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COMING MAY 9: Silvertail Books publishes Chris Owen’s ‘Ron the War Hero’

We’re extremely excited to tell you that Chris Owen’s masterful investigation of L. Ron Hubbard’s World War II experience, Ron the War Hero: The True Story of L. Ron Hubbard’s Calamitous Military Career, will be published on May 9 by Silvertail Books. (Full disclosure: Silvertail is also the publisher of our book, The Unbreakable Miss Lovely.)

Chris originally posted a version of this work online in 1999, but for Silvertail publisher Humfrey Hunter, he re-investigated, rewrote, and vastly added to Ron the War Hero so that it’s practically a new work entirely.

And along the way, he discovered what might have been L. Ron Hubbard’s most calamitous experience in the war. Chris is doing us the huge favor of revealing that disastrous episode, previously never before described, in a sneak peek here at the Bunker on the day the book is published on May 9.

“I am delighted to be publishing Ron The War Hero, a book which exposes yet more of the truth behind the lies told both by Hubbard and about him by the Church of Scientology,” Hunter tells us. “Chris has done a remarkable job with this book — his investigative skills make him a force to be reckoned with — and it casts new and vital light on the deceit involved in the creation of this uniquely sinister organisation.”


For more than a year, British historian Chris Owen has been writing deeply researched pieces for us here at the Bunker. His subjects have included the real story behind L. Ron Hubbard’s time as a Los Angeles cop, how Hubbard dumped his own parents, the real story behind Hubbard’s “brainwashing manual,” previously unknown documents showing that Hubbard tried to buy an African nation, a previously undiscovered testament by Scientology’s first Clear, and the origins of the Snow White Program.

If you’ve read those pieces, you know how thorough, fair, and conscientious Chris is as an investigator and writer. And few subjects are ripe for that treatment like L. Ron Hubbard’s mythologizing of himself as a hero of the Second World War.

Silvertail has published books about Scientology by John Sweeney, Russell Miller, Lawrence Wright, Steve Cannane, and Leah Remini.

We’ll post a link to Amazon as soon as pre-orders are possible.


Jonny Jacobsen: Ideal Org is coming to France, surprisingly

Our thanks to Jonny Jacobsen for this quick dispatch today on news in Paris…

It looks as if France is going to get its ideal org after all.

More than one Scientology watcher has noted that France is one of the few western European countries not to have a major Scientology centre. That gap on the map appears to have been filled.

French daily Libération cleared the first five pages of Thursday’s paper for a report on how Scientology has quietly bought a 7,000m²+ building at the gates of Paris.

The five-story octagonal glass building — not far from the Stade de France, the national stadium — is in Saint-Denis, just north of Paris. It cost them 33 million euros.

As well as offices it will house cinemas, a fitness room, a library, training rooms and four saunas — according to architectural plans viewed by journalist Robin D’Angelo. In other words, the standard fixtures and fittings of a major Scientology org.

The local council is not best pleased, D’Angelo reports. Communist mayor Laurent Russier’s letters to Interior Minister Christophe Castaner have gone unanswered and he sees no way of blocking the development.


Stéphane Peu, the local member of the National Assembly, the French parliament, has filed a written question on the matter to the finance and economy ministry on the question last month.

He wants to know what they could do to cancel the sale of the building to an organisation he says has been listed as a cult since 1995 by the government’s interministerial watchdog, Miviludes. (That’s not strictly true, but Scientology is certainly viewed with suspicion by some sections of the French establishment.)

The problem for Peu and other critics of Scientology in France, is that the government has had other priorities since the wave of jihadist attacks here over the last few years.

As Libé reports, Miviludes has not even had a president for the past six months, and grass-roots organisations lined up against the likes of Scientology say their hands are increasingly tied by budget cuts.

It may also be a question of political will at the top.

Libé notes in passing a meeting between Tom Cruise and President Emmanuel Macron last year, when Cruise was in Paris to promote his latest Mission Impossible film (as briefly reported by Paris Match in July, 2018).

Macron at least did better than Nicolas Sarkozy in keeping the photos from leaking to the press (Sarkozy met Cruise when he was economy minister back in 2004 and has never understood what the fuss is about with the movement.)

But the meeting raises legitimate questions about Cruise’s lobbying activities for Scientology.

Back in 2015, I reported here on another major Libération article on the waning official interest in Scientology’s activities in France. This latest dossier is effectively an update and Libé’s editor, Laurent Joffrin even contributes an editorial.

French journalist Emmanuel Fansten, who wrote a book in 2010 on Scientology’s lobbying activities in France, also contributed to this new investigation.

The only possible cloud on the horizon for Scientology here is another trial. The movement is already on notice after its 2013 conviction for organised fraud in France.

But it is not clear when, if ever, any of the current investigations concerning the movement here will reach court — even assuming the cases are still active.

— Johnny Jacobsen


[Location of the new org.]


Bonus items from our tipsters

A new Scientology circular includes this tidbit from Sheila Atkinson-Baker, who, with her husband, are among Scientology’s biggest donors. But people ask us, what do these richies get out of giving Scientology their millions? Well, let’s let Sheila explain it herself…


There are so many things I’ve learned through studying the ACCs, which I really enjoyed. I’ve renewed an ability to look at things from the viewpoint of others, and by doing that I’ve been able to greatly increase my ARC.

I’ve also gained insight into the importance of certainty and its relationship to knowingness. Thanks to my studies, I can now more freely decide to know or unknow things. It’s pretty simple — I can decide and adopt the viewpoint.

I greatly appreciate the OT data and hatting LRH provides on certainty, responsibility and how to get rid of automatic behavior. I’ve also learned a lot more about granting beingness to people and things. I’m more in comm with my environment, and I am much more perceptive.

Now, I know when others are duplicating me and whether they intend to do what they say — or not. Because of my heightened communcation level and the data I’ve learned, I am more productive and more understanding.

By absorbing the concepts Ron covers in the ACCs, I’ve become a better person and a better auditor.


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!

[Jenna Elfman, Giovanni Ribisi, and Greta Van Susteren]

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 greatest lecture of all: It’s finally time we look closer at Xenu in all his glory
[TWO years ago] How a recanted John Travolta gay sex allegation led to a bizarre Michael Jackson scoop
[THREE years ago] Ron Miscavige’s book ‘Ruthless’ gets a UK publisher and it’s a familiar one
[FOUR years ago] Another wacky Scientology testimonial video — and an Underground Bunker announcement!
[FIVE years ago] Is Google aiding a Scientology front group that claims the Holocaust was caused by psychiatry?


Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley has not seen his daughter Stephanie in 5,421 days.
Valerie Haney has not seen her mother Lynne in 1,550 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,054 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 1,534 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 597 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 485 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 3,792 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 1,660 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 2,434 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 3,208 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 2,554 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 11,120 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,040 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 3,207 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 2,788 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,049 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 2,088 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 1,800 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,326 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 5,415 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 2,555 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 2,875 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 7,731 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 2,850 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,206 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 5,508 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 1,614 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,016 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 1,888 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 1,471 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 1,966 days.
Mary Jane Sterne has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,220 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,329 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on April 19, 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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