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After 9-year appeal, Scientology wins tax exemption in the Netherlands

[David Miscavige at the Amsterdam Ideal Org opening in 2017]

In 2013, Scientology won a major victory in the Netherlands when an appeals court overturned the verdict of a lower court and awarded the organization church status in that country. At the time, journalist Jonny Jacobsen helped us understand the situation, and Karin Spaink, the Dutch journalist who had legendary court fights with Scientology in the 1990s, put things in perspective.

“I think that the court is incredibly naive,” she told us. “It’s obvious that the Church of Scientology is not doing anything for the general interest. In the Netherlands, we don’t even get the fake public appearances that Scientology USA demonstratively performs. My guess is that freedom of religion was the focal point. The Dutch are very much fans of equal opportunity.”

However, that victory was short-lived because the Dutch tax authority decided to review the matter before granting the tax exemption the court had ordered. That review then extended for nine long years.

On Tuesday, the tax authority finally reached its decision, and did grant Scientology tax exempt status, retroactive to 2012. The news reached us via European Times, which said it received a press release from Scientology’s Dutch Director of Public Affairs. The release thanked the tax officials, who “have properly confirmed our religious activities and practices and our work toward the humanitarian aims of Scientology as of public benefit.”

The new status can be seen on the tax authority’s website, which now lists Scientology as an “ANBI” (public benefit organization).



We’ve reached out to Karin Spaink for her thoughts on this new development.

One of our readers who keeps us up on news in the Netherlands admitted to us that they were stunned. “How on earth did they manage this?” they said.

In 2013, Spaink told us that Dutch Scientology was very small, with perhaps only 500 members in total. After the pandemic, we’d be surprised if it wasn’t considerably smaller.

But as she pointed out to us in 2013, the amount of money that might be involved as far as paying taxes was less important than what it would mean to Scientology as a public relations victory to win tax exempt status there.


Supreme Court sets date to consider Scientology petition

Yesterday, the US Supreme court “distributed for conference” the petition filed in July by Scientology in the Bixler v. Scientology case.

What that means is that at the scheduled September 28 conference, Scientology’s petition will be among many that the court will sift through to decide which ones to consider and which ones to deny.

Last year, Valerie Haney’s petition to SCOTUS was on a similar schedule. She filed it late in May, it was distributed in July for a Sept 27 conference, and we heard from the court on October 4 that it had been denied.

So what that suggests is that by early in October, we’ll know if the Supreme Court wants to take up the issues in the lawsuit filed by Danny Masterson’s accusers and the January 19 decision by California’s 2nd Appellate District, which decided that the lawsuit should not be forced into Scientology’s “religious arbitration.” The appeals court found that because the allegations of stalking and hacking and even killing of pets alleged in the lawsuit occurred after these former Scientologists had left the church, Scientology couldn’t force them into an ecclesiastical justice procedure.


Scientology is complaining that this is a violation of its religious rights, and four organizations have filed amicus briefs agreeing that the court should take a look at it. But the court receives hundreds of petitions and most are denied. The odds are long, but Scientology and its religious shills are hoping to catch a break. We’ll know early in October if they succeed.


Technology Cocktail

“The following report from Yvonne Gillham is of interest: ‘Dear Ron, Coming from Hull to here I found that when I started to feel sea-sick and when I indicated to myself that I was PTS and had some SP on my sea track restimulated, it completely blew, and I never had it again. When I indicated this to Pooky, Thok and Craig it had the same effect on them. I gave the info to Haskell, who was doing review at the time, and he had similar success. All sickness is PTS, etc, so it follows that sea-sickness would come under this too. Love, Yvonne.’ L. RON HUBBARD Founder” (1967)


Now available: Bonus for our supporters

Episode 10 of the Underground Bunker podcast has been sent out to paid subscribers, and Jefferson Hawkins helps us understand Scientology’s new marketing ploys. Meanwhile, we’ve made episodes 1 through 9 available to everyone, with such guests as Patty Moher, Geoff Levin, Pete Griffiths, Sunny Pereira, Bruce Hines, Jeffrey Augustine, and Claire Headley. Go here to get the episodes!


