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


‘Phantom of the Opera’ gets a two-fer: Scientologist and child molester!

PhantomWow, James Barbour is back in a big way.

A few days ago, it was announced that Barbour was taking on the title role in Broadway’s longest-running production, Phantom of the Opera. And then, last night, the producers of the show felt compelled to answer an overwhelming Internet response to the news that Barbour was joining the cast.

Here’s what the show released…

“We are of course aware of the reaction to the announcement of our newest Phantom for Broadway and want to respond to you. James gave a tremendous audition and we are confident he will be a thrilling Phantom. James fully accepted responsibility for what happened 14 years ago. Following his sentence in 2008, James resumed his career, starring in A TALE OF TWO CITIES on Broadway. In the seven years since then, he has appeared in countless productions in New York and around the country, receiving great acclaim, and maintaining a spotless reputation.”

That’s a bit cryptic, but what it’s referring to is that in 2008, Barbour pleaded guilty to something that happened in 2001 backstage of the show Jane Eyre, when he seduced a 15-year-old girl. The girl, a high school student and aspiring actress, had been sent to the show to learn something about the business, and she ended up not only being fondled backstage but, the New York Times reported, “he had oral sex with the girl in his apartment the next month.”

Barbour managed to work out a deal that had him plead to a misdemeanor so he wouldn’t have to register as a sex offender, and gradually, he got his career back on track to the point where now, he’s landed one of the most coveted roles in town.


But Phantom of the Opera is not just getting a rehabilitated kid seducer.

As former Scientology spokesman Mike Rinder pointed out last summer, Barbour at one time was one of that organization’s most reliable celebrities.

“Back in the mid 2000’s, he was one of the ‘A-list’ musicians who was invited to perform on the Freewinds for MV [Maiden Voyage],” Rinder wrote at his blog in August. “But then he got himself into trouble. Big time.”

Scientology’s own publications record that Barbour was taking Scientology courses in the time Rinder refers to.

And what Rinder was referring to was Scientology’s private cruise ship, the Freewinds, where wealthy Scientologists go to receive top-secret upper-level coursework, and also where, each June or July, there’s an annual celebration called “Maiden Voyage.” This is when Scientology leader David Miscavige reveals upcoming church initiatives to his wealthiest “whales,” and it’s also a time when celebrities join in for some fun to keep those wealthy members donating money to the cause. As Rinder points out, Barbour was at one time one of the entertainers that Miscavige could count on for his dog and pony show.

And the reason that Rinder wrote about Barbour in August was that the actor had made a pretty stunning return by agreeing to be the headliner at a Scientology fundraiser…


So hey, that’s good to know. The Phantom of the Opera crew ought to know that James has not only been rehabilitated fully, but he’s available for Scientology touch assists as well! What a two-fer!


New Narconon lawsuit in Michigan

Jeff Ray, the attorney in Michigan — not to be confused with Ray Jeffrey, the attorney in Texas — has filed a new lawsuit against a Narconon facility, Narconon Freedom Center in Albion, Michigan.

MLive has the details of the case for now, and when the complaint becomes available, we’ll post it.

To review what Ray has done in the past, remember that he represented Richard Teague, who also sued the facility — we had the first interview with Teague about his ordeal after his lawsuit was over.

For the readers of this website, the details in the new suit, brought by former Narconon client and Ohio resident Lauren Prevec, are all too familiar. Narconon is still very vulnerable to legal actions as long as it promises drug counseling but instead delivers Scientology training.


Bonus photos from our tipsters

Woo-hoo, staring contests in TJ!


Come on by for the big game and some past life processing!


Jenna Elfman leaves a comment, rooting on a Criminon volunteer…


The cast of Allen Barton’s play ‘Disconnection’ poses before tomorrow’s first preview performance!


Jenna and Juliette hanging out at the Women in Television celebration at the Sunset Tower Hotel yesterday…


Scientologists are using social media more than ever. Drop us a line if you spot them posting images to Instagram or Facebook!


10 days until Alex Gibney’s film Going Clear: Scientology & the Prison of Belief opens at the Sundance Film Festival at 2:30 pm on Sunday, January 25 in Park City, Utah


Posted by Tony Ortega on January 15, 2015 at 10:15

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 cover to cover with the help of LA 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

PZ Myers reads L. Ron Hubbard’s “A History of Man” | Scientology’s Master Spies | Scientology’s Private Dancer
The Underground Bunker’s Official Theme Song | The Underground Bunker FAQ


Share Button
Print Friendly, PDF & Email