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This year’s best Scientology shoops by readers of the Underground Bunker

Like last year, we asked Observer for some of her favorite illustrations that readers of the Bunker posted over the last year. Observer is a shoop specialist herself and provides us with our annual poster and marketing for HowdyCon.

We’ll be making her poster for the 2020 gathering public at midnight on New Year’s Eve, another of our traditions.

Anyway, in no particular order, she sent us these five shoops that had her chuckling. At the top of the page, that’s ot8isgrrreat! and his take on profligate spender David Miscavige having to scale back.

Observer also dug Richard’s take on Scientology’s whales showing off their OT powers…



Phil Jones proves again that he has salty sense of humor…


Mark Parry-Maddocks always stuns us with how quickly he puts together his shoop of the day. Observer was especially taken with this one…


And Kristin G combined an L. Ron Hubbard photo with a phrase in one of his quotes. His diction really is too little examined for its comedy potential, we think.



Thank you to all of the Bunker artists. Please let us know what some of your favorite illos were from this year.


Continuing our year in review: The stories of July 2019

Early in July, we got our hands on Scientology’s answer to the Garcias and their appeal of a decision to force them into arbitration. We remarked that the church’s answer appeared to set a new record for cynicism and legal depravity.

On Independence Day, once again we asked former Scientologists to tell us about what it was like to break free of the “Bridge to Total Freedom.”

A special set of whales — wealthy donors — was celebrated in South Africa by Scientology, and so we made sure everyone knew their names.

Brendan Tighe told us a shattering story of how Scientology disconnection was producing bizarre and heartbreaking scenes for his family as his grandmother was in the hospital.

Phil and Willie Jones decided to give Scientology the benefit of the doubt and went by its biggest Canadian org on what should have been its biggest day of the week to see how busy it was.

Sunny Pereira described the Orwellian situation of dividing up family funerals because of Scientology disconnection.

Chris Owen was back to debunk yet another Scientology myth, this time examining what really motivated the FDA to investigate the church in the 1960s.

If Scientology is considering replacing the aging cruise ship Freewinds, Rod Keller did some shopping.

Jon Atack found some science fiction ephemera that may have inspired L. Ron Hubbard’s ideas about space cooties.


Leah Remini’s Aftermath was nominated for another Emmy, and we asked readers to tell us their favorite scenes from the series.

Some rare good news: After reviewing the situation, the Miss New York organization decided that it was through being a patsy for a Scientology front organization.

Another rare event: A local activist turned down an offer of an award from a Scientology front after doing his research and realizing that he was being used.

Mike Rinder made public an LAPD report about a woman who was very briefly in Scientology, but then told police she was kept from leaving. We emphasized that it was actor Jason Dohring who had helped lure the woman into the Celebrity Centre.

And finally, the month ended with a fun look at the actor who had been picked to portray L. Ron Hubbard in a brief scene at the end of the final episode of the Strange Angel second season. Sadly, the show was then canceled, so we won’t see more Strange Angel episodes with LRH.

A LOOK BACK AT JULY 2018: Photos from Maiden Voyage included what would become an infamous shot of David Miscavige getting pinned with a medal. A witness in the Danny Masterson investigation provided proof that they were being subjected to frightening harassment. With trial nearing, Laura DeCrescenzo served David Miscavige with a notice to appear. A stunning new story of Scientology financial crime begins to unfold in the tale of Efrem Logreira and an ice cream party. Chris Owen reconsidered the UK ban on Scientology on its 50th anniversary. We reported the puzzling suicide of a young Scientologist visiting the Flag Land Base. And Sunny Pereira treated us to her Scientology passport!

A LOOK BACK AT JULY 2017: Clay Irwin snagged images from the spy camera aimed at his house. L. Ron Hubbard explained how you could crush a planet between thumb and forefinger with OT powers. Scientology billionaires yoked the fortunes of the world’s biggest-selling drug to an ongoing windfall for Scientology. Tommy Davis’s Hollywood dream ended, and so did his marriage. Paulette Cooper turned 75.

