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Evidence that Scientology is still taking Sea Org women to clinics for forced abortions

[Peter Mansell]

One of the most shocking revelations about Scientology abuses, and one of the best documented, was Tom Tobin’s masterful reporting in 2010 about the church’s decades-long policy of forcing women in the Sea Org to undergo unwanted abortions.

We consider it one of the two or three best articles ever written on the subject of Scientology, and it featured some women we hold in high esteem for coming forward and telling their stories of undergoing forced abortions: Laura DeCrescenzo, Claire Headley, and Sunny Pereira.

In the Sea Org, recruits sign billion-year contracts and then work nearly around the clock, 365 days a year. There’s simply no time for raising kids. So when a Sea Org woman finds herself pregnant, she’s pressured to end the pregnancy and is taken to the local clinic. Laura, Claire, Sunny and others have said that when it happened to them there was simply no choice in the matter.

Since then a couple of the men whose job it was to convince women to have these abortions, and to drive them to the local free clinic, have also come forward to admit that this was a standard feature of the Sea Org, and started back as early as the 1970s.

Laura spent nine years trying to get her allegations about being forced to undergo an unwanted abortion into a courtroom, but with only days to go before a trial was to begin in 2018 Scientology leader David Miscavige threw in the towel and settled with her to keep the trial from happening.

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More recently, a new defector named Bree Mood came out of the Sea Org in late 2018, and she said that women were still being forced to undergo unwanted abortions.

And if you were under the impression that Miscavige might have changed things because a couple of negative press stories, then you don’t know Dave.

This week, some very interesting photos were posted to the Facebook account of Deb Maxwell. We’ve written about Deb before. She’s an anti-abortion activist in Clearwater who keeps a pretty close watch on Scientology. We don’t agree with her views on abortion in general, but if there’s one thing that there should be no disagreement about on all sides, it’s that no woman should be coerced into having an abortion she doesn’t really want.

This time, Deb noticed that a white van was coming to the Bread and Roses Woman’s Health Center on South Highland Avenue in Clearwater on a series of Saturdays. She took a photo of it, including its license plate. The white van was unmarked, but she had her suspicions about it. In the last couple of years, she has seen other white vans just like it being driven by Sea Org men bringing young women to the clinic.

And sure enough, she also found the same van parked overnight at the parking lot of The Coachman, a Scientology facility it says is a “religious training and counseling center,” on the northeast corner of Park Street and Fort Harrison Avenue.

 

[Left, parked at the clinic; right, at Scientology facility, same plate]

“I caught them a couple times recently on Saturday mornings — the main abortion day — dropping off girls. I’ve caught them in the past, too. I asked Peter Mansell about it,” Deb says.

In 2019, outside the Flag Building on Fort Harrison Avenue, Maxwell asked Scientology official Peter Mansell on camera about the church’s forced abortion policy. He told her that it might surprise her that he was personally as anti-abortion as she is. But he didn’t deny it when Deb pointed out that Scientology was driving women to the clinic.

“Yeah, we operate a little bit on the basis of people have a freedom to make their own choices even if we firstly disagree with it,” he said.

Given Scientology’s decades-long history of forcing young women to have abortions they don’t necessarily want, however, we don’t believe Mansell for a minute that Scientology is giving its women workers “freedom of choice.”

 

[The 3.2-mile drive between the Bread & Roses clinic and The Coachman, where the van was spotted]

It’s strange enough that a church would have a regular Saturday morning shuttle to an abortion clinic, but with Scientology’s history there’s no benefit of the doubt to grant here. This is prime evidence that the Church of Scientology is still forcing unwanted abortions on its employees.

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We sent a detailed message about this to church spokeswoman Karin Pouw and we’ll let you know if she gets back to us with a response.

So now let’s see where we are this week. We told you on Tuesday that we had evidence Scientology is pressuring its members into dubious credit card schemes in order to saddle them with tens of thousands in debt, and that the church literally wrote down this scheme in a step-by-step document.

