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Is Beck divorcing Scientology along with his wife? Here’s the evidence for and against.

[Beck Hansen and Marissa Ribisi]

In 2016, with the help of our source at the Celebrity Centre, we put together a list of the 20 most important Scientology celebrities, and gave the list a unique twist: We ordered it by the likelihood that celebs might ditch the church.

Among those we predicted had at least some small chance of leaving, we listed musician Beck Hansen as third most likely, after Juliette Lewis and Giovanni Ribisi. So after the news broke this weekend that Beck has filed for divorce from his Scientologist wife, actress Marissa Ribisi (and Giovanni’s twin sister), people naturally asked us if we thought this represented not only Beck’s break from a marriage but also from the church itself.

First, we’ll point out again as we did when we put together that list in 2016, Beck has never been a big proponent of Scientology. He rarely ever mentions it, and there’s little record that he’s participated very heavily in courses on Scientology’s “Bridge to Total Freedom.” Also, Beck has always been more loyal to his mother, Bibbe Hansen, who has left the church, than his estranged father, David Campbell, a musician still heavily involved in Scientology. (UPDATE: While he was long estranged from his father, Beck has worked with Campbell on recent projects, including the song ‘Tarantula’ for the new Roma-inspired album.)

On the other hand, if Beck’s involvement in Scientology has always been light, we find that it’s not unusual for born-in Scientology celebrities to show less interest in rocketing up the Bridge. We’re thinking not only of Beck but the likes of Elisabeth Moss, Danny Masterson, or Erika Christensen, who were all raised in the church and that you’re more likely to see getting involved with Scientology’s front groups than in going Clear and then on to the expensive “OT” levels.

But if Beck’s participation was always somewhat light, there’s no doubt that he married into one of the most prominent Scientology celebrity clans in the Ribisis. Marissa and Giovanni’s parents, Al and Gay Ribisi, were about has hardcore as it gets, and remain totally dedicated to the church today, though they are now married to other people.


By marrying into the Ribisi clan, Beck cemented his place in Scientology’s royalty, even if he wasn’t always moving up the Bridge. And some of our sources tell us that was no accident.

One of our best sources was a part of the Scientology young-Hollywood scene in the early 2000s, and she says there was no question that the church was involved in getting the two young celebrities together.

“Marissa worked with the Celebrity Centre president’s office to get Beck to break up with his girlfriend at the time, Kathy Doyle,” says our source.

“Marissa drove me and others insane with her determination to be with him, for years. Lisa Marie Presley actually banned her from mentioning Beck around us. We were all tired of hearing her talk about him.”

But if the union started out as a church operation, the couple stayed together for 15 years and they have a 14-year-old son, Cosimo Henri, and an 11-year-old daughter, Tuesday. Clearly, they were a couple with some staying power. So what happened?

Another of our good sources, who is very close to the Ribisi clan, assures us that we shouldn’t read anything into the split with regards to Scientology. “They actually separated about a year ago,” he tells us. “Everyone is OK about it, and there’s nothing bad to read into it. They just decided to go their separate ways. Yes, Beck’s involvement in Scientology was always kind of light, and that will stay the same. But the breakup isn’t about that.”

We pointed out that for some, the divorce news was not only a surprise, but rather stunningly so: Beck filed for divorce on February 15, the day after Valentine’s Day, and while Marissa was out of town. But our source cautions us against reading much into that. “This was a long time coming. It wasn’t a surprise in the family,” he says.

That view was seconded by another source who spoke to a Ribisi family member. She agreed that the two had been separated for about a year, and that the divorce is not a contentious one. She also said that Scientology wasn’t an issue in the breakup.

Our young-Hollywood source is skeptical of that view, because she’s watched as Beck has cut off ties with all of the Scientology celebrities he was following on social media.

“I mean all of them. Not one. Over several months. Not even two weeks ago he was still following one, and that’s gone now. But you know what’s even stranger? None of Scientology’s other celebrities — I mean none of them — congratulated Beck for his Grammy wins a week ago, and they all congratulated him in the past. The only acknowledgment he got was from Marissa, the mother of his children.”

At the 61st Grammys held on February 9, Beck’s 2018 album Colors won awards for Best Alternative Music Album and Best Engineered Album, Non-Classical.

“Your other sources may think this break-up was all planned and chill, but from what I’m seeing on social media, that’s not the case,” she says.

