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Scientology watchers, start making your plans for HowdyCon 2020 in St. Louis!

 
Happy New Year, Underground Bunker readers! Here we are at the beginning of another year of Scientology watching — but we want you to think ahead to the warmer days of late spring and consider joining us for our annual meet-up!

In 2016, we held our first “HowdyCon” meeting in the Midwest, and this June we’ll be going for convention number five back in that region of the country where so many of our most loyal commenters live.

But let’s back up, for those not sure what we’re talking about. At some point during our book tour for The Unbreakable Miss Lovely in the summer of 2015, one of our readers said she was surprised by how many cities we were visiting. We joked that it was the only way we’d figure out where to have our first convention. Readers then ran with the idea, and decided to hold a vote about where such an event should be held. Cleveland won out, which we thought was a pretty curious choice. But it turned out great.

In the meantime, the question of naming the thing came up, and we then suggested that it might honor Captain Howdy, a/k/a Steven L. Cox, a singular commenter whose passing we noted in 2015. We suggested that the meeting be called HowdyCon, and now it had a name. (We also dedicated our meet-up to another beloved commenter we lost in 2016, Sugarplumfairy, a/k/a Mary Marinelli.)

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[Steve ‘Captain Howdy’ Cox]

Our expert illustrator, Observer, came up with a fun poster for that first HowdyCon in Cleveland as well as HowdyCon 2017 in Denver, HowdyCon 2018 in Chicago and last year’s confab in Los Angeles. And now we’re starting out 2020 with Observer’s new poster for this year’s gathering in Missouri.

We couldn’t put on HowdyCon without a lot of help — TexasBroad leaped into the breach for our first convention, Kim O’Brien did an amazing job for us in Denver, and Chee Chalker was our superb helper in Chicago. Last year in Los Angeles we got a lot of help from multiple people, including Cathy Schenkelberg, Janis Gillham Grady, Jim Underdown, and Spanky Taylor.

And this year, we are putting ourselves into the capable hands of St. Louis resident flyonthewall.

He’s already found us a great venue, a dynamite hotel, and with Observer’s help has been updating the HowdyCon website and preparing a great experience for all of us.

Please start thinking about coming to St. Louis in June. By then, the Church of Scientology is going to be in all kinds of trouble, and we want to talk about it with you over drinks!

Make your reservations now!

 

[Pete Griffiths at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, HowdyCon 2016]

[Cathy Schenkelberg, Pete Griffiths, and Steve Cannane in Denver, HowdyCon 2017]

[Christian Stolte performs in Chicago, HowdyCon 2018]

[Tory Christman and Spanky Taylor in Los Angeles, HowdyCon 2019]

 
——————–

Source Code

“There’s lots been doing lately and there’s lots of road ahead. If there’s ever been a point where we jumped off this is it. You know, we jumped off in 1950 — something on the order of the Christians going into the Roman arena. And those psychiatrists were very hungry lions; they were very hungry, very hungry — very proud, very proud lions, beating their paws against their somewhat mangy chests, saying, ‘We are the bosses of this here arena.’ That’s what they thought. And today I hope that you will get information which will permit, in another year, a Scientologist to say, ‘Scientology processes more psychiatrists in any given year than any other psychotherapy.’ That’d be fun, wouldn’t it? Nice ad in The Saturday Evening Post.” — L. Ron Hubbard, January 1, 1960

 
——————–

Overheard in the FreeZone

“The science of creating advanced spirit beings is not new. Scientology is simply a watered-down version of original Egyptian technology to create those advanced spirit beings. You see the similarity in symbolism because their “spiritual advancement sciences” (science in this case being a religion) emanate from the same source, the ruler(s) of this Matrix. They (rulers) have had this science for millions of years, compared to this Matrix lifetime which is between 12 and 13 thousand years. This ‘knowledge’ can be altered, improved upon or made less effective. The abilities gained are given and in the same way can be taken away by the same Watchers that rule. The original purpose of Scientology which was not ‘to clear the planet’ failed. So they pulled the plug. What we have now is a chaotic mishmash of Scientology offshoots going in every direction but only after physical body death will most Scientologists see where their own brand of Scientology has taken them.”

 
——————–

Random Howdy

“In the 1980s Scientology had 100,000+ members. Today, it has 20,000 or less, plus the more competent members have left. In the 70s & 80s there was Operation Snow White, Operations Daniel and Dynamite (Paulette Cooper) etc. Today, It’s Squirrel Busters, Freedumb Magazine and smear sites no one sees. We have THEM running scared. OSA is a joke.”

 
——————–

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

[Elisabeth Moss, Michael Peña, and Laura Prepon]

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?

 
——————–

THE WHOLE TRACK

[ONE year ago] Scientology watchers, start making your plans for HowdyCon 2019 in Los Angeles!
[TWO years ago] Scientology watchers, start making your plans for HowdyCon 2018 in the Windy City!
[THREE years ago] Five years later: Debbie Cook’s indictment of Scientology under David Miscavige, annotated
[FOUR years ago] Scientology watchers, we’re kicking off the new year by revealing the poster for HowdyCon 2016
[FIVE years ago] A Scientology untold history special report: ‘My lunch with Quentin Hubbard’
[SIX years ago] BUNKER SPECIAL: David Touretzky on L. Ron Hubbard, Mark Twain, and Mary Baker Eddy
[SEVEN years ago] Another Indie Goes All the Way: Simi Valley Ditches Scientology For Good
[EIGHT years ago] Scientology Rocked By Allegations of Greed in E-mail to 12,000 Church Members

 
——————–

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 1,804 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,308 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 1,828 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 848 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 739 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 4,046 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 1,914 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 2,688 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 3,462 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 2,808 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 11,374 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,293 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 3,461 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 3,042 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,303 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 2,341 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 2,054 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,579 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 1,106 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 5,669 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 2,809 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 3,129 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 7,985 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 3,104 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,459 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 5,762 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 1,868 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,270 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 2,142 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 1,725 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 2,220 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,474 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,583 days.

——————–

Posted by Tony Ortega on January 1, 2020 at 00:00

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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