There’s a reason the History Channel has produced hundreds of documentaries about Hitler but only a few about Dwight D. Eisenhower. Bad guys (and gals) are eternally fascinating. Behind the Bastards dives in past the Cliffs Notes of the worst humans in history and exposes the bizarre realities of their lives. Listeners will learn about the young adult novels that helped Hitler form his monstrous ideology, the founder of Blackwater’s insane quest to build his own Air Force, the bizarre lives of the sons and daughters of dictators and Saddam Hussein’s side career as a trashy romance novelist.
Tue, 04 Jun 2019 10:00
Part One: The Last Days of L. Ron Hubbard
Hello, I'm Erica Kelly from the podcast Southern Fried True crime, and if you want to go from podcast fan to podcast host, do what I did and check out spreaker from iheart. I was working in accounting and hating it. Then after just 18 months of podcasting with Spreaker, I was able to quit my day job. Follow your podcasting dreams, let's break or handle the hosting, creation, distribution, and monetization of your podcast. Go to spreaker.com. That's spreaker.com. If you could completely remove one phrase from your vocabulary, which phrase would you choose? I don't know. Correct answer. No, I meant I don't know which phrase, and the best way to banish I don't know from your life is by cramming your brain full of stuff you should know. Join your host, Josh and Chuck on the Super Popular podcast packed with fascinating discussions on science, history, pop culture and more episodes that ask, was the lost city of Atlantis Real? I don't know. Is birth order important? I don't know. How does pizza work? Well, I do know. Bit about that. See? You can know even more, because stuff you should know has over 1500 immensely interesting episodes for your brain to feast on. So what do you say? I don't want to miss the stuff you should know. Podcast you're learning already. Listen to stuff you should know on the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. I'm Danny Shapiro, host of family secrets. I hope you'll join me and my extraordinary guests for this new season of family. Secrets with over 25 million downloads, the importance of both telling and hearing secrets is apparent and I am so excited to share 10 astonishing news stories with you. This is our best season yet. Listen and subscribe to family secrets on the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you listen to your favorite podcasts. What's El running my Hubbards? I'm Robert Evans. This is behind the ******** the podcast where we talk about the very worst people in all of history. And today is our super special conclusion episode of the Life of L Ron Hubbard. And with me today to talk about the last 10 years of the craziest man in history's life is Michael Swaim and Abe Epperson. Hi, thank you for having us. I was making, like, cheering and crowd sounds with my mouth. I thought it sounded mechanical. I didn't do a good job. I thought you just did that for every 10 minutes to, like, seep out all the saliva from your mouth. No, no. You know what I do when I **** something up like that, though, as I toss my throw in bagels? Oh, I was aware of the throwing bagel trope. I thought they were individually thrown. A3 pack. This is a 3 pack. Yeah, he's angry, and they they bounced right off the wall and back to me. So I'm I'm rearmed with my throw in bag. We're also in a room with dozens of panels you could have targeted. You targeted one, right? By someone's head. Because the nature of the bounce means it won't hit Sophie. If I hit the board to her left, it'll bounce right back to me. I'm an expert. You keep him contained in the bag, though, so you're vigilanteism is at least kind. I didn't want to get those drums everywhere. Exactly like you're you get ants and rats and stuff. Yeah, that's how you get rats. Yeah, and I don't want rats inside the house. I only want rats and the houses of my enemies. There's only the the government acceptable level of rat in the studio, and I appreciate that. Yeah. Which is 5. Yeah, that's the Max. Same as peanut butter. Umm, which is why there's so many rats. I open peanut butter jars from back when I had throwing peanut butter trying to rescue their rat friends who were in the peanut butter jars. See, I have five rats at home too and I'm in like a ratatouille situation. So haven't seen that movie, but I think a guy cooks rats into food and serves them to the people of France. That's what that is. Ratatouille is the correct one. Well, I mean, the rent is too damn high in this town. Yeah, we really eat the odd rat now, did y'all both listen to the three parter I did on the life of of L Ron Hubbard? Or LRH I did. Yeah, I got to ask before we before we get in, were you surprised to learn that he, in fact could ****? Ohh I I was ready to immediately answer no to everything you said, because I've done of like he's not the most obscure ******* you've covered. I've done my own research, but yeah, that was the one detail you found. The one detail that was surprising. Also, I was very pleased because I'm like, I it's not like he needed a win. No, you know, like, he definitely didn't need a win. Kind of nailed it. But it's just kind of one of those, like, just one of those things that like life just serves up to you. Like reality just says and circumstance and you go, ah, yes, back to nihilism. That's when, like you find out Milton Berle had a footlong ****. You're like, why? But OK, OK. I don't know if there's one thing that came across in that book of 1000, Milton. Girl jokes. I had that as a kid man. You just flashed me back to. I haven't thought of it in 20 years and I remember thinking as a 7 year old reading that. I bet this guy had a ******* salami that could have knocked a dogs head off. Old child of imagining that it was dedicated to his testicles for all the weight they bear. As a kid, I just didn't think anything of that, you know? It just seemed like a normal old comedian talking about his balls, Speaking of old comedians, talking about their balls, or not Speaking of that at all. When we last left L Ron Hubbard, he just come ashore in Florida. After multiple years of shirking all the laws of land and most of the laws of sea, old, ill and as crazy as a cat with an inner ear infection, Hubbard launched Operation Gold mine. This was his plan to create the Mecca of Scientology, an entire city dedicated to the religion where Scientologists could rule one another and other people based on the enlightened principles of their glorious religion. Now you guys are going to build a Mecca to your own personal religions. Where do you pick? Ohboy. Well, I'll just question you got see this is an improv rule. You know, you're on the spot. First dancer, no censorship. What came to mind was Portland, OR. No, that's a great place to have a call. That's my that's where I plan to have them seeing you. But also because I've often that's been at the top of my list of other places to live when I when and if I leave LA. But I also heard your episode about, in part, the history of Portland. So I feel bad saying that I would put mine on top of Mount Rushmore. Way better. More time to think. Yeah, I have more time to think. Yeah. In general on Mount Rushmore. Question is, would it be your face? Is your Mecca in the shape of your face? Could be whatever the **** I want, OK? Just you frowning down on 4 presidents on my ongoing battle to beat the president. That is what we know about it. Well, L Ron Hubbard was, as I think we've established, the craziest man who ever lived. He's a contender in that. And as the craziest man who ever lived, he picked the craziest state. And I say this as a Texan, nobody beats Florida in the in the crazy state lottery. It's it's got to be Florida. And of course I'll Ron Hubbard picked the city of Clearwater, FL. Now, there was a downside to this, which is that the site that L Ron Hubbard and his minions selected for their faith's new capital was already occupied by 10s of thousands of people. We're not scientologists. So this was a problem, but not an insurmountable one, because L Ron Hubbard has had as as he had, you know, most of our last year just spawned. Oh, it's not a theory. Ohh he's he's still alive. I hope his head's frozen in a jar. I'd like to see him get one more act. I'd like to see him and Ted Williams head fight each other someday. Sure, just rolling around. It's one of those things where after everything we went through in the first three episodes, it's it's shocking to me how much gas this guy had left in the this is only the last decade, right? This is the last like 10 years of his life. Remember that home again. This is the Game of Thrones finale episode. This is not the whole run. Most dictators get a two-part, maybe a three-part. Like this is this is A5 parter. Wait, there's more? Yeah. So Clearwater, FL is located West of Tampa and north of Saint Petersburg, Far Edge of Florida's Midwest coast. Yep, it has a fine harbor, which was good because L Ron Hubbard still fancied himself