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SCIENTOLOGY BLACK OPS: Episode 3 leaks online, with bizarre kidnap attempt in broad daylight

‘Taken,’ the third episode of ‘Scientology Black Ops,’ a special 7NEWS Australia investigation that was cancelled by the network in July, has been leaked to the Internet.

Ten episodes were scheduled to be published to the 7NEWS website on July 14 when the network changed its mind, cancelled the program, and also pulled down a trailer it had made for the series. On August 31, we found that the first episode in the series had been leaked, and we embedded it along with a transcript we prepared. We also did the same for the second episode, ‘Witness X,’ last Friday.

We’ve done the same for the third episode, in which 7NEWS reporter Bryan Seymour reports on the remarkable story of Tristan Silverman. A second generation Scientologist, she worked as an intern for director Paul Haggis when she was only 15. She later left Scientology, and she was surprised when Kathy O’Gorman, a longtime operative in Scientology’s secret police, the Office of Special Affairs, called her up and began asking about Haggis.

Silverman then describes to Seymour how, after the call with O’Gorman, she was walking in broad daylight on a Manhattan street when some men in a van pulled up and tried to get her to come with them. She managed to get away, and now she’s convinced that OSA wanted her to cooperate in a smear campaign about Haggis by making a video denouncing him.


Here’s the video, and then the transcript. (For those confused by the length of these short “episodes,” please keep in mind that this was a nightly news investigation and these segments were created to run during a news broadcast, not as longer shows on their own.)


[UPDATE: After a request from attorneys representing Seven News, we have removed the embed links to the leaked ‘Scientology Black Ops’ episodes. See our reasons why in this story.]

Episode title: TAKEN

Tristan Silverman: As a second generation, I can’t speak for everyone, but when you leave there’s not like a definitive point. For me I didn’t feel like I’d fully left until I fully realized what I was leaving.

Bryan Seymour: And how did you escape?

Silverman: Jumped out a window and I hitchhiked to Chicago.

Seymour: She is one of the lucky ones. Raised from birth as a Scientologist, she made a break for it and thought she was free of the cult for good.


Silverman: My name is Tristan Silverman. I am a poet, and I was in Scientology for about 26 years.


Seymour: What was it like being a gay woman in Scientology, because Scientology tells me and the world that they’re very accepting, they support equal rights, and the LGBTIQA community is welcome and embraced and loved by Scientology.

Silverman: Well, it’s so much fun, being gay in Scientology. So that’s…

Seymour: Really?

Silverman: No.

L. Ron Hubbard: That’s terrible, that’s bad manners, you know? I mean, that business about sex and all that sort of thing.

Seymour: L. Ron Hubbard branded homosexuality an aberration which could be cured with Scientology exercises. His own son Quentin’s homosexuality caused him great shame and likely contributed to Quentin’s suicide.

Delphian video: What if the school’s goal was not about grades but about gaining a real understanding of any subject matter a student confronts.

Seymour: The Delphian School in Oregon promoted itself as a new kind of progressive institute without disclosing its true purpose to recruit and train children as Scientologists.

Delphian video: Developed by American philosopher and educator L. Ron Hubbard…

Seymour: Some of the exercises were extremely inappropriate, including perverted interrogations by adult teachers in front of the entire class.


Lauren Haggis: So I had my teacher [redacted] sit across from me and just say the most ridiculous, sexual, outlandish like things trying to get me to squirm…


Seymour: To emote, to react.

Lauren Haggis: To emote, yes. We were trained that this is appropriate, that this is normal. But as an adult who has been in the real world for so long, you’re training kids to be abused and to not do anything about it, just to sit there.

Silverman: There was a rule at the time that you could only be alone and sexually aroused with a member of the opposite sex for 35 seconds. I don’t know when that…

Seymour: How do they enforce that rule? That’s absurd.

Silverman: It is, well, as you know with Scientology a lot of it is self-inflicted.

Seymour: Yeah.

Silverman: So you enforce on yourself.

Seymour: Her fellow students included the children of celebrity Scientologists, including Paul Haggis’s three daughters. And Lauren Haigney, the niece of Tom Cruise.


Silverman: Lauren Haigney asked me to come into her room at break and I did and she was sobbing. She was like my uncle and my aunt are getting divorced and I just found out she’s an SP. And I was like, what? Your aunt?

Seymour: And who was this aunt?

Silverman: Nicole Kidman. And she’s like, Aunt Nic is this SP and I had no idea and I’m like really — she was really distraught about it.


Seymour: SP stands for Suppressive Person, someone who is a threat to Scientology and must be shunned, or, if they engage or criticize Scientology, destroyed using any means possible.

