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Irish courts issued 14,000 words on Narconon rehab: Not a single one was ‘Scientology’

An appellate court in Ireland recently upheld a zoning decision that will allow Scientology’s Narconon network to open a new clinic it has spent millions on, rehabbing an old nursing home in the Meath County village of Ballivor.

We have received copies of the court decision, which was in two parts and totaled 14,000 words about whether a planning board had acted properly when it denied Narconon’s use of the property unless it applied for new zoning. The court decided that the planning board didn’t have the right to do that, and Narconon can use the property as a rehab under its current zoning.

You can get more details about the zoning decision, and whether the planning board had the right to hold up the clinic, and we’ll even post the rulings for you to look at yourself (part 1, part 2). But here’s what really matters about this court decision: In those 14,000 words, not a single one of them is “Scientology.”

In other words, after years of fighting over this piece of land, in multiple government agencies and court rooms, none of it has had anything to do with the actual danger that a Narconon clinic poses to this rural part of Ireland.


And in fact, we were pretty disappointed to see the reactions this week in the Irish press, which, like the rest of the media in the British Isles, is usually pretty good about exposing Scientology’s abuses.

This time, not so much.

What we saw from the likes of the Irish Daily Mail, the Irish Sun, and others was almost totally divorced from the actual threats that a Narconon clinic represents.

The Irish Sun said locals were unhappy that the clinic would be unregulated. (But that’s no different than other rehabs.) The Daily Mail said locals were creeped out by Halloween party invitations from Scientologists.

We have not seen reporting this lazy on Scientology in a long time.

Listen, good people of Ireland, here is why you do not want a Narconon clinic, and why you have been let down by your courts, which can spend thousands of words on zoning legalities, but apparently don’t concern themselves about the health of your fellow citizens.

We have been reporting on Scientology for 26 years, and we have been reporting on Narconon lawsuits for many of those years. And this is what those lawsuits have established beyond a reasonable doubt:

— Scientology’s Narconon rehabs are based on a deceptive business model. Lying about what they are and what they do is central to everything they say about themselves. You will never get anything but disinformation from their spokespeople, because that disinformation is at the core of their mission.

— Narconon says it delivers individualized drug counseling. Instead, it delivers nothing but Scientology indoctrination.

You don’t have to take our word for this. The entire Narconon program is spelled out in booklets that have been available online for many years. And any Scientologist can confirm for you that the lessons, processes, and activities in these booklets have been taken entirely from the same exact lessons, processes, and activities that you do as a beginning Scientologist in any Church of Scientology.

This is why, rather than getting counseling about their drug history or how to deal with their cravings, patients at a Narconon instead find themselves shouting instructions at an ashtray, yelling at the ashtray to stand up or sit down, and then thanking the ashtray for completely ignoring those instructions.

When pressed about this, Scientology representatives will claim that this is a “secular” version of the exercises done in the church. But good luck getting a church executive to explain to you how shouting at an ashtray can be done in a “sacred” or “secular” way that makes any sense to anyone not in thrall to Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard.

What those representatives won’t tell you is that Narconon is based on the idea that L. Ron Hubbard discovered the secrets of the universe, which included his quack ideas about how drugs work in the human body, and that his Scientology processes, combined with a dangerous regimen of excessive time in a sauna and extreme vitamins intake will not only remove toxins from the body, but also from the “thetan,” the immortal being you really are. So, in order to achieve this, Narconon patients go through the same parlor tricks, including staring contests and shouting at ashtrays, that any Scientologist endures as they join the church.

We confirmed this with someone who actually ran Scientology’s flagship Narconon operation in Oklahoma, Lucas Catton. In interviews with us and in videos of his own, Luke has worked tirelessly trying to warn the public about what he saw when he was president of Narconon Arrowhead. We’re sure he’d be happy to talk to Irish reporters and just about anyone else who would like to know about Scientology’s lies.


We’ll say it again: Narconon rehabs do not counsel addicts about their addiction. They train addicts in Scientology, something they never tell a potential patient or their family before they arrive.

— But the deception begins even before a patient makes the decision to commit to the Narconon program. Time and again, Scientology has been exposed for running elaborate online operations intended to deceive people about the clinics and get them to send their loved ones and to pay cash, up front. It’s already been more than eight years since we published some of the actual scripts that are used by these slick operations to convince people that Narconon is the only solution to their loved one’s problems. Eight years ago this was exposed, and governments still do nothing.

