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Give Scientology $500 and you too could be a ‘Harlem Homie’!

[Photo from this summer of the Harlem staff]

We told you recently that we’ve been digging through some really startling new document leaks from the Church of Scientology and from the FBI. We knew, poring through them, we were probably going to find some really fascinating things. But we weren’t prepared for this one.

And we want to assure you, right off, that we are not joking about this. We really did find this in a cache of documents of recent vintage.

It was in the leak of documents from the San Fernando Valley “Ideal Org” that are as recent as 2017. But the spreadsheet we found in that collection was clearly not from the Valley, it was from the Harlem Ideal Org.

Now, let’s back up a little and explain what that is. It was actor Jason Beghe who told us that early in the century, when he was still a gung-ho celebrity for the church, he pointed out to Scientology leader David Miscavige that the organization was painfully monochromatic. Why weren’t there more Black celebrities and Black members? Miscavige reportedly also got an earful about it from Isaac Hayes, who also griped that Scientology’s prices were way too high for the people in working class neighborhoods.

Miscavige reportedly took it to heart, and so he did a few things to try and increase Scientology’s diversity. First, he bizarrely reached out to Louis Farrakhan and the Nation of Islam, and the two small groups, each with their own wacky space-age origin beliefs, have formed an odd ongoing relationship.


And Miscavige also made a commitment to outreach in his “Ideal Org” program. In most places, Miscavige’s expensive new Ideal Orgs — fancy cathedrals costing tens of millions of dollars — are replacing existing churches in large cities like Kansas City, Detroit, Perth, and Stuttgart, to name four recent examples.

But two of those new Ideal Orgs, in Inglewood, California (2011) and Harlem, New York (2016) were placed strategically. It was more than clear that Miscavige intended for these two facilities to be his incursions into the African-American community. He said so plenty of times himself. Here’s how he described the Inglewood Org at the 2011 IAS event…


Here’s Dave giving the game away in that clip: “Talk about a permeating and penetrating culture. Or to put it another way, most white folks wouldn’t have a clue what it means to be cool if it weren’t for Black America.”

So, what we’re saying is that we’ve known for a long time that Inglewood and Harlem were Scientology’s awkward reaches for Black involvement, but until we saw this new spreadsheet, we didn’t really know how awkward it was.

The dates on the spreadsheet are in the first quarter of 2016, and it lists 38 names and the donations they had made to the Harlem org. These are relatively small donations, from as low as $25 to a high of $2,000. And next to each of them is the amount that the person needs to reach the next status level in giving.

Status levels are very important in Scientology. How can you know where you stand with the church if you haven’t reached, say, “Silver Meritorious” ($500,000) with the IAS, or “New Civilization Builder” ($1 million) with your local Ideal Org project?

And it turns out the Harlem Ideal Org has its own status levels for people making donations. Here’s the list of them, straight from the spreadsheet itself…


Yes, we were truly stunned when we saw this. Instead of “Patron Excalibur” or “Elite Luminary,” Harlem’s donors are awarded with the titles…


Harlem Homie ($500)
Harlem Cool Cat ($1,000)
Harlem Globetrotter ($2,500)


Gangster ($5,000)

After we wiped the tears from our eyes, we took another look at this spreadsheet, and then noticed something else: We actually recognized one of the 38 names!

It turned out to be someone we’ve known for a couple of years, and so we reached out to them, telling them we remembered that at one time they had been involved with the Harlem org.

We told them that a spreadsheet we had obtained listed them as a “Harlem Homie.” Did they remember being bestowed such an august title?

“I remember that,” they said. “They had my credit card info and asked me to donate, and I said maybe. Within an hour I was charged $500. They sent me a commendation saying something on the Harlem Homie thing. That’s so funny I haven’t thought about that in years.”

Confirmation. How sweet it is.

Oh, Dave, just keeping being you. You are really, actually bestowing the titles “Homie” and “Gangster” to people who give you enough money at the Harlem org.

We wouldn’t have guessed this in 76 trillion years, truly.



Remembering Lisa McPherson

Twenty-four years ago today, Lisa McPherson died, murdered by Scientology’s quack mental health ideas which kept her confined to a room at the Fort Harrison Hotel in Clearwater, Florida for 17 days until she died of dehydration. Once the public and press became aware of her death, it became one of Scientology’s biggest scandals.

