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Leah Remini calls Beck’s sudden Scientology defection a ‘pussy move’

[Scientology’s former celebs, Beck Hansen and Leah Remini]

Musician Beck Hansen’s fans were celebrating the news this weekend that in an interview he gave to an Australian newspaper he said in no uncertain terms, “I’m not a Scientologist.”

But others were less congratulatory, pointing out that in the interview, which took place in Los Angeles and was posted by the Sydney Morning Herald on Friday, the Grammy Award-winning singer-songwriter seemed to imply that he never was a Scientologist, and that it had been a “misconception.”

“He’s acting like he was never a Scientologist, which is his way of not publicly speaking out and therefore not getting labeled like us and attacked like us,” Leah Remini tells us. “Pussy move. You can quote me on that.”

Leah, like Beck, grew up in Scientology, but her defection has been one of the most contentious in Scientology history. Her break with the church became public in 2013, but the King of Queens actress dates her disillusion to the 2006 wedding of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes in Italy when she dared to point out that Tom’s best man, Scientology leader David Miscavige, was at the wedding without his wife and that he was inappropriately familiar with his female assistant. For questioning that, Leah was subjected to months of mind-altering interrogations and charged $300,000. She explains in her book Troublemaker that it was then just a matter of time before she broke for good. More recently, she made exposing Scientology’s abuses prime-time television fare, delivering a huge audience for A&E (as well as an Emmy win) for her three-season series Scientology and the Aftermath, consisting of stunning episodes about child abuse, disconnected families, and financial extortion. As a result, Remini and her co-star Mike Rinder have been the target of a torrent of abuse by the church, with constant online smears as well as the sorts of dirty tricks operations carried out by private investigators that Scientology is known for.

Beck, meanwhile, was born in Scientology to Scientologist parents. His father, David Campbell, remains an active and very visible member, but his mother, Bibbe Hansen, left when Beck was still young. Beck himself has a long, well-documented history of taking Scientology courses and attending Scientology events. In 2004, he married Marissa Ribisi, twin sister to actor Giovanni Ribisi, who were both children of ardent and longtime Scientologists. In an interview with the Italian men’s magazine L’Uomo Vogue in 2008, Beck said that he was a Scientology ‘Clear,’ a major step for any Scientologist, and Brendan Tighe, a former security guard at Scientology’s “spiritual mecca,” the Flag Land Base in Clearwater, Florida, tells us that he saw Beck that same year getting auditing there.

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There’s no question Beck was a Scientologist, and he spoke about Scientology and defended it in numerous magazine interviews. So his choice of words in the Sydney Morning Herald article does seem odd:

“I think there’s a misconception that I am a Scientologist. I’m not a Scientologist. I don’t have any connection or affiliation with it. My father has been a Scientologist for a long time, but I’ve pretty much just focused on my music and my work for most of my life, and tended to do my own thing … I think it’s just something people ran with.”

Leah Remini is not amused.

“You can’t be married to a Scientology family such as the Ribisi family and not be fully on board. Beck was there every day doing courses and auditing. He was very much a Scientologist. To say that he was more focused on his thing and the press just ran with it is a pussy move. This is his way of not publicly stating that he was very much in and now he’s not. It’s very clever of him to use these words. It allows him to evade publicly denouncing Scientology. It’s his way to get around being attacked as we all have.”

Mike Rinder is also critical of the way Beck announced his leaving the church.

“Beck took the chicken’s way out,” he tells us. “To say, ‘I’ve never really been a Scientologist’ is an ‘acceptable truth.’ There is no doubt he was a Scientologist. But it’s a way of avoiding questions like ‘Why did you leave?’ His father is still doing seminars at the Hollywood Celebrity Centre trying to attract new members.

“He doesn’t want to have to say out loud that ‘it didn’t help me’ or ‘they made promises they didn’t keep,’ let alone things like ‘they abuse people’ or ‘Miscavige is a sociopath.’ I know he has never been a big promoter. For him to actually distance himself is indicative he cannot say nothing any longer and just how toxic it is to be identified as a Scientologist.”

