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Scientology tries (and fails) to rehabilitate L. Ron Hubbard’s involvement in South Africa

It’s that time of year again, and so we’ve begun keeping an eye on Scientology’s YouTube channel in anticipation that some time between now and February 13, when Super Bowl LVI will be played in Los Angeles, the new ‘mystery sandwich’ ad will appear.

Since 2013, Scientology has been putting out a vague, slick ad each year to run during the game in local ad slots (not national, $5-million-plus spots), and generating quite a bit of buzz.

So we have started peeking at Scientology’s channel at YouTube (not to be mistaken for its godawful DirecTV channel), which we rarely do, and only now realized that church leader David Miscavige did something a little unusual with the channel last summer.

First, let us remind you that in June 2019, historian Chris Owen penned another of his brilliant deep dives for us, this time a very detailed look at how Scientology and its founder, L. Ron Hubbard, were very supportive of the apartheid regime in South Africa.


“Scientology is Security for South Africa” was literally a slogan the church used there in the 1950s and 1960s in support of the apartheid government. Owen’s article was devastating and, as usual, well supported.

A 1955 article in the South African HASI’s Ability magazine declared that only Scientology could solve “the native problem.” It predicted that “when we can get the white people properly straightened out this problem will be nine-tenths solved, evolution and mass processing will then settle the rest.” The Scientology vision for South Africa’s blacks was that they would be “happy working with their hands for understanding employers” who, it hardly needed to be said, would all be whites.

Hubbard clearly had no problems with the idea that Africans were congenitally incapable of governing themselves. In his original 1950 book on Dianetics, he wrote that “the Zulu is only outside the bars of a madhouse because there are no madhouses provided by his tribe.” Similarly, he wrote in Fundamentals of Thought (1956) that “the African tribesman, with his complete contempt for truth and his emphasis on brutality and savagery for others but not himself, is a no-civilisation.”

He told one of his most prominent followers, John McMaster, that black people were so stupid that they did not register on an E-meter. He also informed his Rhodesian followers that black Africans, whom he pejoratively called “batongas,” would not be allowed into Scientology because their IQ was too low.

Several months later, in February 2020, we then posted something of a bombshell: Actual audio of L. Ron Hubbard giving a speech about South Africa addressing these same concerns.

Hubbard gave the speech in Washington DC on the last day of 1960, although any mention of it has been removed from Scientology’s catalogs.

Some choice quotes from the lecture:

“I’m not against the black man. As a matter of fact, I’m probably more friendly towards the black man than any person in this audience.”

“Right now you tell me, well, the government of South Africa does not permit the black man a vote. He doesn’t even know what a vote is!”

“Blacks kill off the Blacks. And all you’ve got to do is pull a stable government off the top of them and they promptly start killing each other off.”

“The present administration does not permit an Indian or a white tradesman in a Bantu area. Does that sound like oppression?”

“You can’t understand anything about the Bantu by understanding anything about the American black man. The American black man in the first place has been mixed with Indian and white blood over a period of a couple of centuries or less, but has actually been in close proximity to the white man and white land civilization for a century or two, you see.”

“I’d say they’ve got about 50 years to go before they get the South African Bantu up to the same status and level of civilization of the American Black.”

“The Bantu doesn’t register the same on an E-meter as a White, and I have had to start a whole program of research in addition to everything else I’ve been doing, trying to find out how to read a Bantu on an E-meter. Because he doesn’t operate like an American Negro or like a European.”


“I’m not actually trying to sell you the South African government. I could easily do so because I consider these men very able from what I have seen. They’re nice guys. I know them personally.”

You can find other examples of Hubbard expressing less than sanguine views about non-white people, but this speech is really something.

Did these pieces showing up here in the Bunker elicit a response from Miscavige?

Well, in June 2021, Scientology posted four videos at its YouTube channel that we just now noticed. They were interviews with some of the workers who interacted with Hubbard at his estates in South Africa and Rhodesia. Each of them says that Ron was a swell guy, shook their hands, called them by their names, and in general treated them a lot better than the white people in those countries at the time. (The videos also featured some photos of Ron from that era that we hadn’t seen before, like the one above. Nifty!)


This set of videos is very unusual for the channel, and so we can’t help wondering if they were a direct reaction to Chris’s piece and our posting the lecture.

Either way, we don’t really doubt that Hubbard could be a kind employer to his (non-Scientology) cooks and drivers. But thank you, Scientology, for reminding us to provide a link to that great piece by Chris Owen, and that amazing 1960 lecture by Hubbard himself. They really should not be forgotten.