Source Code

“Where does that leave psychology?…This is the way the wheel is going to turn. And the wheel has already begun its slow inexorable spin. They are about to become a more radical element of Scientology. And we’re about to become the conservatives and they’re about to become the revolutionaries. They’re the Johnny-come-latelys, the cowboys in the black hat. And we’re the old homesteaders, been there a long time. And they’ll give us all the propaganda we want to drive this point home, because it will outrage them to such a degree that every time they pick it up or hear it they will go into a complete scream. They will help us. In every university they will help us. They’ll explain to all of their classes, ‘Hubbard is crazy because he says actually Scientology is a very broad subject that psychology is just a part of,’ Ha-ha-ha! None of the students are laughing. Students can understand a radical offshoot, or a Johnny-come-lately type of an approach that says all men are animals.” — L. Ron Hubbard, September 1, 1964



Avast, Ye Mateys

“According to a long newspaper article John F. Kennedy picked up a body in Germany five minutes after he was killed in Texas. Spotting and naming the people of his family and office and mentioning personal habits and actions, this is John F. Kennedy all right, now 7 years old is now the son of Johan Schuler of Munich and has the name of Johan Schuler. The parents are worried about his ability to lead a future normal life. An interesting point is not that he picked up a new body but that Germany is now alert to ‘reincarnation.’” — The Commodore, September 1, 1971


Overheard in the FreeZone

“Scientology is NOT dead. It is alive and well, much to the chagrin of squirrels and SPs. The only thing that can kill Scientology is reasonableness and allowing SPs and squirrels to dilute and suppress the philosophy and technology. The way forward is to pour the coals on the purpose of Scientology and validate THAT, not the antithesis.”


Past is Prologue

1997: Andreas Heldal-Lund has changed the location of secret Scientology documents on Operation Clambake. “My home page has been given a new address: “Old links still work, they are just automatically redirected to the new address, even if you request a document down in the system. There is only one problem; some older versions of MS Internet Explorer seems to have problems with the redirect and gives an error. If you get an error, make sure you change to the new address.”


Random Howdy


“It’s too bad Russell Crowe didn’t become a full-time Scientologist. He would have been the ultimate batshit crazy Scieno. He would have made Cruise look like Mr. Rogers.”


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: Grand jury indictments include charges from an assault while in custody. Arraigned on August 29.
Jay and Jeff Spina, Medicare fraud: Jay sentenced to 9 years in prison. Jeff’s sentencing to be scheduled.
Rizza Islam, Medi-Cal fraud: Trial scheduled for October 24 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] Hot new progress reports from Scientology’s massive world takeover!
[TWO years ago] Leah Remini podcast: Scientology leader’s Fair Game campaign against his own father
[THREE years ago] Another capital to get a ‘national’ Scientology center. Can you feel the excitement?
[FOUR years ago] A peek inside Janis Gillham Grady’s second volume as ‘Commodore’s Messenger’
[FIVE years ago] DRONE FLYOVER: Scientology’s failed underground vault project in Wyoming
[SIX years ago] Marty Rathbun defends Scientology leader David Miscavige as he trashes tell-all memoir ‘Ruthless’
[SEVEN years ago] Louis Theroux film — ‘My Scientology Movie’ — to premiere October 14 at the London Film Festival
[EIGHT years ago] Signs of chaos emerge for Scientology’s drug rehab legal defense
[NINE years ago] Scientology Leader David Miscavige Files Declaration in Texas Lawsuit


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 2,774 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,279 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,829 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,819 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,710 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 5,015 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 2,885 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 1,990 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,463 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,779 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,345 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 8,264 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,432 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 4,012 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,274 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,310 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 3,025 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,550 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 905 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 2,080 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,631 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,762 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 4,100 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 8,955 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 4,074 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,430 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,733 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,839 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 3,237 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 3,113 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,696 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 3,191 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,445 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,554 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on September 1, 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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