Daily Notifications
Sign up for free emails to receive the feature story every morning in your inbox at


Scientology celebrated New Year’s Eve on Saturday, and once again we had someone there

Scientology leader David Miscavige welcomed in the new decade Saturday night at the Shrine Auditorium in Los Angeles as the church, per its usual custom, celebrated New Year’s Eve a couple of weeks early so it could be filmed and then shown at its facilities around the world on the evening of December 31.

And in another annual tradition, we had someone inside watching the festivities. We are grateful that they have delivered us this detailed and objective report about what they saw. It’s almost like we were there. (Photos of the event are from social media, posted by the participants, and not from our correspondent, except for the image of the wristband.)

Pre-Event Party

This year, the pre-event party started at 3:00 p.m. Last year it started at 5:00 p.m.


Unlike last year, they did not check driver licenses at any point, but did have a maximum size for purses, etc. Like last year, there were metal detectors at the entrance to the courtyard at the entrance to the Shrine. They also searched purses and bags.

I saw Irving Sorrentini, the father of Jamie Sorrentini Lugli. Irving disconnected from Jamie on January 20, 2010. I’m at a loss of what to say other than he appeared to be healthy. Irving is now on staff at the Church of Scientology of the Valley.

Music was provided by the Happiness Band (saxophone, guitar, keyboard, drum and a female singer). The band was tight and the singer and music were good.

There was no regging.

There were no members of the Nation of Islam present.


A major change from last year concerned the food. At the pre-event party last year, the church provided only coffee, tea and water for free and there were several food trucks from which one could purchase a variety of food. This year all of the food was provided by the church for free, including a large spread of:

Quinoa Tabbouleh
Mozzarella Tomato Basil
Chunky Kale
Cream of Broccoli Soup
Hearty Vegetable Soup

Seven Bean Soup
Beef Tamales
Chicken Empanadas
Spinach Empanadas
Beef Flautas
Sausage Pizza
Hot Dogs
Waffles with a choice of strawberry sauce, chocolate sauce, whipped cream and/or caramelized pecans.
Coffee, tea and water.

The food was plentiful and very good. They didn’t come close to running out of anything.

The crowd at the pre-event party was large, talkative and enthusiastic. Nobody I saw or talked with gave the impression that they had been forced to be there. All of the tables in the courtyard were full, all of the seats were taken, and the standing crowd was full albeit not too densely packed.



The Event

The Shrine Auditorium (capacity 6,300) appeared to be 97-percent full. Only the very far upper right and left hand corners of the balcony had visible seats available. Like last year, I don’t know if the church hired seat fillers. All I can do is report what I saw, and the Shrine was very close to being completely full.

There were two very large screens on either side of the stage. Spread below and to the sides of the elevated stage were six medium size screens.

The event started at 6:30 p.m. with music, singers and dancers. On each seat in the auditorium, 6,300 seats in all, was a white wrist band holding a white plastic rectangle with “2020” printed on it. We were instructed to place the wrist band on our right wrists “as a part of the show.”


(We were instructed to return the wrist band when the event was over. So, yes, the above picture was taken in a bathroom stall before the wrist band was returned.)

All of the wristbands, including both the white plastic rectangles and the white bands themselves, simultaneously flashed red, green and blue lights to the beat of the music. So people stood and waived their right arms back and forth in the air, etc., while their wrists bands flashed red, green and blue lights to the beat of the music in the same color at precisely the same time. The wrist bands were obviously activated and synchronized by wifi or some other wireless technology. While people generally sat down between songs, this basically lasted a half hour.



Chairman of the Board David Miscavige took the stage at 7:00 p.m. accompanied by four vertical sets of white indoor fireworks erupting on each side of the stage.

The first segment was devoted to ABLE, the Association for Better Living and Education. While ABLE programs Applied Scholastics, Narconon and The Way To Happiness were promoted, Criminom was again not mentioned at all. This ends the second year where Criminon has not been promoted at any of the major events.

The next segment was devoted to WISE, the World Institute of Scientology Enterprises, and the Hubbard Colleges worldwide. The news about WISE did not dominate the event like it did last year.

