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Scientology ‘honors’ veterans by lying about founder L. Ron Hubbard’s war record

[Pat Harney]

Here’s the thing: We wouldn’t even have known about Scientology’s latest “stolen valor” claim if they hadn’t put out a freaking press release about it.

Yes, Scientology’s propaganda urge is so strong, it can’t help but bring attention to its own prevarications and outrages.

Here’s what happened this time. On November 11, Veterans Day, a gathering was held at Florida Veterans Memorial Plaza in Clearwater’s Crest Lake Park. Organized by the Veterans Alliance of Clearwater, it featured the Clearwater mayor, Frank Hibbard, and other councilmembers, including Mark Bunker. Judging by video of the event, it was a fine salute to local veterans for their military service.

But Scientology wasn’t happy with only being a sponsor of the event. Five days later, on November 16, Clearwater Scientology mouthpiece Pat Harney put out a press release in order to puff up Scientology’s involvement.

And about two-thirds of the way into her press release, Harney quoted herself.


As far as we have been able to tell, Harney didn’t speak at the event, but here’s how she memorialized her thoughts:

“Part of bringing the community together means paying respect where it is due and it is far overdue for some of our local veterans,” said Pat Harney, public relations director for the Church of Scientology in Clearwater. “L. Ron Hubbard, our founder, was a lieutenant in the Navy during World War II, and suffered life threatening injuries. Just as we thank him for his service, the Church of Scientology gives a heartfelt thank you for the service of all veterans in Clearwater.”

L. Ron Hubbard suffered what?

As Underground Bunker readers know quite well, journalists and historians such as Russell Miller, Jon Atack, Lawrence Wright, and Chris Owen have demonstrated, with no doubt, that Hubbard’s actual war record (not the bogus one promoted by the church) establishes that Ron never saw combat and was never injured in fighting.

He did spend time in a hospital late in the war, but it was for maladies like hemorrhoids and pinkeye, according to his genuine war records.

Hey, there’s nothing wrong with recognizing a former Navy lieutenant such as L. Ron Hubbard on Veteran’s Day. He did serve during wartime, and received a few medals for it. But to claim that he suffered “life threatening injuries”? Harney is just continuing Scientology’s bogus claims for Hubbard’s unsubstantiated war exploits and injuries, which, Hubbard once claimed, included being machine-gunned in Java. (Never happened.)

Our own PickAnotherID, a veteran with expert knowledge on military decorations, showed in a recent series that even the previous experts had missed just how bogus were the medals and awards that Scientology was claiming for Hubbard.

It’s bad enough that Scientology has tried to spread these lies about Hubbard, but to use a Veterans Day event as a vehicle for it? Wow.

We sent a detailed email about this to Pat Harney, asking her to cite her source for Hubbard’s “life threatening injuries.” We’ll let you know if she gets back to us.


Bonus items from our tipsters

Give yourself the gift of being hounded for donations… for eternity!



Here’s a survey to remind folks that our empty Ideal Org in Orlando exists!



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Source Code

“Clearing, actually, is not nice. And if you’re looking for some nice, sweet procedure, why, you know, be an art critic and don’t get audited. Spend all your time in the galleries where it’s quiet and serene and nothing ever happens.” — L. Ron Hubbard, November 30, 1961



Avast, Ye Mateys

“Good News: ASHO, AOSH DK and AOLA all have higher stats. Clarice Jackson is reported to be doing absolutely fantastically and one of the most respected people in the whole area known widely in the US for her first actions. She issued ‘writs of expulsion from the church’ on Berez, Taunton, Deitsch and Bernie Green and things are cooling off. Big factors in the upsurge are said to be sending Fred Hare, the new stable datum materials and new OT III results. Guardian lines show us fighting on enemy terrain for the first time, not our own. She had loads of good news and is overjoyed with her Gdn offices.” — The Commodore, November 30, 1969


Overheard in the FreeZone

“The majority of stuff above OT 2 is mostly false and limiting data. AKA: bullshit. It causes psychosis. No exception. I know many people who are psychotic after doing the bridge past OT 2. I was warned 22 yrs ago, not to go past OT 2.”


Past is Prologue

1995: The Free Zone Association, a group of former cult members who still believe in the teachings of Hubbard, announced a web site this week. They have acquired the rights to Scientologie by Dr. A. Nordenholz, written in 1934, before any of Hubbard’s writings. “The Free Zone Association obtained the rights for the book from Dr. Nordenholz’s heirs and has republished the book both in English and German. You will find background data in the English and German ‘literature’ section of the Web pages. Our general opinion is that Scientology as it is represented by the Church of Scientology has departed far from its original philosophy and technology. But discover this for yourself by reading our pages.”


Random Howdy


“Professors Kent and Touretzky are the go-to guys in the academic study of Scientology and cults in general.


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
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.



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] Kirstie Alley is wrong on Leah Remini & Shelly Miscavige. We know because we broke the story.
[TWO years ago] Guy White opens his big mouth: The former Hubbard family member spills on Scientology!
[THREE years ago] The Valerie Haney interview: Scientology smear tactics, and where Shelly Miscavige is
[FOUR years ago] The new list of Scientology donors is out early this year — and the biggest whale is missing!
[FIVE years ago] Amy Scobee: ‘Even on her deathbed, my mom was fighting Scientology and disconnection’
[SIX years ago] Where it all began for us: Rick Ross, David Koresh, and the Church of Scientology
[SEVEN years ago] Scientology Sunday Funnies: An oily and super powered edition of our weekly feature!
[EIGHT years ago] Scientology Celebrates its Legal Defense Slush Fund, and What a Party!
[NINE years ago] Miscavige Gets His Wish: Marty Rathbun Pulling Up Stakes?
[TEN years ago] Hey, Scientology Celebrity, Here’s Your Media Training Checksheet!
[ELEVEN years ago] Scientology ‘Dark Ops’ Program Exposed, Says Former Top Official
[TWENTY-SIX years ago] Hush, Hush, Sweet Charlatans (The Rick Ross story)


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 2,500 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,005 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,525 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,545 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,436 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 4,743 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 2,611 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 3,385 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 1,715 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,189 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,505 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,071 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,990 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,158 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 3,739 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,000 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,036 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 2,751 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,276 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 631 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 1,806 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,357 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,506 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 3,826 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 8,681 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 3,800 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,156 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,459 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,565 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,963 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 2,839 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,422 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 2,917 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,171 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,280 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on November 30, 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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