"The Shrinking Cult of Scientology" video by Tiziano Lugli

Discussion in 'Media' started by The Wrong Guy, Oct 4, 2013.

  1. The Wrong Guy Member

    World Premiere: The Shrinking Cult of Scientology, a Video by Tiziano Lugli

    By Tony Ortega

    The Underground Bunker is privileged to debut a new video by Los Angeles music producer and ex-Scientologist Tiziano Lugli. We’ve shown some of his previous efforts that feature ex-church members talking about Scientology. But none of them have quite had the impact of this four-minute film.

    We expect that regular readers of this website will recognize most of the people who appear. Some of them are less familiar. All of them are telling their own stories. One face that we haven’t seen in Tiziano’s previous films is the one you see to the right. That’s Yannus Sufandi, the only person who appears in the video who was never a Scientologist. But if you read our story last month, you know that his nine-year relationship with dancer Manuela Oliveira ended when she decided to join Scientology’s “Sea Org” after spending only a few months in the church. The Sea Org takes total dedication. After Manuela signed its billion-year contract, she moved out, leaving Yannus wondering what he’d done wrong.

    Let us know who you recognize in the video, and what you think of Tiziano’s latest effort. And please, play this at full screen.

    Continued with open comments at
    • Like Like x 11
  2. RightOn Member

    can someone mention the Big List in a comment with a link over at Tonys?
    my guesses for the vid were:
    2. Luis Garcia
    3. Rinder of course
    4. yummy Tiziano
    5. Headley
    6. ?
    9. ?
    10.Gary Morehead
    11. ?
    12. ?
    13.Tiz's wife
    14. ? forgot her name
    16. Astra Woodcraft
    17. Mike Fairman
    18. Rinders wife
    • Like Like x 1
  3. DeathHamster Member

    Selling a kidney, *shudder*
    • Like Like x 1
  4. Anonymous Member

    Jenna Miscavige Hill
    Yannus Sufandi (not an ex)
    Joy Graysen

    Is the young buck Dean Thomas?
  5. IT IS IN THIS SONG !!!!!! I refered too kidneyselling on Mike's blog a few times as the new regging option

    Hello Humans This Is Xenu..

    • Like Like x 2
  6. CarterUSP Member

    Awesome video.
    • Like Like x 1
  7. 6 is Daryl Sorrentini, mother of Jamie Tiz's wife (according to Tony O)
  8. Django Member

    Jenna's in there somewhere...

    Edit: Already noted above, apologies...
  9. DeathHamster Member

    No one has I'm shocked!
    • Like Like x 2
  10. Anonymous Member

    Great comment from Jeff Hawkins over at TonyO's.
    • Like Like x 8
  11. RightOn Member

    indeed! LOVE to hear that!
  12. Random guy Member

    That was absolutely bloody smashing! Yeah, I know Tiziano used all the tricks the cult use in their "feel good" commercials, but I must admit I felt a very unusual lump in my throat, despite my otherwise sooth black heart. Of course, it helps knowing that these people talk about their own real life, and not being actors hired by a cult to go through the motions.

    Oh, and I chuckled at Rinders 911 comment.

    Great show all who appeared!
    • Like Like x 7
  13. Anonymous Member

    I wanted to do a write up using this video as a lead in. But am having difficulty identifying everybody.

    This is my list so far:

    1. Dallas Hill
    2. Luis Garcia
    3. Mike Rinder
    4. Tiziano Lugli
    5. Marc Headley
    6. Daryl Sorrentini
    7. (really old git)
    8. Karen de la Carriere
    9. Sky Fairman
    10.Gary Morehead
    11. Kelly Wasserman
    12. Renata Lugli
    13. Jamie Sorrentini Lugli
    14. Joy Graysen (Fairman)
    15. Tory Christman
    16. Astra Woodcraft
    17. Mike Fairman
    18. Christie Collbran
    19. Claudio Lugli
    20. Jenna Miscavige Hill
    21. Yannus Sufandi (not an ex)
    22. (woman with glasses at 1:50)?
    23. (man with laptop at 1:52)
    24. (woman at 2:40)
    25. (young man at 2:42)
    • Like Like x 2
  14. Anonymous Member

    #10 bears repeating in shiny big letters.

