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Scientology and the coronavirus: Keeping the orgs open as ‘essential services’

[L. Ron Hubbard and COVID-19: Illustration by Observer]

On Monday, we told you that Scientology’s holiest event on the calendar, L. Ron Hubbard’s birthday gala in Florida, was canceled over coronavirus fears.

Then on Wednesday, we reported that Scientologists were being called in to be given a new “briefing” which was actually platitudes from a lecture on atomic radiation given by founder L. Ron Hubbard in 1957.

And throughout this week we’ve been seeing mailers and Facebook postings showing that Scientologists are still being called down to the org to take part in group classes and other activities.

Now, we’ve received evidence that as the concerns of individual Scientologists grow over calls by government officials to “shelter in place” and avoid other people, the church is telling members that the orgs will continue to stay open because they count as “essential services,” like medical facilities or first responders.

Here’s just one of the postings in Scientologist groups we saw yesterday making this case…



We’ve looked through the emergency order in Los Angeles, and we don’t see an exception for “essential services” that might include “gouging people for past-life therapy,” but maybe you can find one.



It’s becoming increasingly clear that as the pandemic becomes a greater and greater threat to the public, two of Scientology’s most basic directives are in competition with each other, causing some serious cognitive dissonance.

On the one hand, church leader David Miscavige has sought mainstream acceptance for Scientology through elaborate and expensive initiatives intended to convince the larger public that the organization is a force for good in the world, particularly when it comes to natural disasters. While keeping under wraps Scientology’s extortionate financial practices and Orwellian control policies, Miscavige constantly promotes the idea that Scientology is all about helping the public’s welfare through programs like the Volunteer Ministers, Youth for Human Rights, and the Foundation for a Drug-Free World. And what better opportunity to prove Scientology’s usefulness than a coordinated campaign to help out during the current crisis.

To this end, Scientology has quickly put together a pamphlet that contains the sort of advice about washing hands and keeping distance that we’re also hearing from a myriad of other sources…


Expect to see Scientology launch other initiatives to keep up its strategy that it’s actually a beneficial player in the community.


But Scientology also has a more bedrock directive that is in direct conflict with its showy front groups. Scientology’s most basic strategy for survival is all about human interaction in its recruitment efforts and the revenue it takes in through in-person courses. And that’s causing a schizophrenic approach to the pandemic.

While the church is beginning to make a show that it is helping in the crisis, Scientologists this week are still being urged to leave their homes and come down to the local Scientology org for courses.


Actual caption: “Everyone!! Schools are out! (Long spring break, *wink*) Perfect time for kids/teens (& adults) to start their SRD in the new Belleair Mission’s beautiful and huge (AND sanitized) SRD courseroom, all while keeping a safe distance! Let’s flourish and prosper and GO UP THE BRIDGE!!!”

Meanwhile, this Scientologist has generously paid for 10 of her fellow church members to get the new briefing about atomic radiation at the Pasadena org…


And of course, some Scientologists are pushing the idea that Scientology is the only thing that can save the planet in such trying times. Here’s an example posted yesterday by notorious Scientology wingnut Willow Bellotti…


Kids not in school? No problem. Just dump them at the org.



Actual caption: “The girls are off from school and they wanted to continue on their courses. So I dropped them at Celebrity Centre International to continue on their SRD and Communication is fun course.”

So while Scientology will put on a front that it is helping to spread news about washing hands and social isolation, to its own members it is asking them to come down and congregate at the org where they can hear words such as this from their founder, intended to make them believe that if they just trust in Scientology’s “auditing,” they will be impervious to the new virus:

“Radiation is more of a mental than a physical problem and Scientology handles that,” Hubbard said in his 1957 lecture “Radiation and Scientology.”

The same lecture also contains these gems…

Somebody decides that his wife is mad and he takes her to see a psychiatrist. They put big electrodes on her head and shock her and she comes back. What is she suffering from now? She is suffering from being electrocuted. So one day she walks over to the light and as she turns it on it short-circuits, gives her a slight shock and she is crazy all over again. It often happens and it is quite common. They are using electricity in some wild, barbaric manner in some offhanded attempt to cure insanity.

A man came into the Hubbard Scientology Organization in Phoenix. He had been driving past one of the atomic bomb explosion sites and as he went past the site at some considerable distance away, he saw the flash on the horizon. At once his face and eyes swelled and he could hardly drive into Phoenix. He was in terrible condition and felt very bad about this. So I just gave him a Scientology assist and the swelling went down immediately.

We have made the test with sunlamps and found that a person’s liability to being burned is decreased by the administration of nicotinic acid and the running out of past burns. This, therefore, is true of this type of radiation illness.

In order to make the intake of nicotinic acid more effective, I did more experimenting and eventually combined it with vitamins and other minerals and finally produced a formula called Dianazene…Dianazene runs out radiation — or what appears to be radiation. It also proofs a person up against radiation in some degree. I have seen it run out skin cancer. A man who didn’t have much liability to skin cancer (only had a few moles) took Dianazene. His whole jaw turned into a raw mass of cancer. He kept on taking Dianazene and it disappeared after a while.

If we are alert there is no reason to worry about radiation at this time particularly. But there is the same old worry about the case and health level of the peoples of the Earth, and if we continue along in this same direction, we would also win in the face of radiation. Who knows that we wouldn’t get a plague tomorrow that would wipe out nations. I assure you that it would be the people who are worried and are in a bad state of health who would go down first.

