Tony Ortega is a journalist who was formerly the editor of The Village Voice. He's written about Scientology since 1995, and in May 2015 released a book about Scientology's harassment of Paulette Cooper titled 'The Unbreakable Miss Lovely.' 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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While the Scientology scandal swirls in Colombia, a key figure relaxes in Florida

[Col. Prado, still wearing his Freedom medal]

Tomorrow, Colombia’s Congress is holding hearings regarding the Scientology scandal that the media there has been feeding on. We told you last time that an upstart federal senator, Iv├ín Cepeda, sparked the congressional investigation when he asked the country’s new defense minister to report back about Scientology’s infiltration of the country’s military and national police.

Continue reading While the Scientology scandal swirls in Colombia, a key figure relaxes in Florida

Oh gross: Scientology Sea Org now saluting donors who give for ‘Ideal Orgs’

 
Rod Keller has a great new report on just how wacky and desperate Scientology fundraising is becoming…

Continue reading Oh gross: Scientology Sea Org now saluting donors who give for ‘Ideal Orgs’

From Jon Atack’s ‘Blue Sky’: Reorganizing Scientology as L. Ron Hubbard’s life waned

 
One of the truly monumental books about Scientology, Jon Atack’s A Piece of Blue Sky: Scientology, Dianetics, and L. Ron Hubbard Exposed came out in 1990 and was nearly sued out of existence. We were fortunate to come across a copy in the 1990s as we were just beginning a career investigating Scientology stories. Today, Atack has a new edition of the book out, and he gave us a chapter to include in our Saturday “Scientology Lit” series. It reminds us that no one else packed so much history into every page recounting the fortunes of L. Ron Hubbard and his organization. The excerpt we have is a snapshot of how much Scientology was changing in the years after Hubbard went into permanent seclusion in 1980. We hope it motivates you to pick up this book, an amazing resource for any Scientology Watcher…

Continue reading From Jon Atack’s ‘Blue Sky’: Reorganizing Scientology as L. Ron Hubbard’s life waned

The Garcias won’t go down without a fight: Filing appeal of Scientology’s ‘arbitration’ farce

 
The Garcias aren’t letting well enough alone. More than five years after they first filed a lawsuit against the Church of Scientology, and after three years wrestling against a ruling by Tampa federal Judge James Whittemore that forced them into Scientology’s internal arbitration, Luis and Rocio Garcia have filed a notice that they are appealing Whittemore’s latest ruling that they would have to live with the results of that arbitration.

Continue reading The Garcias won’t go down without a fight: Filing appeal of Scientology’s ‘arbitration’ farce

Stanley Clarke turns out to be as deep into Scientology as we feared, all these years later

 
From time to time we’re asked if famous jazz bassist Stanley Clarke is still involved in Scientology (and the person asking is usually hoping we’ll say no). For a while there, we hadn’t seen Stanley showing much involvement in the organization, and so we weren’t sure what to say. But then, ten days ago, we put up a three-year-old Scientology music video that clearly showed Clarke taking part, and so we pointed out he’s at least still in it to a certain extent.

Continue reading Stanley Clarke turns out to be as deep into Scientology as we feared, all these years later

A life connected to some of our biggest Scientology stories ends in a terrible way

[Jonathan Ramsay, 1981-2018]

We have some unfortunate news regarding a person who had a connection to a couple of different stories here at the Underground Bunker. His name was Jonathan Ramsay, and he recently ended his life in Arizona at the age of 37.

Continue reading A life connected to some of our biggest Scientology stories ends in a terrible way

Whale watching: Your 2018 mid-year guide to who’s keeping Scientology alive

[Jim Bridgeforth and Victoria and Tom Cummins, Scientology cetaceans]

Thanks to the tipster who forwarded us pages from the new Impact magazine, we have your mid-year Scientology whale watching update!

Continue reading Whale watching: Your 2018 mid-year guide to who’s keeping Scientology alive

Scientology is very worried about 75-year-old Efrem Logreira and his allegations

[Kendrick Moxon and Efrem Logreira]

In our last story about Efrem Logreira, we told you that he had turned down the offer of a check for $8,415 from the Church of Scientology.

Continue reading Scientology is very worried about 75-year-old Efrem Logreira and his allegations

If Scientology is hurting, have its ‘expansion’ plans slowed down? Here’s our assessment

 
We see a lot of signs that Scientology is entering a desperate phase. Mike Rinder does a particularly good job at his site gathering evidence that shortages in staffing and at events is a sign that David Miscavige’s dog and pony show is at a breaking point. But even if membership is tanking, is Miscavige slowing down any of his ‘expansion’ plans? We asked the man who keeps an eye on that so well, Rod Keller, to pause and give us his assessment: What’s the outward picture of health that Scientology projects in August 2018?

Continue reading If Scientology is hurting, have its ‘expansion’ plans slowed down? Here’s our assessment

Church of Fear: When John Sweeney sat down with Anne Archer and Leah Remini

 
This week in our ‘Scientology Lit’ series, we have an excerpt from BBC reporter John Sweeney’s 2013 book, Church of Fear: Inside the Weird World of Scientology. Sweeney wrote about his experiences making two BBC documentaries about the church, 2007’s “Scientology and Me,” and 2010’s “The Secrets of Scientology.” In this chapter, he’s being handled by Scientology’s two spokesmen — Tommy Davis and Mike Rinder — as he conducts interviews for his 2007 Panorama episode at the Hollywood Celebrity Centre with his cameraman Bill and producer, ‘Mole.’ He gets forceful denials about Scientology leader David Miscavige striking his employees (which Rinder will be among those to confirm in a 2009 piece by the Tampa Bay Times.) We hope you enjoy this cracking good chapter that Sweeney was generous enough to share with us…

Continue reading Church of Fear: When John Sweeney sat down with Anne Archer and Leah Remini