    Jefferson Hawkins
    What Marc Headley and others have said about people leaving Scientology in increasing numbers is true. Ever since I published my book and established the Leaving Scientology blog, I've been contacted a couple times a week by Scientologists who have questions or need assistance leaving the cult. Over the last month, for the first time, I've been contacted by current staff and Sea Org Members. Somehow they are accessing the internet and finding out what is really going on. Always nice to talk to your staff members, Dave, they have so many questions
    • Like Like x 7
  15. Anonymous Member

    chanology says, "you're welcome."
    • Like Like x 2
  16. Anonymous Member

    Channology is also giggling with shadenfrude.
    • Like Like x 1
  17. Anonymous Member

    lrn2deutsch "schadenfreude"
    • Like Like x 3
  18. Ogsonofgroo Member

    I really liked the vid, deserves to go viral imho, an awesome counter to cult's zoom-whoosh-ooo-ahhh videos. More!
    • Like Like x 1
  19. Random guy Member

    Actually, it's "Schadenfreude" with a capital S. Nouns are capitalized in German.
  20. Anonymous Member

    was posting in all lower-case because was lazy.
    you will notice i failed to capitalize "deutsch" as well.
  21. Oh, do shut up. Trufax: Germans have no word for shadenfrude
    • Like Like x 3
  22. Anonymous Member

    It has a certain je ne sais pas, or as the French would say, I don't know.
  23. The Wrong Guy Member

  24. I used to have a lot of respect for Tiziano Lugli for what he has done against the cult, but I changed my mind after I found out that he sued attorney Barry Van Sickle and got him suspended with the bar. For those who don’t know Van Sickle he has been very effective against the cult, but Tiziano doesn’t care and went after him for 6.5K. Without Van Sickle none of these labor cases would have been possible.
    I say fuck you Tiziano.
  25. The Wrong Guy Member

    Tiziano Lugli: A new short film about Scientology and ‘slavery’

    By Tony Ortega

    Former Scientologist and music producer Tiziano Lugli has given us the opportunity once again to debut one of his highly polished short films about the Scientology experience.

    Previously, Lugli made us laugh with ‘Shit Scientologists Say,’ and hit us in the gut with ‘The Shrinking Cult of Scientology.’

    Now he’s got a parody of a film made by Scientology itself, ‘No Slavery,’ which it uses as part of its cynical ‘human rights’ campaign aimed at teenagers.

    But Tiziano’s piece is more than a response to Scientology’s film. It has a lot of impact of its own, and it features Tiziano’s lovely wife, actress Jamie Sorrentini. Give it a look.

    Continued at
    • Like Like x 2
  26. The Wrong Guy Member

    Hey, Kirstie — why can’t you reunite the Lugli family?

    By Tony Ortega


    Kirstie, how do you defend an organization that would keep a mother from seeing her son simply because she no longer belongs to it? Isn’t there something you can do to reunite this family that you once, clearly, cared so much about?

    Kirstie, why don’t you help Flavio call his mother?
    • Like Like x 3
  27. The Wrong Guy Member

    Putting back a family ripped apart by Scientology can be easier said than done

    By Tony Ortega, January 30, 2017


    On Thursday, we told you about what appeared to be a new development in Scientology’s “disconnection” policy that rips apart families. Like so many other parents, Claudio and Renata Lugli have not heard from their son Flavio in years because they chose to leave the Church of Scientology and he did not. But after not hearing from him for six years, Flavio suddenly started a blog.

    In his blog, Flavio accused his parents of disconnecting from him and not the other way around, and of hiding “sins” that they would have to atone for. Flavio’s brother, Tiziano Lugli, told us the language in Flavio’s blog didn’t sound like him, and that he suspected it was the work of a Scientology Office of Special Affairs operative in Brescia, Italy, who has targeted Claudio and Renata with other online attacks.

    Now, we have some new developments to tell you about and that we thought would be interesting for the many other families who have spent years hoping they could at least talk to their loved ones in Scientology.

    After seeing our story, a tipster gave us what they said was a telephone number for Flavio, which we passed on to Claudio and Renata Lugli. They called it and it did not ring to Flavio, but it did lead to someone who eventually told them how to reach Flavio. Here’s what Claudio told us:

    We called the number, but a female voice answered that sounded very similar to Flavio’s wife Jelena. So we hung up and called Hania Mrkos, Jelena’s father, and gave him the number to call.

    After ten minutes he called us and said “I spoke to Flavio! The girl you heard was not Jelena, so I asked for Flavio and they put him on the phone. He was very friendly, told me he had bought a motorcycle, and that he was happy. It was a very social call. I asked him how was Jelena and he said she was good. I asked him to tell her to call me. He said he would and then said goodbye.”

    Wow. So we used the same number and we called him. He was so excited we could hear his voice shaking. I said “Ciao, Flavio, it’s me, your dad.” After a bit of a time lag he answered, “Ciao, how are you?”

