Subject:

Hugh Urban

  • Blogs

    February 25, 2012

    Scientology Thaumaturgy: Commenters of the Week!

    This was some spooky week here in the underground bunker where we keep an eye on all things Scientology related. Some downright eerie things showed up in our stories this week: Surfers who can see the future. Beings living in clouds. Egyptian gods showing up in some lady's kitchen. And The Great Bea ... More >>

  • Blogs

    February 22, 2012

    Scientology and the Occult: Hugh Urban's New Exploration of L. Ron Hubbard and Aleister Crowley

    The Rosy Cross, appropriated in a similar form by Crowley and OTO​Last June, we brought you the first review of The Church of Scientology: A History of a New Religion by Ohio State professor Hugh Urban, and then the first interview with the good professor himself. During that interview, Urban ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 26, 2012

    The Decline and Fall of Scientology? Skeptic Magazine Makes the Case

    A colleague of mine once explained to me why he keeps away from Scientology stories at his publication (which will remain nameless). He wasn't concerned about the church's reputation for litigiousness, and he wasn't worried that a story about Scientology's most recent controversies and excesses wou ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 13, 2012

    Scientology on the High Seas: L. Ron Hubbard Frets Over His Sexy Crew

    In November we started a new feature here on Fridays: the Voice has obtained hundreds of copies of L. Ron Hubbard's previously unpublished "Orders of the Day," which he gave to crew members as he sailed the Mediterranean. Our documents cover the period from late 1968 through 1971, and this time we'r ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 6, 2012

    Scientology on the High Seas: Ringing in 20 A.D. with the Commodore!

    On November 18, we started a new feature here on Fridays: the Voice has obtained hundreds of copies of L. Ron Hubbard's previously unpublished "Orders of the Day," which he gave to crew members as he sailed the Mediterranean. Our documents cover the period from late 1968 through 1971, and this time ... More >>

  • Blogs

    January 1, 2012

    What is Scientology?

    L. Ron Hubbard, Scientology's founder​Although we've written hundreds of articles about Scientology over the years, and other news organizations have contributed hundreds more -- not to mention the numerous books, television programs, and countless websites dedicated to the subject -- without ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 28, 2011

    Scientology Story of the Year -- The Vote Is In!

    ​As we continue our year-end celebrations, we've come to a big moment. We asked voters to decide which story had the most impact on Scientology watching this year. We chose five finalists that we think had lasting importance as well as immediate punch. There were many other stories worth cove ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 23, 2011

    Scientology on the High Seas: Yuletide Cheer, Including Dickens Adapted with Evil Psychs

    ​On November 18, we started a new feature here on Fridays: the Voice has obtained hundreds of copies of L. Ron Hubbard's previously unpublished "Orders of the Day," which he gave to crew members as he sailed the Mediterranean. Our documents cover the period from 1968 to 1971, and this time we' ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 14, 2011

    Scientology Story of the Year: Cast Your Vote Now!

    ​This has been some year of Scientology reporting and commenting here at the Village Voice, and with the calendar about to flip, we wanted to hand out some awards. But first, we need your help. We're asking our many loyal readers to help us choose three major year-end awards for Best Sciento ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 9, 2011

    SMERSH, Scientology Breakthroughs, and a Funeral: Sailing on the Apollo, Dec 4 - 10

    ​On November 18, we started a new feature here on Fridays: the Voice has obtained hundreds of copies of L. Ron Hubbard's previously unpublished "Orders of the Day," which he gave to crew members as he sailed the Mediterranean. Our documents cover the period from 1968 to 1971, and this time we' ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 4, 2011

    Scientology Sunday Funnies: Your Tax Dollars at Work

    Scientology doesn't really have a Sunday service. They like to say that they do, because they crave mainstream acceptance. But unless Xenu rested after six days and L. Ron Hubbard just forgot to mention it, there's no reason for Scientologists to treat Sunday any differently than every other day of ... More >>

  • Blogs

    December 2, 2011

    L. Ron Hubbard Schools Richard Nixon: Sailing on the Apollo Nov 27 - Dec 3

    On November 18, we started a new feature here on Fridays: the Voice has obtained hundreds of copies of L. Ron Hubbard's previously unpublished "Orders of the Day," which he gave to crew members as he sailed the Mediterranean. Our documents cover the period from 1968 to 1971, and this time we're look ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 27, 2011

    Scientology Sunday Service: Mind Control and Your Open Thread

    It's time for another set of Sunday Funnies here at the underground bunker! We hope you enjoy the set of wacky Scientology mailers we've put together this week. The idea is to inspire you to write about whatever you feel like in our open thread. To get you thinking, we've assembled a very disparate ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 26, 2011

    Scientology Leftovers: Commenters of the Week!

