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A video that answers, what’s it like in Scientology with business so down these days?

From numerous sources, we’ve received various reports that Scientology’s vaunted “Ideal Orgs” are struggling.

Designed by church leader David Miscavige to be magnets for new members, newer Ideal Orgs have been built off main pedestrian areas, Scientology’s reputation has never been worse, and we receive regular reports that the places are mostly empty.

So what do you do all day if you’re a staffer at a Scientology org with no customers to serve?

We have to applaud the folks at the Buffalo Ideal Org that put together a fun short video with their fantasy of what it would be like if they had anyone actually coming in for courses.


To help us understand what we’re seeing here, we asked Phil Jones, a former Scientologist, who had a little fun describing what the video shows…

Two lonely Scientology staff members, Chris and her partner Serge, the plucky Canadian illegal immigrant, were stuck in far-off Buffalo Org for years without seeing a single soul cross their doorway. Daily, their voices would echo down the empty halls, offices, and throughout the large courseroom as their futility in expanding the Buffalo Org grew.

One day, after a grueling call from Scientology International for them to “do something” they finally cracked. And at that moment Serge had what LRH would call, “a bright idea.” He booted up the only remaining working computer in the Org and dug until he opened up the Org’s student files.

Not having too many student files to go through, Serge quickly found the last two students who had attended the courseroom from four years ago, and printed off their images on the old color printer. Chris and Serge then stuck the images onto their foreheads and proceeded to make a video of their “students” routing onto the Scientology Student Hat course. It was an epic achievement.

After they had edited the video and sent it uplines to Scientology International, they proceeded to load it onto their Buffalo YouTube channel. Then all they needed to do was sit and wait for their Christmas tree from 2019 to finally lose all its needles.

An “upstat” day in Buffalo for sure.

Well, pretty close, we reckon.

We asked Phil to be a little more serious and help explain some of the vocabulary used in the video.

The “Student Hat” is a Scientology course on learning how to study by Hubbard’s method of looking up definitions of any word you may not understand, doing clay demos of the concepts you are studying, and not to ‘skip a gradient’ (go past where you’re comfortable learning). It is basically just learning to study using his method, and only his method.

A “hat” in Scientology is a learned skill either for a post (job), or even for a student. If you are “hatted” as a student you have studied the materials to learn how to be one. In the video they are using the double meaning of the word “hat” when he puts the cutout of a hat on his head. He’s just trying to be funny.

Scientology is well known for accepting credit cards for all their very expensive courses. That’s where the ‘large’ credit card comes in. You’d need a large limit on your card to be able to take any Scientology courses.

The two packs that Chris is carrying when she enters the courseroom contain Hubbard Study Tapes. There might be 8 or 10 tapes per pack if I remember right. There are many, many tapes on that course.

Thank you, Phil.

Even without knowing all the vocabulary, it should be pretty obvious even to the uninitiated that a couple of staffers fantasizing about how great it would be to have a couple of customers in an otherwise deserted building is a pretty good representation of latter-day Scientology.


Oh wow, it’s grim in Buffalo. And probably in many Ideal Orgs around the world.


Technology Cocktail

“Pictures are used by the Thetan to assist his memory. They are not necessary to his memory, but he begins to play with the idea of taking pictures of everything and remembering by pictures as a sort of a game. It is an interesting game. Gives him something to look at. Gives him some mass and makes him happy — up to the point when he collects pictures of great unhappiness; then these moments of unhappiness stay with him simply because he has pictures of them and really for no other reason.” — L. Ron Hubbard, 1954



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 as Danny faces a potential sentence of 45 years to life in prison. NOW WITH TRIAL INDEX.


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 [16] Mirriam Francis [17] Bruce Hines on MSH

— 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 on the Danny Masterson trial

[1] Sep 21 [2] Sep 28 [3] Oct 4 [4] Oct 10 [5] Oct 11: Day One [6] Oct 12: Day Two [7] Oct 13: Day Three [8] Oct 17: Day Four [9] Oct 18: Day Five [10] Oct 19: Day Six [11] Special interview with Chris Shelton, Oct 19 [12] Oct 20: Day Seven [13] Oct 21: Day Eight [14] First week in review, with Jeffrey Augustine [15] Oct 24: Day Nine [16] Oct 25: Day Ten [17] Oct 27: Day Eleven [18] Oct 28: Day Twelve [19] Second week in review, with Jeffrey Augustine [20] Halloween special [21] Nov 2: Day Thirteen [22] Nov 3: Day Fourteen [23] Nov 4: Day Fifteen [24] Third week in review [25] Nov 5, Saturday special [26] Nov 6, Sunday special [27] Nov 7, Day Sixteen [28] Lisa Marie Presley breaking news [29] Nov 8, Day Seventeen [30] Nov 9, Day Eighteen [31] Nov 10, Day Nineteen


Source Code

“As I used to be president of the American Fiction Guild author’s league up in New York, when I was a kid — that’s right, I was a kid — it was very funny to me, I used to laugh myself silly, all of the confession stories written in America are written by unmarried ladies who have reached 40 or 50. Now, there’s nothing wrong with being an unmarried lady reaching 40 or 50. This is perfectly fine. But how come all these confession stories? Yeah, that’s interesting. Because it was out of the current lifetime’s field of experience. I realize now they were writing about past lives, that they were picking it up Whole Track and just putting it in modern dress. But they didn’t know what they were writing about, basically, in this lifetime.” — L. Ron Hubbard, January 2, 1960