    I said that I was doing fine and asked how about him and he answered he was doing great and that he was on the East Coast.

    Then we told him we had seen the blog and that we were very surprised that “he” wrote on it that “we had abandoned him!” He hesitated a long time and then answered, “Well, OK, I understand.” So Renata asked him why he wrote that we had never been a true family. He didn’t answer that, but he replied that this communication was very strange, and it was strange that it happened while he was on tour. So he was avoiding the issue. We pointed out again that he had said on the blog that we had abandoned him, but here we were, getting his number and calling him.

    Very surprisingly, he said, “Finally, you tracked me down.”

    We decided to take on the disconnection directly, and we asked him if he could continue to communicate with his. He said that we were the ones who had chosen the wrong path, so how could we stay in communication?

    “Which path are you talking about?” I asked, and he said that we had chosen to go on the Internet and say bad things. I said what we had said online was only the truth, but he didn’t want to discuss it. “I love you and you love me and that’s it, end of cycle,” he said.

    But I pushed him, asking him why he was allowing OSA to write on the Internet that we had never been a good family. He didn’t answer, and I thought it was a sign that he didn’t actually know what OSA had been saying about us. He said his only interest was that we should leave him and his church alone.

    Renata took the phone and told him that she was sorry, because karma would not be kind to him in the future for treating her the way he had and betraying her. She said he should fix things, and stop being loyal to a David Miscavige — and she did not use kind words about Miscavige. Flavio said nothing for a while before he said “I understand,” and tried to switch to small talk — what we call “good roads, fair weather” talk in Scientology.

    I spoke to him again and told him that I just wanted him to be well and to do well in life and that we are not putting anything negative about him on the ‘net, and I said he should ask his friends in OSA what they’ve been doing to us. He said he was just auditing and going up the Bridge and that he didn’t want to be involved in all this mess. He said the conversation we were having was weird. I said it was a good thing that we were talking, and that we were here for him as we always have been in case he needs our help.

    He said he was on the road and he was auditing and doing what he liked to do, and if we went a different direction that as our choice, but he doesn’t hate us for it. We told him we had chosen a different path because Scientology was not what we had known it to be, that it had been perverted and we felt it was our duty to inform him of that. He didn’t like that, and told us it was just our viewpoint, saying, “Really, there is no problem in Scientology whatsoever.”

    If there wasn’t a problem, I said, then why does he have to be disconnected from us? Why couldn’t we talk freely about our points of view? He didn’t answer for a long time, and then he just repeated that he was doing well, and he was on the road and auditing. I pushed the point again, saying if things were so good, why couldn’t a father and a son have a relationship just because they had different views? He started making excuses that it wasn’t his phone and he needed to get off the line. And he told us again he wanted us not to write the things we did on the Internet, and that he had not disconnected from us, we had just chosen our own direction.

    I didn’t like that and said, “What are you talking about, you never disconnected? We haven’t heard from you in six years.” And he said, “It was you that took that road, I never did. You put me on this path to auditing, and for that I thank you.”

    Renata at that point brought up what was on his blog, that we had committed “big crimes,” that we had “big sins” and that we knew what they were. He said he had to get off the phone. Renata said it was obvious he didn’t even know what OSA had written about us under his name. That it looks like he’s the one accusing us of these things. And I asked him if he knew how OSA had been attacking us and fair gaming us. But he kept making excuses about having to get off the phone.

    “I have to go. Please don’t call me at this number again, it’s a work phone,” he said. We told him he could call us any time, that our phone numbers had not changed. He said he loved us, and that he just hoped things went well with us, and that he was carrying on. Renata had the last word, and she said, “May the force be with you.”

    Continued at
  28. The Wrong Guy Member


    When a Scientology ‘body-router’ turns out to be the father you haven’t seen in 7 years

    By Tony Ortega, May 23, 2017


    Well, we didn’t see this coming. On Sunday we published a set of professional-looking photos that were offered to us by one of our readers, who wished to remain anonymous. He had taken the photos outside of a metro station in Los Angeles, where a number of Scientology staff members were handing out literature.

    Known in Scientology jargon as “body routers,” the staffers were trying to find passersby who might be convinced to come to the Los Angeles Ideal Org and view a Scientology movie or take a personality test. It’s one of the things that Scientology has always done, work sidewalks looking for the next set of raw recruits among the people walking by.

    We liked the photos because they were so nicely shot and captured some interesting facial expressions. One man in particular had a face that spoke to us. Despite the dark shock of hair on his head, he looked older, especially next to the young staffer next to him. He seemed past the sell-date for a low-level staff member who might be out body routing. But he had an interesting face. Like the others, we wondered who he was.

