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The skateboard hero & the anti-Semite: Insider report from Scientology’s bizarre celeb event

[The future of Scientology? Aaron Kyro and Tony Muhammad]

Monday afternoon, we received a copy of a flier advertising what sounded like a fairly bizarre event happening that night at Scientology’s Hollywood Celebrity Centre.

It invited Scientologists to come hear about the future of California, and it would feature two very different notable Scientologist speakers: YouTube skateboarder celebrity Aaron Kyro, and controversial anti-Semitic Nation of Islam minister and Scientology Medal of Freedom winner Tony Muhammad.

We were extremely intrigued by this pairing, and fortunately for us, one of our correspondents got into the event and has a full report for us.

We first wanted to remind you about both of these notable characters. Muhammad, the Nation of Islam honcho on the West Coast, we’ve written about many times, and usually because he’s said something awful about Jews or white people in his weekly NOI sermons. Kyro, on the other hand, is the successful proprietor of “Braille Skateboarding,” a skateboarding instruction outfit that has made Kyro a star on YouTube. We first started noticing a couple of years ago that Kyro was becoming more open about his involvement in Scientology.

Last year we were surprised to find him among the major donors celebrated in Scientology’s Impact magazine. He was listed as a “Silver Meritorious With Honors” donor, indicating that he’s given at least $750,000 to Scientology’s membership organization, the International Association of Scientologists. One of the reasons that it surprised us was that wealthy donors tend to be older (Kyro’s only 36), and many of them are from other countries. A dedicated, young YouTube star from right here in the USA, stepping up his involvement in Scientology and donating large amounts? Kyro was certainly an anomaly in what otherwise has been a dwindling organization finding it more and more difficult to appeal to younger Americans.


And now, another surprise: On the flier, Kyro was listed as “PES of the San Francisco Org.” We asked our technical expert, Sunny Pereira, to translate that for us.

“It’s one of three second-in-command positions under the executive director. The position is called ‘Public Executive Secretary.’ They’re over procuring new people for Scientology, the ‘raw public,’ And also over the FSMs there, over the body routers and anyone involved in getting new people into Scientology,” she said.

And this is a paid staff position?

“It’s a staff position only. You have to sign a 2.5- or five-year contract for that position.”

Aaron Kyro is a paid staffer at Scientology’s San Francisco org, and it turns out he has been for more than a decade.

Some additional confirmation of that appeared in a photo posted by a skateboarding fan, who had run into Kyro. In it, you can see Kyro wearing the tell-tale two-toned Scientology staff tie…


Kyro was up first at Monday night’s event, our correspondent tells us. He was introduced by Celebrity Centre International commanding officer Dave Petit, who said that they had a goal to recruit 75 new staff members for the upcoming Ventura “Ideal Org,” and that they wanted to recruit 25 of those new staffers that night as the facility’s grand opening rapidly approaches. Then Petit made way for Kyro.

Here’s our correspondent’s report…

After confirming that most of the people in the audience had seen his Scientology TV episode about the beneficial effect of Scientology on his business, Kyro spoke about how he personally benefited from being on full-time Day staff for the past fourteen or fifteen years. Interspersed throughout his talk were slides containing L. Ron Hubbard quotes that were of particular importance to him.

His story started with him taking the Oxford Capacity Analysis test and scoring abysmally low (e.g., one percentile) in three or four areas including being insecure, withdrawn and critical. This was consistent with him, in fact, being a loser at the time. He showed a slide of his OCA graph. To anyone who had ever interpreted an OCA graph, it was gruesome.

Kyro started in Scientology with the old, massive PE (personal efficiency) course. He repeatedly stressed that he tested every Scientology datum, and being low-toned and critical tried to prove each datum wrong. For example, he used the ARC Triangle at his dentist’s office. The receptionist wound up taking him into the back office, showed him pictures of her family, put him in the chair, got the dentist and told the dentist, “Take care of him first!” He left the office wondering what the hell had just happened.


Contrary to his previous description of himself as a loser, Kyro mentioned that he was the salutatorian of his high school class, but said all that meant was that he was good at memorizing things. He was amazed by the effectiveness of word clearing. How had he gone through twelve years of school and nobody had taught him word clearing?

A staff member explained what a Thetan was, that he was a Thetan, and what Thetans were capable of. Kyro wanted to know, “OK, what happened?” The staff member gave him a copy of A History of Man. Kyro was blown away by the book. He put up a slide with the first sentence of the book, “This is a cold-blooded and factual account of your last 76 trillion years.”