    ​We're still recovering here in the underground bunker from this week's big feast. The leftover turkey is still holding out as we look back on the past week of Scientology watching here at Runnin' Scared. We started things off Sunday morning with a look at Part 3 of "The Money Machine," the g ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 25, 2011

    Scientology vs. Pollution, a Lisbon Cocktail Party, and More: Sailing on the Apollo Nov. 20-26

    Last week, we started a new feature here on Fridays: the Voice has obtained hundreds of copies of L. Ron Hubbard's previously unpublished "Orders of the Day," which he gave to crew members as he sailed the Mediterranean. Our documents cover the period from 1968 to 1971. In this installment, we're lo ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 21, 2011

    Scientology's 'Super Power' Building: Cash Cow for the Church

    Part 4 of the epic Scientology series at the St. Petersburg Times hit the web last night and hits streets in Florida this morning. This fourth installment focuses on Scientology's biggest construction project: its "Super Power" building that was started a decade ago and still isn't finished. Whethe ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 21, 2011

    Desperate Scientology Fundraising Caught on Video (UPDATED with more Video)

    For the last week, the excellent journalists over at the St. Petersburg Times have outdone themselves with their best series on Scientology ever -- a look at the desperate fundraising by the church, which runs employees ragged and puts intense pressure on ordinary church members. Naturally, the chu ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 20, 2011

    Scientology Sunday Service: Your Thanksgiving Week Open Thread!

    We have some especially good Sunday Funnies for you this week as we open up a thread for our loyal readers to jabber on about whatever they want. We figured they better be good Funnies, because chances are Tobin and Childs are sucking up all the attention in the Scientology watching world this morn ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 20, 2011

    Scientology, Indubitably: NYC Anons Make Their Fancy Raid on the 46th Street 'Org'

    As advertised, last night's "fancy raid" put on by the local chapter of Project Chanology (the Anonymous wing that protests Scientology) was a sartorial riot. About 20 young Anonymous members showed up with Snidely Whiplash mustaches (even the women!) and with interesting choices in head wear. I ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 19, 2011

    White House Rejects Scientology Petition: Why That's Not All Bad News

    "Scientology? Ain't touching that one!"​A wail was heard across the land tonight. Just as we were leaving the office for the evening, we were notified that thousands of people who recently signed a White House petition about Scientology had received e-mail notices that the Obama administrati ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 19, 2011

    Scientology Chillaxin': Commenters of the Week!

    This disturbing image blatantly ripped off from WhyWeProtest.net​Was this a week for Scientology watchers, or what? Things started off just after midnight on Sunday morning as we scrambled to alert our readers that what we've been waiting for had finally arrived: the launch of the new investi ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 19, 2011

    Scientology's Grand Scheme of Greed Was Kickstarted by the 9/11 Attacks -- St. Pete Times

    It's here -- part 3 of the new St. Petersburg Times blockbuster series about the extreme pressure Scientology puts on its members to donate money. And we're thrilled to see this video of Synthia Fagen anchoring the report about the International Association of Scientologists and its constant beggin ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 18, 2011

    L. Ron Hubbard Christens the Apollo 43 Years Ago Today: For The First Time, His "Orders of the Day"

    ​ For you Scientology watchers and Scientology history buffs, we think we have something very special for you today. In the late 1960s and early 1970s, Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard sailed around the Mediterranean in a small armada of vessels, going from port to port. Each day, he issued ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 13, 2011

    Scientology Sunday Service: Your Open Thread For November 13

    ​Last week, we started something new here at the underground bunker, and it was a smashing success. We brought back the tradition of Sunday Funnies, in this case materials produced by Scientology organizations, which tend to be unintentionally hilarious. We then opened up the comments section ... More >>

  • Blogs

    November 5, 2011

    Scientology Dyspepsia: Commenters of the Week!

