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Scientology’s efforts to suck up to power is appearing to pay off

[Big time Scientology donor Tom Cummins gets a thumb’s up.]

It was a good week for Scientology’s efforts to connect with powerful people.

Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard called them Opinion Leaders (OLs) and directed his followers to develop them as allies. He wrote that these allies would come to Scientology’s aid when governments come to tax, regulate or prosecute the church. We previously reported that Greg Mitchell, a lobbyist for Scientology, met with U.S. Vice President Mike Pence. We now have the White House photo of that meeting. Mitchell is seen just over Pence’s left shoulder.



In addition to Pence and Mitchell, the meeting included Omer Kanat from the Uyghur Human Rights Project, Jeff Chen from Falun Gong, Dr. Yang Jianli from Citizen Power Initiatives for China, Southern Baptist official Russell Moore, Randel Everett from the 21st Century Wilberforce Initiative, Bob Fu from China Aid, David Curry of Open Doors USA, and the U.S. Ambassador-at-large for International Religious Freedom Sam Brownback.

The topic was religious freedom in China and one report says that Mitchell “suggested that the U.S. government openly request that specific prisoners of conscience in China be released.” His main interest is not China, but developing a relationship with two OLs, Pence and Brownback, that Scientology can use in the future.


This week Scientology is celebrating a decision at the United Nations. Front group Fundación para la Mejora de la Vida, la Cultura y la Sociedad received Special Consultative Status from the United Nations. It’s led by Ivan Arjona Pelado (speaking in the above photo), a senior member of the Office of Special Affairs, or OSA. He and Eric Roux are main actors to attract allies to Scientology in Europe.

We previously reported on a religious freedom summit involving Pelado, Roux, Mitchell, and Ambassador Brownback. That effort appears to have borne fruit as this status will improve Scientology’s ability to address the UN through reports and presentations. They will also be allowed to organize conferences within the United Nations and attract allies from around the world.


Two Scientology “whales” met perhaps the most influential OL in the world this week. Jim Bridgeforth and Tom Cummins had photo ops with President Donald Trump. We don’t know the occasion but the President is correct — Tom Cummins is very large. Bridgeforth and Cummins are executives with American Power & Gas, a Clearwater-based energy reseller. They are among the top donors to the International Association of Scientologists.

— Rod Keller


LAPD investigating itself?

Kat LaRue, the ‘Aftermath’ fan who was behind the new billboard in Clearwater, revealed on Facebook that she has also heard from the Los Angeles Police Department after asking it to investigate itself for its ties to the Church of Scientology.

She submitted photos that we’ve all seen before, of the LAPD appearing at Scientology Celebrity Centre events, and Captain Cory Palka’s antics in support of the church.

And now she’s received notice that the LAPD has opened an investigation, even though she’s not an LA resident or even a California resident. Wow!

Considering the way the LAPD blew off Leah Remini’s request for information a few years ago, this seems a pretty surprising change in attitude. We hope it results in something beyond merely an interview.



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] Church of Fear: When John Sweeney sat down with Anne Archer and Leah Remini
[TWO years ago] Leah Remini calls for federal action: Here’s the frustrating reason the IRS may not answer
[THREE years ago] Never-before-seen photo of Diana Hubbard, daughter of Scientology’s founder
[FOUR years ago] Scientology’s front group that targets kids gets cover from a Swiss politician: News report
[FIVE years ago] Mike Rinder on Scientology’s pathetic PR, and the Freewinds welcomes a famous clown
[SIX years ago] Stop Picking on Scientology! Double-Fisted Wisdom from 1977
[SEVEN years ago] Scientology Drug Program Narconon’s Licensing “Extremely Vulnerable” After Oklahoma Deaths, Says Insider
[EIGHT years ago] The Top 25 People Crippling Scientology, No. 23: Ken Dandar


Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley has not seen his daughter Stephanie in 5,535 days.
Valerie Haney has not seen her mother Lynne in 1,664 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,168 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 1,688 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 708 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 599 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 3,906 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 1,774 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 2,548 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 3,322 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 2,668 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 11,234 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,153 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 3,321 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 2,902 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,163 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 2,202 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 1,914 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,440 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 5,529 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 2,669 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 2,989 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 7,845 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 2,964 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,319 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 5,622 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 1,728 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,130 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 2,002 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 1,585 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 2,080 days.
Mary Jane Sterne has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,334 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,443 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on August 11, 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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