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‘Tears of joy’: Scientology boasts that leader David Miscavige attended Clearwater event

Our thanks to the tipster who sent us scans of the new Source magazine, Scientology’s in-house publication for its Flag Land Base in Clearwater, Florida.

And besides the usual drivel about promoting the high-level and expensive processes at Flag, this issue contained a surprise: Evidence that leader David Miscavige made a recent appearance at a Flag graduation event at a time when some Scientology orgs are boarded up, international events have been put on hold, and Miscavige himself has been pursued without luck by process servers.

There’s no date mentioned in the brief article, and our scans are somewhat imperfect. But the impact of the piece is plain enough. At a time when Scientologists may be having doubts about how the organization is weathering the pandemic, Miscavige’s appearance at the auditorium of the Fort Harrison Hotel, Scientology’s holiest location, is intended to bolster morale.

Here’s the blurb that was printed along with the photos…


The Future Is Bright

Flag Graduation is always inspiring and exhilarating, but this one was absolutely electrifying. Eager Scientologists filed into the Flag Auditorium — masked and socially distanced, of course — expecting to hear life-changing wins from some of the latest completions. What they weren’t expecting was an impromptu appearance by Chairman of the Board RTC, Mr. David Miscavige. When he walked out onstage, the room pulsed with excitement as attendees leapt to their feet for a relentless ovation. Tears of joy. Laughter. Relief. And rekindled purpose were some of the reactions from the audience. Those in attendance described it as raw, unplugged and giving an overwhelming sense that everything is going to be all right. After the audience settled down, Mr. Miscavige gave the attendees a glimpse of what the FUTURE holds: an ever-expanding world of Scientology. It was an unforgettable night and a reminder that at Flag — the center of our Scientology universe — you can expect the unexpected.

When did this appearance take place? We know that Miscavige was in Clearwater last month because he met with the city manager.

But we also received a copy of an email dated Sunday claiming that Miscavige has been at the Flag graduation the last five Fridays…

The last five Fridays David Miscavige have been here at FLAG to fill the vacuum. Him being here and talking to us is big news in it self. But it’s very interesting and important briefings. It’s only a few of us that have seen these briefings so I want to convey some of the headlines.

We’re all influenced by the situation and there is a lot of opinions about what we should do and not do. But from Int Management there is no hesitation, the protocols that you see in the Orgs now is here to stay, until the virus is under control or gone. As a friend of mine said “When we do something then we do it 100%.” One thing is for sure, we are part of the 4 Dynamic and what is their problem is also ours.

There is no doubt that COB would like to have a normal New Years event, and sent this information to all the Org as usually, but the Shrine auditorium and any other big halls are restricted and not even open.

The email was written by “Power FSM” Niels Kjeldsen, who goes on to say that according to videos Miscavige played at the graduations, new Ideal Orgs are in preparation for when the grand openings can begin starting up again, in Austin, Chicago, Florence, Aarhus, Oslo, Helsinki, Paris, and Port Elizabeth in South Africa.

Miscavige in Clearwater the last five weeks? How does no one ever spot him for a press photo or something?

Oh, that’s right.



Leah Remini podcast: More listener questions

Here’s this week’s episode…


Continuing our year in review: The stories of February 2020

We started off the month still reeling from the news that Valerie Haney had been denied the right to trial and that Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Richard Burdge had granted Scientology’s motion to force her into “religious arbitration.” We reviewed her options, which were all pretty painful.

Meanwhile, we got our first look at Danny Masterson’s “demurrer,” his response to the civil lawsuit filed against him by several women who say they had been harassed by him and the church for coming forward with rape allegations to the LAPD in 2016. In the demurrer, Masterson called the lawsuit a “publicity stunt” and mischaracterized the women as ex-girlfriends. (Two of the four women had dated him, but the other two hadn’t.) He wanted the two women going by “Jane Doe” to name themselves publicly, and he wanted the court to remove him from the suit. (The demurrer was eventually overturned.)

