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Why Alex Gibney’s ‘Going Clear’ is scaring the crap out of Scientology

Author Lawrence Wright and director Alex Gibney

Alex Gibney’s HBO documentary about Scientology, Going Clear, had its second public showing last night at the Sundance Film Festival, and we got another chance to think about what’s in it and what makes it so compelling.

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‘Going Clear’ premieres at Sundance, and we watched in awe with the celebs

Tobey Maguire was sitting in the row behind us. Alec Baldwin was down near the front. Morgan Spurlock and Kathryn Bigelow had joined us in the green room with Alex Gibney and Lawrence Wright.

But the real stars of the show — the ones who provided an emotional wallop — were sitting around us as […]

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Scientology takes out full-page ad in the New York Times to attack Alex Gibney

UPDATED: Scientology’s ad is now in the post, as well as a response from Alex Gibney. See below.

This is a fun one: New York Times staffer Michael Cieply reporting on an ad in his own newspaper.

Cieply reports that the Church of Scientology has taken out a full page ad in the Times […]

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Claire Headley explains her amazing Scientology experience as Tom Cruise’s ‘examiner’

The Underground Bunker is very happy that we could play a small role in bringing together one of our favorite people — Claire Headley — with David Pakman, who is doing some very good work interviewing former Scientologists about their experiences.

Claire explains how she grew up in Scientology, what it meant to be a […]

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The new Scientology ad running on TV — and maybe for the Super Bowl

We’ve been getting reports from readers that Scientology has been running a television ad in prominent places in the last week or so. The ad appeared before one of the NFL playoff games this weekend, and we heard that it also ran yesterday during a showing of The View and the Ellen Degeneres Show.

That’s […]

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Happy New Year 2015 — now the real Scientology countdown begins!

And so 2015 begins here in the Underground Bunker. We want to thank our great commenter community for a wild build-up to this moment. And now, we’d like to take a moment to celebrate what we think is going to be a really exciting month of January.

The big event, of course, will take place […]

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Give Scientology $1,000 and all you’ll get is this lousy T-shirt

We’ve mentioned in the past that Scientology is not finished with its “Mecca” in Clearwater, Florida. Despite the completion of its city-block-sized “Flag Building” (a/k/a “Super Power” building), the church is still raising money for yet another building that will go next door: The L. Ron Hubbard Hall.

For years, Scientology held its big annual […]

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Scientology’s Craigslist expert issues new instructions after so much ad flagging

Here’s a little treat we thought we’d put out before your holiday weekend kicks off. (Tap, tap. Is this thing on? Anyone there? Ha.)

Over at, and then here in the comments section of the Underground Bunker, there’s been a coordinated effort by folks who do their best to “flag” deceptive ads that Scientology […]

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Chris Shelton’s new video: Scientology is coming apart at the seams

Chris Shelton was a longtime Scientology Sea Org worker who only recently left the organization. Since then, he’s become one of the best former Scientologists at actually explaining what Scientology is and why it’s doomed.

It also doesn’t hurt that the man has some good video skills. We’ve posted a number of his great short […]

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More about the goons Scientology sent to intimidate Marty Rathbun and Louis Theroux

We had to scramble yesterday evening to bring you some information about the latest Scientology ambush video that former church official Mark “Marty” Rathbun posted to the Internet.

Now, some hours later, a more complete — and more depressing — picture of what happened Saturday in Los Angeles is emerging, thanks to the eagle-eyed researchers […]

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