— Scientology claims that its Narconons are staffed by medical professionals. Again, this is an outright lie. Narconon rehabs are staffed by recent “graduates” of the program, recovering addicts working for minimum wage. The only physician involved will be a doctor somewhere in the nearby area who is contracted to do intake examinations, but then never goes near the clinic. Why is this an issue? Because when a Narconon patient suffers a serious problem, like Stacy Murphy at the Narconon flagship rehab in Oklahoma in 2012, there were no medical personnel to handle her overdose, and she died before actual medical personnel could do anything about it.

— Scientology claims that its Narconon rehabs are safe environments. But dozens of lawsuits have argued otherwise, claiming that drug use was rife in the clinics, and that staff (remember, they’re just recovering addicts themselves, and working for minimum wage) would supply drugs to patients for money or sex. These lawsuits almost never come to trial; Scientology just cuts checks to make them go away. An exception was the 2019 case that resulted in an award of $11 million after a jury heard more than 20 witnesses about the shocking conditions of a Narconon rehab in California which has since closed down.

Because of the many lawsuits in the US, Scientology leader David Miscavige made a major retreat on the Narconon network here, and refocused its aims. (Mike Rinder predicted this would happen, and we reported on it in 2015 here.) If at one time Scientology, with its huge facility in Oklahoma, pretended that it was actually making a major contribution to the addiction field, they have closed most of their clinics in the US (down from more than 20 to now just five), and they are trying to appeal to a more select clientele (celebrities, for example).

At the same time, while Narconon in the US has been in retreat, Miscavige has pushed for more clinics overseas, where regulation is even more relaxed than here. The aggressive push for a clinic in Ireland has come at the same time that Scientology has made major expenditures there on other facilities as well: an Ideal Org and a new national office, both which cost the church millions.

Why the push in Ireland? We still see press reports there speculating that it might have some sort of tax implication or is related to Brexit, making Ireland a European “headquarters.”

No, these are simply untrue. Scientology already has a European headquarters in Copenhagen, and they don’t care about Brexit. As for tax, Scientology is exempt in the US and completely shielded from IRS meddling, and Miscavige doesn’t need a tax shelter somewhere else: He already enjoys one of the most famous IRS tax shelters of all time.

So why, if Ireland had only 87 Scientologists at its last census, is David Miscavige pouring millions and millions into the country for a new Ideal Org, national office, and a Narconon, including an expensive court fight?

Two reasons.

First, Tom Cruise.

In 2013, Cruise traveled to Ireland, where he has distant roots, and expressed his love for the country. All of David Miscavige’s efforts since then have been to impress his best pal. Tom expressed affection for Ireland, and Dave wants Tom to see what an effort he’s making there to put Ireland in the forefront of the Scientology world.

It’s all just to impress his bro.

The second reason is that years ago, when David Miscavige realized that membership was dwindling and would continue to do so, he hit on the idea of building new “Ideal Orgs” to convince his wealthy donors that Scientology is on the right track. He can’t show them new members, but he can show them new buildings.


Scientology is driven by its wealthy members and their large donations. New facilities in Ireland are Dave’s way of convincing them that their long-planned planetary takeover — “Clearing the Planet” — is still on track.

So, a rural county in Ireland will be getting a deceptive and dangerous indoctrination facility dressed up as a rehab because David Miscavige wants to impress Tom Cruise and to keep his wealthy donors writing checks.

But Irish courts at least have preserved the sanctity of zoning laws.


Bonus items from our tipsters

Don’t you want to learn how to make those big commissions?


It’s only a billion years. What have you got to lose?




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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.


