The Scientology Money Project

Flag PR Rep Pat Harney Contradicts Numbers Scientology Gave to a Religious Scholar for Publication

In a recent puff piece interview, Scientology PR Rep Pat Harney stated twice that Flag Land Base in Clearwater has 2,400 staff members. We mentioned this number on Tony Ortega’s Underground Bunker. Bunkerite Panopea Abrupta posted the following in response:

Professor Bernadette Rigel-Cellard said there were 6,628 staff at Flag in Florida, according to numbers supplied to her in Nov. 2018. She published that in her article “The Visible Expansion …” for The Journal of CESNUR, Volume 3, Issue 1 Jan. – Feb. 2019

The Church of Scientology told Professor Bernadette Rigel-Cellard that there were 6,628 staff at Flag in Florida. Dr. Rigel-Cellard published this number in the Jan-Feb 2019 CESNUR journal. Pat Harney stated there are 2,400 staff members in her July 2019 interview. This is a reduction of 4,228 staff members at Flag.

This error is exactly like the recent case in which Joel Beaton, Address Management Director for the Church of Scientology International, stated in a June 2019 interview that the Church’s active mailing list contains “about 3.5 million active names.” We covered this story. Aaron Smith-Levin then did a video in which he analyzed past claims made by the Church of Scientology in which numbers of eight million, nine million, and ten million members were publicly stated by various Scientology officials. For Joel Beaton to have publicly toppled these fake numbers by offering a real number is extraordinary.

Pat Harney has now publicly toppled the numbers Scientology gave to a CESNUR-connected religious scholar. Here is a screenshot from the CESNUR journal with the 6,628 staff number:

Scientology’s claim of 27,355 staff members is absurd. Likewise, Scientology’s claim of 5,849 staff members is Los Angeles is equally absurd.


CESNUR is viewed by Scientology’s critics as a hostile pro-Scientology organization of religious scholars. The acronym CESNUR means “Center for Studies on New Religions” and was founded by Massimo Introvigne who has longstanding ties to the Church of Scientology. In our view, Introvigne and his colleagues have sought to normalize Scientology deviance such as Fair and Game and Disconnection. CENSUR has done this by calling former Scientologists “apostates” and attacking their credibility. This shows the intellectual shabbiness of CESNUR. Further, as CESNUR has no financial transparency, the organization may have undisclosed financial ties to Scientology.


Interviewer Daryle Hamel begins the interview by blithely dismissing decades of legal evidence and eyewitness testimony from former Scientologists. Mr. Hamel never once asked about Disconnection, Fair Game, child labor in the Sea Org, or Scientology’s incredible greed and financial schemes such as putting senior citizens into crushing credit card and bank loan debt as happened recently in Los Angeles. Hamel’s lack of asking Harney hard questions shows he has no interest in actual journalism.

Pat Harney was clearly irritated with the City of Clearwater in her interview. She argues that, given the Church of Scientology’s money, Clearwater should cooperate [read “capitulate] to the Church’s plans for Downtown development. Interviewer Hamel agrees. The citizens of Clearwater do not.

Daryle Hamel  turned off commenting on his YouTube video. Hamel was obsequious in the interview and reminded us very much of Scientologist Tony Hitchman pretending to be a journalist interviewing L. Ron Hubbard. We must say, though, Pat Harney did a creditable job within very strict confines. She could easily be Scientology’s International spokesperson.

Mike Rinder astutely asked in 2017 if Pat Harney is Scientology’s last PR person; it appears Mike was correct.


Daryle Hamel alludes to Leah Remini at 46:34 without mentioning her by name. In certain Scientology contexts — and this is one — Leah Remini’s name may not be uttered. In other contexts, such as all of the malicious hate websites Scientology puts up on Leah, Mike Rinder, and Leah’s guests then Leah’s name is used.

Hamel says:

You probably know what I’m talking about. She’s female who was a Scientologist and then escaped or got out yeah and you know she was I guess she had kind of mentioned a lot of things that went on and so like I said I haven’t seen it I know I mean I really don’t care…

Pat Harney attacks Leah as “this person” for having overts against Scientology. Hamel also gives Harney an opening to attack Ron Miscavige. Harney also spews the standard OSA line that there is a cottage industry of people making money off attacking Scientology.

Hamel openly admits that he is uninformed and didn’t watch Scientology and the Aftermath. This lack of show prep makes an argument that he is doing Church PR. Conversely, we regularly watch Scientology videos and read Scientology websites. We carefully watched Hamel’s 1 hour 19 minute interview twice and made notes. The Devil is always in the details.

The Journal of CESNUR, Volume 3, Issue 1 Jan. – Feb. 2019

The CESNUR Journal of Jan-Feb 2019 as made publicly available online by CESNUR. Please refer to page 49 to see the 6,628 number given to Professor Rigel-Cellard:

2 replies »

  1. Allow me to put this argument to rest, “This lack of show prep makes an argument that he is doing Church PR.”

    No, this isn’t any type of PR for “the Church”. This episode was 100% my idea, my questions, and my initiative.

    You paint a picture of someone with Howard Sterns reach and questionable intentions when in reality I’m another human being like yourself who recently converted his garage into a home studio and my show is me experimenting.

    As for being “obsequious”, not my style- or in my DNA.

    – Daryle Hamel

  2. Daryle, I stand by my position: Your interview with Pat Harney was obsequious and full of softball questions and fluff.

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