A LOOK BACK AT JULY 2016: How the parents of a Kazakh woman got her back from the Sea Org. We marked the passing of Steve “Sarge” Pfauth at 70. We found that Joey Chait’s story was more complex than some had it. Rebecca McKee told us how she reunited with her high school sweetheart. And we said goodbye to Arlene Cordova.

A LOOK BACK AT JULY 2015: We wrote about Scientology’s day care from hell. Brian Sheen’s full Scientology story turned out to be pretty fascinating. Chris Shelton emceed us in Denver. And Nick Lister dished on Tom Cruise ruthlessly putting ethics in on his own family.

A LOOK BACK AT JULY 2014: Our Independence Day special, when Jeremy Powers defied disconnection and came home. We said goodbye to John Joseph, a man who cared. Camilla Andersson went public after 29 years in Scientology. And we live-blogged ID network’s show on Elli Perkins (which featured your proprietor).

A LOOK BACK AT JULY 2013: Leah Remini defects, Shelly Miscavige speaks, Jim Lynch exteriorizes, and Christian Stolte rocks.

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


July 4: Mighty Korgo of Teegeeack
My escape story was very simple, at least on one level. I told the course supervisor I was leaving. I left. I had no money and I knew nothing. They phoned me once trying to convince me to return and I refused. I said that I would return when Scientology was scientifically validated. The way they were talking that could have happened at any time. “What is the worst thing that could happen? ” I asked. “You could interiorize into a rock,” I was told. Resilient guy that I am, I decided to take my chances.

July 6: снцк1с1та
Brendan Tighe’s mom had to make outrageous demands of her own family to adjust to her reality, which is evidently so fragile that if she talks with Brendan, it will collapse. Yet she is somehow saving the planet? What an inflated sense of self worth.

July 11: Hana Eltringham Whitfield
Hello, Chris, and thank you for your insightful article about Hubbard [and the FDA]. I often thought Hubbard was the architect of his own battles even when I served under him on his ships. After his solo auditing (research) sessions and after receiving beneficial (to his goals) news, he’d be tranced out for a while, sometimes for hours while his logical thinking mind was out to lunch.

July 17: Jeb Burton
The [‘Aftermath’ scene] with Mark Bunker had the biggest effect around here. The scene with the CPD responding like it was a bank robbery when the cult called about an alleged trespass really opened the eyes of some residents. It showed how the police were in the pocket of Scientoiogy. Chief Slaughter had to go on an unsuccessful media tour to explain how the cult got no special favors from them. He even wrote an op ed in the TBT which almost all of the comments were of people sharing their experiences in downtown and exposing the overtime cops got from the cult. Now Mark Bunker is running for city council and that episode may get him elected.

July 22: Mat Pesch
Over 95 percent of Scientology orgs have been small, insolvent and struggling for decades. When I was Treasury Sec FSO in 2002 my staff and I called the person responsible for the Treasury of every org on the planet. We talked one on one to these people with no filter. We found that with the exception of a couple of the large Sea Org orgs, every single org was financially insolvent in a BIG way. I then had the opportunity to tour a couple dozen of the U.S. and European orgs. Not only were they empty and struggling but the staff had a resentment toward management and those orgs senior to them. The reason is that in desperation each org is trying to steal personnel and business from others orgs, especially those lower on the chain of seniority….The lower orgs can never grow. So now when Miscavige needs to invest the stockpiled billions into real estate in an effort to maintain tax exemption, there is a real problem. A huge multi million dollar building is purchased and handed to a handful of rag tag struggling staff. Where are the staff supposed to come from? Where are enough local affluent Scientology public suddenly supposed to come from to support to new huge building? There are more bills than ever before. Even less money to pay staff. Management gets more bloody minded toward any remaining staff as they must be the reason the org is failing despite the “wonderful new building.” Every new “ideal org” is failing while they are all being told all the other “ideal orgs” are experiencing overwhelming expansion. Managements solution to opening “ideal orgs” has been to steal and move around staff so things look okay for opening day. That just makes things even worse. Pretty soon even that becomes almost impossible to pull off. Scientology concentrates more and more on direct donations from millionaires and more affluent Scientologists because it can’t survive on the peanuts paid up to management from the insolvent, struggling, empty orgs. Scientology goes against its own policy and refuses to return any of the hundreds of millions of dollars of unused prepayments on account in order to prevent a sort of “run on the bank.” More and more people get upset. Scientology’s PR problems and bad reputation grows. It’s a total downward spiral that Scientology finds itself in. So yes, this recent all-day event being scheduled by Scientology will be an effort to find some people to be staff and sales personnel for Scientology.


