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Scientology so stoked you watched ‘Spread a Smile’ video, it’s trying to cash in tonight

[Chick Corea, twice OT 8 Scientologist]

David Miscavige’s incredibly expensive gambit for mainstream acceptance, the purchase of KCET’s old studios on Sunset Boulevard and then the creation of “Scientology TV” from those studios, has largely been a complete flop. After a day-long spike in interest from the mass media on its opening day in 2018, Scientology TV has been utterly unwatchable propaganda that has generated zero interest in the larger culture.

And then the pandemic hit. While Scientologists were stuck at home and the orgs were mostly (but not completely) closed, Miscavige worked hard to take advantage of the situation. Although Scientology has as much respect for germ theory as it does for the rest of western medicine, it is pretending to be part of the solution to the crisis by dressing up in PPE and offering sanitation services to police stations and businesses, and some have fallen for it.

But by far Scientology’s biggest success cashing in on coronavirus has been its viral YouTube hit, “Spread a Smile,” a song featuring many of Scientology’s talented music celebrities, including Chick Corea (an OT going back decades), Stanley Clarke, Australian singer Kate Ceberano, Mark Isham, and such minor celebrity figures making cameos in the video like impressionist Jim Meskimen and radio hack Kerri Kasem.

The song is catchy and timely, urging people to spread smiles, not disease, and has racked up 10 million views on YouTube. So, not missing a trick, Scientology is trying to capitalize on that success with a live concert tonight on Scientology TV featuring those musicians and presented by hardcore Scientologist actress and shill, Swimfan and Traffic star Erika Christensen.

Here’s Scientology’s trailer for the event…

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We’re already hearing from people who are surprised and disappointed to see some non-Scientology figures taking part and helping the church in its time of need. Here’s one reader telling us, for example, about Israeli musician David Broza…

David Broza is an Israeli superstar and activist who is currently sheltering with his wife Nili Lotan, a designer, in NYC. I am not exaggerating when I say he is one of the most influential Israeli artists ever, particularly for once upon a time idealistic kids like me. It just about broke my heart to see that he was performing on Scientology’s TV channel. I assume it is because of Mark Isham but do not know. I would like to think he doesn’t know about this connection to Scientology and is just trying to play for what he believes to be a good cause. “Yiyeh Tov” is his signature song. He’s been doing a bunch of these concerts — just did ones for Young Judaea and Hillel.

How does Scientology convince a non-Scientologist artist to take part in a concert on Scientology’s expensive propaganda channel? We’d like your thoughts on this.

“There are only three reasons Scientology produces these performances,” says Geoff Levin. “One, getting people interested in Scientology. Two, keeping them moving in Scientology. And three, and the most important, getting members to donate big bucks to their various causes.”

Levin was a longtime Scientologist who was in the band People! when he signed up for the Sea Org in 1969. He spent many years as one of Scientology’s musical celebrities and was very close with others. “Some of these music artists on tonight’s concert are people I have recorded, collaborated, or performed with over the years,” he says.

And over those years, he says, he participated in a lot of events that were intended to help the church expand. “If new people started courses, if members signed up for their next step on the bridge, or if lots of money was donated, we were heroes for the next few days.”

Today, he regrets helping Scientology with the use of his talents.

“Scientology is a fraudulent, destructive, vindictive, human rights violator that will do almost anything to extract support and money from its members regardless of the cost,” he says. “The music artists fully believe they are doing something great for the world by uplifting the viewers and introducing thousands of people to the ‘real’ true beneficent Scientology. In advertising it’s called Positioning. What this concert represents is a group of talented musicians being exploited by making them surreptitiously proselytize. There is no doubt that the endorphins will flow for them. But the end result is, when the concert ends it immediately goes into one of the church’s slick infomercial videos. And there is the reality of the situation. All that talent controlled, manipulated, and directed to sell happy BS. I say shame on them. I was one of them. And I have no excuses other than I only cared for myself and my immortality. I craved the love bombing and the idea that I was going to save all the beings in the universe. I was delusional.”

