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Just what Panama City needed, a new Scientology ‘Ideal Mission’!

Scientology’s Ideal Org drought continues as they have opened none so far this year. It’s been speculated that leader David Miscavige has postponed openings to avoid being served legal papers in Scientology’s court cases. Miscavige has never attended the opening ceremonies of ‘Ideal Missions,’ and this week saw the opening of one in Panama city.

[The Panama ideal mission sits in the shadow of some of Panama City’s tallest buildings]

It’s on Calle 50 in the heart of Panama City across the street from the 57-story Tower Financial Center. At nearly half a million in population, Panama City is the second largest city in Central America and has a large modern downtown area. The country holds a special status as Scientology’s ship, the Freewinds, is registered in Panama.



[Lake Oswego, Oregon was the first ideal mission to open and the first to close its doors in 2015]

Ideal Orgs go back to the 2003 opening of the Johannesburg Ideal Org, but Ideal Missions are more recent. 2015 saw the grand openings of the Lake Oswego, Oregon Ideal Mission and the Belleair Ideal Mission near Clearwater. Lake Oswego lasted less than a year before closing, but Belleair was joined by Los Feliz in Los Angeles in 2013, Valencia, Spain in 2015, South Coast, California in 2016, Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Taichung, Taiwan and Senigallia, Italy in 2017, Košice, Slovakia and Como, Italy in 2018, Houston, Texas and now Panama in 2019. The Ocala, Florida mission was declared “Ideal” years after its 2011 opening featuring patron John Travolta.


[John Travolta, Kelly Preston, Ocala Mayor Randy Ewers and Lorri Ewers open Ocala’s Ideal Mission in 2011]

Ideal Missions are smaller than Ideal Orgs, but still quite large. Scientology has over 300 missions and most have a few rooms and perhaps 2,000 square feet of floor space. We think Ideal Missions have to have about 20,000 square feet, far short of the 50,000 needed for Ideal Orgs.


We can’t identify all the participants in the opening ceremony yet, but we can say that the mission is a creation of the Bogota, Colombia Ideal Org. Giselle Lima (in blue, far right) and Stefany Moreno (in white, left) were on staff at Bogota. They might return to Colombia or perhaps are now Panama Mission staff.


[May 2019 aboard the Freewinds]

Rabbi Richard Gamboa Ben-Eleazar spoke at the ceremony. He is a Scientologist from Bogota and has spoken at the Scientology orgs in Berlin, Madrid, Mexico City and others. He promotes Dianetics, the Foundation for a Drug Free World and other Scientology causes.



The event featured traditional dancers and local dignitaries, as yet unidentified. Costa Rica remains the most likely to open the first Ideal Org in Central America.



[Nerida James]

Orgs can be ideal, missions can be ideal and Scientology has been designating Narconon drug rehab facilities as ideal. One is in the works for Australia, probably in the Sydney area, as we reported in June. This week the Melbourne org held a briefing on the planned facility. Nerida James is a naturopath in the Melbourne area. Her practice promotes herbs, massage, ear candling and nutrition as a replacement for traditional medicine. In 2015 she was sanctioned by Consumer Affairs Victoria for misleading or deceptive conduct related to Narconon, also known as Get Off Drugs Naturally in Australia.

— Rod Keller



Patron’s pumpkins

More images from the IAS weekend in England have been coming in, including pics from last night’s Patron’s Ball. We’re looking for evidence that a certain diminutive actor and his son might have been in attendance. If you find something, please let us know.



Bonus items from our tipsters

Meanwhile, in Canada…



Source Code

“I was asked to study the physical universe. I was being asked to study nuclear physics, atomic, and molecular phenomena, all sorts of odds and ends and incomprehensibles, and they had not basically resolved the most fundamental things they had to resolve, which are: space, energy and time — what are these things? They’re psychological phenomena. That’s all they are. And the whole science of physics, then, is entirely dependent upon the mind. You want to know why, then, did a nuclear physicist ever go into the field of the mind? Why did we ever get Dianetics and Scientology? Why did I become interested in it? Well, I became definitely interested in it because the smallest unit of energy I could find must be a mental unit of energy.” — L. Ron Hubbard, October 13, 1954


Overheard in the FreeZone

“I’ll say this: any time you think you’ve got a better idea than the Old Man, think again.”


Random Howdy

“I’m not here to change anybody’s mind. I’m a soldier.”


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] A queer story about Scientology, gender, and L. Ron Hubbard’s sweet pile of Swiss cash
[TWO years ago] After pausing to reflect, Marie Bilheimer takes on Scientology’s attack of her ‘Leah Remini’ spot
[THREE years ago] Attempted murder, a fancy lawyer, and the long path to healing: A Scientology life, exposed
[FOUR years ago] Back in London for the next Scientology summit, featuring Russell Miller!
[FIVE years ago] Kelly Preston finally blows away the last of her Scientology space cooties!
[SIX years ago] Sunday Special: Remembering Some People Who Mattered
[SEVEN years ago] L. Ron Hubbard Whines (Again) About His Scientology Workload
[EIGHT years ago] Scientology Officially Probing the Village Voice!


Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley has not seen his daughter Stephanie in 5,596 days.
Valerie Haney has not seen her mother Lynne in 1,725 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,229 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 1,749 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 769 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 660 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 3,967 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 1,835 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 2,609 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 3,383 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 2,729 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 11,295 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,214 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 3,382 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 2,963 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,224 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 2,263 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 1,975 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,501 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 1,027 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 5,590 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 2,730 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 3,050 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 7,906 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 3,025 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,380 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 5,683 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 1,789 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,191 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 2,063 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 1,646 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 2,141 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,395 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,504 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on October 13, 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, 14 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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