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Scientology once again confirms our estimates for its tiny size

Oh, Dave, you did it again.

We want to thank the tipster who sent us the most recent issue of International Scientology News. In recent years, ISN has emerged as the biggest, glossiest snoozefest put out by the church as David Miscavige has turned it into the print version of his interminable event speeches.

But this issue (number 79) was slightly more interesting because it consists of Dave congratulating himself for his coronavirus response (and included the photo above), but also because once again Scientology has provided proof that our estimates of its tiny size are right on the money.



First, we’ll show you a few pages that celebrate the way Dave pounced on the pandemic as a public relations opportunity. Livid that the March 13 L. Ron Hubbard birthday celebration was canceled by the health crisis, Miscavige issued special “Bulletin #88,” calling the pandemic “planetary bullbait” and ordering Scientologist to protect the orgs over anything else.

Dave then seized on basic advice that public health organizations had already been putting out for weeks — wash your hands, stay six feet apart, etc. — and pretended that Scientologists actually care about medical advice when most of them actually don’t accept germ theory and consider the coronavirus a hoax. Entire forests have been cut down so Miscavige can put out booklets with basic Covid advice, and Scientologists have handed them out around the world, hoping that people mistake them for some kind of government effort.

After months of this playacting, Dave is ready to soak up the accolades from the faithful…


Meanwhile, things are gradually reopening at the orgs, and it’s time to head on down and don’t forget to bring a wheelbarrow full of money…



The issue also contains numerous success stories from Scientologists who weathered the pandemic by staying at home and reading L. Ron Hubbard. Of these, the one we found notable was by Condusiv Technologies (formerly Diskeeper) founder Craig Jensen…


Retracing the Path

Craig Jensen is a New OT VIII who completed the Routes to Knowledge at the beginning of the year. When the lockdown struck, he hit the Books and Lectures again and offers this advice to all.

I have completed a chronological study of all LRH materials — all that LRH has written or recorded about Dianetics and Scientology that is publicly available. A study of all the materials is calming, comforting, confidence-building and exteriorizing. Stress is not a problem when you know exactly what to do about it. During these times my suggestion for everyone is this: Let’s all be calm, be in communication and help others to stay calm. Above all, when the you-know-what hits the fan, turn to Source. Study LRH Books and Lectures — regularly, and wherever you are. That’s what I’ve always done, in good times or challenging times, ups or downs, nothing comes between me and my study of LRH Tech. I try to do it every day, no matter what. I’ve looked to LRH for the solutions in my life because what rings true for me is that Scientology is senior to life. I urge every Scientologist to know and use all of Scientology to handle your life. LRH makes it very clear that you will remember the tech if you have studied it. He believed in us and gave us everything we need to make it for this life and all eternity.

But the best thing in the magazine was an advertisement for the Sea Org. Take a look at it, and perhaps you’ll see why it has us nodding in agreement…


Can you see what Miscavige has done here? He’s confirmed our estimates for Scientology’s actual size.


You see, Scientology has lied for decades that it has “millions” of members. We have pointed out many times that the organization has never had that many active members. It may have reached about 100,000 people in the late 1980s following a massively successful Dianetics television advertising campaign, but it’s been shrinking ever since then, and our current estimate is that there are only about 20,000 Church of Scientology members around the world.

Of that, we’ve guessed that about 3,000 to 5,000 are hardcore Sea Org members, the people who sign billion-year contracts and work 365 days a year of David Miscavige, at pennies an hour.

Well, this advertisement just revealed exactly how many Sea Org workers Scientology claims that it has, which works out to 1 Sea Orger for every 1,181,818 people in relation to the total population of Earth, at 7,802,093,142.

Doing the math, that comes to 6,602 Sea Org employees.

We figure that’s probably a little on the high side, but at least it’s the right order magnitude, a four-figure number that is a small but significant percentage of the overall number of Scientologists, probably somewhere around 20,000.

Thanks for that confirmation, Dave.


Bonus items from our tipsters

Dipping into the Scientologist social media streams again…




Source Code

“I don’t know whether parts of the body will rebuild or not. Auditors have hazarded that and they’re working on it. They’re trying to figure it out, trying to get the third tooth to grow where a tooth’s been pulled, trying to get this to happen and that to happen and trying to get a finger to grow, something like that. People’s limbs have lengthened two, three, four inches; their spines have lengthened, their height’s grown. And I’ve seen places on the body fill in where chunks had been pulled out. But I haven’t seen a whole limb grow, or I haven’t seen half a limb grow, I mean, and complete itself and be a full limb again. I don’t know. Possibly something to do with structural pattern or the bud or something has to be implanted along the line or something. One of these days we’ll find out what that is and then we’ll all have two heads.” — L. Ron Hubbard, October 4, 1953


Overheard in the FreeZone

“Some folks said that LRH never conceived of the Internet. Well, he was still alive when computer networks were already in existence, and governments had sent digital transmissions across the country long before that. So why would LRH announce future communications technologies when those concepts had already been in the scope of design since the 60s? So Berners-Lee came up with something practical along that line around the late 80s. Where do some people think LRH came up with the term ‘Terminal’ from? Does he need to get more specific?”


Past is Prologue


2002: The Times: “When it comes to the Internet’s history, the real power-brokers are proving to be the lawyers – and especially those employed by the Church of Scientology. Last week the internet’s biggest digital archive became that much smaller after Scientology lawyers insisted that it remove pages created by the organisation’s critics. Those running the archive did so with barely a murmur, proving yet again how effective the church’s legal threats can be in undermining free speech. The archive, known as the Wayback Machine, keeps snapshots of millions of old web pages – a remarkable resource available to anyone free of charge at But last week, researchers looking for pages taken from anti-Scientology sites such as were told that they were no longer available ‘per the request of the site owner.’ In fact, the demand had come from the church alone, on the ground that copyrighted material contained within these sites put them in breach of the controversial US Digital Millennium Copyright Act.”


Random Howdy

“J&D is hard. Anybody can write something serious and emotional and get all the upvotes. We comedians are the true artistes.”


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, but asking for a 3-week postponement. 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.’ Petition for a writ of mandate filed with Cal 2nd Appellate District, Sept 10.
Chrissie Bixler et al. v. Scientology and Danny Masterson: Oct 5 (Serving Miscavige by publication), Oct 6 (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.


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?



[ONE year ago] For $100, Scientologist sorcerer will share secret of living to 150 (and we have the secret!)
[TWO years ago] Scientology has its whales — and now the Underground Bunker does too!
[THREE years ago] Is Scientology’s notorious prison detail — the ‘RPF’ — a thing of the past?
[FOUR years ago] Pam Bondi thrills at Scientology’s mecca, Hungarian TV bends over, & other updates
[FIVE years ago] Meet the young Hollywood types who introduced Cathriona White to Scientology
[SIX years ago] Jon Atack: How to talk to a Scientologist to plant the seeds of doubt
[SEVEN years ago] WORLD PREMIERE: The Shrinking Cult of Scientology, A Video By Tiziano Lugli
[EIGHT years ago] Mark Bunker Speaks, and Atlanta Burns
[NINE years ago] Philip Boyd, Saving Grace Actor, Rips “The Business That Is Scientology”


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 2,079 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,583 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,103 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,123 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,014 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 4,321 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 2,189 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 2,963 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 3,767 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,083 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 11,649 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,568 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 3,736 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 3,317 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,578 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 2,616 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 2,329 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,854 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 1,384 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 5,944 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,084 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 3,404 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 8,259 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 3,378 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,734 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,037 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,143 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,545 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 2,417 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,000 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 2,495 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,749 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,858 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on October 4, 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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