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Scientology’s academic champion: An eager copyright attorney who shills with alacrity

[Scientology’s loving portrait of Introvigne, from Freedom magazine]

Today I am wrapping up my series of articles responding to Implicit Religion: The Journal for the Critical Study of Religion and the series of articles advocating for a new, more “enlightened” approach to studying Scientology in academia. In this week’s analysis, I am taking on the king of NRM scholarship, Massimo Introvigne. The paper he wrote for Implicit Religion is called “Scientology Studies 2.0, Utopia or Opportunity.”

First, let me remind the reader that this is not a topic which is reserved only for the hallowed halls of the over-intellectual since it is these same academics and religious studies scholars who testify in court cases as expert witnesses. I cannot even begin to describe how much financial and psychological damage these so-called scholars have wrought against victims of destructive cults like Scientology, the Jehovah’s Witnesses or Twelve Tribes by waltzing into court rooms to eagerly testify in favor of authoritarian, abusive systems of control and domination.

Having been a high-level Scientologist for decades of my life, I experienced the kind of “freedom” that Scientology offers, and I’d describe it as something more akin to waterboarding than spiritual enlightenment. It’s both infuriating and tragic to me to watch serious scholars throw their professional credibility and careers down the toilet, wasted as unwitting (or, in some cases, quite witting) shills for these groups. If that sounds like I’m taking a biased, un-objective view of them and this topic, you’re right. As a former Scientologist, it’s impossible for me to be objective on this topic. I was abused for too long to simply forget all that, so I simply try to use my knowledge, experience, and intellect to describe and warn others about destructive cults.

Introvigne is the founder and managing director of the Center for Studies of New Religions (CESNUR), started back in 1988 and based in Turin, Italy. Professor Stephen Kent described CESNUR as follows:

In the context, therefore, of the debate over Scientology in France and Germany, CESNUR is a think-tank and lobbying group, attempting to advance Scientology’s legitimation goals by influencing European and American governmental policies toward it. It is not a neutral academic association, even less so because on its web page Introvigne intermingles ideological positions within solid research and information. On issues, however, that are key to the religious human rights debates — apostates, brainwashing, undue influence, compromised academic research, ‘sect’ membership and the potential for harm, critical information exchange on the Internet, etc. — he advocates doctrinaire positions that favour groups like Scientology.

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Unlike many in the NRM world, Introvigne is not a religious studies scholar nor a trained sociologist (although he is referred to as one). He got his degree in philosophy in 1975 and a law degree specializing in intellectual property. In other words, he’s a copyright attorney but he has such a tunnel vision on “religious freedom” that he decided at some point this was so important he would make it his life’s work to defend destructive cults. He claims that by defending criminal enterprises such as Scientology, he is a “religious freedom advocate” which only corrupts the entire concept and lends yet another lie to the long line of lies Massimo has told.

That all being said, Introvigne’s piece is a fascinating exercise in using logical fallacies and deceptive language to construct an alternate reality, one in which Scientology is cast as the victim of evil “anti-cultists.” According to Introvigne, it’s only due to the resolute (and, dare I say, dauntless and defiant?) NRM scholars that these cults have a chance to survive the onslaught of vicious lies and abominable atrocity tales us greedy, self-serving, and wholly dishonest ex-members and journalists such as Tony Ortega (who is mentioned by name in his article) flood the media channels with. If it weren’t for the heroic efforts of Introvigne and his coterie of apologists, what would these poor NRMs do? How would they ever get along in the world with their billions of dollars; hundreds of thousands of acres of real estate; TV, radio, and internet channels; publication houses; government lobbyists and corporate ownership (Washington Times, anyone)? To read Introvigne is to read a very different version of reality. So let’s take this apart.

First off, I have tried very hard to not engage in what is called ad hominem (personal attacks) in these responses I’ve been writing to Implicit Religion. Other than stating the name and credentials of the authors, I have tried to make my criticism about the work and the claims the authors make, not their personalities or personal proclivities. With Introvigne I must make an exception to comment on the ego-fest he gratuitously engages in for the first third of his paper. In a nine-page paper (not including references), Introvigne dedicates a full third of it to describing his supposed long and illustrious career as a religious studies scholar, despite not having any degree or credentials that justify that title. No other scholar I’ve read in all the years I’ve been reading academic work has ever used so much verbiage to praise themselves as their opening argument. Clearly Introvigne feels he has something to prove and he uses flowery and glowing self-praise to do so. In my opinion, this is in very poor taste, but the huffery and puffery also tells me he’s perfectly aware of the fact he has no real legitimacy.

