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PODCAST: Examining Scientology’s new marketing juggernaut, a ‘Wider Bridge’

[Jefferson Hawkins: Dave is flailing]

Recently, Scientology has been advertising a big advance they are referring to as a ‘wider Bridge,’ which was to be announced last week. Well, it turns out that it’s just David Miscavige’s way to get Scientologists excited that local orgs are dropping some Covid protocols and starting up things like the Purification Rundown.

In others words, it’s pure marketing and not really an advance at all, something that Mike Rinder made fun of in a great blog post this week.

We wanted to talk to someone about Dave’s latest marketing ploy, and who better than the best marketer Scientology ever had, the man who came up with famous erupting volcano TV ad for Dianetics in the 1980s, Jefferson Hawkins.

If you’ve read Jefferson’s terrific book Counterfeit Dreams you know that he had a unique path in his 34 years in Scientology, which led to his major influence on its marketing to the public. We reviewed some of that history, and what has happened to Scientology’s public image since he left.

Today, we’re releasing the tenth episode of The Underground Bunker Podcast to our paid subscribers at Substack. You should receive it presently at your email inbox if you’re on the list.


Not a paid subscriber? Well, we have something for you, too. Last week’s episode was with Marc Headley, hilariously explaining why he took the time to put a lengthy reply on a Scientologist’s YouTube video. In the weeks before, we talked to Patty Moher, Geoff Levin, Pete Griffiths, Sunny Pereira, Jeffrey Augustine, and Claire Headley.

Those first nine episodes are now free to all of our subscribers, paid and unpaid. All of our podcast episodes can be found here.


Technology Cocktail

“Scientology is a precision subject. It has axioms. Like geometry. Two equilateral triangles aren’t similar because Euclid said so. They’re similar because they are. If you don’t believe it, look at them. There isn’t a single datum in Scientology that can’t be proven as precisely as teacups are teacups and not saucepans. Now if we get a person fresh out of the study of ‘the mystical metaphysics of Cuffbah’ he’s going to have trouble. His pcs are going to ‘Itsa’ their heads off and never get well or better or anything. Because that person doesn’t know Scientology but thinks it’s all imprecise opinion. The news about Scientology is that it put the study of the mind into the precise exact sciences. If one doesn’t know that, one’s pcs ‘Itsa’ by the hour for one doesn’t know what he is handling that he is calling ‘a pc’.” — L. Ron Hubbard, 1966


Jon Atack and Karen de la Carriere



Source Code


“I know it’s mean of me, it’s cabalist, it’s rabble-rousing for me to infer that the majesty of government is actually being used to further some foul, religious end in some way and to cause everybody to be dead. But I’m very interested in the fact that the Church of England, of all organizations, right down here in the form of a vicar (who, I think, has had to move since), this bird — I’m looking at a face or two here who were present in this — was being very censorious about our giving death lessons to young children. Story went around the world. What do you think this guy does every time he stands up there in the pulpit? He’s talking about going to heaven and all this sort of thing. He’s giving death lessons to little kids. Diana came home from school one day crying. She was going to a local school up here. She wanted to know if all this stuff about poor Christ was true. And I gave her the hot dope, and — well, as a matter of fact, I did. I was very reasonable about the whole thing. I said, ‘Native populaces have their religious beliefs, and wherever you are, you must remain tolerant of the current beliefs,’ and so forth, and she took this in. But it’s interesting that this bird down here is asserting how wrong it is, don’t you see, to give children death lessons while he himself is giving them death lessons. Only our death lessons are straight dope this is what happens with regard to death — but his are a darn lie.” — L. Ron Hubbard, August 27, 1963


Avast, Ye Mateys

“Congratulations on getting rid of the civilian engineers. They signed a no-claim and a confession of mutiny before leaving. It transpires that da Silva had a criminal record arm long. They have went. Now we should check for anything damaged by them.” — The Commodore, August 27, 1969


Overheard in the FreeZone

“I was given a clue that what we have been feeling during these months of 2020 is a kind of ‘blanketing’ low-tone vibration. Probably a Freezone OT committee would be able to identify it and as-is it somehow. What is a fact is that the Dems and lefty Scienos and ex-Scienos have fallen victim to this blanketing of the planet.”


Past is Prologue

1999: Time Magazine removed L. Ron Hubbard and other religious figures from a web poll of the top phonies of the century. “This list originally included a number of religious leaders. But we are convinced by protests from offended supporters that their inclusion, no matter how well justified in some cases by their behavior, might well stimulate an attitude of contempt for others’ religious beliefs.”



Random Howdy

“The Church of Scientology is as wrong as the Kims in North Korea. Some things just need to be stopped, you don’t even have to think about it, you feel it in your gut. I remember my father telling me about how my grandfather signed up to join the Lincoln Brigade to go fight Franco. I didn’t understand at first, but later I did.”


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

Criminal prosecutions:
Danny Masterson charged for raping three women: Trial scheduled for October 11.
‘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: Readiness hearing scheduled for August 22 in Los Angeles
David Gentile, GPB Capital, fraud: Next pretrial conference set for September 19.
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, Scientology moving to compel arbitration. Plaintiffs filed amended complaint on August 2.
Valerie Haney v. Scientology: Forced to ‘religious arbitration.’ Selection of arbitrators underway. Next court hearing: February 2, 2023.
Chrissie Bixler et al. v. Scientology and Danny Masterson: Appellate court removes requirement of arbitration on January 19, case remanded back to Superior Court. Stay in place, next status hearing October 25. Scientology petitioning US Supreme Court over appellate ruling.
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.



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] Tom Cruise’s Scientology superpowers, No. 6: Resuscitating the recently deceased
[TWO years ago] The Top 25 People Enabling Scientology, No. 19: Wally Pope
[THREE years ago] Vote for the most startling statement on the ‘Scientology and the Aftermath’ finale
[FOUR years ago] Hey, Colombia: Here’s the video of Scientology’s David Miscavige you’ve been looking for
[FIVE years ago] How dishonest is tabloid media about Scientology? Here’s a pretty good example.
[SIX years ago] Scientology wastes no time taking over Florida sign after ‘disconnection’ billboard expires
[SEVEN years ago] ¡Ay, caramba! Nancy Cartwright has a whale of a time in Mexico to raise money for Scientology
[EIGHT years ago] The Document: When Scientology canceled ‘Family Time’
[NINE years ago] The Dreaded “Joburg Sec Check”: Scientology Interrogations, Explained!
[ELEVEN years ago] Scientology Cyclone: 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 2,769 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,274 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,824 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,814 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,705 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 5,010 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 2,880 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 1,985 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,458 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,774 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,340 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 8,259 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,427 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 4,007 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,269 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,305 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 3,020 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,545 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 900 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 2,075 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,626 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,757 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 4,095 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 8,950 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 4,069 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,425 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,728 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,834 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 3,232 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 3,108 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,691 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 3,186 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,440 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,549 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on August 27, 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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