a Commodore. And as you pointed out there, Michael, the city's name, Clearwater made it a perfect fit with Ron Hubbard's religious cannon. Because of course clear is the state of being, like, going clear. Yeah, that's the whole goal in the Scientology cannon in 1975, when it disguised L Ron Hubbard arrived with his retinue, Clearwater was a sleepy retirement community. That went by the nickname Sparkling Clearwater, and a third of its 100,000 citizens were over 65. It was not a place that prided itself on hustle and bustle. The town's most prominent building was the old Fort Harrison Hotel and increasingly decrepit monument to Clearwater's glory days. The hotel was empty and for sale. In October, the Southern land Sales and Development Corporation purchased the old hotel. The local attorney who represented the building's old owners called it one of the strangest transactions he'd ever seen. The building's new buyers had paid $2.3 million. And cash for the building and the fact that they had 2.3 million in cash was literally all he knew about them. The buyers would not even admit to having a telephone number. Smell like grift coming? It's almost impressive they didn't run afoul of Disney operatives buying land out from Florida residents if they're to expand any group like. Crazier and wealthier than the Disney Corporation. In this period of time, it's the Church of Scientology. Now it's Disney. I mean, we all have a lot. Like, humans have a long history of. Just like, if you get enough people and put them in a spot, you can declare that yours. Yeah. Yeah. Which is exactly what I plan to do someday in Oregon. Like a bunch of people. You guys saw that documentary wild, wild country like that. That literally is my goal. Minus poisoning that town. Probably I saw the first problem. And I was like, it's kind of boring. They're not culty enough for my, like, the part of me that wants to watch it. And everyone said something happened, so now I know what. They poison the town. Get it? They they poison the **** out of a town. We're past spoiler range. I think they were kind of on the right, though. Anyway, let's move on past that. Yeah. Less than a week later, the Southern Land Development Corporation bought another of the city's landmarks, the Bank of Clearwater Building. They paid $550,000 again in cash. Now, residents started talking after this, and they talked even more when a strange old man in a green jumpsuit. Showed up in town and publicly announced that the Southern Land Company would be leasing the buildings to a group called the United Churches of Florida. He claimed that the United Churches would host religious meetings and seminars there. Now this perplexed local journalists. They could find no records anywhere of the United Churches of Florida ever existing. This was because there was no united churches of Florida or Southern land Development Company for that matter. Both organizations were of course fronts for the Church of Scientology. On December 5th, L Ron Hubbard officially announced project Power three AKA. Operation Normandy, I shave with that. That's it gets really close to the grain. It's got those three blades. Yeah, yeah, you say that with a full beard. No, no one at this table shaves regularly. Literature. The literature they handed me made me understand that I am clean shaven, the Scientology racer works. This is just my sin coming out of my Facebook. Yeah, he's clear shaving. I'm going to get it out of it away. Yeah, you're shaved on the inside. Which is where it happens. Yeah, little hairs, little threatens. It's all the same stuff. Now the purpose of Operation Normandy was quote, to fully investigate the Clearwater City and county area so we can distinguish our friends from our enemies and handle is needed. Hubbard's overall plan to accomplish this was quote to locate opinion leaders, then their enemies, the dirt scandal, vested interest crime of the enemies with overt data as much as possible. Then turn this over to United Churches who will approach the opinion leader and get his agreement to look into a specific subject which will lead to the enemy's crimes. United Churches then discovers the scandal, etcetera and turns it over to the opinion leader for his use. OPS can be done as a follow up to remove or restrain the enemy, so just gets right into it with how do we deal with our enemies that we're going to make? That's his tool, is to blackmail so quick. Like, he doesn't like someone introduces you by pointing him across the room at a party. Like, Oh yeah, that's my friend Elle. Ron, he's got dirt on you. Damn, that was fast. I mean, he's like in his 60s at this point. He's experienced. He knows he doesn't pussyfoot around like it's time to. We're going to make enemies, so we need a plan to destroy them. Our mob boat has reached land. Begin discovering everyone's since, you know, in like, video games where you're supposed to like, you have, like, offense and defense. You have to power them both up. He's done this enough to know he's like, well, it's good to be ahead of the curve on the defense he's been playing for a long time. Exactly. Now, one of these enemies was a reporter for the Clearwater Sun named Mark Sabreman. Mark had been sniffing around the church's operations in Clearwater, and it revealed some evidence that suggested the United Churches were really the Church of Scientology. And so on January 26th, 1976, a church official named Joe Liza wrote up a scheme to get Mark fired. Quote, have a woman elderly, go into the office. And the grief and miss emotions start screaming that she wants to see Sable Man's boss. She goes in and sees this man and screams and cries about stableman sexually assaulting her son or grandson. The woman takes a magazine which is lurid and perverted and throws it into the face of the man woman and screams. Look what he gave my son, not to mention what the pervert did. *** *** to my Johnny. I'm going to the police. If you can't do something about that pervert save woman, I will say that they do something to you. So journalist reveals the very basic detail, but they're secretly buying up land and that at one point in time, sub sub to my Johnny. That's literally how it's written. Yeah, sub sub to my Johnny. Calling you here at the Saka or like. It's kind of like a like a greeting too. Like Saab? Saab, magennis? Yeah, that should be your top for next episode. Stop, stop my Johnny. What's stopping my Johnnies? There we go. Yeah. Throughout later 1975 and early 1976, Clearwater flooded with young, uniformed Scientologists. They began renovating the church's new acquisitions downtown. Their presence was strange and discomforting for locals, since the newcomers refused to answer questions on who they worked for and what they were doing. Hubbard himself supervised the construction efforts from 5 miles away in a condominium complex in the nearby town of Dunedin. During his few visits into Clearwater, he posed as a photographer. His initial plan was to sneak into a respected position in local society by posing as a photographer, taking pictures to encourage local tourism. In a letter to 1 member of the Guardian Office, which was the trunk of the Church of Scientology aimed at protecting all Ron Hubbard, he wrote. Quote taking pictures of beautiful Clearwater is the local button. My portrait of the mayor will hang in the City Hall. Never fear. OK, pretentious. First of all, it's clear that he was like, well, I'm not going to live there. Find me the nerdiest sounding town I got to live in a JRR Tolkien named town. I am Elrond, after all. He is Elrond and Dunedin. Yeah, he's an elf who collided with a Space Telescope. L Ron Hubble, right? Which actually just turns out to be an Ork. But secondly, is he allowed back on land? I thought he was going to get arrested. Yeah. No, he's he's he's not allowed. That's why he's always in disguise and hiding. So he's like on the I mean because I thought the boat was his sort of final solve of evading the law, but even in this late stage, he's like, I'm risking it. He's he's risking it now. He he's he's being hidden at this point. He has a whole team of people. The Guardian office is just there to keep people off his back. Which would sound silly if you hadn't just dropped the KKK episode where they're like the exalted Cyclops and the king. Illegal? Ohh the clay beat, yeah. Baby. Uh. Unfortunately for L Ron Hubbard, the mayor of Clearwater had no interest in being photographed by a strange old man. He was deeply concerned with this army of anonymous invaders. At one point he reached out to the United Churches and said, quote, I am discomforted by the increasing visibility of security personnel armed with Billy clubs and Mace employed by the United Churches of Florida. I am unable to understand why this degree of security is required by a religious organization, UCF more like UFC, am I right? It's like a reasonable question. It seems like you brought an army to our. Leave your retirement town and also why a Catholic priest walking down a cobblestone St like