Just to make sure I wasn’t being overly critical or making my views too personal, I checked with some other published, peer-reviewed scholars in the field and each of them had the same reaction I did. Massimo is mainly about promoting Massimo and his work reflects that. This fact doesn’t invalidate the other arguments he makes, but it does cast them in a doubtful light, because when the primary reason you are doing scholarly work is to pimp yourself, the reader is forced to question the integrity and value of whatever else the author is saying. For example, in this paper Introvigne references his own work more than the work of any other author. Self-referencing isn’t a crime (see this article for more details about what a problem this is in certain fields) but when a relatively small number of scholars are only citing each other (which is the case in the NRM scholarship), what you have is not science but a prejudicial clique pretending to do science. That’s the NRM world in a nutshell.

There are some disturbing points Introvigne makes in the middle of his ego-inspired monologue which bear further scrutiny, starting with his views on freedom of speech and the freedom to critique. As a copyright lawyer, he states that he has a unique understanding of Scientology’s perspective in using copyright law to keep critics from writing about the more controversial aspects of Scientology’s beliefs, such as the confidential, copyrighted OT levels. While that may be true, he then writes, “…I did not find Scientology’s use of copyright laws to restrict what critics can legally publish as objectionable or unusual. Actually, large international corporations behave very much in the same way…” Given his take on apostates, it’s clear that Introvigne has a real problem with the idea of freedom of speech when it’s applied to critics of the groups that are paying Massimo’s way in the world. I consider this an Orwellian level of hypocrisy in that it demonstrates the swinish maxim “All animals are equal, but some are more equal than others.” Massimo has made it abundantly clear he firmly believes he is a more equal pig than anyone else.

One of the few points of common cause that Introvigne and I share are concerns over the human rights abuses of Scientologists in Russia, yet he rides others’ coattails in terms of what he’s actually done about it. He cites the work of the US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) as though he had anything directly to do with that work, but I find it nearly contemptible that he goes out of his way to say it was “the same USCIRF published in 2020 the first document by a government body identifying both anti-cultism as an ideology and the anti-cult movement as a main problem for religious liberty and human rights, both in Russia and internationally.” So even here, when he brings up an opportunity to critically discuss why destructive cults like Scientology would be targeted by authoritarian governments such as Russia’s, he instead pivots to how it is the “anti-cult” movement of victims speaking out about their abusers that is the actual problem, and is, in fact, the real source of human rights violations around the world.

That is kind of nuts, so I went and checked the 2020 USCIRF report to see what it actually said. True enough, policy analyst Jason Morton has written a piece that the NRM crowd probably salivated over while reading because it’s based 100 percent on their decades of disinformation and fake news. It would be impossible for me here to reduce the complex arguments necessary to talk about destructive cults being “oppressed” by authoritarian governments, because it really is a case of two wrongs making a right, but that is a level of nuance completely alien to Introvigne’s way of thinking. The bottom line is that the US government has fallen for the idea that Scientology and the Jehovah’s Witnesses are martyrs for the cause of religious freedom in Russia. From the perspective of the cults, that’s a true statement but there is more to be considered in this picture than the viewpoint of the cults. And that is where Introvigne and his crowd totally miss the boat. They simply ignore the victims and believe they, the NRM scholars, are the good guys in the white hats riding in to save the world from oppression. When the US government backs that play, it only means that these cults will get away with victimizing that many more thousands of people, and it will be the NRM scholars who share a direct responsibility for that abuse.

Introvigne goes on to claim he is an advocate for religious freedom in China and I can only imagine the deadly consequences his advocacy will bring to that oppressed nation. He claims his magazine, Bitter Winter “has become a main source for information about religion from inside China, thanks to our extended network of both professional and citizen reporters there – for example, in the section on China of the yearly report on religious liberty by the U.S. Department of State it was the most quoted source…” So as with Russia, Introvigne is working very hard with his “network” to make sure religious oppression will continue to be alive and well in China too and he has convinced the State Department that his organization is the authority on this matter. That terrifies me.