Kyro joined staff after training as a public for two years. (He showed a slide of the signature page from his first staff contract from 2004.) He trained as a supervisor at Flag for two or two-and-a-half years. He eventually passed the supervisor test by recovering thirty students, training them under RTC observation and having RTC approve his CSW to complete. He then returned to San Francisco Day.

His sales pitch was that being on staff all of those years, immersed in Scientology, overseen by a Products Officer, and subject to the “no case on post” rule made him a stronger and better person. (Doing on-the-street Dianetics book sales and E-Meter pinch tests every day for three years really toughened him up. Someone threw a Bible at him.) One of his last slides contained the LRH quote, “Above case gain is competence.” He has now done Super Power, all of the Ls, and has been on OT 7 for three years. His business is thriving. He ended by stressing that, contrary to common opinion, he was not a person who made money prior to joining Scientology who then paid for the Bridge with his prior earnings. On the contrary, it was training and being on staff that caused him to be successful. Kyro was personable and dynamic. His speech was very well-received. I personally have never heard a more effective recruitment speech, and I’ve heard many.

Dynamic and effective? Maybe they ought to send Kyro out with Grant Cardone on a barnstorming campaign.

Instead, they had paired him with Tony Muhammad, the Nation of Islam figure who has achieved Scientology’s Freedom Medal, but has also continued his anti-Semitic harangues in weekly sermons.

Here’s our correspondent on Muhammad’s portion of the event.

Despite his recent and previous well-documented (see also only for example here, here, here, here, here and here) history of anti-Semitism, the next speaker was Nation of Islam Minister Abdul Malik Sayyid Muhammad, a/k/a Tony Muhammad. He wore his IAS Freedom Medal. He was introduced as “Abdul Malik Sayyid Muhammad also known as Tony Muhammad.” Like Kyro, he spoke for about fifty minutes.

He started by thanking Abraham, Moses, Jesus, and Muhammad (i.e., the last prophet of mainstream Islam). He then went on to thank the founder of the Nation of Islam, Master Fard Muhammad, his successor the Honorable Elijah Muhammad, and Minister Louis Farrakhan, very, very briefly stating the history and contributions of each. Muhammad recognized that some might say that Minister Farrakhan was “controversial” but argued that L. Ron Hubbard would be considered “controversial” if he were alive today. The audience responded to this particular argument with silence.

He then told the story about how he got involved with Scientology through Reverend Alfreddie Johnson at a time when he (Muhammad) “had antagonism towards White people.” In making this statement, he was counting on the fact that none of his audience listened to his lectures where he expresses “antagonism towards White people” almost every Sunday, and certainly every Sunday that he delivers a lecture. (When Tony Muhammad doesn’t deliver the Sunday lecture his protégé Student Ministers express their antagonism to White people.)

Muhammad called Celebrity Centre his “home mosque.”

He shared with this audience his Scientology analysis of the plight of Black people that he has previously shared with Nation of Islam audiences on numerous occasions. That Black people have adopted the violent valence of their oppressors (i.e., former White slave masters and current White bigots) and have harmed each other as a result. That as a result of adopting such valence, Black people are not themselves.

Significantly, Muhammad ended this section of his speech by confirming that he is a Class 4 Auditor.

He next addressed the reason for him being there – i.e., urging people to join staff. He started with something Louis Farrakhan had taught him: that you should serve what you love or your love is tainted. His argument was that everyone in the audience loved Scientology, so they should serve Scientology.


He then recounted at great length and in specific detail his successes using The Way To Happiness to avoid a riot after the death of Nipsey Hussle and bringing peace to the gangs thereafter. He told how in a conference call Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti and LAPD Chief Charlie Moore “begged” him to intervene when civil unrest was beginning to break out after Nipsey Hussle’s death, telling him he was the only person who could resolve the situation. That he confirmed the LAPD would cooperate with him and the NOI, and that he would be Chief Moore’s “second in command.” He said that Chief Moore recognized the effectiveness of Scientology. He said Mayor Garcetti and Chief Moore needed his help because “the LAPD doesn’t know how to handle Black people.”

