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Karen Bass says she attended Scientology event because it was in her district. But it wasn’t.

 
On Saturday, Karen Bass reacted to the media frenzy about her appearance at a 2010 Scientology event by putting out a statement about it.

“Just so you all know, I proudly worship at First New Christian Fellowship Baptist Church in South LA,” she said.

She then went on to explain why she shared a stage with Scientology leader David Miscavige on April 24, 2010 for the grand opening of a new “Ideal Org” on Sunset Boulevard in a neighborhood of Los Angeles known as East Hollywood.

This became a major news story on Friday when the Daily Caller pointed it out because Bass has recently emerged as someone presumptive Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden is considering as a running mate. If Biden is elected at 77, his choice of vice president is especially crucial, since he may serve only one term. Who he picks for VP would have a serious leg up on becoming president in turn.

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Reaction to the news of Bass’s 2010 speech for Scientology was so robust, she attempted to tamp it down with the statement she released on Saturday. Here’s the entirety of it…

Just so you all know, I proudly worship at First New Christian Fellowship Baptist Church in South LA.

Ten years ago, I attended a new building opening in my district and spoke to what I think all of us believe in — respect for one another’s views, to treat all people with respect, and to fight against oppression wherever we find it. I found an area of agreement in their beliefs — where all people, of whatever race, color, or creed are created with equal rights, which is what my remarks were about.

Since then, published first-hand accounts in books, interviews and documentaries have exposed this group. Everyone is now aware of the allegations against Scientology. Back in 2010, I attended the event knowing I was going to address a group of people with beliefs very different than my own, and spoke briefly about things I think most of us agree with, and on those things — respect for different views, equality, and fighting oppression — my views have not changed.

It’s certainly true that since 2010 Scientology has been exposed like never before, particularly in the 2015 HBO documentary “Going Clear” and in Leah Remini’s A&E series “Scientology and the Aftermath,” which ran for three seasons, 2016-2019, and in books by Janet Reitman (2011), Lawrence Wright (2013), Leah Remini (2015), and Ron Miscavige (2016). And if Bass now is having second thoughts about Scientology because of those major exposes, then we think it’s a good thing.

However, we wanted to raise a couple of issues about her statement.

First, she says that she attended the 2010 event because the new Ideal Org was in her district.

But checking the map, we don’t think that’s true.

The Ideal Org Scientology opened that day is on Sunset Boulevard and L. Ron Hubbard Way (formerly Berendo St), in a neighborhood of Los Angeles known as East Hollywood.

In 2010, before the district maps of California were redrawn the next year, Scientology’s new building was located in Assembly District 45, which was represented by Assemblyman Kevin de León at the time.

Karen Bass represented District 47, which was to the west and southwest of Scientology’s location, and included such areas as Culver City, UCLA, and Baldwin Hills.

The Los Angeles Ideal Org that opened in 2010 was not in Bass’s assembly district, despite what she says today, and raises even more questions about why she decided it was a good idea to appear at the grand opening.

 
[In 2010, California Assembly districts were still using boundaries set after the 2000 Census, and the location of the Scientology Ideal Org, indicated by the red star, was well inside the 45th District, which was represented at the time by Kevin de León. Karen Bass’s 47th District can be seen at the lower left.]

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A year later, on November 5, 2011, Scientology opened another set of buildings. One was another “Ideal Org,” this time in Inglewood, and the other was a nearby community center on Vermont Avenue in South Los Angeles. According to a Scientology press release, Bass sent a message to congratulate Scientology for the community center…

Congresswoman Karen Bass wrote a message acknowledging the Church for “its many humanitarian initiatives and social betterment programs for the benefit of South Los Angeles.”

By that time, Bass had been elected to Congress as a US Representative, and she’s been reelected four times since then.

In 2011, the new community center was in Bass’s congressional district, the 33rd, which included that part of South Los Angeles. Perhaps she was thinking of that when she put out her statement on Saturday. (After 2011, the district lines were redrawn and today Bass represents California’s 37th congressional district.)

