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Scientology takes boards down after Inauguration riots failed to materialize

[The chipboard comes down in San Diego]

In December, we noticed something odd: Many of Scientology’s orgs across the United States were boarded up like they were going out of business.

Theories abounded about why this would be the case. Sure, some of the orgs had boarded up in the summer because of riots in the wake of George Floyd’s death, but this was months later and some Scientology facilities that had been sealed up were in places away from foot traffic where it was unlikely that riots would occur.

Others wondered if the effects of the pandemic had resulted in Scientology boarding up orgs as a way to save money. But that didn’t make sense: Scientology orgs were largely empty before the lockdown, so why would they try to save money now?

We tried to keep in mind a rule we learned a long time ago: With Scientology, the answer is usually much stupider than one would assume. And in this case, that turned out to be prophetic. One of our readers, Missionary Kid, got a staff member in San Diego to admit that the orgs were boarded up because Scientology anticipated there would be riots when the new president was sworn in on January 20.

We’ve pointed out numerous times that individual Scientologists tend to be conspiracy fans in the Alex Jones mold, and they tend to lean right, as founder L. Ron Hubbard himself did. (Hubbard was a classic midcentury reactionary, an apartheid supporter, and he told the prime minister in South Africa that Scientology was a “rightist” organization). That carries through to today, with actual evidence of how Scientologists tend to vote. But even though we’ve long known about that, we are not used to seeing church leader David Miscavige himself falling for the nutty conspiracy stuff, as he apparently did this time.


But now that Inauguration Day has come and gone, and with no widespread rioting, voilà, the boards are coming down!


We’ve now heard from readers who previously reported on the orgs being sealed up that they are now board-free in places like Detroit, Dallas, and Buffalo. And Monday night, Missionary Kid happened to catch workers taking down boards in San Diego and sent us these photos.

“I happened by the org and saw that they were taking down the chipboard. They were nearly done when I happened by, so the building was all lit up because plywood no longer covered the glass in the front. I asked one of the guys taking down the boards if he was a staff member, and he said yes even though he wasn’t in any sort of uniform – probably because he was a part of the work party. There were five or six guys total that I saw out there at one time or another. He said there were 100 on staff, adding that it was in 2 shifts. That seems to be a stock answer.”

Meanwhile, on the Scientology social media feeds that we monitor, there hadn’t been a peep about the orgs being boarded up or why. But now, suddenly, they’re chatting about the orgs opening up again…


Well, C.O.B. (Chairman of the Board David Miscavige) may be asking for it, but nothing has really changed with the pandemic and Scientologists ought to stay away from the orgs for now, even if plywood is no longer covering up the windows. (Remember, Dave, your public stance that you actually care about that little health crisis we’re having?)

What’s that? Scientologists don’t listen to our advice? Well, what can you do.



35 years ago today, the Hubbard death announcement

On January 27, 1986, at the Hollywood Palladium, Scientologists got the stunning news from a pipsqueak most of them had never met or even heard of, Sea Org official David Miscavige, then only 25 years old, that their founder L. Ron Hubbard, who had been in seclusion for several years, had died three days earlier, on Friday, January 24.

From the reaction you hear in the audience, it’s pretty clear that they understand what Miscavige is telling them, but the cover story that Dave tells them is that Hubbard had voluntarily left his 74-year-old body in order to pursue “researches” that he could only do unhindered by physical form.

Soak up the drama, and let us know if you were in the audience that night.



