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Scientology Santa: The church built on Jesus as a hoax once again co-opts Christmas

[R6 Santa at the Hollywood Winter Wonderland]

Christmas time is here and as usual Scientology celebrates the holiday in somewhat creepy ways. The public events are examples of “safepointing” to create allies that can be called upon when the church is attacked. But Scientology celebrates Christmas in private as well, with decorations, parties and gifts.

 

[Winter Wonderland Hollywood]

[Local pols help out in KC]

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The usual L. Ron Hubbard’s Winter Wonderland events in Clearwater and Hollywood were joined by an event at the newly opened Kansas City Ideal Org. Although the Kansas City Star covered the quasi-Christmas party by pointing out that in a 1968 lecture Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard can be heard to say “There was no Christ,” the new org scored heavily with Mayor Quinton Lucas and City Councilman Brandon Ellington participating in the opening ceremony. They can expect invitations to Scientology’s fourth dynamic events, such as Youth for Human Rights, Foundation for a Drug-Free World and the like as they are groomed as allies for the church.

 

 
The new Columbus, Ohio Ideal Org also announced a Winter Wonderland event and we can find no photos or report of it anywhere on social media. Unlike Kansas City they are located far from downtown and apparently city officials were harder to recruit. Scientology seems to be expanding the event to Ideal Orgs, which is an interesting trend and we’ll look for more Winter Wonderlands at Ideal Orgs next year.

 

 
In Clearwater the annual Winter Wonderland included a petting zoo, bouncy castle, photos with Santa and a human gyroscope. The last seems like an odd choice for the holidays, but we’re aware of two other gyroscopes in Scientology. There is one in the Super Power building that is used in the course of the same name, and there is one at the CST vault facility in Twin Peaks, CA where Shelly Miscavige is in residence.

 

 
The Fort Harrison hosted a party for the Flag OT Committee – “Where ARC on Our Third Dynamic Abounds!” and parties were held along 4D row at the offices of the various front groups.

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At the Advanced Org in Copenhagen a packed holiday schedule included “Free Case Analysis with a Highly Trained Auditor” and at the Riverpark Mission Christmas means getting one’s name on the festive Holiday Production tree. Starting a course, buying a book or inviting a friend to the mission is enough to secure your position on the tree.

 

 
Of course there are gifts. The Melbourne Ideal Org is offering Chrissy Specials. “Chrissy” is Australian slang for Christmas. Among the specials is a full set of DVDs of Hubbard’s Congress events for $3,750, a discount of $1,340 Australian. Mexico City is offering a “Special gift for you, to climb the bridge to OT, just for this holiday season.” It’s the kind of gift you have to pay for, and the price is about US$5,300.

 

 
Finally, Celebrity Center International is hosting the only Hanukkah party we can find in Scientology. Come build a menorah and celebrate the festival of lights Scientology-style.

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— Rod Keller

 
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Continuing our year in review: The stories of February 2019

 
The month started out with NFL Hall of Fame running back Marshall Faulk plugging Scientology’s front group Foundation for a Drug-Free World on Fox News. And he’s continued to act as a spokesman for the group.

We felt compelled to point out that the bullying attorney hired by Tulsi Gabbard’s guru was the same lawyer that Scientology uses to spread smears about us. What a strange connection.

Clearwater Police Chief Daniel Slaughter denied that his agency favors Scientology after Leah Remini made that accusation on her television show.

We got to see Scientology’s newest Super Bowl ad, and it looked a lot like all the others.

Scientology’s efforts to attack Leah Remini included a letter supposedly written by a prominent Los Angeles clergy figure and USC faculty member. But that backfired when USC claimed the letter was a fake.

Leah Remini revealed that there had been some problems putting together the third season of her show, namely that a couple of episodes that had been filmed were shelved. Later in the month she accused two former Scientologists of sabotaging one of the episodes. Meanwhile, one of the subjects of her first season, Brandon Reisdorf, was arrested for supposedly threatening the San Diego Scientology church.

When the news broke that Beck Hansen was divorcing his wife Marissa Ribisi, we wondered if he was also splitting with Scientology (and that later turned out to be the case).

In our “Scientology Lit” series, we posted an excerpt from Leah Remini’s book ‘Troublemaker,’ which proved very popular with readers.

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Although we know it’s generally futile to correct the tabloids, we felt compelled to debunk a National Enquirer cover story that claimed Shelly Miscavige had been found taking a cruise.

And we finished up the month with a devastating new piece from Sunny Pereira about being held in the basement of Scientology’s ‘Big Blue’ headquarters in Los Angeles, and we dove into a bizarre 1953 lecture by L. Ron Hubbard about what he called ‘the God trick.’

 
A LOOK BACK AT FEBRUARY 2018: David Mayo died, and we revealed that we’d been talking to him over the years. Scientology’s new Super Bowl ad, ‘Curious?’ was a hoot. Chris Owen dived into the notorious ‘brainwashing’ manual. And Sands Hall published her delightful memoir, ‘Flunk. Start.’

A LOOK BACK AT FEBRUARY 2017: The new Super Bowl ad was another mystery sandwich. Phil and Willie Jones put up another ‘Call Me’ billboard, this time right on Sunset Boulevard. Clay Irwin toured Tom Cruise’s penthouse. We profiled the ‘celebrity whisperer,’ Quailynn McDaniel.

A LOOK BACK AT FEBRUARY 2016: News broke that Monique Rathbun had fired her entire legal team. Ross and Carrie began their trip inside the church. Defector Paul Burkhart estimated fewer than 20,000 active members left in the church worldwide. And a 1940 L. Ron Hubbard short story turned out to have a lot of precursor ideas for Scientology.