The next section of his essay goes in to “Scientology Studies 2.0” and he cites an example of studying Hubbard’s turgid prose about artists and creating art. He begins by uttering a bold-faced lie and then proceeds to tell more lies. “While it is well-known that Scientology has attracted several prominent actors and musicians, from Tom Cruise to the late Chick Corea, it is less known that it also includes among its members several hundred internationally reputed painters, sculptors, and photographers.” Like the Church of Scientology itself, Introvigne has a serious problem with reality when it comes to Scientology’s numbers. There are not and never have been “several hundred internationally reputed” artists in Scientology. I checked his sources and couldn’t find any hard evidence for his claim, because of course it’s a false one. Perhaps he based it on the number of people who completed Scientology’s Art Course (as reported, of course, by Scientology) but that would be like gauging Scientology’s total membership by how many people have ever purchased a copy of Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health. Because such “facts” help bolster Intorvigne’s lame arguments about Scientology’s growth and importance, he doesn’t bother to fact check them and instead, actively contributes to Scientology’s lies by creating more of his own.

Introvigne does love his strawmen and he brings them up repeatedly in this article. A strawman is a logical fallacy (erroneous thinking) where your opponent over-simplifies or misrepresents your argument to make it easier to attack or refute. Instead of fully addressing your actual argument, they fight the strawman as though that is what you really said or meant. It is a dishonest trick that Hubbard engaged in constantly in his lectures. When people know they don’t have the facts on their side, they resort to strawmen to make their points and argue against things you never said or meant.

“’Scientology Studies 2.0’ are possible,” he writes, “but not if one starts with the assumption that Scientology is inherently evil, and anything it does should perforce serve some malignant purpose.” There are very few people that believe everything about it is evil and must be destroyed. That kind of black-and-white thinking is what cults foster and is not something I have ever said, nor is it something I’ve read by any of the “anti-cult” scholars who have written on the topic. Kent, Urban and many others have written critical pieces about Scientology and its abuses but not once have any of them advocated for Scientology’s destruction or called it “evil.” But that’s Introvigne for you. If you didn’t say it, he’ll say you said it and he’ll push back against you as though you said it, and to those who read his nonsense, they then start believing that’s what you said too.

Dishonesty and strawmen in academia matter. Peer review is supposed to ferret this sort of thing out, but when the people doing the peer review are on the same page you are and no one is challenging anyone else, you get cliques like the New Religious Movement gang. The consequences of that lack of integrity are blatant dishonesty leading to eventually becoming useless shills who are just paid spokespeople for the cults.

Near the end, Introvigne makes claims that he is an advocate for open dialog between scholars who disagree over NRM ideas and cites a recent answer professor Stephen Kent wrote to Massimo’s nonsense in his Journal of CESNUR. It was not beyond Massimo’s notice that Tony Ortega saw and reported on Kent’s answer.

Introvigne writes “Ortega stated that ‘CESNUR has long been a joke and so we rarely pay it any mind,’ that our journal is ‘a pathetic excuse for an academic journal’ covered with ‘the fake patina of academic uprightness,’ and that thanks to Kent’s article CESNUR now ‘squeals after being so cleanly stuck on a spit.’” Massimo did not like that reporting enough to comment that “…any attempt at a dialogue between scholars of different persuasions is immediately compromised by the screaming reactions of professional anti-Scientologists, whose strategy corresponds to what sociologists call gatekeeping. Anything that calls into question the black-and-white dichotomy between ‘evil cults’ and ‘brave ex-members’…should be stopped at the gates before entering the citadel of the righteous anti-Scientology indignation by the likes of Ortega.”

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My jaw practically hit the ground when I read this for the first time. The balls this man has to hypocritically call what Tony does “gatekeeping” when his entire group of so-called scholars blatantly refuse to listen to anyone who doesn’t already agree with their dogmatic pro-cult ideology is beyond disgusting. Introvigne’s scholarship is morally and intellectually bankrupt. He actually prides himself on being a shill to a degree that puts the likes of Gordon Melton and James R. Lewis to shame (and those were the idiots who did the press conference advocating for Aum Shinrikyo).

