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Political dupe of the day: KC councilman helps Scientology front group with ‘murder’ signs

 
In 1980, Scientology was in big trouble. A 1977 FBI raid had resulted in 11 top Scientology officials being convicted of conspiracy as documents and testimony proved that the church had engaged in a years-long infiltration of the US and other governments, and had broken into sensitive offices and stole documents by the yard.

News of the raid and the subsequent prosecutions had put Scientology on front pages for a couple of years, founder L. Ron Hubbard had been named an unindicted co-conspirator, and his wife was filing appeals in order to delay going to prison.

Scientology had a major public relations problem which was compounded by the fact that few people knew what Scientology was or what Scientologists believed. To address that issue, Hubbard that year put out a slim volume called “The Way to Happiness,” a collection of anodyne moral precepts stolen from other religious traditions.

For example, the golden rule (Do unto others…) became Precept 19: “Try Not To Do Things To Others That You Would Not Like Them to Do To You.”

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And “Thou Shall Not Kill” became Precept 8: “Do Not Murder.”

Scientology was actually an expensive system of past-life therapy intended to restore godlike powers to beings who had lived for 76 trillion years, but Scientologists are trained not to say a word about that. Instead, they hand out copies of “The Way to Happiness” pamphlet and pretend that its familiar-sounding slogans have something to do with Scientology’s actual practices and aims. (It doesn’t.) They’ve been handing them out in countless numbers in the forty years since.

With Scientology’s terrible public image, however, it’s become harder for the church to dupe people with obviously dishonest come-ons like The Way to Happiness. But as we’ve pointed out time and again, there always seem to be politicians who can’t help falling for Scientology’s schemes.

Yesterday we learned about Scientology’s latest political dupe, a city councilman named Brandon Ellington in Kansas City, who has endorsed a program by the local Scientology “Ideal Org” to place “Do Not Murder” signs at locations where homicides happened this year.

 

 
It’s not only ghoulish, it’s a promotion of The Way to Happiness and Scientology itself that the local press is mistakenly calling an “inter-faith” effort because it involves a Scientology front group.

According to Scripps affiliate KSHB

The Church of Scientology in Kansas City, the inter-faith organization United in Peace Foundation and Kansas City Councilman Brandon Ellington, who is not a Scientologist, have partnered to put the signs in place.

“It was kind of sending [people who live near homicide scenes] a message that, ‘Hey we don’t want this here either. No one in the city wants this.’ The whole idea is to bring people together,” explained Bennette Seaman, the public relations officer for the Church of Scientology in Kansas City.

Well isn’t that special.

Score another one for David Miscavige.

 

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Harlem Ideal Org staff meeting in all its Hubbardic glory

Trevor Heasley, who told his story on the Oh no! Ross and Carrie podcast, has posted a raw 30-minute video of a Harlem Ideal Org staff meeting. Judging by what’s said, it appears to have taken place right before the org opened, in July 2016. There are some fascinating statements made in here, and we’re going to pull out some of them below the video.

 

 
“‘Those who beget evil in this world hate us and want us done in.’ They have had no intention of allowing us an easy ride to creating this Ideal Org, because Harlem Ideal Org spells the beginning of the end for their plans to enslave man.”

“What is black is cool. What is black is beautiful. And soon the basic wisdom and goodness of men will be emanating from Harlem as you, the staff of the Harlem Ideal Org, bring the second renaissance here, one that will never be torn apart by the SPs as they did with the great Harlem renaissance of the 20s.”

“You’ve heard it said and promised to you by myself and others that staff pay will be good in this org, that there will be no need for any of us to have a second job or moonlight to survive and prosper. But understand that this can only be created through your dedication and production. No one can stand aside and wait for the org to be viable….We know what we are asking and we know it can be a tough road holding two jobs racing around town on the subways. But you know none of us ask what we do not demand of ourselves and demand it now so we can build a perfect tomorrow. I myself have been helping many of you get set up in second jobs. Trust me, once we open I’ll be working 100 times harder to get you out of your jobs. So for now let’s acknowledge this and tighten our belts and roll up our sleeves and get to work.”