Four years ago, on the 20th anniversary of Lisa’s demise, we produced a new series reporting her final days in real time. Please give it a look for the full story of what happened to her.

Lisa, you will never be forgotten.


Bonus items from our tipsters

This, ladies and gentlemen, is why Scientology is involved in the Hollywood Christmas parade…


And the Ocala mission gets a greeting from its patron, Mr. Travolta…



And a reader in Muscat, Oman — yes, we have a reader in Oman! — was stunned to find L. Ron Hubbard study tech books at their local grocery store.



Leaked document of the day

From the Mace-Kingsley Ranch documents release comes this item.

Another slice of life at the Lord of the Flies camp run by Scientologists…



Adam [redacted]

Yesterday as we were walking from the dam to the worksite, we passed a guy fishing. He had a pack of Camels. On the way to the worksite, we walkd by the guy’s stuff, he wasn’t there so Adam swooped down and snagged the pack. I told him I won’t write it up if he gave me one, but he didn’t. He said he’d loose his smoking permission. I gold him OK I’ll write it up.

This is all true

[Added note, different handwriting:] I had Ryan do a ethics handling & amends for his part in this ARC Judy


Source Code

“The magic cults of the 8th, 9th, 10th, 11th, 12th centuries in the Middle East were fascinating. The only modern work that has anything to do with them is a trifle wild in spots, but it’s fascinating work in itself, and that’s work written by Aleister Crowley, the late Aleister Crowley, my very good friend. And he did himself a splendid piece of aesthetics built around those magic cults. It’s very interesting reading to get ahold of a copy of a book, quite rare, but it can be obtained, ‘The Master Therion,’ T-h-e-r-i-o-n, The Master Therion by Aleister Crowley. He signs himself The Beast, the mark of the beast six sixty-six. Very, very something or other, but anyway the, Crowley exhumed a lot of the data from these old magic cults.” — L. Ron Hubbard, December 5, 1952


Overheard in the FreeZone

“Ron was interested in producing a philosophy which had practical use. That was something which hasn’t been done in hundreds or thousands of years. Instead, philosophers (both east and west) sit around and issue thunderous principles which have little or no relation to anything in the real world. Religion and philosophy have acted to civilize the world to some extent, to be sure. But the wars, conflicts, crime and insanity which are part and parcel of life on Earth haven’t lessened significantly. Proving that religion and philosophy have generally let Man down. Scientology is a colossal advance. I don’t think even most Scientologists realize how profound it is. And for the most part one guy — one guy — came up with it. It’s just about beyond the imagination. I get amused at those in the Field who complain about the arrogance of Scientologists who claim to have the only road out. While arrogance isn’t desirable, no other group on Earth has more right to be ‘arrogant’ than we have. Ron wasn’t exaggerating about what he said in KSW and Safeguarding Technology.”


Random Howdy

“I remember like 2009 thinking we were kicking ass on Scientology on YouTube and the whole cult/magical thinking in general…and then I discovered David Icke, and I remember thinking ‘What’s the use?’ Knock one down and another takes its place.”


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] Slimed by Scientology, Cierra Westerman says she’s still feeling good about coming forward
[TWO years ago] Danny Masterson fired from minor TV show, still no word from glacial D.A.’s office about rapes
[THREE years ago] EXCLUSIVE: Scientology tried to derail Remini series by calling 14-year-old ‘aggressor’ in rape
[FOUR years ago] Twenty years ago today: The final hours of Lisa McPherson’s Scientology life
[FIVE years ago] Steve Cannane has Scientology book news, and helps us with a Down Under history lesson
[SEVEN years ago] Lisa McPherson Day: Is Florida Ashamed Yet?
[EIGHT years ago] Scientology’s Shame: Lisa McPherson, 16 Years After Her Death


Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley has not seen his daughter Stephanie in 5,649 days.
Valerie Haney has not seen her mother Lynne in 1,778 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,282 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 1,802 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 822 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 713 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 4,020 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 1,888 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 2,662 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 3,436 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 2,782 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 11,348 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,267 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 3,435 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 3,016 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,277 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 2,315 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 2,028 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,554 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 1,080 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 5,643 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 2,783 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 3,103 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 7,959 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 3,078 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,433 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 5,736 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 1,842 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,244 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 2,116 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 1,699 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 2,194 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,448 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,557 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on December 5, 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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