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Scientology’s ‘Purif’ detox gets the ‘Reckless Ben’ treatment in video debuting here today

[Michael, left and Ben enlighten us about Scientology]

Who are these guys? That was one of the reactions we had when we saw the dynamite first two videos put out by a couple of young infiltrators who have brought out some of the most fascinating (and hilarious) undercover video from inside Scientology in a long time.

It turns out they’re “Reckless” Ben Schneider, 24, and his friend Michael Fortner, 23, who both recently moved to Los Angeles from Ohio.

Ben’s a professional slackliner with a YouTube channel that hosts videos of his balancing exploits and also some prankish setups. The channel has a few thousand subscribers, and so far the two Scientology videos they’ve put out have amassed views of a few thousand.

If they’re not exactly going viral, it’s not for a lack of quality. The Sunday Service they filmed secretly at the LA Org in part one is glorious fun. And the way Ben gets Scientology staffers to encourage him to commit a theft in order to pay for his copy of “Dianetics” in part two is truly inspired.

The first thing we asked them, though, was about the date on the videos, which appear to have been shot three years ago.


“The date on the spy glasses is wrong and we didn’t know how to take them off,” Ben said. The videos were actually filmed just a couple of weeks ago.

Ben tells us that he moved out to LA to help Tik Tok recruit other athletes to the video platform, which he gets paid for. And they just happened to end up in a house right by the Big Blue Scientology complex in Los Angeles.

“We were kind of curious. We knew they were kind of crazy, lunatic people. We had these spy glasses so we said, hey let’s go in there,” Ben says. “It sucks that nobody has ever heard what is going on there.”

We pointed out that, actually, there’s been quite a bit about Scientology’s practices on television and the Internet in recent years, but we understand what he means.

“Your typical person on the street doesn’t know what’s going on in there. So we wanted to make people see what’s happening there. We wanted to make a documentary that your average person would want to watch,” he says.

Well, they certainly achieved that. After a short intro with some of the staff they talked with, the first episode gets to a “Sunday Service” they attended at the LA Org.

It was just a few weeks ago that we were marveling at a 1954 audio recording of L. Ron Hubbard doing “group processing,” asking an audience to respond to rather ridiculous set of questions, like if they had hands or a head. Sunny Pereira told us that this kind of activity today was relegated to Sunday Service, which is largely a sop to an unknowing public that expects a “church” to have a weekly service. (Scientology is actually about auditing, which takes place between a “preclear” and an auditor, and can happen any time of the day or night or day of the week.)


[Fortner in the front row, letting himself have a head]

Ben and Mike caught a mindblowing Sunday Service activity of group processing that yes, the general public should really see. It’s almost a perfect inoculation for people who might be curious about joining Scientology. Here, take a look…


The duo say they were eventually made by the church, which told them they were no longer welcome. Since then they’ve been shooting additional footage and editing like mad to keep up their weekly schedule, pulling several all-nighters. The editing really helps make the videos fun to watch.


In the second video, which is longer, Ben keeps several staffers dangling as he comes up with excuses for why he doesn’t have the $25 for a copy of ‘Dianetics,’ which he needs in order to get his progress in Scientology really going. Meanwhile, they keep interrogating him to find out if he’s actually a spy trying to infiltrate the church.

He suggests to a young woman staffer that he plans to steal a game console from a friend and pawn it for enough money to pay for the book and more. He then puts her on the spot about how she feels about it, and it’s really quite stunning television, we have to say. Of course the Scientology staffer, part of the “most ethical people on earth,” is fine with Ben’s proposed idea of using his ill-gotten cash to pay for the Hubbard book.


We also very much enjoyed the graphic illustration of just how small Scientology actually is. Loved the drone shot of the football field. Yes, Scientology really is tiny!

The duo are planning on five episodes in total, and tell us they haven’t heard any reaction to the first two episodes from the church itself.

They say they were surprised to get an invite to the December 31 New Year’s Eve celebration for the LA Org. By then, they figured, they’d been made.

