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The fight over the secrets on a Scientology spy’s seized laptop that no one is talking about


[Someone is trying very hard to get the secrets of Scientology spies Daniel (left) and Dwayne Powell]

The Underground Bunker has obtained court documents which describe a stunning attempt by a Milwaukee attorney to secure secret government-held documents that are potentially crippling to the Church of Scientology.

That attempt came very close to being successful.

In June of last year, the attorney, Jeremy P. Levinson, arrived at the West Allis, Wisconsin Police Department, demanding to see the department’s then chief, Charles Padgett. Levinson had with him a court order instructing the police department to turn over to him a trove of information that had been collected as evidence in a criminal investigation from a couple of laptop computers. Levinson said he wasn’t going to leave without the entire collection of evidence.

When he was told that it would take time for so much material to be gathered, he said he would be back the next morning.

But by then, the West Allis Police Department figured out what was going on, and told Levinson he was getting nothing.

What almost happened, we’re told, would have led to the possible destruction of damaging information about the way the Church of Scientology carries out elaborate and sophisticated spying operations — information that has not been seen in public, and may never be.

And the people we talked to for this story tell us that the audacious operation to get that information out of the government’s hands could only have been masterminded by one outfit — and that’s the Church of Scientology itself.



Tonight, a new episode of A&E’s hit series Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath will focus on the rise of David Miscavige, who took the reins of Scientology after the death of its founder, L. Ron Hubbard, in 1986.

And to help explain David Miscavige’s rise, Leah will talk to David’s father, Ron Miscavige, who escaped from Scientology in 2012 and earlier this year published a memoir titled Ruthless: Scientology, My Son David Miscavige, and Me.

One of things that motivated Ron to write his book was the shocking realization in 2013 that he was being stalked by private investigators hired by his own son.

On July 30, 2013, two Florida men, Dwayne Powell (41 at the time), and his son, Daniel, 21, were stopped by West Allis police officers after they had been reported acting suspiciously in a residential neighborhood. When police searched their car, they found a small arsenal of rifles, handguns, and ammunition, as well as a collection of phones, computers, and other electronic devices. Most importantly, among Dwayne’s possessions there was an item made out of a 25-inch length of PVC tubing that he said he used with a rifle during target shooting. It was a homemade silencer — the possession of which was a serious violation of federal law.

With Dwayne facing ten years in prison, he and his son proved willing to give lengthy interviews to the police, which were recorded and later released to the media. (The full police report of the arrest was also made public.) The Powells told detectives that they were private investigators who had been hired by the Church of Scientology, and were being paid $10,000 a week to follow Ron Miscavige, who was now living in West Allis. For more than a year, they said, they had been tailing Ron, following his movements by attaching a tracking device to his car, for example. They said that they were instructed to recruit people to befriend Ron and his wife, Becky Bigelow, to get information from them. And above all, they were to stalk Ron and Becky without giving away their presence.


At one point, when the Powells were watching from a distance as Ron walked across a parking lot, Ron, who was 77 at the time, clutched at his chest and seemed to stumble. Ron was actually fumbling with a smartphone in his shirt pocket, but the Powells thought they were seeing an older man have a heart attack. They called their handler, a private investigator in Florida, but they were soon patched through to David Miscavige himself. When they asked whether they should blow their cover and provide aid to Ron, David said, “If he dies, he dies,” and he told them to stay back.

Those statements, made to police in recorded interviews, were released to Ron Miscavige himself by the West Allis detectives, and eventually, the public got to hear them as well. But the vast majority of the evidence seized from the Powells was never released to anyone, including Ron Miscavige.

“The police told me that Dwayne Powell had two laptops,” Ron tells us. “One of them was tracking me and Becky. On the screen, it showed our location. And that laptop, they said, would hold all the historic data of the tracking that they’d been doing of us.

“The second computer, though. That’s the one that really matters. On that one, Powell said to the cops that he kept the reports he was making to Scientology about what Becky and I were doing. Those documents spell out the day by day spying operations like nothing else.”

We asked former Scientology spokesman Mike Rinder how significant the information on Dwayne Powell’s laptop would be if it were made public.

“Nobody gets documents like that. The last time documents like that got out was after the 1977 FBI raid. I mean, they’re that significant,” Rinder says, referring to what was the largest raid in FBI history up to that point, resulting in the seizure of more than 100,000 documents and the prosecution and sentencing to prison of 11 top Scientology officials.

“I think that they could be as damaging as what was found in the FBI raid, seriously. Nobody has seen that kind of documentation since then,” Rinder says.

And then something really interesting happened to that evidence.



West Allis police told Ron Miscavige that at first, the Powells were very cooperative. Perhaps because of the seriousness of the charge that Dwayne faced, they gave police their consent to have their equipment thoroughly searched.

A couple of weeks later, Powell had hired an attorney out of Chicago, and the police were notified that Powell had changed his mind about that consent. By then, however, the data from his laptops had been downloaded. The police had access to all of his information, they told Ron, but they couldn’t do anything with it.

Then, on June 24, 2014, Dwayne Powell cut a very favorable deal with his prosecutors. His attorney, Mark Rotert, had worked out an agreement with Assistant US Attorney Lisa Wesley that would defer prosecution. In the agreement (which we obtained, and we’ve posted below), Powell admitted that he was guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, but Wesley would dismiss the charges against him without prejudice — meaning that the charges could be refiled if he broke any law over the next five years.

In other words, if Powell kept his nose clean over the next five years, the matter would be dropped.

But there was an additional wrinkle, spelled out in the last of the 16 points covered in the agreement:

16. The parties acknowledge, stipulate, and agree that the United States, and particularly ATF and the West Allis Police Department, shall keep and maintain all the evidence seized and secured from the defendant on July 30, 2013, for future use as evidence in the event of a violation and breach of this agreement. If there is no violation of the agreement, the defendant is entitled to have the property returned at the end of the approximately 5 year period.

So for the next five years, the West Allis Police Department would hold — but not be allowed to look through — documents from Dwayne Powell’s laptop that were potentially explosive. After those five years, the laptops and their data would be returned to Powell.

But then, Dwayne Powell did something that seems incredible for a man who had managed to escape a ten-year prison sentence scot-free.

Powell somehow decided to risk jeopardizing that agreement, and putting himself in prison, because he couldn’t wait five years for his laptops and their evidence.




[Dwayne Powell’s PVC silencer]

In April 2015, the story of the Powells’ arrest and the secrets they had spilled about being Scientology spies went public with an exclusive story in the Los Angeles Times, as well as items at TMZ and on NBC in what appeared to be a coordinated effort.

And later, we learned that that’s exactly what it was. It turns out that Ron Miscavige has a close relationship with Lisa Marie Presley, who had made her own journey out of the Church of Scientology and was also interested in exposing the secrets of David Miscavige. It was Lisa Marie who told Ron that the information about the Powells and their arrest shouldn’t come out for the first time in his book but instead should first come out in the press. So she hired an attorney who fed the story to the L.A. Times and TMZ.

It was a brilliant media strategy, and resulted in a wave of negative press for Miscavige and his church.

Two months later, on June 9, 2015, a hearing was held in a Wisconsin state circuit court in Milwaukee. A local attorney named Jeremy Levinson had filed a petition on behalf of his client, Dwayne Powell, asking Judge M. Joseph Donald for a court order that would instruct the West Allis Police Department to turn over Dwayne’s evidence to him. (The court’s docket indicates that Dwayne Powell himself did not attend the hearing.)

Specifically, Levinson was asking for…

(1) all electronically stored data (including the downloaded contents of Mr. Powell’s iPhones, camera, and possibly other devices); (2) data storage devices taken from Mr. Powell; and (3) documents (including photographs) taken from Mr. Powell

Was Levinson unaware that his client, Dwayne Powell, was at the time under a federal criminal deferment, and did he also not realize that he was asking a state court judge for an order to seize evidence in direct violation of a federal agreement with the US Attorney’s office?


[Jeremy Levinson]

We reached Levinson by phone Monday, and explained quickly what we were asking about, that his petition pitted a state judge against a federal agreement, and that the state judge had apparently not realized what was going on.

“I barely recall it,” Levinson said, but then he seemed to remember something about it. “I recall generally the situation. But I couldn’t possibly comment on a client matter,” he said.

We then told Levinson that several legal experts we’d consulted told us that what Levinson had done could have serious consequences. One appeals attorney who has handled federal cases told us that if Levinson had known about Powell’s federal agreement when he filed the petition in state court, it could even result in disbarment.

“Is that a question?” he asked.

We told him that we were just wondering if he’d heard about potential trouble over the incident from either the court or the state bar association.

“My license is in good standing,” he replied, and added “I’m going to hang up now” before we got a chance to ask him if the Church of Scientology had been involved in his hiring or the filing of the petition.

Meanwhile, why didn’t Judge Donald realize that he was being asked to issue a court order that would violate a federal prosecution deferment agreement?

Ron Miscavige supplied a possible answer. He said that the West Allis police explained to him that because Dwayne Powell had been charged under federal law, his records wouldn’t be accessible by the state court computers used by Judge Donald.

“Someone really thought this through,” Ron says the West Allis police later told him.

At the June 9, 2015 hearing, Judge Donald granted a court order, instructing the West Allis Police Department to hand over Dwayne Powell’s evidence to him. And the scope of the court order was somewhat stunning…

The City of West Allis shall forthwith return to Powell’s exclusive possession all property (including any and all copies) without disclosing or providing such property to any third-parties and without retaining any copies of same. In doing so, the City of West Allis shall confirm in writing that it and any third-parties or its agents who had been given access to The Property retain no copies of the above-described property.

Ron Miscavige says the police he talked to about it pointed out to him that the language of the order seems to indicate that it would be used not only to get the police department to turn over its evidence, but that the news organizations that had received copies of the police report and the audio recordings of the Powell interviews would be asked to return their copies as well.

After being handed the court order, Levinson moved quickly to have it fulfilled. Ron says police told him about the scene at the chief’s office, as Levinson seemed in a big hurry to get the evidence turned over to him, and wouldn’t leave until it was. But he was eventually told to come back the next day. And during that time, word got to officers in the department who actually knew what was going on with Powell and his deferment agreement.

Lisa Wesley, Powell’s prosecutor, was notified, and she sent out an email that Ron Miscavige received a copy of.

“Please see paragraph 16 of the executed [deferred prosecution agreement]…The parties agreed the government would maintain all seized property as evidence until such time as the [agreement] expires,” Wesley wrote. “Accordingly, the government is not turning over the requested materials per the court order. Thanks for your attention to this matter.”

Levinson didn’t get the documents. And to this day, that material from the Powell laptops is still safely being held by the West Allis Police Department.

Ron Miscavige tells us that police were livid over what they saw as a blatant attempt to back-door the federal agreement and fool a local judge into issuing an order that would allow for the release of potentially explosive information about the Church of Scientology.

“I must say it was rather cunning. They must have done their homework to find that back door,” Ron says.

But why would Dwayne Powell risk his deferred prosecution to have evidence turned over to him that he was entitled to receive a few years later?

