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Tom Cruise in orbit: Why it makes sense for NASA to launch Scientology’s space cadet

What a welcome distraction it was yesterday as news spread that NASA, Elon Musk, and Tom Cruise were in talks to launch the Mission Impossible actor to the International Space Station in order to film scenes for an as yet unplotted movie.

Tom Cruise in space! Well, that would certainly be a career-topper for Hollywood’s greatest action hero, wouldn’t it? We don’t know how serious those talks are, or whether, in a time that governments are trying defeat a lethal pandemic and stave off a depression, launching actors into orbit is the best use of our resources right now, but what the hell. Tom Cruise in space!

Of course, we started getting questions right away about the Scientology connection. What would it mean that Scientology’s most famous figure would shoot a movie on the space station, like something L. Ron Hubbard would have written for the pulps?


Well, we had some thoughts about what it means for Tom Cruise to get launched on a rocket.

1. He’s been there before. A core tenet of Scientology is that we are each of us immortal beings known as “thetans” who have lived for trillions of years, inhabiting a countless number of bodies over countless lifetimes that have occurred in other planets and other galaxies. “Tom” or rather, the thetan that is inhabiting his body, has been in space so many times he’s lost track. As a Scientologist, Cruise has spent years at hundreds of dollars an hour to recover those memories of his past lives, confirmed by the swinging needle of an e-Meter. He knows that he’s ruled prison planets, he’s invaded galactic confederations, he’s died thousands of times in epic space battles, and he’s made out with green women sporting big hair, just like Shatner. Going into orbit to shoot a few scenes of a movie should be no big deal for him.

2. If he burns up in re-entry, he just grabs a new body. Space flight is not without its risks. Some of us still remember the sick feeling in our stomachs when we watched the Challenger disaster in 1986, and then later when we read about how those doomed astronauts were aware of their fate for minutes as they fell back to earth. Ugh. And then there was the Columbia tragedy in 2003, another set of astronaut heroes who burned up in the atmosphere because of an equipment failure. No matter how much care is taken launching Cruise into orbit, there will be a not insignificant chance that he doesn’t get back in one piece. But here’s the good news. As a Scientologist, Tom knows that he’s an immortal thetan, and if the body he’s walking around in now gets atomized in a space crash, he would just get whisked to Venus or Mars for some between-life implanting and memory erasure imposed by an invading alien space force, and then he’d be sent back down to earth to head for the nearest maternity ward, jump into a newborn, and start a new life. Unfortunately, he’d have no memory of being Tom Cruise in his previous life, but again, that’s where Scientology comes to the rescue: With expensive auditing during his next life, he’d be able to defeat the memory erasure imposed by the invaders and remember that he’d been America’s greatest action star. It’s all good!

3. Scientology is on fumes, and it’s awfully big of NASA to lend a hand. Although Scientology claims to have millions of adherents and even, in a 2012 ad, said that it was gaining 4.4 million new people a year, the truth is that it has never had anything like those numbers. At its height, around the year 1990, it had around 100,000 active members around the world, but the last twenty years have been so bad, we’ve put together evidence that the number of active Scientologists is only about 15,000 now. Scientology is struggling, and the pandemic has not helped. But hey, here’s Elon Musk and NASA to the rescue! Scientology never misses an opportunity to pretend not only that it’s “the fastest growing religion in the world,” but that it’s the “world’s coolest religion” and that it’s a mainstream affair. Any involvement with Tom Cruise and NASA will provide fodder for countless new ads and come-ons from church leader David Miscavige and his hired hands.

4. Tom Cruise will finally get to meet Xemu. Or rather, that’s “xEMU,” NASA’s new space suit, which shares a name with Scientology’s ultimate villain. L. Ron Hubbard’s nutty tale about how Earth was populated with billions of murdered souls by a galactic overlord whose name could be spelled Xenu or Xemu (Hubbard used both) became part of pop culture in 2005 thanks to the team at South Park. Just the other day we pointed out how odd it was that NASA had adopted the name xEMU for its new space-walk outfit, and if Cruise ends up donning it for his filmed scenes, John Travolta will spontaneously combust in ecstasy or something.

