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Jokes aside, there is quite a bit of crossover between QAnon and Scientology

Before last night’s two new episodes of HBO’s series on the QAnon phenomenon, Q: Into the Storm, some of the QAnon-debunking journalists who are featured in the series told their readers to prepare for the new episodes by checking out the trailer for a 12-minute film about illustrator David Dees that premiered recently at the Miami Film Festival.

We’re not entirely sure why they recommended this. There wasn’t a focus on Dees in the new episodes. But there’s no doubt that illustrations by Dees have provided many of the visuals for the Internet’s conspiracy-obsessed corners, and were the product of a troubled, anti-Semitic mind.

Who was David Dees? What gets the most attention is that at one time he was a freelance illustrator for a former Sesame Street magazine who became consumed with paranoid ideas and created vivid images about practically every crackpot notion that gets spread around on right-wing social media, from chemtrails to flat Earth. Dees died of cancer last year after refusing to get conventional medical care for his melanoma. He was 62.

And in the trailer for the film about Dees, many people, including some of our readers, noticed the image you see above, of Dees holding two sensors in his hands.


It isn’t an E-meter. We checked with the filmmaker, Brad Abrahams, who told us it’s a “RIFE machine,” an equally bogus device that Dees claimed could cure his cancer.

But Abrahams says that in fact Dees was a Scientologist and had spent time with Arthur Hubbard, L. Ron’s youngest son, in Los Angeles.

“They would skateboard together,” Abrahams says. “David left the church back in the 90s, I think, when he got sick and couldn’t keep up with the teachings.” He said that Dees had been a Class 4 auditor.

We really weren’t too surprised to find that one of the most conspiracy-obsessed minds on the Internet had also been soaked in the paranoia of Scientology.

Part of the reason that we began watching the QAnon phenomenon at our companion blog, The Lowdown, was that there is so much crossover between the two groups.

Before we began looking into it more closely, every one of the people in our social media feeds trafficking in QAnon ideas were either current or former Scientologists.

It was two independent Scientologists, for example, that we saw for the first time exchanging the greeting, “Thank-Q!”

And yes, like the rest of you, we’ve all seen the meme joking that QAnon is just “trailer park Scientology.”

But is it? After the January 6 Capitol riot, knowledgeable journalists repeatedly pointed out that it was a mistake to write off Q followers as impoverished or uneducated rubes. Some of the rioters had arrived to DC in private planes, others had huge social media followings. Some of the arrested had been CEOs and business owners.

No, QAnon is not trailer park Scientology.

So why are so many Scientologists susceptible to those ideas?

For us, there’s an obvious reason and that’s because Scientologists tend to lean right politically anyway, and for decades they’ve been indoctrinated to believe that there’s a hidden world of influences that those of us outside their tight club are oblivious to.

Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard was a classic red-baiting, midcentury right winger who admired the apartheid government in South Africa and assured its prime minister in a letter that Scientology was a “rightist” organization that supported him and his government. Hubbard also taught that invading space armies controlled places on Venus and Mars and in hidden bases on Earth, and that without Scientology counseling, you were doomed to remain pawns to these outside forces for lifetime after lifetime.

And if you’ve spent your entire life believing that there are secret, galactic forces that make this place a prison planet, how much harder is it to accept that the Democratic Party is actually made up of satanic child-devourers who are about to get their comeuppance from a Donald Trump-led military?


Here is some actual language from the website of one of the most prominent independent Scientologists, who was among those leading a breakaway movement from the church not too many years ago:

If you have been following Q, then you know serious change is afoot. Two years ago it became clear justice was coming for David Miscavige; the end of his abuses, criminality and corruption was near. I posted that insight briefly in 2018 and told a few people but got only disbelief. Miscavige is likely to be swept up in a series of mass arrests in the coming weeks/months. There are 163,469 sealed indictments waiting to be unsealed. 12,275 politicians, CEOs, etc., have been quietly forced to resign. Ships are stationed on the east and west coasts, the military is ACTIVE, and Gitmo is waiting. Military Tribunals may try those charged. Q communicates on a military hardened website called 8kun. He communicates to the Anons. If you remember, the Anons made history calling out the Church of Scientology. The Anons “never forget.”

And another independent Scientologist posted this on their Facebook page a few days ago, after the Boulder shooting…

