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David Miscavige a no-show as Scientology opens ‘Ideal Org’ in dreary corner of Paris

We’re still waiting for Scientology to put out its own press release about yesterday’s party in Paris and make it official, but according to our correspondents on the scene, church leader David Miscavige missed an “Ideal Org” opening only for the second or third time.

He also didn’t show up for the ceremony to open the Berlin Ideal Org in 2007, and we couldn’t find photos of him at the Moscow opening in 2011, and perhaps there’s some logic to that: Germany, Russia, and France have been rather hostile to Scientology over the years, and Dave doesn’t like to take chances. Or something.

Anyway, we have a treat for you today. First up, a report from our great friend Jonny Jacobsen, a British journalist living in France. We asked him how the opening was playing in French media and he was on the scene yesterday to give us his impression.

We’re also adding today’s “Group Therapy” podcast for everyone, which is our weekly discussion for subscribers, and today features a conversation we had last night with Alex Barnes-Ross and Pete Griffiths about their day at the Paris opening, and also, in Clearwater, former Vice Mayor Mark Bunker with his report about the latest land-grab by Scientologists in that seaside town.

We hope you enjoy the podcast and consider becoming a subscriber so you get access to all of the past episodes of Group Therapy as well as those coming in the future. Your support helps us keep this independent news site going.


OK, here’s Jonny’s report…

Well, hip hip hooray, as I believe they say, the Paris Ideal Org is open.

Several hundred Scientologists from around Europe gathered for the inauguration ceremony at Seine-Saint-Denis, just north of Paris and just a handful of protesters — well, at most two handfuls.

It is probably true to say you could count the number of protesters who turned up on the fingers of two hands — albeit from several, different countries including Ireland, England and Switzerland.

But they were probably outnumbered by the journalists who turned up to cover the event — and they were literally queueing up for interviews.

For while most of the Scientologists attending were shy about talking to the assembled camera crews, one former member did one interview after another with the French media.

Ludovic Durand, who quit Scientology around 2007, has until now kept a relatively low profile. He told me he had done one or two interviews in the past with individual journalists.

Saturday, then, was in a sense his media coming-out as he patiently explained to several TV crews, one radio journalist, and at least a couple of print journalists the ABCs of Scientology.

And the first media reports are already out.

Broadcaster BFMTV sent their camera crew to the new org the day before opening and did a hidden-camera sequence filming some poor bloke at the entrance suggesting they come back the next day.

They also got a quote from the head of MIVILUDES, the government watchdog monitoring “cultlike activities” expressing his concern. And a spokeswoman from anti-cult group CAFFES warned about the hold Scientology can have over its members.

Rolling news channel France Info also had a report, which consisted mainly of an interview with the vice-president of another anti-cult group UNADFI, warning of the movement’s dangers.

So far as I can see they were not on site Saturday, but they used a photo from Agence France-Presse (AFP) which sent at least one photographer and a video crew. Those photos and the video footage of course will be available to their clients around the world.


And another major radio station, France Inter, based its report mainly on an interview with Durand.

And French daily Le Parisien also did a report Saturday, though that’s behind a paywall.

There will be several more stories coming out in the coming days, very few of them likely to be flattering to the movement. But if the minders intervened to discourage Scientologists talking to the media, it was in part because they know they are on a hiding to nothing in France.

Listed as a cult in one government report and convicted of organised fraud in a 2009 trial (confirmed on appeal), the official line towards Scientology here is hardly friendly — as Bunker regulars will know.

Sure, President Emmanuel Macron had a private meeting with Tom Cruise during his first term as president. And certainly, the authorities are more concerned with the threat of an Islamist attack in the run-up to the Olympics.

But that does not mean that Scientology is viewed with any less suspicion.

And we can expect a string of other reports in the coming days from:

— Le Quotidien, a hip, early-evening talk show presented by Yann Barthès, a kind of French version of Jon Stewart;

— Charlie Hebdo still as in-your-face as ever with its controversial cover cartoons but with plenty of good journalism inside;

— From the conservative daily Le Figaro.