    Cheezburger.com​We're feeling a bit woozy after this week of Scientology watching here in the underground bunker. Not sure if it was something we ate, or just the thought of Tom Cruise hurling at Gold Base that has us a bit dizzy. Anyway, Mr. Cruise was very much on our minds this week, as h ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 29, 2011

    Scientology Dumpster-Dive: Commenters of the Week!

    Clearing the planet, one dumpster at a time​For our longtime, loyal readers and commenters (of all persuasions), I just want to say how much I appreciate your continued interest in things we're doing here at the underground bunker. This week, we got a huge influx of new folks as our stories we ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 22, 2011

    Scientology Transfusion: Commenters of the Week!

    Eternal soul? Works all night? Exteriorizes? Hmmm.​It was a frantic week here at the underground bunker, where we keep an eye on all things Scientology-related. While we gathered material for some big stories, we managed to post several quick observations, some of which featured a medical the ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 21, 2011

    Scientology and Forced Abortions: Testimony of an Enforcer

    Filmmaker Mark Bunker has released another preview from his upcoming documentary, Knowledge Report. In this segment, Gary Morehead talks about his role as a security officer at Scientology's secretive California desert headquarters, Int Base, where he oversaw the operation that persuaded pregnant ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 20, 2011

    Scientologist Grant Cardone to Occupy Wall Street: Get Off Your Asses!

    We just can't seem to get enough of Grant Cardone, the wealthy Scientologist who starred in his own National Geographic Channel reality show, donated millions of dollars to Scientology's war chest, and did Scientology's dirty work to slime fellow church member Milton Katselas, a well known Hollywo ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 20, 2011

    Jesse Prince Back From the Brink; Scientology Petition Takes Off: It's The Thursday Stats Roundup!

    Jesse is back!​There's been a lot of disturbing news for Scientology watchers to sift through lately -- what with mothers separated from their sons, and a woman stalked because she's trying to design a better ice-maker, it's been a weird and depressing week. But last night, we were stunned by ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 18, 2011

    Scientology Mocked at the South Pole: Now That's Cold

    ​ We continue to work very hard on some upcoming stories; in the meantime, we have this interesting image from the bottom of the world. I found it here. I have no information on it -- it might be months or years old, for all I know. I only know this: I want to hear from this person, so that ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 17, 2011

    Scientology Mailbag: We Hear it from Church Members

    I can feel the Niacin working -- I can fly! I can fly!​We have several really interesting stories working this week, but we thought we'd start things off with something a little different. Since we started moving to nearly daily coverage of Scientology back in April, the tips coming in here t ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 15, 2011

    Scientology Effervescence: Commenters of the Week!

    ​Here in the underground bunker, this was something of a strange week. While enduring a middling but annoying cold, we tried to get back in the swing of things after a week out of town. And while things started a bit slow, by Friday this had turned into one slammin' sevenday. Things kicked of ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 13, 2011

    Scientology "Ideal Orgs" Laid Bare In Our Thursday Stats Roundup!

    It's that time of the week again -- at 2 pm on Thursdays, Scientology orgs turn in their stats for the week, and so we like to do our own accounting of how things went for the church with our weekly roundup. After the jump, an eye-opening look inside an "Ideal org" by our sister paper in Phoenix. ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 13, 2011

    Scientology Officially Probing the Village Voice!

    ​We've just received confirmation that ace reporter Jim Lynch has been handed a new assignment, and that assignment is us! Today, he called a PR firm in San Francisco that we used to work with, asking about "the finances of the Village Voice." The finances of the Voice? Hey, Jim, when you fi ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 11, 2011

    Scientology and Disconnection: "No One's Going to Take My Eternity Away"

    Lori Hodgson keeps telling me she's going to give me the entire story of her time in Scientology. Well, I'm still waiting. In the meantime, she talked to Mark Bunker for his upcoming movie Knowledge Report, and this morning he released a segment of that interview. For those of you still confused ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 8, 2011

    Scientology Symposium: Commenters of the Week!

    It was an unusual week here for us at our Scientology watching operation. We left the underground bunker for a trip to Southern California, but still managed to put together a few stories while on the road. And our commenters did not let us down, with some of them carrying over debates they were hav ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 6, 2011

    Scientology Raided, Smacked Down in Court, and Accused of Killing Trees -- a Thursday Roundup

    Yes, the video we're embedding here is in Russian, (Update: there are now English subtitles, press the "cc" button) but the action is understandable enough: Moscow law enforcement raiding the Church of Scientology there, and getting rather medieval on its locked doors. We made a rare foray out of t ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 5, 2011

    Johnny Depp and Vanity Fair: Confused About Scientology, Or Just Trolling?

