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Scientology Mythbusting with historian Jon Atack

Jon_AtackJon Atack is the author of A Piece of Blue Sky, one of the very best books on L. Ron Hubbard and Scientology. He has a new edition of the book for sale, and on Saturdays beginning in February 2013 he’s helped us sift through the legends, myths, and contested facts about Scientology that tend to get hashed and rehashed in books, articles, and especially on the Internet.

Jon is also interested in helping members of Scientology leave the organization and then adapt to life outside.

Here are his posts…

Scientology Mythbusting with Jon Atack: The Tomato Photo! (2/2/13)
Scientology Mythbusting with Jon Atack: Original Spin (2/9/13)
Scientology Mythbusting with Jon Atack: And With Help From Harlan Ellison! (2/16/13)

Scientology Mythbusting with Jon Atack: Fair Game! (2/23/13)
Scientology Mythbusting with Jon Atack: That L. Ron Hubbard TV Ad! (3/2/13)
Scientology Mythbusting with Jon Atack: Xenu the Galactic Overlord, Part 1! (3/9/13)
Xenu the The Movie Star! When Scientology Almost Revealed Its Secrets on the Big Screen (3/16/13)
Blood Brother Ron: Starting Out Life on the Wrong Blackfoot (3/23/13)
Independent Scientology: The Ballad of Captain Bill (3/30/13)
One of Scientology’s Early Celebrities: Charlie Manson! (4/6/13)
The Saga of David Mayo: Scientology’s Banished Tech Wizard (4/13/13)
African Queen: The Man L. Ron Hubbard Thought He Was (4/20/13)
Scientology’s Notorious R2-45 Policy: Is There a Smoking Gun? (4/27/13)
Jon Atack Helps Us Remember Scientology’s “Religious Freedom Crusade” (5/11/13)
Jon Atack on the Hypnotic History of Scientology Auditing (5/18/13)
Jon Atack on Scientology — “The Church of Hate” (5/25/13)
Jon Atack on Why It’s So Hard To Recover From Scientology (6/8/13)
OT Powers: Jon Atack on Scientology’s Promise to Make You Superhuman (6/15/13)
When Jon Atack Declared David Miscavige a Suppressive Person (6/29/13)
Best Account of Life in Scientology? Jon Atack Makes the Case for Counterfeit Dreams (7/6/13)
Leaving Scientology: Jon Atack Navigates the Labyrinth of Paranoia (7/13/13)
Jon Atack: A Case of Scientology Fair Game Deflected with Disinfecting Sunlight (7/27/13)
Scientology’s Crumbling: Can Gerry Armstrong Begin to Think of Crossing the Border? (8/3/13)
Jon Atack and a Special Guest Wrestle with Gerry Armstrong’s Legal Scientology Nightmare (8/10/13)
How Does Scientology’s Cosmology Really Work? Historian Jon Atack Has a Theory (8/19/13)
What Motivated L. Ron Hubbard? Historian Jon Atack Follows the Clues (8/26/13)
The History of Scientology’s Weird Vaults — The Bizarre Battlefield Earth Connection! (8/31/13)
Scientology Heresy: Jon Atack on L. Ron Hubbard’s Debt to Psychiatry (9/7/13)
FEAR: Jon Atack on Scientology’s Essential Ingredient (9/21/13)
Blood Relation, Blood Ritual: A Hubbard Family Occult Mystery (9/28/13)
Jon Atack Considers L. Ron Hubbard’s Tangled Relationship With Mind-Altering Substances (10/26/13)
Jon Atack Answers The Question: How Do Smart People Fall for Scientology? (11/2/13)
Jon Atack: Did Mary Sue Hubbard Doubt Scientology’s Key Experience? (11/16/13)
Jon Atack: Why do Scientologists Find it So Difficult to Apologize? (11/23/13)
Scientology Celebrates its Legal Defense Slush Fund, and What a Party! (11/30/13)
Jon Atack: What we have here — in Scientology — is a failure to communicate (12/14/13)
Jon Atack: For Scientologists, thinking outside the church can feel like breaking a taboo (12/21/13)
Jon Atack on Scientology’s fundamental feature: the thousand-yard stare (1/18/14)
Jon Atack: Do Scientology’s training routines turn you into a sociopath? (1/25/14)
Jon Atack takes apart the Scientology E-meter (2/1/14)
Jon Atack on Scientology’s methods of ‘thought stopping’ (2/8/14)
Jon Atack puts it to Scientologists — did L. Ron Hubbard have the qualities of a leader? (2/22/14)
Jon Atack: The harassment of independent Scientologists didn’t begin with David Miscavige (3/1/14)
Jon Atack: Why it takes so long to recover from Scientology (3/8/14)
Jon Atack: Why I call Scientology a cult and not a church (3/22/14)
Jon Atack’s final weekly column for us on Scientology, and it’s a doozy (4/5/14)
Jon Atack: The abandoned ideas that L. Ron Hubbard turned into Dianetics (7/9/14)
Jon Atack: Did L. Ron Hubbard want to be considered a god? (7/31/14)
Jon Atack: Escaping the trap Scientology sets for the mind (8/9/14)
Jon Atack: The games L. Ron Hubbard played (8/21/14)
Jon Atack: How Scientology’s methods of manipulation stay with you after you leave (8/23/14)
Jon Atack takes his presentation — ‘Scientology: The Cult of Greed’ — to Russia (9/29/14)