5. Cruise can be a deadbeat dad from space just as well as from the ground. Imagine your dad goes to space, and all you get is a postcard. But that’s likely to be all Suri Cruise gets out of the experience, since her father decided years ago that his young daughter was the demon seed and stopped seeing her. Now, it’s true that since his ex, Katie Holmes, caused a major public relations disaster for Scientology when she ditched him while he was just pretending to be an astronaut while filming scenes for Oblivion in Iceland in 2012, she would be considered a “suppressive person” and Suri would then be a “potential trouble source” for being connected to her. But here’s the thing, Tom is Scientology’s biggest celebrity and if he wanted to he could ignore all of those rules. So why doesn’t he ignore Scientology’s heartbreaking family-ripping rules and see his daughter? As we have said again and again, maybe he’s just that much of an asshole. It sure would be good to see a journalist who has the chance at a Tom In Space press conference to ask him why his daughter was ditched like spent rocket fuel.


Bonus items from our tipsters

In Tampa…




Source Code

“I saw a little fellow once, about 110 pounds, pick up a grand piano and shove it out of a burning house. He never pushed a barbell in his life. Of course, when he got out on the lawn; he wondered who brought the piano out. He just produced enough energy at that moment and overcame enough gravity and threw enough postulates out the window so that the piano would dematerialize in the living room, and rematerialize in the front lawn. And he says, ‘I wonder who brought that piano out?’ Now, if he had arduously trained himself so as to eat Wheaties, why, he would have, of course, left the piano right where it was.” — L. Ron Hubbard, May 7, 1954


Overheard in the FreeZone

“You have to not know to have a game. We want a game. Knowing all is no game. You can convert a game into a no game by knowing, you can convert no game into a game by not knowing.”


Random Howdy

“Hubbard just took ‘astral projection’ and redefined it as ‘exteriorization’.”


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 October 7 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 August 11
Chrissie Bixler et al. v. Scientology and Danny Masterson: July 8 (plaintiff attorneys pro hac vice), August 31-Sept 1 (CSI/RTC demurrer against Riales, Masterson demurrer), Oct 7-19 (motions to compel arbitration)
Jane Doe v. Scientology (in Miami): Jane Doe’s attorneys have asked for discovery, depositions (Warren McShane, Lynn Farny), amended complaint filed
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!

[Jenna Elfman, Giovanni Ribisi, and Greta Van Susteren]

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?



[TWO years ago] Scientology celeb Joy Villa takes down her ‘testing the waters’ for Congress web pages
[THREE years ago] Even in Mexico, Scientology bullies people with hired muscle — but for now strikes out
[FOUR years ago] Scientology’s hypnotic suggestion: What’s true for you is what’s true for L. Ron Hubbard
[FIVE years ago] Guest post: 20 reasons the Church of Scientology is a cult and a fraud
[SIX years ago] Scientology’s plans for the KCET studios in Los Angeles finally taking shape?
[EIGHT years ago] The Five Most Dream-Like Sequences in the John Travolta Sex-Assault Lawsuit
[TEN years ago] Tom Cruise Was Secretly Videotaped So Scientology Leader David Miscavige Could Regale Party Guests?


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 1,930 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,434 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 1,954 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 974 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 865 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 4,172 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 2,040 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 2,814 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 3,588 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 2,934 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 11,500 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,419 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 3,587 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 3,168 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,429 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 2,467 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 2,180 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,705 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 1,235 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 5,795 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 2,935 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 3,255 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 8,110 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 3,230 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,585 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 5,888 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 1,994 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,396 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 2,268 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 1,851 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 2,346 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,600 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,709 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on May 7, 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, 1995-2019 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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