 
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Continuing our year in review: The stories of March 2020

March started out with (almost) a bang, when Los Angeles DA Jackie Lacey’s husband pointed a gun at protesters outside their home. As our source close to her predicted, Lacey was “finished” and would go on to lose her bid for re-election later that year. We cared because at that time, March, we were still waiting to see if Lacey was going to charge Danny Masterson.

We found that an expert had blogged that Scientology professional ham hock Grant Cardone is pushing bogus stem cell cures as part of his grifting empire.

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On March 6, Scientology leader David Miscavige weighed in on the Danny Masterson lawsuit through his colorful attorney, Jeffrey Riffer. It was another attack on the attempts to serve Miscavige and another fine Riffer performance.

Valerie Haney filed a motion to reconsider, asking Judge Richard Burdge to re-examine his decision to force her into Scientology “religious arbitration.” We noted that she had some excellent arguments, but such motions are always longshots.

The next day we posted a copy of the opposition to arbitration filed by Danny Masterson’s accusers, and we lauded its focus on the First Amendment rights of these former Scientologists.

Thanks to a new lawsuit, we learned that just one Scientology mail contract was worth $5 million a year to a company that sends out its unwanted brochures.

On March 11 we had a first-person report from someone who had experienced what it was like to work in an office where a dentist was pushing Scientology on his staff.

Later that day, we got our first indication that Judge Kleifield wasn’t going to put up with Scientology’s usual litigation shenanigans as he denied a motion for sanctions in the Danny Masterson lawsuit.

And still on the same day, we reported the surprising news that attorneys in the Jane Doe Miami case had scheduled David Miscavige for a deposition. That seemed rather bold of them.

Danny Masterson’s accusers spoke out in sworn declarations that were filed in their lawsuit and that we posted on March 14.

By March 15, the coronavirus lockdown had upended our lives in a big way, and we learned that it had also forced David Miscavige to cancel the March 13 L. Ron Hubbard birthday event in Clearwater. We also learned for the first time that Miscavige was jumping on the pandemic as a public relations opportunity, quickly assembling a booklet with basic advice about washing hands and social distancing. Kirstie Alley, meanwhile, fell back on Scientology jargon and asked the public to “postulate” making the virus disappear.

While we were all adjusting to the lockdown, something really amazing happened: Mark Bunker was elected to city council in Clearwater!

That deposition Miscavige was scheduled for? It was canceled once Miscavige’s attorneys pushed back.

Despite the lockdown, litigation marched on, and in the Brian Statler wrongful-death lawsuit in Inglewood, there was a surprise: His biological daughter was joined as a plaintiff, helping to confirm some things we’d heard about why Brian was at the Scientology Ideal Org the day he was gunned down.

While Scientology scrambled to handle the pandemic, we got our hands on reports from its New Year’s celebration of wealthy donors. It’s always fun to see the new trophies given to the lesser cetaceans and the big whales.

Maybe our biggest story in March and one of the biggest scoops all year: We got our hands on David Miscavige’s secret briefing for Scientologists calling the pandemic a “planetary bullbait” — in other words, a bogus controversy that the church should not flinch at. Dave’s message to his followers: Protect the orgs over anything else.

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Then we began to see how Scientology’s schizophrenic reaction to the pandemic would roll out. Privately, they called it a bullbait and considered the virus a hoax, but for the public the church was going all out with “sanitation teams” and cleaning supplies as a public relations opportunity.

 
A LOOK BACK AT MARCH 2019: R.M. Seibert made the entertaining Scientology-US Government-NY Yankees connection. Evidence that Tom Cruise and John Travolta both attended the LRH Birthday event. Sunny Pereira remembers when Lisa Marie Presley brought Michael Jackson into the Celebrity Centre. The London Org sends out an auditor training success story by Isabella Cruise. Man (later identified as Brian Statler) is shot dead at the Inglewood Ideal Org.