On February 6 we witnessed another OT 8 implosion as Maryland dentist Neil Woods was unmasked as a sadistic medical disaster who had left a trail of maimed and desperate patients. While the local news reported on his business cratering, with angry patients outside demanding justice, we pointed out that none of this should be happening to an OT 8, the most accomplished of Scientologists, if there were anything at all to L. Ron Hubbard’s magic “tech.” We’re still waiting to see if Woods is going to face criminal charges for what was clearly a horror show of mistreatment and financial chicanery.

The next day we reported that Jane Doe, the young woman who was suing Scientology in Miami over being sexually molested as a child employee, would be facing a motion by the church to deny her right to trial and force her case into “religious arbitration.” It seemed stunning, but as we said at the time, “can Scientology convince a court that a woman with child molestation claims is merely another religious contract dispute?”

Ten days after we wrote about the poisoning death of Biscuit, Chrissie Carnell Bixler and Cedric Bixler-Zavala’s dog, we reported on the near-fatal poisoning of Jet, the dog of Bobette Riales, who, along with Chrissie and Cedric, is a plaintiff in the lawsuit against Scientology and Danny Masterson. Bobette noted that the church, in its court papers, sneered at the claims in the lawsuit, saying that these were common incidents in urban life. “Urban life? I’ve lived in 19 countries. I speak three languages. I’m 40 years old. The things I’ve been going through have never happened to me before,” Bobette told us. “It’s getting worse and worse.”

Our tipsters are the best. One of them got into a presentation by a bizarre Scientology star duo: Nation of Islam figure (and Scientology Freedom Medal winner) Tony Muhammad and skateboard hero Aaron Kyro at a barnstorming event at the Hollywood Celebrity Centre.

After seeing their lawsuit on behalf of Leah Remini’s assistant Valerie Haney get torpedoed, the legal team representing Danny Masterson’s accusers scrambled and tried to get Judge Steven Kleifield to give them some limited discovery about the contracts that Scientology claimed the plaintiffs had signed that obliged them to take their grievances to arbitration. Judge Kleifield denied the request.


In February we also got our first drone’s-eye-view of the Larry Hagman estate in Ojai, California, which Scientology has turned into a boutique Narconon.

On February 20, we unearthed a copy the full 1960 L. Ron Hubbard lecture, “A Talk on South Africa.” Long suppressed by the church itself, the lecture is Hubbard at his apartheid-supporting worst, and his characterizations of African blacks will make you squirm.

In a completely predictable turn of events, we found out on February 22 that Scientology would be filing objections to the most routine of legal niceties in the Danny Masterson lawsuit: The church was putting up ridiculous opposition to out-of-town attorneys being admitted to represent Masterson’s accusers. This is something you have to keep in mind when you take on Scientology in court, “reasonable” is not in their vocabulary.

When Scientology opened its “Ideal Org” in Ventura, California, our anonymous blog pilot did a flyover to provide us with an aerial view of the circus. The next day, we wondered out loud if, with another Ideal Org opening up and more on the way, Miscavige was on a huge winning streak. Oh, if we’d only known what was coming our way in less than a month.

In February we were still waiting to see whether LA District Attorney Jackie Lacey was going to file criminal charges against Danny Masterson, and in the meantime we reported that a seventh victim had come forward to talk to the LAPD.

The Ventura opening had produced a kerfuffle over balloons that the church had released into the environment at the grand opening ceremony, and we felt compelled to point out that the damage Scientology does is a lot more important than some litter on the beach.

And on Leap Day, we took a look at the amended complaint that Danny Masterson’s accusers filed, with updated allegations including the poisoning of their pets.

A LOOK BACK AT FEBRUARY 2019: NFL great Marshall Faulk used another Super Bowl to shill for Scientology’s anti-drug front group. Chief Slaughter denied that Clearwater PD genuflects to David Miscavige. USC revealed that a letter from a prominent faculty member endorsing Scientology was a fake. The National Enquirer falsely claimed that Shelly Miscavige had been spotted on a cruise ship.

