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The Top 25 People Enabling Scientology, No. 10: Political shills

[Ideal shills: Karen Bass, Brad Sherman, and Charlie Rangel]

No US politician has ever paid a price for speaking at a Scientology event like Karen Bass did this summer.

You know the story. Joe Biden was supposedly serious about Los Angeles US Representative Karen Bass as a possible VP candidate when Breitbart pointed out that she had shilled for David Miscavige at a 2010 “Ideal Org” grand opening.

When asked about it, Bass, who was a state senator in 2010, said she spoke at the event for the simple reason that it took place in her district. But we then looked up the old district maps and pointed out that this wasn’t true. She’d crossed over a couple of district boundaries to give her speech extolling L. Ron Hubbard at the LA Ideal Org grand opening. Bass had to correct her statement, and it turned out she hadn’t even written the first one. It was a series of stumbles at exactly the wrong time for her.

Was Biden really thinking about choosing Bass, and was the kerfuffle over her Scientology appearance a factor in his choosing Kamala Harris instead? We’ll probably never know.

(And for the record, Kamala Harris has detractors who say she rudely turned away former Scientologists who came to her with an opportunity to prosecute the church when she was California’s attorney general. But we talked to the person who brought that matter to Harris and read the letter that the AG’s office issued, and it calmly explained that the state AG couldn’t handle what was a federal matter. It wasn’t rude, but we understood why the former Scientologist was unhappy about it. At this point, we haven’t seen any shilling for Scientology from Harris of the sort that Bass engaged in.)

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While it might have just been a case of political spin, one of the ways Bass made things even worse for herself was trying to claim that in 2010 when she gave her speech the word about Scientology’s abuses hadn’t become public yet, and that since Leah Remini made those abuses more generally known with her A&E series (2016-2019), it was a different matter today.

That was bullshit. Scientology has been exposed time and time again since the 1950s, and there’s simply no excuse for politicians not knowing what a controversial group Scientology is, and that it’s been accused of ripping apart families, forcing young women to have abortions, and extorting people through extreme methods of control for decades.

And yet, Scientology has traditionally found a way to convince politicians to sing its praises. This is no accident. As Rod Keller has explained here many times, Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard developed a policy of “safepointing” public officials by feeding them a lot of happy propaganda. The point? Not so much to convince lawmakers to overtly advocate for Scientology, but more importantly to make it less likely that the government launches new investigations of the church’s controversies.

Sadly, politicians on both sides of the aisle have taken the bait time and time again.

On the Republican side, for example, Scientology has counted on former Indiana Congressman Dan Burton to help it lobby for its anti-psychiatry group CCHR.

And as for Democrats, we’re wondering whether Brad Sherman’s shilling for a Washington DC Scientology facility is going to become an issue in his campaign to become the chairman of the House Foreign Affairs Committee after the current chair, Eliot Engel, leaves office in January after being defeated in a primary.

Like Karen Bass, Sherman is running for a highly coveted office, and also like her he stood up to speak at an “Ideal Org” Scientology event. On October 31, 2009 he gave a speech extolling the organization’s work in “human rights” at the grand opening for the new Ideal Org in Washington DC (see photo above).

What a feather in Scientology’s cap to have a friend like Brad Sherman holding the gavel of a powerful committee like Foreign Affairs in Congress, especially when Scientology counts on the US government to chide countries like Germany for cracking down on Miscavige and his abuses.

 
The Top 25 People Enabling Scientology
10: Political shills
11: Gary Soter
12: The city of Clearwater, Florida
13: Google and other tech titans

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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

 
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Jon Atack has the tables turned

 

 
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Source Code

“You got a pc who isn’t ARC breaky and you now feel happy about the thing and you can go on auditing and find out what is wrong. This is to get him back into the realm of the living. So you see, that’s a valuable thing to know. If that fails you, well, you’ve always got suicide. You could propose that to the pc. That would solve his problems. ‘R2-45’ by its various . . various other techniques. So don’t think that you just have this one technique to fall back on. Now, that’s a valuable thing to know, that you can probably desensitize the situation . . that is to say, you can resensitize the meter by running the goal.” — L. Ron Hubbard, October 31, 1961

 
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Overheard in the FreeZone

“If we don’t do something in an organized way, Scientology may become… another Religion. World going down, zombies is the end product of this civilization. Will you take it or allow it to happen? Live in a world full of Zombies? Imagine the ideal scene: Thousands working together, thousands of aware thetans like you and me. And they all have one thing in common: A strong conviction they are immortal beings. Those are the ones I want. Aware Thetans. The world is going down fast now. We have been losing all the way. There comes a guy, says: Admin is completely out. Too few get it. Other-intentiondess, a disease worst than COVID-19. As long as I am keyed out I am going to post so You, yes You, see this and Re-cognite! Maybe new people, fresh in mind and mental vigor need to get to know Scientology. At least You can help with that.”