    And then, yesterday, we found out just who he was, and it came as something of a surprise.

    His name is Irving Sorrentini, and he is the father of a former Scientologist we know quite well.

    We’ve written numerous stories that featured Jamie Sorrentini Lugli, a luminously beautiful woman who lives in Los Angeles and works as an actress. Her father-in-law, Claudio Lugli, emailed us from Italy yesterday morning with the news that our tipster’s photograph had, in fact, captured Jamie’s father Irving.

    Jamie was stunned when she heard the news from us. She spent yesterday afternoon with her daughter Veda, 6, driving around looking for Irving in the places where Scientology body-routers might be stationed.

    Jamie tells us that Veda kept asking if this man or that man was the one they were looking for. Veda couldn’t be sure, because she’s never seen her grandfather, who disconnected from his daughter before Veda was born.

    Irving and Jamie’s sister Tracie disconnected from Jamie in 2010 for the most Scientological of reasons: By then, Jamie, who had once been a very dedicated church member, had developed doubts.

    Jamie tells us that her father is from Puerto Rico, and he was already involved in Scientology when he got married and moved to New York, where he went on staff in the 1970s. Jamie says she was born into a Scientology household, but it was never forced on her growing up as her parents left staff and then their participation in the church varied. By the time Jamie was a student at NYU in the early 2000s, her father was back on course, and he encouraged her to get involved as well. But it wasn’t until she had moved to Los Angeles in 2003 that she finally became a dedicated Scientologist herself.

    She met her husband, Tiziano Lugli, at the Hollywood Celebrity Centre. But by the time of their wedding, in September 2009, Jamie and her in-laws, Claudio and Renata Lugli, who had been tailors to Scientology leader David Miscavige and his wife Shelly, had begun to go through a crisis of faith.

    Her father flew out for the wedding in Capri, but Jamie says he was already distant as he seemed to sense that his daughter and the Luglis were pulling away from Scientology.


    Last night, we called the Los Angeles Ideal Org and reached a very helpful church operator who told us she didn’t have a record of Irving Sorrentini, but if he was an outer org trainee from a local org — such as Valley — he wouldn’t be on her roster. “If he’s local, then he’d just go home at the end of the day,” she told us. She then gave us the phone number for the newly opened San Fernando Valley Ideal Org.

    We called the number, and when we asked the operator there for Irving Sorrentini, she said, “He’s not here right now.”


    The operator then took our name and phone number, saying she would get it to Irving.

    We told Jamie that our asking about him and giving our name meant that the church would be on high alert, and we were afraid that it might make it tougher for her to find him body-routing on the street.

    But she told us she didn’t mind. She was glad to find out that he was on staff at the Valley org, just a few miles away from where she herself lives. But she admitted that seeing her father in the uniform also hit her hard.

    “Honestly, my heart is breaking. I feel like there’s no hope now. His eyes look so sad in that picture. That’s not the guy he was,” she says.

    After looking for him yesterday, Jamie says her daughter Veda could see how it was affecting her.

    She said, “Mom, I know you’re really sad right now. But just pretend that Irving is here with you.”

    We’re glad that Jamie is benefiting from the wisdom of her 6-year-old daughter, even as she continues to miss her Scientologist dad.

    More at
    • Like Like x 1
  29. The Wrong Guy Member

    Our photographer goes back for more Scientology ‘body routing’ on the streets of LA

    By Tony Ortega, May 25, 2017


    The anonymous photographer who captured images of Scientology body routers for us recently was shocked by the story we wrote Tuesday. We discovered that one of the people in his photos was Irving Sorrentini, the 68-year-old father who “disconnected” from his daughter Jamie Sorrentini Lugli in 2010.

    The last time Jamie had seen her father was in Florida that summer. But because she had developed doubts about the church and went to visit Scientology’s former official, Mark “Marty” Rathbun in Texas, she was labeled an enemy of the organization and her father was forced to cut off all ties from her. He’s never seen her 6-year-old daughter, Veda, and she had lost all track of him. Jamie was stunned to see that our photographer had captured him outside a Los Angeles metro station, working as a “body router.”

    That’s Scientology language for the staff members who work city streets looking for new recruits, handing out invitations to see a Scientology movie or take a personality test. Jamie’s father is OT, meaning he’s high on Scientology’s expensive “Bridge to Total Freedom,” but Jamie said she wasn’t entirely surprised to see him working such a basic job for the church. “All he wants to do is Scientology. All he ever wanted was to be on the Bridge all the time, so if he could join staff or the Sea Org and have no other job, he would,” she told us.