Ben says he took precautions anyway, getting a haircut and hoping they wouldn’t be recognized. But it didn’t work.

“They told us that we were no longer allowed in,” Ben says.

“We’re banned,” Michael adds.

It was their last attempt to get into a Scientology facility.

So they’ve been focusing on putting together the footage they have. And they tell us they’ve been shooting additional scenes this weekend for their third episode, which they say will focus on the Purif, Scientology’s “detox” regimen.

They planned to pull another all-nighter, and hope to get us the link to their video as this story is going to print this morning.


We told them that if we have to wait a little longer for it to be ready, we’ll manage.

And here it is…


Scenes from the climate apocalypse

We’re heartsick about the horrific news about the young couple who drowned in an elevator in flooded Tel Aviv. The scenes coming out of Israel from recent heavy weather are really frightening.

A reader wanted us to know that the Jaffa Ideal Org hasn’t been spared and sent us this photo showing signs that the staff there has been trying to keep water out of the building.

The Jaffa Org is already being inconvenienced by the street it’s on being ripped up for major reconstruction that will last a couple of years. It’s a grim scene.



Source Code

“Now, I have actually seen auditors get jealous of their preclears simply because the preclear did so well. And the auditor couldn’t rest till he dropped a vase on the preclear’s foot or upset the ashtray or did something. I know of one case — very, very remarkable — of a guy very highly connected, and in fact the source of trouble in the Wichita Foundation, who had a blind man with his sight on and who forcefully and violently kicked the foot of the bed on which he was auditing this blind man. You know, the sight came on and he kicked the foot of the bed. And the shock was considerable there and it took the blind man’s sight off. Nobody else processed the blind man, either. As far as I know he’s blind to this moment.” — L. Ron Hubbard, January 6, 1955


Overheard in the FreeZone

“I was audited by a class 8 auditor. Further processing something else, I took over the session using her and her meter to guide me to answer some questions I had. I went to the days of the crucifixion and went inside Christ body and some very heavy forces was hitting the spirit of me, not the body. I left the body, looked from a distance, and saw an oval of gold light in front of him and this oval went up into the sky and it was a UFO implanting the area and running beams on the being of Christ. I yelled, it was a trick. Whoever was in that ship tricked Christ into doing that crucifixion for what reasons I don’t know, but the being in me knows.”


Random Howdy

“Scientologists have had a King Arthur fetish going back to day one. LRH moving to England buying a ‘castle,’ very expected and cliched to say the least. Knights of the Three Card Monte Table, here to save the world.”


Start making your plans…

Head over to the convention website and meet us in St. Louis!


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] Scientologists told to seize on Australian stabbing death as a recruiting opportunity
[TWO years ago] Scientology actress Jenna Elfman fully stoked by church’s new expansion push!
[THREE years ago] Scientology’s disgusting secret: Young teens used to interrogate adults about their sex lives
[FOUR years ago] Scientology becoming a ghost town; ALSO: Illinois man arrested for threatening Miscavige
[FIVE years ago] Ryan Hamilton makes it 26 lawsuits against Scientology’s drug rehab scheme
[SIX years ago] VIDEO LEAK: Scientology’s November IAS Gala, featuring a slimmed-down David Miscavige
[SEVEN years ago] Sunday Funnies: Scientology Finds a Better Use for ‘Dianetics’!
[EIGHT years ago] Scientology in Turmoil: Debbie Cook’s E-Mail, Annotated


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 1,809 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,313 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 1,833 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 853 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 744 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 4,051 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 1,919 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 2,693 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 3,467 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 2,813 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 11,379 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,298 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 3,466 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 3,047 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,308 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 2,346 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 2,059 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,584 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 1,111 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 5,674 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 2,814 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 3,134 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 7,990 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 3,109 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,464 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 5,767 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 1,873 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,275 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 2,147 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 1,730 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 2,225 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,479 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,588 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on January 6, 2020 at 07:00

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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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