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Scientology says that David Miscavige did attend the Paris opening

Sunday morning, in our report of Scientology’s Paris Ideal Org opening, we said that we were still awaiting the church’s own press release about the event, but that our correspondents on the scene were reporting that David Miscavige was a no-show, only the third time the church leader hasn’t personally attended an Ideal Org grand opening.

Yesterday, Scientology finally did upload its press release, and it included photos of David Miscavige presiding over a ceremony inside the building (see above), but not pulling the ribbon outside the org, where he was definitely not present.

So, the church, at least, gives the impression that our correspondents outside the building simply missed the fact that Dave was inside, giving a speech on Saturday.

But is that what happened? Alex Barnes-Ross isn’t so sure. The former London staffer who was on the scene Saturday suggests that there’s evidence Miscavige was actually in town a week before, and may have taped the speech inside the building then. And a photograph in the press release gives us some reason to agree with Alex’s assumption.


But first, we have Jonny Jacobsen’s thoughts about Scientology’s press release, and then we will also take a look at the local speakers who showed up to shill for the church. Here’s Jonny’s take…

Well, the official statement is out and Scientology insists that its leader David Miscavige did indeed attend the opening.

From our vantage point, outside the entrance it was difficult to see, and Eric Roux, who handled PR for the event, was cheerfully vague on the subject. He wouldn’t say either way whether Miscavige and Tom Cruise would be coming.

Later, when the officials were marshalling the assembled Scientologists for the money-shot of the opening out front, Roux ventured that he thought between 2,000 and 2,500 Scientologists had attended. But he had the sense not to be too categorical about that.

The official statement, the usual mix of hyperbole and tactical omissions, speaks of “thousands” attending.

The photo above is one I took from the ground, standing next to one of their official camera stations. By then, the marshals had done their work. They had packed the visitors carefully in front of the entrance, handed out a few dozen French flags and rehearsed some enthusiastic bursts of cheering before actually launching the ticker-tape.

Scientology’s own carefully framed shots of the ribbon-cutting ceremony give the best view of the turnout.

Looking at a drone shot, I could be wrong, but it looks like hundreds, not thousands, to me.

According to the official statement, Miscavige told the gathering that Paris was home to the very first Church of Scientology on European soil, established in 1959. And here’s where the tactical omissions come into play.

There is no mention of founder L. Ron Hubbard’s 1978 conviction — in absentia — for fraud.

No mention, either, of the 1987 conviction of two Scientologists over the death of a client at a Narconon centre. They had interpreted her repeated epileptic seizures as withdrawal symptoms — she had stopped taking her epilepsy medication before starting treatment there.

Nor does Miscavige appear to have had anything to say about the 1996 conviction, confirmed on appeal, of a senior official in Lyon following the 1988 suicide of a member there. He was convicted of manslaughter — homicide involontaire — after the court found that his relentless hard-sell had pushed his client to take his own life.

And finally, Miscavige does not appear to have mentioned that two Scientology organisations were in 2009 convicted by a Paris court of organised fraud for what was, essentially, standard operating procedure inside the movement. Again, this judgment was confirmed on appeal.


This is not, I should add, an exhaustive list of Scientology-related convictions in France. But perhaps Miscavige didn’t want the speech to drag on too long.

Another couple of points worth noting.

In the 2009 judgment, six defendants were convicted for the illegal practice of pharmacy over Scientology’s habit of handing out massive doses of vitamins to people taking their Purification Rundown. And yet, among the official photos of the new centre’s interior is a fully equipped Purification Center.

Finally, it is worth noting that while the French term for the movement has generally been Scientologie, the movement’s official release — in both English and French — sticks to “Scientology.” That is also what you can see posted above the entrance to the new centre.

Not sure what the Academie Française would have to say about that.

