Daily Notifications
Sign up for free emails to receive the feature story every morning in your inbox at


Miss New York organization changes course, ditches Scientology front group

[Meghan Fialkoff, right, with a then-current and former Miss New York]

We have some stunning news for you. Yesterday, we received an email that really took us by surprise. Former Miss Kansas Sloane Lewis, who co-chairs the Miss New York organization, sent us an email to inform us that Miss New York would no longer be associating with the Fialkoffs and their Scientology front group, Foundation for a Drug-Free World.

Um, wow!

You might remember the backstory. For years, we’ve pointed out that Queens dentist Ben Fialkoff and his daughter, Meghan — both Scientology Freedom Medal winners — have used Miss New Yorks as part of their ongoing scheme to get access to New York City schoolchildren and disseminate Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard’s quack theories about drug abuse.

The Fialkoffs have not only been fooling Miss New Yorks for years, but they get even more help from the New York Police Department and numerous local politicians, who gladly accept feel-good awards from Drug-Free World for giving the Fialkoffs access to schoolkids.

One of those politicians who probably regrets helping out the Fialkoffs is New York US Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, a candidate for president, who got some heat recently because she had sent a letter praising Drug-Free World a few years ago.


Anyway, back in March a health journalist took the initiative and asked the Miss New York organization why it was going along with a Scientology front group, and she got an interesting response from Sloane Lewis, who said she would look into the matter. But then in April, Lewis gave out a pretty standard response indicating that nothing was going to change: “Foundation for a Drug Free World has been an appearance on Miss New York’s calendar for almost ten years now, and there is no reason to believe that any Miss New York has been aware of the connection to Scientology. The Miss New York Organization is not affiliated with the Church of Scientology in any way.”


[Sloane Lewis]

We assumed that was the end of it and that Miss New Yorks would continue to be part of Drug-Free World’s infiltration schemes.

But apparently, that’s not the case. Lewis has had a change of heart, as indicated in this message she sent us yesterday…

Hi Tony,

I wanted to make you aware that Miss New York will no longer be attending events with the Foundation for a Drug Free World. Over the last decade, FDFW has inappropriately used footage of Miss New York titleholders without our knowledge to make it appear that the organization endorses their beliefs. We have made Meghan Fialkoff aware of our decision, which we believe is in the best interest of our organization.

Thank you!

Sloane Lewis

Wow. So you know what this means, right? We can now say…

The Miss New York organization has shown more integrity and resolve than the New York Police Department.

Now that we did not see coming.


The Cult Awareness Podcast, episode 2!

TV actor Jerry Minor leads us again in discussion of Scientology, Jehovah’s Witnesses, and other subjects along with his co-hosts Jim Underdown and your proprietor in the second episode of the Cult Awareness Podcast!

You’ll notice that with this second episode, we’re slipping into a regular format of about 40 minutes in length. Have a listen and then let us know what you think. We would also love to get your questions about the subjects we cover.



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] Is this case of Scientology draining a senior of his savings the one police are looking for?
[TWO years ago] Our man in Ireland ponders Scientology’s big plans for the Emerald Isle
[THREE years ago] Joey Chait’s sentencing memo: Abused in Scientology’s Sea Org and in fear of wealthy dad
[FOUR years ago] Do Scientologists consider L. Ron Hubbard God? Part Two of the Aaron Smith-Levin podcast
[FIVE years ago] Ryan Hamilton files his 18th lawsuit against Scientology’s embattled drug rehab network
[SIX years ago] LEAH REMINI’S SISTER NICOLE: How We Got Into Scientology, And How Leah Got Out
[SEVEN years ago] Scientology and Forced Abortion: Laura DeCrescenzo’s Three-Year Legal Odyssey
[EIGHT years ago] Janet Reitman: Unflappable as Scientologists Question Her Motives


Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley has not seen his daughter Stephanie in 5,511 days.
Valerie Haney has not seen her mother Lynne in 1,640 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,144 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 1,664 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 684 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 575 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 3,882 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 1,750 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 2,524 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 3,298 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 2,644 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 11,210 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,129 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 3,297 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 2,878 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,139 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 2,178 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 1,890 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,416 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 5,505 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 2,645 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 2,965 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 7,821 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 2,940 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,295 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 5,598 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 1,704 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,106 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 1,978 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 1,561 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 2,056 days.
Mary Jane Sterne has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,310 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,419 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on July 18, 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


Share Button
Print Friendly, PDF & Email