Yesterday, Tracey McManus at the Tampa Bay Times came out with another masterful example of reporting, showing that Scientology’s takeover of Clearwater property through some of its wealthy members is, if anything, stepping up since she exposed that it was happening two years ago. Determined to stop Clearwater’s attempts to revive its downtown, David Miscavige increasingly appears to be amassing properties to turn Clearwater into Scientology’s private fortress.

Today, we have evidence that Scientology is still forcing Sea Org women in that fortress into unwanted abortions.

These things are not happening in the 1970s on a ship piloted by L. Ron Hubbard. They aren’t happening in the go-go 90s with David Miscavige leading his people to the tax exempt promised land.

These things are happening right now, proving something we have said over and over again: Scientology does not change. And it will continue to extort people, rip apart families, destroy lives, and force abortions week after week after week until they are stopped. And they won’t be stopped by lawsuits from former members.

What will it take to get the federal government to pay some attention to what’s going on?

 
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Irish Scientology rehab will go ahead

An Irish appeal court has ruled that a planning board improperly held up a Scientology project to open a Narconon rehab in that country. Read the report at the Irish Times, and you’ll get a sense of how this went down: It was all about the jurisdictions of government commissions and whether they followed their own rules properly. Not a word about the quack facility that will now be sucking in Irish addicts to inject them with some Scientology training, which is what you get at a Narconon, not drug counseling.

Yes, Narconon lies about that in Ireland just like they do everywhere else. But courts there, just as here, bend over backwards to give Scientology a fair break, and never, ever look into the actual facts of a case.

Hey, but that’s what Scientology is paying the big bucks for. Notch up another legal victory.

 

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Sign up for a daily email when we post a new story on Scientology.

Did you know you can get an email every morning when we post our daily Scientology story? We know some of the folks who come to the Underground Bunker aren’t here to talk about the politics of the day, and that’s why we created a daily politics feature over at our other blog, The Lowdown, and we ask readers to take their political discussions over there. And if you drop us a line at tonyo94 AT gmail, we’ll put you on the list so you get a morning reminder that a new Scientology story has been posted — and only for our Scientology stories.

 
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Source Code

“Space opera used to be a lot of fun, you know. You’d spend two hours getting into your suit, and you get all this equipment and you get it all here and there and you stuff it and fill up your pockets, and then you climb up with this two hundred pounds of stuff, up a ladder that’s about 30 feet tall, to get into some kind of an airport. And you get inside this ship, you see, and then you regulate about 500 switches and you have to repair four or five electronic circuits and you patch some things together with chewing gum and you strap yourself down in a seat and take off. And then you navigate like mad, going three times the speed of light, trying to navigate by stars that are invisible for some days. And then you land someplace for the skin of your teeth, and boy, you really knew you did something. That’s right. You really knew you did something.” — L. Ron Hubbard, November 18, 1953

 
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Avast, Ye Mateys

“TIME MAG: Probably the bitterest news opponent to Dianetics in the US was TIME MAGAZINE. It started lying loudly in 1950 in its flip entheta style and gave me more space that year than it gave the president. All lies. We did not identify Why until last year. Their ‘medical health’ editor (Keller) is a member of the World Federation of Mental Health and in their pay. It is TIME policy to enturbulate America, cause riots and disaffection. If you read it in Time it isn’t true. A movement such as ours is the death knell of Fascist fear masters. As much US press is Communist, and as the active Communists organization numbers 400,000 in the US, I am very happy to see Time making a false claim about ‘having Krushchev’s memoirs.’ Time would forge same, get Russia to deny it for publicity. World press is full of this dispute and has been for some time now. So Time has bitten off too big a bite, told too big a lie. It is in financial trouble already. It would be a happy day if they crashed. The more WFMH network collapses the better chance man will have to survive. What a PR trick! Forge ‘memoirs’ get the author to deny it — all for big publicity — typical Time tactics. There’s no bitterness involved. It is always amusing to see a biter bit.” — The Commodore, November 18, 1970

 
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Overheard in the FreeZone

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“We have a society drugged up, low toned, out of comm, and who now hold the fear of easy drone or satellite assassination and surveillance, and today’s peeps are much more interested in MEST tech than theta tech. Sad. I see no advantage to continue to dumb us down further or an advantage for AI running things. Even just using AI for collecting data isn’t advantageous for those of us who obtain full OT — not necessary and counter-intentioned to theta goals.”

