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After a year and a half, Scientology’s cruise ship finally sails — to Curaçao drydock

[The Damen repair docks, the ‘Antillia’ drydock is the long narrow one.]

What do you know. We take our eyes off of the satellite tracker for a few days, and Scientology’s private cruise ship the Freewinds moved on us!

Since March 20, 2020, the floating cathedral, where wealthy Scientologists go for the culminating experience of the “Bridge to Total Freedom,” an auditing level known as “Operating Thetan Level Eight,” or OT 8, the ship had been stuck in port in Aruba because of the pandemic.

For months, Scientology has been advertising to its members, begging them to go to Aruba, spend two weeks in quarantine in a hotel, and then visit the ship and its “OT Bubble.” Scientologists were even being encouraged to move their offices to the ship, another sign that the ship was going nowhere soon.

And in recent weeks, we’d seen fliers asking for Scientologists to plan trips to Aruba so they could celebrate Christmas and New Year’s on the ship there.

Has that all changed? According to satellite records, the Freewinds finally disembarked from Aruba’s port on Monday night, and eight hours later, on Tuesday morning, arrived at Willemstad’s port in Curaçao.


And not just anywhere in port. According to the current satellite map, the Freewinds has pulled into the Damen Shiprepair’s “Antillia” drydock, and looking at photos of it, we really sort of doubt that Scientology is going to be throwing any holiday parties while it’s there…


Speaking of the Freewinds and Curaçao, reader Pluvo spotted this video that was posted in April 2020, shortly after the ship was stuck in Aruba. Based on what’s said in the video, however, we suspect it was recorded about a year earlier, in May 2019.

The interviewer is talking with port captain Ken Weber, and she interrupts the happy talk to ask a couple of pointed questions. Like, are you really sticking with this old bucket of bolts after 51 years? Isn’t it time to trade it in?

“At this time, no. We are happy with the Freewinds,” Ken says.

Later, she asks again, this time suggesting the ship isn’t really very big at all, and couldn’t they use a bigger one?

“At this point no; we are at a good size right now. Eventually, yeah, I think we have to,” Ken answers. Hm, that’s an interesting response.


Well, as Ken predicted, the Freewinds has returned “home” to Curaçao, but this time it looks like it’s going to get the repairs we were told it would need after sitting in one place for so long. Will it be back in Aruba in time for those holiday parties? And will it finally resume its trips around the Caribbean like it used to?

We are going to need to keep a better look at that satellite!



Scientology TV branching out, sort of

Remember when David Miscavige personally appeared on Scientology TV in 2018 to kick off the channel? Yeah, you’ve heard barely anything about it since then because Dave’s expensive experiment has been an utter failure.

An unwatchable stream of non-stop propaganda, Scientology TV must be costing Miscavige a fortune, and three years into his experiment he’s showing no signs of shaking up the pure drudgery of its content.

But now there is this development, at least. If you’re a cord-cutter who pays $65 a month to sign up for FuboTV’s lineup of channels (which are mainly about live sports, and soccer in particular), it’s now offering “Inside Scientology,” one of the slick but dreary shows that originated on Scientology TV.


We’d love to know how FuboTV was convinced to carry this dreck. If you know, drop us a line! (h/t ISNOI News)


Bonus items from our tipsters

Chicago is just a cleaner New York, you know.




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Source Code

“The fellow who has voices talking to him inside of his head is much better off than the fellow who has voices talking to him from way outside his head. Odd that psychiatry classifies people quite in reverse. People who have voices talking to them from the outside are sane and those who have voices talking to them from inside of their head are very often classified as insane. As a matter of fact, I read a paragraph in one of their innumerable, contradictory books which had to do with just that. It said that one could always tell whether or not a person was psychotic, because the spoken voices – the speaking voices and so forth – were invariably inside the person’s head if the person were psychotic. Couldn’t they face the idea that these voices very often come from outside?” — L. Ron Hubbard, October 29, 1953


Avast, Ye Mateys

“In the early days of the ship the entire crew consisted of only 79 to 90 people. When the ROYAL SCOTMAN became an AO, students crowded aboard and the ship was forced into cope in order to handle them. Spaniards made up the bulk of the stewards and cooks. A non SO chief steward, who later blew, kept the Department in, for him, a suitable state of chaos. After the AO was moved to Alicante, the Stewards Department did well when Mary Sue was Captain and afterwards began to have its ups and downs.” — The Commodore, October 29, 1971



Overheard in the FreeZone

“While he was able to establish a secure base in Morocco in 1972 with the help of the local government, the former colonial power of France had issued an international arrest warrant via Interpol for L. Ron Hubbard for alleged fraud. When LRH flew to the US within hours due to this on December 3, 1972, in order to defend himself in this matter – which the former basis for operation at sea made impossible – he was taken into custody by US agents at the New York airport and taken into a secret US prison as an enemy of the state, without the chance of a fair hearing and trial. He has been missing ever since.”