    ​Vanity Fair magazine is teasing its November issue with an excerpt from its interview with Johnny Depp, timed to promote his new movie, Rum Diary. One utterance from the Pirates of the Caribbean star has been picked up and flung around the Internets with requisite chuckling -- Depp appears t ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 1, 2011

    Scientology Apotheosis: Commenters of the Week!

    Well, this was a week we've been looking forward to for some time here in the underground bunker. And now that we've finally finished our big countdown, there's a slight feeling of letdown here at Scientology-watching central. Even the cats are listless. But let's look back at a week that was. We s ... More >>

  • Blogs

    October 1, 2011

    Scientology Internal E-Mails: Even More Depressing Than You Might Assume

    For a few weeks now, we've been watching with some incredulity the material coming out of a particular Scientology "org," which is located in Birmingham, England. A Scientology-watcher who calls himself "CarltonBANKS" has been posting pretty amazing material from the Birmingham org's net servers wh ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 28, 2011

    The Top 25 People Crippling Scientology, No. 1: L. Ron Hubbard

    On August 5, we started a countdown that will give credit -- or blame -- to the people who have contributed most to the sad current state of Scientology. From its greatest expansion in the 1980s, the church is a shell of what it once was and is mired in countless controversies around the world. Some ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 28, 2011

    The Top 25 People Crippling Scientology: Readers Poll Results!

    LRH came out on top of our countdown, but did he top out our readers poll? Take a look inside!​Actually, make that the top fifty people crippling the Church of Scientology -- we received more than 3,000 individual choices by 141 voters, with more than 300 different people receiving votes. Our ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 26, 2011

    Scientology Internal Documents Leaked in SF? We Ask the Experts

    ​We've been watching a developing story in San Francisco, where Lauren Smiley at our sister paper, SF Weekly, has been covering an interesting defection from the Church of Scientology's "org" there. Chanology SF, the very active Anonymous chapter in that city, was celebrating the apparent fac ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 24, 2011

    Scientology Dropkick: Commenters of the Week!

    DM's minions keep dropping the ball!​Before we look back at the week that was, we wanted to remind you of our upcoming schedule. Monday morning at 9 am we'll reveal #3 in our big countdown, and then at noon we'll close voting on our readers poll. So if you haven't yet put in your own ballot, ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 19, 2011

    The Top 25 People Crippling Scientology: The Readers Poll!

    ​You've watched us reveal all but the top five entries in our big countdown, The Top 25 People Crippling Scientology -- now it's your turn to vote for your own list! Here's the link you've been waiting for -- now go and tell us who you think is doing the most to contribute to the Church of Sc ... More >>

  • Blogs

    September 15, 2011

    Hugh Urban: An Interview With the Professor Who Took on Scientology

    Urban, with Nancy Jesser, their daughter Maya Urban-Jesser, and Shiva the dog ​In June, we reviewed a remarkable new book about Scientology. A review copy of Hugh Urban's The Church of Scientology: A History of a New Religion, put out by the Princeton University Press, had arrived at our desk ... More >>

  • Blogs

    August 9, 2011

    The Top 25 People Crippling Scientology, No. 24: David Touretzky

    ​On Friday, we started a countdown that will give credit -- or blame -- to the people who have contributed most to the sad current state of Scientology. From its greatest expansion in the 1980s, the church is a shell of what it once was and is mired in countless controversies around the world. ... More >>

  • Blogs

    July 29, 2011

    Scientology's Hollywood Landmarks: More from THR Reporter Daniel Miller

    Hollywood's Celebrity Centre​Last week we ran a brief item about Daniel Miller's story about Scientology's Hollywood properties which ran at The Hollywood Reporter. The more we looked at Miller's piece, however, the more impressed we were with how much investigative work he'd done on it, and ... More >>

  • Blogs

    June 8, 2011

    Scientology's Anti-Commie, Space Opera Beginnings, and Other Nuggets From New Academic Book

    ​There's a new academic treatise on Scientology coming out this September, and it's a very welcome addition to the literature surrounding L. Ron Hubbard's odd organization. Hugh B. Urban, Ohio State University religious studies professor, has given us, in his Princeton University Press tome, ... More >>

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