Scientology press releases also indicate that Bass sent congratulations to one of Scientology’s front groups, Youth for Human Rights, in 2012 and 2013.

So, over a period from 2010 to 2013, Bass could be relied on to provide Scientology with a pat on the back as either a member of California’s Assembly or the US Congress.

Scientology works hard to obtain such recognition. In 2017, we obtained emails which showed Scientology trying its best to convince San Diego Mayor Kevin L. Faulconer to attend the Ideal Org grand opening in that city. For the most part, those efforts don’t succeed, and they didn’t work with San Diego’s mayor. But over the years some politicians of note have been convinced to make a personal appearance…

 

[Las Vegas Mayor Oscar Goodman]

[Phoenix Mayor Greg Stanton]

[Miami Mayor Tomás Regalado]

[US Congressman Lincoln Diaz-Balart]

[Sacramento Mayor Kevin Johnson]

[US Congressman Charles Rangel]

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For the most part, however, politicians know well enough to stay away from an organization that has worked children 90 hours a week for little or no pay, split up families in order to maintain totalitarian control over their lives, and has for decades forced young women to have abortions in order to keep working around the clock.

As to those revelations, the second point we wanted to bring up about Bass’s statement was her assertion that Scientology was only exposed after 2010.

Of course, if you read this website, you know that Scientology’s abuses have been repeatedly unmasked almost from the very beginning of the Dianetics movement in 1950, from Martin Gardner eviscerating L. Ron Hubbard’s claims in 1952, to the British press savaging Hubbard in the 1960s, to Paulette Cooper’s book and subsequent targeting in the early 1970s, to the largest raid in FBI history on the church in 1977.

And of course, how could we not mention a major series in Karen Bass’s own hometown that was published by the Los Angeles Times in 1990, resulting in Scientology taking out billboards around town to counter it.

But even if we assume that Bass somehow was unaware of Scientology’s long controversial past, the period after 2005 and leading up to her April 2010 appearance was one of the most fervent for Scientology exposes. The reason? Tom Cruise.

After Time magazine published its 1991 cover story by Richard Behar, “Scientology: The Thriving Cult of Greed and Power,” the publication was sued by Scientology for $416 million. Although Time eventually got the lawsuit dismissed, it spent millions defending itself in court, and that produced a chilling effect that made other publications hesitant about taking on Scientology as a subject. But then in 2005 Tom Cruise, who had been a member of the church since 1986, became especially gung-ho and began speaking out about Scientology in ways that were mostly disastrous, like his argument with Matt Lauer on the Today show. Cruise then retreated to near silence about the church, but the floodgates had been opened, and thanks to Tom the media in those years became especially interested in Scientology reporting. Some examples:

Nov 2005: ‘South Park’ illustrates the “Xenu” story in its episode “Trapped in the Closet.”
Feb 2006: Rolling Stone writer Janet Reitman digs deep into Scientology’s controversies.
Apr 2008: Jenna Miscavige Hill appears on Nightline to expose her uncle, Scientology leader David Miscavige.
Jun 2009: “The Truth Rundown” appears in the Tampa Bay Times, an explosive series with cooperation of top former church officials.

And just the month before Bass’s speech, Anderson Cooper presented a five-part special on CNN that had grown out of the Tampa Bay Times series, as did the New York Times, which did a story that March on defectors like Christie Collbran, who is now married to Mike Rinder.

In April 2010, was it really possible for Karen Bass to be completely ignorant of these many explosive stories and television shows about Scientology? We find that kind of doubtful.

But again, it’s good to see that she is, today, pointing out that Scientology has been exposed as a controversial group, which didn’t sit well with one of its most visible (and unhinged) celebrities…

 

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If Biden does choose Bass to be his running mate, she really should face even more questions about why she was a reliable shill for David Miscavige for several years.

But it almost might be worth it to see Kirstie Alley burst a blood vessel.

