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Scientology knows things are bad, so they’re selling nostalgia for their golden age

Our thanks to the reader who forwarded along another propaganda mailing from the Church of Scientology that has struck us as a little unusual and that we thought you’d want to see.

This one is an invitation for Scientologists to visit Saint Hill Manor, L. Ron Hubbard’s former home in East Grinstead, England, and the location of Scientology’s UK headquarters to this day.

Saint Hill and East Grinstead have been in our thoughts lately because in November Scientology leader David Miscavige brought back the traditional IAS gala there and celebration of the organization’s biggest donors.

And now, apparently, Saint Hill is making a little push for some international tourism with a flier that sells nostalgia for Scientology’s golden age in the early 1960s, before everything went to hell.


Take a look at what they sent out to see what we mean…

The development of Dianetics and Scientology and the full technology of auditing starts here, where it was mapped for all of humanity.

FROM FOUNDATION TO TURRETS, EVERY element of Saint Hill is dedicated to the single purpose of seeing that all Scientologists ascend the Bridge. As anyone who has been here can tell you, this is made possible by the special nature of Saint Hill, possessing as it does a singular aura of legend and legacy found nowhere else on the planet.

Saint Hill Manor officially became “Ron’s Home” in the early spring of 1959. It was designated to serve as the international Scientology headquarters and expressly to consolidate communication lines then extending across four continents. It was also to serve as Scientology’s training and administrative centre for widespread clearing.

Just steps away from the Manor, the Chapel offers a sense of what it was like to hear Ron deliver the Briefing Course.

As Ron’s residence, the iconic Saint Hill Manor, situated on 77 acres of impeccably groomed grounds, also became the site of many of his breakthroughs and discoveries.

It was here in 1961 that Ron inaugurated his famed Saint Hill Special Briefing Course through which he codified auditing technology. It was through these same years he codified the Bridge itself, mapping the route to Clear and OT as described in his filmed Saint Hill lecture, The Classification, Gradation and Awareness Chart of Levels and Certificates.

The Saint Hill Special Briefing Course commenced on May 7, 1961. Today, you can see on Ron’s desk the original roll book, listing students from the Americas, Europe, Africa, New Zealand and Australia. In every aspect, the room is exactly as it was on the day Ron formally announced his Saint Hill Special Briefing Course.

Here, too, are the original books, packs and Mark IV E-Meters students used, as well as the Ferrograph tape decks with which they played back the LRH lectures.

In 1962, to accommodate the growing number of students on the Saint Hill Special Briefing Course, Ron converted one of the Manor’s outbuildings to a Chapel.


It stands today fully restored in every detail, including the stage and backdrop from where Ron presented over 200 Saint Hill Special Briefing Course lectures.

In its entirety, the original Briefing Course Room quite literally transports you to this central chapter in Scientology history.

Indeed, by visiting, you become part of this living history.

Our reader who forwarded this email to us pointed out what’s so glaringly depressing about it: Why is Scientology promoting nostalgia for a moment in history and a legendary L. Ron Hubbard product — the Saint Hill Special Briefing Course — that it no longer offers?

What a stark reminder, that under Hubbard, the focus was on recruiting new people through the sale of books, turning as many of them as possible into auditors, and then sending them out to make even more auditors.

Today, under David Miscavige, the emphasis is on fundraising for buildings, recruiting through video displays, and pushing very elementary “technology” like the Student Hat, Purification Rundown, and the Survival Rundown. It’s very basic stuff, and the focus is no longer on creating new auditors.

But hey, you can still pine for those days by visiting Saint Hill. (And maybe dropping some big donations while you’re there.) Hip, hip, hooray!

Book your flight now!


Technology Cocktail

“Before you curse our terms, remember that a lack of terms to describe phenomena can be twice as incomprehensible as having involved terms that at least can be
understood eventually. We do awfully well, really, better than any other science or subject. We lack a dictionary but we can remedy that.” — L. Ron Hubbard, 1964




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 [43] Tory Christman [44] Kate Bornstein [45] Christian Stolte [46] Mark Bunker [47] Jon Atack [48] Luke Y. Thompson [49] Mark Ebner [50] Bruce Hines [51] Spanky Taylor and Karen Pressley [51] Geoff and Robbie Levin [52] Sands Hall [53] Jonny Jacobsen [54] Sandy Holeman



Source Code

“I was up there at Oak Knoll for about a year, Oak Knoll Naval Hospital. And I used to walk around — all I had to do — I was a line officer and all I had to do was take off one collar ornament, and I became a doctor….And a little doctor up there by the name of Yankewitz, I used to prowl around there once in a while, Yankewitz was a pretty good guy. And he came, he headed this project, and it had to do with endocrine system. They were trying to do something for people released from Japanese prison camps. These people couldn’t eat. And if they did eat it went immediately into fat. They couldn’t absorb any protein. And I had discovered that there was an immediate index between protein and healing tissue. I used to talk to Yankewitz about it, and he’d listen tolerantly, because he didn’t think I was doing anything, see….And it was out of that year’s study that I concluded rather conclusively, on a very large series of tests, that the body cannot be monitored by what we call structure. And by monitored, I meant healed. It can be changed by structure, but only deteriorated. It’s a one-way route….I’m sorry that I don’t have the records. I’m sure they’re still at Oak Knoll, because I know nobody in the government ever read any records, they just make them.” — L. Ron Hubbard, December 15, 1953