“Powell gains nothing from this petition. And yet he risked everything. Why?” Ron asked us.

We tried to ask Powell himself. After his 2013 arrest, he returned to Florida but then moved to Tennessee, getting involved in a series of small restaurants in places like Waynesboro. We called several phone numbers associated with places he had lived and restaurants where he had worked, but got through to him on none of them. We’re going to keep trying, and we’ll add to this story if we succeed in talking to him.

Ron suspects — and he says the West Allis police agree with him — that Scientology was likely involved in convincing Powell to go along with the court petition.

We didn’t get a chance to ask Levinson about that in our phone call. And an email we sent to Scientology spokeswoman Karin Pouw was not answered.

Ron even believes the church still expected to get its hands on the evidence even after the June 2015 attempt failed.

A few weeks later, on July 1, 2015, the Hollywood Reporter wrote a piece after Ron’s forthcoming book had been announced. Asked for a comment about the “If he dies, he dies” remark attributed to David Miscavige, an unnamed church representative told the publication, “No such conversation with Mr. Miscavige ever took place and any claim that one did is provable bullshit.”

The phrase, “provable bullshit” was so odd, and out of character even for Scientology’s salty press statements, it made an impression.

“When they said ‘provable bullshit,’ I think what David was counting on was them getting hold of this evidence and destroying it,” Ron says.

Instead, it still sits in a Wisconsin evidence room.



Which brings us to our final point in this story, which is an appeal to our fellow journalists.

The Underground Bunker is one man in New York with very few resources. Thanks to the generosity of our donors, we manage to make some trips when reporting calls for it. But we don’t have the backing to take on what this story calls for.

Editors in Milwaukee or Chicago or, hell, New York. There is an incredible treasure trove of crucial information that, the facts in this story suggest, someone with a lot of money is willing to go to some pretty impressive lengths to get their hands on. They wouldn’t do that if that information were not radioactive.

If you’ve ever wanted an opportunity to mount a legal challenge to get some records unsealed, this is a fat, juicy target. The prosecution of Dwayne Powell is deferred. It is not an open investigation — the West Allis police can’t even look through the evidence they have.

Perhaps there’s a smart and enterprising media lawyer out there who can convince a federal judge in the Milwaukee area that Dwayne Powell’s laptop contained information that the public has a legitimate interest in seeing.

It’s worth a shot, isn’t it?

The Documents:

1. The deferred prosecution agreement, signed in June 2014…

Dwayne Powell Deferred Prosecution Agreement by Tony Ortega on Scribd

2. Judge Donald’s court order of June 9, 2015…

Powell: Order to Return Evidence by Tony Ortega on Scribd



Go here to start making your plans.


3D-UnbreakablePosted by Tony Ortega on December 20, 2016 at 07:00

E-mail tips and story ideas to tonyo94 AT gmail DOT com or follow us on Twitter. We post behind-the-scenes updates at our Facebook author page. After every new story we send out an alert to our e-mail list and our FB page.

Our book, The Unbreakable Miss Lovely: How the Church of Scientology tried to destroy Paulette Cooper, is on sale at Amazon in paperback, Kindle, and audiobook versions. We’ve posted photographs of Paulette and scenes from her life at a separate location. Reader Sookie put together a complete index. More information about the book, and our 2015 book tour, can also be found at the book’s dedicated page.

Learn about Scientology with our numerous series with experts…

BLOGGING DIANETICS: We read Scientology’s founding text cover to cover with the help of L.A. attorney and former church member Vance Woodward
UP THE BRIDGE: Claire Headley and Bruce Hines train us as Scientologists
GETTING OUR ETHICS IN: Jefferson Hawkins explains Scientology’s system of justice
SCIENTOLOGY MYTHBUSTING: Historian Jon Atack discusses key Scientology concepts

Other links: Shelly Miscavige, ten years gone | The Lisa McPherson story told in real time | The Cathriona White stories | The Leah Remini ‘Knowledge Reports’ | Hear audio of a Scientology excommunication | Scientology’s little day care of horrors | Whatever happened to Steve Fishman? | Felony charges for Scientology’s drug rehab scam | Why Scientology digs bomb-proof vaults in the desert | PZ Myers reads L. Ron Hubbard’s “A History of Man” | Scientology’s Master Spies | Scientology’s Private Dancer | The mystery of the richest Scientologist and his wayward sons | Scientology’s shocking mistreatment of the mentally ill | Scientology boasts about assistance from Google | The Underground Bunker’s Official Theme Song | The Underground Bunker FAQ

Our Guide to Alex Gibney’s film ‘Going Clear,’ and our pages about its principal figures…
Jason Beghe | Tom DeVocht | Sara Goldberg | Paul Haggis | Mark “Marty” Rathbun | Mike Rinder | Spanky Taylor | Hana Whitfield


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  • Panopea Abrupta

    And Tony said it would be gnarly.
    And it WAS gnarly.

    Mr. Levinson, when you sup with the Devil, you should use a long spoon.

    And, Dave – be very afraid.
    Very very afraid.

    Tick fucking Tock

  • Ella Raitch

    Lisa Marie Presley… know you want to…

    • Jerseygram

      I was just going to say the same thing…

  • C’mon media moguls, who wants to be a hero, and get a Pulitzer?

  • NOLAGirl (Stephanie)

    Yes, smart media lawyers and/or writers, come see us. Muwahahahahaha!! ๐Ÿ˜ˆ

    P.S. We crowdfund like lightening.

    • Well there’s an idea.
      Mr. Ortega, feel like doing it if crowd-funded?

      • NOLAGirl (Stephanie)

        My guess? Tony has his hands full.

        On the other hand, if he did decide to take it on, we’re here for him too. ๐Ÿ™‚

      • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

        Now there is an idea.

    • PickAnotherID

      Where’s ‘Wikileaks’ when you need them? /sarcasm

      • NOLAGirl (Stephanie)


  • mockingbird

    The complicated legal twists and turns with Scientology are so confusing. I have resigned myself to the fact that when people with large fortunes or groups like Scientology break or twist the law there is almost never any lasting consequences. Scientology, like a billionaire that rips people off just keeps on doing its thing.

    The PIs are a tough nut to crack because like Nibs I can’t trust a word they say. It’s hard to figure out what really happened when there is no one remotely trustworthy involved in a story.

    Scientology has no shortage of unrepentant liars, that is for sure.

  • Michael Leonard Tilse

    Next step for scientology: infiltrate or otherwise compromise someone or someones in the West Allis Police or city government who has access to this evidence. And make it disappear.

    After that it’s “I’m sorry, we don’t know what happened. You should have kept better track of it.”

    And in that way, scientology dodges yet another existential threat from agencies that can actually do something about them breaking the law.

    ETA: You know if they have put that much thought into their first attempt, the second may be successful, or brute force if necessary,

    • dungeon master

      It does seem it would be prudent to keep a separate copy in a different secure location in case something like this does happen.

      • And stick an amber Postit on it to double-check requests.

    • PJK

      I’m really amazed by this. The only thing they have to do is sit on Dwayne Powell until the 25th of June 2019 and the evidence will be returned to him. Are they that desperate to get it back that they are willing to implicate themselves in another crime just to get it back early?

      Davey must really have become a paranoid control freak to go this route.

    • 5 Feet Long and Luminous

      I had similar thoughts, MLT. That evidence better be on special lockdown. The CoS is tenacious in ways most law enforcement isn’t used to. But kudos to the West Allis police department for being on their game.

      • Kestrel

        The West Allis police department would do well to store that evidence in a local bank safe deposit box.

        • 5 Feet Long and Luminous

          I was thinking more along the lines of setting up an impossible obstacle course the way Mr. Universe protected the backup transmitter. But sadly, no one has put that particular Serenity clip on YouTube (that I could find).

      • stillgrace2

        Giant Faraday cages are needed.

    • ReallyMGM

      Remember the scene in “Breaking Bad” when WW used the huge truck with the magnet to ruin the computer containing the evidence?

      • abdaman

        Yes! Lol. If CoS pulled that off I might have to actually join up

        • ReallyMGM

          Wouldn’t go that far but lots of BB in the Bunker

      • Princess Squishy

        that’s what I thought of the moment I started reading about the laptops

    • You mean, like in the Paris central court house? That would just be silly…

  • Rasha

    I think we should wait for a response from Scientology Spokesperson Karin Pouw….

  • I wonder if Dwayne Powell is being paid to keep his nose very clean these days?

    (Maybe there are PIs watching him?)

    • Ella Raitch

      But who watches the watchers watching the watchers watching the watchers….(you can see where I’m going here)?

      • Well actually, those monitoring deferrals, like probation and parole officers, have a built in motivation to find a violation.
        Keeps them in a job.

        • Chee Chalker

          I’m wondering if Powell was even aware of this motion. There’s nothing that says he was actually there

      • I really enjoyed “Enemy Of The State” not for the Smith but for the Hackman.

        • Ella Raitch

          You can fast forward past the Bodhi Elfman appearances

    • Well, I’m thinking the same thing. Its not hard to find a violation of a deferral agreement.

    • I think it is too late for ol’ Duane. The demand for return of everything was made on his behalf and none of that stuff would have benefitted him in the least. There is a single individual behind all of this and his initials are David Miscavige. But we already knew that.

  • Fascinating, totally fascinating. This raises some questions.

    1) Why is COS so concerned about the data? Did they talk to Powell and realize that something he had recorded was dangerous?

    2) Did the COS know there were problems, like for instance the COS paying Powell to bug Ron’s house, tapping his phone, or other illegal matters?

    3) Did Powell know about Levinson? I could see someone calling Levinson pretending to be Powell, and retaining him to act.

    The inventive folks here can probably come up with other questions. I haven’t slept yet (my sinuses are revolting), so I’m not going to claim I’m thinking straight!

    • Ella Raitch

      The information could contain contact information directly traceable to Captain Dave (so far we only have the Powell’s word that they spoke to him).

    • Draco

      “2) Did the COS know there were problems, like for instance the COS paying Powell to bug Ron’s house, tapping his phone, or other illegal matters?”
      That was my thought too.

      • Or maybe someone else did the bugging, and the Powell’s were in possession of information which made it obvious. Too bad the prosecutor didn’t wait till the police had gone over every bit of data from the devices.

    • PickAnotherID

      4) All of the above.

  • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

    This is so juicy! I’m willing to bet Dwayne Powell is wrapped in cotton wool right now – and for the remainder of the judgement period.

    • “Hey Dad look what came in the mail. You won a 5 year cruise from Majestic Cruise Lines!”

      • PickAnotherID

        “On MV Freewinds!”

        • Robert Hanna Moore

          You’re gonna love our bilges!!!!

          • PickAnotherID

            And the ocean swimming parties midway between Aruba and Cape Verde.

            • Robert Hanna Moore

              Our man overboard drills are to die for!!!

            • OOkpik

              That says it all!

            • richelieu jr

              So Flotsam and Jetsom walk into a Bar, and the Barman says, “Hey, I hear that Hubbard’s a helluva guy, and Flotsam says, “Well let’s not go overboard!”

          • Take a tour of the chainlocker.

            • richelieu jr

              We prefer to call it the “Isolation Tank”, thank you very much.