Past is Prologue

1998: Graham Berry posted a description of an encounter between Ursula Caberta of the German government and Kendrick Moxon, attorney for Scientology. “I took Ursula Caberta down a floor to where Scientology lawyer Moxon and OSA employee were inspecting documents. I shook Moxon’s hand. He then wiped his hands saying ‘can’t be too careful’. To Ursula he said, ‘You didn’t bring her down here just to show her boxes. Where is your uniform? She said it is casual day and uniforms are for the Sea Organization. Moxon then said ‘I mean your Nazi uniform’. He then snapped to attention and gave her the Nazi salute repeatedly! ‘Sieg heil’. When he did not cease his strutting, heel clicking and offensive saluting we left. Later, Ursula told the press that he could have been prosecuted for criminal conduct had he done this in Germany.”


Random Howdy

“You kids need to look around before you start posting comments willy-nilly.”



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

Criminal prosecutions:
Danny Masterson charged for raping three women: Next hearing set for November 10. Trial tentatively scheduled for February.
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: Pretrial conference December 17 in Los Angeles
David Gentile, GPB Capital, fraud: Next pretrial conference set for November 19.
Joseph ‘Ben’ Barton, Medicare fraud: Pleaded guilty, awaiting sentencing.

Civil litigation:
Luis and Rocio Garcia v. Scientology: Oral arguments were heard on July 30, 2020 at the Eleventh Circuit
Valerie Haney v. Scientology: Forced to ‘religious arbitration.’ US Supreme Court denied Valerie’s petition Oct 4.
Chrissie Bixler et al. v. Scientology and Danny Masterson: California Supreme Court granted review on May 26 and asked the Second Appellate Division to direct Judge Steven Kleifield to show cause why he granted Scientology’s motion for arbitration. Oral arguments scheduled for November 2.
Matt and Kathy Feschbach tax debt: Eleventh Circuit ruled on Sept 9, 2020 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: Third amended complaint filed, trial set for June 28, 2022.
Author Steve Cannane defamation trial: Trial concluded, Cannane victorious, awarded court costs. Case appealed on Dec 23. Appeal hearing held Aug 23-27. Awaiting a ruling.



We first broke the news of the LAPD’s investigation of Scientology celebrity Danny Masterson on rape allegations in 2017, and we’ve been covering the story every step of the way since then. At this page we’ve collected our most important links, including our four days in Los Angeles covering the preliminary hearing and its ruling, which has Danny facing trial and the potential sentence of 45 years to life in prison.


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 BLACK OPS: Tom Cruise and dirty tricks. 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] Truths about Nxivm leader Keith Raniere that his loyalists still refuse to face
[TWO years ago] Scientology threw its annual IAS party on L. Ron Hubbard Way, and once again we had a mole
[THREE years ago] Ahoy, matey: We have Scientology’s new Sea Org application!
[FOUR years ago] In Canada, Scientology does not get the welcome it might have been expecting
[FIVE years ago] Amassing the real history of Scientology has been a long and dramatic relay race
[SIX years ago] Hey, tabloids: Tom Cruise once again attends Scientology gala as its poster boy
[SEVEN years ago] Scientology’s ‘Mecca’ awaits: More tantalizing glimpses of Hubbardian Heaven on Earth
[EIGHT years ago] Claire Headley Gets Us Ready to Go Solo: More Prep for Scientology OT!
[NINE years ago] List of People Who Have Left Scientology and Spoken Out Reaches 2,000 Names
[TEN years ago] Scientology Dumpster-Dive: 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 2,468 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,973 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,493 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,513 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,404 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 4,711 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 2,579 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 3,353 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 1,683 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,157 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,473 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,039 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,958 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,126 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 3,707 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,968 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,004 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 2,719 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,244 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 599 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 1,774 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,325 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,474 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 3,794 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 8,649 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 3,768 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,124 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,427 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,533 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,931 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 2,807 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,390 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 2,885 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,139 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,248 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on October 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


Tony Ortega at The Daily Beast


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