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Scientology eagerly uses Hurricane Ian devastation for photo opportunities

Well, you knew this was coming. Scientology loves to turn natural disasters into public relations opportunities, and so with a major hurricane hitting just south of its spiritual mecca, the Flag Land Base in Clearwater, Florida, there was no question that it would be pouncing on the chance.

Here’s what Scientology itself said about it in a press release:

As hurricane Ian began approaching the west coast of Florida earlier this week, the Volunteer Ministers of Florida sprang into action.

First, 40 Volunteer Ministers took on sandbagging and boarding up 53 buildings for neighbors through four blocks of downtown Clearwater and several properties on surrounding streets. They covered up 280 windows. They wanted to ensure their neighbors survived the storm with as little damage as possible. As Ian was expected to be a category 4 hurricane when it struck, it would have been tremendously destructive. The Church purchased supplies and provided the manpower free of charge to the downtown business owners.


A team of volunteers began creating hundreds of kits containing basic hygiene items, anticipating the needs of those who would be affected by the storm.

A volunteer at the Volunteer Ministers Center in downtown Clearwater published a video on the Church’s Facebook. “We’re preparing for the worst and hoping for the best,” she said. “We have people coming in to put together hygiene kits. We have people coming in to learn how to do shelter work and Red Cross. Anything you can do to help, whether it’s bringing in donations for the kits or coming to volunteer time, everything is needed right now. Let’s just all get this done together.”


With the storm veering a bit south of Tampa Bay, Scientology is dispatching its teams of yellow-shirted volunteers to areas harder hit.

A disaster response team is taking off for Charlotte County, which has suffered at least 14 deaths and catastrophic damage….Whether serving in their communities or on the other side of the world, the motto of the Scientology Volunteer Minister is “Something can be done about it.” The program, created by Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard in the mid-1970s, is sponsored by the Church of Scientology International as a religious social service and constitutes one of the world’s most significant independent relief forces.

Well, that’s Scientology’s version. Longtime readers know that we’ve seen plenty of examples over the years demonstrating that Scientology’s disaster troops are more concerned with getting usable photos and video that leader David Miscavige can show at church events. And when they do try to actually lend a hand to first responders, it’s to hand out Scientology pamphlets or offer quack faith healing (“assists”).

Just to cite one example, Quailynn McDaniel told us that she and her husband were using their private plane to rush supplies to disaster sites for the Volunteer Ministers, and among the things they were delivering to people doing the actual work at disaster sites were Scientology pamphlets about marriage counseling.

Well, maybe Floridians dealing with downed power lines and receding flood waters could use a little L. Ron Hubbard wisdom on keeping their marriages together, who knows.


NEW AT SUBSTACK: US Supreme Court denies Scientology’s petition

Scientology was asking the Supreme Court to intervene in the lawsuit filed by Danny Masterson’s accusers and side with the church argument that the case should be forced into its internal ‘religious arbitration.’ The court decided not to get involved. More details at Substack.


AND ANOTHER: Danny Masterson asks to delay trial over Caruso campaign ads

Danny Masterson’s legal team this morning proposed that his criminal trial be delayed because of anti-Scientology political ads being aired by Los Angeles mayoral candidate and billionaire Rick Caruso. Judge Olmedo has not ruled on that request yet. And more from this morning’s hearing at Substack.


Technology Cocktail

“If someone is in terrible condition and he is really writhing around, and you want to render an assist, you don’t wait until he stops writhing. He is liable to stop writhing dead. What you do with him is to direct his attention. You tell him to “Shut your eyes and look at my fingers. “ You press your fingers hard enough so that he can’t help but put his attention on them. In this wise you can always have a successful assist, because assists all come under the heading of control. The beingness of the person and his presence makes the control possible. So part of control is always presence, identity, person, the one who takes charge and has things under control. When you are able to control his attention, his body and thoughts, then he will be in session and you are no longer doing an assist.” — L. Ron Hubbard, 1971


THE PODCAST: How many have you heard?

— The Underground Bunker Podcast

[1] Marc Headley [2] Claire Headley [3] Jeffrey Augustine [4] Bruce Hines [5] Sunny Pereira [6] Pete Griffiths [7] Geoff Levin [8] Patty Moher [9] Marc Headley [10] Jefferson Hawkins [11] Michelle ‘Emma’ Ryan [12] Paulette Cooper [13] Jesse Prince [14] Mark Bunker [15] Jon Atack

— SPECIAL: The best TV show on Scientology you never got to see


[1] Phil Jones [2] Derek Bloch [3] Carol Nyburg [4] Katrina Reyes [5] Jamie DeWolf