              It is a steal at 700 euros the hour, plus all the rats you can befriend or eat.

        • OOkpik

          In the boiler room.

        • Lars Rosenquist

          Get your very own graph paper so you can plot how many square feet of the wreck’s deck you scrubbed each day. And do it late into nights, if it’s downtrending. There’s no better way to spend your vacation than doing the Competence and Leadership Course.

      • Andrea ‘i-Betty’ Garner

        “There’s an empty, beautifully appointed, fully-furnished house. Actually, we have several, take your pick, but I recommend South Africa. Do you smoke? We have ashtrays. It’s yours.”

        • Draco

          Hell no! We have enough of our own “corrupts” here, thank you very much!
          I hear Siberia is lovely this time of year…

        • Jenyfurrrrr

          “We have ashtrays…” ๐Ÿ˜‚ Funny day at the Bunker, today!

    • Newiga

      Juicy? That’s the first word that came to my mind. Juicy in a sleazy murky kind of way. Always worse than you think. Always.

      • stillgrace2

        The word “gnarly” comes to my mind.

    • chuckbeattyexseaorg75to03

      Hubbard’s/OSA’s payoff tech to PIs and to newly cultivated duped lawyers who are brought in and play along in their ignorance none the wiser.

      Thank goodness Tony all by his lonesome sees through it and writes about it!

      What do you get when a crank outfit spends their dupes’ collected money on the outside world’s legal tech protections which apply to even the crank outfit: Scientology.

      Only way to paper/rock/scissors beat Scientology, is people like Tony sharing the truthful news.

  • BosonStark

    Isn’t it possible that Scientology just wanted the laptops back and all copies of what was on them, to disavow everything in the press stories and police reports that were published? They wouldn’t want the day-to-day details of Ron’s activities becoming published, no matter how banal, because it would just emphasize to the public the amount of money Scientology spends to have apostates followed and held under such scrutiny. And it would just add evidence for, or credibility to everything in Ron’s book.

    One thing that was embarrassing for Scientology was the relatively hip (for PIs) or somewhat informed attitude Dwayne and his son had about being hired by Tom Cruise’s space cult to follow the leader’s own father, and how that may have seeped into their commentary on the banality of Ron’s activities. They had to report every detail like they were tracking a serial killer and instead, Ron was just an old man going about his everyday activities of coupon clipping and taking walks, or whatever.

    Out of curiosity, the PIs, Dwayne and his son, were reading news and a few things about Scientology to understand what situation they were into, and who David Miscavige was, and who Ron was. Not all PIs did this.

    • dungeon master

      Is it possible a cherch operative hired the attorney and made the request without Dwayne’s knowledge or consent?

      • BosonStark

        I would assume the attorney hired by the cult at least gave Dwayne the impression he was working on his behalf, and that having the evidence in the cult’s possession would be to Dwayne’s advantage.

        After they spilled so many beans to the police without an attorney present, the PIs were at the mercy of getting Scientology to get them out of this, and they understood how much Scientology had at stake. That was the leverage they had, that they were hired by Scientology. The cult may have even given them money to make themselves scarce.

      • As they say, “anything’s possible”.

        • dungeon master

          And if it’s Scientology ‘it’s always worse’ than you can imagine..

          • No doubt whatsoever in my mind that there is only one “genius” who coulda thunk this up and who has the chutzpah to think it would work. High risk, high reward is DM’s motto.

      • Jon Hendry

        If that’s the case, and they had obtained the materials, and then the Feds found out, Powell would be in a tough position. He’d have to somehow prove that he hadn’t hired the lawyer, that he hadn’t received the materials, and that he didn’t have the materials. He’d be up the creek.

        In the meantime, CoS would have everything, probably without there being any evidence of receiving the materials, and they wouldn’t care if Powell went to prison. They’d probably say he “pulled it in” by getting caught.

        The items themselves are of no great value to Powell, I’m sure. They’re of much greater value to Miscavige. So either Miscavige has an enormous amount of leverage over the Powells – greater than the threat of a Federal prison term – or the lawyer was hired fraudulently, or acting “on behalf” of Powell without actually having been hired by Powell.

      • Bert Allen

        It is possible, but not likely. Levinson knew he was pushing the envelope with his actions. I doubt he would make that attempt without meeting Dwayne and getting his signature on a contract. To do otherwise would risk certain disbarment if his actions were discovered.

        • PJK

          But if Dwayne ordered the attorney to do this (whether or not under pressure from Scientology) he must be in violation of his agreement with the federal court, since he knew what the terms of that agreement were.

          Doesn’t this then mean that he is in a breach of contract? And as such the evidence can be used against him?

          • Bert Allen

            Yes, but the evidence is not required. Under a Deferred Adjudication Agreement the Defendant has pled Guilty or Nolo Contendere in Court and once the agreement is violated that plea is entered against him and he goes straight to sentencing.

      • ze moo

        Cutouts would probably be used, but if you look hard enough, you may trace the whole thing back to Davy Miscavage’

    • grundoon

      The laptops might reveal that the scope of the operation against Ron Miscavige was much larger and had gone on for longer than anyone had suspected. The data might expose more PIs and attorneys involved in the operation. It might expose undercover operatives paid to get close to RM – maybe some who are still on the job. Expense records might reveal stuff billed to the client such as weapons, spy gear, sniper training, travel. The PIs seem to have come equipped for a kidnapping – there could be records of preparations for holding, securing, and transporting a captive. There could be surveillance reports from other PIs watching other targets. There could be mission orders with contingency plans and emergency contacts. There could be data from RM’s auditing folders. Reports of what was found in his trash. Reports of failed ops to sabotage his vehicle. Illegally obtained phone records. and so forth

  • Just digesting the facts, pre-coffee.
    Seems that it may be a violation of his deferral for Powell to attempt to obtain that evidence.
    Add: And the sentencing court should be made aware of the attempt to destroy evidence.

    • Ella Raitch

      I think at this stage it’s only fair that someone order all of the information released on the internet. Transparency and all that, ya know?

      • As OOkpik would say, I think you need to graze your unicorns in more fertile meadows.
        (Sorry I stole that yesterday, and couldn’t wait to use it.)

        • Robert Hanna Moore

          Now I’m stealing it. That’s a good one.

          • Yeah, I should go back and see who coined it here, or maybe they’ll step up.
            It needs attribution.

            • MarcabExpat

              I missed it before! I was so pissed off at reading about that, I looked away too soon ๐Ÿ™‚

          • Actual quote: “The Rabbi would do well to graze his unicorns in more fertile meadows.”

        • MarcabExpat

          That’s amazing. *files it away*

  • Jack99

    This story is getting complicated! Didn’t Dwayne Powell make a statement that he in fact had never talked to David Miscavige, a statement used by Monique Yingling when Ron Miscavige’s book came out, and then later he said that was a deal he made with the church?

    • EmmaDaoust

      Getting…? .. riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma, sound of head exploding, more coffee required.

  • Chee Chalker

    Can you imagine the legal firepower Miscavige will unleash once he discovers someone has petitioned the court for the release of this information? (I’m not advocating for it not to be done……I would just love to see how ape$hit Dave will go once he hears about it)

    Look at the number (and caliber) of attorneys he had for Monique R’s case……

    What is interesting to me is the choice of Levinson. He has decent credentials, but with that much money I am surprised they didn’t hire some white shoe law firm out of Chicago.
    Levinson’s firm is very small and is certainly not sleazy like Co$ attorney Ken Moxon.

    But why didn’t they hire Chicago’s Or Milwaukee’s version of Monique Yingling?
    There has to be a reason for the choice of Levinson.

    • kemist

      Perhaps no one in a bigger firm would want to touch that thing with a 10 foot pole ?

      • Chee Chalker

        My guess would be they had to use an attorney who was willing to take a risk like this
        Now Levinson will sit back and say ‘gee I wasn’t aware there was an agreement in place approved by a federal judge that blocked me from asking a state judge’

        I’m just so curious how many firms they approached before finding this guy.

        Most likely, the Co$ did not want to go the legal route of appearing before a federal judge to ask for the information. So they went with an attorney willing to take that risk.

        I’m shocked they got Levinson’s firm to do it.

        I guess I shouldn’t be surprised that rather than hire a legit powerful firm to play by the rules, they went with someone willing to bend them

        Looks like Levinson made a mistake by walking away and coming back a day later.

        Im very impressed that the sheriffs department didn’t cave

    • BosonStark

      They probably hired Levinson because his name wouldn’t be on a list of Scientology attorneys, so it would be a little less obvious.

      • Chee Chalker

        Yes that was my thought too.
        But I am very surprised this guy agrees to do it. He doesn’t appear to be of the Moxon brand of attorneys.

        They must have paid him a bundle

        I’m also supposed they didn’t pull what they did with the Rathbuns

        Hire a stable of high prices white shoe firm lawyers

        This manuever is really interesting

  • PickAnotherID

    Hmmm…Since this is a Federal agreement, maybe someone over at the IRS should see about taking a peek at this data. Might be something showing tax exempt moneys were being used to fund this operation. You never know.

    • Draco

      Now there’s an interesting thought…

      • PickAnotherID

        Think I might just cue up the origianl ‘Kojak’ theme and drop an IRS Form 13909 in the mail suggesting they might want to take a look. Ya’ll might want to join in too.

    • Operation? What operation?!!


    • dchoiceisalwaysrs

      Scientology only uses it tax exempt income for charitable activities like harassment, court perjury, pouring cold water lover and bending fingers of Debbie Cook, deforesting to promote sales of electronic gadgets at a > 900% profit and gang bang interrogations. Give them a break.

      • PickAnotherID

        Leg or arm?

  • gtsix

    What a sweetheart fucking deal. White guy on a ten year charge, gets not one second of time and all his shit back. American justice. Lisa Wesley, the “prosecutor”.

    • dungeon master

      It’s not just her. The whole ‘justice system’ works this way. Threaten someone with xx years, offer them a reduced sentence and save everyone the trouble of a trial. If you don’t take the plea, they prosecute you for the original charges, so someone who fights the charges because he’s innocent, ends up getting 20 years because he wouldn’t take the 4 years they offered him.

      • Draco

        Enough to make you vomit!

    • dchoiceisalwaysrs

      Maybe Diogenes can tell where justice lives.

  • Still_On_Your_Side

    Miscavige is a clear and present danger to everyone he comes in contact with. Powell was a sleazy PI, but he now has a criminal conviction because he did business with Miscavige. The circuit court judge, the county prosecutor and Powell’s state court attorney, all are at risk of losing their professional reputation or more because of Miscavige; and Powell’s breach of his deferred prosecution agreement could send him to prison. I doubt that this fiasco has ended. The fallout is just beginning.

    • dchoiceisalwaysrs

      Don’t worry David Miscavige has a lot of extorted tax free dollars to use and the star of Mission Impossible in his front pocket. Will they be able to beat the wikileaks in a battle of evidence destroyed vs transparency?

  • SarahDB

    Sorry I had to leave the live blogging last night, RL intervened. Finished the episode later and it was great to see Paulette, Chris, Karen and Jeffrey on. Looking forward to tonight!

