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Is it time for Scientology to replace its cruise ship? If so, we’ve done the shopping.

[MV Freewinds]

With the opening of additional ‘Ideal Orgs’ in recent years Scientology claims to be experiencing rapid expansion. They have expanded their facilities at Advanced Orgs in Copenhagen and Sydney, and opened a new AO in South Africa. If this expansion in buildings is being met by an expansion in membership they should consider adding to the fleet to provide space for all the new members who want to experience the distraction-free environment offered on their cruise ship, the Freewinds.

In 1984 Scientology purchased the cruise ship known at the time as the Bohème. The ship was launched in 1968 and has been extensively renovated to host conventions, Scientologists on course, and is the only Scientology org that delivers the ultimate OT8 level. At 134 meters it’s small for a cruise ship, but still larger than the 103 meter ship Apollo that L. Ron Hubbard used as flagship from 1967 to 1975. Hubbard commanded a fleet of three vessels including the Diana and the Athena so there is precedent for Scientology to own more than one vessel.



The Diana is not a ship. It was and is a pleasure sailing boat. Athena was a North Sea trawler, and Apollo was a former military transport in the British Royal Navy. Freewinds is the first Scientology vessel that was originally launched as a cruise ship. If they need another it only makes sense to purchase a purpose-built ship. Fortunately there are a number of ships for sale that could be modified to meet Scientology’s unique requirements.


It would have to be bigger than Freewinds. Launched in 1981, this 130 meter ship is for sale for only $18 million. That’s well within Scientology’s ability to pay but it’s too small — about the size of Freewinds. When planning for unlimited expansion Scientology doesn’t think small. When they built the Super Power building in Clearwater they didn’t build at the scale of the Fort Harrison Hotel across the street. They built a structure several times larger and that thinking should guide their selection of the next ship.



For sale at $55 million is the Holiday, a 221 meter cruise ship formerly operated by Carnival Cruise Lines. It can carry over 1,400 passengers, but that number would be reduced somewhat if Scientology course rooms, academies and auditing rooms were installed. It’s larger than Freewinds and would be an impressive addition to the fleet, but is it big enough?


[Rhapsody of the Seas]

One of David Miscavige’s favorite sayings is that Scientology’s expansion is happening at the correct order of magnitude. Mathematically that’s nonsense, but if there is a correct order of magnitude for a cruise ship it would be the Rhapsody of the Seas. At 279 meters it can carry over 2,400 passengers. It has 11 decks, a casino, a theater, a jogging track, pool, spa, fitness center and a shopping mall.


There are larger cruise ships, but this is the largest one we can find for sale. Launched in 1997, Royal Carribean Cruises is selling the Rhapsody for $235 million. If Ideal Orgs are bringing in thousands of new Scientologists each this ship should be needed to meet their needs. If instead Ideal Orgs are mostly empty as many have reported, Freewinds should be enough for the foreseeable future. We’re betting on the latter and predict no expansion of the Scientology fleet.

— Rod Keller


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] Scientology fundraiser: ‘It was commonplace to lie to church members to get donations’
[TWO years ago] Images from spy camera show Clearwater bar owner not only target
[THREE years ago] To Scientology’s Emily Jones: We have a message from your mother
[FOUR years ago] Wise Beard Man visits Scientology’s new Fantasyland in Clearwater
[FIVE years ago] The Dallas Morning News asks a question about Scientology, and we want your response
[SIX years ago] LEAH REMINI BLOWBACK: Kirstie Alley Calls for Scientology Celeb Strategy Session
[SEVEN years ago] Alexander Jentzsch, Son of Scientology’s President, Memorialized At Sea
[EIGHT years ago] Scientology Wants Your Money! Donate Now!


Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley has not seen his daughter Stephanie in 5,507 days.
Valerie Haney has not seen her mother Lynne in 1,636 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,140 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 1,660 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 680 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 571 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 3,878 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 1,746 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 2,520 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 3,294 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 2,640 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 11,206 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,125 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 3,293 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 2,874 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,135 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 2,174 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 1,886 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,412 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 5,501 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 2,641 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 2,961 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 7,817 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 2,936 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,291 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 5,594 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 1,700 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,102 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 1,974 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 1,557 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 2,052 days.
Mary Jane Sterne has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,306 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,415 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on July 14, 2019 at 07:00

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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)

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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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