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Leah Remini’s ‘Troublemaker’ will become a Lifetime movie: Who plays Tom Cruise?

It’s Leah Remini’s world and we’re all just living in it. The King of Queens actress continues to surprise us after she defected from the Church of Scientology in 2013, wrote a bestseller about it in 2015 (Troublemaker: Surviving Scientology and Hollywood), and then rolled the dice last year with an A&E television series, Scientology and the Aftermath, that became a huge hit for the cable network.

Season two of her series — which she executive produces — is being filmed now, and Leah has also been reunited with her King of Queens co-star, Kevin James, on his CBS series, Kevin Can Wait, where she will become a regular cast member in the show’s second season.

And now, as if that weren’t enough, we received confirmation that Leah will be producing a Lifetime movie version of Troublemaker that we cannot imagine is going to make Tom Cruise and the gang very happy.

If you’ve read the book, you know that its most important scene takes place in a castle outside Rome where Cruise and Katie Holmes were married in 2006. Leah noticed that Tom’s best man, Scientology leader David Miscavige, was there without his wife Shelly, and was getting a little too friendly with his female personal assistant. When Leah dared to ask about it, she was told by Sea Org majordomo and church spokesman Tommy Davis that she didn’t have “the fucking rank” to ask such a question.


Can they say “the fucking rank” on Lifetime? We sure hope so!

It turned out that Shelly Miscavige had vanished from Scientology’s secretive Int Base more than a year before, in late summer 2005, and to this day we believe she’s been banished by her husband to a small California mountain compound operated by Scientology in total secrecy.

The night of the big wedding, all Leah knew was that she had witnessed Scientology’s “pope” doing things he shouldn’t have, and so, like a good Scientologist, she turned him in, daring to write a “Knowledge Report” on the church leader. For her trouble, she was later ordered to Scientology’s spiritual headquarters in Clearwater, Florida, and was put through three months of intense interrogations and mental conditioning until she rescinded her observations about Miscavige. Oh, and she was billed for that mental torture, to the tune of about $300,000. It took her several more years before she completely cut off ties with the church, but that experience definitely began her disillusionment.

So you can see, there’s plenty of material for a Lifetime movie, and we can hardly wait to see it.

Let the speculation about who’s going to play Tom Cruise begin!

Leah is on such a roll. And all she had to do is walk away from a stifling organization that claims it helps celebrity careers.



Man who wrote three books about Scientology complains his story isn’t getting out

We’re not sure there’s a lot to say about Marty Rathbun’s new video, which makes accusations about an “anti-Scientology cult” run by three “farmers” who are leading a bunch of sheep. We’re mostly impressed by how well Marty cleaned up for this thing. “Love his new threads,” Lawrence Wright tells us.


We did want to address his complaint that documentarians always leave his most interesting material on the cutting room floor. Marty Rathbun is a top former Scientology official who, since going public as a critic of church leader David Miscavige in 2009, has self-published three books about Miscavige and Scientology. He’s also authored hundreds of posts at a very well-read blog that for years was watched closely by journalists and former church members.

This is not a guy who was unable to get his story out.

We have previously published an overview of the entire arc of his blog from 2009 to 2017. In that piece we did our best to give Marty his due and explain what were the big themes of his website.

As for his books, we covered those closely as well.

In 2012, we reviewed Marty’s first book, What is Wrong with Scientology? Healing Through Understanding. And here’s one of the things we said about it:

It’s well written, and, for independent Scientologists, probably an inspiring book that dares to challenge not only Miscavige but also Hubbard himself — a sacrilegious notion that will make it incredibly risky for church members to have a copy in their possession.

Later that year, Rathbun published his second book, The Scientology Reformation: What Every Scientologist Should Know, and again, we gave it a thorough review, praising Rathbun for new revelations about Tom Cruise and Nazanin Boniadi, for example. We found this book to be an effective companion to what Rathbun had been doing on his blog at that time:

For the past three years, Rathbun’s blog has reached deep into Scientology and is finding an audience among longtime members who have reached similar conclusions about Miscavige’s obsession with empty new buildings, a Super Power edifice that never seems to open, and eternal hard-sell fundraising for the IAS. Now, in one hand-held volume, Rathbun is attempting to put that message into something that can be smuggled from church member to church member. It may have a devastating effect.

And then in May 2013, Rathbun came out with Memoirs of a Scientology Warrior, and we had mixed feelings about it. On the one hand, it contained really fascinating material about Rathbun’s personal background, and it also had some of the best material ever about the final years of L. Ron Hubbard’s life. But we found it curious that Rathbun still considered his time as a church enforcer as a righteous project, and he still hadn’t come to grips with the harassment campaigns he had helped the church visit upon its perceived enemies.

Rathbun apparently sees himself as something of a legendary character, from his electro-shock prenatal memory, to his charmed life on the basketball court, to his rise in the Sea Org, to his brilliant fights in the courtroom. It’s David Miscavige, ultimately, who let him down, not Hubbard. But even today, Rathbun is still a “Scientology Warrior,” even if he does anger some of his fellow independent Scientologists by criticizing some of Hubbard’s policies and treating some of Hubbard’s space opera as “metaphor.” As in his first book, Rathbun once again feels compelled to tell us that the genius of L. Ron Hubbard’s notion of a “Clear” is a human being who simply knows his or her “basic personality.” Rathbun is supremely satisfied that this is what Hubbard gave him all along. Rathbun knows himself, and that is enough. But after getting through this book’s 326 pages, it’s even clearer to us that Marty Rathbun hasn’t even begun to understand himself or what he did in the name of Scientology.

He didn’t like that assessment too much, and he told us so. But then, Marty never did have a difficult time speaking his mind. So, complaining today that he’s been ignored doesn’t really reflect that reality.

So what’s really going on? As with all things Rathbun, the speculation will run rampant.



Wow, we’re getting close to the start of HowdyCon 2017 in Denver. And we had a slight change in logistics from our caterer for our dinner on Saturday night, June 24. If you plan to go, make sure you have confirmed with Kim O’Brien, our coordinator, and visit our HowdyCon website where she has instructions for how you can pay for the dinner fee that night. You need to do that right away to make sure you’ll be included in the Saturday night festivities, which include:

— London-based Australian journalist Steve Cannane talking about his book Fair Game
— A spoken-word performance from former Sea Org official Claire Headley
— Cathy Schenkelberg performing for us scenes from her one-woman show, “Squeeze My Cans”

You don’t want to miss out, so please visit the convention page and get in contact with Kim.

HowdyCon 2017: Denver, June 23-25 at the Residence Inn Denver City Center. Go here to start making your plans.


Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley has not seen his daughter Stephanie in 4,774 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 2,531 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 1,877 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 2,371 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 1,411 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy in 1,123 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 649 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 4,738 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 1,878 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 2,198 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 2,173 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 529 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin in 4,831 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 938 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis for 1,340 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 1,213 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 794 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike in 1,299 days.
Mary Jane Sterne has not seen her daughter Samantha in 1,543 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 12,652 days.


3D-UnbreakablePosted by Tony Ortega on June 7, 2017 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, Kindle, and audiobook versions. 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.

The Best of the Underground Bunker, 1995-2016 Just starting out here? We’ve picked out the most important stories we’ve covered here at the Undergound Bunker (2012-2016), The Village Voice (2008-2012), New Times Los Angeles (1999-2002) and the Phoenix New Times (1995-1999)

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


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