    • Sherbet

      I didn’t see it, alas. I was so tired and was asleep by 9:30. I hope to catch it another time.

      • SarahDB

        Considering how often A&E seems to be running all of Leah’s shows, you should be able to watch it soon!

  • dchoiceisalwaysrs

    Memories of whole files disappearing from courts in France, RCMP and Ontario, Canada provincial police had docs stolen and or moles by scientology office of governmental affairs come to the forefront. Why is evidence for a federal crime being held in a local police West Allis location?
    The evidence might need to be copied to a grand jury for follow through.
    “Patched through to David Miscavige offices in California, with Florida PI office involved dealing with operatives in a 3rd state. Can someone tell me why RICO doesn’t apply here.
    Oh course a church that worked on a break in of a Federal Attorney’s office and known to entrap judges should be given free exercise of its extorted religious charitable tax exemption should be enough to ignore this matter. Blech, vomit.
    Watergate tapes! Now there were some reporters with balls. Who is stepping up to the plate now?

  • Draco
  • SarahDB

    Wish I was a rich lawyer, I’d take up the fight in a heartbeat

  • Jack99

    Edward Norton as Jeremy Levinson, Jake Gyllenhaal as Dwayne Powell, Tilda Swinton as Monique Yingling, Anthony Hopkins as Ron Miscavige and yes!, Ben Mendelsohn as David Miscavige in the film version.

  • Chee Chalker

    Interesting…..DJ Mancow Mueller is replaying his interview with Leah

  • . . . What almost happened, weโ€™re told, would have led to the possible destruction of damaging information about the way the Church of Scientology carries out elaborate and sophisticated spying operations โ€” information that has not been seen in public, and may never be . . .

    Oooooh . . . wouldn’t it be just luverly delicious to have those DOX exposed to the sunlight? You know what else they are highly likely to show? That not only did David Miscavige say to the PI “if he dies he dies” but that David Miscavige has been personally involved from start to finish with this particular caper. Betchya David Miscavige is not the only one shivering in fear about this either. Texas shyster Wallace Jefferson will also be hoping evidence of David Miscavige’s direct involvement in the day-to-day running of Scientology’s secret ops will be successfully disappeared. How tantalisingly close we are to finally skewering the Pestilent Pope.

  • Ben Franklin

    All I would like to know is name of the person who was directly paying Powell, and their reason for doing it. Also I would like to see the evidence showing the actual amount of money that was being paid. I know the church claims that it was all done for Ron Miscavige’s protection, but, they could have hired him a body guard, a security guard, or something if that were the case

    First of all, who pays $10,000 a week to PIs to protect someone. It is such a lame argument. Even if the Powell’s were being paid by a Scientology attorney, why would a church attorney be in charge of security for David Miscavige’s father. It is no wonder Karin Pouw never does any live media interviews.

  • Hamtaro

    If I remember correctly, the next season of this saga opens with an episode titled “Destroying the Evidence” involving a delivery truck being parked outside the West Allis police dept. property room by two meth cooks with a giant electromagnet.

  • Newiga

    Setting my alarm for 5 AM. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I’m so proud of Leah, Mike, Amy, Mat, Mary K, Paulette, Chris, Karen, Jeff and all the rest who have and are going to contribute to the show. I can only imagine how hard it is to “expose open wounds in public”. I admired you guys so much. I hope I can find this kind of courage if/when I need it.

  • Newiga

    Setting my alarm for 5 AM. ๐Ÿ˜‰

    I’m so proud of Leah, Mike, Amy, Mat, Mary K, Paulette, Chris, Karen, Jeff and all the rest who have and are going to contribute to the show. I can only imagine how hard it is to “expose open wounds in public”. I admired you guys so much. I hope I can find this kind of courage if/when I need it.

  • Never_in

    I have been reading Tonyโ€™s blog since I read and saw โ€˜Going Clearโ€™. Yes, I have been yet another lurker, waiting in the wings. I enjoy starting every day hearing the constant drumbeat of the decline of this destructive cult. Equally I enjoy the daily discussions from the community of people who provided me with so much learning and camaraderie. I feel fortunate not to have been exposed to this cult, and I feel great compassion for those people who became ensnarled in its grip. It could have been me.

    I felt inspired to introduce myself now and to ask a question after reading again about the stalking experience that is so common for those who incite the ire of the beast that is this organization. Why is it that I donโ€™t read about people who have charged these stalkers with the crime of stalking, trespassing, or whatever else one can charge people who are blatantly violating oneโ€™s space and privacy?

    • Ben Franklin

      The PIs who violate privacy laws often knows where the loopholes are. There are many PI’s who at one time or another used to be police officers and thus tends to know the laws and their weaknesses when it comes to protection of individual privacy. In some cases, a PI may get away with something if they happen know people within a particular police department or a prosecutors office.

    • OOkpik

      Welcome, Never in.
      (Love your poppy avi.)

      Monique Rathbun sued Scientology entities and David Miscavige over stalking and harassment. You can find a whole series of articles about that one by Tony Ortega right here at the Underground Bunker.

    • MarcabExpat

      The Powells were charged for actual violations of laws. Unfortunately for its victims, Scientology has made a fine art out of harassing people while stepping right up to the technical edge of the law, but not over it. In fact, one of their strategies is to use barely-legal behavior in hopes of provoking their victims to break the law–for example, getting in someone’s face without touching them in hopes that the victim will shove them away, which can be charged as assault.

      The other issue is that frequently they have “safepointed” the pertinent law enforcement departments so that if there is a question of charges, they have a chance of having any prosecution fall through.

      ETA: and welcome ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Check out the coverage of the lawsuit brought by Monique Rathbun. Every civil case against the criminal organisation known as the “church” of $cientology is most often a huge waste of time and resources. A few cases make it, the Bonnie Woods case (getting an apology in court and a compensation and an undertaking from OSA not to libel her anymore) was a welcome exception.

    • Roger Larsson

      Pat Broeker got 15 million bucks in purpose to shut up. 15 millions are more than a story from his time in $cientology.

    • Princess Squishy

      Welcome! I don’t know where Longtime Lurker is today so I guess I will administer his usual customary welcome wombat

    • Fred G. Haseney

      JennyAtLAX and I welcome you to the Underground Bunker, Never_in.

  • Panopea Abrupta

    Breaking News 19 Dec., 2016

    Clams Netted In Fishy Caper?
    with our police correspondents, John “4’33″” Caged and Q. Bird

    Despite floundering around, trolling for shoals of information,
    the plaice and thyme of the crime have not been ascertained.
    Any seine man would smell a red herring.
    The facts are packed like sardines on an Apple somewhere in the hold.
    “Eel never get away with this,” said Ron Miscavige Sr., putting in the hook.
    “The gaff was in pitting a State judge against a Federal order and I would be
    gutted if they succeeded,” he added.
    These two specimens were caught in a police dragnet.
    It is to be hoped that the scales of justice ensure that the little shrimp does
    not escape. He has been reported to be quite crabby, especially since his seven
    league boats are, like his Macallan, on the rocks.

  • BosonStark

    Can you imagine the new instructions PIs are given now when Scientology hires them? No arsenals, silencers, bazookas.

  • Eliza Doolittle

    I feel we’re witnessing the death throes of this hellish organisation and awaiting the supernova.
    Which is gonna blow first.. Betelgeuse or Scientology? … Place your bets..

    • Graham

      Any under the radar Scientologists reading this BAIL OUT NOW or go down with the ship. By now you must be at the tipping point, where the very real pain of releasing yourself from this abusive relationship is likely to be much less than the pain of staying in.

    • Draco

      “Currently in a late stage of stellar evolution, the supergiant is expected to explode as a supernova within the next million years.”

      I am putting my money on CoS…

  • Graham

    “an email we sent to Scientology spokeswoman Karin Pouw was not answered.”

    A note for any Newbies reading: Yes KARIN POUW is a real person, not some joke name made up by Tony.

    Scientology’s previous spokes-person was Tommy Davis, privileged son of actress Anne Archer. Google him if you want to see how that went. Tommy Davis appeared on camera as a spokes-person, most famously when confronting BBC journalist John Sweeney, and later when lying though his teeth about disconnection.

    I’m not sure whether Karin Pouw ever actually appeared anywhere on camera; perhaps someone could enlighten me on that? She certainly hasn’t for some considerable time. It’s widely believed that all statements from Karin were composed with David ‘Slappy’ Miscavige looking over her shoulder, and that latterly they were probably written directly by Dave using Karin’s name as a pseudonym. Examples of Karin, or ‘Karin’, actually doing her job and communicating anything to anybody have become more and more rare.

    Anybody know anything of Karin’s previous history, or have any photo’s or video?

    • MarcabExpat

      This is the Cherch’s standard photo of her from their website. Thassall I got.

      • Ben Franklin

        This photo of Karin Pouw has been around for years, if not decades. I doubt Karin Pouw even looks like this anymore. For all I know, she could as well be suffering the same fate as Shelly. I have never seen or heard of any public relation officer for an organization who is never seen in public or does not do any live interviews. I would add Karin Pouw to the category of Missing Scientologists until she appears live in person anywhere in the world.

        • MarcabExpat

          Oh I don’t disagree at all. But the commenter asked for a photo, and literally, “thassall I got.” The fact that that is all we have makes a big point all on its own.

      • PickAnotherID

        You sure that’s not a mannequin?

    • And lets not forget the final PR footbullet for which Tommy Davis was sacked . . .

      . . . At the meeting, Davis and I also discussed Hubbardโ€™s war record. His voice filling with emotion, he said that, if it was true that Hubbard had not been injured, then โ€œthe injuries that he handled by the use of Dianetics procedures were never handled, because they were injuries that never existed; therefore, Dianetics is based on a lie; therefore, Scientology is based on a lieโ€ . . .

      . . . never before and never since has Tommy uttered such a logical and more truthful thing about Scientology and speaking truth about Scientology, as we know, is a High Crime. Privileged brat avoided “the hole” because of daddy’s money and mummy’s celeb status. Now Tommy’s out schmoozing Aussie billionaire James Packer in a desperate effort to lure him back into the clutches of Scientology.

      • Chee Chalker

        That’s why Tommy Davis has been regulated to billionarie retrevial
        He’s very busy breaking up James Packer and Mariah Carey to worry about any of this stuff

  • NOLAGirl (Stephanie)

    Re-watching the show. I had it on last night but between the phone and boys who are getting ready for a trip (therefore have no interest right now) I wasn’t exactly in a quiet, TV watching, environment. ๐Ÿ˜€

    Maybe I’m biased but Leah and Mike are pure magic together. Their combined knowledge and humor packs a real punch.

    • SarahDB

      We are all biased but that doesn’t mean it’s not true. Mike and Leah ARE awesomely magic together!

    • They’re getting some chemistry going. Nice to see a little humorous banter to relieve the tension of a serious subject.

    • ze moo

      I didn’t think that Leah could pull off the ‘moderator’ and ‘witness’ jobs. But she did, and did it very nicely. Of course having Mike Rinder and Amy and Jeff and Karen and all the others pitch in really has made the whole thing work.