Our Celebrity Centre source, meanwhile, says the break-up is a sign to him that Beck is moving away from Scientology’s influence. “I am heartened to see that he has taken a step away from the organization with his divorce. But knowing Beck, he will keep very quiet about whether he is still involved in Scientology or not. Beck has always been very low key regarding his personal life. He is all about his music and I think that has kept him sane and more impervious to Scientology brainwashing.”

We know some of our readers will be hungering for a more definitive answer to whether Beck is in or out. But this is very typical of celebrity stories that we report, with different sources — all of them longtime, very trusted people — giving us different perspectives.

One of our sources who is close to the Ribisis and who told us the breakup wasn’t about Scientology did express hope that Beck is taking advantage of his independence to move away from the church.

“He’s able to look now. He couldn’t look before.”


Double-murder trial nears its inevitable conclusion

In early January, we were the first to report that a double-murder in Arizona that had taken six years to come to trial would involve Scientology. Kenny Thompson is accused of killing his sister-in-law and her fiance, and even his own defense team isn’t contending the fact that he chopped them up and set their house on fire in 2012.

But we found out that Thompson had a pretty fascinating background as the son of a woman who ran Scientology’s mission in Anchorage, Alaska, and that the defense was going to present testimony that it was the extreme anti-psychiatry views he had grown up with as a Scientologist that motivated Thompson to drive from Missouri to Arizona to the home of his victims. He allegedly believed was on a mission to save a 9-year-old boy he had helped raise from the “evil psychs” his sister-in-law had turned the boy over to.

In order to make that point about Scientology’s extreme views against psychiatry, the defense had Susan Raine, a Canadian academic, testify last week, and then rested. After final arguments, the jury will get the case and we have no doubt that they will quickly find Thompson guilty of the murders (again, which the defense is not contesting).

Then, the real action starts as the defense tries to use Thompson’s Scientology background as mitigating factors in an attempt to get him life in prison rather than the death penalty.

Your proprietor opposes the death penalty and believes that a sentence of life without the possibility of parole is the correct punishment for all capital offenses, but our interest in this case is not really about what sentence Thompson receives.

We’re more interested in Scientology’s great discomfort in being included in this case at all.


Start making your plans!


Scientology’s celebrities, ‘Ideal Orgs,’ and more!

[Alanna Masterson, Terry Jastrow, and Marisol Nichols]

We’ve been building landing pages about David Miscavige’s favorite playthings, including celebrities and ‘Ideal Orgs,’ and we’re hoping you’ll join in and help us gather as much information as we can about them. 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!

Scientology’s sneaky front groups, spreading the good news about L. Ron Hubbard while pretending to benefit society!

Scientology Lit: Books reviewed or excerpted in our weekly series. How many have you read?



[ONE year ago] Scientology opened an ‘Ideal Org’ in Salt Lake City yesterday. We have its secret plans.
[TWO years ago] Augustine: Why is it so hard to find a Scientologist in good standing?
[THREE years ago] David Miscavige wastes no time once the stay is lifted in Monique Rathbun’s lawsuit
[FOUR years ago] TAMPA SHOWDOWN: Scientology’s religious exception faces mini-trial today
[FIVE years ago] Going three feet back of your head: Scientology’s Original Operating Thetan Level Six!
[SIX years ago] Tom Cruise Under Oath: We Have His Deposition Questions!
[SEVEN years ago] Scientology Campout: Commenters of the Week!


Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley has not seen his daughter Stephanie in 5,364 days.
Valerie Haney has not seen her mother Lynne in 1,495 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 1,997 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 1,477 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 540 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 428 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 3,735 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 1,603 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 2,377 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 3,151 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 2,497 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 11,063 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 6,983 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 3,150 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 2,731 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 2,991 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 2,031 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 1,743 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,269 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 5,358 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 2,498 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 2,818 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 7,674 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 2,793 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,149 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 5,451 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 1,557 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 1,960 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 1,831 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 1,414 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 1,909 days.
Mary Jane Sterne has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,163 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,272 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on February 18, 2019 at 07:00

E-mail tips to tonyo94 AT gmail DOT com or follow us on Twitter. We also post 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 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. Our book about Paulette, 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, 1995-2018 Just starting out here? We’ve picked out the most important stories we’ve covered here at the Underground Bunker (2012-2018), The Village Voice (2008-2012), New Times Los Angeles (1999-2002) and the Phoenix New Times (1995-1999)

Other links: BLOGGING DIANETICS: Reading Scientology’s founding text cover to cover | 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 | 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, or 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 | Battling Babe-Hounds: Ross Jeffries v. R. Don Steele


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