Next up was the segment about SMI, Scientology Missions International, and IHELP, the International Hubbard Ecclesiastical League of Pastors. The news in this area largely fell within two categories. First was the opening of five new Ideal Missions, which appears to be an increasing point of emphasis. The second was the use by Missions of the various Fourth Dynamic groups such as The Way To Happiness, Youth for Human Rights and the Truth About Drugs (which otherwise are not mentioned at New Year’s Events) to make inroads into society.


The next segment was about Ideal Orgs. They basically reshowed the presentations about the recent openings of the Ideal Orgs in Columbus and Kansas City.

As always at the New Year’s Event, Miscavige honored the Power and Elite FSMs and welcomed them onto the stage. A Power FSM is a Scientologist who escorted at least one-hundred people onto and up the Bridge in the last twelve months. An Elite FSM is a Scientologist who escorted at least one-thousand people onto and up the Bridge in the last twelve months. In addition, Miscavige recognized twenty-seven Power of the Decade FSMs who had been Power FSMs in each of the preceding ten years.

(As last year, the key language is “onto and up the Bridge.” If someone was a Scientologist prior to 2019 but his FSM got him to do a Scientology Service during 2019, that person counts as someone who the FSM helped “up the Bridge” and thus counts towards Power or Elite FSM status.)

I did not see either NOI Minister Tony Muhammad or NOI Sister Nayyirah Tivica Muhammad on stage as a Power FSM. Unlike last year, I did not see the names of either Tony Muhammad or Nayyirah Tivica Muhammad when the names of the Power FSMs quickly scrolled across the screens, though it might be possible I missed them.

A new ad for Scientology TV was shown. The theme was the human soul. It was not specifically identified as being the Super Bowl ad.

Unlike last year, Miscavige did not make any specific promises or predictions for the coming year, promising only further expansion.

Speaking of Miscavige’s promises and predictions last year, at least one of them didn’t come true this year. Last year, Miscavige spoke of an upcoming “brand new Golden Age of Tech Phase 2 for both the new generation and your next generation.” “It will be a technical avalanche for 2019, he said.” That didn’t occur. There was no “technical avalanche” that I am aware of. A new version of the PTS/SP course doesn’t qualify.



Miscavige ended by urging members of the audience to join “Third Dynamic” groups, whichever interested them, mentioning the Fourth Dynamic groups The Way to Happiness, Drug Free World and Youth For Human Rights, and then the Sea Org. The mention of the Sea Org caused a large standing ovation. While multiple standing ovations are standard operating procedure during any Scientology event, this one seemed truly spontaneous, genuine and especially enthusiastic. It appeared to take Miscavige by surprise a bit. It was the most enthusiastic standing ovation I’ve seen at a Scientology event since Scientology TV was announced. This is also the first time I recall Miscavige specifically recruiting for the Sea Org at an event. For that matter, this is the first time I recall Miscavige specifically urging people to join The Way to Happiness, Drug Free World or Youth For Human Rights. It is significant that he ended with this as his call to action this year.

This year, representatives of each group or Org shown in a video were present in the audience for a reaction shot holding up signs after the video was completed, including a number of people from overseas.

Finally, it is important to note none of the videos showed or depicted an identifiable member of the Nation of Islam.

The event ended at 9:30 p.m.


After-Event Party

There was a subtle but important change in the after-event party. Last year, I reported “very, very light regging.” This year there was no regging. None.

There was, however, active recruiting for the upcoming Ideal Church of Scientology of Ventura. Such recruiting was polite and not high-pressure, but it is obviously the big priority now.

There were no members of the Nation of Islam at the after-event party.


There was also a greater variety of food available at the after-event party. In addition to the standard cheese, crackers, fruit, cookies and fudge bars, this year there was also pizza, smores, chocolate marshmallows and again waffles with a choice of strawberry sauce, chocolate sauce, whipped cream and/or caramelized pecans.

Final Thoughts

As noted above, no identifiable members of the Nation of Islam were resent in person or in a video. At this event at least, it was as if the alliance between the Church of Scientology and the Nation of Islam, and indeed the Nation of Islam itself, did not exist.

