Daily Notifications
Sign up for free emails to receive the feature story every morning in your inbox at


Is Ukraine’s proposed new prime minister a Scientologist? Says his niece: ‘That’s crap’

Arseniy Yatsenyuk

Arseniy Yatsenyuk

Yesterday evening, Arseniy Yatsenyuk was nominated to be Ukraine’s new prime minister in the wake of President Viktor Yanukovych’s ouster.

Yatsenyuk is a former speaker of parliament and foreign minister, and led one of the factions of the opposition movement.

However, last week, when it looked like Yatsenyuk was likely to end up in a leading position after the country’s upheaval, rumors began flying that he was involved with Scientology — rumors that have been around for at least four years. One conservative blogger in Dallas even suggested recently that Yatsenyuk was some sort of mole for both Scientology and billionaire financier George Soros.

We had serious doubts about that story, which was thin on details. For its allegation about Scientology, it pointed to Yatsenyuk’s Wikipedia entry, which claimed that Yatsenyuk, 40, was primarily involved in Scientology through his sister Alina Steel, 47, who lives in Santa Barbara and was supposedly an auditor and heavily into the church. But shortly after the Dallas story appeared, that allegation was scrubbed from the Wikipedia entry in English (the assertion still exists in Wikipedia’s Russian-language version).

Last night, we reached Alina Steel’s daughter, Ulyana Biloskurska, 26, who assured us that the rumors about the family’s Scientology involvement were completely untrue.

“That’s crap,” she said. “We don’t even know what Scientology is.”


Ulyana, who lives in California, said she had heard the allegation about her mother and uncle, and assured us that neither of them have any involvement in Scientology.

“We read about the rumor, but there’s no truth to it,” she says. “The only thing I know about Scientology is that Tom Cruise is in it.”


LeahBuzzfeedLeah Remini’s odd Buzzfeed interview

In a two-hour interview with Buzzfeed’s Jarett Wieselman, Leah Remini somehow managed to avoid most of the controversial things she experienced in Scientology.

Wieselman credited the New York Post for breaking the news of Leah’s defection from Scientology on July 11, but of course it was the Underground Bunker that broke that news three days earlier, on July 8. And it was that story, and a subsequent followup interview with her sister, Nicole, that laid out the saga of Leah’s troubles with Scientology, which began at the 2006 wedding of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes when Leah first questioned the disappearance of David Miscavige’s wife, Shelly. For daring to raise questions about that, Leah was summoned to Clearwater, Florida, where she was put through three months of “sec checks” and the “Truth Rundown” until she agreed to rescind a report she had made about Miscavige’s behavior at the wedding — and she was billed $300,000 for her trouble.

In the years afterwards, Leah increasingly ran into trouble with Scientology’s “ethics” officers as she continued to press for answers about Shelly, culminating with her October 2012 meeting with David Miscavige after she threatened to go to the FBI.

Like many other people who have left Scientology in recent years, Leah was fed up with Miscavige and the direction Scientology was going in. She was angry, and after she came out, she even called up the LAPD to report Miscavige’s wife missing. (We broke that story too.)

In recent months, however, Leah has tended to downplay the Scientology specifics of her story, and although she gave Buzzfeed some great new insights about her childhood in the church, the entire episode about the Cruise wedding and her feuding with David Miscavige was missing from the piece. The result is an odd combination — long sections with great detail about her time in Hollywood, but very little specific about Scientology and how it works.


More Scientology panic over a Pacific storm

Scientology went into full panic mode yesterday as its last-minute plans for building re-dedications in Los Angeles turned out to be badly timed.

We told you yesterday that the threat of a storm of historic proportions had convinced church planners to move their parties back a couple of days. Then yesterday we were smuggled panicky messages saying that the ceremonies had been moved back, storm be damned. But by the end of the day, the move forward was back on as it became obvious it was not smart to compete with a deluge of rain.

So, now, the latest information we have is that the ceremony for the American Saint Hill Organization (ASHO) and the Advanced Organization of Los Angeles (AOLA), both parts of the “Big Blue” complex on Fountain Avenue, will happen on Sunday March 2 at noon.

The next day, on Monday March 3, the Scientology Test Center — redubbed the Scientology Life Improvement Center — will get its dedication at 5:30 pm. That building is on Hollywood Boulevard just a block east of Hollywood & Highland, where the Academy Awards event is happening Sunday night.


Posted by Tony Ortega on February 27, 2014 at 07:00

E-mail your tips and story ideas to or follow us on Twitter. We post behind-the-scenes updates at our Facebook author page. Here at the Bunker we try to have a post up every morning at 7 AM Eastern (Noon GMT), and on some days we post an afternoon story at around 2 PM. After every new story we send out an alert to our e-mail list and our FB page.

Learn about Scientology with our numerous series with experts…

BLOGGING DIANETICS (We read Scientology’s founding text) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25

UP THE BRIDGE (Claire Headley and Bruce Hines train us as Scientologists) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42

GETTING OUR ETHICS IN (Jefferson Hawkins explains Scientology’s system of justice) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14

SCIENTOLOGY MYTHBUSTING (Historian Jon Atack discusses key Scientology concepts) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42

PZ Myers reads L. Ron Hubbard’s “A History of Man” | Scientology’s Master Spies | Scientology’s Private Dancer


Share Button
Print Friendly, PDF & Email