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Scientology’s desperate response to pandemic is to let us see just how creepy it really is

It’s been almost a month since Scientology canceled its L. Ron Hubbard Birthday Event in Clearwater, Florida on March 13 and church leader David Miscavige put out his secret “bulletin” responding to the coronavirus crisis.

In that bulletin, Miscavige furiously took swipes at the “hysteria” of the pandemic and proclaimed that Scientology’s number one priority would be to “PROTECT THE ORG.” And initially, Scientology tried to keep the orgs (churches) open, inviting members to come down and take courses even as stay-home orders were being put in place around the country.

Eventually, reality set in and most orgs closed as Scientologists, like the rest of us, stayed home to help “flatten the curve.”

We’ve also seen Scientology make a public-relations grab with “sanitation teams” handing out booklets with basic advice about washing hands and social distance that we’d already been hearing from health officials for weeks.


But perhaps the oddest and most unexpected thing we’ve seen from Scientology as a result of the pandemic has been the sudden appearance of so many videos that orgs are putting out, sharing Scientology processes freely on Facebook and YouTube.

The unintended result is that we’ve been able to see just how cringeworthy Scientology can be when it’s finally brought out into the light of day.

And today, we have perhaps the most cringeworthy example yet.

“The Orlando Org is posting a lot of Facebook Live seminars,” our tipster let us know and sent us links to some of them. “These two are the creepiest; about halfway through the first one, he starts doing assists by touching a dummy of a little girl, and at certain points there is a female Scientologist off-camera who is the voice of the dummy. Weird shit.”


Orlando “Volunteer Minister” David Avila demonstrates Scientology “touch assists” and “nerve assists” in the two videos, which we’ve embedded below.

Avila reads from Scientology manuals in them, so they tend to drag, and when he was describing the explanation for what a “thetan” is and where the name comes from, we could feel our brain cells dying.

But it’s helpful, we think, for the public to get a sense for what quackery L. Ron Hubbard’s “technology” is, as quoted by Avila. That bacterial infections, for example, are “predetermined by spiritual unrest.” Sure, that sounds legit.

“Every single physical illness stems from a failure of the being to communicate with the thing or area that is ill,” Avila says, and the sad thing is that you can tell he actually believes it.

He then shows the Scientology “touch assist” that is supposed to help the “being” get back in communication with their injured part, in this case represented by “Mary” the doll, who has an injured wrist.

Explaining that he had first been trained how to do touch assists when he was only 7 years old, Avila demonstrates that it involves touching a person with a single finger and then asking, “Feel my finger?”


The nerve assist involves just a little more touching, sort of like an extremely light massage, again intended to flow energy from one part of the body to another.

Really what’s going on here is faith healing, although Scientology doesn’t call it that. But done on a doll of a small child by this jabroni, it really does come off extremely creepy.

Thanks, Scientology, for letting us in on your sketchy practices!



Jon Atack and Chris Shelton on recovering from Scientology



Source Code


“Suzette Hubbard is assigned to the post of Quartermasters Mate Div IV Ship and her pay resumed when she takes post. She did this post well but was both overloaded by added duties and given no assistance on major work actions. She has in the past done several posts well but overload and overwhelm has driven her off them. She is to learn coastal and celestial navigation in part time study so as to be able to train personnel in them. There are too few reliable navigators aboard.” — L. Ron Hubbard, April 11, 1970


Overheard in the FreeZone

“Revealing overts in advance is done to protect against the withhold/missed withhold kickback mechanism plus the double whammy basic/basic-basic is standard practice. In Reverse Scientology the 5 illogics are referred to as the 5 Magics which as we know when misapplied with destructive intent are the anatomy of insanity. The entire set of phenomena and reverse Scientology audits out as an implant GPM case mechanism, including the double whammy which concerning the actual virus and the 5G immune sytem suppressor is something to be cognizant of.”


Random Howdy

“Ingo Swann was a Scientologist at one time and also a superstar of the make-believe magical circus. He was confirmed as being a ‘genuine psychic’ by Professors Dumb & Dumber (Russell Targ and Harold Puthoff), the same suckers who were conned by Uri Geller.”


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

Criminal prosecutions:
Jay Spina: Sentencing was 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 June 17
Chrissie Bixler et al. v. Scientology and Danny Masterson: April 22 (plaintiff attorneys pro hac vice), May 1 (Masterson new demurrer due), June 15 (CSI/RTC demurrer against Riales), July 24 (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.


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] Pageant official: Miss New Yorks are clueless about Scientology and we’re OK with that
[TWO years ago] A new academic book takes apart Scientology and pop culture, and the apologists hate it
[THREE years ago] Federal judge to Scientology: I’m taking over the arbitration, and it’s jail if you interfere
[FOUR years ago] Spying, intimidation, and ruin: Two lives caught up in Scientology’s notorious ‘Fair Game’
[FIVE years ago] Garcias ask for reconsideration on judge’s error: ‘We never agreed that Scientology is a religion’
[SIX years ago] VERDICT: Scientology’s Quebec rehab facility violated human rights of David Love and 2 others
[SEVEN years ago] Dianetics: Your Life Was Ruined Before Birth by Your Parents and Their Dumb Culture


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 1,904 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,408 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 1,928 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 948 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 839 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 4,146 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 2,014 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 2,788 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 3,562 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 2,908 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 11,474 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,393 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 3,561 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 3,142 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,403 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 2,441 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 2,154 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,679 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 1,209 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 5,769 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 2,909 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 3,229 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 8,084 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 3,204 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,559 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 5,862 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 1,968 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,370 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 2,242 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 1,825 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 2,320 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,574 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,683 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on April 11, 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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