Considering my earlier analogy of Scientology to the Mafia, I laughed at the final lines of Introvigne’s essay when he wrote:

I do not see why attending a Scientology event should be regarded as more problematic than participating in conferences organized by the Chinese or the Russian government with the clear aim of supporting their persecution of minority religions, or by anti-cult movements, or by mainline religions – unless one assumes that Scientology is so inherently evil that any association with it taints the scholars involved, and it can only be studied adversarially, as one would study the Mafia. With those maintaining this position, however, I believe no meaningful dialogue is possible – or at least I am not interested in it.

That’s his mic drop: another strawman, another disingenuous logical fallacy dropped like a dead fish on the table and his arrogance on display for all to see. No one ever said that Scientology should be studied “adversarially.” I don’t even know what that is supposed to mean, since academics and scholars ideally park their opinions at the door when they engage in the objective study of their field. Sure, one assumes certain things once they are established as fact, with things like evidence, but scholarship is not supposed to be advocacy nor is it supposed to be adversarial. If I could believe for even a moment that Introvigne shares this view, I’d be more than happy to reach out to him and attempt a dialogue. But he’s already poisoned his own well with his blatantly biased journal and receipt of untold sums of cash from the destructive cults he advocates for.

Let me end this with making one final and crucial point: bias and personal views do not have to taint a scholar’s work. We have seen fantastic, even great, scholarship done by Jewish scholars on the activities of the Nazi regime in World War II Germany. Hannah Arendt most famously described the “banality of evil” and analyzed the slow encroachment of systems of oppression without allowing her personal bias to get in the way of objectively analyzing how and why Nazis got away with what they did. Jewish philosopher Erich Fromm (who was one of the first to write about the phenomenon of narcissism and coined the term ‘malignant narcissist’) fled Germany before the Nazi atrocities and wrote extensively on the causes and attitudes of evil behavior yet his work was rigorous and maintained academic integrity and stands up to this day because of that fact.

When we compare the work of NRM scholars with the deep and insightful analyses offered by the likes of an Arendt or a Fromm, we can see immediately how shallow and biased the NRM work is. I have yet to see any deep analysis of Scientology’s philosophy or attitudes from any NRM scholar, and I can now say I’ve read extensively of their work. I hope that by responding publicly to their more egregious mistakes and logical fallacies, that perhaps one or two of them might start seeing that their positions are not really that great and their ideas aren’t that grand. Carole Cusack started to turn away from the NRM ideology when she suggested perhaps ex-member testimonials should be taken seriously. That’s a start. It’s going to take more of us former members entering into this fray to push back against the decades of misinformation these NRM scholars have been publishing. I want to encourage anyone who is interested in this work to join in the fight. We are going to need all the help we can get.

— Chris Shelton

See Chris’s earlier installments in this series on Implicit Religion: First, second, third, fourth, and fifth.

 
Additional note by the proprietor: The dispute Chris refers to that still has Introvigne throwing a fit about this website is this: His “journal” made the bold claim that L. Ron Hubbard had never, not once, claimed falsely to have a college engineering degree, and that this was a central piece of evidence that Scientology journalists and critics were derelict in making such bogus accusations about the Scientology founder. We subsequently published a letter showing precisely that — Hubbard claiming falsely to have a college engineering degree, and with his own signature and without any ambiguity — and Introvigne’s journal to this day refuses to acknowledge that we proved its attack on “critics” to be embarrassingly without merit. But we find his continued upsets about this website to be kind of entertaining.

 
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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

“Every thetan is, unless he’s knocked flat out — you know, unless he’s been eating some of the recent food preservatives — this fellow is operating to some degree, even if he’s just an effect. You see, he’s, he still can put out an impulse. See, he’s mostly effect, but he can put out a little bit of an impulse, see? Well, actually that would be an interiorized thetan who was very wog. And the word ‘wog,’ of course, is in essence a ‘worthy oriental gentleman’ as been defined by the Royal Air Force. There’s nothing derogatory in being called a wog. As a matter of fact, that was the source of a general order issued in Egypt on the complaint of the Egyptian government. The air force officers were calling Egyptians wogs. So the commanding officer defined it. And he said, well, wog, that means ‘worthy oriental gentleman,’ and insisted his officers use it. Those were in the days when the Empire wasn’t dead! Anyway, this means a common, ordinary, run-of-the-mill, garden-variety humanoid. And a garden-variety humanoid means a person who has human characteristics. By which we define not that he is human in his treatment of things, he isn’t. It’s simply that he is a body, he is a body.” — L. Ron Hubbard, November 29, 1966

