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The Top 25 People Enabling Scientology, No. 17: Louis Farrakhan

In 2011 we spent the month of August counting down a list of the “Top 25 People Crippling Scientology.” Nine years later, Scientology is still hurting, but church leader David Miscavige learned long ago that paid membership was only one resource that kept him in business. He also relies on 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.

The bizarre relationship between Scientology and the Nation of Islam continues, despite some recent predictions that it might be on the way out.

We’ve been reporting on this strange situation for more than eight years, and it hasn’t really become less mysterious in all that time. What we know is that Nation of Islam leader Minister Louis Farrakhan has had a relationship with Scientology going back for a very long time. Below, you can see a photo of him in 2006 at a Celebrity Centre event with singer Stacy Francis and the person who is probably responsible for bringing these two very different groups together, the Rev. Alfreddie Johnson Jr.

Here’s what Scientology and the Nation of Islam had in common even before they began their dance: They’re tiny, totalitarian organizations that have origin stories based in nutty science fiction beliefs. But in other ways they are completely different. NOI, after all, is a bigoted Black nationalist group that is shot through with anti-Semitism. Scientology, on the other hand, was started by the whitest man who ever lived, L. Ron Hubbard.


In 2010 Farrakhan published an announcement in the NOI publication The Call that he wanted members to begin training in Dianetics, with the goal of becoming auditors. His west coast lieutenant Tony Muhammad had begun Scientology courses that eventually led to him being given Scientology’s highest prize, the Freedom medal.


Leah Remini revealed to us in 2017 that while she was still a celebrity member of the church she had helped finance the coming together of these two groups. Two weeks after Farrakhan’s 2010 announcement about Dianetics, Leah was given a commendation by Scientology leader David Miscavige for facilitating it.

Why was Miscavige interested in NOI involvement? Jason Beghe told us that in the 1990s he and others like Isaac Hayes had complained to Miscavige about how white Scientology is. Not only did having Nation of Islam members doing Dianetics courses seem to bring in more Black involvement, but it also brought in more income at a time when Scientology was shrinking. And as many have pointed out to us, whoever brought in those many new members would be getting a 10 percent cut of their payments as a finder’s fee.

Farrakhan, however, has denied that he’s personally getting any money out of the deal. “I can prove that I didn’t get a dime from Dianetics or Scientology. We spent a lot of money buying the books on Dianetics. I saw something of value,” he said in 2017.

In the ten years since this cooperation began, we’ve seen a few Nation of Islam members go on from Dianetics to become full-blown Scientologists, and Tony Muhammad continues to be celebrated as a key member of the church even as, back at his NOI mosque, he’s spewing hatred about Jews and gays. But on the other end of things, it’s extremely rare for a white Scientologist to take part in any NOI events — the one exception we’ve seen is a couple of women from Scientology who were welcomed to a Saviour’s Day celebration in order to spread anti-vaxx myths.

So even if they have very different Space Age origin stories, at least these two bizarre organizations can come together on opposing vaccinations.

The Top 25 People Enabling Scientology

3: The judges
4: The LAPD
5: The dirty tricks private eyes

6: The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department
7: The litigators
8: The ghost private eyes
9: The San Bernardino Sheriff’s Office
10: Political shills
11: Gary Soter
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
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


Bonus items from our tipsters

Happy half century!


And another milestone.



Hip, hip, hooray, we just left Flag about a million dollars lighter!


You just dropped 30 grand to find out you were blown up in a volcano 75 million years ago and spent millennia attached to clam kidneys. How do you feel?


You’re spending hundreds of dollars an hour to sit in an empty room and talk to yourself. How do you feel?



New Zealand: No Covid, but plenty of child abuse…



Source Code

“The only death, I think, that ever occurred in the eastern area occurred on the part of a boy who came into the New York Foundation to receive some Dianetic auditing. We had a psychiatrist there who was on duty, because the publisher there in New York said that that was the legal thing to have. And anybody who came in and looked a bit desperate or something of the sort would be a mental case and therefore should be interviewed by the psychiatrist. He went in, saw the psychiatrist, the psychiatrist said there was nothing could be done. The psychiatrist told the auditor in question that he wasn’t to audit him and they sent the boy back out of the Foundation, and he went home and killed himself. That happened in New York City. It was smoothed over very quietly but there’s no particular reason to smooth it over because we didn’t kill him. That was an interesting thing.” — L. Ron Hubbard, September 2, 1956


Overheard in the FreeZone

“I am not a fanatic of Admin. But it is a necessity so that one person can recognise and meet the counter effort of the environment. The definition of rationality. How is one person out there (OK, in some cases with 5 or 6 more people next to him) able to do that? They cannot. I refuse to have gone crazy before I kick the bucket this lifetime. This is my right. The right to my sanity. And I am gonna stay sane as long as I even whisper it to my team mates that Admin is the path. And the org board is the key. LRH didn’t spend his life over org boards for nothing. He wanted to teach us something. He said that was the best vehicle he could find. And I don’t just believe him, I have seen it work.”


Random Howdy

“There’s all kinds of space opera before you get to OT III that can be found in ‘Have You Lived Before This Life?’ and ‘A History of Man’ etc. Ribisi is adhering to the code of Space Omertà.”


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 October 5 in White Plains, NY. Jeffrey’s is set for October 24.
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.’ Motion for reconsideration denied on 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: Second amended complaint filed, trial set for Nov 9, 2021.


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

[Elisabeth Moss, Michael Peña, and Laura Prepon]

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] A holiday tale for families ripped apart by Scientology’s heartless ‘disconnection’ policy
[THREE years ago] Louis Theroux isn’t the first who tried to find Scientology’s positive side and failed
[FOUR years ago] ‘Finally, I am myself’: Scientologists talk about Scientology in a video not made for the public
[FIVE years ago] Why Scientology can never submit its drug rehab quackery to scientific review
[SIX years ago] Jonny Jacobsen reviews the new Scientology memoir by Hungarian writer Peter Bonyai
[SEVEN years ago] SCIENTOLOGY’S PRIVATE DANCER: A Story of Seduction, Intervention, and Betrayal


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 2,048 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,552 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,072 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,092 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 983 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 4,290 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 2,158 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 2,932 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 3,736 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,052 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 11,618 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,537 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 3,705 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 3,286 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,547 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 2,585 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 2,298 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,823 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 1,353 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 5,913 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,053 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 3,373 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 8,228 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 3,347 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,703 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,006 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,112 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,514 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 2,386 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 1,969 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 2,464 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,718 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,827 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on September 2, 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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