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Eyewitness report: Scientology leader David Miscavige at the LRH Birthday Event

[Miscavige presiding over the New Year’s event at the Fort Harrison Hotel ballroom]

One of the biggest dates on the Scientology calendar is March 13, the anniversary of founder L. Ron Hubbard’s birth in 1911. For many years on or around March 13, Scientology’s current leader David Miscavige would preside over an LRH Birthday Event at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater, Florida, which holds a crowd of a little more than 2,000.

Since the pandemic hit, however, Miscavige has been holding smaller events in the auditorium of the Fort Harrison Hotel in Clearwater. And last month, he held what Scientology considered its first official return to the LRH Birthday event since the 2020 lockdowns.

As usual, Dave’s hours-long speech was filmed and then a week or two later was shown in the rest of the Scientology “orgs” around world. So whether you fly to Clearwater to see Dave in person or view the tape at your local org a week later, as a Scientologist you are expected to take in this important annual message about the founder.

Now that the event has been held and the video has been shown, one of our “under the radar” readers has sent us a report about what was in Miscavige’s speech. (Dave is known as “C.O.B.” to Scientologists, for “Chairman of the Board.”) We’re grateful to get this level of detail…


The next Ideal Orgs to open are Austin, Chicago, “Del Valle” in Mexico City, and Paris, supposedly in that order, and with Paris being a little bit further out than the other three. They didn’t give any exact dates but C.O.B. did say “in the coming weeks and months,” so I have to assume they are relatively soon. The only other org he said was going to open in 2023 was Cape Town, but that didn’t have a date or anything. That one was mentioned as “later in the year” (they’re still doing interior renovations on it).

Those were the only five orgs I recall him talking about opening in 2023. He mentioned a bunch of other buildings that were purchased, but I didn’t keep track of them, he also mentioned the renovations for Puerto Rico had been funded and were underway, but no word about their opening.

The event started with some remarks by C.O.B. about how happy he was to be back. There were some jokes about those damn governments shutting everything down and laying the blame for all the pandemic shutdowns squarely on the SP governments of the world. (Of course, most of Scientology’s own shutdowns were self imposed; they shut down before there were official government orders in many places and they stayed shut down/restricted long after most places had opened up. But being aware of that would require some critical thinking about what was going on, something Scientologists lack for the most part.)

Brief tangent: The Chase Wave had blown up right before the pandemic. Stats were already crashing worldwide before Covid was a thing. My personal opinion is they shut things down as much as they did because the stats already sucked. Covid gave them a great red herring. They could point to it and say of course orgs crashed and are struggling now, but it isn’t the full story.

OK, skipping most of the fluff and getting to the important stuff: Birthday game winners and the stats they shared.

The way they announced winners was a little weird. For missions and Class V orgs they announced the winner for 2020, 2021, 2022 and then cumulative 2020-2022. For Sea Org orgs and CLOs [Continental Liaison Organizations] they announced the cumulative winners for 2020-2022 1st, 2nd and 3rd.

For missions the winner for 2020 was some new Ideal Mission around Hungary/Slovakia, maybe Kosice? For 2021 it was one of the LATAM missions, I think Panama? The winner for 2022 was Belleair and the overall 2020-2022 winner was an Ideal Mission in Bergamo Italy. They didn’t share many stats about the missions; from what I recall each had about 20 staff (or that’s about the number they alluded to) except for Belleair which is quite a bit bigger.

For orgs they shared a few more details.

The 2020 winner was Twin Cities, in Minnesota. Yes the tiny org of TC won. They didn’t share any delivery stats but they did say TC had 70 people sign up for staff. I definitely paid attention to the wording they used. They didn’t say TC had 70 people on staff, they said they had 70 sign-ups, a significant difference (over what time period? are they counting/double counting people who were just re-signing their contract? how many actually arrived?). I also noticed that they didn’t have any shots showing a large number of people, all the shots were using forced angles/perspectives. I’m still convinced TC is a tiny org, but I do wonder what made them win in 2020, something is going on there.

