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Scientology’s homophobia: Checking in with Derek Bloch 10 years after we first met him

[Derek and Sal]

Ten years ago this week, we wrote about Derek Bloch for the first time at the Village Voice. He helped us tell the story of how he had been kicked out of the Sea Org as a teenager and then disowned by his own family when he revealed that he was gay. In the years since then he’s helped us expose Scientology’s repugnant and baked-in homophobia. We thought the ten-year anniversary of our first story on him would be a good time to check in with him and see what he’s up to.

 
Honestly, with everything going on in the world around me it feels like my personal problems are so small and irrelevant. I still think back on my time in Scientology. As I get older, I feel more comfortable talking about the experiences I went through with my nuclear family. It wasn’t easy to even think about them for a very long time. Ironically, talking about my experience with Scientology has always been much more manageable than discussing the abuse that I experienced at home. Something that has brought me a lot of solace and peace when thinking about my past is that while my experience is totally unique to me, it’s also not much different from what so many other people have been through.

Detaching myself from Scientology also made me more aware of the world around me. There is a profound amount of suffering out there. Watching the spread of fundamentalist idealism and xenophobia across this country and many others is absolutely the world I was afraid we would live in if Scientology really became as powerful as it wanted. Reading the recent decision by the Supreme Court referring to the “domestic supply of babies” like humans are cattle is exactly the kind of thing I would expect to see from Hubbard and Miscavige. The cult of unfettered capitalism has a lot in common with the cult of Scientology.

I am very happy from a personal perspective right now. I’m almost done with school (16 months or so left). I need to figure out how to bridge a small gap between my federal loans and the actual cost of schooling before then. I’m on track to graduate on time. Sal and I will be celebrating our fourth anniversary this year. I love him more with every passing day. Our cats (Bella – 4 yrs & Ms. Kitty – 1 yr) are healthy and happy. So much so that my friends tell me they wish they were my cats. I moved in with a couple of sisters who bought a house together. I’ve been friends with them for a long time. It’s much more satisfying helping them pay for their house than some LLC that owns 95 apartment complexes. I’ve got a garden going with some watermelons and sunflowers and (of course) cat grass. I hope I can keep it going through the summer. It’s honestly done wonders for my mental health along with our cats. I put up bird feeders in the back yard too. I need to get a nice fountain next. We’re still living in LA county but in the suburbs. The weather here is just unbeatable.

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Thinking about the future is really hard for me right now. I feel like in the next 15 or 25 years everyone on Earth will be wishing it was 2020 again. Parts of the Earth are already testing the limits of our survival right now. It’s really depressing and hopeless. I’m trying to focus on enjoying what I can, while I can. On the other hand, a lot of the bullshit problems that we’re forced to focus on right now will start to disappear. Anthropology makes living through life-altering historical events seem so busy. It’s surprising how mundane it all really is.

— Derek Bloch

 
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Labor trafficking lawsuit defendants ask for additional time to respond

More news from the new labor trafficking lawsuit filed recently against Scientology. The first document filed by the defense acknowledges that the five institutional defendants have now all been formally served with the lawsuit. They are:

Church of Scientology International (CSI)
International Association of Scientologists Administration (IASA)
Religious Technology Center (RTC)
Church of Scientology Flag Service Organization (FSO)
Church of Scientology Flag Service Ship Organization (FSSO)

Each of them acknowledge that they were served on different days, but they asked the court for a unified date of July 12 to make their first response to the lawsuit.

Defendants are in the process of reviewing the Complaint, and the complex underlying facts and law relating to Plaintiffs’ claims and allegations that purportedly span several decades. FSO, RTC, FSSO, and IASA require additional time to review the information and documents necessary to provide a thorough response to the Complaint before their response deadlines of May 27, May 31, and June 6, 2022, respectively. Moreover, interests of efficiency and economy warrant a uniform response deadline for Defendants consistent with the sixty (60) day period provided under Rule 4 for CSI waiving formal service of process. Accordingly, Defendants respectfully request an extension of time until July 12, 2022 to respond to the Complaint.

Judge Thomas Barber signed off on that request yesterday.

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There’s no mention of the sole individual defendant named in the suit, Scientology leader David Miscavige.

We have a feeling he will be making yet another “special appearance” through an attorney and deny that he should be a part of the litigation, and will then avoid service for as long as he can.

 
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Bonus items from our tipsters

From Miami, another couple of whales are spotted!

 

 
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Sign up for a daily email when we post a new story on Scientology.

