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Scientology propaganda masterpiece: Grant Cardone’s COO coughs up $1.1 million

We have some terrific researchers who send us fascinating examples of Scientology social media and propaganda. It helps us keep a close watch on how the organization is doing, and here and at Mike Rinder’s great blog we have watched a steady dwindling of the ‘coolest religion on earth.’

However, while membership may be down in the places that matter most, and the pandemic has hit Scientology hard (no international events for two years now), there are still some things that leader David Miscavige does well, even in this kind of adversity.

And chief among them, we figure, is his ability to get wealthy Scientologists to fork over huge amounts for him to play with.

We love “whale watching,” as we call it, recording the big donations of Scientology’s richest marks. But today we think we have something particularly interesting.


It’s an announcement that Sheri Hamilton has given the Ideal Org “alliance” $1 million (“New Civilization Builder”) while also earmarking an additional $100,000 (“Humanitarian”) for the forthcoming Philadelphia facility.

That’s a substantial chunk of change for a hurting “church” that has already opened more than 60 of the Ideal Orgs, which tend to go all but moribund shortly after they open. And besides the futility of it, Hamilton herself is pretty interesting.

She’s Chief Operations Officer at Cardone Capital, as in professional ham hock Grant Cardone, a major Scientology donor in his own right.

Here’s how Grant’s wife Elena described Sheri: “In Sheri’s world, she is a woman who gives herself permission to have it all. She is a woman in power who grants herself power. She thinks big. Not once does she limit herself or waits for others to recognize power for her – she does that for herself.”

Well, you know, they wouldn’t hire a non-go-getter, would they?

And even better, Sheri herself has penned a testimonial about why she’s turning over so much of her hard-earned cash for Miscavige’s white elephants. We thought you’d want to give it a look. We’re very much looking forward to your thoughts on it.


And here’s more propaganda from the Philly folks…




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Source Code

“In the Western world there’s not even a Tradition of philosophy. There’s no Tradition of — what equivalent Western word is there for a guru? There isn’t, and yet an Indian wouldn’t know how to go through his day without knowing this word, guru, somehow or another. You get the idea, see? We did a survey in Washington, DC about 1955 which was a very intriguing survey. Because I wanted to know, I thought these birds would realize that the psychiatrists were — let’s put it in a more elegant sense than it deserves — that the psychiatrists were cutting into their racket. So we got ahold of all the ministers in Washington, DC on the idea that they might have some sensibility with regard to all this and asked them if they thought this was the case. No, No. Any time one of their congregation showed the least signs of becoming nervous, they instantly rushed him to the electric shock machine. Seventeen hundred and eight ministers out of seventeen hundred and ten were wildly in favor of the mental hospital and the electric shock machine as soon as possible. Why, the poor dopes! They didn’t realize that that religious ecstasy was the only thing which kept them whizzing. If anybody had suddenly stood up in their congregation and said, ‘I embrace the Lord,’ or something like that, they would have said, ‘Dr. Sparks, would you please send a wagon over right away, quick.’ See? In other words, the whole field of religion had been eaten up in this particular direction which I thought was rather amazing.” — L. Ron Hubbard, April 14, 1964


Avast, Ye Mateys

“Several people are nominated to the Never-be-a-smuggler Club. Turning on bright lights, flashing flashlights toward the beach, opening up unnecessarily on the radio all disqualify one from being an Expert Smuggler. Such club members wind up in calabogos (jail) on suspicion. Pausing off the port as we did is not very good practise. Thanks to the guys who opened the cattledoor. They should however use lifelines when working so. And please can’t we oil all these reluctant hinges some calm day? Anyway our telex traffic was all good news. You can get off mail you see.” — The Commodore, April 14, 1969


Overheard in the FreeZone

“Covid came into being about the time Ron was getting into the OT 9 material and the static anti-static case — i.e. existence non-existence sequence. We are witnessing a planetary response and manifestations of confusions blowing off; massive games conditions being as-ised and converted to no-games condition on a planet-wide scale; just from a small handful of us auditing on it. The solution is for us to continue to audit OT 9; which means a major shift and bettered conditions after this all settles.”



Past is Prologue

1997: Berendo Street in Los Angeles was officially renamed L. Ron Hubbard Way this week, and a.r.s poster “Roger” provided a first hand account of the event. “My guess would be that the crowd was easily 5,000 people. I was very surprised by the strong support of Hubbard and Scientology demonstrated by the political types who spoke. (head of the LA City council, someone from public works, and reps of the Governor and Mayor). After the ribbon cutting and the speeches, the politicians, the President of Scientology, Travolta, Kirstie Alley and David Miscavige linked arms and walked the length of the street as the band played on. I’m not particularly a ‘star-struck’ type, but it was a kick to see Travolta and Kirstie close-up. (could have reached out and touched them) The power of celebrity is very real.”


Random Howdy

“Brand new account created just for this idiotic hit and run. These people couldn’t troll if their lives depended on it.”


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

Criminal prosecutions:
Danny Masterson charged for raping three women: Next pretrial conference May 31. Trial scheduled for August 29.
‘Lafayette Ronald Hubbard’ (a/k/a Justin Craig), aggravated assault, plus drug charges: Last hearing was on January 18, referred to grand jury. Additional charges also referred to grand jury after January 5 assault while in jail.

Jay and Jeff Spina, Medicare fraud: Jay sentenced to 9 years in prison. Jeff’s sentencing to be scheduled.
Rizza Islam and other family members, Medi-Cal fraud: Pretrial conference May 20 in Los Angeles
David Gentile, GPB Capital, fraud: Next pretrial conference set for April 8.
Joseph ‘Ben’ Barton, Medicare fraud: Pleaded guilty, awaiting sentencing.
Yanti Mike Greene, Scientology private eye accused of contempt of court: Found guilty of criminal and civil contempt.

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.’ Valerie’s motion for reconsideration denied on March 15.
Chrissie Bixler et al. v. Scientology and Danny Masterson: Appellate court removes requirement of arbitration on January 19, case remanded back to Superior Court. Next hearing scheduled for June 29.
Brian Statler Sr v. City of Inglewood: Third amended complaint filed, trial set for June 28.
Author Steve Cannane defamation trial: Trial concluded, Cannane victorious, awarded court costs. 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] Scientology’s founder said Mars was inhabited, & now a Scientologist helps run Perseverance!
[TWO years ago] Scientology logic: Blame the media for fake virus news while promising superhuman powers
[THREE years ago] L. Ron Hubbard defines religion for you skeptical non-Xenu believers
[FOUR years ago] Another Scientologist runs for office in Nevada — but her campaign says she’s not a member
[FIVE years ago] Scientology invited local business owners to its Clearwater celeb party. Well, except one.
[SEVEN years ago] Announcing a new video series — The stories of young Scientologists not told in ‘Going Clear’
[EIGHT years ago] Scientology litigation always has surprises: A new wrinkle from Narconon’s attorneys
[NINE years ago] Scientology Sunday Funnies: Buffalo Gals Go ‘Round the Outside, and the Return of DEDE!


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 2,634 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,139 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,659 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,679 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,570 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 4,877 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 2,745 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 3,519 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 1,850 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,323 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,639 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,205 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 8,124 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,292 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 3,872 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,134 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,170 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 2,885 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,410 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 765 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 1,940 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,491 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,640 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 3,960 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 8,815 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 3,934 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,290 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,593 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,699 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 3,097 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 2,973 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,556 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 3,051 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,305 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,414 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on April 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, 1995-2021 Just starting out here? We’ve picked out the most important stories we’ve covered here at the Underground Bunker (2012-2021), 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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