A LOOK BACK AT MARCH 2018: Scientology TV finally debuted, and featured David Miscavige in a short monologue. That same night, Leah Remini asked ‘Where’s Shelly?’ on the Aftermath. Arnie Lerma shot his wife in the face and then turned the gun on himself. And we learned that Kirstie Alley had achieved OT 8.

A LOOK BACK AT MARCH 2017: Scientologist actor Danny Masterson was under investigation for multiple rapes. Joy Villa mulled a run for Congress. We caught Marty Rathbun helping his old nemesis, the Church of Scientology, in a court case. We traced Marty’s dramatic arc from Scientology critic to Scientology attack dog. Leah Remini turned out to have helped finance the Scientology/NOI dance. Kuba Ka charmed us in a lengthy interview. And Reza Aslan laid an egg.

A LOOK BACK AT MARCH 2016: Attorney Ken Dandar dodges a million-dollar bullet. Tabatha Fauteux’s boyfriend tells us what really happened in her death while training for Scientology’s Narconon network. Belgium blows its prosecution of the church. And the saga of former Scientology helper cop, Skip Young.

A LOOK BACK AT MARCH 2015: Federal Judge James Whittemore hamstrung the Garcia fraud lawsuit with a stunning ruling, we dug up even more evidence that L. Ron Hubbard used the threat of “R2-45” to intimidate former church members, Paul Haggis gave us his thoughts as Alex Gibney’s Going Clear debuted on HBO, and we got to hear Sylvia DeWall being declared an SP while it was happening,

A LOOK BACK AT MARCH 2014: John Travolta mangled Idina Menzel’s name at the Oscars. We interviewed Russell Miller as his book Bare-Faced Messiah came back in print after 27 years. Jillian Schlesinger told us her gripping story of escape from the Sea Org.

A LOOK BACK AT MARCH 2013: We had fun with SMERSH Madness. We leaked Sea Org life histories. Narconon Arrowhead CEO Gary Smith lost his professional certification.

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

March 3: Valerie Ross
Personal Scientology birth experience. First one, I was GO. I managed to remain silent the whole time. No drugs. It was a home birth and my doctor was a scientologist, so we were all on the same page. Second one, I was not on staff anywhere. Another home birth. No drugs. My midwife was not a Scientologist. I still believed I needed to remain silent. For what it’s worth, in both births, when my water broke and I went into transition, I had projectile vomiting (how sweet). The second one, as I was pushing and I grunted once. My now oh-so-ex-husband (we have been divorced since 1984) whisper-snarled “get your fucking TRs in.” The reality of one Scientologist giving birth per LRH tek. If anyone believes that because I was silent, it was stress-free, all I can say to you is, BITE ME. Boy am I glad I’m out.

March 8: Richard

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The situation here in the north of Italy is serious. Most of the north is in quarantine including where I live. However, there’s always room for some humour, so take a look at a part of the decree signed by the Prime Minister, Giuseppe Conte, during the night: “The opening of places of worship is conditional on the adoption of organizational measures such as the avoidance of crowds of people, taking into account the size and characteristics of the places and such as to guarantee visitors the possibility of respecting the distance between them of at least one meter.” Two things come to mind regarding you know what. Firstly, the avoidance of crowds shouldn’t be too much of a problem in the Ideal Orgs but the other measure about keeping a distance of one meter between people could be an enormous problem for the regges. How in Xenu’s name do you get parishioners’ money when you’re not allowed contact with them?

March 16: Jimmy3
Using Dianetics as toilet paper used to be a joke, but it’s looking like a serious option right now.

March 20: Panopea Abrupta
I would like to thank the Bunker – I can’t think of a better virtual community to be isolated with. I’m feeling pretty lucky – in the middle of trying times, I get to hang out at home with my favourite people and I get to hang out online with some of my favourite people. I hope you are all in a good place – this is gonna take weeks.

March 24: Tony Ortega
He’s so angry he actually called himself Captain David Miscavige.