 
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Past is Prologue

1997: Website The Smoking Gun this week published an affidavit from Parker Stevenson, who is filing for divorce from Scientologist Kirstie Alley. In addition to descriptions of wild and expensive parties and shopping sprees, the document describes Alley’s attempt to resolve the issue through Scientology procedures. “In numerous conversations with me, Kirstie has threatened to ‘bury me’ in legal fees, and she pursues her threat. Since the commencement of this action, Kirstie has made me fight for everything I have achieved to date, including the joint custody of our minor children, and continuance of the action in California, situs of our marital residence, the children’s residence, and the majority of our assets. I, through my California counsel, had diligently sought to resolve this matter without litigation and continue to do so. Kirstie initially wanted us to mediate our property, support and custody issues before a respected member of the Church of Scientology. I attended one five-hour meeting on December 28, 1996, and discovered that neither the mediator, nor Kirstie, had any knowledge of the law regarding the issues. Kirstie didn’t even understand the concept of sharing on an equal basis the property we had accumulated during our marriage. I told Kirstie that I needed the assistance of an attorney to advise me of the applicable law and my rights and obligations and I advised Kirstie to get similar advice.”

 
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Random Howdy

“Scientologists spend decades on staff and in the Sea Org and never come close to reaching Clear. The number one stated goal of Scientology is to ‘clear the planet’ i.e convert everyone to Scientology either by taking their money or making them indentured servants. Staff and S.O. are told not to worry about course work, they can do that in their next lifetimes. The bottom line in Scientology is UPSTAT vs DOWNSTAT. Everything else is window dressing.”

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

Criminal prosecutions:
Danny Masterson charged for raping three women: Next hearing set for February 8. Trial scheduled for August 29, 2022.

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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: Eleventh Circuit affirmed ruling granting Scientology’s motion for arbitration. Garcias considering next move.
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 held November 2, awaiting a ruling.
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.

 
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THE PROSECUTION OF DANNY MASTERSON

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.

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 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?

 
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THE WHOLE TRACK

[ONE year ago] What’s it like at Scientology’s ‘Hogwarts’? This 14-year-old vlogger will show you!
[TWO years ago] SCIENTOLOGY DOCUMENT LEAKS: Stunning new revelations span the 1960s to 2017
[THREE years ago] Leah Remini kicks off 3rd season with emotional toll caused by Scientology’s ‘aftermath’
[FOUR years ago] Sinar Parman, 1954-2017: Chef to Scientology’s celebs who escaped to dish on L. Ron Hubbard
[FIVE years ago] Even the local Scientology mission is hiding a horror show of abuse: Kelly Jordan tells her tale
[SIX years ago] Lisa McPherson’s last opportunity for standard care ended 20 years ago today
[SEVEN years ago] What Adrian Chen got wrong about Anonymous and Scientology
[EIGHT years ago] EXCLUSIVE: First Interview with the Principal of Will & Jada Smith’s Shuttered Scientology School
[NINE years ago] Marty Rathbun: Scientology’s Secret Agreement With Joan Wood to Change Lisa McPherson’s Cause of Death
[TEN years ago] L. Ron Hubbard Christens the Apollo 43 Years Ago Today: For The First Time, His ‘Orders of the Day’

 
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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 2,488 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,993 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,513 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,533 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,424 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 4,731 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 2,599 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 3,373 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 1,703 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,177 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,493 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,059 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,978 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,146 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 3,727 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,988 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,024 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 2,739 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,264 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 619 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 1,794 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,345 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,494 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 3,814 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 8,669 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 3,788 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,144 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,447 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,553 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,951 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 2,827 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,410 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 2,905 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,159 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,268 days.

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Posted by Tony Ortega on November 18, 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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