 
——————–

Avast, Ye Mateys

“DARBY: The DARBY started at midnight last night. See ED 11 Flag for the thrilling details of this race. You too can be a winner.” — The Commodore, November 29, 1971

 
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Overheard in the FreeZone

“Understanding how theta works in a MEST universe on a continuous basis is reversing the downhill spiral. You can never learn it enough. If you don’t audit thetans you end up alone with unconscious beings. And no comm lines. Scientology is a breakdown of MEST universe into its most basic components. If you even clear a planet that would be like wow, utopia. That’s why I haven’t given up on Scientology like others, just in case it can change. It has the structure there, just needs to get rid of the paranoia. Or run grade 4 on Miscavige so he stops running his 3rd dynamic surfacs.”

 
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Past is Prologue

2001: A letter to the editor of the St. Petersburg Times blamed Scientology for the demise of Club More, which once hosted a benefit concert for the Lisa McPherson Trust. “I am amazed at what downtown Clearwater considers vitality. The fact that Lee Arnold is going to build luxury condominiums downtown is a joke. Once the Scientology ‘super power’ building is complete, Clearwater will be even more of a destination (and second home) for none other than wealthy Scientologists. The luxury condominiums will be needed for those who are above living 10 to a room in one of the many hotel and apartment complexes occupied by the lesser-ranking Scientologists. If you speak out against Scientology, not only can you be refused service at many establishments in downtown Clearwater, but the same folks who are promoting downtown may take away your business. I am talking about the city lot that we at Club More used for our customers to park in the four years we were open. A letter from the city engineer in January confirmed the plans for a paved, metered lot. This is one of the major reasons we opened our kitchen at Club More. But no, sorry, not only can you no longer use the parking lot, now you won’t have any parking for a lunchtime business; and you’ve just wasted $50,000 putting in a kitchen. I believe it’s because I have continually spoken out against Scientology. Then Club More hosted a benefit for the Lisa McPherson Trust. – F. Charles Gordon, Clearwater”

 
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Random Howdy

“Scientology is a racist philosophy. It’s anti homo sapiens.”

 
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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.
‘Lafayette Ronald Hubbard’ (a/k/a Justin Craig), false imprisonment, aggravated assault, plus drug charges: Hearing scheduled for November 30.
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

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David Gentile, GPB Capital, fraud: Next pretrial conference set for February 11.
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.

 
——————–

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] Another social media harvest that reveals Scientology’s planetary takeover
[TWO years ago] Scientology moves to dismiss the ‘Jane Doe’ lawsuit in Miami, and we have the docs
[THREE years ago] While Leah Remini asks for government action, the government covers for Scientology overseas
[FOUR years ago] DOX: Sworn testimony that a U.S. state was too afraid to take on the Church of Scientology
[FIVE years ago] As you watch Leah Remini’s show tonight, keep these people disappeared by Scientology in mind
[SIX years ago] Jonny Jacobsen: Why the Moscow ban on Scientology may be built on shaky foundations
[SEVEN years ago] Jon Atack excavates the Scientology mind for L. Ron Hubbard’s most harmful implants
[EIGHT years ago] Tonight: Scientology Gets Its IAS Gala On — Let’s Get Dauntless, Defiant, and Resolute!
[TEN years ago] Scientology’s Cruise Ship as Prison: The Voice Interviews Valeska Paris

 
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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 2,499 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,004 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,524 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,544 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,435 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 4,742 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 2,610 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 3,384 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 1,714 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,188 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,504 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,070 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,989 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,157 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 3,738 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,999 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,035 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 2,750 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,275 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 630 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 1,805 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,356 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,505 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 3,825 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 8,680 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 3,799 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,155 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,458 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,564 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,962 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 2,838 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,421 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 2,916 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,170 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,279 days.

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Posted by Tony Ortega on November 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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