He then explained how he and the NOI were successful in quelling the incipient riot, and then negotiated numerous gang truces that have not only greatly decreased violence in Los Angeles but have also had a beneficial ripple effect in cities throughout the United States and as far away as Japan. The audience was particularly enthralled by his tale of negotiating with the head of the Mexican Mafia who was Facetiming from prison using a smuggled iPhone.

Muhammad’s argument for Ideal Org recruitment was that Ideal Orgs provide a safe base of operations and their staffs provide the supplies for such efforts by him and the NOI. The picture he painted was of him and the NOI being on the front lines with the Ideal Orgs and their staffs being in the rear. He did make it clear that the people providing the logistical support, the staffs of the Ideal Orgs, were just as necessary and important as the people on the front lines, he and the members of the NOI. He told how tears came to the eyes of people in South Central Los Angles when they saw Black NOI members and White Scientologists working together for peace.

While recounting one of his successful actions ending gang violence, he mentioned in passing that some people have called him ‘anti-Semitic,” his attitude making it clear that the charge was ridiculous. The audience didn’t know how to respond to this, so they didn’t.

It is significant that every time Muhammed mentioned the Hubbard tech of “The Way To Happiness” he also made a point of referring on a co-equal basis to the NOI tech of The Million Man March Pledge and The Eight Steps of Atonement. It appears that everywhere he and the NOI distribute The Way To Happiness they also distribute The Million Man March Pledge and The Eight Steps of Atonement.

While the audience response to the earlier, NOI-centric portion of the speech had been a bit flat, their response in the end was genuinely energetic and enthusiastic. They absolutely love him – when he talks about and praises Scientology; when he talks about and praises the NOI, perhaps not so much. Then they are not quite sure how to respond. He is, however, a truly charismatic, natural and gifted speaker. He can have a Scientology audience eating out of the palm of his hand if he is willing to pay the price. He just has to decide whether he is willing to pay it.

After he left the stage, the master of ceremonies thanked “Tony Muhammad.” Muhammad marched back up on stage, made a point of saying that his name had been changed to Abdul Malik Sayyid Muhammad, and explained the meanings of “Abdul,” “Malik” and “Sayyid.” It was very important to him that he be referred to by his new name.

The master of ceremonies retook the stage and brought up the whiteboard to write down the names of new staff members. As this occurred, waiters brought dessert plates (chocolate bunt cake, pastries) to each table. Audience members were asked to complete different, slightly camouflaged Scientology recruitment surveys that were on the tables.

I don’t know how many people were recruited because I was not going to stay to the bitter end.

I have attended similar Ideal Org recruitment events at the Celebrity Centre Pavilion in the past. This event was not as crowded as past events, which were standing room only, and the energy and enthusiasm levels were lower. It was not as nearly as loud, boisterous and “Tone 40” as prior such events. The pressure applied to potential recruits during this event was much lower than that applied at prior events. It was by the standards of Scientology a subdued affair.

We’re now hearing that the Ventura Ideal Org’s grand opening will take place on February 22, which explains the rush in recruiting and why this odd pair was called upon to make such a plea.

We had thought Austin might go this week, and it’s true that Scientology leader David Miscavige seems to love his back-to-back grand opening weekends, but now we’re not sure that Austin is ready yet. But Ventura sounds like it’s very close.

Process servers, take note.

And thank you, correspondent, for that thorough report.



L. Ron Hubbard has returned as Taylor Swift and is running for president in 2024?

Residents of Clearwater reported getting a bizarre postcard in the mail yesterday, announcing that L. Ron Hubbard has returned, and asking them to nominate a replacement for current Scientology leader David Miscavige.

Say what?

The most fun thing about the mailer was that it said that Hubbard had been reincarnated with just enough clues to figure out who the Great Thetan is currently inhabiting:

LRH is 30, alive and well, has over 100 million followers, was the world’s highest paid celebrity last year, according to Forbes and plans to run for President in 2024. If LRH succeeds, she will be the youngest President at the age of 35.

A photo of a young girl is included with the caption “13 December 1989-”

And what entertainer was born on that date? Why, none other than Taylor Swift, who certainly sings a lot better than Hubbard ever did.




The mailer provides a link to a GoFundMe campaign, where the prankster behind it, Robert Almblad, is asking for $150,000 — what for, he doesn’t say — and asking for nominations for Sea Org members to replace Miscavige.

The page also features an 8-minute video of Almblad, from an interview he did with Ron Miscavige on Ron’s weekly vlog.

