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On this Thanksgiving, we’re thankful again for people we will never forget

In 2013, the Church of Scientology slaughtered a couple of innocent live oak trees that had been standing in the way of a party the church wanted to throw itself.

Our longtime readers no doubt remember it. It was a classic example of Scientology’s disregard for local laws when they get in the way of what the church wants. In this case Scientology wanted to put up a giant tent for the grand opening of their “Flag Building” (also known as the Super Power Building) in downtown Clearwater, Florida, where healthy old live oak trees are a rare and precious commodity. The city told Scientology not to cut down the trees and were working on a plan to relocate them, but the church defied that recommendation and cut the trees down anyway, and paid a $2,000 fine.

It was so characteristic of this smug, superior organization and it struck a chord with us. We decided that those two majestic trees should not be forgotten, and an idea came to us. We asked Observer, with her wonderful skills, if she would help us put together a scene we had in mind.

We imagined those two lovely trees now giving shade to several other people who had faced the Scientology buzzsaw in one way another. We loved the result, which Observer titled, “Not Forgotten.”


And today, for the Thanksgiving holiday here in the U.S., where we gather with friends and family and take stock of the things we hold precious in life, we have a new version of Observer’s touching tribute. We asked her to add Nan McLean, a hero of ours who died last week at the age of 96.


Do you recognize them all? That’s Lisa McPherson standing on the right. She was killed by Scientology’s quack mental health ideas after being held for 17 days at the Fort Harrison Hotel in 1995. Sitting in front of her is Ida Camburn, a wonderful woman who lost a son to Scientology, and who used to send us emails early in our career, encouraging us to expose the church. Sitting on the bench there is Robert Vaughn Young, who at one time was Scientology’s spokesman but then became one of its biggest critics. Next to him is Bob Minton, the wealthy businessman who financed the Lisa McPherson Trust and was caught up in vicious attacks by the church. And on his right is Gabe Cazares, the brave Clearwater mayor who first revealed that it was Scientology that had secretly infiltrated the town, and paid for it with elaborate operations run against him by Scientology’s spy wing intended to destroy his reputation. Standing behind them is Denise Brennan, who helped us understand the byzantine early-1980s reorganization of Scientology, and whom we miss very much. And next to her is Nan, who was still sharp as a tack and fighting against Scientology into her 90s.

Standing next to the bench is Alex Jentzsch, who died of a simple ailment because he was denied by Scientology any contact with his mother, Karen de la Carriere, because she had dared to criticize the church. And sitting in the foreground is Quentin Hubbard, who just wanted to be a pilot, but happened to be the son of the Great Thetan, who hated him for being gay. Quentin committed suicide in 1976.

We give thanks that each of these people exposed Scientology’s true nature, each in their own way.

Please, tell us what you’re thankful for this year, and what you’re looking forward to in the next.


Leaked document of the day

From the FBI documents release comes this item.

In the FBI files, we found this letter the agency received from a former Scientologist who was apparently distressed by the shocking Jonestown massacre and wanted to alert the feds about Scientology’s own nefarious plans. By 1978, however, L. Ron Hubbard was firmly on land, so we’re not sure where this former member got the idea that the Sea Org was planning a new naval incursion? Any oldtimers hazard a guess?



U.S. Justice Dept
Washington, D.C.

To Whom it May Concern:

I feel it is about time I write to you and more so since the Guyana tragedy.

I am a former Church of Scientology member and finally got away from there in August of this year. I was in Los Angeles at American St. Hill organization from Sept. 1977 to August 1978.

I am not very good at writing editorials but my story would amaze you as to what the church is planning for their future.

I believe this organization should be investigated thoroughly as to their intentions for the future, if you can get the truth, and what they are trying to do.

My own opinion is that L. Ron Hubbard is building his own private NAVY and will try his utmost to operpower our government in the future.

If you wish to talk to me, I will be glad to let you know what I have been through,


My phone # is [redacted]


Source Code

“Be the space of your body. The space of this room. The space of your body. The space of this room. Be the space of your body. The space of this room. The space of your body. The space of the building. The space of your body. The space of the building. The space of your body. The space of the building. The space of your body. The space of this building. The space of your body. The space of this building. The space of your body. The space of Camden. The space of your body. The space of Camden. The space of your body. The space of Camden. The space of your body. The space of Philadelphia. The space of your body. The space of Philadelphia. The space of your body. Space of Philadelphia. Space of your body. Space of Philadelphia. Space of New York. Space of your body.” — L. Ron Hubbard, November 28, 1953


Overheard in the FreeZone

“People need to realize why Scientology isn’t making as many OTs as it should. The purif cannot handle modern problems, Scientology needs to be used in conjunction with expert naturopaths etc to combat modern weapons released on us. I don’t even think we can get OT while we are busy trying to just remain not retarded. Fluoride’s bad effects take awhile to kick in and also I think they combine with vaccines to degrade us, these things take years of accumulation and then it gets passed on to kids.”


Random Howdy

“Every Thanksgiving my Dad would get in a bad mood and start saying stuff like the Native Americans should have slaughtered the pilgrims as soon as they landed.”


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] Scientology responds to Leah Remini’s season premiere with smeariest smear video ever
[TWO years ago] Ugh. We just found a troubling L. Ron Hubbard Scientology lecture about little boys and sex.
[THREE years ago] How Liz Gale came to disconnect from her own mother, Scientology style
[FOUR years ago] Scientology’s apocalyptic ‘expansion’: A hint at the real story in a Brighton shiny moment
[FIVE years ago] The richest Scientologists in the world get a new trophy for donating another pile of cash!
[SIX years ago] Jefferson Hawkins Explains the Ethics of Scientology’s “Suppressive Person”
[SEVEN years ago] More McPherson Cover-Up Corroboration: “I Watched Them Drain $20 Million In Reserves”
[EIGHT years ago] Scientology Held Woman Aboard the Freewinds for 12 Years Against Her Will: Aussie TV


Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley has not seen his daughter Stephanie in 5,642 days.
Valerie Haney has not seen her mother Lynne in 1,771 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,275 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 1,795 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 815 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 706 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 4,013 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 1,881 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 2,655 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 3,429 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 2,775 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 11,341 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,260 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 3,428 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 3,009 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,270 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 2,309 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 2,021 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,547 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 1,073 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 5,636 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 2,776 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 3,096 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 7,952 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 3,071 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,426 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 5,729 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 1,835 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,237 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 2,109 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 1,692 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 2,187 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,441 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,550 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on November 28, 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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