Avast, Ye Mateys

“This very nice tribute and list was sent me by Lt. Cmdr. Joan Robertson:
Dear Sir, Like you, I am burying the old year not praising it. YET — Thank you for the wild and wonderful year we have just finished

for restoring all Tech
for restoring Power

for OT VII
for the Sanity Tech Breakthrough
for Ext Intensive
for the C/S Series
for the EP’s
for revitalizing training
for all the other Brilliant Tech Breakthroughs.
And thank you for the Tech of Admin —
for restoring all Policy
for the Bureaux
for the FEBC, HC, OEC —
Supervisor Courses

for Exec Dirs
the Org Boards

for the Aides Conferences
the personal Conferences
the Data Series
the Personnel Series
the Org Series
the PR Series
this Brilliant Management system
the Org and Product Officer System.
Your help on ship lines and to me as an Aide, an officer, a Con, and as a Being.
And for your trust in me in letting me help.
I pledge again my love, loyalty, devotion and work.
A very Happy New Year — Sir!” — The Commodore, January 2, 1971



Overheard in the FreeZone

“If you are for Scientology having secrets because people are not ready for them, then you should be OK with the government keeping all its alien secrets from us. They have met with them, worked with them, Apollo 11 actually was checking out ancient alien ruins on the moon, and they kept this secret from us because apparently we are not ready for this information and will go crazy if exposed to it. That’s literally what they think. Well I say this is disgusting, just as it’s disgusting keeping Scientology information from lower level Scientologists. I do not stand for secrets, I think it’s wrong, and I genuinely hate the government for not telling me aliens exist. A Scientology radio show that is pro secrets is boring to listen to, just as the ABC Australia radio show is boring to listen to. They are pro secrets, they wouldn’t dare talk about the government controlling the weather or aliens. They don’t go into any interesting juicy stuff, it’s just PR ‘Oh I like to walk the dog on a Sunday afternoon’ or ‘Yes, sweet jazz music’ type stuff. It’s just so boring, it’s depressing really. It’s forcing people into a lame Truman Show life. You must support freedom of speech and the press. So that’s why I’m against secrets. It makes a worse world. As Hubbard says ‘If someone’s lying to you they are controlling you.’ And omitting data from stuff is a form of lying.”


Past is Prologue

2002: “Cerridwen” posted a report this week on Scientology’s New Year’s Eve event. “There were several noticeable differences about this event. Jeff Pomeratz was not sitting in the front row with his white scarf hamming it up for the cameras. I would like to report that this is a definite improvement. Instead the camera’s panned the crowd of the LA event and a few celebs in the front row. The camera particularly like to focus on Priscilla Presley who was seated in the front row with the other celeb and Freedom Medal Winners. Another difference was that the graphics that were used to show the stats actually had numbers. They didn’t show stats like total number of people onlines or number of OT’s made, but each and every graph they did show had numbers. All graphs went from Dec 2000 to this past Thursday at 2:00. Whether the numbers on the graphs are accurate or not is an other issue. The New Year’s Event is usually the time when they announce all the Power FSM’s and bring them on stage to receive their awards. This was completely omitted from this event.”


Random Howdy

“Alex Jones and L. Ron both became millionaires by selling people crazy. The $64,000 question is whether it was (A) a cynical scam (B) they’re both insane (C) all of the above.”



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

Criminal prosecutions:
Danny Masterson charged for raping three women: Mistrial declared November 30. Status conference scheduled January 10, retrial scheduled March 27.
‘Lafayette Ronald Hubbard’ (a/k/a Justin Craig), aggravated assault, plus drug charges: Grand jury indictments include charges from an assault while in custody. Plea deadline scheduled for December 16.
Jay and Jeff Spina, Medicare fraud: Jay sentenced to 9 years in prison. Jeff scheduled to time served with three years supervised release, restitution of $9.7 million.
Rizza Islam, Medi-Cal fraud: Trial scheduled for March 1 in Los Angeles
David Gentile, GPB Capital, fraud: Next pretrial hearing December 9.
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. Hearing November 17 to argue the arbitration motions, awaiting ruling.
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 at least through February 7.
Brian Statler Sr v. City of Inglewood: Case settled ahead of scheduled Dec 6 trial.
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.



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] TODAY: Scientology wants you to make a resolution to fork over every penny in 2022
[TWO years ago] Worst part in the Scientology ‘arbitration’ ruling? Danny Masterson can participate.
[THREE years ago] Graham Berry shares a Scientology secret with us that might explain everything
[FOUR years ago] Scientology smears ‘Aftermath’ guest with info from his supposedly confidential files
[FIVE years ago] Scientology’s original case of ‘disconnection’ — L. Ron Hubbard and his doting mom and dad
[SIX years ago] David Miscavige has plenty of new Scientology buildings set to open in 2017
[SEVEN years ago] Scientology’s 2016: CNN plans to give L. Ron Hubbard his best press in decades
[EIGHT years ago] LEAKED RENDERINGS: What Scientology’s (post-KCET) new media center will look like
[NINE years ago] THE TOMMY DAVIS DEPOSITION: Scientology asks judge to reconsider forcing Miscavige deposition
[TEN years ago] Scientology Giving this “Internet” Thing a Whirl
[ELEVEN years ago] Scientology in 2012: Mark Bunker and Mike Rinder Give Us a Preview of Enturbulation To Come


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 2,897 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,402 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,952 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,942 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,833 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 5,138 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 3,008 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 2,113 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,586 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,902 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,468 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 8,387 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,555 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 4,136 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,397 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,433 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 3,148 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,713 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 1,028 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 2,203 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,754 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,885 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 4,223 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 9,078 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 4,197 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,553 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,856 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,962 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 3,360 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 3,236 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,819 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 3,314 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,568 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,677 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on January 2, 2023 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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