Avast, Ye Mateys

“We have 2 or 3 fellows who are trying to run away from it all to escape to some fancied bliss. Now and then I try to tell someone, ‘don’t go diving off that cliff’ and now and then they say cheerily ‘But I’ve GOT to, you see…’; and away they go. I just don’t like that dwindling scream followed by the thud.” — The Commodore, December 15, 1969


Overheard in the FreeZone

“Auditing on SOLO NOTs has really helped me to fine tune my understanding and appreciation of truth. The meter responds when you get that as-isness. The mass blows and the needle/tone arm show the release of the mass that is associated with what had formerly been an untruth or a not-is. If there is an argument or upset that you get into with another person, you can always resolve it if you back track and duplicate exactly what had occurred (the truth) and then it goes and with its departure it takes any residual upset or resentment connected with it. The truth does set you free — as the truth gives you as-isness.”


Past is Prologue


1999: Dateline NBC aired a follow-up segment on Bob Minton this week. Some excerpts: “The Church of Scientology has described Vaughn and Stacy Young and others Minton is funding as liars who commit crimes against the church. And church lawyers hired a team of investigators to span the globe looking for Bob Minton’s dirty laundry. Minton’s family and friends say private eyes told them they feared he was violent, even telling one friend that Minton might go into a church one day and start shooting at Scientologists. When we first broadcast our story, Bob Minton didn’t seem to have a lot of dirty laundry, and it seemed unlikely that he would become violent. But that was then. BOB MINTON: ‘I fired two warning shots very far away from them to let them know that they were not welcome here.’ According to the police, Scientologists were protesting last year in front of Minton’s home in New Hampshire. Minton says they were trespassing. So he went in his house, grabbed a 12-gauge shotgun, and shot
it in the air. No one was arrested and no one was hurt. But the police chief in town told ‘Dateline’ he thinks both sides are off the wall. BOB MINTON: ‘I did not want those people coming on my property.’ JOHN HOCKENBERRY: ‘You have absolutely every right to keep them off of your property. You may even have a right to fire a gun around them. But they’re charging you as an unbalanced individual who might take a gun and blow Scientologists away. In hindsight, was it maybe a mistake to pull out the gun?’ BOB MINTON: ‘In hindsight, yes, I would not — given the opportunity again, I would not do it that way.'”


Random Howdy

“The irony is that a supposed spiritual technology that is claimed to be based in science and logic to some degree is actually the most fundamentalist ‘religion’ ever created. The Westboro Baptist Church and the Taliban have nothing on Scientology when it comes to fundamentalist dogma.”


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

Criminal prosecutions:
Danny Masterson charged for raping three women: Found guilty on two counts on May 31, remanded to custody. Sentenced to 30 years to life on Sep 7.
‘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 January 29, 2024.
David Gentile, GPB Capital, fraud.

Civil litigation:
Leah Remini v. Scientology, alleging ‘Fair Game’ harassment and defamation: Complaint filed August 2, motion to strike/anti-SLAPP motions by Scientology to be heard January 9, 2024.
Baxter, Baxter, and Paris v. Scientology, alleging labor trafficking: Forced to arbitration. Plaintiffs allowed interlocutory appeal to Eleventh Circuit.
Valerie Haney v. Scientology: Forced to ‘religious arbitration.’
Chrissie Bixler et al. v. Scientology and Danny Masterson: Discovery phase.
Jane Doe 1 v. Scientology, David Miscavige, and Gavin Potter: Case unsealed and second amended complaint filed. Scientology moves for religious arbitration.
Chiropractors Steve Peyroux and Brent Detelich, stem cell fraud: Ordered to mediation.



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] Valeska Paris asks court: Declare Scientology leader David Miscavige served, finally
[TWO years ago] Confirmed: Danny Masterson adds OJ Dream Team lawyer to his defense
[THREE years ago] A new book about escaping Scientology has already made waves overseas
[FOUR years ago] Scientology trying to use its UN connections to fight its favorite bogeyman, psychiatry
[FIVE years ago] Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman: Spied on by Scientology until it ripped them apart
[SIX years ago] Louis Theroux’s showdown with Scientology over a public road: The nutty new chapter
[SEVEN years ago] CLAIM: ‘Frail’ looking Shelly Miscavige spotted near Scientology compound in California
[EIGHT years ago] Today in L.A.: Can Scientology kill a forced-abortion lawsuit in the name of religion?
[NINE years ago] More about the goons Scientology sent to intimidate Marty Rathbun and Louis Theroux
[TEN years ago] Sunday Funnies: Scientology celebrates the holidays!
[ELEVEN years ago] Scientology Leader David Miscavige: Getting Desperate?


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 3,244 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,759 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 3,309 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 2,299 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 2,180 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 5,484 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 3,355 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 2,460 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,907 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 4,249 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,815 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 8,734 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,902 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 4,483 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,744 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,780 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 3,496 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 3,060 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 1,375 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 2,550 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 7,101 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 4,232 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 4,570 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 9,425 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 4,544 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,900 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 7,203 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 3,309 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 3,707 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 3,583 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 3,148 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 3,661 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,915 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 15,024 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on December 15, 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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