Silverman: And then I did an internship with Paul Haggis when I was about 15. He was a writer first. He was always a writer. And I remember because he let me stay at his house, because I was, he was like, I’ll give you an internship, and I was like, I don’t know anyone in LA, can I stay at your house? And he was like, sure.

Seymour: Five years ago, Tristan was living in her grandfather’s New York apartment, once the home of newspaper tycoon William Randolph Hearst, near Central Park. One day, she received an unexpected phone call. So Kathy O’Gorman calls you up…

Silverman: Yeah.


Seymour: And, what did she say?

Silverman: She said I’m a longtime Sea Org member or staff member, and I was like, what did I do wrong? ‘We are just at random pulling names out of a database of all the public and just calling them up to sort of see how they’re doing, and what their experience is like so that we can get a broader, more global, perspective.’

Seymour: So just randomly your name came up.

Silveran: Yeah.

Seymour: That’s what she said.

Silveran: Yeah.

Seymour: Kathy O’Gorman is a senior Scientologist who’s worked closely with first the founder, L. Ron Hubbard, and the current leader David Miscavige. In 1976, when Hubbard’s son Quentin committed suicide in Las Vegas it was O’Gorman who was on duty at Scientology’s Clearwater headquarters in Florida and refused to answer questions from a detective who was calling looking for information. In the early 80s David Miscavige appointed O’Gorman to a senior role in the Office of Special Affairs, Scientology’s Black Ops unit.


Silverman: And that’s when she started to sort of ask me about Paul Haggis.

Seymour: What did she ask?

Silverman: She began to ask me questions about how I came to know his family, what he was like, if he was ever inappropriate? She wanted to know if he was faithful to his wife, if he ever did anything inappropriate with me or other women around me, if he had ever said anything bad about Scientology, if I would be willing to come in and have a conversation with somebody, maybe her, I don’t know, in person. At the time I didn’t know that they were making all these videos. I wasn’t in tuned to it all.


Kathy Slevin: He used that charm in order to con people. Paul’s a born con artist.

Seymour: Tristan says O’Gorman also asked her if Paul had ever molested her and his own daughters when they were children. I mean, what did you make of that?

Silverman: I just thought it was absurd.

Seymour: A few days later she left her apartment to visit a sick relative. And was it morning or night when you left the apartment?

Silverman: Morning. So it was around this time, actually.

Seymour: You get up to the end of the block here…

Silverman: Yeah.

Seymour: And what do you see coming across the road here?


Silverman: A van pulling over. And I remember thinking, because you’re not supposed to, because those are the buses…

Seymour: Yeah.

Silverman: And you don’t want to mess with New York City bus drivers.

Seymour: Yeah.

Silverman: So that’s when the guy got out and then he walked across the street towards me and I was around here. And that’s when I knew he was a Scientologist. So there’s two of them, and the one guy said, Hi, Tristan.

Seymour: Hi, Tristan.

Silverman: Yeah. He said his name, I don’t remember what it was.


Seymour: Had you ever met him before?

Silverman: No.

Seymour: He knew who you were.

Silverman: Yeah. And they were like we were hoping… And they were already putting their arms around me.


Seymour: How did he grab your arm? Show me.

Silverman: He was just, how you doing, what’s going on? I was like, I’m a little busy, guys, what’s going on. And it was sort of like they were all like around me and there was people everywhere, you know? And it’s embarrassing. We started to move, and literally we pulled up right around here and I jumped in and I ran into the subway.

Seymour: Ran down the stairs and escaped into the subway.

Silverman: Yeah. If they had brought me in and I had realized, in the moment, that their goal was not to get me to get money out of my grandfather but rather to throw Paul under the bus, I think I would have lost my shit a little bit. I mean, I would have, I think I would have gotten really upset.

Seymour: Yeah, I can see that.

Tony Ortega: I am surprised to hear that. I mean, nobody should go through that, but I can also say that it’s very consistent with the way the Office of Special Affairs and the Church of Scientology have operated since the 1960s. They consider themselves a superior species, they call themselves Homo Novi.

Seymour: What do they call themselves?

Ortega: Homo Novi, the new man. They are a new species and they have no respect for those of us that are not Scientologists and our petty laws. OSA is the secret police of Scientology, they are the East German STASI. This is what they do.

Seymour: With hindsight now, why do you think they were trying to take you off the street and take you away?

Silverman: Personally? Without question, I only have one, is, absolutely to get me to record a video.

Seymour: And to record a video about what?

Silverman: Paul Haggis.

Seymour: She feared that she was going to be swallowed whole by the organization again and brought back in, and forced to publicly condemn you. What’s your reaction to that?