Source Code

“There was a tribe of Indians in the United States, some say before the arrival of white men, but they should re-classify that and say before the arrival of Pilgrims — before 1602, or something on that order, 1608, whenever they arrived — because that whole coast was in good communication with Europe for many centuries. Fishing boats from northern Europe used to come over to the grand banks all the time. As a matter of fact, the fishermen called it America, and we read a big fog about Columbus and all the rest of it. I’m sure Columbus came over, but Columbus never got to America. But anyhow, this is all very confused, but that’s history.” — L. Ron Hubbard, January 27, 1954


Avast, Ye Mateys


“CONDITIONS: Arthur Hubbard is assigned N/E for being non-existant on cleaning stations for the last 3 days.” — M. Spence, for W/O Des Popham, January 27, 1970


Overheard in the FreeZone

“I know a top Ron’s Org Scientologist auditor who has fallen for the QAnon scam. She clearly isn’t showing any superior knowledge, which I thought Scientology courses could deliver her. QAnon is a false anti-communist movement designed to mislead pro-Trumpers and get them to commit terrorist attacks so that the gov can then ban right wingers, lock them up and ban Trump from using social media. An intelligence agency runs Q, probably the FBI. Now if Scientology courses and auditing worked then people who have done them shouldn’t fall for intelligence agency operations.”


Past is Prologue

1997: CNN aired a show about the continuing controversy over Scientology in Germany. “HEBER JENTZSCH: People who come into Scientology do pay for services. They received counseling, they study the religion of Scientology. And you know people’s IQ’s increase in Scientology. They find they are more capable. We have done Sociological studies and have shown people being more able in Scientology….First of all, why is there so much attack in Germany? I can’t explain that. Why there was so much attack upon the Jews? There was no foundation for it. We take a look at this, if I were just to change the word here, instead of Scientologists and insert the word Jew. If we read a news article saying that in Bavaria, yesterday, a six-year-old child was kicked out of school because his parents were Jews. Or yesterday in Germany a person was dismissed from work because he is a Jew. Or we were to say that a person was not allowed to vote because he — or not allowed to be a member of a political party — because he is a Jew.”


Random Howdy

“Ever read any of the crap the conspiracy cult followers believe in? And they number in the millions, not tens of thousands. Remember in The Mist where the people trapped in the supermarket immediately start their own cult ? That’s how most people think.”



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

Criminal prosecutions:
Danny Masterson charged for raping three women: Masterson arraigned Jan 20. Next conf to set prelim, March 24.
Jay and Jeff Spina, Medicare fraud: Jay’s sentencing delayed to March 2.
Hanan and Rizza Islam and other family members, Medi-Cal fraud: Trial scheduled for May 20 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 30, Judge Kleifield granted Scientology’s motions to compel arbitration. Jan 29: Status conference.
Matt and Kathy Feschbach tax debt: Eleventh Circuit ruled on Sept 9 that Feshbachs can’t discharge IRS debt in bankruptcy. Dec 17: Feshbachs sign court judgment obliging them to pay entire $3.674 million tax debt, plus interest from Nov 19.
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 clown Joy Villa got glowing press again, and here’s what it left out
[TWO years ago] Oh, come on: Scientology ‘detox’ quackery now being touted for miraculous cures
[THREE years ago] His words are wise, his face is beard: 10 years ago, Anonymous got some good advice
[FOUR years ago] Scientology, why are you keeping a cancer patient from seeing his only daughter?
[FIVE years ago] 30 years ago today: ‘L. Ron Hubbard discarded the body he had used in this lifetime’
[SIX years ago] Why Alex Gibney’s ‘Going Clear’ is scaring the crap out of Scientology
[SEVEN years ago] More fallout in France: Scientologist who asked for damages ends up paying instead
[EIGHT years ago] Sunday Funnies: Africa is Done!
[NINE years ago] Scientology on the High Seas: Wild Breakthroughs on OT 8!


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 2,194 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,698 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,218 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,238 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,129 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 4,436 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 2,304 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 3,078 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 3,882 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,198 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 11,764 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,683 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 3,851 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 3,432 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,693 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 2,731 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 2,444 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,969 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 324 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 1,499 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,050 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,199 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 3,519 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 8,374 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 3,493 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,849 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,152 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,258 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,660 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 2,532 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,115 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 2,610 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,864 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,973 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on January 27, 2021 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, 1995-2020 Just starting out here? We’ve picked out the most important stories we’ve covered here at the Underground Bunker (2012-2020), 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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