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Beyond the quarantine: Signs that Scientology is getting involved in anti-vaxx panic

[Scientologists Lucy Cole and Rizza Islam, and anti-vaxx activist Michelle Ford]

When the quarantined cruise ship in St. Lucia turned out to be Scientology’s floating cathedral, we got a lot of people asking the same question: Is the Church of Scientology anti-vaccination?

We answered that the church itself doesn’t speak out against vaccines, but because of founder L. Ron Hubbard’s deep-seated hatred for the American Medical Association and his disrespect for doctors in general, many Scientologists tend to be skeptical of western medicine, seek out alternative therapies, and yes, many of them are anti-vaccination.

But now, we think we might have to adjust our answer when that question comes up in the future, because increasingly it does look like the church itself is engaging in the anti-vaxx panic, and goading it along. Why? We’re not sure.

Many of you noticed a startling story in the New York Times yesterday, reporting from ground zero in the measles resurgence in New York — Rockland County, which has a large ultra-Orthodox Jewish population that is increasingly hostile to vaccination.

The Times described a meeting where a lot of paranoid, unscientific information about vaccines was being served up, and to emphasize just how bizarre the gathering was, the Times pointed out that even Scientology was represented…


Greg Mitchell, a Washington-based lobbyist who represents the Church of Scientology, attended the meeting and addressed the crowd, offering to be their “voice in the public-policy game.”

We’re familiar with Mitchell, a Scientologist who has been paid for years by the church to advance its issues in Washington DC. But what was he doing at a meeting of ultra-Orthodox in Rockland County, and why was he offering his services to help with an anti-vaxx agenda?

Meanwhile, reader Triumph has been sending us reports about another odd relationship developing. A Scientology OT 8 named Lucy Cole has been helping Nation of Islam figures coordinate their anti-vaxx efforts. Whenever NOI figures like Rizza Islam or Tony Muhammad (who are also both Scientologists) show up at anti-vaxx events, you often also see Lucy Cole helping to make the event happen.


[Lucy Cole and her husband Rosser Cole, a longtime Scientologist attorney.]


[Lucy with NOI figure Rizza Islam after helping to organize a Los Angeles anti-vaxx rally at the Church of Scientology community center.]


[Lucy with Rizza Islam and Tony Muhammad at a screening of Vaxxed, an anti-vaxx propaganda film.]



[Lucy with NOI leader Minister Louis Farrakhan in 2016.]


[Lucy with Rizza Islam, Tony Muhammad, and right, Del Bigtree, producer of Vaxxed, at a 2016 NOI event.]

What is going on? We sent a message to Lucy yesterday, asking her what Scientology thinks about the work she’s doing. We’ll let you know if she gets back to us.

In the meantime, we turned to former top Scientology executive Amy Scobee for her thoughts on these new developments.

We told her that we’ve been pointing out to other reporters that although the church doesn’t express an anti-vaxx position, Hubbard’s anti-doctor diatribes have produced Scientologists who are skeptical of western medicine, including vaccines.

She agreed with that, and pointed out that in her 20 years at Int Base, she never saw Sea Org members getting vaccines or being given the time off to get them.

As for what’s been going on lately with Scientology seemingly getting involved in anti-vaxx activities, she admits to being as bewildered as we are.

But she says that Lucy Cole’s activities wouldn’t be happening if it hadn’t been approved by Scientology, and specifically with oversight by the Office of Special Affairs, Scientology’s secret police.

But what’s David Miscavige’s percentage here? We know that Scientology is getting into desperate straits with membership falling and Leah Remini’s show having a big effect. But how does it serve Scientology to be aligning with anti-vaxx communities in the Nation of Islam and among ultra-Orthodox Jews?

What’s Miscavige thinking? Let us know why you think Scientology is acting more nutty than usual.


Meanwhile, at the end of the world…

This is the dog of Alix and Nigel Jordan. He gets his own seat at events held at the Perth Ideal Org. This is not a joke. As several photos posted to Facebook show, the pooch gets his own seat and sat patiently through a 2-hour Scientology event last week.

Said the Scientologist who posted the photos, “Wow! Just found out Alix and Nigel’s Dog is an Humanitarian on the Donation Board for Perth Org!… Amazing Dog!”

Responded Alix: “Now you know why he has his own chair Stan ! And his pic with COB”

His own picture with David Miscavige? The Humanitarian Perth Dog? Please, someone post it!


HowdyCon 2019 in Los Angeles

THURSDAY NIGHT OPPORTUNITY: 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. But we also want to point out that Cathy Schenkelberg’s “Squeeze My Cans” will be running at the Hollywood Fringe, and we encourage HowdyCon attendees to see her show on Thursday night, June 20. Tickets and more dates available here.

Friday night June 21 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 smear campaign against Mike Rinder takes a more disturbing turn than usual
[TWO years ago] As Leah Remini’s next season approaches, Scientology posts more videos saying she’s rude
[THREE years ago] Did L. Ron Hubbard believe his own rap? Here’s what he admitted about Scientology in 1952
[FOUR years ago] Jon Atack: When the militant Scientologist falters, you find a cowering 12-year-old inside
[FIVE years ago] Hiding L. Ron Hubbard’s control of Scientology in the 1980s
[SIX years ago] Babylon Surmising: Dianetics Rights an Ancient Wrong
[SEVEN years ago] Scientology, “Disconnection,” and Homophobia: Derek Bloch’s Story
[ELEVEN years ago] Scientology Reacts to the Voice


Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley has not seen his daughter Stephanie in 5,448 days.
Valerie Haney has not seen her mother Lynne in 1,577 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,081 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 1,601 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 621 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 512 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 3,819 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 1,687 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 2,461 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 3,235 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 2,581 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 11,147 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,067 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 3,234 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 2,815 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,076 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 2,115 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 1,827 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,353 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 5,442 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 2,582 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 2,902 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 7,758 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 2,877 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,233 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 5,535 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 1,641 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,043 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 1,915 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 1,498 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 1,993 days.
Mary Jane Sterne has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,247 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,356 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on May 16, 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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