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

“Some time, by the way, when you haven’t anything else to do, read Gibbon’s ‘Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.’ That’s quite a thing. I undertook that some years ago because I was having trouble sleeping. But I decided I would read it from one end of that many-volumed volumes to the other — read the whole thing. And it was quite an interesting exercise. I hope I never get so ambitious as to start reading the Encyclopaedia Britannica from one end to the other. But, I will say, I am running out of reading matter now that Ian Fleming has picked himself up another body. May have to do it.” — L. Ron Hubbard, May 18, 1965

 
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Avast, Ye Mateys

“UPPER OT GRADES: By this time there must be about fifteen OT grades above Clear already developed. These exist in research form and have not been released. AOLA is begging for a new one, having delivered 500 OT VIIs. The danger is that an AO or org starts delivering to the same people and disconnects. Jbg broke itself doing this once. Affluent on selling illegal Power Processing, it suddenly used up all its CF. It had not fed in anyone at the bottom — no Testing or HAS or Dn or Lower Grades. It used up its CF hot prospects on Power and that was that. Jbg’s decline dates back to this period. It’s a way of disconnecting from the Public. AOs should be hammering SHs to get people through Solo R6EW and onto Clear and getting Clears onto lower OT grades.” — The Commodore, May 18, 1971

 
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Overheard in the FreeZone

“The insanity that the modern western culture has forced upon me is vanished (e.g, radical feminist and social liberalism and political correctness). The new area of Scientology has taken it away and made it disappear. I feel great today, I feel human again, I feel new. I have my space again, my bigness is restored. Finally I can travel with confidence again, with personal culture and space. The damage a man can have in the east concerns some ‘radical religious Abrahamic fucked up view point.’ In the Neo west there other fucked up insanity (post moderation). Scientology saved me from both pig-fucked philosophies. This journey started with my auditor Bernie and today after I finished the Hubbard Certified new ERA Scientologist, I become free again.”

 
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Past is Prologue

1996: Mark Ebner, who briefly joined Scientology and wrote an article in Spy magazine about his experience, posted a brief description of the response following the article. “I have saved the threatening letters from Scieno lawyers that arrived prior to the publication of my Spy expose. Claiming to be me, they also called the magazine’s printer in Kentucky trying to get advance copies. My credit card was fucked with in a big way.”

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Random Howdy

“All the e-meter is capable of is measuring galvanic skin response. It has as much scientific, technical value as X-Ray glasses and Sea Monkeys.”

 
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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 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 June 2.
Joseph ‘Ben’ Barton, Medicare fraud: Pleaded guilty, awaiting sentencing.

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Yanti Mike Greene, Scientology private eye accused of contempt of court: Found guilty of criminal and civil contempt.

Civil litigation:
Baxter, Baxter, and Paris v. Scientology, alleging labor trafficking: Complaint filed April 28 in Tampa federal court.
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 December 6.
Author Steve Cannane defamation trial: New trial ordered after appeals court overturned prior 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.

 
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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] Jane Doe 1’s brutal testimony about alleged rape by Danny Masterson on Day 1 of prelim
[TWO years ago] A shocking glimpse inside Scientology’s floating cathedral: ‘All I hear is desperation’
[THREE years ago] Graham Berry does it again: More Scientology financial fraud spelled out in legal demand
[FOUR years ago] Scientology’s founder in 1948: Dianetics was ‘unfrigidizing’ women into ‘nymphos’
[FIVE years ago] To whet your appetite for season 2, A&E airing 2-hour ‘Leah Remini’ special on Memorial Day
[SIX years ago] Scientology responds to Garcia accusations; sexy Virginia congressional candidate visits an org
[SEVEN years ago] Just two blocks from Scientology’s LA headquarters, Paulette Cooper shone
[EIGHT years ago] Sunday Funnies: Scientology fundraising fliers try desperately to hide the truth
[NINE years ago] Jon Atack on the Hypnotic History of Scientology Auditing
[TEN years ago] Scientology: Kiwi Reporter Puts Lisa Marie Presley On the Spot; Playboy Blows Tom Cruise
[ELEVEN years ago] Scientology in Israel: All Holy Hell Breaking Loose?

 
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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 2,668 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,173 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,723 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,713 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,604 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 4,910 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 2,779 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 3,553 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 1,884 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,357 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,673 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,239 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 8,158 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,326 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 3,906 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,168 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,204 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 2,919 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,444 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 799 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 1,974 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,525 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,674 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 3,994 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 8,849 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 3,968 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,324 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,627 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,733 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 3,131 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 3,007 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,590 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 3,085 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,339 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,448 days.

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Posted by Tony Ortega on May 18, 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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