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While Scientology shrinks, its ‘Ideal Orgs’ pretend they are booming

[“How Big Was Old Saint Hill?” asked this 1960s Scientology booklet.]

How big was Old Saint Hill? Scientology published at least two versions of this booklet with photos and statistics of the East Grinstead, England org while L. Ron Hubbard was living there from 1965-1967, with a brief trip to Rhodesia in the middle. Hubbard fled England for life on the sea in 1967, but Scientologists hold up Old Saint Hill as the standard for a booming org. Creating an Ideal Org today is great as a first step, but making it Saint Hill Size is a higher standard. It’s a requirement for the Universe Corps to arrive and process staff members on the OT levels.

Scientology doesn’t publish a list of Saint Hill Size orgs. In 1988 they announced that Orange County and Advanced Org Los Angeles made the cut. In 2004 Johannesburg org was announced as Saint Hill Size, but it promptly collapsed as the Sea Org leadership declared dozens of staff and publics to be SPs. Today we think there are only two — Los Angeles org and Tampa. One org recently announced they will be Saint Hill Size by the end of the year — Melbourne.



Mike Rinder recalls Saint Hill Size as being “200 staff, 200 full time students in the Academy, $100,000 income per week and $100,000 VSD (Value of Services Delivered)” with the dollar amounts being adjusted for inflation periodically. Melbourne says they are close and perhaps that’s true, but it’s a story they have been pushing for quite a while.


[2013 recruiting poster]

It’s a game they can play because Hubbard never defined what Saint Hill Size actually is.


He said it was 5.4 times expansion, but from what point? He described 5.4X as the “make-break point” for an org. Hubbard was never very good at math, despite all the calculation of org and personal statistics. When Hubbard is inexact, Scientology can make its own standards and still be true to policy.


In addition to Melbourne there are Ideal Orgs around the world gunning for Saint Hill Size: London, Miami, Mexico City, Bogota, Kaohsiung, and now Perth. How embarrassing for Melbourne and Sydney if upstart Perth goes Saint Hill Size first. It’s unlikely they will, given the shifting nature of that prize. In addition to the old list, today an org needs to have more than half of its staff at Clear or above, and have two associated Scientology missions to qualify for Saint Hill Size.


In the unlikely event an org does qualify, there is always a new target in Scientology. Tampa has been promoting going “Double Saint Hill Size” since 2015. Does that mean 400 staff? 10.8X expansion? Nobody knows and it may never happen. What is certain is that there will always be a target on the horizon for Scientology orgs. If your city opens an Ideal Org then you are expected to go Saint Hill Size, then double that. It’s one of the defining aspects of Scientology. It always hungers for more.

— Rod Keller


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!

[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] The trauma of leaving Scientology: ‘Who wants to believe they’ve thrown away their best years?’
[TWO years ago] Marty Rathbun’s project becomes clear: Someone’s worried about Scientology & the IRS
[THREE years ago] Our money maverick dives into Scientology’s latest financial house of horrors
[FOUR years ago] O Canada! All eyes in the Scientology-watching world will be looking north next week
[FIVE years ago] LEAKED: The slick campaign Scientology had planned for UK expansion!
[SIX years ago] Scientology Sunday Funnies: When David Miscavige Made RTC Look Like The Matrix


Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley has not seen his daughter Stephanie in 5,479 days.
Valerie Haney has not seen her mother Lynne in 1,608 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,112 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 1,632 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 652 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 543 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 3,850 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 1,718 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 2,492 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 3,266 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 2,612 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 11,178 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,098 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 3,265 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 2,846 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,107 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 2,146 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 1,858 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,384 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 5,473 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 2,613 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 2,933 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 7,789 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 2,908 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,263 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 5,566 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 1,672 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,074 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 1,946 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 1,529 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 2,024 days.
Mary Jane Sterne has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,278 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,387 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on June 16, 2019 at 06:30

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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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