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How should we judge the rejection Scientology received in the heartland this week?

[The KCK building Scientology wanted to turn into a dormitory.]

What a week it’s been here at the Underground Bunker. On Monday, Episode Four of the ‘Scientology Black Ops’ series leaked to the Internet, with Bryan Seymour’s damning look at how in 2004 Tom Cruise fired his legendary publicist Pat Kingsley with the help of Scientology’s dirty tricks department. Then that evening we celebrated the stunning news that Leah Remini had won a second Emmy award for her A&E series, this time for the show’s final episode, which featured two of Danny Masterson’s rape accusers.

On Wednesday, we continued our series about Scientology’s enablers and put the Los Angeles Times on notice for its recent lack of curiosity about Scientology. The next day was yet another online leak of a Scientology Black Ops episode, the fifth, and then that afternoon the shocking news that Scientology donor and Miami chiropractor Dennis Nobbe had dropped dead when he learned that he was going to jail while awaiting his trial on Medicare fraud. And then the week ended with Danny Masterson’s court appearance on rape charges and the demurrer he filed to delay matters.

Whew. We haven’t had a moment’s rest, but we didn’t want to overlook some other stories that unfolded this week, including an odd situation with the new Scientology Ideal Org in Kansas City.

You probably saw the news item, that the people of Kansas City, Kansas rejected Scientology’s attempt to turn an empty office building into a dormitory for the workers at its Kansas City, Missouri Ideal Org, which opened its doors on November 2. Local residents spoke out in opposition to Scientologists moving into the building, which was in a residential neighborhood, and the plan was rejected.

And we could see that former Scientologists were perplexed by the plan to open a dormitory. What did it mean? Was the KC Ideal Org going to become a Sea Org operation, and cheap housing was needed for the Sea Org workers, who make almost no money as they toil 365 days a year?

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We turned to Chris Shelton for his thoughts, since he had himself been a Sea Org official in the Midwest. Like us, he was skeptical that the Sea Org was moving in, but he did think the dormitory idea, and its rejection by the city, were bad indicators for the struggling church.

The Bunker: We looked at the map, Chris, and realized that the house we owned in KCK is exactly one mile from the building Scientology was trying to take over. We lived there in 2003-2005, when we worked at The Pitch, the weekly newspaper whose offices were in downtown Kansas City, Missouri, the big city that people usually think of when they hear the name “Kansas City.” The Missouri-Kansas state line runs right through town, but Kansas City, Kansas is a smaller burg, and much of it is in a state of decay. We lived in a wonderful little KCK neighborhood, Westheight, that even most people from the area didn’t seem to know about. But it was surrounded by some pretty depressed areas. The building that Scientology wanted to turn into a dorm had previously been used by Catholic Charities, and it’s surrounded by residential homes, and the people who lived there made it quite obvious that they didn’t want Scientology turning the building into a crash pad for its KCMO workers. We noticed that former Scientologists and other Scientology watchers were confused and surprised by the news — not because the locals had spoken out and rejected Scientology’s plan, which was to be expected, but that Scientology was trying to set up a “dormitory” at all.

Chris Shelton: Yeah, weird. It sounds like staff housing. Such things have been done in the past informally but not officially by the church. It might be also a pilot they’re trying. Or, we’ve also seen people suggest that it might be a sign that they’re turning the KC org into a “Sea Org Org,” but that sounds crazy even to me.

The Bunker: Yeah, we’re skeptical about the Sea Org thing.

Chris: Me too. Of all the places to choose, KC would be one of the worst.

The Bunker And Kansas City is so cheap for housing in general. It’s really sad that they need to set up a dormitory if their workers can’t afford to live there on what they pay.

Chris: Yeah, big time. That’s my guess. With the COVID economy, staff may really be hurting.

The Bunker: And isn’t it consistent with the idea that they have to import all of their workers to a place like Kansas City, because there actually isn’t any local interest in Scientology, and that the staff might be coming from places like Russia or South America, and so they can’t afford to rent anything?

Chris: Yep, exactly. It could be part of the Ideal Org rollout to avoid losing so many new recruits after the opening. Loss of staff then is usually immense, and the cost of living is the usual reason why. That was a problem in every Ideal Org opening. We were getting them jobs and stuff to try to keep them.

The Bunker: How do you respond to the folks who are saying that it’s unusual for an Ideal Org to set up a dormitory because it shows more compassion for workers than Scientology usually does?

Chris: Well, it might look like compassion, but having been behind the scenes myself, I know that humanitarianism is the last thing in the calculation. These decisions are based on two things: economics and cult retention. Ideal Orgs are sieves for staff after their big grand openings. Within a month or two they have usually reverted back to their pre-Ideal size. It was horrifying to watch over and over again so the Sea Org took measures to try to prevent this. It costs them little and potentially gains that many more hours of labor.

The Bunker: So less concern for the well being of the workers, and more about stopping the bleeding of staff.

Chris: Exactly. It’s always a numbers game but reducing the variables like staff housing makes it easier to control the situation.

The Bunker: And did we see you say that you worked with the woman, Maggie Kittinger, who was representing Scientology to the city on the project?

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Chris: I have a whole story about it. It’s never come up before. Just one of many missions to orgs that needed finance bailout. It was my very first project.

The Bunker: Please, lay that story on us.

