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


Joy Villa makes it back to the White House, but on a sour note

[Joy Villa returned to Washington on Tuesday]

In January, we reported that Joy Villa’s political aspirations had fallen apart when her manager, Robbie Olson, walked away and told us that Joy’s White House connections were drying up. Then earlier this month, we got some confirmation of that when Joy took down her “testing the waters” web pages for a Congressional run.

But even though Joy’s “MAGA” fame has been compromised as Trump supporters discover her deep Scientology involvement, Villa is still trying her best to insinuate herself in Trump’s White House.

Last Tuesday, she managed to get invited to sing the national anthem at a DC pro-life event that Trump himself attended. But behind the scenes, Joy’s latest stunt didn’t go over very well.

We learned that from Carla D’Addesi, a conservative Christian radio talk show host and political commentator who admits that she didn’t know about Joy’s Scientology involvement when she helped Joy get the gig last week.

Carla, like most people, had never heard of Joy Villa before the 2017 Grammy Awards, when Joy showed up in a “MAGA” dress declaring her support for Trump. It instantly gave Joy the celebrity that she had been craving for years (and which we’d been keeping tabs on). A few days later, Carla had Joy on her Philadelphia radio show. Then, this year, Joy got attention again when she wore a pro-Life themed dress to the Grammys. Again, Carla had her on her show, unaware of the controversy around her.


“All I knew was that Joy was pro-Life, anti-feminist, and pro-marriage,” she says. She did notice that some of the things Joy said about her Christianity seemed a bit off, but “there are a lot of ‘baby believers’ out there, so I cut her some slack,” Carla says.

Joy Villa has been one of the most visible and active members of the Church of Scientology in recent years. We’ve been keeping tabs on her since at least 2014, when she continually showed up in church publications and was working with Scientology front groups. In October 2016, Joy and her then-fiance, Danish photographer Thorsten Overgaard, became “Patron Meritorious” donors for having given at least $250,000 to the church, and they were married at Scientology’s holiest site, the Fort Harrison Hotel in Clearwater, Florida, on Christmas Day 2016. Joy has reached the state of “Clear” in Scientology, which can take years of work up the “Bridge to Total Freedom” and requires many hours of “auditing” — Scientology’s form of counseling — which involves having a subject “remember” their experiences in past lives going back millions of years and on other planets. Former Scientology spokesman Mike Rinder has asserted that any Scientologist who goes as far as Joy Villa has would have been convinced to give up what are called “other practices” as they absorb Hubbard’s teachings that the world’s other religions are all false, and that Jesus Christ, for example, is an invention, a figment of the imagination. “There was no Christ,” Hubbard can be heard to say on a 1968 recording.

After Joy shot to fame last year, Trump supporters began to raise questions about her claims of being both a Scientologist and a devout Christian, and her political ambitions began to take a tumble. But despite those setbacks, she hasn’t given up her attempts to regain the political spotlight.

About six weeks ago, Villa reached out to Carla, asking about the “Campaign for Life” event that was going to feature the president.

“I kept wondering why she kept bugging me about the White House, the White House, the White House. She must have said it a million times,” Carla says. She connected Joy with the event’s coordinator, and then heard that Joy had secured the spot to sing the anthem.

Then, a few days before the event, Carla says she finally heard something about Joy being a Scientologist. She did some research, and says she landed on some of our past stories.

“I called the organizers to let them know,” she says, “but she was already set to sing the anthem.”

On Tuesday morning, Carla and her family met Joy and her husband Thorsten Overgaard in the lobby of Trump International Hotel. They were taken to the East Wing of the White House for a private tour.

“She said she was hoping to see Trump backstage before she sang,” Carla says. Overgaard, meanwhile, was busy snapping photos as they took their tour.


[Joy and Carla during their private tour of the East Wing]

And then, Carla asked Joy directly about being a Scientologist.

“‘Oh, I’m a Christian too,’ she said. ‘I’m a born-again believer.’ I told her you can’t be both, but she disagreed. She said they have people from Judaism and Islam in Scientology, that it was just a self-help group. I couldn’t tell if she thought I was naive or if she was just lying to my face,” Carla tells us.

We told her that we had to give Carla some props for being so up front with Villa, and right there in the White House.

Despite being called out, though, Joy took it in stride. The two of them even did a 20-minute Periscope video later in the day, talking about Carla’s pro-life background.

And before she went on stage at the event that evening at the National Building Museum, a few blocks from the White House, Joy said to her, “Carla, will you pray with me before I sing?”

Carla was happy to oblige.

And then Joy sang the anthem to the crowd.

To give you some sense of how it went over, here’s her rehearsal video…

Um, wow.

Sadly, Villa didn’t get to meet Trump at the event.

“She was very disappointed about that,” Carla says.


Make your plans now!


Hey, we’re less than a month away from this year’s HowdyCon in Chicago, June 21-23. As in past years, we’re looking forward to meeting readers of the Bunker, culminating in Saturday night’s main event.

The biggest difference this year is that our Saturday night event is separate from that evening’s dinner. Chee Chalker is setting up an inexpensive pizza dinner that you don’t need to pay for ahead of time, after which we’ll walk over to the theater where our event, hosted by Chicago Fire star Christian Stolte, will take place. Because it’s a separate event, we’re asking that you pay $10 each to get into the Saturday night event, which will help us recoup what the Bunker paid for the venue. (We have never made a penny on our HowdyCon meetups, we only try to break even.)

Please email your proprietor (tonyo94 AT gmail) in order to reserve your spot for Saturday night’s main event. Seating is limited, and we’re going to have some really interesting people on stage and they may make a few announcements that you don’t want to miss.



Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley has not seen his daughter Stephanie in 5,128 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 1,731 days
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 274 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 162 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 1,337 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 2,111 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 2,885 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 2,231 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 10,797 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 2,465 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 2,725 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 1,765 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 1,477 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,003 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 5,092 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 2,232 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 2,552 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 2,527 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 883 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 5,185 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 1,291 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 1,694 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 1,566 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 1,148 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 1,653 days.
Mary Jane Sterne has not seen her daughter Samantha in 1,897 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,006 days.


3D-UnbreakablePosted by Tony Ortega on May 28, 2018 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 can also be found at the book’s dedicated page.

The Best of the Underground Bunker, 1995-2017 Just starting out here? We’ve picked out the most important stories we’ve covered here at the Undergound Bunker (2012-2017), 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 | The mystery of the richest Scientologist and his wayward sons | Scientology’s shocking mistreatment of the mentally ill | The Underground Bunker’s Official Theme Song | The Underground Bunker FAQ

Our non-Scientology stories: Robert Burnham Jr., the man who inscribed the universe | Notorious alt-right inspiration Kevin MacDonald and his theories about Jewish DNA | The selling of the “Phoenix Lights” | Astronomer Harlow Shapley‘s FBI file | Sex, spies, and local TV news


Share Button
Print Friendly, PDF & Email