 
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Bonus items from our tipsters

Hey, let’s raise some money for a Puerto Rico Ideal Org with a slightly used backyard grill!

 

 
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Source Code

“If you ever want to see tiredness overwhelm the PC, run him into the area of the whole track called Arslycus. And there thetans were actively producing matter, you see. And they were hanging off walls, making walls and making tilework and mocking everything up and smoothing it out and you couldn’t get away….How about the fellow who ran Arslycus? How about the overt, man? Look at that level of overt. Thetans by the ton, all around, working like mad to build walls and build this and build that and finally, through some mysterious circumstance that nobody has ever been able to trace, Arslycus fell apart and everybody fell and fell and fell. It, by the way, wasn’t on a planet. It was, of course, just a construction out in space as itself. Nobody had invented planets yet and planets undoubtedly were invented to cure things happening that happened at Arslycus because they had walls and roads and courts and houses and towering buildings and everything. And of course they just ran without foundation, Uninfluenced with gravity or anything else. And one fine day it all fell apart.” — L. Ron Hubbard, August 3, 1961

 
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Overheard in the FreeZone

“On a really positive note I attested to my advanced level yesterday. Took a year of slogging away, digging that ditch and blowing away mountains of charge to complete! Feels like a thick concentric layer of case has been handled finally! It’s just awesome. I love the newfound space to stretch my theta muscles and postulate with far less CI! All my dynamics feel calm and focused in alignment. You only know there was a large background noise when it switches off haha!”

 
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Random Howdy

“Hubbard went after anyone like a honey badger who tried to make one thin dime off of his con. If he remotely suspected you had plagiarized his plagiarizing he would declare you and sic the GO/OSA on your ass. He did this to the crazy couple who started the the Process Church and he also notoriously went after Werner Erhard, the conman who created EST. Erhard claimed that LRH had put out a contract on him.”

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

Criminal prosecutions:
Danny Masterson charged for raping three women: Arraignment scheduled for September 18.
Jay and Jeff Spina, Medicare fraud: Jay’s sentencing is set for August 27 in White Plains, NY
Hanan and Rizza Islam and other family members, Medi-Cal fraud: Next pretrial conference set for Jan 12 in Los Angeles
Dennis Nobbe, Medicare fraud, PPP loan fraud: Charged July 29

Civil litigation:
Luis and Rocio Garcia v. Scientology: Oral arguments were heard on July 30 at 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: Sept 4 (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, trial set for Nov 9, 2021

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

[Alanna Masterson, Terry Jastrow, and Marisol Nichols]

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] Out of sight, out of MIND: How Scientology tried & failed to destroy psychiatry in the UK
[TWO years ago] The two-wheeled spy who loves Blighty: An action report
[THREE years ago] ‘Going Clear’ author Lawrence Wright celebrates a milestone with a different kind of keyboard
[FOUR years ago] Scientology appeals $1 million loss to Florida supreme court, and Ken Dandar gets canny
[FIVE years ago] Scientology’s Freedom magazine congratulates itself for going ‘Ideal’
[SIX years ago] Sunday Funnies: More Scientology fliers than you can shake a stick at
[SEVEN years ago] Scientology’s Crumbling: Can Gerry Armstrong Begin to Think of Crossing the Border?
[EIGHT years ago] Mimi Faust’s Mother, Olaiya Odufunke: Her Life in Scientology’s Secret Service
[NINE years ago] Scientology Uses Its Movie Stars to Woo Politicians, Says Former Top Exec

 
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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 2,018 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,522 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,042 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,062 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 953 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 4,260 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 2,128 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 2,902 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 3,706 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,022 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 11,588 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,507 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 3,675 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 3,256 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,517 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 2,555 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 2,268 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,793 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 1,323 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 5,883 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,023 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 3,343 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 8,198 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 3,317 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,673 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 5,976 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,082 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,484 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 2,356 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 1,939 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 2,434 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,688 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,797 days.

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Posted by Tony Ortega on August 3, 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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