Leaked document of the day

From the Valley Org documents release comes this item.

Another slice of life from the Valley, very recent, showing the miserable snitching and paranoia of travel on the ‘Bridge to Total Freedom.’



Source Code

“Some people have been awfully mean to us. Now let’s knock them down the emotional curve. The way you do it is to define a miracle and then turn them out, because you can turn out a certain percentage of miracles. The lame aren’t good enough — you want somebody who can’t walk. The blind are fine, but don’t get people blind in just one eye; you want a seeing-eye-dog type of blindness. And if you follow out that line of advance you will then, as a third-, fifth- or tenth-echelon reaction, help all the others….All of a sudden it starts word of mouth all over: ‘Dianetics is turning on people’s sight.’ Everybody who is blind, who really wants some help and objects to being blind and isn’t basing all the approval of his life upon being blind, will be on the other end of a telephone, as far as you are concerned….Let’s set up shop and undo three specific problems. I know you have a lot of preclears that are hanging on your skirts and so forth. Give them the book and tell them to give you a call, and you go to work on blindness, arthritis ‘can’ts’ and children in bed with the aftereffects of polio. Just work on those categories. Don’t take children that have been all chewed up by surgery. You can make them better off but they are not spectacular.” — L. Ron Hubbard, December 27, 1951


Overheard in the FreeZone

“I was in contact with my son before he was born…We come from knowing everything, at least my son did, into a baby body that now is expected to need to learn everything. Seems crazy. But my son told me that he would have to disconnect our link so he could forget everything so he could then learn it again. At three days old he came to me and said goodbye, he told me it was time for him to forget and he could not do that and keep our link. For me it felt physical like a door slammed into my face and then he was gone.”


Random Howdy

“When I first read about ‘TR-Alice’ I was stunned because to me it was so obviously Hubbard laughing at his marks and laying out a huge clue that he was scamming them.”


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

[Kelly Preston, Jason Dohring, and Anne Archer]

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’s humanitarians will continue to salvage this planet in 2019
[TWO years ago] Looking back at July ’17: How a billionaire set up psych drugs to fuel Scientology into the future
[THREE years ago] Tonight on ‘Leah Remini’: Marc & Claire Headley on forced abortions and Sea Org escapes
[FOUR years ago] Scientology’s 2015 in review: Our July travels, and the day care story we can’t forget
[FIVE years ago] Scientology’s 2014 in review: For July, a stunning story of independence
[SIX years ago] Scientology’s 2013 in review: The appeals of May and the blunts of June
[EIGHT years ago] Scientology Shoop of the Year — The Vote Is In!


Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley (1952-2019) did not see his daughter Stephanie in his final 5,667 days.
Valerie Haney has not seen her mother Lynne in 1,800 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,304 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 1,824 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 844 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 735 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 4,042 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 1,910 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 2,684 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 3,458 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 2,804 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 11,370 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,289 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 3,457 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 3,038 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,299 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 2,337 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 2,050 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,575 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 1,102 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 5,665 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 2,805 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 3,125 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 7,981 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 3,100 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,455 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 5,758 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 1,864 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,266 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 2,138 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 1,721 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 2,216 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,470 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,579 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on December 27, 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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