Chris: In 1995, as a fresh-faced Sea Org recruit arriving into continental management, I learned quickly how wildly insane it was trying to get city-level orgs out there across the western United States to “get their stats up.” This was especially true when the org in question couldn’t even pay its rent and was about to be evicted – an event that happened fairly regularly until orgs started being purchased as part of the Ideal Org strategy. So the very first Sea Org project I was ever sent on was to Kansas City in July, 1995. Apparently there was a Sea Org member named Patty holding the post of Executive Director because the last one had blown or somehow been removed. Patty had been sent out to be the temporary ED and get herself replaced so she could come back to management, but somehow couldn’t “make it go right” and so had been stuck out there. And as far as management was concerned, it was her fault that she was still there and really her fault the rent hadn’t been paid.

I went out with another new Sea Org management recruit. Where I had experience in the technical areas (the Scientology classes and auditing rooms), she had come up to the Sea Org as a staff member and registrar (sales person). So my job was to whip the place in shape and get some public in to the course room while she went out and did door-to-door sales appointments, which of course were mostly “surprise visits.” We were ordered to get the rent money in anyway we could and then bring Patty back with us. We were told that she might not even be willing to come back and we might have to “8C” her (manhandle her). Yeah, this was our first Sea Org assignment and it was a doozy.

Well, we made the rent and got Patty back safely to the Los Angeles base and then it was up to the org manager and the Commanding Officer of the management unit to get that missing Executive Director job filled fast. We’d been forced to leave one of the existing staff in charge temporarily – not a Sea Org member but a veteran Kansas City staffer who did fine on making money but wasn’t up to running the whole place. Well, we moved pretty slow sometimes and I recall it took about a year or maybe two before an “ED resource” was figured out. Somewhere in the search for this new Executive Director, the name Maggie Magerowski came up. In my memory, she was somehow related to the Los Angeles organization. If I’m recalling this right, she worked under the infamous John Woodruff back in the early 90s when the LA org was still staffed by regular contracted staff and had achieved “Saint Hill size.” So she had serious experience and a real record of getting products and, again if I’m recalling this right, she was now living in Kansas City. She was named to be the person to recruit for Kansas City.

She was recruited hard and relented and soon after was the ED Kansas City. That is one of about a hundred such anecdotes I have from my time in Sea Org management alone. When I talk about how there were emergencies all the time and we were kept up late solving them and constantly under the gun, these kinds of personnel problems and income problems made up the vast bulk of those emergencies.

The Bunker: It’s a great slice of Scientology management life, so we thank you for that glimpse behind the scenes. And now, Maggie Kittinger just got her head handed to her by the residents of KCK, who didn’t want the Ideal Org workers to crash there during their few off hours. Brutal.

 
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Source Code

“Age is hooked on to the body, normally, by the thetan himself as self-expression. And it is held in place in terms of engrams and secondaries. It’s held right there, man. Anything that is wrong with a body is held into it and on it by the thetan who has that body. That’s it. As long as he believes he can’t grow a new leg, he won’t have one, either.” — L. Ron Hubbard, September 20, 1962

 
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Overheard in the FreeZone

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“If you don’t know yet, Ron has reincarnated in a new body in the USA. Right now he is developing new tech which goes much more deeper in the case, and much more easy to audit with real wins! I am using this new tech since 2018, and all my guys who were bogged in NOTs, solo NOTs, Ron’s Org, any level are now flying and are stables! Furthermore a new bridge is being created! and all the bridge will be done in solo auditing even for someone starting! By the way the name of this new Scientology is ESPERIANISM. ESP means extra-sensory perceptions! We are aiming to make real OTs now!”

 
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Random Howdy

“Seeing as how there’s no objective reality in Scientology, everything is a game. The Thetans created the MEST universe so they could have a playground to play in.”

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

Criminal prosecutions:
Danny Masterson charged for raping three women: Demurrer filed by Masterson, arraignment delayed to October 19.
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 revoked Sep 14. Nobbe dead, Sep 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 26 (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 tax debt: Eleventh Circuit ruled on Sept 9 that Feshbachs can’t discharge IRS debt in bankruptcy. Update required in federal lawsuit on Oct 19.
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.

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

[Catherine Bell, Chick Corea, and Nancy Cartwright]

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] Garcias answer Scientology’s cross-appeal, COSRECI coughs up dox, and a new church vid!
[TWO years ago] Scientology ‘disconnection’ and the incalculable damage it does to children
[THREE years ago] Of course Jada Smith was a Scientologist, says principal who ran her Scientology school
[FOUR years ago] EXCLUSIVE: Cat White’s marriage to man suing Jim Carrey was a sham to beat immigration
[FIVE years ago] L. Ron Hubbard, would-be conqueror: Scientology’s fable about Rhodesia is a riot
[SIX years ago] Sneaky Scientology finds another way to get access to high school students
[SEVEN years ago] JENNA HILL RESPONDS TO BARBARA WALTERS ON SCIENTOLOGY EDUCATION
[NINE years ago] Scientology Has Marty Rathbun Arrested

 
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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 2,066 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,570 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,090 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,110 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,001 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 4,308 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 2,176 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 2,950 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 3,754 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,070 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 11,636 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,555 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 3,723 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 3,304 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,565 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 2,603 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 2,316 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,841 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 1,371 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 5,931 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,071 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 3,391 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 8,246 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 3,365 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,721 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,024 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,130 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,532 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 2,404 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 1,987 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 2,482 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,736 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,845 days.

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Posted by Tony Ortega on September 20, 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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