A LOOK BACK AT FEBRUARY 2018: David Mayo died, and we revealed that we’d been talking to him over the years. Scientology’s new Super Bowl ad, ‘Curious?’ was a hoot. Chris Owen dived into the notorious ‘brainwashing’ manual. And Sands Hall published her delightful memoir, ‘Flunk. Start.’

A LOOK BACK AT FEBRUARY 2017: The new Super Bowl ad was another mystery sandwich. Phil and Willie Jones put up another ‘Call Me’ billboard, this time right on Sunset Boulevard. Clay Irwin toured Tom Cruise’s penthouse. We profiled the ‘celebrity whisperer,’ Quailynn McDaniel.

A LOOK BACK AT FEBRUARY 2016: News broke that Monique Rathbun had fired her entire legal team. Ross and Carrie began their trip inside the church. Defector Paul Burkhart estimated fewer than 20,000 active members left in the church worldwide. And a 1940 L. Ron Hubbard short story turned out to have a lot of precursor ideas for Scientology.

A LOOK BACK AT FEBRUARY 2015: The horrifying story of a mentally ill woman held in an Arkansas basement by a Scientologist, Mark Ebner found that Narconon International ditched its offices, we fact-checked Danny Masterson, and R.M. Seibert dug up L. Ron Hubbard’s high school record.

A LOOK BACK AT FEBRUARY 2014: The Master actor Philip Seymour Hoffman died in New York, we wrote an essay complaining about the way the media talks about Scientology and celebrities, and we provided some context to the first official Scientology wedding in England.


A LOOK BACK AT FEBRUARY 2013: Jenna Miscavige Hill’s memoir, Beyond Belief, was published. Harlan Ellison helped us document a Hubbard legend. And former Narconon executive Eric Tenorio cam forward.

Five of our favorites from the most-upvoted comments of February 2020

February 1: TX Lawyer
It is extraordinarily difficult to invalidate an arbitration agreement. Congress and the courts have made it abundantly clear that an agreement to arbitrate means you’re going to arbitration, regardless of how disadvantaged you were when you agreed to it. It is, quite honestly, something Congress needs to fix. If I were starting from scratch, I would only enforce arbitration clauses for transactions in excess of $5 million, or where the parties agreed to arbitrate after a lawsuit was filed.

I am not Ms. Haney’s lawyer, I have no special knowledge of California law or civil procedure, and this is not legal advice because I don’t know the details of her case. But pursuing a writ of mandamus strikes me as a very poor move. Generally speaking (because I’m not researching the specific grounds for mandamus under California law), it requires the petitioner to demonstrate that the claimed error is not something that can be remedied through a regular appeal after final judgment. Whether or not the judge here committed reversible error in this decision — and I don’t think he did — it is certainly something that can be fixed after the “arbitration” is complete, the result is confirmed, and an ordinary appeal gets taken up. The appellate courts can just order that the arbitration agreement is invalid and send the case back for a trial.

It seems to me that the better move is, unfortunately, to go through the fake-arbitration proceeding, documenting and exposing all of its bullshit, then challenge it back in the courts after the Church issues its inevitable ruling. Of course, that may be so painful that a reasonable litigant could decide not to go through with the process. I would not blame Valerie one bit if she decided not to. But she doesn’t seem like the shy and retiring type. Go get ’em!

February 2: Andrea “i-Betty” Garner
Grant Cardone is David Miscavige’s idea of the perfect Scientologist: wealthy enough to bleed for huge donations, stupid enough not to realise he’s being played, narcissistic enough to believe he’s using free will.

February 6: Panopea Abrupta
Somewhat ironic that an OT VIII dentist is such a fuck-up at ‘implants.’

February 10: Newiga

February 15: Phil Jones

Managed to snap a photo of the drone pilot over Larry Hagman’s old estate.


