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Monthly Archives

Newly released documents: Scientology leader L. Ron Hubbard tried to ‘buy’ an African nation

 Historian Chris Owen has another exclusive for the Bunker, and this one is a real doozy. You may know that in 1966 Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard made an effort to become influential in the African nation of Rhodesia — until he was unceremoniously deported. But new documents show that subsequent to that embarrassing failure, []

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Hubbard’s ‘Brainwashing Manual’ — how a crude Scientology hoax became a far-right touchstone

[Kenneth Goff, left, and George Putnam]

Chris Owen continues his two-part series today with a look at what became of L. Ron Hubbard’s hoax, a “Brainwashing Manual” that he pretended had been written by a Soviet academic. Yesterday, Chris traced the origins of the hoax. Today, he looks at its lasting []

How L. Ron Hubbard tried to hoax the FBI, and ‘brainwashed’ politicians of the far right

[Image: courtesy Mark Plummer]

Historian Chris Owen has graced us with another terrific deep dive into one of Scientology’s more curious artifacts. Today, he provides new insight on one of L. Ron Hubbard’s greatest hoaxes. Tomorrow, he explains how Hubbard’s prank took on a life of its own with this country’s extreme right []

Scientology spies coming forward to spill their guts, then and now: A key example from the past

[Robert Dardano, at the 1982 Clearwater Hearings]

In our book about Scientology’s harassment of Paulette Cooper, we spent some time talking about a Massachusetts man named Robert Dardano who volunteered for Scientology’s “Guardian’s Office.” Dardano’s testimony was key for understanding how Scientology continued to spy on Paulette in the mid-1970s, even after she had managed to []

The Battle of Portland, part 2: Pressuring a court by surrounding it with Scientologists and celebs

 Yesterday, historian Chris Owen set up the backstory for what became known as the “Battle of Portland” in Scientology history. When we left off, an Oregon lawsuit had resulted in a $39 million judgment, with $20 million of it against Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard. At that point, an emergency meeting was called by church []

The Battle of Portland: How Scientology turned a nightmare court verdict into a major victory

 Yesterday, we pointed out that a Scientology demonstration in Budapest reminded us of the famous “Battle of Portland” that took place in 1985. It just so happens that historian Chris Owen has been working on a detailed look at the Portland adventure, which we’re posting in two parts. Here’s the first half, which explains how []

Scientology’s original case of ‘disconnection’ — L. Ron Hubbard and his doting mom and dad

 We’re so glad to kick off 2018 with a new piece from historian Chris Owen. We think you’re really going to enjoy his look at L. Ron Hubbard’s family []

Why is it so hard for governments to crack down on the Church of Scientology?

[Scientology mobilizing against a 1986 court case in Los Angeles]

Yesterday, historian Chris Owen reminded us of a government raid on Scientology that has largely been forgotten. Today, he discusses the lessons to be learned when, after that raid, Scientology once again beat the rap. (Also, make sure you didn’t miss our second story yesterday, about []

The raid on Scientology you probably haven’t heard about — and how the church beat the rap

 Historian Chris Owen is back with a stunning and detailed look at how Scientology beat the rap in a government crackdown you probably haven’t heard of. Today, he dives into the spying and sabotage that Scientology is so well known for, and tomorrow, the lessons learned in this experience which help explain why governments have []

Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard as a cop in Los Angeles: What’s the real truth?

 We’re glad to have back Chris Owen, author of the important work Ron, The “War Hero.” Few people are as dedicated to nailing down details of L. Ron Hubbard’s history as Chris. And he has another fine addition to his work for us []