 
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Past is Prologue

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1998: The St. Petersburg Times reported this week that Scientology has submitted a plan for the Super Power Building to the city of Clearwater. “The Church of Scientology is signaling that its plan for a major expansion in downtown is closer to reality. Church officials said Thursday that they will have a Nov. 21 groundbreaking. They also have taken the significant step of filing a site plan with the city, which lays out the project’s scope and officially sets it in motion.”

 
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Random Howdy

“As Claire pointed out, the whole ‘What is true for you is what you have observed yourself’ is a circular logic conundrum. It should be ‘If something isn’t true for you it’s because you have a M/U.’ I recall reading a paper by Touretzky or Kent that explained how the ‘misunderstood word’ is what everything else in Scientology revolves around. It is the key.”

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

Criminal prosecutions:
Danny Masterson charged for raping three women: Masterson’s demurrer denied Oct 19, arraignment delayed to November 2.
Jay and Jeff Spina, Medicare fraud: Jay’s sentencing set for October 29 in White Plains, NY delayed to January.
Hanan and Rizza Islam and other family members, Medi-Cal fraud: Next pretrial conference set for Jan 12 in Los Angeles

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 denied Oct 22 by Cal 2nd Appellate District.
Chrissie Bixler et al. v. Scientology and Danny Masterson: Nov 6 (motions to compel arbitration)
Matt and Kathy Feschbach tax debt: Eleventh Circuit ruled on Sept 9 that Feshbachs can’t discharge IRS debt in bankruptcy. Oct 19: Feshbachs still considering further appellate relief.
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.

Concluded litigation:
Dennis Nobbe, Medicare fraud, PPP loan fraud: Charged July 29. Bond revoked Sep 14. Nobbe dead, Sep 14.
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.

 
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SCIENTOLOGY BLACK OPS: Tom Cruise and dirty tricks

The Australian Seven News network cancelled a 10-part investigation of Scientology and its history of dirty tricks. Read the transcripts of the episodes and judge for yourself why Tom Cruise and Tommy Davis might not have wanted viewers to see this hard-hitting series by journalist Bryan Seymour.

SCIENTOLOGY: FAIR GAME

After the success of their double-Emmy-winning, three-season A&E series ‘Scientology and the Aftermath,’ Leah Remini and Mike Rinder continue the conversation on their podcast, ‘Scientology: Fair Game.’ We’ve created a landing page where you can hear all of the episodes so far.

LEAH REMINI: SCIENTOLOGY AND THE AFTERMATH

An episode-by-episode guide to Leah Remini’s three-season, double-Emmy winning series that changed everything for Scientology watching. Originally aired from 2016 to 2019 on the A&E network, and coming November 1 to Netflix.

SCIENTOLOGY’S CELEBRITIES, from A to Z

Find your favorite Hubbardite celeb at this index page — or suggest someone to add to the list!

 
Other links: Scientology’s Ideal Orgs, from one end of the planet to the other. 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 a weekly series. How many have you read?

 
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THE WHOLE TRACK

[ONE year ago] How ‘The Kominsky Method’ nailed it: Writer Chuck Lorre’s secret Scientology past
[TWO years ago] On sale today: Battlefield Scientology — the best of the Bunker, with Paulette Cooper!
[THREE years ago] Garry Scarff, 1956-2017: A complex figure and dogged researcher
[FOUR years ago] Leah Remini reveals that she’s been stalked during production of her new TV series
[FIVE years ago] Jon Atack: The ‘Axioms’ — L. Ron Hubbard’s attempt to make Scientology sound ‘sciencey’
[SIX years ago] A reminder, this Halloween, that Scientology’s tricks tear families apart
[SEVEN years ago] Honesty in Scientology: Jefferson Hawkins Helps Us With Another Ethical Quandary
[EIGHT years ago] It’s Halloween, and Narconon is Very, Very Afraid
[NINE years ago] Scientology Investigation of South Park the Last Straw for Katie Holmes: Aussie Magazine Report

 
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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 2,106 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,610 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,130 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,150 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,041 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 4,348 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 2,216 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 2,990 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 3,794 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,110 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 11,676 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,595 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 3,763 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 3,344 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,605 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 2,643 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 2,356 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,881 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 1,411 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 5,962 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,111 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 3,431 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 8,286 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 3,405 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,761 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,064 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,170 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,572 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 2,444 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,027 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 2,522 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,776 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,885 days.

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Posted by Tony Ortega on October 31, 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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