Source Code

“One of the more fiendish tests that I conducted on this was on my own kid, I wouldn’t have done it to somebody else’s kid. I pretended to scatter an enormous amount of pepper into the palm of my hand and then pretended to eat it with some relish. I didn’t scatter any pepper at all on my hand. Hand it to my little girl, she promptly threw some pepper into the palm of her hand and ate it with considerable relish. And for some days was busy enjoying pepper in great quantity.” — L. Ron Hubbard, December 8, 1954


Avast, Ye Mateys

“PROGRESS: We are continuing to make progress against the enemy who has shot at us and the planet for 18 years. The code name he now has is ‘SMERSH’ (from 007 fame) and his branch of offices are ‘Black Hats.’ He is oddly enough on both sides of existing political parties except in SA where he is mainly UP. This was a hidden government. It aspired to world domination! If you can imagine a psychiatrist in such a role. Wonder what it would be like to be governed by shock cases. Red as paint, he was really having a ball. We were in his road. Because we were fully effective. We undid his implants. A real psychotherapy had come along. This was not part of his plans. He shot at Scn to discredit it. It is quite obvious that western governments are fantastically weak and very unaware. They cannot or will not protect their people or their institutions. Thus, only one course is left open. To get rid of SMERSH and their thousands of kills weekly. Oddly enough, we’re doing just that. The one BIG mistake they made was to attack Scientologists. Which they did from hiding for 18 long years. It set us back, kept our field upset, our staffs enturbulated. But it also made us get tough and grow strong. SMERSH was the hidden government. Long may it fall.” — The Commodore, December 8, 1968



Overheard in the FreeZone

“I was born this lifetime in 1957. So whatever I may say about the early days of Dianetics and Scientology is generally from my last lifetime, where I was more or less in the thick of things. I did know LRH, and I did attend some, but not all of his lectures. He and I were not ‘pals,’ but I had enough contact with him to be able to size up his character. This lifetime, I ‘returned’ to Scientology in 1976, at the tender age of 19.”


Past is Prologue

1996: Worldwide pickets were held to protest the actions of Scientology. A picket report was posted by Jeff Jacobsen from Arizona. “I arrived a bit before 2pm and started picketing. There were maybe 8 cars in the church parking lot, and all day there was almost no traffic either in nor out of the place. Mystery Woman came just after 2 and joined me, then 2 others arrived. So 4 of us picketed until 4, then MW and I stayed until 5. You have to understand that there is almost no foot traffic at the church location, so our main public interaction is with traffic going by. I counted about 14 pro and 4 anti reactions from the passersby, and 2 uncertain. Jinny Leason, church PR person, came out to talk to me for about 10 minutes. she basically wanted to object to both sides of my sign. ‘The Church of the Holy Lawsuit’ she said distorted facts. ‘Stop attacking the Internet’ she felt was not true because the church only goes after copyright violators. So I tried to explain spamming, canceling, fair use, etc. One of the members drove behind our cars and wrote down license plate numbers, then drove into the church parking lot. I took his picture.”


Random Howdy

“On more than one occasion I have met someone and after a few minutes of casual conversation I have been forced to ask myself whether this person is the sort of fellow who is going to attempt to run off with my wife and my car or if he’s the kind of guy that’s going to try and run off with my girlfriend and my boat. Thanks to L. Ron Hubbard I have knowingness of scamingness.”


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: Next hearing scheduled for December 21.
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] Scientology social media: Gearing up for R6, or what you humans call ‘Christmas’
[TWO years ago] Scientology’s biggest donors of late 2019: The whales giving millions to David Miscavige
[THREE years ago] Academic goes ‘Among the Scientologists’ to bring back what we already knew
[FOUR years ago] A grim anniversary that should remind us Scientology has no business ‘testing’ anyone
[FIVE years ago] Leah Remini told you about Scientology’s ‘Fair Game’ — and here’s the worst example of it
[SIX years ago] Leaked Scientology video: Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes front and center for ‘psych busting’!
[SEVEN years ago] SUNDANCE BOUND: HBO’s film about Scientology will debut in Utah on January 25
[EIGHT years ago] Sunday Funnies: Scientology Gets Ideal in Taiwan
[NINE years ago] Scientology and Past Lives: Was L. Ron Hubbard Actually Serious?
[TEN years ago] Tom Cruise Denies Paying for Indian Extras to Cheer Him, And More Thursday Scientology Stats!


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 2,508 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,013 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,533 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,553 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,444 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 4,751 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 2,619 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 3,393 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 1,724 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,197 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,513 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,079 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,998 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,166 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 3,747 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,008 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,044 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 2,759 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,284 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 639 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 1,814 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,365 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,514 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 3,834 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 8,689 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 3,808 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,164 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,467 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,573 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,971 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 2,847 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,430 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 2,925 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,179 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,288 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on December 8, 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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