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


DONE DEAL: Contract signed and date set for billboard about Scientology disconnection


Phil Jones wasted no time after the readers of this website helped him raise more than $11,000 in just over a day to fund his project for a billboard in Hollywood. He tells us that he’s now inked a three-month contract for the sign, which will put a focus on Scientology’s practice of “disconnection” that splits up families, including Phil’s own. He and his wife Willie have been raising a ruckus in Los Angeles lately as they’ve tried to get word to their two grown children, Mike and Emily, who work for Scientology in the Los Angeles area, but who have cut off all ties with their parents since Phil and Willie left the church.

“We’ve signed and secured the billboard location for three months. I have the final artwork and it will be forwarded on to the billboard company this week,” Phil tells us. “I also secured an option for an additional three months on the billboard. We have 30 days to exercise the option, so we’d have to come up with the money by then. We already have some of it since we went over the target on our fund raising, so we probably need about $6,500 more. Once the dust settles I’ll get a more exact figure.”

Phil also mentioned that GoFundMe had some problems with some of the smaller donations that people pledged which included joke names. Some of them did go through, so it wasn’t a consistent problem. But if you want your donation to go through without a problem, Phil asks that you either use your real name or “anonymous.”

Phil tells us that he’s hoping to make an event of the billboard’s launch, and he has a date secured. “I have someone who will be there to take pictures of the billboard going up and then once fully installed,” he says. “We’re also going to have some smaller versions of the billboard printed up.” Some of those may be posted, or just handed out.


He shared with us some other plans for the upcoming event, but we’re holding back on them for now.


The HowdyCon FAQ

Based on some messages and questions we’ve received in the last few weeks, we perceive that there’s a little confusion over our upcoming confab in Cleveland. So to help out, we’ve put together this little list of frequently asked questions.

What is HowdyCon?

It’s a three-day meetup being held June 17-19 at the Gateway Radisson in Cleveland, a chance for readers of The Underground Bunker to get together with no more agenda than to have some fun.

How did the idea for HowdyCon develop?

During our book tour last year, we were asked by a reader why we were visiting so many cities. As a joke, we said that it was the only way to judge which city would be best for a convention. Readers loved the idea of a Bunker convention and took it upon themselves to vote for a location. Cleveland won.

What does the name “HowdyCon” signify?

After the idea for a convention or meetup took hold, we suggested the name HowdyCon as a fun recognition of Steven L. Cox, a/k/a “Captain Howdy,” a beloved commenter at the website who passed away in 2015.

So HowdyCon is about Captain Howdy?

Not really. A couple of readers are planning a touching tribute to Howdy, and we also plan to raise a glass to the memory of our treasured Sugarplumfairy, but this event is about all of the readers at the Bunker, and about the subject they discuss, Scientology. This is a meetup, not a memorial.

Who is speaking at HowdyCon?

This isn’t a conference, and there are no formal talks planned. Our organizer, Miss Tia, is working hard to figure out some specific plans. There’s more information at the website, and that’s where there will be the most current information about scheduled events.

Will there be videos or a DVD of the event available afterward?

Not if we can help it.

So this is really just about the people who read this website getting together to talk about Scientology and other things?

In Cleveland. We know, it’s hard to believe. And we hope you join us.


Bonus items from our tipsters

From Mark Bunker, today’s video from the XENU TV archives: “While picketing at the Hollywood Celebrity Centre on L. Ron Hubbard’s birthday back in 1999, we ran across some people who lived near the CC who weren’t at all happy with the organization. They even grabbed some fliers and spent some time with us as we picketed.”



For our readers, a head’s up

Bunkerites, set your decoder rings for this coded message: There will be a special bonus post this evening. Plan your schedules accordingly.


3D-UnbreakablePosted by Tony Ortega on March 2, 2016 at 07:00

E-mail tips and story ideas to tonyo94 AT gmail DOT com or follow us on Twitter. We post behind-the-scenes updates at our Facebook author page. After every new story we send out an alert to our e-mail list and our FB page.

Our book, The Unbreakable Miss Lovely: How the Church of Scientology tried to destroy Paulette Cooper, is on sale at Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions. We’ve posted photographs of Paulette and scenes from her life at a separate location. Reader Sookie put together a complete index. More information about the book, and our 2015 book tour, can also be found at the book’s dedicated 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 L.A. 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

Other links: Shelly Miscavige, ten years gone | The Lisa McPherson story told in real time | The Cathriona White stories | The Leah Remini ‘Knowledge Reports’ | Hear audio of a Scientology excommunication | Scientology’s little day care of horrors | Whatever happened to Steve Fishman? | Felony charges for Scientology’s drug rehab scam | Why Scientology digs bomb-proof vaults in the desert | PZ Myers reads L. Ron Hubbard’s “A History of Man” | Scientology’s Master Spies | Scientology’s Private Dancer | The mystery of the richest Scientologist and his wayward sons | Scientology’s shocking mistreatment of the mentally ill | Scientology boasts about assistance from Google | The Underground Bunker’s Official Theme Song | The Underground Bunker FAQ

Our Guide to Alex Gibney’s film ‘Going Clear,’ and our pages about its principal figures…
Jason Beghe | Tom DeVocht | Sara Goldberg | Paul Haggis | Mark “Marty” Rathbun | Mike Rinder | Spanky Taylor | Hana Whitfield


Share Button
Print Friendly, PDF & Email