Almblad is someone Scientology Watchers know very well. We wrote a series about him at the Village Voice and how he was attempting to bring a bacteria-free ice machine to industrial users, but his company was disrupted by a fierce Scientology “Fair Game” campaign of harassment because he dared to give Mike Rinder a job.

Almblad and his ice machine story were also featured in a really compelling and emotional episode of Leah Remini’s series Scientology and the Aftermath.

We emailed Robert last night to let him know we had enjoyed his prank, gently ribbing him for not cluing us into it earlier.

He responded, and that’s when we got a bit of a shock.

He’s actually… serious.

It turns out that Amblad genuinely believes that midcentury reactionary rightist L. Ron Hubbard has returned in the form of progressive millennial Taylor Swift. He says he promised friends he would say nothing about it publicly, but when Swift recently dared to utter some political opinions, he figured it was time to speak up.

As for the GoFundMe, he says he didn’t really expect anyone to donate to it and had chosen the number $150,000 somewhat randomly, and apparently he’s been trying to convince Scientologists in Clearwater to “nominate” Diana Hubbard to replace Miscavige for some time.

He sent us this photo of flags that he’s had flying at his house since January 7…



We told Almblad that we were unaware of a “nomination” process in Scientology’s rules that would allow someone to depose Miscavige as leader, and he told us that it was his idea.

Well, OK then.


Source Code

“I have a bit of a news bulletin, has nothing to do with the mental health empire that Mr. Kennedy is trying to create in the United States at 1.6 billion dollars, that isn’t news. The Federal government, of course, always has wanted the right to incarcerate any citizen for-without trial, and of course, immediately they get their Legislation passed, why, they’ll be able to do that. In other words, they’ll be able to incarcerate any citizen without commission-permission from his family, without a medical consultation and without a trial, and will be able to move him at any time without the consultation with the family or a hearing or a trial, and do anything to him they wish, such as electric shocks and prefrontal lobotomies. And of course that makes a very interesting political empire, and Mr. Kennedy is trying to create just that empire right this minute. So I think that’s very interesting.” — L. Ron Hubbard, February 12, 1963


Overheard in the FreeZone

“In the free field, are young Auditors being made? The scenario that I can see (and I hope I will be very wrong) is people in their 50s, 60s, or 70s training in some Freezone Orgs in the world, but I can not see young ones. I’m worried — is there going to be a new generation of Auditors at all? I´m not personally in the KSW protector position frankly, and I have always said that for me some things LRH discovered are just nonsense. But I have also said always that 80 or 85 percent of basic Scientology Technology is pure gold, so IMHO it needs to be passed to the next generation. I’m Grad V Auditor with four internships fully done and I have 39 years in; I’m single and looking for a girlfriend that has Auditor training (this last is a joke, bear with me). Do you know some specific things being done in this particular area, young Auditors in training anywhere in the world? Any of you know Auditors in their 20s or 30s?”


Random Howdy

“If only we could take a ride in Mr. Peabody’s Wayback Machine to pre-1970 and that magical time before the 100 percent scientifically correct TECH turned into incomprehensible DRECK. The gods are cruel.”


Start making your plans…

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


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?



[ONE year ago] ‘Scientology and the Aftermath’ shelved two episodes, delayed one in season three
[TWO years ago] How Scientology gamed Google to increase the effectiveness of its Super Bowl ad
[THREE years ago] Welcome to your Scientology nightmare, people of Clearwater, Florida
[FOUR years ago] SCIENTOLOGY’S SPACE MAN: The newest defector from church management opens up
[FIVE years ago] Fact-checking Danny Masterson’s remarkable Paper interview about Scientology
[SIX years ago] This is Scientology today: Oregon 10-year-old celebrated for donating $100,000
[SEVEN years ago] Scientology Does Star Wars: That’s No Moon, It’s a Fundraiser!
[EIGHT years ago] Scientology Sunday Funnies: Fresh Meat in the Windy City!


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 1,846 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,350 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 1,870 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 890 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 781 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 4,088 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 1,956 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 2,730 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 3,504 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 2,850 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 11,416 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,335 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 3,503 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 3,084 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,345 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 2,383 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 2,096 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,621 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 1,148 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 5,711 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 2,851 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 3,171 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 8,026 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 3,146 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,501 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 5,804 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 1,910 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,312 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 2,184 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 1,767 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 2,262 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,516 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,625 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on February 12, 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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