a how you doing lads? Just smacking a nightstick into his hands? That is discomforting. I think that's the perfect that is. That is the perfect word. It became clear that the Scientologists would need to stage reveal of their organization to the people of Clearwater and early 1976 they held a meeting at the Fort Harrison Hotel officiated by El Ron Hubbard himself. He wore a beret, cap he fatigues and headphones and local religious leaders watched in wonder and. Diffusion, as this bizarre man presided over the setup of microphones and stage managed the production of the press conference down to the tiniest detail, he was introduced as Mr Hubbard, an engineer. We couldn't grab him. Why didn't they get him one of the one again, one of the like can through lines of any time. You read about criminals in the 70s, like the FBI really wasn't very good at its job. I mean, you could debate whether or not they still are, but everyone was kind of asleep at the wheel until September 11th, which, you know, is part of why September 11th? Because if in the human narrative there's incompetence has always been with us, yes, especially of those of power. Yeah, shouldn't have been super hard to find. L Ron Hubbard, now 500 local citizens, attended the meeting where they were shown the renovations done to the Fort Harrison Hotel. Scientology representatives tried to reassure them that the church was a fundamentally friendly force with no nefarious aims towards their town. A spokesman for the church told them. Scientologists, or people who don't drink or violate laws, they are friendly and want to contribute. The very next day, the Church of Scientology filed a $1,000,000 lawsuit against the Mayor of Clearwater, Gabrielle Cazares, suing him for libel, slander, and a bevy of civil rights violations. A few days after announcing his presence in Florida and instantly suing the mayor of the town, oh, Ron Hubbard went out to get a suit tailored near Dunedin. It turned out that the tailor was a science fiction fan, and since Ron was a proud narcissist, he immediately revealed his identity to the fan and told him he was staying nearby. The news percolated through the local rumor mill and before long it was common knowledge that the Prophet of Scientology was hanging out in Dunedin. Rather than Clearwater now, at the time there were numerous pending lawsuits and investigations against the church, and the fact that Hubbard's location had been revealed by himself made him incredibly paranoid. Within days of revealing himself to Clearwater, he and his entourage fled 1200 miles north to Georgetown. Hubbard grew a beard and bought a new wardrobe at from a local Salvation Army store. One of his aides, who'd been with him during his long boat journey noted that it was strange because on the ship he had all these phobias about dust and smells and how his clothes had to be washed. But all that vanished when we were living together in Washington. It's kind of, he goes boho. Kind of, yeah. Assange arc for him. Yeah. He, like, he had like a second religion family. Yeah. Like secret. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah, man. It's they're just pests, though, right? Like they just anytime anyone might be a threat, they just throw everything at them. I'm going to sue you then. Yeah. Didn't you hear they throw at everyone in any area they're in before they get to know anyone? It's it's how you react to threats when you have infinite money. And art is just a lunatic, and I think it's a sign of your own. Like I feel like from your previous episodes too, he walked around with a lot of darkness inside him. Like there are some people who I think have done horrendous things and it really goes off them like water off a ducks back. His just sheer obsession with will. Everyone's got dirt, everyone's got skeletons. The trick in life is just to find the skeletons first. That's the act of someone who's like, yeah, I have the most skeletons. So many skeletons preemptively throwing kidnapped my own baby. And if you say anything about these skeletons, I'm gonna create new skeletons. It's also incredible that he. I wish I could have been there in his head in the moment he's leaving the tailor's office when it turned from. Like it was nice meeting a fan. I shouldn't have done that. That's real bad, El. All the crimes you've been committed to. Wait a minute, little Ron, little Ron. So he grows to Georgetown and grows a beard like we all do. At some point now. While Hubbard hit out in Georgetown, he continued to direct a variety of clandestine operations down in Clearwater. His main goal was to unseat Gabriel Cazares, who had grown into a figure of almost Luciferian importance to the Scientologist portrait. The portrait yeah, they were really worried about his moderate concern about them taking over his town with a paramilitary security force. According to the book Bare faced Messiah quote, Scientologists had gone back to his hometown of Alpine, Texas, trawled through public records, nosed around the courthouse and even checked the headstones in the local graveyard without success. But then it was disclosed that Cazares would be attending the National Mayors Conference in Washington from 11th or 13 to 17th March, and the Guardians office made hasty plans to give him a welcome. A Scientologist posing as a Washington reporter sought an interview with Cazares and introduced him to a friend. Sharon Thomas, who offered to show the mayor the sights of Washington. Miss Thomas was, of course, working for the Guardians office. Driving with the mayor through Scenic Rock Creek Park, she temporarily lost control of her car and ran into a pedestrian, who crumpled dramatically. To the mayor's horror, Miss Thomas accelerated away without stopping, leaving the injured man lying on the road. Is the injured man also a plant? Yeah, he's a science. Everyone involved is a Scientologist but the mayor, so this is like a play for no one. It's like in The Simpsons when they put on a play to convince Mr. Burns to fund the school. Some **** like this, yeah. I wonder if they rehearse. Oh, they must have, they must have. And it's all for his him to that important. He had a team always practicing to fake a hit and run Justin because he knew at some point I'm going to need to, I'm going to do this in those morning production meetings or just sitting, right, right, right. He was talking last night about not feeling like, so great when he's like, he's not tall. So can we just, like, let's build this platform, make them taller forever. Shortest people, yeah. Yeah, they were doing this ****. I wanna see the scenes that they rehearsed that were cut. Like, OK, in case the mayor gets carried off by a giant bird of prey. We have this great scene worked out. It never happened. It's just like slay stayed on the cutting room floor with the seasons. Probably. That's what I get the acting connection now. So they had to do a lot of improv. We'll be getting a little more into that, too. Thomas Cruz, yeah, that was his first role. Now the plan was to use this hit and run to discredit the Mayor, a Guardian's office memo noted. I should think the mayor's political days are at an end. Of course, a fake hit and run committed by someone else did not have the derailing effect on the mayor's career that the Guardian's office had passenger. But Hubbard was ready the same day with another plan to try and convince Miami's Cuban population that the mayor of Clearwater was pro Castro. So, like most of L Ron Hubbard's hairbrained schemes, this one did not bear fruit. The Commodore cooked up ideas like IHOP cooks pancakes poorly and constantly. But all of his schemes were not **** *****. And while all this was going on, the Church of Scientology was deep in the middle of the most ambitious scheme of its history to date, Operation Snow White on November 9th, 1975, an agent of the church code named Silver. Walked into the Internal Revenue Service headquarters in Washington DC. He entered the office of Attorney Charles Souverain, although he had no legal right to be there, and began taking documents. He made copies of hundreds of confidential tax documents and then walked out the door with them, like the purchase of the Fort Harrison Hotel. This was done under the express orders of L Ron Hubbard. The genesis of Snow White had come in 1973 whilst Hubbard and his sea Org were still trawling international waters. Multiple nations refused to let the Scientologists dock at their ports and L Ron Hubbard decided this was due to a worldwide. Conspiracy to discredit his church rather than its numerous, numerous crimes he tests from an *******. See it, conspiracy? I'm gonna dress up like Spiderman and ruin his good name. Hubbard task Scientology's investigative arm, the Guardian office, with countering this false information. The name Snow White was picked because Hubbard claimed the government's case against him was, in essence, a fable. Now call it operation Fable. That's way cooler. Well, he went with Snow White. Under the direction of his wife, Mary