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The Top 25 People Enabling Scientology, No. 25: DirecTV and filmmakers buffing Dave’s channel

[Dave kicks off Scientology TV]

Nine years ago we spent the month of August counting down a list of the “Top 25 People Crippling Scientology” and it was a very popular feature. So we thought, with August upon us again, we might have some fun with another countdown, but with a slightly different focus.

Nine years after that previous feature, Scientology is still hurting. It continues to lose members and, according to our best estimates, has fewer than 20,000 active members around the planet now.

But church leader David Miscavige learned long ago that paid membership was only one resource that allowed him to rule Scientology ruthlessly and with total control. Scientology is still harming families and intimidating courts and scaring off law enforcement thanks not only to Dave’s remaining ranks of dedicated followers and wealthy donors, but also thanks to a small army of enablers, some paid, some not, who help him stay in business even though they aren’t Scientologists themselves.

So we thought we’d recognize them with this countdown. Some of them you know well, some you maybe don’t. And we’re indebted to some experts who helped us figure out who should be on this list and in which order — you know who you are.

We’ll start off with something that would be higher on our list if it weren’t such a spectacular failure: Dave’s vanity TV channel.

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For years, we were reporting that Miscavige was planning to launch his own television channel, and we could hardly wait to see where it was going to show up. Initially, we found some evidence suggesting that it was going to appear on the Spectrum cable lineup. But then, to our surprise, it debuted in March 2018 on DirecTV (and a bunch of streaming platforms).

At first, it was kind of thrilling that Miscavige himself delivered a short address to kick things off (see above). But soon enough, the channel slipped into a steady stream of slickly produced but unwatchable propaganda about Scientology, its founder L. Ron Hubbard, and people who build banjoes.

Anyway, it quickly became obvious that no one was watching or talking about this incredibly expensive experiment, and we found evidence that even Scientologists were paying no attention to it, even though they were expected to do so.

But the channel has provided us a few surprises. We were stunned, for example, when Miscavige allowed the secretive Hubbard archive project to be portrayed, even if its location was not mentioned. But the thing that stunned us the most was that Miscavige has managed to convince non-Scientologist filmmakers to provide him content.

We’re talking about the “Documentary Showcase” that plays on Friday nights, and that has featured some really good films by legitimate documentary directors. We were grateful that one of them, J.R. Biersmith, talked to us about his reasons for not only allowing his movie about Somalian soccer players to air on the network, but also to sit down for an on-camera interview at Scientology Media Productions, the studios on Sunset Boulevard that Scientology purchased from public television station KCET.

Scientology has a long track record of paying premium prices to convince people to get on board, so we imagine these filmmakers were not low-balled. But we still wonder about such folks agreeing not only to have their films air on a network that no one watches, and to lend their credibility to a bunch like the Church of Scientology, but even to head on down to Xenu Studios for an interview.

Dave’s grateful, we’re sure.

 






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The Top 25 People Enabling Scientology
12: The city of Clearwater, Florida
13: Google and other tech titans
14: The Los Angeles Times
15: Jeffrey Riffer
16: James Packer
17: Louis Farrakhan
18: Mark “Marty” Rathbun
19: Wally Pope

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20: Gensler
21: Parents who subscribe to ABCMouse
22: Graham Norton and other celebrity strokers
23: The apologist academics
24: Rebecca Dobkin and other low-level PI grunts
25: DirecTV and filmmakers buffing Dave’s channel

 
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Source Code

“There was Scientology One, that’s for the public. That’s your PE-level Scientology. And we’re putting out a plea to one and all to please contribute any data they think is vital and necessary to be in this. And then there’s Scientology Two, which is healing, which we haven’t had too much to do with. That’s care of the body, and so forth. And HPA/HCA levels probably get quite a bit of Scientology Two. And then there’s Scientology Three, and that’s advanced auditing, advanced Academy courses, that sort of thing, leading up to the area of Clear, such phenomena as we’ve had in the past. Now, it doesn’t happen to be a well wrapped up area, because we jumped off of that area to go into Scientology Four. And this occasioned even some of you quite a few headaches, because there was a necessary speed-up in research, and the place to research toward, of course, was OT. Now, that’s Scientology Four. And the material which you’re learning right now is Scientology Four. And then there is Scientology Five. And Scientology Five is the social, political, organizational levels of Scientology. This is a takeoff from the level of OT. And that isn’t just Scientology applied to political problems. That would be a misnomer although it would read like that in a textbook, and so forth. That isn’t that at all. It’s actually what does an OT do about it? That makes quite a different subject, doesn’t it?” — L. Ron Hubbard, August 8, 1963

 
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Overheard in the FreeZone

“The fact is that Ron had established similar entities in the past such as the Church of American Science and Spiritual Engineering to cover the contingency that the Church would be seized by hostile forces that were inimical to total freedom and were in terror of anyone outside their area of control gaining OT abilities. My speculation is that the success of CIA’s Remote Viewing program and their previous failures to discredit and invalidate the subject since they couldn’t seize control of it with Mary Sue in charge of the Guardian’s Office made them consider another ways and means. In other words a covert take over of the subject which they in my opinion succeeded at by placing it in the hands of a totally compromised individual.”

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Random Howdy

“According to Hubbard the average Black South African thought Apartheid was too lenient.”

 
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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!

[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?

 
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THE WHOLE TRACK

[ONE year ago] ‘Aftermath’ supporters put Scientology on notice in its own ‘spiritual mecca’
[TWO years ago] Fake medals and kiddie diddlers: Scientology’s cruise ship scandal gets even worse
[THREE years ago] Stephen Colbert: Do you believe Scientology is a religion at all? Leah Remini: No
[FOUR years ago] Whale watching update: Your 2016 mid-year guide to who’s propping up Scientology
[FIVE years ago] Why is the press so timid about outing Scientology’s many front groups?
[SIX years ago] DOX: Here’s Monique Rathbun’s response to Scientology’s appeal of its anti-SLAPP defeat
[SEVEN years ago] LEAH REMINI FILES MISSING-PERSON REPORT ON SCIENTOLOGY LEADER’S WIFE
[EIGHT years ago] VH1’S Mimi Faust On Scientology: “At 13, They Told Me I Was a Freeloader”
[NINE years ago] A Scientologist’s Open Letter to the Village Voice and its Readers

 
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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 2,023 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,527 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,047 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,067 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 958 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 4,265 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 2,133 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 2,907 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 3,711 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,027 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 11,593 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,512 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 3,680 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 3,261 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,522 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 2,560 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 2,273 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,798 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 1,328 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 5,888 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,028 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 3,348 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 8,203 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 3,322 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,678 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 5,981 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,087 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,489 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 2,361 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 1,944 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 2,439 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,693 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,802 days.

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Posted by Tony Ortega on August 8, 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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