2021 was Kansas City. They shared virtually no stats about KC other than the amount of food handed out during food drives (which I’m sure was just a staff member or VM showing up to a food drive set up by some other church/group). I also noticed that in almost all of the shots they were careful not to show staff member faces, and probably don’t want to show Sea Org members holding posts at a Class V org. Twin Cities showed plenty of shots of staff members faces in comparison.

2022 was Budapest. It has a 67- or 69-man tech team and delivered close to 60,000 WDAHs [Well Done Auditing Hours] over the 2020-2022 time period. That’s a little over 360 per week. That’s a good number but to be honest not that great for that number of tech staff. Maybe they didn’t deliver much during the worst of the pandemic/shutdowns. If they have that many tech staff they are probably close to 200 staff total. These numbers track for what I have heard about Budapest.

The 2020-2022 grand champion was Milano. Their building is over 100,000 square feet and they have 238 staff (not they signed up 238 staff, a flat statement that they have 238 staff). They delivered a little over 80,000 WDAHs during the 2020-2022 time period. Better but still not the 600 per week a Saint Hill-size org is supposed to be delivering (I think it’s supposed to be 600 per week). They also showed some shots of Milano that showed large numbers of staff and public. This tracks with what I know of Milano. I’d say they are the number two org in the world, behind Tampa.

The winning Sea Org orgs were #3 Anzo, #2 Africa, #1 Saint Hill. I think the only numbers they mentioned was Africa having delivered something crazy like 800,000 WDAHs over the last three years.

The CLOs went #3 Anzo, #2 Europe and #1 Africa.


There was more (it was a three and a half hour event) but I think I covered most of the significant points.

— A reader


Technology Cocktail

“We are the prime movers in this, the new age. Forget the old. Face up to what will come. And let the dead yesterdays bury the philosophy of Authority and Capital Gains and Communist psychology cults. We’re no longer tied. The eons march on. Space Opera has again come to a planet on which we live. Always before it meant destruction. Perhaps, this time, due to our efforts, a humanitarian world can exist. We, the Prophets of the Morrow, know the way.” — L. Ron Hubbard, 1957



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?


[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

— The first Danny Masterson trial and beyond

[18] Trial special with Chris Shelton [19] Trial week one [20] Marc Headley on the spy in the hallway [21] Trial week two [22] Trial week three [23] Trial week four [24] Leah Remini on LAPD Corruption [25] Mike Rinder 2022 Thanksgiving Special [26] Jane Doe 4 (Tricia Vessey), Part One [27] Jane Doe 4 (Tricia Vessey), Part Two [28] Claire Headley on the trial [29] Tory Christman [30] Bruce Hines on spying [31] Karen de la Carriere [32] Ron Miscavige on Shelly Miscavige [33] Karen de la Carriere on the L’s [34] Mark Bunker on Miscavige hiding [35] Mark Plummer [36] Mark Ebner [37] Karen Pressley [38] Steve Cannane [39] Fredrick Brennan [40] Clarissa Adams [41] Louise Shekter [42] John Sweeney


Source Code

“Sacredity. I think it’s very amusing, if you like to laugh at funerals. I do myself. I do. The last funeral I saw in Kansas, a dead wagon went by, you know, and it was one of these hearses, you know, with the great big plate glass side windows, you know. You could see the coffin in there. Flowers all over it. And here came limousines after it, you know, one after the other. And there were people crying and people sobbing in these limousines. I pulled off to the side of the road, naturally, and I took off my hat. And all this was just automatic, you know, took off my hat. I sat there and watched this thing go by. And car by car my risibility started getting the better of me, you know. I thought here’s this bird, he kicked off, you know, and they shoved this body full of embalming juice, and this bird is sailing around here someplace or another. He probably already picked up somebody in a maternity ward or something of the sort, and he’s long gone, you know, and here’s these birds left with this piece of MEST, you know. And they’re crying and sobbing, you know, and they’re filling it full of flowers and embalming fluid, and going to take it out to the graveyard and erect some stone over the top of it, you know. The unreality of these people and their attitude and what they believed, and what I myself knew for a fact, you see, were so far apart that I’m afraid that by the time the last funeral car had passed, I was just doubled up with laughter. I just can’t take funerals very seriously. I’m sorry. It’s too silly.” — L. Ron Hubbard, April 5, 1962


Avast, Ye Mateys



God Speed
And Early Return

I thank you
The Sea Org thanks you
For your good work
And Contribution

To us all.
I know
The good things you’ve done
And good intent.
Forgive the conditions
And any hardship

And carry away
No bitterness

But only pleasant
Memory of Flag.