Hubbard, Operation Snow White would grow into a sprawling infiltration of the US federal government at every level. Agent Silver's theft of IRS documents was just one part of the scheme. Agent Silver was really IRS clerk Gerald Wolfe, and in that capacity he was able to steal more than 30,000 pages worth of documents. By the beginning of 1975, the church had actually succeeded in placing agents inside the IRS, the US Coast Guard, and the DEA. Now this scheme was executed entirely by agents of the Guardian Office. They were trained to lie, or in Scientology. Terms outflow false data in order to worm their way into these federal organizations. That's a good synonym for life. Wrapping my head. Yeah, that euphemism. Georgia is the dishonesty. Also your names already. Wolf. Agent Wolf was better. I was gonna say names are bugging. Or silver wolf. Or, I don't know, Silver wolf. Agent silver wolf. Red fox. No, wait, that was Agent Red Fox. Snow wolf. Why? He's got a filthy sense of humor, but he gets **** done. Speaking of fables, you know what's not a fable? The products, they're real. Your heart, your heart. So in this man, they're very you know what I don't need? The need. The guff. I throw the bagels, they come right back to me. Hey, those are some products. Yeah, the services are real, but we are not real in the throw in bagels are real. My current throwing bagels are everything. Bagels, kettle boiled and health baked sliced the bagel that won the West, and they're bruising badly. Which I didn't think bagels were supposed to do. The bagel that won. The West didn't know that. Yeah. Did these wipe out the Cherokee? Genocide bagels that I throw it on the wall. I mean, they're everything, so they're definitely genocide. Plus, I guess everything else. That's not cool. Thousands of American bison died with those bagels embedded in their skulls. Sophie, I I want bagels that didn't commit genocide. Yeah, fair. Also, these expired February 25th, so I want fresh throwing bagels. Actually, the expired ones work a little bit better, so check out these ads. Mint Mobile offers premium wireless starting at just 15 bucks a month. And now for the plot twist. 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That's mintmobile.com/behind. Seriously, you'll make your wallet. Very happy at Mint Mobilcom behind. Hey, it's Rick Schwartz, one of your hosts for San Diego Zoo's Amazing Wildlife podcast. In this special episode, we sit down with Doctor Jane Goodall to hear her inspiring thoughts on how we can create a better future for humans, animals and the environment. If we don't help them find ways of making a living without destroying the environment, we can't save chimps, forests or anything else. And that becomes very clear when you look at poverty around the world. If you're living in poverty, you can't afford to ask as we can. Did this product harm the environment? Was it cruel to animals, like, was it factory farmed? Is it cheap because of unfair wages paid to people? And so alleviating poverty is tremendously important. Listen to amazing wildlife on the iHeartRadio app or wherever you get your podcasts. So by now we imagine that you've seen the theories on Tik T.O.K. You maybe even heard the rumors from your friends and loved ones. But are any of the stories about government conspiracies and cover ups actually true? The answer is surprisingly or unsurprisingly, yes. For more than a decade, we here at stuff they don't want you to know have been seeking answers to these questions. Sometimes there are answers that people would rather us not explore. Now we're sharing this research with you for the first time ever in a book format, you can pre-order stuff they don't want you to know now. It's the new book from us, the creators of the podcast and video series. You can turn back now or read the stuff they don't want you to know. Available for pre-order now, it's stuff you should read books.com or wherever you find your favorite books. We're back. I shouldn't have come back when I was eating, right when you, well, you fully control when you come back. So that was your choice and you live with it. That's #3 for those keeping track. I hit some equipment with that one, but Daniel says it's fine. We've returned from examining the ads and examining antiquated woodworking tool, and I, for one, will purchase one delicious products or services. Now, what's not delicious is the throwing bagels that. Apparently our genocide bagels. Yeah, I think they're genocide bagels. I would like to apologize to genocide victims for throwing genocide bagels. I've heard a lot of words in my time on this earth. I've never heard the combination tasty genocide. I mean, I I don't know. I don't eat bagels. I just throw them, so I don't know if they're tasty. I can say these are the bounciest of the bag. You're not even vouching for these. Bagels is edible. That's why they're throwing. OK, alright. I assume they're throwing vehicle could sort of retire and end its life in in my little mouth. Is that not a possibility? I'm not going to say you can't, but that's not their purpose. They're everything bagel, so you can do anything with them. Now, including genocide? Yes, unfortunately, I guess, yeah, they really are. Well, if the bagels everything. It's all good and all it's all good. It's all on there. Yeah, that bagel. Both. Invented the seat belt and killed Jon Benet Ramsey. Everything. It is the spirit of Christmas and is the spirit of Christmas as well as the spirit of Saint Louis. And is that right wing college kid who led the campaign against wearing seat belts and died in an accident that he would have lived through if he had worn his seat belt. There's all in the bagel, people. We've gotten to invest in the philosophy of what an everything bagel is. The cream cheese is Hitler. I don't ask why it's always been that way. I think we can all agree on that. Alright, let's get back to it. Hubbard's life a little bit of bagel. It's a little bit of bagel. So the Guardian office agents were infiltrating, you know, all all these federal agencies, the the IRS, the DEA, the Coast Guard. Much of the data gathered, like the IRS files copied by agent Silver, was collected in order to help the church deal with its mountain of pending audits. At this point, it was not a religious institution in the legal sense of the word, but it was still refusing to pay taxes, so the IRS was not super happy. So it still had not secured the religious exemption. That wasn't until much later. Now, the Guardian's office also used their connections to the US government to dig up dirt on their political enemies, particularly journalists who dared to write about them. According to the LA Times quote, The Guardian Office saved the worst for author Paulette Cooper of New York City, whose scathing 1972 book The Scandal of Scientology pushed her to the top of the church's roster of enemies. Among other things, Cooper was framed on criminal charges by the Guardian office members who obtained stationary she had touched and then used it to forge bomb threats to the church in her name. You're like the Nazis are the Arabs all bomb you, I'll kill you weren't. One of the rambling letters. The church reported these threats to the FBI and sent the fury of the Bureau crashing down on Port Paulette Cooper. She was indicted by a grand jury for making bomb threats and for lying Underoath about having made the bomb threats. The truth did eventually come out, but it took two years and cost Paulette $20,000 in legal fees and $6000 in psychiatric treatment. Now Hubbard actually hated Paul let enough that he had the Guardian's office dedicated an entire operation to destroying her. Code named Freak out. I found an article where she recites a small list of the things they did before reporting. This fake bomb threats to the FBI. What are you doing today, honey? We're destroying this one woman. We're destroying this lady. She wrote a book. Yeah, we're in Q2. I'm hoping by Q4 she'll be contemplating suicide. You know, that's the goal. You know, we all get a bonus if it happens before Q4. But did the agents who infiltrated the IRS like, 99% of the time have to just keep up their cover by doing tax returns? I think so. I want to know if a Scientologist operative ever just processed my taxes by chance? Well, not if you were filing taxes in the late. 70s yeah, maybe. Yeah, that's. I have a very bad tax cheat, which is I've been filing taxes since before I was born. I'm hoping it'll pay off. Gonna stop paying taxes. If you want to stay in the plus column, here's Paulette Cooper quote I soon got used to telephone death threats, harassing calls, and lawsuits. I was occasionally followed, often conspicuously, as if to upset me, and people seem to be trying to gain access to my apartment. Then, in the basement of my small building, I discovered alligator clips on my phone wires, likely the remnants of a phone tap. Next, my cousin, who was also short and slim like me, was in my apartment alone when a man arrived with a flower delivery for me. When she opened