In his interview, Beck left no doubt that he has left the Church of Scientology. But he does seem to be avoiding the deeper questions about his involvement, what he saw, and why he left. We hope he reconsiders and talks about those things in another interview. Our email address, as always, is listed at the bottom of this article, Mr. Hansen.

 
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More Scientologists behaving badly

Out of San Diego, there was news this weekend that a prominent local jeweler who had dabbled in Republican politics, Leo Hamel (pictured), was indicted by a grand jury and pleaded guilty to federal charges of aiding and abetting an illegal firearms trafficking operation run by a former San Diego County Sheriff’s deputy. When a raid on his jewelry business was conducted by the FBI in February, they found more than 200 firearms and 100,000 rounds of ammunition. Hamel is out of jail on a $250,000 bond, and he is scheduled to be sentenced in February.

Our friend Ken Stone, a dogged reporter in San Diego, wrote a piece in 2016 about Hamel’s ties to Scientology when the jeweler was (temporarily) a candidate for the state Assembly. It was clear from Stone’s research (and with help from the excellent Kristi Wachter) that Hamel had an extensive Scientology background and that his business was on a WISE list from 2006. But Hamel played down his involvement and suggested that it was bigoted to bring it up in the context of a political race.

There’s no suggestion yet that there’s a connection between Hamel’s Scientology background and the firearms trafficking that now has him facing prison time. But once again, it’s interesting to see one of the people from the group that claims it’s the “most ethical group on the planet” running into this kind of trouble.

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Meanwhile, we have an update on a case of a Scientologist not behaving badly, but being victimized, and it involves the very strange and awful double-murder that shocked the town of Peoria, Illinois in October last year. Susan Brill de Ramirez, a professor at Bradley University, and her husband Antonio Ramirez Barron, who also worked at the university, were viciously slain in their bedroom on the night of October 25-26. They were both 63 years old. Police arrested their son Jose Rodriguez, 21, and his friend, a man named Matthew Roberts, 20. Through a strange accident, we found out that Tony Barron had been a very involved Scientologist, though even family friends didn’t seem aware of the extent of his involvement. We didn’t know if Scientology’s aversion to psychiatric care played any role in Jose’s upbringing (Susan was a devoted member of the Bahá’í faith, and both her husband and son reportedly attended the local center with her.)

This week, Jose Rodriguez was convicted of first degree murder and will spend the rest of his life in prison. Roberts is expected to plead guilty and also receive a lengthy prison sentence. In Jose’s trial, evidence was presented of him admitting to police that he had committed the act, but there was no evidence entered about why Jose had so brutally killed his parents.

We have no idea if Scientology played any role in this sad story, and we mostly doubt that it did. But it still strikes us that such a longtime, loyal Scientology member, who was paying for expensive courses from the 1970s to at least 2014, could be so shockingly victimized without a word from the organization itself.

 
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Leaked document of the day

From the FBI documents release comes this item.

In 1985, Scientology was in a lot of trouble when a couple of its former parishioners each sued the church, claiming that its most essential practices were harmful. Both of them resulted in court awards of more than $30 million each. One of them, in Portland, resulted in a huge effort by the church to swarm the courthouse and try to intimidate the judge (which was successful). In the FBI file, we also found this appeal to the president, which we found awfully precious. (Also: Clint Eastwood?)

 

May 30, 1985

Mr. Ronald Regan
President
1600 Pennsylvania Ave

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Dear Mr. Regan,

I am writing as a concerned citizen who really has faith in you as a President and I am glad that I do have this opportunity to tell you so. My concern is about the court decision in Portland, Oregon. The case is [redacted] vs the Church of Scientology. The decision of the court was in favor of [redacted] for $39,000,000 the Church of Scientology.

The amount awarded is ridiculous as is the decision of the court. Scientology is a religion and just as much a religion as any other if not more so. I am a Scientologist, also a baptized Catholic and my religion as a Scientologist as well as a Catholic is being threatened.