      Leah’s team has depth and can throw the deep pass. Let’s see the happy dance in the end zone.

  • Narapoid

    It damned sure isn’t the monetary value of the laptops that even if they were brand new and top-of-the-line, would likely be cheaper than paying a hot-rod attorney like Levinson to hang at the police station. Oh yeah, and all the lost wages of spending a decade in the slammer after you dodged that bullet.

    It wouldn’t be Scientology if it didn’t have people going against their self interest.

    A badass attorney knowingly gambling with his own disbarment to take care of a secret client by endangering his declared one. You know the stuff in those machines has to be potentially damning to the COB.

    Gee GOSA, what do you think?

    • So you think that Captain David “he is NOT insane!” Miscavige tried to make a risky situation worse by having g his minions orchestrate a complicated move to get hold of some evidence (where leaving well alone would have kept it comparatively safe, if not entirely out of mind)? Hopefully someone in the IRS is wondering if this is their tax exempt funds at work, perverting the cause of justice…

  • This is Dwayne Powell “keeping his nose clean!?!” He was made for the criminal organisation known as the “church” of $cientology. I bet Lisa Wesley considers that deal worth making…

    Awesome find, Tony, and well done the staff in that police station.

    • EDN/laineybin

      This is Dwayne Powell “keeping his nose clean!?!”

      I know. I wonder what they offered him, or if he was ever audited, what they have on him, that would make him do this?

      • Jon Hendry

        I suppose it’s just possible that the COS impersonated him or forged his signature or something.

        After all, the materials are damaging to the church, not Powell. Why should Powell care about them enough to risk a Federal prison term?

        If I’m right, then had the church’s gambit worked better, they’d have gotten control of the laptops and data, and Powell would be in the position of proving that he hadn’t hired the lawyer or received the materials. Which he likely couldn’t do.

        It’s not like the church would care if Powell was sent to prison.

  • PickAnotherID

    Maybe it’s time for a name change. Instead of “Church of $cientology”, they should go with the more accurate “Church of $leaze”. They wouldn’t even have to change the logo.

    • EDN/laineybin

      Great idea – all the monogramed towels would still work too!

    • chukicita

      Someone had a great typo here the other day: Scienotlogy.

  • RadioPaul1

    Sounds like Ron needs to sue and get a order for a seizure in a civil case for discovery. It would be hard to explain deleting it after you got the court order but before you got the computer back from the police.

    Scientology likes to make people turn over their hard dives, lets see how they like it. After all, these docs pertain to Ron and are 100% relevant in a a civil case.

    • ze moo

      Sounds like the best and perhaps only way for that evidence to see the light of day. I don’t see any other openings that could get anyone access to the laptops info.

    • MarcabExpat

      Oh man, I hope Ron sees this comment. Or Lisa Marie ๐Ÿ™‚

  • BeezleBobby

    This is great stuff. It’s posts like this that should remind us that our proprietor is an old-school journalist, someone not afraid to just pick up the phone and call the people involved in any story. It’s a damn shame that one of the very few real journalists willing to continually dig deep into the ongoing shenanigans of our favourite cult is a one-man blogging operation not backed by any news organization. On the other hand, there’s no editor insisting Tony stick to stories about Tom Cruise. Keep up the great work, Tony.

  • Fantastic article, Tony. Better than I expected even. Why would Duane Powell risk a 10 year prison sentence for literally nothing of value to him? The bony finger points to David Miscavige. Had he been able to collect every scrap of evidence (including copies released to the media, on the Internat, on my personal digital recorder and Lord knows where else), he could have fired up the industrial strength shredders at Gold and POOF! he never told Duane and Daniel to let his father die. Instead those words will likely become the epitaph on Dave’s headstone.

  • Sherbet

    What a story! It’s not going to be a Cool Yule at Dave’s house.

    • stillgrace2

      Today’s Bunker article with Tony’s appeal to the media, coupled with tonight’s broadcast, must be horrifically disturbing to David Miscavige. What we need here is Observer’s famous shoop “When all your chickens come home to roost.”

      • Sherbet

        The truth about scientology is becoming apparent to everyone, not just the ASC, Tony, or the Bitter Apostate Posse. Leah Remini has taken the cult where it hadn’t gone before: Right into the living rooms of Mr. and Mrs. Isn’t-That-Just-A-Silly-Tom-Cruise-Thing?

        And to reinforce the story, A&E repeats it, and repeats it, and repeats it.

        • stillgrace2

          They are also using clever marketing and gripping teaser clips and First Looks and special added episodes. This is a big hit for A&E, channel 47 on my Comcast dial.
          I smell additional seasons.

          • Sherbet

            I smell Emmy. If not a win, then at least a nomination.

            • stillgrace2

              Oooh, I LIKE the way you think.

            • ze moo

              Said Emmy to be presented by John Travolta.

            • Sherbet

              A truly delicious scenario.

          • chukicita

            Channel 47! Hee.

          • I thought she implied future work with children born into Scientology In last night’s episode. I heard that as another season.

  • The GPS tracker had a 3G phone connection.
    The tracking laptop had a 3G phone connection to get that data and maps.
    Most likely the report laptop also had a 3G phone connection, and was set up to dump reports and get orders via a secure channel. (Surprising that it wasn’t rigged to accept a remote scrub command, or maybe the police yanked the 3G first thing?)

    Yeah, they really want that data scrubbed.

    • Ben Franklin

      Can’t the FBI recover the data even if some of it is scrubbed?

      • They have an image of the laptops, but it’s not clear who has the actual laptops now.

        Short of spook-grade recovery, and even then, a proper eraser tool would have deleted everything. (You don’t have to use real bleach on a hard drive, after all.)

        • Ben Franklin

          I remember Trump claiming that Hillary’s folks bleached a hard drive.

          • kemist

            O_o I don’t know what that would achieve, but ok, Mr Trump.

          • Mark Foster

            The name of the software used to do that was ” Bleachbit”. It is a real product.

        • kemist

          I’m surprised these too doofuses didn’t carry encrypted laptops. Heck, all the employee laptops are encrypted where I work.

          • Powell was dancing fast to avoid prison. He wasn’t in a position to refuse his password to let them in.

      • NOLAGirl (Stephanie)

        Would probably depend on how it was scrubbed but yes, someone with knowledge in computer forensics could most likely put some or most of the data back together.

      • kemist

        Normally, if you erase a file, what happens is just that its entry in the file table (what your OS uses to find files) is erased. The data is still there but will be overwritten when you will need the memory blocks to write something else. This makes erasing faster (because you don’t need to perform a write), and reduces the wear and tear on your hard drive.

        There are tools to really erase data, but depending on what you use, what they do is erase the table plus random swatches of data. This makes it much harder to reconstruct what was there than if you just wipe the table entries.

        Some data shredders do completely erase the whole thing (as in, write 1s or 0s everywhere), and then it becomes impossible to recover anything, because there is nothing left. But you can expect this operation to take hours. I would expect that it also stresses the heads considerably, which can be a hazard for an older drive. You’ve got a big problem if the HDD controller craps out in the middle of the operation, because the rest of the data will be completely intact.

        • Back in the day, for the government’s own Tempest-grade secure equipment, it was acceptable to rewrite the sectors three times with random* data to erase. It wasn’t that slow. Of course, DES was a thing back then, things have changed.

          * for varying degrees of “random”.

      • Princess Squishy

        I accidentally formatted an SD card full of family pictures and my dad recovered half of them.

  • Ben Franklin

    Somehow I just Imagine DM sweating bullets right now wondering what is contained in those laptops being held. DM seems to be the kind of person who lets his curiosity get the best of him, as was the case when he was trying to figure out if Pat Broeker was hiding advanced OT materials.

    • stillgrace2

      Maybe he’s sweating bullets because he KNOWS what’s on those laptops.

  • Chee Chalker

    Hey….if Walter White and Jesse Pinkman can manage to erase information on a laptop in police custody, Dave should be able to as well.
    How much do you want to bet Dave has ordered his minions to purchase a large magnet….

    • flyonthewall

      I was just looking up clips of that scene! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • ze moo

    RadioPaul1 has what I think is the best and only way of getting the laptop info. I would like to see the iphone calling history too. We could at least see what cutouts were used to insulate the CO$. That list would embarrass many law firms.

    Possession of any Class 3 firearm device (automatic rifles, silencers, machine gun linked ammo) is worth a huge fine and 10 years in Federal Prison. How the Powells avoided jail time is beyond me. High priced lawyers can only do so much, and ATF and Federal Prosecutors are seldom so accommodating. Bribery?? I have to doubt that, but what do I know about the prosecutors office(s) in Wisconsin?

    I’ll have to get my Brown Swiss girls on the case. F5 for Ze Mooos Angels…

    • Princess Squishy

      so cute

  • Mrs. V.

    Wow. You’d think Dwayne would have learned his lesson. And really dude, what are you going to do with that money (that I assume you were paid because there’s no other obvious reason for you to do this) while you’re in federal prison? You too, Jeremy. Were you planning on getting disbarred and becoming a PI for the church? Is it worth it?

    scientology doesn’t give a shit about you, regardless of what you did or plan on doing for them. They will throw you under any bus in order to protect themselves. They’ll pay you to lie, cheat and steal for them, but leave you with nothing if you get caught.

  • Chee Chalker

    I wonder if by even asking (petitioning) the state court for return of the evidence, Dwayne has violated his agreement with the federal government……
    Now I am beginning to wonder if Dwayne was even aware that this was done on his behalf…..

  • chukicita

    “And an email we sent to Scientology spokeswoman Karin Pouw was not answered.”

    I can see a book comprised entirely of letters, emails and transcripts of phone calls to Karin Pouw that have never been answered.

    • PickAnotherID

      With one blank page at the end titled: “Responses:”

  • PickAnotherID

    Related to last night’s show with Leah & Mike…

    If anyone’s still desperately seeking a last minute Christmas gift, the first three episodes and AMA special are available on Amazon:

    Support Tony and use the link at the top left of this page to actually make a purchase.

  • madame duran

    To Dwayne Powell:
    Are you stupid enough to return your laptops (and all the damaging evidence therein) to the same cult organization that was willing to throw you under the bus? The Cult of Scientology is only interested in saving its own hide and if that meant jeopardizing your plea deal, so be it. Ugh. Have you watched the film “Going Clear” or Leah Remin’s docuseries currently running on A&E yet? This is the kind of slime you’re dealing with, buddy. Damn…has ANYONE in the West Allis Police Department or the East Wisconsin District Attorney’s office seen them??? C’mon people! Connect the dots!! You should instinctively know that whenever the name “Church of Scientology” comes up on the radar, your ears should perk up. It could be associated with anything from murder to jaywalking but you should automatically be on the lookout for something foul or amiss.

    Then, on June 24, 2014, Dwayne Powell cut a very favorable deal with his prosecutors. His attorney, Mark Rotert, had worked out an agreement with Assistant US Attorney Lisa Wesley that would defer prosecution. In the agreement (which we obtained, and weโ€™ve posted below), Powell admitted that he was guilty beyond a reasonable doubt, but Wesley would dismiss the charges against him without prejudice โ€” meaning that the charges could be refiled if he broke any law over the next five years.

