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Eric Saldarriaga, private eye who took the fall for Scientology, 1973-2017

We have just learned that a little more than a year ago, a man named Eric Saldarriaga died after battling esophageal cancer. He died the day before his 44th birthday, leaving behind a wife and two young sons.

For some of you, that name may ring a bell. In 2015, Saldarriaga was sentenced to federal prison after he was caught using overseas hackers to steal the emails of about 60 victims on behalf of his clients.

One of his victims was former Scientology spokesman Mike Rinder. Another of them was your proprietor.

When we realized that we both had been targeted, Rinder and yours truly had no doubt who was paying Saldarriaga to try and hack us. (A couple of years earlier we had caught Saldarriaga spoofing us with bogus emails, but as far as we know he or his hackers never got access to our personal information.)


The US Attorney’s office in New York asked us if we wanted to say something in court at Saldarriaga’s sentencing. We took them up on the offer, and told the judge that we didn’t really care whether Saldarriaga got three months or six months for his crime, what we wanted was for the court to get to the bottom of who had hired Saldarriaga to target us.

The judge reacted somewhat aggressively, telling us that he didn’t have that power. But we learned later — and the New York Times reported — that in his chambers the judge said he knew full well that it was the Church of Scientology who had hired Saldarriaga to hack us. Saldarriaga had tried to help out — he did a controlled call with the FBI listening so they could catch his client, but the FBI and Justice Department were unable to bring charges against anyone but the private eye.

So Saldarriaga took the fall, and spent three months behind bars. A year later, in 2016, he got his cancer diagnosis. He died on October 23, 2017.

We only learned about it last week as we wondered what had become of the man who went to prison for working for Scientology. Then we saw that his wife and two sons have lost him.

We wish that weren’t the case.

This is twice now that Scientology has put non-Scientologist professionals on us who then died prematurely of cancer.

You may remember Jim Lynch. He was a former newspaper editor who became a thug and a shill for Scientology, harassing people like Rinder and Luis Garcia and Karen de la Carriere while pretending he was only doing his job as a reporter for Freedom magazine. His final assignment was to target your proprietor, criss-crossing the country trying to speak to our family members and former co-workers.

Lynch died of cancer on July 19, 2013. He was 59.

Scientology subsequently hired Eric Saldarriaga to try and get access to our computer files. He paid for that job with prison time, and then battled cancer.

We reached out to his family last week to express our condolences.


Kerri Kasem, Nancy Cartwright, and LRH 2 to the rescue

Another disaster, another publicity opportunity. “We’re being superheroes,” says Nancy.



Oh, for fuck’s sake. The felon in Washington is looking for more suckers.



Chris Shelton and Lloyd Evans talk Jehovah’s Witnesses

Says Chris: “Season 3 of Scientology and the Aftermath has now begun with a vengeance. In the first special episode Leah and Mike highlighted the abuses and crimes of the Jehovah’s Witnesses. The JWs are a massive, worldwide destructive cult that have been investigated and it has been proven that they hide pedophiles in their church and break up families through their cultic shunning as well as a host of other disgusting activities just as bad as Scientology. JW activist Lloyd Evans and I talk about his impressions of this first show, what it was like to participate in it and the JW’s destructive practices.”



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

[Jenna Elfman, Giovanni Ribisi, and Greta Van Susteren]

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 Mission: Košice, Slovakia!



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.


[Paulette and her husband Paul Noble, who has his own memoir out]



[ONE year ago] Jared Fogle, former Subway huckster, turned to an indie Scientologist for failed ‘appeal’
[TWO years ago] In court today: Flop filmmakers who met in Scientology face 75 years for Ponzi scheme
[THREE years ago] Tom DeVocht: Watching David Miscavige watch Lisa McPherson and her faulty ‘needle’
[FOUR years ago] Judge calls for February mini-trial in Garcia case, and we have text of the Lemberger lawsuit
[FIVE years ago] Judge James Whittemore Reins In the Garcia v. Scientology Case
[SIX years ago] LA’s Sheriff Lee Baca Handing Out Scientology Booklets This Sunday?


Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley has not seen his daughter Stephanie in 5,269 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 1,902 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 1,382 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 445 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 333 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 1,508 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 2,282 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 3,056 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 2,402 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 10,968 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 6,888 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 3,055 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 2,636 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 2,896 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 1,936 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 1,648 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,174 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 5,263 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 2,403 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 2,723 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 7,579 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 2,698 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,054 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 5,356 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 1,462 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 1,865 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 1,736 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 1,319 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 1,824 days.
Mary Jane Sterne has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,068 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,177 days.


3D-UnbreakablePosted by Tony Ortega on November 15, 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


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