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


Who Scientology’s ‘Int Base’ is rooting for in tomorrow’s local election

[Catherine Fraser, arguing that it’s not a public road]

Like the rest of the country, voters in Riverside County, California will be going to the polls tomorrow for a highly anticipated midterm election. But besides governors and members of Congress on the ballot, there will be local elections going on. And in Riverside County, that includes a contest for sheriff.

Scientology generally keeps a low profile about elections — no candidate in their right mind would seek an endorsement by Scientology leader David Miscavige or his minions — but we learned that the officials at Scientology’s international management compound in Riverside County, known as Int Base or Gold Base, do have a preference in the contest for local sheriff.

The 10-year incumbent, Stan Sniff, is facing a stiff challenge from a fellow Republican on his own staff, Lt. Chad Bianco, who actually beat him in the primary and the two are now in a runoff for the general election.

Bianco is backed by the union that represents deputies, but Sniff has had some backing from the Scientology officials cloistered at the base located near San Jacinto.

Records show that Muriel Dufresne made three $100 contributions to Sniff’s campaign, and Catherine Fraser chipped in five contributions of $100 each.


You remember Fraser — she made a very memorable appearance in Louis Theroux’s My Scientology Movie


Now, we know what you’re thinking: $800 doesn’t sound like a huge amount of money, even in a local campaign like Riverside County Sheriff. But when candidates are scrambling for every dollar they can get, even modest contributions like this can make an impression. And what is Scientology hoping to get in return? Exactly what we saw in a video last year, when a Riverside County deputy was asked about the evidence of human trafficking going on at Int Base which has been reported to the FBI and in programs like Alex Gibney’s HBO documentary Going Clear and in Leah Remini’s television show. The deputy’s reaction? “That’s not my business.”

That’s an almost perfect example of what Scientology calls “safepointing,” and why they would be interested in contributing to local campaigns.

But it’s also odd that Scientologist cash is being spread around when you remember that Dufresne and Fraser are Sea Org officials who work 112-hour weeks and take home about $50 a week, when they get paid at all.

You can be pretty sure that Dufresne and Fraser are being used by Miscavige to pump money into campaigns to keep elected officials away from their creepy base, home to the notorious prison for executives known as “The Hole.” So maybe it’s no wonder that Dufresne and Fraser have been writing checks for years for local races.

(By the way, it’s illegal to spread around contributions through “straw donors,” but when law enforcement is too afraid of Scientology when it’s killing people, we figure the chances that they’d go after this kind of stuff is about as likely as Xenu showing up in the flesh.)

Besides Sniff’s campaign to be re-elected sheriff, the Int Base duo has also contributed to the Board of Supervisors campaigns of Russ Bogh ($300) and Jamie Hurtado ($150). They also contributed $450 to the 2018 re-election campaign of Supervisor John Benoit, but he died of pancreatic cancer in December 2016.

They’re apparently hoping that Bogh can capture the District 5 seat previously held by Marion Ashley, who the duo invested in pretty heavily in the past — Dufresne and Fraser pumped $1,690 into Ashley’s 2014 campaign, but he decided not to run again this year.

The Int Base pair also contributed $300 to the June election of Jon Christensen as county treasurer, and $150 to District Attorney Mike Hestrin’s re-election campaign.

The person they seem most bullish on for the future is Board of Supervisors Chairman Chuck Washington, who isn’t up for re-election until 2020, but Muriel and Catherine have pumped $1,050 into his campaign already.

With all of that cash spent on local politics, how are Muriel and Catherine going to have anything left over to chip in for David Miscavige’s birthday present? What a quandary.


Ron Miscavige talks to Paulette Cooper

It’s Miss Lovely herself!



Scientology’s celebrities and ‘Ideal Orgs’ — now with comments!

[Alanna Masterson, Terry Jastrow, and Marisol Nichols]

We’re building landing pages about David Miscavige’s favorite playthings, including celebrities and ‘Ideal Orgs.’ We’re hoping you’ll join in and help us gather as much information as we can about them, in order to build a record and maintain a watch as Scientology continues its inexorable decline — and yes, we finally have comments working on these new pages! Head on over and help us with links and photos and comments.

Scientology’s celebrities, from A to Z! Find your favorite Hubbardite celeb at this index page — or suggest someone to add to the list!

Scientology’s ‘Ideal Orgs,’ from one end of the planet to the other! Help us build up pages about each these worldwide locations!

Today’s Ideal Org: Stevens Creek, California!



Now on sale: Twice the Miss Lovely!

Our new book with Paulette Cooper, Battlefield Scientology: Exposing L. Ron Hubbard’s dangerous ‘religion’ is now on sale at Amazon in paperback and Kindle formats. What a pleasure it is for us to work with her on this after we wrote about her ordeal as a victim of Scientology’s “Fair Game” campaigns in our 2015 book, The Unbreakable Miss Lovely: How the Church of Scientology tried to destroy Paulette Cooper, which is also on sale in paperback, Kindle, and audiobook versions.



[ONE year ago] Narconon Arrowhead: Former worker dishes fresh intel on Scientology’s rehab flagship
[TWO years ago] An enduring myth in Scientology — that L. Ron Hubbard actually read your letters
[THREE years ago] Can the tabloids ignore this photo of Tom Cruise getting his Scientology on?
[FOUR years ago] Ken Dandar files another court appeal to get out of Scientology’s million-dollar noose
[FIVE years ago] Luis Garcia Responds: We Don’t Trust Scientology’s Trustee Ploy
[SIX years ago] Dianetics Read Aloud: Let Ron’s Wisdom Wash Over You


Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley has not seen his daughter Stephanie in 5,259 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 1,892 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 1,372 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 435 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 323 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 1,498 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 2,272 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 3,046 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 2,392 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 10,958 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 6,878 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 3,045 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 2,626 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 2,886 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 1,926 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 1,638 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,164 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 5,253 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 2,393 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 2,713 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 7,569 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 2,688 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,044 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 5,346 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 1,452 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 1,855 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 1,726 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 1,309 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 1,814 days.
Mary Jane Sterne has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,058 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,167 days.


3D-UnbreakablePosted by Tony Ortega on November 5, 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

Watch our short videos that explain Scientology’s controversies in three minutes or less…

Check your whale level at our dedicated page for status updates

Join us at the Underground Bunker’s Facebook discussion group for more frivolity.

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