Jon Atack: How to talk to a Scientologist to plant the seeds of doubt (10/4/14)
Jon Atack: The question Scientologists aren’t allowed to ask each other (10/18/14)
Jon Atack: Scientology and hypnotism — even some ex-members can’t admit its central role (10/25/15)
Jon Atack: Are cult members — like those in Scientology — unduly influenced? (11/1/14)
Jon Atack: At the heart of Scientology is L. Ron Hubbard’s paralyzing use of contradiction (11/24/14)
Jon Atack excavates the Scientology mind for L. Ron Hubbard’s most harmful implants (11/29/14)
Jon Atack: How to get a convinced Scientologist on the road to recovery (12/6/14)
Jon Atack packs a lot into a new short book — ‘Scientology: The Cult of Greed’ (12/12/14)
Jon Atack looks back at his final Scientology auditing session — and how he broke free (12/20/14)
Jon Atack: What it’s like for the Scientologist who gives up the dream of being superhuman (1/3/15)
Jon Atack: Scientology’s ‘training routines’ and their relationship to meditation (1/10/15)
Jon Atack: Scientology’s elusive ‘Clears’ and ‘Operating Thetans’ — where have they been? (1/31/15)
Jon Atack visits an org — ALSO: The richest Scientologist gets even richer! (3/7/15)
Jon Atack announces a five-day Toronto conference on Scientology to take place in June (4/25/15)
Jon Atack: When the militant Scientologist falters, you find a cowering 12-year-old inside (5/16/15)
Jon Atack: Stop making excuses for L. Ron Hubbard and the Snow White Program! (5/23/15)
Jon Atack: Auditing and recovered memory — why do Scientologists accept it as fact? (5/30/15)
Jon Atack: The ‘Getting Clear’ conference and L. Ron Hubbard’s lies about his life (6/6/15)
Jon Atack: Scientology’s early history is something most members don’t actually know (6/12/15)
Jon Atack puts us on the spot at the Toronto Scientology conference (6/23/15)
Jon Atack: Looking back on a week of Scientology enturbulation in Toronto (7/4/15)
Jon Atack: Scientology’s snitch culture, and how ex-members must relearn the notion of privacy (7/12/15)
Jon Atack: The mystery of mysteries that all Scientologists chase — and can never find (9/5/15)
When Scientology makes you a villain, you understand that it rules its members by fear (10/17/15)
Jon Atack: Scientology’s ‘past lives’ don’t pass the giggle test (10/25/15)
Jon Atack: The ‘Axioms’ — L. Ron Hubbard’s attempt to make Scientology sound ‘sciencey’ (10/31/15)
Jon Atack: The best thing ever written about the language traps in Scientology’s Bible, ‘Dianetics’ (1/8/16)
Atack: What I meant when I said Scientologists suffer from arrogance when they leave (1/16/16)
Scientology’s demonology: Where L. Ron Hubbard got the idea for your space cooties (4/2/16)
Scientology’s hypnotic suggestion: What’s true for you is what’s true for L. Ron Hubbard (5/7/16)
Atack: Contradictions in L. Ron Hubbard’s “tech” only increase Scientology discipline (5/21/16)
When you postulate upon a star: L. Ron Hubbard and Scientology’s funny made-up words (6/18/16)
Atack: Which of Scientology’s thought-stopping clichés has stayed with you the longest? (7/9/16)
Atack: Why those who try to save Scientology from itself are doomed to failure (8/20/16)
Maybe the worst thing about Scientology: It turns you into L. Ron Hubbard (8/23/16)
Laying to rest the obfuscations of L. Fletcher Prouty, Scientology’s conspiracist-for-hire (9/10/16)
Atack: Scientology advocates serenity, so why are so many Scientologists angry jerks? (10/1/16)
Atack: The forgotten history of disproving Scientology’s status as a “religion” (10/8/16)
Scientology’s biggest lie: That it will teach you to take control of your own life (10/19/16)


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Our book, 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. Our collaboration with Paulette Cooper, Battlefield Scientology: Exposing L. Ron Hubbard’s dangerous ‘religion’, is also available at Amazon in paperback and Kindle versions.

The Best of the Underground Bunker, 1995-2017 Just starting out here? We’ve picked out the most important stories we’ve covered here at the Underground Bunker (2012-2017), The Village Voice (2008-2012), New Times Los Angeles (1999-2002) and the Phoenix New Times (1995-1999)

Learn about Scientology with our numerous series with experts…

BLOGGING DIANETICS: We read Scientology’s founding text cover to cover with the help of L.A. attorney and former church member Vance Woodward
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

Other links: Shelly Miscavige, ten 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

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