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Let’s help out a couple of former Scientologists who could use your attention
We’ve been pretty busy with the Danny Masterson trial over the last few weeks, but now that it’s on pause, we want to bring your attention to some other important issues.
Namely, that a couple of different Scientologists are going through a very difficult time right now, and there is a way you can lend them a hand.
First, we wanted to remind you about Ian Rafalko. If you remember, we were first blown away by his viral announcement on TikTok, explaining that he was the son of Dr. Eric Berg, the YouTube phenom with 8 million subscribers who dispenses a lot of diet advice. Ian drew attention to the fact that the very popular Dr. Berg is also a big time Scientology donor, and that Ian himself had been brought up in the church and had worked as a staffer in Atlanta. Ian broke away from Scientology and is estranged from his father, who is a chiropractor. (Scientology loves to prey on chiropractors.)
After that initial splash on TikTok, Ian made a longer YouTube video about his time in Scientology, he appeared on Leah Remini’s podcast, he also spoke to us about a lawsuit filed against Berg by one of his former employees, and he raised questions about his father gaming YouTube’s numbers.
Most recently, Ian reached out to us to let us know that he’s struggling. We encouraged him to create a GoFundMe campaign, where he posted this description of what he’s facing…
I’ve been broken down by the cult and my parents using the cults methods, in ways that has greatly debilitated me. To the point working, talking and even living without a very severe depression is impossible currently. The PTSD, extreme anxiety, depression and OCD has taken its toll and I need help from a professional clinician. Scientology has a way of reducing the ability of its members to ask for help and to seek any evidence-based treatment, so that is more so the reason this is only happening now. I plan on meeting with a specialist ASAP but I have been just barely surviving and I am ready to ask for help.
Scientologists often have a difficult time when they come out of this controlling, totalitarian organization, and they’ve been conditioned not to seek help from professionals. So we’re very supportive of Ian making this move, and we hope you can find a way to help him out.
Another campaign we want to make you aware about is the health crisis being faced by Jerry Whitfield.
Underground Bunker readers are certainly familiar with Jerry’s wife Hana Eltringham Whitfield, who had such a prominent role in Alex Gibney’s 2015 HBO documentary Going Clear. Hana and Jerry have been known for decades for helping Scientologists leave the organization, and Hana has appeared here numerous times in stories.
We were distressed to hear that Jerry is having a very tough time, and we wanted our readers to be aware of the GoFundMe campaign set up to help the two of them get through it. Here’s some material from the campaign…
Jerry required a liver and kidney transplant in 2014, and did very well for a number of years. Earlier this year, however, Jerry began experiencing complications associated with his transplanted organs and has spent the last four months in Cape Coral hospitals. Two days ago, Jerry was transported to Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, which has a superb medical staff that specializes in transplant patients. We are hoping beyond hope they can help Jerry pull through this latest challenge. To continue providing Jerry with the personal and emotional support he needs, Hana must rent an affordable hotel/motel or Air B&B near the hospital for six to eight weeks or more, which is how long doctors predict it will take before Jerry can be released. Once he and Hana are able to return home to Cape Coral, it will be months and months before Jerry gets his strength back to where he’ll be able to operate independently.
We’re rooting for you, Jerry. And Bunker readers, if you can help out with either of these campaigns, we would really appreciate it.
Yesterday’s wrap-up: Deadlocked!
We received the stunning news yesterday from Judge Charlaine Olmedo that the jury in the Danny Masterson trial had been unable to reach verdicts on all three counts. She has sent them home for the Thanksgiving week and we will resume on November 28. We released our end-of-the-day video to everyone here at Substack, but we’re linking to it here in case you haven’t seen it. And here’s also the version at our YouTube channel.
Thank you for reading today’s story here at Substack. For the full picture of what’s happening today in the world of Scientology, please join the conversation at tonyortega.org, where we’ve been reporting daily on David Miscavige’s cabal since 2012. There you’ll find additional stories, and our popular regular daily features:
Source Code: Actual things founder L. Ron Hubbard said on this date in history
Avast, Ye Mateys: Snapshots from Scientology’s years at sea
Overheard in the Freezone: Indie Hubbardism, one thought at a time
Past is Prologue: From this week in history at alt.religion.scientology
Random Howdy: Your daily dose of the Captain
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