The crowd at the parties and the audience during the event proper appeared to be genuinely happy and enthusiastic. People at the parties were having a good time.


Leaked document of the day

From the FBI documents release comes this item.

Five days after its historic 1978 raid on the Church of Scientology, the FBI was dealing with the enormity of what it had taken away from church, some 100,000 pages in 20,000 files, that would need to be sifted through and interpreted, all of it detailing the incredible lengths Scientology went to in its infiltration and spying on the federal government.

In this document, the agency points out that it needs to identify any Scientologists working in the bureau, suspecting that it has Scientologist agents in St. Louis and Portland.

The operation also gets a name: SITOL. And assistant to the FBI director, James Adams, learns that Scientology has a file on him.



Source Code

“I have a book which proves absolutely the presence of demons and demon exorcism and proves completely a priori — oh, the most fascinating reasoning is the bulk of this book. You just feel your brains go creak as you read this thing…They go on and prove absolutely that the word of the church is law. And then they prove the fact there was a demon present. Just as I say, you, just, brains go kind of creak. It’s got one of these things in practically every column, two columns to the page, quarto-size volume, for about three or four hundred pages. It’s a very old book and was printed way way back when. Fascinating volume. Well, I want to prove pan-determinism to you on this line now. Now, a thetan can see what he can be; he can be what he can see. Now, have any of you ever seen God? Well, come on, come on, have any of you ever seen God? All right. You’ve never seen God, huh? OK. If you have never seen God, this proves conclusively that God is the Supreme Being at the eighth dynamic. Isn’t that right? Oh, yes it does! Because you’ve never seen God and you’re being self-determined, which is the first dynamic. So this merely demonstrates to you that individuals are not pan-determinism. You follow this?” — L. Ron Hubbard, December 16, 1954


Overheard in the FreeZone

“There’s an LRH lecture in The Philadelphia Doctorate Course where LRH describes the several races of ETs on Earth. One of those races of ETs is what he calls the ‘Snake Man.’ The first broad public exposure of reptilians was done in the mid 90’s by researcher abductee Karla Turner in her books and lectures. Using hypnotic memory retrieval techniques to peel off layers of false memories, she uncovered that reptilians can disguise as ‘angels’ or ‘ancestors.’ She also discovered that reptilians feed on human bodies.”


Random Howdy

“If communication is the universal solvent, why is it that in Scientology you can’t communicate with other Scientologists or non-Scientologists about how the tech works and what it’s done for you? Is it because it will make their heads explode like the guy in Scanners? Why are there no theologians in Scientology? Why can’t you ask a course supervisor what they think Hubbard really meant by a certain passage? Why is it that Scientologists are only able to respond to non-Scientolgists with rote responses?”


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?



[ONE year ago] Where in the U.S. the next set of Scientology ‘Ideal Orgs’ will be popping up next
[TWO years ago] L. Ron Hubbard’s son was troubled, but don’t discount him entirely: few knew his father better
[THREE years ago] Some churches take care of the old — Scientology instead works them to death
[FOUR years ago] Australian media outs Scientologist behind ‘super city’ plans near Melbourne
[FIVE years ago] Scientology attorneys ask Garcia judge — Keep Mike Rinder away from us!
[SIX years ago] EXCLUSIVE: Roslyn Cohn’s one-woman show skewering Scientology — complete!
[SEVEN years ago] Sunday Funnies: Scientology Sets Its Worldwide New Year’s Party!
[EIGHT years ago] Writing OT VIII, a Pot Bust, and More From L. Ron Hubbard: Sailing the Apollo Dec 11 – 17


Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley has not seen his daughter Stephanie in 5,660 days.
Valerie Haney has not seen her mother Lynne in 1,789 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,293 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 1,813 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 833 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 724 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 4,031 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 1,899 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 2,673 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 3,447 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 2,793 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 11,359 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,278 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 3,446 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 3,027 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,288 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 2,326 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 2,039 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,564 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 1,091 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 5,654 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 2,794 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 3,114 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 7,970 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 3,089 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,444 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 5,747 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 1,853 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,255 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 2,127 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 1,710 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 2,205 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,459 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,568 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on December 16, 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


Share Button
Print Friendly, PDF & Email