    This reeks of pale-skin privilege.
    I can clearly see how this benefits Powell but what does the government get out of this by agreeing to it? A man gets caught with a SILENCER after stalking an old man, admits he’s working for the CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY yet after confessing all this, he’s released on condition that he behave nicely for five years. Someone legal explain because I’m too mad right now. I have visions of Karla Holmolka’s plea deal and suddenly I’m burning up with a fever.
    If it were a black person, the police would’ve gotten a warrant within 24 hours of arrest to search the accused’s home and question the family, friends, neighbours, co-workers, business associates, etc. Investigation would’ve been EXTENSIVE AND THOROUGH before said person set their foot back on the public sidewalk.

    • chukicita

      That is a really good question – what DOES the gubmint get out of this agreement?

      BTW, the largest West Allis racial/ethnic groups are White (80.1%) followed by Hispanic (10.5%) and Black (4.0%)

      • I wonder if hillbilly silencers are common in that area?

      • “…what DOES the gubmint get out of this agreement?”
        I sure couldn’t figure it out at the time, and still can’t.

    • Jon Hendry

      ” admits he’s working for the CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY yet after confessing all this”

      This is sleazy, but it isn’t actually against the law.

      Also, silencers aren’t against the law, as such. You can buy them, you just have to do some paperwork, pay a $200 tax, and register it with authorities. Even in allegedly gun-hostile Connecticut.

      The leniency is probably because he wasn’t manufacturing “real” ones out of metal and he wasn’t distributing or selling them, possibly combined with a clean prior criminal record, and the Feds didn’t want to waste time, money, and the cost of incarceration over a janky homemade suppressor which probably wouldn’t be all that effective compared to a real one.

      EDIT: Also, it looks like the only charge against Powell was the silencer. The Feds probably would have come down harder if the Powells had been in the process of committing some other felony, and were also caught with the silencer. Like if they had a bunch of heroin in the car.

      • madame duran

        But the police have no problem with incarcerating a black man who was caught selling/using a bag of weed, clean prior record or not. A’right.
        I don’t know the intricacies of Wisconsin or U.S. federal law concerning silencers but I really don’t think type of material used in manufacturing deadly weapons matters. I don’t see how a crude, handmade PVC silencer is less dangerous than a metal one if the person’s INTENT and/or the END RESULT (i.e. killing someone) is the same effect. Powell obviously didn’t do any paperwork and he was facing serious jail time for being in possession of the PVC silencer. And he got off, with conditions…but he still got off.

        • Jon Hendry

          They’re also used for hunting and target practice, instead of wearing a bunch of hearing protection.

          EDIT: Not denying the racial disparity.

          • madame duran

            You realize that Powell was caught in a residential area and that he had no hunting gear accompanying the silencer in the vehicle, right? Mighty suspicious.

            • FredEX2

              Yes, and that rifle he had sure didn’t look like the usual hunting rifle…

            • Jon Hendry

              *Target practice*

          • ze moo

            Silencers are legal in Wisconsin, but not for general hunting. Only ‘forest ranger’ types may use them for hunting.


        • Phil McKraken

          “War on drugs” is a whole topic unto itself. War on drugs is big business — fuels a huge prison industrial complex, funnels resources to law enforcement, has a massive property confiscation scheme with redistribution to corrupt police, etc. On the other side, the push away from firearms enforcement is fueled by the extremely rich and powerful guns and ammo industry. The NRA is a business lobby masquerading as an educational group.

  • chukicita

    I’m not an attorney, but…If Dwayne Powell’s attorney in court was Mark Rotert, then what was Jeremy Levinson doing for him? And who hired him – it seems so quickly after the arrest?

    • madame duran

      Rotert – rep Dwayne in FEDERAL court
      Levinson – rep Dwayne in STATE court

      • Tony Ortega

        Right. Also, Rotert represented Powell in a criminal prosecution, but Levinson represented Powell in a civil matter.

      • chukicita


  • Sherbet

    I know Tony wasn’t regging us when he referred to his limited resources, but it’s a good reminder to pass the hat to help the Bunker persevere through these exciting times.

    • Newiga

      Thanks for reminding us. ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • George Layton

    I’m wondering if the West Allis Police Department has hired any new personal since then and if so what a background check on those new hires would turn up.

    • pat k

      Were you reading my mind?

    • The placement company, U-Man, assured them that their backgrounds were as white as snow.

  • Princess Squishy

    Welcome back Diqsus. Congratulations at getting your *redacted* together
    (I can finally see notifications)

    • Sherbet

      You’re very pretty, Squish.

      • Princess Squishy


    • DoveAlexa

      I was so shocked to see notification bubbles today, I was afraid to click them in case they broke again. Christmas blackout drunkess is suppose to happen AFTER Christmas, disqus!

  • FredEX2

    Oh. My. God.

    Wouldn’t this fraudulent attempt to get the Police Dept. to turn over federal evidence….be prosecutable itself? And isn’t it time to OPEN the investigation?… Why there was ever an agreement made between the Prosecutor’s office and the criminal parties involved to NOT go thru the evidence in the first place…doesn’t make sense at all. What if the evidence on those computers were the very orders from Miscavige to do something more than follow his Dad around? What if some email gave new meaning for the use of those weapons and that homemade pvc silencer? All of it could be very relevant to the specific charges.Clearly they don’t want whatever is there to be seen.

    What the HELL is going on here? Scientology’s own ‘Watergate’. Isn’t it way past time for Tricky Davey-boy to be stopped? ENOUGH already!

    LOOK thru all that freaking evidence with a Forensic Specialist for god’s sake! OSA isn’t the damn CIA. What the Hell is going on here? The whole situation is bizarre.

  • abdaman

    Can someone post this entire story on WWP, they might be able to do something?

    • You can do it yourself….?! (NYPA and all that.:) )

      Just my personal opinion: it may be hard to get anons going for it. Most of them lost their interest, and WWP is nowhere near as busy as it used to be.

  • With all the data gathering by federal spooks, including secret orders to companies to turn over their data but don’t tell that they’ve turned over the data, you’d think they could spare a junior agent with few thumb drives to go get a copy of that data…

    • But then… maybe they have. How would anyone know?


  • FredEX2

    Today’s report has been sent to the Feds. And some major media sources. Wake the HELL up!!!

    “Now is the time for all good men to come to the aid of their country”. ~Patrick Henry

    ( my earrings just flew off like my sister NOLAGirl and I just zipped up my boots that were made for walkin’. Someone get Tony some more money so he can go there and start digging into this more. There’s a very fishy stench rising from this whole case )

  • Bert Allen

    This story pushed several of my buttons, and I had to step away for a few minutes to reflect on what I want to say here, so my comment is coherent and not to long. First, Ron Miscavige has the tools to do a lot of good, should he choose to use them. He is entitled to file complaints against Levinson and Judge Donald with the Wisconsin State Bar and whatever Wisconsin entity handles judicial misconduct.

    As an aside, knowing how OSA operates, I am confidant that an investigation would establish a close relationship between Levinson and the Judge, that OSA did such a background and that is why Levinson was hired. An unbiased judge might grant such a motion in a contested hearing to have the PD turn over evidence, but it takes a special relationship to get a judge to order news outlets protected by the first amendment to do so in an uncontested hearing.

    Second, Ron should contact AUSA Wesley regarding this incident and argue that Powell’s court action was a Fraud Against the Court which abrogates his Deferred Adjudication agreement, and that he needs to be brought in for sentencing. This would serve two purposes, punishing a COS PI and removing the restriction s on release of the data on the computers. If Wesley is resistant then I would recommend a letter campaign to her boss, the United States Attorney for that District.

    Finally, lets lobby A&E to fight for the release of the computer data. Leah’s hit show is a perfect vehicle for a reveal.

    • Jenny Griffith

      Yes, fraud against the court!

    • Jenny Griffith

      Bert, you sound like a real attorney. Maybe you should take the case?

      • Bert Allen

        Not licensed in Wisconsin, and my spouse would not take kindly to that act on my part.

  • Jon Hendry

    Was the silencer the only charge against Powell? Or were there other (state/local?) charges that were dropped in the process of coming up with the deferred prosecution agreement?

    • Tony Ortega

      No, just the one federal weapons charge.

      • Jenny Griffith

        Wasn’t that a violation of his agreement with the government? To hire an attorney to try to break the agreement? Fair game, now?

        • Tony Ortega

          Yeah, but it didn’t result in the evidence being turned over. So, no harm, no foul. The US Attorney is sticking by the agreement and isn’t refiling charges against Powell.

      • Jon Hendry

        Thanks. The contents of their vehicle were such a WTF that I wasn’t sure.

        Pretty stupid of him to not cough up the $200 for a tax stamp and buy a real silencer for $600-$1000 or so. As a bonus it’d be 1/3 as long and wouldn’t look as goofy.

        Apparently it’s easy to travel across state lines with a suppressor, as long as the states you pass through allow them. To travel with, say, a machine gun, which is regulated similarly, you have to submit a form to the ATF saying where you’re going to be taking it and when, though you can use broad ranges of time, so you could specify a year and go back and forth a bunch of times.

        That form isn’t required for a suppressor. So the only problem for these guys would have been getting to Milwaukee without passing through Illinois, which bans silencers.

        • Tony Ortega

          Ha, yeah. As I’ve pointed out before, the rather astounding collection of stuff in their car only identified them as ordinary red-blooded American gun nuts. But you can hear in the audio recordings of their interviews that they are shitting their pants that the police keep saying it looked awfully suspicious for such highly armed guys to be following around an old man. No, officer, we are not hit men, we promise, they keep saying over and over. You can hear the abject terror in their voices. We’re just typical gun nuts, we swear!


  • FredEX2

    To the Police Department handling this case…and everyone on the periphery…like the Prosecuter’s Office, and the Judge’s office and the court there…be very careful vetting any new employees hired in your offices. Scientology is known to get people hired…then files and evidence suddenly gets copied…or goes missing altogether.

  • Panopea Abrupta

    Hey, Dave,
    Just a quick recap for you:

    since January 2015

    Going Clear – 10 million views, 3 Emmys
    SNL’s Neurotology – 2.4 million views on You Tube
    The Unbreakable Miss Lovely book and tour
    The Getting Clear conference and videos
    Leah’s book, a genuine NYT best-seller
    Louis Theroux’s movie
    Ruthless and all the accompanying media – LA Times, 20/20
    And now, Leah’s show

    Been a rough 2 years for the Punching Pontiff.

    In response, $cientology proposes:
    a media studio that releases no media,
    “Freedom” magazine with John Sugg (who?),
    an attempt to game the best-sellers list with a turgid
    and poorly written 30-year old dud and a coupla fancy
    buildings with no one in them.
    Oh yeah, and a few more botox jobs and hair implants for
    every Tommy, Dave and Jorm.
    And lest I forget, the social media clampaigns of Kirstie,
    Mappin, JAW and Gemma.

    Heh heh, it is a wonderful time to be a Bunkerue.