the door, the intruder pulled a gun out of the flowers and put it to her. Simple. Fortunately, the gun jammed, misfired, or was empty. The man then began to choke her, and then when she pulled away and screamed, he ran off. The police said afterward that they were mystified because there appeared to be no motive for the attack, and quickly moved to a safer doorman building. But soon afterwards, 300 of my new neighbors received an anonymous smear letter about me outrageously describing me as a part-time prostitute with venereal disease. They really showed control with the part time, though. They're like, don't drag her through them. Full time, yeah. Wow. Yeah, that's like, that's, you know, the reason why they choose part time too is that they're like, she can't even be a full prostitute. That's a different way to take it. But, you know, it's the one they took varsity sex work yet? Yeah, she can't, she can't entirely subsist off of that. So she's got to do the writing books about Scientology thing as an off game. These lies, yeah. Now, much as I do love talking about the wacky schemes of Elron Hubbard, it's important to remember that for every botched fake hit and run, which is just genuinely whimsical and funny, someone like Paulette Cooper was subjected to insane, almost unimaginable torment for the crime of writing a book that angered. Poor woman. Well, it seems like it might have been actually just a torture technique, like where they were never planning to shoot her. But like, that's a thing that you'll do. Like, I I talked to someone who was in an Iranian prison and tortured for a while, and fake executions were a common thing. The CIA did it too, with people who captured in Iraq where you put a gun to their head and pulled the trigger, but it's not loaded because like that just really ***** with people, I guess, because he went on to choke her and it makes you imagine, like, he really was sent to kill her. But it jam is also pretty unlikely. Yeah, like as a torturer rehearsal, like a like just just to ****. Yeah, yeah. Like, like, yeah. They'll execute a prisoner of war with a son that has no bullets. To be like to be psychologically. Now you're ****** **. Enjoy 40 years. Now, meanwhile, back in Operation Snow White, over the months and years, Scientology spies had made their way into the Department of Justice, placing an operative as the secretary to an assistant US attorney who handled the mountain of FOIA requests filed by the church's Freedom of Information Act requests. This was the surface legitimate goal of Operation Snow White. Hubbard framed it as a perfectly legal Blizzard of Freedom of Information requests aimed at trying to figure out just why so many people thought the Church of Scientology was in a various entity. Now, because I'm usually pro FOIA has been a force for good. Mostly, Yep. Not not in this case. So because many of these FOIA requests pertain to records that were critical and ongoing investigations into the Church's rampant criminal activity, the church would be denied the right to see them, which is, you know, part. Hopefully it works. The church is man. And the Justice Department would be able to, like, know when they were like, OK with their request, this document, it's being denied. And so he would get a copy of the document they were getting denied and then smuggled them out to church authorities. So This is why they replaced. They knew what sent everyone was on. Yeah, exactly. Now the IRS was L Ron Hubbard's greatest. Miss this outside of the concept of psychiatry? And they were where his Guardian office focused most of its efforts. At one point, an office operative managed to bug an IRS conference room by wiring a recorder into a wall socket that allowed him to listen in on agency meetings via his Cars FM radio and another, .2 Scientologists used their faked IRS credentials to get inside government archives and photocopy documents related to the church. Now the head of Operation Snow White was again Mary Sue Hubbard, and when it all came crashing down. Spoiler She is the one who would take legal blame, but basically everyone who has studied the church. Or Hubbard agrees that he was the center of the whole conspiracy. Yeah. It's almost like people who are scared that everything is conspiracy make conspiracy do nothing but create conspiracies. Yeah, because the world view and it's it seems like every everything is the mafia. Like everything works like the to get you right it's the same you just shift the blame to lower down and there's the you know, concept of the lieutenants are made men kind of stuff. Comes in the clank for a year, but we got Stringer on the outside, and he can run messages to Wiebe. Whatever you need. Whatever. Yeah. And then in in L Ron Hubbard's case, he's he's Avon Barksdale. I guess if he never spends time in a cell. Yeah, because he's a mythical. He's more of a mythic figure. Yeah. I do think this is also the first time I've heard of Spy work that is too boring to contemplate doing. Oh my God. Like, do you want to be a spy? Yeah, dude. OK, go into this IRS office and install a bug. That's kind of. Well now sit in a van and listen to what IRS people say all day everyday around listening to the IRS radio. Are we cops? Kind of the opposite of cops. New cops. Spock. Yes. Cops backwards. Is Spock cops? That's not how that works. The cops. No, it is. It is cops. The cops. Backward or spot. Because there's theological. I've always said that that Commander Spock is the opposite of a company. Yeah, you know why? The blue uniform, no, that doesn't. Prosper, I'm looking for the pun. Yeah, I I really didn't have anything there. OK, you're just hoping. I was hoping somebody was gonna point to pass that ball. Somebody comedy now? Yeah, and we failed, you know, theological. Hand over your badge and gun. Throw these bagels. Right back at my feet, #4I. You know I hate the genocide they were complicit in, but they're damn good. Shovel throwing bagels. Really good. Throwing bagels, Freudian slip shoving bagels. Those are different bagels. You need a littler bagel. Most orifices are small bagel bites. Put bagel bites. Throw in bagels can be big. Shoving bagels need to be small enough to fit most holes to just kind of ease in there. Call me old fashioned, but I like just a good old fashioned walking bag. A little walk around town just you can grab on it. Not got too much on the outside. That's a good walking bagel. Back to evil. I was ready to talk more because you know if it's bagel bites they make their own loop. Do they? Now back to Scientology bagel bites, Michael Meisner? Michael Meisner, who was the fake victim of the fake hit and run aimed at destroying the mayor of Clearwater, was also a major part of Operation Snow White. He personally broke into the Department of Justice several times and organized the copying of 10s of thousands of secret files. Under Meisner's direction, decoding equipment was installed to provide direct, secure communication between church headquarters in Clearwater and the Guardian's office in Los Angeles. After Virginia, I'll Ron Hubbard himself wound up hiding next on Overland Ave and Culver City, CA. Literally. Yeah, that was about a block away. My first home in Los Angeles. Yeah. Yeah, me too. Yeah. That's where Hubbard hid after he decided he'd spent too much time in Georgetown and he had to get out of the East Coast. Wow. Yeah. Yeah. So in mid 1976, with Operation Snow White at its height and Hubbard living in his third undisclosed location since returning to dry land a year ago, Mary Sue Hubbard finally joined back up with her husband to warn him about some major problems not related to the fact that they were conducting the largest infiltration of the federal government. U.S. history. See, it turns out that living on a series of boats and searching for. Hold for like a decade, committing a vast and dizzying Korea. Financial crime, spying on the government, living in a series of safe houses is kind of bad for someone's family life. He blew up those imaginary submarines. Yeah, he did. He did blow up those imaginary submarines. Yeah. Yeah. Claiming it. And didn't the racist guy do it, too? Yes. Yeah, the guy. George Lincoln Rockwell. They they made the same lie. So it's almost like there's a continuity of liars and, like, wanting to be awesome and making your own. You know that. Everybody wants to rule the world. It's like that, but with blowing up a Japanese submarine. Yeah, yeah, it's like cred in those circles. Yeah, so yeah, the things were not great with the Hubbard family at this point in time. His daughter Diana's marriage was falling apart, his son Quentin was ostensibly in the Sea Org but was constantly out of pocket and battling crippling depression. And worst of all, L Ron Hubbard's daughter Suzette was dating non Scientologists. Now Mary Sue suggested that all of these problems could be solved by providing the family with a little bit more. Ability. So, using some of the churches literally infinite funds, they bought a gigantic compound in Southern