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Tom Cruise said he needed only an hour to sell Scientology: What would he do in that hour?

[Tom Cruise and Judd Apatow]

On Tuesday, we showed you a couple of pages from Seth Rogen’s new book which included a bizarre 2006 encounter with actor Tom Cruise. Among the strange things Cruise claimed, according to Rogen, was that he needed just an hour to convince Rogen and Judd Apatow that everything they thought they knew about Scientology was wrong.

We asked former Sea Org member Chris Shelton, what would Cruise have done if he’d been given that hour to sell Scientology to Rogen and Apatow? Here’s the fascinating response he sent us.

Tom Cruise is a “Standard Tech” nut so he would want to do it all by the book and follow Hubbard’s instructions to the letter. That means he needs to apply two different “dissemination” formulas Hubbard instructed all Scientologists to use to get new members in. These are the “fool proof” methods that will supposedly lure anyone in.

First there are the Presession Processes, which Hubbard introduced in 1960 as a tool to “get into session…a stranger who isn’t receiving well” and “a person antagonistic to Scientology.” There are four points that need to be checked over: Help, Control, Communication, and Interest. Hubbard called these the Deadly Quartet.


To start, he might say “Don’t you think people can be helped?” or some other question on the subject of Help which would try to get the person talking and open up about their ideas, disagreements, confusions, or past upsets on the subject of Help, whether it’s being helped, helping others, others helping others, etc. The goal is to get the person to admit that help is possible or real or that he or she could be helped.

Then Cruise might try to do something to check and handle Control, such as simply giving the person a command or direction and seeing how they handle it. This could be done subtly, without any real attention paid or without making it a big deal. If they bristle at being controlled or refuse to cooperate, they obviously have some problem with the subject of Control and that could be talked about or brought up. This isn’t about doing the “yell at the ashtray” with the person or forcing them to stand up and move their body around the room like in the TRs. It’s more lowkey, with the goal being to make sure the person is not wildly reactive whenever someone tries to control them.

Next is Communication and this would be addressed by simply asking the person how they feel about it. If Cruise knows the person has a button or problem in communicating, has trust issues or something like that, he might try to get them to open up or ask what it would take for them to be willing to communicate with other people. Light conversation on this point until the person concedes they might be willing to communicate with Cruise about things they wouldn’t normally talk to other people about.

Finally, the person should now be somewhat Interested in what Cruise has to say and he can then go into the second formula for dissemination, which also has four steps: Contact, Handle, Salvage, and Bring to Understanding.

Hopefully the Presessions didn’t take forever because these steps probably will.

Contact is easy as it’s just getting in touch with someone. Cruise would already have done this just by talking to the person.

The second step is Handle, which means to ferret out any bad data or rumors or “black PR” (Scientology for negative public relations), i.e. the truth, the person might have heard about Scientology, then show how each thing they heard was actually nonsense. This is where the “dead agent (DA) packs” come into play as the idea with critics is to show how they are liars and can’t be believed. Cruise believes that if he can show that Leah Remini, for example, is telling just one lie using his DA pack of OSA lies and nonsense about her, then Leah will no longer be a valid source of information to this person and they’ll reject her narrative about Scientology.

This Handle step can go in lots of different directions and is one of the most touchy parts of this because it’s where a Scientologist, even Cruise, opens themselves up to hear things about Scientology that are not favorable. But Cruise and other Scientologists only do this knowing that whatever the person says is going to be nonsense as far as they’re concerned, and Cruise won’t take any of it seriously. The thought-stopping clichés really kick in here, such as “Oh Leah, yeah, she’s just in it for the money” or “Forget anything that Rinder guy said — we kicked him OUT of the Church for a reason!” It’s cute that Scientologists think this kind of “handling” is really going to convince anyone to not listen to Leah or Mike or any of us critics, but they think Hubbard knows what he’s talking about so they’ll actually try this approach.

After Cruise has satisfied himself that the person is no longer affected by or thinking with the bad news about Scientology, he’d proceed to Salvage which is where he would try to find the person’s “ruin” — the thing the person believes is their biggest personal issue or problem. Cruise would ask questions like “So if you could change anything about yourself right now, what would it be?” or “Is there something you secretly hate about yourself but you don’t know how to ever change it?” or “What do you think is holding you back more than anything else?” There could be an infinite number of ways to find out, but Cruise won’t be shy at this point and he’ll be angling to get the person to give up whatever personal information Cruise wants to know. He’ll be looking for anything the person says that they feel strongly about and which they really don’t know how to handle, whether it’s shyness, introversion, can’t speak up for themselves, do bad things and don’t know why, etc. The beauty of Scientology is, whatever it is, Cruise will then proclaim: Scientology can help you with that.

And that’s the final step: Bring to Understanding, where Cruise would lay in hard on the person using the “ruin” they gave over and show them how Scientology has some course or some auditing service that will address that and make it go away forever. This is the point that he would really dive in for the close of the sale and not take any reason the person might give for not wanting to do a Scientology service.