— And reports from at least two other TV stations.

Watch this space.

— Jonny Jacobsen



Technology Cocktail

“In all the years of auditing, listing and assessing anything has been a weak spot in general auditing. More goofy alterations can occur and more errors in this activity than any other. In Standard Dianetics if you assess the wrong item or a wrongly worded item the case won’t run, the TA goes up or the TA goes down. HIGH TA (above 3.5) is a lot of mass coming in. LOW TA (below 2) is overwhelm. Bad TRs can cause low TA as the auditor is overwhelming the pc. Too many times through without going earlier is the usual cause of these 4.5 to 5.5 TAs. But both high and low TA are in some degree caused by not quite right assessment.” — L. Ron Hubbard, 1969



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 [55] Mark Bunker [56] Trish and Liz Conley [57] Trish Conley [58] Alex Barnes-Ross [59] Alex Barnes-Ross [60] Alex Barnes-Ross [61] Alex Barnes-Ross [62] Alex Barnes-Ross [63] Alex Barnes-Ross [64] Tory Christman [65] Tammy Synovec [66] Dennis Erlich [67] Alex Barnes-Ross [68] Valerie Ross [69] Kat in Austin [70] Mark Bunker [71] Phil Jones


Source Code

“I think California has laws that nobody can cure cancer. And they’ve just disobeyed that law in England because a doctor up there, who is a Dianetic Auditor, has just cured somebody of totally proven cancer. Has taken him over to the medical association and a big conference and so on, and displayed him complete with the X-rays and so forth. So, gee it’s a good thing he didn’t do that in California. We had an auditor, in 1950s, who was actually arrested for the fact of — proven conclusively, because he’d audited somebody and they had gotten well and it was against the law to cure that disease. He got off, there wasn’t anything happened to him at all, somebody was just making a push on it locally. Pretty crazy, huh? Proved it conclusively. Against the law to heal it and he’d done it.” — L. Ron Hubbard, April 7, 1972


Avast, Ye Mateys

“COMMENDED: Quentin Hubbard is assigned a Condition of Affluence and commended for a long time performance of high volume and high quality sessions. He is a very popular auditor and I am sure his many pcs will agree.” — The Commodore, April 7, 1970


Overheard in the FreeZone

“Nothing substitutes the action of people in the field writing knowledge reports on dangerous auditors. The problem is that those knowledge reports written by people in the field have been not-ised (deleted) by Facebook group owners. That only protects and enboldens the dangerous auditors being reported. The problem is at the level of group owners. The ones that protect offending auditors. Look at the WHY Finding post in this group. It describes the problem.”



