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Up the Bridge: Our step-by-step series on Scientology’s ‘Bridge to Total Freedom’

Up_The_BridgeIn March 2013 we started a new feature with Claire Headley’s help. Claire is well known among Scientology watchers for the way that she and her husband Marc escaped from the International Base after many years as “Sea Org” workers. She spent years working with Scientology’s “tech,” and was trusted to oversee the auditing of Tom Cruise. And in “Up the Bridge,” she helped us take a trip up L. Ron Hubbard’s famous “Bridge to Total Freedom.” We were all going to train to be Scientologists, and tally up the costs along the way.

As we moved into the upper reaches of the Bridge — the “OT Levels” — we asked former church member Bruce Hines to help us out as well.

Here are the many installments in our series…

Today, You Begin Your Training as a Scientologist (3/5/13)
Scientology Starts Out as Staring Contests (3/12/13)
Early On, Scientology Turns You Into a Snitch (3/19/13)

Scientology’s Version of Family Values: The Group is Everything (1/26/13)
How Scientology’s “Study Tech” Turns Schoolwork Into Conditioning (4/9/13)
Scientology Means Never Having to Tell an Ashtray You’re Sorry (4/16/13)
Claire Headley Tells Us How to Keep Scientology Working (4/24/13)
The Scientology Method: Drill, Baby, Drill! (4/30/13)
How to Confront and Shatter Suppression, Scientology Style! (5/14/13)
Disconnection: Scientology’s Most Toxic Sacrament (5/21/13)
Scientology Gets Emotional: Claire Headley on the Tone Scale (5/28/13)
Claire Headley Helps Us Get Back in the Good Graces of Scientology (6/4/13)
Precious Bodily Fluids: Scientology and the Purification Rundown (6/11/13)
Claire Headley Explains How Scientology’s New Edicts Can Be a Gold Mine for the Church (6/25/13)
Claire Headley on Scientology’s Feats of Clay — ALSO: Geir Isene on Wikipedia (7/2/13)
Claire Headley Shows Us That in Scientology, You Just Can’t Shout at Ashtrays Enough (7/9/13)
Claire Headley Wonders, Was Kirstie Alley Doing Scientology’s “Doubt Formula?” (7/16/13)
Claire Headley: Scientology’s Own Rules Prove That it Uses “Disconnection” To Split Up Families (7/23/13)
Scientology’s Needle Exchange: When David Miscavige Got Technical (7/30/13)
Prepare to Be Audited: Claire Headley Takes Us Through Scientology’s “ARC Straightwire” (8/7/13)
In Scientology, When the Prices Kick Up, What Do You Get for the Money? (8/13/13)
Scientology Makes the Grade: Touching Walls to Total Freedom (8/20/13)
The Dreaded “Joburg Sec Check”: Scientology Interrogations, Explained! (8/27/13)
Making the Grade: Scientology Prepares Us for the Future (9/3/13)
Scientology Slackers: How to Audit Away Your Passive-Aggressive, Dominating Deviancy! (9/11/13)
Scientology’s “Bridge:” Claire Headley Gets Us to CLEAR! (9/18/13)
Scientology Catechism: Claire Headley Puts Our State of Clear to the Test! (9/25/13)
Claire Headley Gets Us Prepped for Scientology’s OT Levels! (10/5/13)
Claire Headley Gets Us Ready to Go Solo: More Prep for Scientology OT! (10/29/13)
Claire Headley Takes Us OT! Here We Go with Scientology’s Operating Thetan Level ONE! (11/4/13)
Bruce Hines Joins Us As Claire Headley Keeps Us Moving Through Scientology’s OT Levels! (11/12/13)
Claire and Bruce Take Us Into the Bizarre World of Scientology’s Operating Thetan Two! (11/20/13)
Bizarre and Pricey! Auditing Scientology’s Operating Thetan Level 2 with Claire & Bruce (11/26/13)
Our Experts Prepare Us for the Wall of Fire — Scientology’s Operating Thetan Level Three! (12/3/13)
The big reveal: What you actually learn on Scientology’s Operating Thetan Level Three (12/10/13)
At OT 3, you learn you have space cooties — how do you get rid of them? Scientology exorcism! (12/17/13)
Being and nothingness: And now we move on to Scientology’s Operating Thetan Level Four! (1/14/14)
Drug flashbacks from one million years B.C.? It’s time for Scientology’s New OT 4! (1/28/14)
The secret of everything? It’s time for Scientology’s Original Operating Thetan Level Five! (2/5/14)
It’s time to wake up our space cooties on Scientology’s New Operating Thetan Level Five! (2/11/14)
Going three feet back of your head: Scientology’s Original Operating Thetan Level Six! (2/18/14)
Telepathic space-age exorcism — Let’s do Scientology’s New Operating Thetan Level Six! (2/25/14)
Bruce Hines takes us through Scientology’s Original Operating Thetan Level Seven! (3/4/14)
Finally, a last stand against space cooties: It’s Scientology’s New Operating Thetan Level 7! (3/19/14)
Jefferson Hawkins helps us understand Scientology’s L Rundowns! (4/15/14)
UP THE BRIDGE: We finally reach ‘OT 8′ — but was its first version really a hoax? (6/24/14)
Scientology’s ultimate prize: For the first time online, the current ‘OT 8’ materials laid bare (9/6/17)


E-mail tips and story ideas to tonyo94 AT gmail DOT com or follow us on Twitter. We post behind-the-scenes updates at our Facebook author page. After every new story we send out an alert to our e-mail list and our FB page. Background on this website and its proprietor can be found at our About page.

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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