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Source Code

“Putting tickets on the windshield of a car is illegal, according to our own Constitution, which requires personal service. Police get away with it because people don’t want the bother of going down and getting a trial date set. So they send in the amount of an arbitrary fine. This is duress and extortion — so there’s no difference between a criminal and a cop.” — L. Ron Hubbard, January 14, 1954


Avast, Ye Mateys

“Spectatorism is very great in our modern society. Because some people cannot conceive of causing anything they just watch it. They don’t do anything. They are not PARTICIPANTS. They are spectators. You see this in magazines. Hee hee hee articles about how odd this is or that is. No understanding of it. It’s just odd and one watches it in a detached sort of way. Below this is somebody who doesn’t even notice. Such a person has to come up scale just to be a spectator. An unfinished cycle of action comes about because (a) The importance of it is not grasped (b) The cycle itself is not fully understood. (c) Non compliance and false reports are given as a method of self-protection wherein are hopes it will not be noticed. What we need are more PARTICIPANTS, more team mates. You belong to the SO or you don’t. If you do you’re at cause over the various situations. So we define an SO Member the way you do an OT — At cause over Life, Thought, Matter, Energy, Space, Time and Form. The degree you can be cause in handling the targets and needs of a group determines right away how far you’ve come up the line. Blaming case is effect, isn’t it? Sex is effect, isn’t it? I don’t care what your grade is, you are alive. Your true ability depends on the degree you can exercise the definition of OT over your post in forwarding the purposes of the group. You are actually insulting yourself to insist that I personally make whatever advances are made on vital actions of the group. If what you are trying to do doesn’t happen its a poor comment on your OTism.” — The Commodore, January 14, 1969


Overheard in the FreeZone

“My current view is that MEST in the form of off-planet AI actually creates its own needs and wants (in its advanced forms) in order to accomplish its mission to destroy/entrap theta…. Two people/two things/MEST/theta can be polar opposites and exist in harmony unless they have gone insane. MEST in the form of advanced AI is insane.”


Past is Prologue


1999: Ron Newman was the target of revenge actions from Scientology following the Boston protest. A Scientologist invaded his workplace to distributevfliers, and he received two threatening emails. “Around 4 pm EST Monday afternoon, a man suddenly barged into a business meeting at my place of work and began handing out the following flyer to everyone in the meeting. I was not at this meeting. ‘Ron Newman: Unmasking a Religious Bigot [Picture of me] [Picture of Alfred E. Neuman] Ron Newman / Alfred E. Neuman, Separated at Birth?”


Random Howdy

“The tech is the meaningless musings of a drug- and alcohol-addled madman who was making it up as he went along. You might as well have been playing hide-and-go-seek for 17 years.”


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 January 18.
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 January 22 in Los Angeles
David Gentile, GPB Capital, fraud: Next pretrial conference set for February 11.

Joseph ‘Ben’ Barton, Medicare fraud: Pleaded guilty, awaiting sentencing.
Yanti Mike Greene, Scientology private eye accused of contempt of court: Next hearing February 15.

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.
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.
Chiropractors Steve Peyroux and Brent Detelich, stem cell fraud: Lawsuit filed by the FTC and state of Georgia in August, now in discovery phase.



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] Hanan and Rizza Islam get trial date for $4 million Medi-Cal fraud at Scientology rehab
[TWO years ago] Scientology ripped apart his family, but this former member explains why he doesn’t fight it
[THREE years ago] Is there something screwy about Scientology buffoon Grant Cardone?
[FOUR years ago] Scientology plans Narconon drug rehab for Ireland, but the locals are not having it
[FIVE years ago] The most incredible lie Scientology attorney Monique Yingling told ABC ’20/20′
[SIX years ago] Oscar snubs Alex Gibney’s Scientology documentary ‘Going Clear’ despite buzz
[SEVEN years ago] Scientology reveals a lot more of its lofty plans for the former KCET studios
[EIGHT years ago] Being and nothingness: And now we move on to Scientology’s Operating Thetan Level Four!
[TEN years ago] Scientology Recon: Commenters of the Week!


Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley (1952-2019) did not see his daughter Stephanie in his final 5,667 days.
Valerie Haney has not seen her mother Lynne in 2,545 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,050 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,570 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,590 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,481 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 4,788 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 2,656 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 3,430 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 1,761 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,234 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,550 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,116 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 8,035 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,203 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 3,784 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,045 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,081 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 2,796 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,321 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 676 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 1,851 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,402 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,551 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 3,871 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 8,726 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 3,845 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,201 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,504 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,610 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 3,008 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 2,884 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,467 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 2,962 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,216 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,325 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on January 14, 2022 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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