There has been video taped evidence that members of the FBI and the IRS are plotting against the Church of Scientology to destroy it. If this occurs the future of this planet is threatened. As a former actor I know you will recognize that there are many fellow actors that are Scientologists and are fighting for their religion, Scientology. (John Travolta, Kathy Lee Crosby, Clint Eastwood, jazz musician Chick Corea and many, many more.)

Please investigate this matter as it violates the 1st Ammendment of the constitution. I want my three children to live in a free nation.

Faithfully yours
[redacted]

 
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Source Code

“I remember trying to pick a little girl up out of a bombed carriage one time, about 1685, and I had quite a lose because I didn’t succeed in making her get on her feet, she was half blown to bits. And mechanisms didn’t work, and so forth, and tried to pick her up and dust her off, you know, as a thetan. And it didn’t work and it gave me a big lose and I got all confused and upset about the thing and then that was an overt not to have done it, you get the idea? But I was guilty of an overt in the first place, I eventually realized and found out, in that I was riding as the, as a bodyguard on this particular carriage, see, and I didn’t do it, you know. Something bad went wrong, see, something bad happened. Well, that’s guilty of an overt act right then. Don’t expect to control a situation that you’ve caused to that degree. Got the idea?” — L. Ron Hubbard, November 25, 1959

 
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Overheard in the FreeZone

“OMG i finished Mission Earth! Jesus christ that took ages. Theres no way i could have done it without listening to it while i was working. It woffles on, I could tell LRH was just amusing himself with it, really should have been 8 books long and would have made for the best ever, still totally awesome, love the data, i really know now the type of stuff Hubbard would talk about if he went on the Joe Rogan podcast. The most entertaining bits are when the storys on Earth and mocking our abberated society and when Sultan Gris does his outrageous out ethics behaviour. This story would make for a great games of thrones type tv series, somebody please make it!”

 
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Random Howdy

“I’ve always wanted to move to Australia. I could hang out at the pub all day with Nick Cave and the Cosmic Psychos, get a dingo, collect funnel web spiders and tiger snakes and swim with white pointers and salties. Send me a ticket and a few thousand dollars to tie up lose ends and I’ll be right over.”

 
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Scientology’s celebrities, ‘Ideal Orgs,’ and more!

[Alanna Masterson, Terry Jastrow, and Marisol Nichols]

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?

 
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THE WHOLE TRACK

[ONE year ago] Kirstie Alley calls on her fellow Scientologists to pounce on another disaster
[TWO years ago] After a landmark court case, Scientology watchers should be celebrating, not sniping
[THREE years ago] That time when Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard didn’t invent surfing in California
[FOUR years ago] Lisa McPherson and the doctors: Hamstrung by the ‘spiritual’ needs of a thetan
[FIVE years ago] Scientology Armageddon: Now Sears — yes, Sears — is piling on the embattled church
[SIX years ago] SCIENTOLOGY DECLARES ACTRESS LEAH REMINI A “SUPPRESSIVE PERSON”
[SEVEN years ago] Sunday Funnies: Scientology Braces for the Holidays!
[EIGHT years ago] Scientology vs. Pollution, a Lisbon Cocktail Party, and More: Sailing on the Apollo Nov. 20-26

 
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Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley has not seen his daughter Stephanie in 5,639 days.
Valerie Haney has not seen her mother Lynne in 1,768 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,272 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 1,792 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 812 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 703 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 4,010 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 1,878 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 2,652 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 3,426 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 2,772 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 11,338 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,257 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 3,425 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 3,006 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,267 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 2,306 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 2,018 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,544 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 1,070 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 5,633 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 2,773 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 3,093 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 7,949 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 3,068 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,423 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 5,726 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 1,832 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,234 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 2,106 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 1,689 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 2,184 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,438 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,547 days.

——————–

Posted by Tony Ortega on November 25, 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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