As those Q followers predicted there has been another “mass shooting” aka “false flag” false, called such because it is NOT organic. News just in is that another mass shooting just occurred in Colorado. THEY ARE PLANNED imho be THE SAME SCUM CABAL WHO PLANNED COVID!! Taking away our guns is the LAST BIG MOVE they have to make in order to turn our country into a third world nation of chaos and anarchy. Q followers KNEW A SECOND ONE WAS COMING AFTER THEY PREDICTED THE ONE IN GA. Wait and let’s see if there’s another SYNCHRONIZED tweet storm by obama, hiLIARy, schumer, pelosi, harris and gang like they did last week as they push gun legislation HARD. That’s A PATTERN THAT HAS ALREADY BEEN NOTED. These false flags are used to MANIPULATE and demand you listen to their narrative or they will THREATEN YOU with censorship, threats, your job, violence. TOTAL CRIMINALS. THESE PEOPLE ARE SICK. DEMONIC. FULL OF GREED. PSYCHOPATHS. Who get PLEASURE out of death, actual PLEASURE. You canNOT use logic with a psychopath. They have NO REAL MORALS. Why do you think that the CDC announced testing for covid had been done wrong and resulted in up to 95% false positive ONE HOUR AFTER BIDAN’S FAKE INAUGERATION?? WHY do you think the AMA quietly announced on Oct 30 2020 4 days before the election that they were NOW GOING TO ALLOW HCQ+ TO BE PRESCRIBED AND PRESCRIPTIONS FILLED AS IT WAS FOUND IT WORKED??? THEY ARE SICK AND BY THEY I mean every single one who has participated in this horror show and engaged in supporting cancelling people, cancelling dialog, cancelling the MAJORITY OF AMERICANS WHO VOTED FOR DJT??? SICK. SICK. SICK!

There were Scientologists at the Capitol riot, including notorious California anti-vaxx crusader Leigh Dundas, as well as Trump fan Penny Atwell Jones.

And while we have been keeping an eye on many other Scientologists and ex-Scientologists who traffic in these ideas, let’s make one major difference between Scientology and QAnon very clear: there is no comparison when it comes to numbers.

Scientology has dwindled to the point that there are probably only about 20,000 active members around the world at this point. And Scientology has never had the “millions” of members that it claims.

But Q’s adherents really do number in the millions. The numbers are actually scary. Yes, there has been caution from pollsters that the numbers of actual adherents has been exaggerated, but even those more cautious estimates say that some 2.5 percent of the voting public has truly adopted the QAnon outlook, and even if you only count that from among the people who actually voted in the last presidential election, you’re still talking about some 4 million Americans who are Q-obsessed.

Scientology has nothing on QAnon in terms of size.

And even though all of Q’s predictions have turned out to be bogus and Joe Biden (and not an actor in a mask) is, in fact, in the actual White House, are people turning away from Q, who hasn’t posted anything new since December?

No, not at all. And here Scientology is perhaps instructive.

L. Ron Hubbard died in 1986 and none of the superpowers he promised in his lectures has materialized — in one lecture, he said that his followers would be able to crush a planet between thumb and forefinger with their “Operating Thetan” powers — but even so, bitter-enders like Tom Cruise are still convinced that Hubbard was the only human being in history who understood the true nature of the universe.

It’s not easy to convince a hardcore Scientologist that L. Ron Hubbard was actually the charlatan portrayed in Russell Miller’s definitive biography, Bare-Faced Messiah. And it may prove equally difficult to help Q patriots see that they’ve been duped by a former pig farmer in the Philippines and his asocial son in Japan.



Look who’s back in town!

Speaking of Leigh Dundas, she’s now back from Mexico, and this week she gave another of her fiery speeches at a church in San Diego. In her speech, she announced that she’ll be going on an 84-stop barnstorming tour this summer, the Resurrection Tour, to take this country back from “the Fourth Reich,” she says.


Apparently those “alternative living arrangements” she was exploring in Mexico didn’t pan out. But she looks tanned and rested, so she should be in rare form.


Late breaking: Bob Harris puts up a GoFundMe to help in laser defense

Just got this link as we were going to press this morning from Robert Harris, who was arrested for supposedly damaging six of Scientology surveillance cams on a recent “Cult City Tours” walk around Clearwater’s downtown.


From the appeal:


As a real estate agent, I thought it prudent to learn which properties are member-owned tax paying properties, and which are church-owned tax exempt properties. So, on February 26th my family and I took a delightful walking tour of the downtown area provided by Cult City Tours. The tour guide noted that he would be pointing out many of the voluminous amounts of security cameras spread throughout downtown, and for us to try and discover some ourselves. I brought my laser with me in order to point out the cameras. I pointed out at least thirty cameras. All in all, it was a very enlightening fun tour.

On Monday, March 22 two detectives arrived at my home and informed me that the Church of Scientology had pressed charges against me for destroying six of their security cameras. Videos shown to me by the detective were very revealing. I made the church aware through news outlets that I am willing to pay for the damages and pen a public apology. The church has not responded. This is a very serious felony charge of criminal mischief. The church despises Cult City tours, which may be a motivating factor in this effort. A google search reveals no precedent for laser damaging security camera convictions in the world. I made an innocent mistake, one which will not be made again. Scientology is coming after me and I need assistance.