In appreciation
And full respect:


God Speed
Soon Return
April 5, 1969”


Overheard in the FreeZone


“I’ve audited at least two Jesus Christs and one Ann Boleyn. And a Don Juan, come to think of it, too. I wasn’t entirely convinced by any of them, but of course one doesn’t evaluate or inval.”


Past is Prologue

1997: Lars Westergren posted a transcript of a show on Scientology from BBC World. “Buildings like this aren’t cheap. Scientology founds itself by a doctrine of exchange. Members can pay thousands of dollars to complete all their courses, in payments that are called donations, but are in fact obligatory. Few churches prompt more antagonism than this one. A Greek judge has called scientology dangerous. The German government says that its financial demands can read to ruin and even suicide. But here in America, critics are more concerned with the Church of Scientology’s relentless bid, for public recognition. David Rodier is a professor of religion at American University. ‘They feel if you attack they attack in kind, and perhaps even more violently. And I think many people find this very threatening. New religions are by their very nature strange and odd, and we feel uncomfortable around them. And then when they, in addition to that, don’t behave according to our stereotypes the way religions should behave, then we _do_ get very uncomfortable.’ Sylvia Stanard: ‘The church has dealt with criticism, because we feel that people need to know what scientology is. And its also just – sociologically it is a very interesting phenomena that all new religions go through this. I mean, we’ve researched and gone through what they said about the Catholics in the 1700s, and all sorts of _wild_ accusations. I mean, the Mormons were killed. And that was a hundred years ago.'”


Random Howdy

“It’s ‘nix’ on ESP and telepathy, but ‘ja’ on Telekinesis and Astral Projection? No reason or rhyme to the mind of Mother Hubbard.”


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

Criminal prosecutions:
Danny Masterson charged for raping three women: Mistrial declared November 30. Retrial scheduled, jury selection begins March 29. Next pretrial hearing: Feb 16.
‘Lafayette Ronald Hubbard’ (a/k/a Justin Craig), aggravated assault, plus drug charges: Grand jury indictments include charges from an assault while in custody. Next pretrial hearing Feb 13.
Rizza Islam, Medi-Cal fraud: Trial scheduled for March 1 in Los Angeles
David Gentile, GPB Capital, fraud: Next status conference Feb 13.

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: March 15, 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.
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] Melissa McPhail: A fantasy writer’s travel through time to her Scientology Sea Org past
[TWO years ago] Former Scientology OT gets indicted on $4 million securities fraud
[THREE years ago] Whoopi Goldberg recommends Scientology’s drug rehab Narconon on ‘The View’
[FOUR years ago] Scientology gets away with abuses because it has friends like author Orson Scott Card
[FIVE years ago] What do super powers smell like? For around 30 grand, Scientology can help you with that.
[SIX years ago] Bryan Seymour: Scientology’s sniffer-dog problem is bad timing for Narconon in Australia
[SEVEN years ago] After their daughter died at Scientology training, a friend makes off with the funeral money
[EIGHT years ago] Saturday Night Live’s genius spoof of Scientology: Lyrics and images
[NINE years ago] Jon Atack’s final weekly column for us on Scientology, and it’s a doozy
[TEN years ago] Remembering Diane Colletto, Who Would Have Been 60 Today


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 2,990 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,495 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 3,045 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 2,035 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,926 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 5,230 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 3,101 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 2,206 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,683 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,995 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,561 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 8,480 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,648 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 4,229 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,490 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,526 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 3,242 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,806 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 1,121 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 2,296 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,847 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,978 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 4,316 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 9,171 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 4,290 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,646 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,949 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 3,055 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 3,453 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 3,329 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,912 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 3,407 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,661 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,770 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on April 5, 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, 1995-2022 Just starting out here? We’ve picked out the most important stories we’ve covered here at the Underground Bunker (2012-2022), 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


Tony Ortega at Rolling Stone


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