California named La Quinta. The family moved in that October. For a while all was well. The Commodores messengers noted that he seemed to be much more relaxed and happier after moving into his new ranch. This did not last long. On Wednesday, November 17th, 1976, Hubbard received dire news. His son Quentin had been found dead in his car in Las Vegas, the victim of a successful suicide. Mary Sue wept. L Ron Hubbard screamed. That stupid ******* kid. That stupid ******* kid. Look at what he's done to me. Well, yeah. What happened to blame in the thetans, dude? Yeah, like he should fall to his knees and go feed. No, my Lord. I will. You know my voice. Man yeah, that's tragic. According to Bare faced Messiah quote. The Guardian's office meanwhile had moved swiftly to handle the situation. It's local representative in Las Vegas was a pit boss at the Sands Hotel by the name of Ed Walters. I had been working as a covert operator for about 8 years. He said I had secretly tape recorded a psychiatrist and got him to talk about lobotomies to try and discredit him and I had bugged the meetings of the Clark County Mental Health Association, things like that. I worked on anything that org considered to be a threat to the Hubbards. Who's he saying this to? This is what he said. The author of Bare faced Messiah. OK, so you he presumably got the program. He left the church at some point. He was just a classic casino pit boss Slash spy for the Church of Scientology. There's your mom connection right there. So what info is he getting though? Like stuff like this. They want dirt on a psychiatrist, so he gets this guy drunk and bugs him. Talking about committing lobotomies? Yeah, yeah, yes, yeah. I guess lobotomies are pretty cool. We should do more. Chaching another good *** day for Ed Walters. So anyway, this is Walters again. Quote. When they found out Quentin was here, I was told to get a hold of all of his medical files. There was apparently evidence that he had had a homosexual encounter shortly before he was found and they didn't want anything like that to get out. There was a girl, Scientologist working in the hospital in a very secure position and she got all the reports on Quentin and gave them to me and I handed them over to the Guardian's office. Quentin was cremated the next day. Those who knew him suggest that he probably just wanted out of Scientology, but couldn't think of a way to do so without ending his own life. According to Ed Walters, you don't just leave something like. Mythology you quit and then instantly become an enemy. He knew his father violently attacked anyone who betrayed him, and he knew that the Guardian's office would be after him as a traitor. He had grown up in Scientology and would have been tremendously afraid of the world out there, full of **** and evil people. I guess he just couldn't handle it. Now, L Ron Hubbard probably would have yelled the same thing if he had left Scientology instead of killing it. What has he done to me? Yeah, what has he done to me? It's one of those things. It's crazy because like, of course they have some people in Vegas, like, he's like, they have this pit boss in Vegas and they have like a a lady working at a hospital. But like, I feel like at this point, you get the feeling that at this point in the Church's history, they have people like that and pretty much every city, every major city. Yeah, they've they've they've got Scientologists scattered around who they can trust to like, yeah, we need you to get some pull some medical records for us. I need you to bug this conversation. We need you to get this guy wasted or whatever. That's almost the more baffling part, because I can. I can wrap my head around the concept of crazy people doing crazy stuff because they want to be awesome, but the fact that they convince in mass all these people of different walks of life that are applicable in the way of like, oh, I can get, I can get information from them like, that's just. What does that demographic. Well, you got to keep in mind one of the things he's saying at this point in time, this is, you know, the Cold War is pretty ornery in like the late 70s. This is not that long before Red Dawn comes out. So people that fears high fear is high. L Ron Hubbard, one of the ways he's billing Scientology is like, this is the tech, which is like his term for their, their religious stuff, that this is what's going to save the world. This is what's going to like, make a nuclear war possible. So we like all of you are like as as like the guardians of the sacred knowledge that I've brought from space. All of you are like integral in saving the world. So these people like view themselves as secret agents, you know, for in the cause of of the salvation of humanity, which if you just like a pit boss or a lady working mid level position at a hospital and you want some excitement in your life. Desirable. It's cool, right? Like you get to be a secret spy, bug these evil psychiatrists or whatever. Also ironic that the only place he didn't befoul with horrendous crimes is space. The only place he's innocent. He's totally got the underground. Oh, he did. He did try to. He wrote letters to NASA saying that, like, you're not gonna get into space without our help. That's why I mentioned it is. I bet your bottom but that this is a guy who genuinely wanted to go to space. You. I mean, I used to read a sci-fi books because I read it all sci-fi books. And you, it was genuine. He loves space and space. We're all grateful that he didn't make it there. No, it didn't need L Ron Hubbard. You know what else doesn't need? L Ron Hubbard? Wonderful products and services that support this show with their advertising dollars. Why would they? They're fully actualized. They're fully actualized. I've heard about these, these services. Yes. And the products. Uh-huh. All right. Well, let's all hear about them some more. Mint Mobile offers premium wireless starting at just 15 bucks a month. And now for the plot twist. Nope, there isn't one. Mint Mobile just has premium wireless from 15 bucks a month. There's no trapping you into a two year contract. You're opening the bill to find all these nuts fees. There's no luring you in with free subscriptions or streaming services that you'll forget to cancel and then be charged full price for. None of that. For anyone who hates their phone Bill, Mint Mobile offers premium wireless for just $15.00 a month. Mint Mobile will give you the best rate whether you're buying one or for a family and. That meant family start at 2 lines. All plans come with unlimited talk and text, plus high speed data delivered on the nation's largest 5G network. You can use your own phone with any mint mobile plan and keep your same phone number along with all your existing contacts. Just switch to Mint mobile and get premium wireless service starting at 15 bucks a month. Get premium wireless service from just $15.00 a month and no one expected plot twists at mintmobile.com/behind. That's mintmobile.com/behind. Seriously, you'll make your wallet very happy. At Mint mobilcom behind. Hey, it's Rick Schwartz, one of your hosts for San Diego Zoo's Amazing Wildlife podcast. In this special episode, we sit down with Doctor Jane Goodall to hear her inspiring thoughts on how we can create a better future for humans, animals and the environment. If we don't help them find ways of making a living without destroying the environment, we can't save chimps, forests or anything else. And that becomes very clear when you look at poverty around the world. If you're living in poverty, you can't afford to ask as we can. Did this product harm the environment? Was it cruel to animals, like, was it factory farmed? Is it cheap because of unfair wages paid to people? And so alleviating poverty is tremendously important. Listen to amazing wildlife on the iHeartRadio app or wherever you get your podcasts. So by now we imagine that you've seen the theories on Tik T.O.K. You maybe even heard the rumors, your friends and loved ones. But are any of the stories about government conspiracies and cover ups actually true? The answer is surprisingly or unsurprisingly, yes. For more than a decade, we here at stuff they don't want you to know have been seeking answers to these questions. Sometimes there are answers that people would rather us not explore. Now we're sharing this research with you for the first time ever in a book format, you can pre-order stuff they don't want you to know now. It's the new book from us, the creators of the podcast and video series. You can turn back now or read the stuff they don't want you to know. Available for pre-order now, it's stuff you should read books.com or wherever you find your favorite books. We're back now. I want to be clear here. When I quoted Mr Walters earlier, he said that L Ron Hubbard's son was scared of a world filled with **** and evil people. Now my Australian listeners will note that the word *** is a racial slur in that country, but it also has a totally separate meaning in Scientology. So Walters was not