As for Christensen, she’s already proved her willingness to front for the church, like the time she accepted a trophy for donating half a million dollars, something that seems to be pretty rare for Scientology celebrities these days…

 

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And don’t forget our favorite Erika Christensen appearance, when she made a cameo in a Scientology testimonial video, the kind of thing Miscavige used to put out every year or so until we started posting them pretty regularly, to the delight of our readers…

 

 
So what do you think? With Scientology smaller than ever and with its members stuck at home and the orgs empty, does the concert have an opportunity to reverse Scientology’s fortunes? Can Scientology TV finally get some momentum going and start to pay back Miscavige for the tons of cash he’s poured into it? And most importantly, will a Freedom Magazine show finally appear and give John Sugg a chance to make his TV debut?

Let us know if you’ll be watching the concert tonight.

 
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Bonus items from our tipsters

Going OT in South Africa!

 

 

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A new cert in Stockholm!

 

 
Unloading cash ($500,000 for ‘Silver Meritorious’) at Flag!

 

 
Scientology cosplay in Las Vegas!

 

 
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Source Code

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“Now you get down toward the Center of this galaxy and the possibility of finding somebody without the Helatrobus Implants, of finding any foreign implant system, will probably be totally negligible. Probably nonextant, you see? But out here you got a mixed bag and we don’t know what they did in the next galaxy. See? Now, science fiction writers following the cue of some chap, I’ve forgotten his name now, Einstein, Beinstein, something like that, who said that MC squared over C wouldn’t go, man, and that the speed of light could not be excessive. And actually I was looking up some speed tables the other day, and a trillion light years per day is not full throttle on a space wagon. So there’s traffic between galaxies and there’s traffic between islands of galaxies and other islands of galaxies. Interesting.” — L. Ron Hubbard, May 21, 1963

 
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Overheard in the FreeZone

“The local ruling corporeals sit around in their disposable clones in their underground arenas doing figure-figure on who will be the prophesied coming messiah, poor devils. I’m glad you saw this for yourself and on the higher levels of the playing field(s). I can only ask myself, ‘What is your (meaning ‘my’) cause?’ so as not to get into self-defeating contention with those who hold onto non-life and covert goals. Eyes wide open.”

 
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Random Howdy

“The only other ‘church’ I can think of that stoops to calling people names is the Westboro Baptist Church.”

 
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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 dismissed the lawsuit on May 15 after the Clearwater Police dropped their criminal investigation of her allegations.
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.

 
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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?

 
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THE WHOLE TRACK

[ONE year ago] A Scientologist is brutally murdered in Peoria, but you didn’t hear it from Scientology
[TWO years ago] Scientology’s elaborate use of child labor for pennies an hour, spelled out in black and white
[THREE years ago] Scientology may be crumbling, but around the world it’s still plotting a planetary takeover
[FOUR years ago] Atack: Contradictions in L. Ron Hubbard’s “tech” only increase Scientology discipline
[FIVE years ago] Leah Remini and Paulette Cooper? Scientology can start worrying now
[SIX years ago] No, LA Weekly, Tom Cruise’s career was not ruined by a GIF
[SEVEN years ago] Disconnection: Scientology’s Most Toxic Sacrament
[TEN years ago] Scientology Raided in Italy, Stash of Personal Records on ‘Enemies’ Found

 
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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 1,944 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,448 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 1,968 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 988 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 879 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 4,186 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 2,054 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 2,828 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 3,602 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 2,948 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 11,514 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,433 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 3,601 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 3,182 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,443 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 2,481 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 2,194 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,719 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 1,249 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 5,809 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 2,949 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 3,269 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 8,124 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 3,244 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,599 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 5,902 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,008 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,410 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 2,282 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 1,865 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 2,360 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,614 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,723 days.

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Posted by Tony Ortega on May 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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