In other words, while the rest of society finds a way to combat a pandemic with sound medical advice, Scientology serves up the usual quackery to its members, that L. Ron Hubbard found the answer to all ills through his quack mind-cures, which they will share with you for the right donation.



Jon Atack on the origins of Dianetics



Source Code

“I don’t know what number the GPM is back at the year 200 trillion. On some PCs it will probably be number 52; and on some PCs it’ll be number 31, don’t you see? So to get a consistent numbering, when we say the first GPM, we mean the one which is nearest or the latest formed one. It’s the goal of that one that you have to have, but some pcs have skidded their wheels. They’ve listened to speeches by the Democrats or they’ve they’ve looked over Australian legal procedure or something like that, and they’ve skidded their wheels. And they’ve gone back to the second GPM and are living this life in the second GPM. You understand that? They’ve met an oppterm, let us say, in the second GPM of sufficient magnitude to cause them to be the terminal of the second GPM. You understand? That’s horrifying, isn’t it? Well, I’ll tell you why it’s horrifying. Because if you found the goal that they are living at this moment, it wouldn’t run. That makes some PCs more difficult to find goals on than others. You follow that? Now, what is more complicated is that the first GPM may or may not be fully formed. You may have only the first eight items of the first GPM formed, or you may have only the first 16 items of the first GPM formed because of course the PC normally is forming these things progressively as you move on up the track. Well, as we were saying last night, it is really too bad that we didn’t have somebody at various points of the track, and he took a gun and he said, ‘Everyone will now postulate his 65th GPM goal’ —bang! You see, and we all did it at once. Only it didn’t work that way. Some fellows postulated theirs thousands of years ago, some billions of years ago, and some trillions of years ago. So this of course makes it an uneven number.” — L. Ron Hubbard, March 21, 1963


Overheard in the FreeZone

“The hidden datum about thetans is that at static there is only one thetan. There is only one of us. All thetans are one beingness, divided against itself. Because there is only one of us at the top of Filbert’s Expanded Tone Scale, any aberative incident which happens to one of us in the presence of another one of us has to be erased also from that point of view, because that other person’s viewpoint is YOURS too! We experience everything that happens around us from the point of view of everything there. But even there’s more. If for example a person is involved in an automobile accident, to achieve total erasure (not merely partial and a release) it would be necessary to assume every viewpoint possible. This would be what looks like madness from a human perspective: the driver of car A, the passenger in car A, the driver of car B, the French poodle in the front seat of car B, the pedestrian who was gazing into a shop window and heard the crash behind her, car A, car B, the pavement, the sky, the buildings, the lamp post, the stop sign (especially the ‘stop’ sign, ha ha!), the sparrow flying past, the tree growing nearby — Get the picture?”



Random Howdy

“So when some little kid says ‘goo goo ga ga’ during an auditing session the auditor tells the parents that junior was speaking in a whole track alien dialect?”


Full Court Press: What we’re watching at the Underground Bunker

Criminal prosecutions:
Jay Spina: Sentencing set for April 3 in White Plains
Hanan and Rizza Islam and other family members: Trial set for April 14 in Los Angeles

Civil litigation:
Luis and Rocio Garcia v. Scientology: Waiting for an appellate decision from the Eleventh Circuit
Valerie Haney v. Scientology: Forced to ‘religious arbitration.’ Hearing on motion for reconsideration set for April 16
Chrissie Bixler et al. v. Scientology: April 22 (plaintiff attorneys pro hac vice), June (demurrers by Masterson and Scientology), June (motions to compel arbitration)
Jane Doe v. Scientology (in Miami): Jane Doe’s attorneys have asked for discovery, depositions (Warren McShane, Lynn Farny), April 20 hearing set (motion to compel arbitration)
Matt and Kathy Feschbach bankruptcy appeal: Oral arguments were heard on March 11 in Jacksonville
Brian Statler Sr v. City of Inglewood: Amended complaint filed.


Start making your plans…

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


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

[Erika Christensen, Ethan Suplee, and Juliette Lewis]

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] That feeling when Scientology tries to creep you out as a recruiting strategy
[TWO years ago] Kirstie Alley goes OT 8, celebrates her ‘confront’ level on Scientology’s cruise ship ‘Freewinds’
[THREE years ago] Reza Aslan is already being dishonest about indie Scientology ahead of CNN episode
[FOUR years ago] No longer working for Monique Rathbun to sue Scientology, Ray Jeffrey opens up
[FIVE years ago] ‘Going Clear’ subject Tom DeVocht reveals new info about Tom Cruise and Scientology’s leader
[SIX years ago] French land sale falls apart once town learns Scientologists are involved
[EIGHT years ago] Battlefield Earth: Still Making the World Safe From Scientology Nearly 12 Years Later


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 1,884 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,388 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 1,908 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 928 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 819 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 4,126 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 1,994 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 2,768 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 3,542 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 2,888 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 11,454 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,373 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 3,541 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 3,122 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,383 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 2,421 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 2,134 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,659 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 1,186 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 5,749 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 2,889 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 3,209 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 8,064 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 3,184 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,539 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 5,842 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 1,948 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,350 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 2,222 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 1,805 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 2,300 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,554 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,663 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on March 21, 2020 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, 1995-2019 Just starting out here? We’ve picked out the most important stories we’ve covered here at the Underground Bunker (2012-2019), 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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