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REPORT: David Miscavige has not been to Scientology’s secretive ‘Int Base’ in four years

Much of what we know about the highest echelons of the Church of Scientology in recent years comes from a number of former high-ranking executives who left the organization between 2004 and 2010. Those former execs — Marty Rathbun (who left the church in 2004), Marc and Claire Headley (2005), Amy Scobee (2005), Tom DeVocht (2005), Jeff Hawkins (2005), Mike Rinder (2007), and John Brousseau (2010) — fueled numerous newspapers series, television shows, and also a feature film documentary (2015’s Going Clear), which gave us our clearest view yet of how Scientology leader David Miscavige ran the church.

We learned about “The Hole,” for example, a prison for top executives that Miscavige created at Scientology’s secretive “Int Base” near Hemet, California in 2004, when the St. Petersburg Times revealed its existence in its 2009 series, “The Truth Rundown.” After that series, Miscavige made some changes to the Hole, something we learned from Brousseau, who came out after the others, in 2010.

But what about since then? Ron Miscavige Sr. left the base in 2012, but he was not a top-ranking executive, and we didn’t get a lot of information about how conditions had changed at the base from his 2016 book, Ruthless. We’ve been hungering for any new information about the conditions at Int Base in more recent years. What little information we had received suggested that since a 2009/2010 FBI investigation of Scientology for human trafficking which was focused on the base, David Miscavige had been placing less emphasis on the compound as its population had shrunk.

Now, we have learned that there have been a series of more recent escapes, and we’ve been receiving new information about Int Base for the first time in several years. Among the details that we’ve been told by our sources…


1. David Miscavige has not visited Int Base — which used to be his primary home — in more than four years.

2. Escape attempts have increased in frequency as conditions at the base continue to deteriorate.

3. Pregnancies are becoming more frequent as Sea Org couples use that method to get sent away from the base. (Previously, the policy was to coerce Sea Org women to have abortions so they remained on post, but after that situation was reported by the press, the church changed the policy, and now merely kicks pregnant couples out of the Sea Org.)

4. Miscavige’s primary residence is now his apartment in Hollywood behind the Author Services Inc. building on Hollywood Boulevard.

When we asked a former Int Base official what it might mean that Miscavige has not been to the base for such a long time, they told us that in fact, “He was threatening to do that for quite a while. And there were long periods when he wasn’t there. He just manages things by conference calls when he’s not at the base. But to be gone for four years? That tells me there’s some fear and avoidance of the base now on his part.”

Is Int Base becoming less important than it used to be? “No question,” our source says. And they point out that for Miscavige the base may represent to him a dark period of church history. “More people from there did more damage in a shorter amount of time than ever in Scientology’s history,” our source says, referring to the years of publicity produced by the wave of high-ranking Int Base executives who emerged between 2004 and 2010.

We pointed out that for some time, we’ve been working on the theory that Miscavige is de-emphasizing the importance of Scientology’s formerly major centers in Southern California and has instead been building up Scientology’s presence in Clearwater, Florida.

“Miscavige had talked about that,” our source says. “He said that he was going to move key projects to Clearwater. And he had even talked about shutting down Int Base entirely.”

Shut down Int Base? Pull back to Clearwater? These may be strange times for the Church of Scientology indeed.


Latest figures from Australia: Only 1,681 Scientologists

This just in from London-based Australian journalist Steve Cannane…

Once again, the actual numbers are right in line with our estimates, which are that there are about 20,000 actual Church of Scientology members around the world, and nothing like the millions that the organization claims.

And yes, Steve is correct to point out that the constant push for buildings like in Western Australia is all about public relations, and not for a need to serve large numbers of parishioners. A $6 million project when there are only 195 members in a state the size of Texas and Alaska combined!

Thank you, Steve.


Our latest message to the Church of Scientology

We thought you might like to see a copy of the email we sent yesterday to Karin Pouw, Scientology’s international spokeswoman…


Regarding the series of Marty Rathbun videos which now appear on the church’s website, “,” can you confirm that Mr. Rathbun has approved the church placing those videos there?

Is the church compensating him for that placement?

Was the church involved in filming those video segments?

Were the Rathbuns compensated for dismissing Monique Rathbun’s harassment lawsuit against the church in 2016?


Tony Ortega
The Underground Bunker

[We’ll let you know if we hear anything back from the church.]


Scientology cruise ship back in Dutch waters despite government interest

After a lengthy stay in St. Lucia, Scientology’s private cruise ship the Freewinds sailed more than 500 miles to Curaçao this week, returning to Dutch waters for the first time since March.

Recently, we told you that a Dutch source of ours had received assurances from a Netherlands official that the government there was interested in gathering evidence for a criminal investigation of the Church of Scientology, which explained why the ship might be avoiding Dutch islands in recent months.

That official indicated in an email that in late 2015, the Dutch government had planned a surprise search of the Freewinds while it was docked at Bonaire, a Caribbean island off the coast of Venezuela which is actually a part of the nation of the Netherlands. The Dutch official admitted that the Freewinds crew got wind of the planned search, and sailed away the day before it was planned. After two visits in July 2016, the Freewinds has not been back to Bonaire since.

Two other members of the Dutch Antilles, Aruba and Curaçao , are nominally independent nations in the “Kingdom of the Netherlands,” and the Freewinds spent a lot of time shuttling between them while avoiding Bonaire after July 2016. But after March, the ship was avoiding Dutch waters altogether.

Now that it’s back, will the Dutch government take notice? Our source is busily notifying Dutch officials that the ship is back. We hope the government takes this opportunity to ask a few questions.


Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley has not seen his daughter Stephanie in 4,794 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 2,551 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 1,897 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 2,391 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 1,431 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy in 1,143 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 669 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 4,758 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 1,898 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 2,218 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 2,193 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 549 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin in 4,851 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 958 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis for 1,360 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 1,233 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 814 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike in 1,319 days.
Mary Jane Sterne has not seen her daughter Samantha in 1,563 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 12,672 days.


3D-UnbreakablePosted by Tony Ortega on June 27, 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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