 
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Source Code

“Every language has a basic word for ‘accept’ and a basic word for ‘reject’ which allows for no argument. Whereas they do have differences on such a thing as ‘associate.’ Look what Freud did with ‘associate.’ I’m being awfully hard on the old man this morning. There’s no reason to be hard on the guy, he actually was the entering wedge into psychotherapy. But I’m young and cocky and I didn’t have to write ‘Psychoanalysis: Terminable and Interminable.’ I didn’t have to write that. I will never have to write something, now, I know very well, called ‘Dianetics: Terminable or Interminable.’ Apathy, apathy. Imagine a guy beating the drum, beating the drum all those years, having to sit down and write that essay. This was one of the last essays he wrote. He knew he had failed before he died, which is the saddest thing that can happen to any man.” — L. Ron Hubbard, December 23, 1954

 
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Avast, Ye Mateys

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“The boot top and hull need squaring up. The gold stripe and the gold name should be handled quickly. She should be prettied up for Christmas and the New Year. She is a very nice ship. Almost any other ship would leap about madly in the seas in which we run. She is also a very pretty ship and looks more like a yacht than most yachts do.” — The Commodore, December 23, 1970

 
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Overheard in the FreeZone

“Honestly, Hubbard was borderline a con artist. But at least he wasn’t a lefty or communist, and if we were all brainwashed by him that would make a better world than being brainwashed by the New World Order. They are some serious evil. Nothing is worse than the communist world order, lefties are seriously perverted and therefore I support Hubbard’s attempt to save Earth via a takeover of it using his Sea Org. Even though all the harm caused, it was still worth breaking those eggs to make the omelette.”

 
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Past is Prologue

2000: The Tucson Citizen reported that the mayor of Tucson regrets pronouncing a city observance of L. Ron Hubbard Day. “Through the end of last month, in his first year in office, Mayor Bob Walkup signed 138 Proclamation Day decrees. Most Tucsonans remain unaware of these public but not publicized occasions. ‘If it makes a group happy, I’ll do it,’ said Walkup, who often reads the proclamations at events to mark the occasion. ‘It doesn’t cost me anything.’ Separation of church and state notwithstanding, L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of the church of Scientology, had his own special day in Tucson on March 13. Walkup, who turned down a request to proclaim National Bible Week this year, said he didn’t recall approving L. Ron Hubbard Day. ‘If it was just a name like that, I probably would have gone with the recommendation of the staff.’ The proclamation recognized Hubbard for his ‘humanitarian’ works, and not for his role in founding the church of Scientology, which has been criticized by some as a cult that ‘reprograms’ its members.”

 
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Random Howdy

“One of the few things I appreciate about the cult is their retro-ness.”

 

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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 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.

 
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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 now on 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] Bernie Headley, 1952-2019: A man who fought against Scientology’s ‘disconnection’
[TWO years ago] Scientology’s smear machine hurting your reputation? For $1,500 they can help with that.
[THREE years ago] A look back at the month when all hell broke loose for Scientology and Danny Masterson
[FOUR years ago] LAPD needs two more weeks to respond to Leah Remini about missing wife of Scientology leader
[FIVE years ago] Scientology’s 2015 in review: In March, HBO went Clear while we eavesdropped on Flag
[SIX years ago] Scientology hit with 25th lawsuit by Las Vegas attorney as he goes after Florida rehab
[SEVEN years ago] Scientology’s mecca wants you to come to Florida and run circles around a pole
[EIGHT years ago] Scientology’s 2012 in Review: Debbie Cook Makes Us Remember the Alamo
[NINE years ago] Scientology on the High Seas: Yuletide Cheer, Including Dickens Adapted with Evil Psychs
[TWENTY ONE years ago] Double Crossed (The Graham Berry story)

 
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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 2,159 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,663 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,183 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,203 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,094 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 4,401 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 2,269 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 3,043 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 3,847 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,163 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 11,729 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,648 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 3,816 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 3,397 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,658 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 2,696 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 2,409 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,934 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 289 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 1,464 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,015 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,164 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 3,484 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 8,339 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 3,458 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,814 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,117 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,223 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,625 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 2,497 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,080 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 2,575 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,829 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,938 days.

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Posted by Tony Ortega on December 23, 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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