Tony Ortega is executive editor of The Raw Story and is formerly the editor of The Village Voice. He's written about Scientology since 1995, and has a forthcoming book about the subject. He continues to monitor breaking developments in the Scientology world from an undisclosed location in an underground bunker he shares with four cats and one of them wrinkly Shar Pei dogs. Despite his super-secret security protections, you can still reach him pretty easily by sending him a message at tonyo94 AT gmail.com (Drop him a line if you'd like to get an e-mail whenever a new story is posted.) [Header image courtesy John Rickard]
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Marc Headley responds to sliming Scientology gave him at the ‘International Business Times’

Marc_Claire_Headley2Yesterday, we brought you the news of the latest bizarre Scientology ambush — in this case, by a group of “Sea Org” workers swarming former church member Marc Headley, who was at Scientology’s International Base in Southern California with a Danish television crew.

We had a feeling the story might have legs because just a few weeks earlier, a similar ambush — of Marty Rathbun at an LAX terminal — had produced a video that was widely picked up by the media.

Continue reading Marc Headley responds to sliming Scientology gave him at the ‘International Business Times’

Scientology ambush! Another crazy encounter, this time with Marc Headley at Int Base

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Just a few weeks ago, former Scientology executive Mark “Marty” Rathbun found himself confronted by three high-ranking church officials who ambushed him at a gate in the Los Angeles International Airport while carrying cameras and speaking bizarrely. The video Rathbun shot of the encounter got a lot of attention in the press as it captured the strange way Scientology has of dealing with former members.

Continue reading Scientology ambush! Another crazy encounter, this time with Marc Headley at Int Base

SUNDANCE BOUND: HBO’s film about Scientology will debut in Utah on January 25

Going_ClearThe Sundance Film Festival announced today that it has selected Oscar-winning director Alex Gibney’s HBO-produced documentary about Scientology, Going Clear, for its 2015 lineup.

The two-hour movie, based on Lawrence Wright’s 2013 book, Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, & the Prison of Belief, will make its premiere at the festival, screening for the first time at 2:30 pm on Sunday, January 25 in Park City, Utah.

Your proprietor was interviewed for the film and has been invited to the premiere. We are looking forward to what we believe will be a devastating look at the effect Scientology has on its adherents. We can’t say much more about what’s in the movie. Gibney’s production company issued this terse synopsis of the film…

Continue reading SUNDANCE BOUND: HBO’s film about Scientology will debut in Utah on January 25

Scientology Sunday Funnies: Special Pearl Harbor Day edition!

IdealSchemaThe Church of Scientology has had many days of infamy, but one thing’s for sure — leader David Miscavige and his organization sure keep up the pretense that they’re going full speed ahead.

This week, our great tipsters sent us another collection of new fundraising fliers smuggled out of the church. And among them was a fancy new multi-part campaign of rah-rah about the Ideal Org program.

Continue reading Scientology Sunday Funnies: Special Pearl Harbor Day edition!

Jon Atack: How to get a convinced Scientologist on the road to recovery

Jon_AtackJon Atack is the author of A Piece of Blue Sky, one of the very best books on L. Ron Hubbard and Scientology. He has a new edition of the book for sale, and for more than a year on Saturdays he helped us sift through the legends, myths, and contested facts about Scientology that tend to get hashed and rehashed in books, articles, and especially on the Internet. He was kind enough to send us a new post.

Jon has really come through for us again, this time laying out a complete program for the frustrated friend or family member who wants to get a Scientologist to begin challenging their indoctrination. Jon, tell us how it works.

Continue reading Jon Atack: How to get a convinced Scientologist on the road to recovery

Steve Cannane has Scientology book news, and helps us with a Down Under history lesson

SteveCannane2Here’s a bit of news we’ve been keeping under our hat. Steve Cannane, one of Australia’s excellent television journalists who cover Scientology, told us some time ago that he’d signed a contract to write a book about Scientology’s history Down Under.

Scientology has a long and controversial background in Australia, and Cannane has been hard at work interviewing people and digging up documents for his book. He doesn’t have a publication date for us yet, but he agreed to let us reveal that his project is nearing completion after we pestered him recently with a question about an obscure document.

Continue reading Steve Cannane has Scientology book news, and helps us with a Down Under history lesson

‘Chicago Fire’ actor Christian Stolte sets off an alarm about Scientology and the actors’ union

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UPDATE: SAG-AFTRA’s publication will no longer sell ads to Scientology. See update below.

Christian Stolte is well known here at the Underground Bunker both for his recurring role in the NBC drama Chicago Fire, but also because he’s a knowledgeable critic of Scientology who has been a regular presence here.

When Kirstie Alley appeared to take potshots at Leah Remini for leaving Scientology in 2013, Stolte went after Alley on Twitter in a very entertaining way. It was then that we learned what an expert he is on Scientology and that he was a regular reader here.

Continue reading ‘Chicago Fire’ actor Christian Stolte sets off an alarm about Scientology and the actors’ union

About that Tom Cruise Scientology ‘co-leader’ nonsense spreading in the media

TomCruiseLondonSome of you may have noticed that, in our comments the other day, we mentioned that we were looking forward to a new article coming out about Tom Cruise and Scientology, written by a reporter we know who had hit us up for some quotes.

We were really anticipating this story, because we knew from what the reporter told us that he was going to begin to set the record straight about a lot of really dumb tabloidy nonsense about Cruise and his kids Connor and Isabella supposedly breaking away from Scientology. Our reporter friend had good evidence that the opposite was true — the Cruise clan is, if anything, tighter than ever with their fellow Scientologists. And anyway, we love seeing tabloid nonsense getting its comeuppance.

Continue reading About that Tom Cruise Scientology ‘co-leader’ nonsense spreading in the media

Another Riffer-ific salvo from Scientology leader David Miscavige in our legal roundup

David_Miscavige_IAS30aWe have several legal updates for you today, and we’ll start with the always entertaining Jeffrey K. Riffer, attorney for Church of Scientology leader David Miscavige.

You’ll remember that the colorful Riffer, known for his over-the-top threat letters to Vanity Fair and CNN in which he comes off sounding exasperated that anyone would question the godlike ecclesiastical awesomeness of his client, had submitted a salvo of outrage aimed at the National Association of Forensic Counselors, which is suing Miscavige and 81 other defendants in a massive civil lawsuit regarding the misuse of the NAFC’s trademarks and logos.

Continue reading Another Riffer-ific salvo from Scientology leader David Miscavige in our legal roundup

Hey, Dr. Phil, get a clue about Scientology and stop stiff-arming Lori Hodgson

Lori with Jeremy and Jessica before they disconnected from her.

Lori with Jeremy and Jessica before they disconnected from her.

If you’re a longtime reader of the Underground Bunker, you know that for several years we’ve paid close attention to the story of Lori Hodgson, a California mom who has fought the Church of Scientology over access to her children.

Like many other longtime Scientologists in recent years, Lori grew disillusioned about the church. When she sought advice from former high-ranking church official Marty Rathbun in 2010 by visiting him in Texas, she was spotted by the church’s agents watching Rathbun’s home, and Lori was then formally “declared” a “suppressive person” — Scientology’s version of excommunication.

Continue reading Hey, Dr. Phil, get a clue about Scientology and stop stiff-arming Lori Hodgson