— SPECIAL: Your Proprietor’s updates

[1] Sep 21 [2] Sep 28

— The Underground Bunker Podcast on YouTube

[1] Marc Headley


Source Code

“The Roman Catholic Church, somewhere along the line, through watching the dramatizations of people, picked up some little fragments of R6, and they make it look like it’s continued forward into present time. But the truth of the matter is that the loyal officers were not all killed. Xenu missed. And they were not all killed. Not by a long way…Somebody, somewhere on this planet, back about 600 BC, found some piece of R6. And I don t know how they found it, either by watching mad men or something, but since that time they have used it and it became what is known as Christianity. The man on the cross. There was no Christ, but the man on the cross is shown as every man so of course each person seeing a crucified man has an immediate feeling of sympathy for this man. Therefore you get many PCs who say they are Christ.” — L. Ron Hubbard, October 3, 1968


Avast, Ye Mateys

“Cmdr. Hana Eltringham is welcomed aboard. She is assigned to Deputy CS-1 and to part time study her FEBC. An Aides hat should be provided but other aides should groove her in. She has been CS-1 and CS-4 before. The Flag Org is full throttle getting trained up to FEBC and handling existing traffic and should be concentrating soon on Org Bd Hats for orgs, its overdue assignment. We are very glad to see some Veterans back to Flag.” — The Commodore, October 3, 1970



Overheard in the FreeZone

“Personally I think that there has been a coordinated effort by certain factions in the Government for reasons of ‘National Security’ to invalidate the state of OT at least publicly and that the Church currently is playing along in this game. It is my opinion that the success of the Remote Viewing Project scared the bejesus out of them and now there is an ongoing effort to put the Genie back in the bottle. But that is my opinion and I can’t prove it. Though what I can pretty much prove is that the Church has now veered away from those abilities covered in the earlier lectures on the State of OT. For instance the original OT IV if run correctly will produce a Thetan Exterior, V and VI give the thetan familiarity with operating outside of the body. Yet these levels are no longer part of the Bridge. Why is that? There is no HCOB or Policy that canceled those levels yet they are no longer considered part of Church doctrine. Omitted levels is a definite out point. One big enough to drive not just a Sherman Tank but a few very large semis through.”


Past is Prologue

2001: An e-mail to Scientologists described the opening of the new mission in San Francisco, SOMA, or South of Market. “The Mission is located in a 3 story building on Mission Street in SF, between 5th & 6th streets. I would estimate 500-600 people were on hand. The city had allowed the Mission to close one lane on Mission Street and a podium had been set up on the sidewalk. Cindy Feshbach opened the ceremony with a speech about Scientology and about the Mission. We had major media coverage including a camera & interview team from Entertainment Tonight. Also there was a Golden Era Productions crew getting all the theta. Cindy presented SF Police Department Captain Tony Perra with a plaque which contained on it a pledge from the Mission and from Scientology to assist the SF police and the city to help it with its problems. Captain Perra gratefully accepted the plaque and publicly pledged the SF police department’s support of the Mission in its humanitarian endeavors. Next to speak was none other than Mr. David Miscavige, Chairman of the Board RTC. He gave an incredibly inspiring speech about how Scientology has the solution to the problems of society and the world. This was really a dissemination speech because he knew we were getting major media coverage. He read some awesome LRH quotes about war and ended his speech with a statement that the real enemy of man was the Reactive Mind. His presence is awesome.”


Random Howdy

“I was just watching a documentary about ISIS, and they put out a monthly magazine and annual report (400 pages long) that is way more slick and professional than anything I’ve seen by the unchurch of Lientology. Even the crazy jihadis have their act more together than Scientology.”


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 scheduled to be sentenced on Oct 28.
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] Pasadena drunk kicks hole in Scientology door: Will this ‘hate crime’ be blamed on Leah Remini?
[TWO years ago] STUNNING LEAK: Scientology’s entire asset portfolio the year it got IRS church status
[THREE years ago] Scientologist removed from L.A. court again after screaming at judge in fraud hearing
[FOUR years ago] Jesse Prince talks about the grieving after L. Ron Hubbard’s death — and the partying
[FIVE years ago] Rerun Tuesday: ‘Leah Remini’ participants tell us what the series has meant to them
[SIX years ago] L. Ron Hubbard in exile: When Scientology’s leader ran things while on the lam
[SEVEN years ago] ‘Going Clear’ Q&A: Mike Rinder and Sara Goldberg take heat from Scientologists
[EIGHT years ago] What VICE magazine got wrong about Scientology in the UK
[NINE years ago] LIVE FROM TAMPA: The Garcia v. Scientology Federal Fraud Lawsuit Mini-Trial!
[TEN years ago] Scientology’s Meltdown: A Story Told in Pictures


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 2,806 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,311 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,861 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,851 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,742 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 5,047 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 2,917 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 2,022 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,495 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,811 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,377 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 8,296 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,464 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 4,044 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,306 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,342 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 3,057 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,622 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 937 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 2,112 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,663 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,794 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 4,132 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 8,987 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 4,106 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,462 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,765 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,871 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 3,269 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 3,145 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,728 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 3,223 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,477 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,586 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on October 3, 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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