC.

Sophia Angelica: From pop artist to Broadway, to singing, to acting, Sophia Angelica is active in the world of entertainment and human rights. She’s appeared on Fox’s Good Day New York, Nickelodeon, the United Nations and just finished up a Human Rights University tour in Taiwan!

Brennan Childs: Brennan started piano lessons at the age of five and realized early on that she had a great affinity for composing her own songs. Now at 20, she has created over 50 original pieces. Brennan’s adage in music is “one more time with feeling” and she incorporates this statement while composing to always create with emotion and to tell a story the listener can experience.

The word Scientology did not appear on the fliers, booklets or banner.


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. Note: You need to ask for the “family reunion” special rate.



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] Another Scientologist runs for office in Nevada — but her campaign says she’s not a member
[TWO years ago] Scientology invited local business owners to its Clearwater celeb party. Well, except one.
[FOUR years ago] Announcing a new video series — The stories of young Scientologists not told in ‘Going Clear’
[FIVE years ago] Scientology litigation always has surprises: A new wrinkle from Narconon’s attorneys
[SIX years ago] Writers of the Future Live-Blogging! Black Tie Not Required


Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley has not seen his daughter Stephanie in 5,416 days.
Valerie Haney has not seen her mother Lynne in 1,545 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,049 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 1,529 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 592 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 480 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 3,787 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 1,655 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 2,429 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 3,203 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 2,549 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 11,115 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,035 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 3,202 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 2,783 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,044 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 2,083 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 1,795 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,321 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 5,410 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 2,550 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 2,870 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 7,726 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 2,845 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,201 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 5,503 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 1,609 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,011 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 1,883 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 1,466 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 1,961 days.
Mary Jane Sterne has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,215 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,324 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on April 14, 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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