Past is Prologue

2002: “Cerridwen” reported events at the 2002 L. Ron Hubbard birthday celebration event. “The basic theme of this event was to get Scientologists ‘rehabbed’ on getting back on purpose on the 3rd Dynamic. That means to get them to be more active and especially to get them to join staff. It’s done by ‘enlightening’ and pushing lots of Scn buttons. But it’s pretty much known and unspoken that both Org and Sea Org staff think that anyone that is not on staff is a worthless piece of shit. Throughout the event the cameras panned the crowd and we got to see Priscilla Presley, Lisa Marie, Nancy Cartwright, the CO Flag Debbie Cook, Sally and Craig Jensen. Scientology’s Rich and Famous get front row seats at events. David Miscavige starts in with the Wins and Expansion News and talks about ABLE. Narconon Arrowhead is the big news. Per DM Narconon Arrowhead is busting at the seams with public and they have had to build bunk beds to accommodate all the public there. Not only that but Narconon Arrowhead is the place where Narconon staff are sent to train so that they can then go back and start new Narconon’s all over the world. Some accreditation agency had a policy that they would only accredit counselors with ‘college degrees.’ DM stated that the Narconon staff did a presentation to this accreditation board and convinced them that the Narconon/LRH tech was far superior to any college degree and the Accreditation Board was so damn impressed that they certified 22 Narconon Arrowhead counselors. There are twenty new Narconon’s in the world with 2 of them in the US. DM also spoke of Narconon Public Service Announcements and their continued playing on CNN. CNN will continue to air the Narconon PSA’s as long as Narconon continues to provide CNN with them. DM said that the VM phone line gets 6000 phone calls a week. A stat graph showed 5100 VM’s before Sept 11 and 15,400 VM’s as of March 13, 2002. Mark Yager spoke of the Mission expansion and the translation stats. Due to some kind of new computer they now have they are able to produce translated tapes, books, course pack etc. in two weeks. This is a very big deal for the C of S as what now takes two weeks used to take 4 months or something like that. I believe all of the Bridge up through Class V is now available in Russian. This includes all the course packs, books and tapes that are required for Courses in a Class V org. A Video was shown of the St. Petersburg, Russia, Mission, which is now officially a Class V org. There was a video clip on Harlington, which is the home of WISE member and big bucks Scientologist, Juan Villarreal It seems that The Way to Happiness is a being widely promoted down in Harlingen, Texas and per the video, is the sole reason why the crime rate dropped to zero in the town of Harlingen.”


Random Howdy

“‘Revolt in the Stars’ should be a new reality show where Scientology celebs are put into the Sea Org and the viewers watch as one by one they quit in anguish and leave stupid Scientology.”


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 May 17, 2024.
David Gentile, GPB Capital, fraud.

Civil litigation:
Leah Remini v. Scientology, alleging ‘Fair Game’ harassment and defamation: Some defamation claims were removed by Judge Hammock. Leah seeking to amend her complaint.
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: motion to file new complaint, hearing on May 29.
Jane Doe 1 v. Scientology, David Miscavige, and Gavin Potter: Case unsealed and second amended complaint filed. Scientology moves for religious arbitration, hearing on April 16.
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] Danny Masterson wanted to delay trial to August: See how Judge Olmedo responded
[TWO years ago] YouTube king, chiropractor Eric Berg, sued for forcing Scientology on employee
[THREE years ago] Leaked audio: Proof that government officials know about Scientology’s crimes
[FOUR years ago] In the pandemic epicenter, Scientology’s New York Org puts on a fab virtual ‘Sunday Service’
[FIVE years ago] Foreign ‘expansion,’ thanks to US Scientologists forking over the millions
[SIX years ago] On Day One, 2018’s Writers of the Future party betrays its connection to Scientology’s abuses
[SEVEN years ago] XENU VICTORIOUS: Scientology bamboozles USA Today to help it fight the ‘evil psychs’
[EIGHT years ago] Phil Jones reflects on the media frenzy at the dedication of his anti-Scientology billboard
[NINE years ago] 25 of the biggest lies told by L. Ron Hubbard and the Church of Scientology
[TEN years ago] SHOCK DOX: Scientology’s 2011 book value for just two of its entities is $1.2 billion
[ELEVEN years ago] Narconon Tackles NFL Legend Jim Brown, Anne Archer Snags a Kennedy


Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley (1952-2019) did not see his daughter Stephanie in his final 5,667 days.
Tammy Synovec has not seen her daughter Julia in 2,863 days.
Valerie Haney has not seen her mother Lynne in 3,358 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,873 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 3,423 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 2,413 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 2,294 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 5,598 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 3,469 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 5,021 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 4,362 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,929 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 8,848 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 5,016 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 4,597 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,858 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,894 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 3,610 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 3,174 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 1,489 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 2,664 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 7,215 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 4,346 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 4,684 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 9,537 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 4,658 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 3,014 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 7,317 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 3,423 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 3,821 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 3,697 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 3,262 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 3,775 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 4,029 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 15,138 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on April 7, 2024 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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