being racist against anyone there. L Ron Hubbard used the term wags to refer to normal people who were not members of his sweet *** space cult. He defined a *** as, quote muggle. It means like Muggles. And it's sounds like muggle. Yeah, it is. And it's yeah, Hubbard said. A *** is, quote, a common everyday garden variety humanoid. He is a body. He doesn't know he's here, etcetera. He isn't there as a spirit at all. He is not operating as a thetan. He's such a special boy. He's not a special operating. Yeah, I still don't even because I thought you were trying to get rid of the theme. But you are too, right? I think so. Like, you're not operating. You don't realize you're a space. Ghost and try to inside a meat sock? Yeah, there's good things and there's cheating things. So, and you're saying they have locations all across the US at this time? Oh yeah, they're ******* everywhere. Sounds like there's space. Ghost Coast to coast. Alright, well the episodes over that that that joke saw we needed see you guys next week. Yeah, we pre wrote that we're all Scientologists, we talked about jokes. We're really selling everyone. That wasn't an actor, though. That's true. That one was real. Might have been Tom Cruise. Probably not. Definitely not. Shouldn't be slandering a rich millionaire. He also runs too fast to ever believably be hit by a car as a pedestrian. Just wouldn't buy it. I also think if he if he came after you wanting to kill you, he'd probably do the job. Oh yeah, feel like Tom Cruise could very easily been a special forces guy or a murderer for hire? I mean, this is the kind of guy that with his **** ***. Yeah, just has like a compound where he learns martial arts, where he learns how to destroy things. Yeah, so you were worried about the legal ramifications of slandering him by saying he might have been that guy, but you immediately also want to say it's probably good at murdering. I mean, I think I think he would be the first to admit that. He would be, hypothetically, a great murderer. When you talk to guys who like, do, like train Hollywood actors for gun stuff, the two people they note as being like, they these guys don't really need any help. Is, is, is Tom Cruise and yeah, all. Movies he's been. He's had to shoot guns. And if you see him behind the scenes, he's just tries hard. He works really hard. Yeah, he's a great guy. Now, you remember those two Scientology agents who orchestrated the Department of Justice breaking back in 76? Well, after 11 months on the Lam in early 1977, one of them broke and became an informant to the FBI. The Bureau had been on his case for the break in, but the full story of the church's infiltration of the US government was complete news to them. They opened a massive investigation into Scientology sweeping infiltration of the United States. Government the investigation would culminate in a June 1977 raid that is still one of the largest raids in the history of the FBI. 134 agents with crowbars and sledgehammers tore through Scientology HQ in DC as well as their offices in Los Angeles. They carted away 10s of thousands of documents, including the plans for Project Normandy, revealing the church's secret goal to establish area control in the city of Clearwater. The resulting court case led to 11 Scientologists, including L Ron Hubbard's wife, Mary Sue, being convicted and sentenced to up to five years in federal prison. L Ron Hubbard was named by the grand jury as an unindicted Co conspirator, a term we all know very well now. But the seized files did not link him directly to any crimes. He maintained his innocence up until the very end. According to the Justice Department quote, the crime committed by these defendants is of a breadth and scope previously unheard of. No business, office, desk or file was saved from their snooping and prying. No individual or organization was free from their despicable, conspiratorial minds. The tools of their trade were miniature transmitters, lock picks, secret codes, forged credentials, and any other device they found necessary to carry out their conspiratorial. Schemes. By the way, it's worth noting that while this is happening, at the height of the Cold War, the Soviet government never managed to infiltrate the United States and nearly as comprehensive or extensive of fashion as the Church of Scientology did. Like, it seems like they should have been trying to infiltrate the Church of Science. It's like, talk to the people who really are making progress. Now those are the facts of the case as they exist in reality. But they are not the facts of the case as admitted by the Church of Scientology. In the immediate aftermath of the raid they accused the FBI of Gestapo like brutality, which would be true if the Gestapo handed out five year sentences from massive and sweeping infiltrations of the Third Reich. Rather than just shooting people, they they had crowbars. They have crowbar. The stand league builds itself as an advocacy group of Scientologists fighting bigotry against their religion. The name is an acronym for Scientologists taking action against Discrimination. You have to use the in and against for the acronym, which isn't really great acronym procedure, but we all we all cut corners now and again. I use expired throwing bagels like nobody's perfect. I found an article published on the Stand leagues website about the Snow White program. Here's how they describe it. The Snow White program refers to the program written by Scientology founder L Ron Hubbard. 1973 for the purpose of legally correcting and expunging the plethora of false government reports about the Church of Scientology, its leaders and members, through strictly legal means. Uh, it's a big tip for you. Legal, twice legal? The word legal and think of me. Yeah. The stand league asserts that L Ron Hubbard did not remotely contemplate anything illegal. Of course not. Famous law follower L Ron Hubbard, who's got two thumbs in his legal. This guy. Yeah. I got to get back on my boat. Now. I'm going to kidnap my baby again. No collusion. Oh my wife, though. Damn, it sucks how she sucks. Yeah, yeah, that's rough. Yeah. Now it is impossible to disprove that to a point of certainty. Which is why Elron Hubbard himself was never convicted of anything. But I want to emphasize this. Come the **** on. We all know all of this is known information. It's true. Now, we're not done with the story of L Ron Hubbard yet. And in our next episode, which I'm very excited for, we're going to talk about the last phase of his life where he became an auteur filmmaker and a singer. Hell yeah. Hell yeah. Hell. You believe LRH has this much gas left in the tank? Battlefield earth. Oh yeah. Oh, buddy. Does it involve battlefield? **** yeah. What a juicy treat at the end of so many people come on the show. And at some point in the hour ago. Yeah, this has been really depressing. Thanks for having me. I feel like you got all the sad stuff out of the way. I mean, there's been sad **** but man, the next one's going to be a treat. It is going to be a treat. Before we close this episode out, I'd like to talk a little bit more about the town of Clearwater, FL. Now the Fort Harrison. Hotel was renamed by the Church of Scientology to Flag Land Base. After renovations were finished, it became and is today the Chief Training Center for Scientologists studying the highest levels of whatever the hell Scientology is. Since 1983, Scientologists have died at flag base. One of those dead was a young woman named Lisa McPherson, who died of a blood clot caused by dehydration and bed rest. After 17 days locked in room 174 of the former hotels, Josephus Happeneth was found dead in a bathtub in his room. The water was hot enough to have burned his skin off. The official cause of death was drowning. At the corner noted that he was found with his head above the water line. Herbert Phaff died of a seizure in the hotel after he ceased taking his seizure medication in favor of a Scientology approved vitamin program. And this is the hotel from the Shining you're describing. Hotel what they turned this building into go in Room 174. Don't. In 1997 alone, the Clearwater police received 160 emergency calls from flag base. At no point were they allowed to enter. For most of Scientology history, the church was in constant arrears for failure to pay state and local property taxes. Scientology was brought to court numerous times by the city and the IRS for this. Luckily for the church, they eventually succeeded in having Scientology declared a religion which granted them tax-exempt status. The way they did this was pretty fascinating. They basically. Bombarded the IRS as an organization and individual IRS executives with lawsuits until they got their way. We'll probably talk about in the that in the tail in a later episode. According to a recent report in the Tampa Bay Times, the Church of Scientology currently owns more than $260 million in property in downtown Clearwater. Most of these buildings are empty and undeveloped, and many in Clearwater blame the church for