A LOOK BACK AT FEBRUARY 2015: The horrifying story of a mentally ill woman held in an Arkansas basement by a Scientologist, Mark Ebner found that Narconon International ditched its offices, we fact-checked Danny Masterson, and R.M. Seibert dug up L. Ron Hubbard’s high school record.

A LOOK BACK AT FEBRUARY 2014: The Master actor Philip Seymour Hoffman died in New York, we wrote an essay complaining about the way the media talks about Scientology and celebrities, and we provided some context to the first official Scientology wedding in England.

A LOOK BACK AT FEBRUARY 2013: Jenna Miscavige Hill’s memoir, Beyond Belief, was published. Harlan Ellison helped us document a Hubbard legend. And former Narconon executive Eric Tenorio cam forward.

 
Five of our favorites from the most-upvoted comments of February 2019

February 2: Richard
The first time I saw a Hare Krishna group was in Cremona, Italy in 1976. I thought then, as they were dancing down the street beating their drums, “How can any idiot fall for that brain washing nonsense?” Says me, ex-Scientologist.

February 3: Katie

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STOP EVERYTHING ED PARKIN IS ARGUING WITH A PEANUT ON TWITTER

February 4: Mike Rinder
There is a little more to the Slaughter story. For some time he has been the “go to” guy in the CWPD for Scientology-related matters, and not in the way Ray Emmons was. When Christie and I got married at Betsy Steg’s rental property, we went to let the CWPD know as a courtesy beforehand that many people on the Scientology hit list would be in town at one time. We were directed to (at the time) Lt. Slaughter. His job included coordinating ALL off duty assignments (Scientology or otherwise). Before we could explain anything he said he already knew about the wedding from the Scientologists and that they had informed him we were coming to town to “cause trouble” and were a band of religious haters. The oddity was that he was more interested in letting us know what the Scientologists had told him than hearing what we had to say (which was simply that we would be there, had no intention of going near Scientology, but would appreciate some extra patrols for the inevitable PI and spying activities of Scientology). Similarly, when Betsy reported on Peter Mansell coming to her door to try to intimidate her — that was referred to Slaughter who eventually got back to tell her that he had let the Scientologists know it was not good for their PR.

February 22: Andrea “i-Betty” Garner
One of my very favourite things about the Bunker is how wide its net is. Wherever and whenever Scientology does something, anything, anywhere in the world there is a Bunkeroo or a tipster or a former colleague of Tony’s or a curious bystander or a fellow journo or simply a member of the public ready to pounce, record, report. It doesn’t leave an awful lot of wiggle room for Scientology. We’re ubiquitous. Hell, yeah, we are.

February 23: Science Doc
My wife didn’t understand my fascination with Scientology (and contempt thereof) until she read Troublemaker. Miscavige really screwed up with Leah.

 
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Leaked document of the day

From the FBI documents release comes this item.

Here’s a cool artifact from the 1978 FBI raid. It’s from the search warrant that the FBI had in hand as some of its agents targeted “Fifield Manor,” the building that today is known as the Hollywood Celebrity Centre. After the raid, Scientology bellowed in court that the FBI had been on a wild fishing expedition, but as you can see from this affidavit, which the FBI put together with help from Guardian’s Office spy-turned-witness Michael Meisner, the target of the raid at the Manor was quite specific. They wanted the documents stored in GO leader Henning Heldt’s office on the sixth floor.

 

 
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Source Code

“Why do you think it is that simply looking at something will make it vanish as far as a thetan is concerned? We know that this will take place. All right, that’s because he goes into communication with it and it is a mismanaged communication. To be an it, to be a something, we must have had a mismanaged communication of one kind or another. That’s why we say ‘God built this universe.’ Now that is a mismanaged communication, per se, it is right there. God did not build this universe. And so that is mismanaged so there is the wrong point of origin, see, some point of origin is mocked-up, and so on.” — L. Ron Hubbard, December 22, 1954

 
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Overheard in the FreeZone

“I think there is different levels of beingness and as you advance up you always look at the people below you and think that they are insane, but you think you’re sane, then you progress and then you think about how you used to be and you think you were insane, so it’s all a gradient scale, and earthlings on average are not advanced so therefore we are all insane.”

 
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Random Howdy

“Dude, we don’t get ‘in comm’ with people around here, we talk to them.”

 
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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?

 
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THE WHOLE TRACK

[ONE year ago] Checking in on a Scientology ‘ideal’ Christmas as we continue our year in review
[TWO years ago] Scientology donor Joy Villa aiming for Ileana Ros-Lehtinen’s Miami congressional district
[THREE years ago] February made us shiver, but it was another Astounding month here in the Bunker
[FOUR years ago] The Scientologist who sold a hot dinosaur skull to Nicolas Cage
[FIVE years ago] Scientology’s 2014 in review: In chilly February, Hambo began his onslaught
[SIX years ago] Sunday Funnies: Scientology sends us a letter!
[SEVEN years ago] Scientology’s 2012 In Review: Debbie Cook Starts January Off With a BANG!

 
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Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley has not seen his daughter Stephanie in 5,666 days.
Valerie Haney has not seen her mother Lynne in 1,795 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,299 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 1,819 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 839 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 730 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 4,037 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 1,905 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 2,679 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 3,453 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 2,799 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 11,365 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,284 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 3,452 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 3,033 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,294 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 2,332 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 2,045 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,570 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 1,097 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 5,660 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 2,800 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 3,120 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 7,976 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 3,095 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,450 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 5,753 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 1,859 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,261 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 2,133 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 1,716 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 2,211 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,465 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,574 days.

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Posted by Tony Ortega on December 22, 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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