    Since we posted the photo, she says it’s been a “rough couple of days.”

    Inspired by our story, the photographer went back to the sidewalks outside the new San Fernando Valley “Ideal Org” to capture some more images. And what stunned him this time was the badge that one woman was wearing on her staff uniform.

    “I thought that ‘body router’ was just informal jargon. They actually officially wear it like a name tag job description?” he asked us. And sure enough, take a look at the badge:


    “Body Router I/C Fdn” means that this woman is the “in charge” of the body routing by the “Foundation” — meaning evening shift — of the Valley org. Does anyone recognize her?

    Our photographer caught a few images of her working the passersby outside the Valley Org.

    Continued at
  30. The Wrong Guy Member

    Scientology’s all-hands-on-deck gathering in the Valley caught in pics

    By Tony Ortega, July 5, 2017


    Our San Fernando Valley tipster is back, the one who took such excellent photos of people outside Scientology’s new “Ideal Org” there.

    The first time we posted some of his high-quality photos of Scientology workers outside the facility, it turned into a moving story about Jamie Sorrentini Lugli recognizing the father she hasn’t seen in seven years.

    With that in mind, when our tipster was alerted that some sort of event was happening last week at the facility, he hurried down with his camera to capture the scene.

    “I tried to capture as many faces as possible in hopes of letting a family member see a loved one they haven’t seen in a while,” our tipster says.

    We think the event he captured may have been an “all Ideal Org” meeting also held in some other countries as well. What could that mean? Could Scientology leader David Miscavige finally be leveling with his followers that his 13-year plan to open fancy new facilities in order to boost membership has been an utter disaster?

    Nah. It’s probably just another gathering where they’re told how important it is that they donate more money than ever.

    Anyway, here are the new photos. Recognize anyone?

    Continued at
  31. The Wrong Guy Member

    Bryan Seymour takes a Scientology field trip, and we’re the better for it

    By Tony Ortega, July 28, 2017


    Our man in Australia, TV journalist Bryan Seymour, sent us a dispatch from one of our favorite places on earth, and we’re happy to share it with you.

    Perhaps the best thing about the decade I’ve spent reporting on Scientology is the people I’ve met, many who have become friends.

    My wife Dianne and I are traveling through Europe on our honeymoon. A few weeks ago I received an email from Claudio Lugli, congratulating me on my marriage and asking if we’d like to catch up while we were in Italy.

    I knew the name from meeting their son Tiziano in Los Angeles in 2013. Tiziano and his beautiful wife Jamie helped me report the story of Australian dancer Manuela Oliveira, who had joined Scientology and was quickly pressed into service, despite the objections of her partner. Several former Scientologists, including Tiziano, staged a kind of intervention to bring Manuela back to reality (Tony was there and wrote about it). You can see my own story about Manuela here.

    I was only peripherally aware of Claudio and his wife Renata so it was a surprise to hear from them. Then I remembered an article Tony posted on this site not long ago. Tony received a phone number for Flavio Lugli, the couple’s son who is still in the Sea Org. Claudio and Renata, who left Scientology in 2010 and had not spoken with their son in six years, eagerly called. You can read about that encounter here.

    It turns out the couple had discovered me on Youtube while researching Scientology after leaving. They had also seen me on Scientology And The Aftermath – the brilliant A&E series by Leah Remini and Mike Rinder.

    We agreed to meet in Verona for dinner. We arrived and immediately hit it off. There’s a lovely sense of camaraderie I feel with ex-Scientologists, even though I was never a member and do not have their breadth of knowledge about life inside.

    What I do have is a visceral, deep understanding of the method, manipulation and emotional blackmail employed by the leadership of Scientology – to the extent that I can quickly talk with former members ‘in their language’ and share things many simply wouldn’t understand.

    Claudio and Renata joined Scientology as doe-eyed youngsters in Italy in the 70’s. Together they built up a multi-million dollar fashion house and became celebrated designers. All the while, they were studying the tech and enjoying what they were learning.

    In 1989 Claudio reached OT 8 – still the highest achievement for any Scientologist.

    Over dinner, he and Renata told us many wonderful anecdotes of their time in Scientology.

    About ten years ago, Claudio asked David Miscavige a question that had been playing on his mind for some time. “Dave, I completed OT 8 in 1989, when are we going to see OT 9 and OT 10 and the other levels, and what is the end goal?”

    Claudio says Miscavige told him, “You know that comic book character Superman? That is what you will become, you will have his powers.”


    Continued at
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