    • Missionary Kid
    • Harpoona Frittata

      In a word, it’s been grim, mighty grim times for lil davey the devious these last coupla years. And when lil davey the straight up, but not very vertical leader is not happy, then you can bet your thetan that none of his underlings are going to be happy either. In fact, judging by the looks and body language of this trio of minions, the “way to happiness” might as well be in a Maarcabian galaxy far, far away for as likely as they are to ever find their way to it as $cilons here on Teegeeaack ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • MostEthicalPimp

    I hope the Police Department in this case has or will get off-site back ups of all the data made. Scientology is a pretty sneaky out fit.

    • Missionary Kid

      How’s the flying going?

    • chukicita

      True. It wouldn’t be the first time evidence has disappeared. Remembering Mark Bunker and his video that got lost in Chicago…

  • Len Zinberg

    Scientology is very adept at finding crooked attorneys and judges to subvert the Justice system and unethically exploit Federal and State laws to their own ends.
    They did it with Ken Dandar by creating conflicting Federal and State judicial orders that he could not possibly comply with.
    The public has a right to know what exactly is on the Powell’s hard drive that Miscavige doesn’t want made public.
    It must be awfully incriminating…

  • Surfer Joe

    The first thought in my mind was that those laptops should possibly be accessible through a civil suit. Surely Mr. Miscavige suffered some stress and anxiety when he learned that he was being stalked and harassed and was having his privacy invaded by people with an arsenal and an illegal silencer. The laptops would be the very definition of ‘relevant’. And of course the COS recently obtained someone’s files, including personal e-mails and personal health information under a civil suit, right? Why do these draconian rulings always and only go their way?

  • Asillem4

    I wonder if an attorney could sue on Ron’s behalf for access to the records to file a civil action against the church.

    • ze moo

      Only Ron Sr. can bring an action. No one can ‘do it on his behalf’. Unless Ron is declared incompetent, than someone can take care of his business.

  • chukicita

    Today is my birthday.

    If anyone would like to help me celebrate, please just give a li’l sump’n to our proprietor.
    Hey, $3 a month is the best value ever!

  • richelieu jr

    These CoS goons all have the same fatal weakness: They all have the same COB up their ass and he has the Green Billed Carrot of Greed in front of him (just as LRH had had), but instead of Hubbard’s twin motivations of greed and paranoaia (both justified and Un) keeping him one step ahead of the loonie net or the rail to be ridden out of town on sporting the tar and feathers treatment his snake-oil shitheel predecessors so richly deserved, Miscavige has a superior smugness and the pugnacious aggresevity of do many of his equally short-peckered pissant predecessors, including our own beloved Bonaparte, revealing in the cloud of goons that flexes around him, protecting him from ever finding out that people can hit back, and would most definitely do so (in spite of the risk of getting a little Miscavige lodged in their knuckles.. even with good tweezers, they’re hell to pluck out) were it not for the certaonty of massive retaliation of real men (albeit real men with their balls in a jar on Davey’s desk).

    So CoB has a similar, parallel problem: Ron’s rigid and hideous hard-on of Hate wedged permanently and publicly in the hole that, in his heart, he knows only Tom Cruise should own (as for the holes in both of their hearts- or, in Ron’s case, the hole where the heart should be– and the evident holes in their heads, I’m afraid my peg is far too square. In fact, I need Scilontoolery like I need a hole in my…fish on a bicycle..? Wait a minute… what was I on about again..?)

    CoB cannot just evolve and act like your trump-of-The-mill entitled, agressive, endlessly victimized agressive Billionaire. He’s got to do it the hard way (meaning step on the same rake until it turns into a success story).

    And do we get this nonsense- meticulous, clever, oh-so-close to successful Nixon-style CREEPy footbullets.

    (Conspiracy Theory Alert: I still maintain the end game for these amateur-hour gumshoes, these shameful shamuses, was to get caught with their merit-badge runner-up level silenรงer near the scene of where Ron Wmiscavige was mysteriously shot with a high-powered rifle.
    They would aww-shucks and “why me?” Into Lee Harvey Oddball-dom, whilst Miscavige got his money’s worth and an extremely rare, very first (and only) draft of Daddy’s

    In other words- we’re better off this way.)

  • flyonthewall

    I’m guessing if CoS wants the 2nd laptop so badly it must implicate Miscavige personally in some way. Might show he personally directed the spying. If he was willing to get on the phone w/Powell himself then there must be other examples of him directing or being involved in this operation. The laptop would have hard evidence of this. Why else would they want it back so desperately?

    It could also just be CoS being thorough and wanting to have info control. In Snow White they fought tooth and nail to have the govt return their dox and failing that, to suppress it. In that case they didn’t know what the govt had bc the trove was so massive. The laptop contents wouldn’t be as massive as the Snow White dox but still any intelligence organization, such as CoS, will want control of their data regardless of what it is.

    • Tony Ortega

      This is one of the possibilities that Ron suggested — evidence of DM’s personal involvement.

      • flyonthewall

        It’s a logical possibility. I guess the primary danger of this evidence would ultimately be proof that Miscavige operates w/o any corporate restraint or checks and balances. This in turn would be a threat to their tax exempt status.

        • ze moo

          Miscavage has always been in violation of the 93 IRS agreement. There are and never were any ‘checks and balances’ on his reign.

          • flyonthewall

            Of course but hard proof that would stand up in court is another matter entirely

          • Techie

            Ze moo, thinking of “Checks and balances”, what tin horn third world dictator or corporate criminal CEO would not give their first-born for what Dave has? On paper there are boards, board members, Watch Dog committee members, oversight, a President, an Executive Director International, International Management personnel, everything you need to make a company transparent and accountable. In reality he has all those “checks and balances” under his thumb in a remote location isolated from the world, where his say is law and they can be brutally punished for even thinking of disobeying. Like the Borgias in Italy during the Renaissance, one was even a Pope! Everybody in the family, everybody on board with the program, or dead. I don’t know what can break this banana republic mentality. Probably it helps to have the spotlight of truth aimed directly at it every day by Tony and all the brave souls who care about it.

            • ze moo

              Watch the Trump administration to run the same playbook.

      • If that’s the case then they will not stop trying.

      • MarcabExpat

        Do you think,as radiopaul1 suggested, that it might be fruitful for Ron Miscavige to sue for access to the laptop’s contents with respect to a civil case?

        • flyonthewall

          takes $$ to do that

  • richelieu jr

    My guess is the “Smart Phone” as Deus ex Machina in this little High School production of “The Conversation” was truly the smartest in this motley rogues gallery of dramatis personae.

    • richelieu jr

      NB: This is my entry in the longuest, hardest, most pretentious route to a “his smart phone was smarter than the lot of ’em!” Joke.

  • Ann B Watson

    Thank you Tony.Just incredible things that are occurring.Off-topic but is anyone else having trouble with Disquis? The last few days,ate any comment I typed then told me it could not access my profile page and now when I wanted to reply to a poster,it tells me it can’t find Tony’s page.Some troll-gremlins have gotten wild with activity,because we are holding their feet to the fire.Tony,may you & yours and those lovely cats( I adore cats) have a Christmas & New Years filled with Light,Laughter,Peace and Love.You do so much for all.๐ŸŽ„โœจ๐Ÿ’

    • ze moo

      I blame Russian hackers, slowing down the internet and messing with US. Or it’s those damned saucer people again. I hate when they do that.

      • Ann B Watson

        Love your comment zemoo! Love U๐Ÿ’˜๐Ÿ’˜

    • LongtimeLurker

      Disqus was aware of the issues and claim they’re all fixed as of…recently…

  • Missionary Kid

    Slightly OT. I was busy last nigh, and didn’t get to see Leah & Mike’s Q&A session until very late. I hope that all the people who viewed it have been contacting their Representatives and Senators, as was suggested. I would hope that the Federal Attorney for Wisconsin gets prodded to take action, too. I’m going to be pretty busy for the next few days, as well..

    It’s not Christmas related, but it’s fun work.

  • ze moo

    The Powells got 10k a week for their ‘surveillance’ of Ron Sr. How much is the CO$ paying them right now? They have to be ‘good’ for a few more years, otherwise, the trial begins. And 10 years in Federal Prison is not to be sneezed at. So the unDynamic Duo has to keep out of trouble or the laptops are examined. How much is that worth to Davy Miscavage?

    Always, follow the money.

  • richelieu jr

    Fun Fact: (true story) I was heaving a heated conversation with a police detective and a few swells from the local Scilon Celeb Centre (the little place behind the Scooter Rental Stand) whose Internet address was on some of the stolen material forwarded from my hacked computer for some inexplicable reason (!) and the tone got raised a bit (anyone care “FOR TEA”?) and the term “bigot” pronounced (once or twice per minute)…

    I was getting the Standard Scilon Suppression Shattering Staredown with Sporadic Spittle thrown in, my interlocuteur leaning in like Trump at a debate and I said,

    “Stop yelling at me. What do I look like, an Ashtray?”

    Reception was mixed…. Wish you guys could have been there…

    • RJr! I have missed your holiness’s posts of late. Glad you’re back in full force. Our tapestry is always a bit duller without your golden threads.

    • Draco


  • Jon Hendry

    Interesting. The PVC-silenced rifle was recalled in 2010 because the maker accidentally gave it a fake-silencer barrel shroud that was too close to being a real silencer. Evidently, if you drilled a hole in the barrel, the escaping gases and noise would be suppressed somewhat by the barrel shroud. So the company had to provide new fake-silencer barrel shrouds that didn’t function as silencers. *shrug emoji*

    I wonder if this recall gave them the idea that it’d be extra-easy to make a homebrew silencer for this rifle.

  • Just read the reports for the first time. The silencer only lowered the decibel level by 25 db? That doesn’t seem like much to this total non-expert in such matters. Basically the silencer would lower the sound level to that of a Seahawks home game. Still pretty loud.

    • Tony Ortega

      Didn’t the Powells say it wasn’t a silencer, but for fire suppression? In other words, when you kill someone from distance in the dark, you don’t want people to know where the bullet came from. (Great guys!)

      • Sherbet

        I was just typing that very thing, beginning with “Didn’t the Powells say…” Tony’s brain, I am in you.

        • Rasha

          (Look for the Bunker liquor cabinet keys while you’re in there!!!!!)

          • Draco

            The cabinet has keys???? That’s just wrong on so many levels…

            • Rasha

              He’s tough, but fair…

      • Jon Hendry

        Silencer = suppressor. Synonyms.

        • Phil McKraken

          Two types of suppression: sound and flash. Sound suppressors are illegal and flash suppressors not, which is why the Powell’s tried to claim that their homemade device was a flash suppressor.

          • ze moo

            It is incredably easy to tell the difference between a flash hider and any sound suppressor. That is why the Powells were charged.

      • Chee Chalker

        Is that something that is used to silence Suppresive Persons?

      • They said it was lighting long dry grass on fire and that is why they needed flash suppression. Which is totally bullshit for that weapon and ammo. GSG 522 w/22LR

      • ze moo

        Silencers have huge drawbacks. They reduce the muzzle velocity of the bullet a lot. Flash hiders don’t do that, but they do make the location of the gun hard to find, especially at night. Flash hiders are legal.