Source Code

“Why do you think it is that simply looking at something will make it vanish as far as a thetan is concerned? We know that this will take place. All right, that’s because he goes into communication with it and it is a mismanaged communication. To be an it, to be a something, we must have had a mismanaged communication of one kind or another. That’s why we say ‘God built this universe.’ Now that is a mismanaged communication, per se, it is right there. God did not build this universe. And so that is mismanaged so there is the wrong point of origin, see, some point of origin is mocked-up, and so on.” — L. Ron Hubbard, December 22, 1954


Avast, Ye Mateys

“Peter Church, FEBC student and Sharon West were married at sea by Captain W.B. Robertson at 2151 hours 21 Dec 1970. The marriage will be recorded at the nearest consul under Maritime Law and the Laws of Panama. The entry has been duly recorded in the ship’s log. Peter Church is from Delta Meters, Los Angeles. They will have a brief honeymoon in the nextport. They have the good wishes of the officers and crew of the Apollo and my own.” — The Commodore, December 22, 1970


Overheard in the FreeZone

“I had three dreams in one night that the Vril were trying to recruit me to fight the Marxists in America. I turned them down three times and they never came to me in my dreams again LOL. Who can tell us if the reptilians are real? Is it the Marcabs who suppress us in the BT chain of command?”



Past is Prologue

1995: In the Clearwater Times: “In a survey sent out this week, the church seeks ‘professional Scientologists’ to create sculptures, carry out engineering work, and even supervise aspects of the project, expected to begin in the spring. ‘We are also looking for professionals who know how to put a building together and to manage the personnel who will construct the building,’ the pamphlet says. ‘In fact, we are looking for anybody who has been involved or is involved in the design, planning, and construction of buildings.’ The new facility will be designed for a series of courses dubbed ‘Super Power’ by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard. Clearwater, the international spiritual headquarters for the church, would be the only place in the world where the courses would be offered. They are not available now.”


Random Howdy

“Dude, we don’t get ‘in comm’ with people around here, we talk to them.”


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 Jan 6.
Jay and Jeff Spina, Medicare fraud: Jay’s sentencing delayed for ‘Fatico’ hearing on Jan 19.
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 writ of mandate denied Oct 22 by Cal 2nd Appellate District. Petition for review by state supreme court denied Dec 11.
Chrissie Bixler et al. v. Scientology and Danny Masterson: Dec 18, re-hearing on motions to compel arbitration, awaiting ruling; Jan 29, Masterson’s request to stay discovery pending the criminal case
Matt and Kathy Feschbach tax debt: Eleventh Circuit ruled on Sept 9 that Feshbachs can’t discharge IRS debt in bankruptcy. Nov 18: Feshbachs indicated they will enter into consent judgment to pay the debt.
Brian Statler Sr v. City of Inglewood: Second amended complaint filed, trial set for Nov 9, 2021.

Concluded litigation:
Author Steve Cannane defamation trial: Trial concluded, Cannane victorious, awarded court costs.
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.


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.


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.


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 now on Netflix.


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?



[ONE year ago] Scientology Santa: The church built on Jesus as a hoax once again co-opts Christmas
[TWO years ago] Checking in on a Scientology ‘ideal’ Christmas as we continue our year in review
[THREE years ago] Scientology donor Joy Villa aiming for Ileana Ros-Lehtinen’s Miami congressional district
[FOUR years ago] February made us shiver, but it was another Astounding month here in the Bunker
[FIVE years ago] The Scientologist who sold a hot dinosaur skull to Nicolas Cage
[SIX years ago] Scientology’s 2014 in review: In chilly February, Hambo began his onslaught
[SEVEN years ago] Sunday Funnies: Scientology sends us a letter!
[EIGHT years ago] Scientology’s 2012 In Review: Debbie Cook Starts January Off With a BANG!


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 2,158 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,662 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,182 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,202 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,093 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 4,400 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 2,268 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 3,042 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 3,846 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,162 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 11,728 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,647 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 3,815 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 3,396 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,657 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 2,695 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 2,408 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,933 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 288 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 1,463 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,014 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,163 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 3,483 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 8,338 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 3,457 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,813 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,116 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,222 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,624 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 2,496 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,079 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 2,574 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,828 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,937 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on December 22, 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, 15 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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