Paul Haggis: That she’s a very brave woman to speak out. So many people don’t feel they can speak. They don’t have a voice and they’re terrified. And Scientology can ruin you.

Seymour: Scientology was clearly specifically looking to target Paul Haggis and his relationships with women. One of the most effective tools at their disposal is their own files on current and former members containing written transcripts of their most personal confessions along with audio and video recordings, including those made by their biggest celebrities. What’s the longest you’ve spent in a room on the E-Meter holding the cans.

Haggis: Twelve hours.

Seymour: Twelve hours?

Haggis: Yeah.

Seymour: I’m guessing it never occurred to you that they would be willing and able to use that stuff against you.

Haggis: No, they say they won’t. They say it’s priest-penitent. Except, then they say well, unless you’re a suppressive person. But yes, there are many, many folders. I mean, they write down everything you say. Forget the video and audio recordings, they write down every word you say. I saw my folders at one point, they took up a wall, you know, they were probaby 20 high and 10 across.

Seymour: Wow.

Haggis: Oh yeah.

Seymour: Scientology denies it directed members to kidnap Tristan Silverman, or any involvement in any alleged plot against Paul Haggis. All statements can be read in full at our website.



Card title: COMING UP

Tom Cruise: So what do you say, we going to clean this place up?

Leah Remini: When you meet people, and I’ve met many people who worked with Tom, they go he’s the nicest guy, I go, bullshit. Tom is an awful human being to Scientologists. And he’s the example of Scientology. They chose the right guy.


Catherine Bell comes out

Just in case you were wondering if a lesbian actor would shill for a front group operating on behalf of a homophobic ‘church.’



Source Code

“Several things need clarifying. And one is the length of the time track. And a lot of you have had considerable protest on the subject of the length of the time track. Because trillions of trillions of trillions of trillions of trillions of years, you know, T-T-T-T-T-T-T-T-T-T-T, you know and, ‘Oh, my God, ho, ho, ho! Oh, ho, ho dear! Getting so long. Da, dsa, dya, dya, dya, oh! Uh!’ You hear that around every once in a while. You probably felt like that yourself, you know. Well, I just have good news for you in that particular department. What I would choose to call ‘modern times’ extends from trillions – thirteen till now. That’s modern times. The stuff that’s more likely to influence the preclear in present time. Well, this is very germane.” — L. Ron Hubbard, September 11, 1963



Overheard in the FreeZone

“List of subversive 1.1 Scientologists, ex-Scientologists (OTs) leaders supporting the Marxist Biden-Harris-Bernie campaign. The influential Scientologist most pandering the drum for Bernie Sanders’ commie agenda is a Type 3 PTS. The influential ex-Scientologist pandering the drum for Biden’s destruction of the USA agenda has also gone through gruesome events, including cancer, and better not mentioned here so as not worsen the case.”


Random Howdy

“You would think a Scientology connection would be enough to kill any political campaign if it was really played up in the media.”


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, bond raised to $350,000 on Aug 27. Prosecutors appealed denial of their motion to have bond revoked, response from defense due Sept 11, response by prosecutors on Sept 14.

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 29 (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: Eleventh Circuit ruled on Sept 9 that Feshbachs can’t discharge IRS debt in bankruptcy.
Brian Statler Sr v. City of Inglewood: Second amended complaint filed, trial set for Nov 9, 2021.
Author Steve Cannane defamation trial: Trial concluded, awaiting verdict.


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

[Stacy Francis, Jason Dohring, and Anne Archer]

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] After 3 years of Hurricane Leah: ‘Scientology today is light years ahead of what it was’
[TWO years ago] A visit from a private investigator has us wondering if Scientology is behind it
[THREE years ago] HURRICANE LEAH: ‘The defenses are crumbling. Scientology in Los Angeles is dying.’
[FOUR years ago] How Scientology repackages itself and takes in the NYPD and NY schools
[FIVE years ago] US Army catches Scientology ‘detox’ study rigging results, government document shows
[SIX years ago] DOX: Scientology drug rehab center found deficient after a 2010 California death
[SEVEN years ago] Scientology Slackers: How to Audit Away Your Passive-Aggressive, Dominating Deviancy!
[EIGHT years ago] Scientology President’s Son Died of Prescribed Methadone While Sick With Pneumonia


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 2,057 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,561 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,081 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,101 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 992 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 4,299 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 2,167 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 2,941 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 3,745 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,061 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 11,627 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,546 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 3,714 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 3,295 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,556 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 2,594 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 2,307 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,832 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 1,362 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 5,922 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,062 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 3,382 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 8,237 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 3,356 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,712 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,015 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,121 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,523 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 2,395 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 1,978 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 2,473 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,727 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,836 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on September 11, 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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