        During the Clinton era ‘assault weapon ban’, you could still buy an AK 47 if you ground off the bayonet lug and took off any flash hiders. That law was in all but one instance useless. It did keep extra large magazines off the rifle market. Extra large magazines for pistols were stockpiled by manufactures and continued to be sold under a grandfather clause.

        Every deer hunter knows that deer always look for the flash when they are under fire.

    • Jon Hendry

      Apparently they don’t work as well as Hollywood would have you believe, but they can save your ears some damage.

      Although, decibels are logarithmic, so a 20 dB decrease is equivalent to an 90% drop in amplitude.

      I think. Never quite got the hang of logarithmic stuff.

  • gmarie


  • Panopea Abrupta

    This was how DM reacted when he learned that “Ruthless” was coming out.

    I would hate to be anywhere near him tonight.

    • Username

      I really enjoy these. Thanks!

  • Mat Pesch

    Amy and I know Dwayne and his son real well. When Amy and I lived in Clearwater in 2009 I was going to auctions each week and Amy was writing her book. Dwayne and his son helped me load up my van after some of the auctions and Dwayne went out of his way to talk with me at the auctions. He even bought a car from me at one point. It became obvious to us that Dwayne was a PI. Realize at the same time that Dwayne was doing his act we had a team of other PIs overtly following us 24/7. We even had PIs renting the little beach cottage next to our small apartment. We could never figure out what the angle was on buying the car from us. Its not like he used it. $10,000 a week is good money, especially in Florida. I hope he invested it well.

    • kemist

      I think I would just mess with their heads.

      “How’s Dave ?”

      “Your bird house has nice view on our living room.”

      “I’ve got fresh garbage too if you want it. Cut out the middleman, you can buy it directly form us.”

    • Jeb Burton

      Hilarious. You knew his game and even sold him your car. Hope you ripped him off. I’m curious, never being stalked by PI’s, as far as I know, do you get used to it and find it funny? Or does it make you paranoid? I don’t think I would like to be spied on 24/7. But I think I would try to punk them daily.

      • Mat Pesch

        At first its a bit disturbing. Eventually it becomes some what of a game and we would mess with the PIs a bit. Things like putting information in our garbage that wasn’t true. Sometimes a PI would do something so stupid as to be funny. After months of being followed by the same PIs you start to know a bit about them. Some liked to drink. Some liked female company on the night shift. Amy and I decided to go for a walk along a street on Clearwater Beach one early Sunday morning. A PI with his female company in the passenger seat followed us. They were about 100 feet back and driving at our walking pace. After a few minutes the woman opened her door and hung out the side of the car throwing up all over the place. My thought after having been the Treasury Secretary for so many years was “With all the money OSA is given I can’t believe they can’t hire better PI’s”.
        The motley crew living next to us was even worse. One morning I walked out and dropped a bag of garbage into the pail. By the time I came back with a second bag (a few minutes later), the first bag was already gone. The PIs next door were so bored they couldn’t help themselves and gave themselves away. I remember telling Dwayne (the PI) about the guys next door. He showed some shock that I knew. Even Dwayne did stupid stuff like stealing a $5 shredder I bought at an auction before I could pick it up. He was trying to prevent me from shredding my garbage. Who steals a $5 paper shredder except a lame PI. Amy and I just went and bought a new, much more efficient shredder. I would say they messed with us and we messed with them. When you are aware that a PI has befriended you its a convenient way to convey information back to OSA.
        The truth is that our living on Clearwater Beach had nothing to do with Scientology being there. Its amazing how much money Scientology spent (possibly over $1,000,000) to spy on us during our 9 months living in Clearwater. Note that during that time we would fly back to Seattle to visit family and Scientology would have PIs waiting for us in Seattle. Talk about paranoid.

    • Draco

      And it’s quite likely that he has all this history stored on his computer… I wonder what else he has done for the cult in the 7 years since then?

    • Damn!

  • Todd Tomorrow
  • stillgrace2

    I am convinced David Miscavige is behind the attempt to obtain and destroy the evidence on those laptops.
    When a huge protest was planned for the 2 year anniversary of Lisa McPherson’s death, David Miscavige demanded Tom DeVocht obtain permits to close down the streets surrounding the Fort Harrison Hotel and also RIP UP all the surrounding sidewalks so the protesters couldn’t march. Unbelievable.

    He was deadly serious about getting this done and assaulted Tom when he was unable to accomplish this impossible demand. Rip up all the sidewalks and close the streets. Really? This true story gives insight into how grandiose, twisted, and deluded David Miscavige’s mind was twenty years ago.

    I don’t think his thought processes have improved since. He is more dangerous than can be imagined.

    • Jeb Burton

      I’m surprised he didn’t get it done. DM says jump, and the City of Clearwater says how high.

      • stillgrace2

        Maybe … but David Miscavige did not get the streets closed or the sidewalks ripped up that time. He just started to ignore getting permits … like when he cut down all those trees. My point is that he thinks he is omnipotent and doesn’t have to answer to wog law.
        ETA: Also, he has quite the temper when he doesn’t get his way.

    • “Ossified” is the word that comes to mind. Hubbard’s writ cannot be altered. It’s all telexes, cal-mag, screaming, and noisy investigations.

      • stillgrace2

        I believe David Miscavige upholds Hubbard’s policies only when and if it suits his purposes. Examples: GAT, the destruction of the missions, and making Mary Kahn go all the way up the damn “Bridge” twice. TWICE. For money. There are many examples of Miscavige ignoring Hubbard’s policies in Debbie Cook’s famous email. I feel my BP rising so I am going to go grocery shopping for my family’s holiday.

  • ONEpointONE

    Did Mr. Levinson knowingly misrepresent the truth to get a judge to issue an illegal court order? It sure does look like he did and I’m pretty sure he didn’t expect anybody to find out about it much less have it reported on a popular news website. The word, “disbarment” is a scary one to a lawyer. I’d say Mr. Levinson is proceeding with extreme caution at this point and would be wise to drop out of the matter entirely and pray.

    • Chee Chalker

      My guess….he did not outright lie to the judge. He lied by omission
      ‘Gee…..did I forget to tell you about the agreement between the petitioner and the federal government? I’m sorry! I thought you knew because of the notoriety of the case’

      • ONEpointONE

        He “misrepresented” the truth. That might not qualify as a lie at a cocktail party but in legal matters it’s different I think.

        • Chee Chalker

          It depends on how the judge feels. Most judges would be peeved they were misled.
          Especially with something high profile

  • A fantastic story Tony. I hope one of the media giants heeds your call (L.A. Times, here’s a way to save face). Watching the sleazy tactics of the very bendy lawyers and PIs that the church scrapes off the sidewalk always amazes me. That they’ve been able to operate in relative obscurity for decades has addled Miscavige’s brain. They’re under the spotlight like never before and yet their playbook remains hamfisted and unchanged. Hubbard’s unchanging and unchangeable canon is the church’s worst liability.

  • Re: our underfunded TO, I did some test’s last night, continuing learning about the twitterverse, and made this tweet during the wave of activity on the hashtag #scientologytheaftermath. This tweet stands out when i look at the counter for [Impressions] and the other engagements, as it is still counting up as i write this comment. Does it work? Does it sell books? I have no idea! But all in all i have around 10K Impressions (views) as this is not the only tweet i have tweeted. The last 28 days i have 55K impressions on this Dice tweeter account and followers from outside the bunker is ticking in like never before. Since i don’t think I should “swarm” that hashtag with my tweets, i am looking out for other hashtags to promote TO’s book and maybe fund him that way. This is time consuming, I know, but if anyone have some time and like to join the Twitter community, it can be done easily with just a simple twitter account (it can be anonymous like here) and then just connect to other ASC Twitters and just Retweet (RT) and get some followers. The best results, comes when creating you own Tweets and write a short message providing some content for others to RT. Think about all those shoops we are creating here in the bunker? Why keep them here. Let the “world” have fun using those shoops to share the hilarity of this dubious Chirch!

    PS: Now the impression counter is 2032 and still counting, just while i wrote this comment.

  • Lousy Ratatouille

    This is an interesting story!
    The criminal CoS and their lawyers are very cunning. I’m glad they did not succeed!

  • Jenyfurrrrr

    Missing my fellow Bunkerbutts & my early morning time alone hidden in The UB! Sorry all got some super sick kids & hubs (so… 3 sick kids!) keeping me up at night so I miss my morning Bunker break!

    Tony – this is intriguing & yet ANOTHER example of what makes you such an excellent Investigative Reporter! (Sadly, a very rare breed & endangered species these days. Instincts AND fact-checking?!?) I’ll shoot out links to this story to a few places/media tip lines in hopes someone will run with it (& they’d better give you credit!).

    Thank you for ALL you do and have done. I’m glad to see you’re finally getting credit here & there for your endless contributions to this subject!

  • ReallyMGM

    Incredible reporting TO. This is major one and needs to be seen in major media outlets like NYT, WaPo, not just salicous snippets in the entertainment tabloids ( w/ the obligatory TC reference). Hoping people watching Leah’s program will see this mess now as more than the couch jumping monkey.

  • JaxNGold

    Damn, Tony. Last night you said today’s story was kinda “gnarly”. You weren’t kidding.

    Just the thought of that information getting out makes me all warm and fuzzy inside.

  • Jimmy3

    Yeah… Lawyers and editors…. Or…. What about a magnet?

  • Spike Robinson
  • squints

    How I would love to see Itty Bitties reaction to this article. Almost daily, more bad news for him. Is it wrong for me to, I don’t know, feel giddy?

  • Intergalactic Walrus

    Could the laptops be turned over to Ron Sr. as evidence if he filed a lawsuit against the detectives or would Paragraph 16 negate that too?

    • flyonthewall

      1. That would take money
      2. What would he sue over? The “me wantee” precedent?

  • Gerard Plourde

    Joining the discussion somewhat late, so I don’t know if this issue has been discussed – The issue of the public release of the information on the laptop may not be quite as clear-cut as we’d like. The laptop and the information contained on it are not government property even though they are currently in the custody of the police.

    As it stands now, the police only have a limited ability to search the laptop and could only use as evidence material directly related to the crime with which Powell is charged or for which they might have probable cause to believe to investigate (potentially a violation of anti-stalking laws, which in turn could lead to conspiracy charges against whoever devised the scheme). In order to do that search they would need to procure a search warrant from and could only obtain that warrant upon showing that probable cause exists. So if, for example, somehow evidence of human trafficking or abuse of Sea Org staff ended up on Powell’s computer there would most likely be no way that a case could be brought using it unless the evidence obtained naturally flowed from the investigation of Powell. (There is a limited exception for inadvertent discovery, but I’m not an expert on criminal law and would love if a Bunkerite who is could explore that possibility.)

    Given the limitations the police have, it seems to me that a FOIA type action would face difficulty. What is being asked is for a government to invade an individual’s privacy, search his personal property that was not introduced in any court proceeding, and disclose the contents. As much as it would be good to know what Scientology is so afraid of, I’d be very wary of trying to set that precedent.