If it didn’t seem to be going anywhere, Cruise might backtrack to the Salvage step and see if that “ruin” was actually the real deal or just something the person said. In order for this to work, the ruin has to be something the person is truly worried about and wants to change.

And those are the steps Cruise would want to do, at least if he were following Hubbard’s directions. It’s a bit ridiculous that he might try to get all that done in just one hour, so he might go for a more “impinging” talk with the person by going in on psych drugs and the conspiracy theories that Scientologists love to gab on about. Cruise has a real thing about psychiatry and I am quite sure he hasn’t changed any of his views since he ranted on the Today show all those years ago. If he thought he had a friendly audience for that, he’d go right back in again on how Big Pharma and psychiatry have it in for everyone, not just the Scientologists. But that approach is usually used more for recruiting staff than it is for making new Scientologists.

— Chris Shelton



Source Code

“A special story I wrote was taken to the NY Times Reporter and she was very pleased. It was about the Marines and Corfu. Remember? We have to get the 19 crew members who wrote affidavits in this up to the US Embassy to get them notarized. They go to the US Congress and assist in the Life suit. (We have to get Life sued fast. The Sat Eve Post has gone out of business and Time-Life is fading. Like the Daily Mail, newspapers who attack us fail, strange coincidence.)” — L. Ron Hubbard, May 13, 1969


Avast, Ye Mateys

“GROUP CONFESSION is group confession. It is done with the whole group present. It is not done divisionally and it is not done by unit. Try this and you’ll see it work. This is a team and not individuated.” — Lt. Cmdr. Diana Hubbard, CS 1, May 13, 1969


Overheard in the FreeZone

“I tell myself if I had cancer I wouldn’t do their chemo but would try free people chemo: Chlorine DiOxide aka MMS and aka CDS. People report oxidation of cancer tumors and remission of that and many other ailments. It works fast so if you know what you are doing and do it right you could tell within days. No joke. You got nothing to lose! I know about it for years it is SAFE and is NOT bleach! Ask any chemistry student!”


Past is Prologue


1997: Scientology’s Freedom magazine is calling for information on any misdeeds by executives of the St. Petersburg Times. The information will likely be used in future “dead agent” attacks against the paper. “Under Investigation: Readers with information about crimes or misconduct by executives at the ‘St. Petersburg Times’ should send full details in writing to ‘Freedom’, 503 Cleveland Street, Clearwater, FL 34616. This includes information regarding racial and gender bias or discrimination, sexual harassment, employee abuse or any violation of exisisting laws.”


Random Howdy

“I have seen the dark energy and dark matter. I have seen the other side of this universe, my hearing ability was magnified just before this happened. A thetan is capable of doing anything and can exist in the absence of MEST or in the dark form of it or in between. I am not sure if dark is the right word to use, however, this is magical indeed. Thank you Master LRH for your return. I wish I can express my gratitude for you in all the world alphabets, master, as you are the alpha (α) and omega (Ω).”


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

Criminal prosecutions:
Danny Masterson charged for raping three women: Preliminary hearing set for May 18.
Jay and Jeff Spina, Medicare fraud: Jay sentenced to 9 years in prison. Jeff’s sentencing to be scheduled.
Hanan and Rizza Islam and other family members, Medi-Cal fraud: Trial scheduled for May 20 in Los Angeles
David Gentile, GPB Capital, fraud: Next pretrial conference set for June 18.

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] Scientology trying to sell Irish reporters on the idea that interest is booming there
[TWO years ago] Scientology admits it’s selling ‘magic’ at its Florida spiritual mecca
[THREE years ago] We have the detailed specs for your dream job: Public Relations officer in Scientology
[FOUR years ago] Scientology’s casting calls get nuttier all the time. Who would you hire to fill them?
[FIVE years ago] Document leak: How Scientology freaked out over losing Lori Hodgson and her mom
[SIX years ago] Hand out L. Ron Hubbard literature and score a date with a Scientology sweetheart!
[SEVEN years ago] DOX: The appeal to restore the class-action lawsuit against Scientology’s rehab network
[EIGHT years ago] Will Scientology’s Motion Demolish the Garcias’ Federal Fraud Lawsuit?
[NINE years ago] Lisa Marie Presley Says “So Long” to Scientology
[TEN years ago] Scientology Thunderdome: Commenters of the Week!


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 2,300 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,804 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,324 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,344 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,235 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 4,542 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 2,410 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 3,184 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 1,514 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 3,988 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,304 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 11,870 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,789 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 3,957 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 3,538 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,799 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 2,837 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 2,550 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,075 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 430 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 1,605 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,156 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,305 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 3,625 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 8,480 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 3,599 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,955 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,258 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,364 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,766 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 2,638 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,221 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 2,716 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,970 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,079 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on May 13, 2021 at 07:00

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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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