— Jonny Jacobsen


Technology Cocktail

“Press, controlled by governments and intelligence services and the ‘very best people,’ lied endlessly about Dianetics (and Scientology). Dianetics, a new valid mental science, was pitted against Russian and Eastern European teachings. Dianetics is not only the first mental science developed in the West, it is the first mental science on the planet that uniformly produces beneficial results. Man is being subjected to fantastic and violent efforts to lure or crush him into docility. This is the obvious end product of Russian and Eastern European technologies now heavily financed and supported, unwittingly, by Western governments.” — 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

“One of the prime principles you must know about any universe to keep it in a good, messy, chaotic, solid, disordered form is to take no responsibility for ever having created it. Say, ‘God did it,’ you’ve practically got it made! And the more you say, ‘God did it,’ the more solid the universe is going to get — if you made it up. Get the idea? Listen, if God made it and that was the true ownership of it, it would disappear! Because that’s assignment of proper ownership; that’s taking a full responsibility for it. That’s understanding exactly what its source was. And it would disappear, just like that.” — L. Ron Hubbard, April 9, 1959



Avast, Ye Mateys

“When you view how far flung the SO is and how much it’s doing, I doubt there’s a group on the planet that could begin to equal it. Now in the wog world, there’s nothing but sunshine, chicken and ice cream. And H bombs and stupidity and snobs and aberration and the draft and droughts and inflation… Did you ever hear of troops fighting a comfortable war? I haven’t.” — The Commodore, April 9, 1969


Overheard in the FreeZone

“How do you do a sort out when the man who made that game (LRH) isn’t here anymore? I will tell you. It is being done from the future. I find myself blowing huge amounts of charge and flashing through pictures so fast I can’t see them and I just know they are running something on me in the future. The way I see it we are just different timelines of the same spirit, so whatever is handled on one timeline cleans the other timelines too. I have been getting this all through my lifetime coming up with cogs of processes months before they are released and even wrote it up before the process came out like, why don’t you run the Dianetic Engrams to the thought itself that created it. Next comes out New Era Dianetics that does just that.”


Past is Prologue

1997: Los Angeles’ Berendo St. was officially renamed L. Ron Hubbard Way this week, and a.r.s poster “Roger” provided a first hand account of the event. “My guess would be that the crowd was easily 5000 people. I was very surprised by the strong support of Hubbard and Scientology demonstrated by the political types who spoke. (head of the LA City council, someone from public works, and reps of the Governor and Mayor). After the ribbon cutting and the speeches, the politicians, the President of Scientology, Travolta, Kirstie Alley and David Miscavige linked arms and walked the length of the street as the band played on. I’m not particularly a ‘star-struck’ type, but it was a kick to see Travolta and Kirstie close-up. (could have reached out and touched them) The power of celebrity is very real.”


Random Howdy


“So Miscavige quit doing processing right around the same time he assumed power? Sounds like he read OT 3, realized it was rubbish and went for the gold instead. That’s pretty much what I’ve always assumed.”


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] Celebrity Sunday: A South American actress has us recalling David Miscavige getting a medal
[TWO years ago] When you’re a child in Scientology’s Sea Org, the stress is meant to overwhelm you
[THREE years ago] Aussie journo Ben Schneiders helps us grasp the fuss he’s kicked up about Scientology
[FOUR years ago] Bobette Riales’ house burned? Scientology: ‘Can’t sue us. Didn’t happen in California.’
[FIVE years ago] Scientology policy is to investigate rape victims seeking help, 1963 document reveals
[SIX years ago] Our prayers are answered — Freedom magazine is coming to Scientology television!
[SEVEN years ago] Scientology spends millions on its shiny new buildings, but its workers have to beg for food
[EIGHT years ago] Scientology buys ‘.org’ and ‘.net’ sites to battle anti-disconnection billboard in Los Angeles
[NINE years ago] Jenna Miscavige Hill on her uncle spying on her grandfather: The arrogance is astonishing
[TEN years ago] Monique Rathbun in court as appeals panel considers proposed David Miscavige deposition
[ELEVEN years ago] How Scientology’s “Study Tech” Turns Schoolwork Into Conditioning


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 2,865 days.
Valerie Haney has not seen her mother Lynne in 3,360 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,875 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 3,425 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 2,415 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 2,296 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 5,600 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 3,471 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 5,023 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 4,364 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,931 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 8,850 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 5,018 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 4,599 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,860 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,896 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 3,612 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 3,176 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 1,491 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 2,666 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 7,217 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 4,348 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 4,686 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 9,539 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 4,660 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 3,016 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 7,319 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 3,425 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 3,823 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 3,699 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 3,264 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 3,777 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 4,031 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 15,140 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on April 9, 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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