Source Code

“Let’s take CCH 1, ‘Give me that hand.’ It could have possibly also — I am not saying you should run it with this command, but you — ‘Reach me. Reach me. Reach me.’ You get the similarity here? See, PC really is at cause, see? You could just say, ‘Reach me.’ And make sure that he did and it would be quite interesting. I don’t advocate that you fellows do this, although once in a while, some squirrel auditor develops some technology by which he can use Scientology to make a girl more accessible. Now personally, I find it difficult to understand this, because I myself, you see, have never needed Scientology! I don’t waste a brag, but I just want to point this out. Here you have a situation where that’s a poor show. But you actually could take a girl and have her reach your right knee and your left knee and your right shoulder and your left shoulder and your nose and the top of your head and your right hand and left hand. And every now and then, ask her how she feels about you. And if you don’t flatten the process, just about the time this thing goes into the plus state, she’ll tell you she’s mad about you, she thinks you’re wonderful. That’s right.” — L. Ron Hubbard, March 29, 1962


Avast, Ye Mateys

“There is not one person aboard, swabbie, snipe or clerk who is not vital to maintaining our presence on Int lines either by keeping the ship running or safe or actually pushing comm pkgs or admin actions. To the several million Scientologists in the world our presence is felt even when it is only quietly acting within orgs over the world. There’s an awful lot of lightning and thetan power in this theta line and everyone on board is contributing to it. Whatever the grease on your nose or the callouses on your ball point finger you are helping to keep this line in existence and contributing your energy and actions to pushing it through. Next time you’re tired or upset — remember that.” — The Commodore, March 29, 1970


Overheard in the FreeZone

“Max Plank indicated the area of research by stating that in quantum physics it is consciousness that is found underlying all of that physical phenomena. L. Ron Hubbard was trained not only in atomic and molecular phenomena (nuclear physics) and engineering, but also in magic, the Veda and all that stuff dealing with life and consciousness. This indicates the character of the real 21st century scientist, one knowledgeable in quantum physics as well as magic, the Veda and oriental knowledge, including — oh gosh! — the work of Aleister Crowley, anathema and excommunicateable offence! There’s a bright side to all of this for me. This shows what kind of people is excluded from making critiques to Scientology and 21st century real science. Those excluded from making critiques are all the atheist matter-is-all-that-exists scientists in universities, exhibiting their degrees in the wall and running in their squirrel cages. This also excludes (and this is most satisfying) all the masters and doctors in all top universities who are not trained in physics and atomic and molecular phenomena! My advice for them is to get out of their squirrel cages and start walking a real path on those subjects, including civil engineering.”



Past is Prologue

2002: Reuters reported that Scientology minister Reed Slatkin has agreed to plead guilty to investment fraud. “EarthLink co-founder Reed Slatkin, accused of defrauding investors out of nearly $600 million, has agreed to plead guilty to 15 federal charges, prosecutors said Tuesday. Slatkin, who was charged with 15 felony charges for allegedly orchestrating a massive Ponzi scheme in which he solicited more than $593 million from some 800 investors – including members of the Church of Scientology, where he is a minister – has reached a deal with prosecutors to plead guilty to all of the charges. Slatkin, 53, was charged with five counts of mail fraud, three counts of wire fraud, six counts of money laundering and one count of conspiracy to obstruct justice during an investigation being conducted by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.”


Random Howdy

“I rarely ever downvote comments. I do downvote rude comments and drive-by comments by Scientologists (or people pretending to be) who are too chicken to hang around and argue their beliefs. If a real Scientologist showed up here and seriously debated their beliefs with someone, I wouldn’t downvote them.”


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

Criminal prosecutions:
Danny Masterson charged for raping three women: Masterson arraigned Jan 20. Discovery hearing on April 20, prelim set for May 18.
Jay and Jeff Spina, Medicare fraud: Jay’s sentencing delayed to April 13.
Hanan and Rizza Islam and other family members, Medi-Cal fraud: Trial scheduled for May 20 in Los Angeles
David Gentile, GPB Capital, fraud: Charged in Brooklyn federal court on Feb 4. Arraigned on Feb 9. Pretrial conference set for Apr 29.>

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. June 7: 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.
Author Steve Cannane defamation trial: Trial concluded, Cannane victorious, awarded court costs. Case appealed on Dec 24.

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.


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] ‘PROTECT THE ORG’ is Scientology’s highest purpose says new edict
[TWO years ago] Scientology ‘body-routing’: When no one wants what you’re selling
[THREE years ago] Leah Remini on Scientology’s stalking — nothing is going to stop her third season of ‘Aftermath’
[FOUR years ago] SCIENTOLOGY TV: It’s really happening! Spectrum blocks out a channel for Miscavige
[FIVE years ago] Scientology pampered some of its big donors with a trip back in time to Phoenix in 1954
[SIX years ago] The crowd’s all here: What does the airing of the Scientology doc ‘Going Clear’ mean to you?
[SEVEN years ago] Scientology answers the Garcias — And turns over a trove of internal documents
[EIGHT years ago] Scientology’s Job One: Saving the Whales
[ELEVEN years ago] Daily News Story About Scientology Defector Marc Headley Leaves Out Best Part


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 2,255 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,759 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,279 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,299 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,190 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 4,497 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 2,365 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 3,139 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 1,469 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 3,943 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,259 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 11,825 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,744 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 3,912 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 3,493 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,754 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 2,792 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 2,505 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,030 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 385 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 1,560 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,111 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,260 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 3,580 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 8,435 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 3,554 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,910 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,213 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,319 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,721 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 2,593 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,176 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 2,671 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,925 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,034 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on March 29, 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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