the fact that downtown Clearwater has remained incredibly underdeveloped compared to downtown Saint Petersburg and Tampa. The church is able to exercise a huge amount of control over the city of Clearwater due to their ownership of much of its downtown area. And then. Economic power of their religion according to FSU News quote Scientology leader David Miscavige introduced a retail strategy to clear Waters Community Redevelopment agency. The plan requires use of not just property owned by the church, but it also every property in A3 block by 4 block area that encompasses all of downtown. The plan involves attracting a few major retail brands and then filling open spaces with handpicked businesses, similar to an outdoor mall. The proposal will give the church total control over the downtown area in regards to development and management of properties. The church's redevelopment plan has not yet been made public. Nor will it be subject to a vote. Cool. Why do you need that? Like, why? I don't understand. What the area there he's like. This church is important to me. I made trillions of dollars, but I need area control. Well, it's area control. Well, I want to decide if there's a sparrows or, you know, an old spaghetti factory there. And this I want it to be what I want it to be. Dude, this is the decision of his predecessor because like for L Ron Hubbard taking over this town which the church controls, like 40 years later today, this was like a two week project for him, right? Like he was, he was there for like a month or so. Elron Hubbard himself never spent more than a couple of days actually inside the city limits of Clearwater. Like they still control this. And it was just sort of a vague plan of his for a couple of weeks before he moved up to Georgetown in town. That's I like it. Take it with these mythic figures. Yeah, like. The entire Sea Org is just like, whatever he said. What what beautiful drippings came out of this horrible mom? Yeah, we need to make that a religion, because there's only so much that he said. I mean, he said a lot, but it's like there's still people in Clearwater who have to deal with the consequences of L Ron Hubbard's passing fancy right every day. Well, I guess we have to justify this ****. I also kind of want to go there now because I didn't know there existed like a company town for. Anthology? Yeah, there sure does. I got to imagine because they're freaking annoying to be around. They must have pushed out anyone who had an easy opportunity to leave or felt like so by now, 40 years later. I just want to go to a town where you're like 90% certain everyone around you is a Scientologist at all times or another person gawking at all the Scientologists. I wonder, I wonder if there's ever at the time like like he would listen to music or like it was really just stand up comedian and would like watch it and stuff and then everyone was like, I guess that's another God amongst us. You get the feeling from Elron Hubbard that he did not consume a lot of other people's media, right? That's probably true. Yeah, we will be talking about. Star Wars a little bit in the next episode. I can't wait. This is going to be it is going to be great. But first you know what else is going to be great? What is he all plug in your puggles. Oh yeah, yeah, we're in the p'zone pizza. Come to the bassoon. I thought that's the pizza zone. What's the cookie without? That's a pizookie. BJ's the pea zone and we'll blast you with the Suzuka full of pizookies. Alright guys, we have things we do. Throwing bagels are on the table. Oh man, he's got you're under the bagels now. My associate Abe here and I have a little outfit called small beans. It's a podcasting network and it's about to branch into web video. And I think it's very important that you find out more about that at patreon.com/small beans or on the small beans YouTube channel. Because we are right now in the process of producing a little show where four friends sit around analyzing pop culture accompanied by illustrations and clip packages, and there's a good chance. Get a lot of your audience likes that show because it feels familiar to them and exciting. This sounds familiar to another show that I know you were on in the past. It's unlike any other show. Yeah, the launch of a legally distinct show from all other shows I love. Legally distinct called off hours, off hours, hours, hours, hours. Pop culture hey, this is Robert Evans cutting in from the future. When we recorded this episode, off Hours was was not yet done. It was just a dream and Michael and abes beautiful, beautiful eyes. But now it is in fact a reality and you can watch it right now on the Internet. If you go to YouTube and look up off hours, if your life got rebooted, what kind would it be on the small beans channel? Please check it out. Off hours if your life. Rebooted. What kind would it be? It's it's a fun show. It's important to me because all of my friends are involved and because Internet comedy, if you don't know, is having some hard times these days. And Michael and Abe and a good group of many of my former coworkers who are all great people are trying to keep it alive, keep it user supported, you know? You know, avoid having to do ads, avoid a lot of of that mess and and try to make beautiful content that makes people laugh and makes the world more bearable. So please go to the small beans. Channel on YouTube check out the first episode of Off Hours. Share it with your friends, donate to small beans and and keep the world laughing. That's all I do for you. Research horror. The reason we chose that name is because it's the acronym is oh like oh I might want to watch this. And then F fun fun F friends. Fun with friends with friends with friends. And it's you know, after your work hours like after hours would work too. It's the kind of thing I would watch when I put down my throat and bagels for the day and I pick up my relaxing bagels, right? Yeah, yeah, just unwind with the soothing, dulcet tones. I am pitching a Frasier episode that I think will convince you to throw a bagel or two at. Yeah, OK, yeah, he might be bad. Yeah, Fraser might be bad guys. So many surprises like that. And more at patreon.com/small beans. Small beans. Alright, I'm Robert Evans. You buy shirt? The public behind the ********. You can buy buy shirts now. You can all. You can also just buy shirts and other places. If you want a shirt, it's legally required and many outdoor areas in the United States because of the ******* president. Or you can listen to my other podcast. It could happen here. If you want to be sad, it will. It will make your day worse with knowledge. Listen to it. And I have a Twitter and an Instagram at Bastarde pod. Well, Sophie? Runs both of those. I don't understand Instagram. It frightens and confuses me. But you can look at those things. They exist, they're in the world. We have a website, behindthebastards.com, where you can find all the sources for this, including barefaced Messiah, which you can find free online. I think it's out of copyright. I don't know, I did buy a copy of it, but you can also find it for free online, just torrenting it. The church got a little of your money. Yeah, well, no they don't. They didn't publish that book. They do not like that book. They hate the book. It's a it's a hell of a read, though. Like the Speaking of cutting room floors as we were earlier. The number of LRH stories that I didn't include in this podcast just because I couldn't make a 14 hour podcast about all Ron Hubbard ******* wild. Anyway, I'm going to throw some bagels. Y'all continue your commute or your poop. Yeah, #5. The episode's over. Hello, I'm Erica Kelly from the podcast Southern Fried True crime, and if you want to go from podcast fan to podcast host, do what I did and check out spreaker from iheart. I was working in accounting and hating it. Then after just 18 months of podcasting with Spreaker, I was able to quit my day job. Follow your podcasting dreams, let's break or handle the hosting, creation, distribution, and monetization of your podcast. Go to spreaker.com. That's spreaker.com. Want to say I don't know less? Listen to stuff you should know more. Join host Josh and Chuck on the podcast packed with fascinating discussions about science, history, pop culture, and more episodes. Dive into topics like was the lost, city of Atlantis Real? And how does pizza work? Say goodbye to I don't know, because after listening to stuff you should know. You will listen to stuff you should know on the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you get your podcasts. I'm Danny Shapiro, host of family secrets. I hope you'll join me and my extraordinary guests for this new season of family secrets. With over 25 million downloads, the importance of both telling and hearing secrets is apparent, and I am so excited to share 10 astonishing news stories with you. This is our best season yet. Listen and subscribe to family secrets on the iHeartRadio app, Apple Podcasts, or wherever you listen to your favorite podcasts.