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


It’s an anniversary of shame for Scientology: Will they go for a repeat?

[Taryn Teutsch at Denim Day last year]

One year ago, Scientology took its disingenuous attacks on Mike Rinder to a new level when his estranged daughter, Taryn Teutsch, tried to co-opt the message at the Denim Day rally in Los Angeles.

Denim Day is having its 20th anniversary today, and the rally in L.A. will probably get a boost in coverage because of it. We’re curious to see if Scientology once again tries to crash the party for its own cynical purposes.

The Denim Day movement began after the Italian Supreme Court overturned a rape conviction because the victim had been wearing tight jeans: the justices reasoned that she would have had to help take off her pants, and she had therefore given her consent to sex. Since then, Peace Over Violence has held rallies to raise awareness about misconceptions about sexual assault.

Scientology saw Denim Day as a way to spread its hateful attack on Rinder. In our story from last year, we explained how Scientology has grabbed onto a bizarre 2010 incident when Rinder was ambushed by his ex-wife, Cathy Bernardini, his daughter, and others outside a doctor’s office in Florida. Police determined that in the scuffle that ensued, Bernardini’s arm was scraped in “incidental contact.” But ever since then, Scientology has tried to portray Rinder as a wifebeater, Bernardini pretends she’s the victim of domestic violence, and her daughter Taryn pretends that her mother is the victim of injustice.

It’s all playacting that Scientology leader David Miscavige has orchestrated to try and put pressure on the A&E network for airing the series that features Rinder as co-star, Scientology and the Aftermath, which recently finished its third season.


A key reason why the Denim Day rally is important is that it promotes the idea that victims of sexual assault should be heard and believed. So for Scientology to try and co-opt that with a story they know is untrue is really beneath contempt.

(Just as we did last year, however, we want to caution that Taryn Teutsch and Cathy Bernardini are just playing the roles that David Miscavige has written for them. “Taryn is just a puppet. She doesn’t even see her Facebook page or the tweets. It is all completely orchestrated,” Rinder told us last year.)

We’re wondering if Taryn will be at today’s rally because there are a couple of other anniversaries hitting today which increase the portentous nature of this date in exponential ways.

Two years ago today, Leah Remini and Victim B walked into the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office as DA Jackie Lacey’s organization took the investigation of Scientologist actor Danny Masterson from the LAPD. Two years later, after four women have come forward with allegations that they were violently raped by Masterson, Lacey has made no public statement about whether she will be filing charges.

And today has another significance. It was 16 years ago today that Victim B ran into Danny Masterson and later that night went to a gathering at his house. She felt suspiciously incapacitated after a single drink, and she alleges that when she came back to consciousness, Masterson was attacking her in his bedroom.

A member of the church herself at the time, Victim B went to Scientology for help, and it put her through months of expensive past-life auditing costing about $15,000 in total. The purpose of that auditing was to find what evil things she had done in her past lives to cause her to be a victim in her current situation.

A year later, in 2004, against heavy pressure from the Church of Scientology, Victim B reported her rape to the LAPD. But Scientology had numerous members submit affidavits essentially calling Victim B a liar and the case was closed. When her case was reopened in 2016, the LAPD detectives on her case found that the reports in her 2004 file had mysteriously gone missing.

For 16 years, Victim B has been looking for justice, let down repeatedly by the Los Angeles Police Department, and with silence from the Los Angeles District Attorney after having the case for two years.

If Denim Day stands for anything, it stands for women like Victim B, who reported her rape in a timely manner, and who was mischaracterized, misunderstood, and mistreated by authorities who still haven’t made a stand. We’ll be thinking of her and Chrissie Carnell Bixler, Bobbette Riales, and Victim C, the four women who have been waiting for Jackie Lacey to make up her mind while suffering bizarre and repeated harassment. (That harassment has continued in the year since we detailed some of the strange things that were happening to Chrissie and her husband Cedric Bixler Zavala.)

Will Scientology try once again to pervert the message of this day with its cynical campaign? We’re hoping to get some reports from the rally later today.


Clay Irwin is not suing Tom Cruise

Just talked to Clay Irwin, who says his phone has been blowing up since RadarOnline reported, incorrectly, that he is “hauling” Tom Cruise into court.

Clay says he does plan to file a lawsuit, perhaps within a month, over the harassment he says he’s gone through in Clearwater at the hands of the Church of Scientology. There was the camera aimed at his house, for example, after he had made an impromptu tour of Cruise’s unfinished condo.

He also says that he was forced to sell his bar, the Lucky Anchor, once Cruise’s developer, Moises Agami, bought the building.

But he’s perturbed that Radar got the story so wrong.

“I didn’t say I was bringing Tom Cruise into court. I’m not suing Tom Cruise,” he says.


HowdyCon 2019 in Los Angeles

This year’s HowdyCon is in Los Angeles. People tend to come in starting on Thursday, and that evening we will have a casual get-together at a watering hole. We have something in mind, but for now we’re not giving out information about it.

Friday night we will be having an event in a theater (like we did on Saturday night last year in Chicago). There will not be a charge to attend this event, but if you want to attend, you need to RSVP with your proprietor at tonyo94 AT gmail.

On Saturday, we are joining forces with Janis Gillham Grady, who is having a reunion in honor of the late Bill Franks. Originally, we thought this event might take place in Riverside, but instead it’s in the Los Angeles area. If you wish to attend the reunion, you will need to RSVP with Janis (janisgrady AT gmail), and there will be a small contribution she’s asking for in order to help cover her costs.

HOTEL: Janis tells us she’s worked out a deal with Hampton Inn and Suites, at 7501 North Glenoaks Blvd, Burbank, (818) 768-1106. We have a $159 nightly rate for June 19 to 22. Note: You need to ask for the “family reunion” special rate.



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

[Elisabeth Moss, Michael Peña, and Laura Prepon]

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] Scientologist pair running for office double down on their denials about church involvement
[TWO years ago] Nan McLean in 1973: Rare Scientology documentary goes online, and it rocks
[THREE years ago] Texas Supreme Court asks for Monique Rathbun’s response to Scientology’s petition
[FOUR years ago] Scientology opens a new ‘Ideal Org’ in Basel this weekend — nearly a year after its last one
[FIVE years ago] Scientology’s drug rehab hit with another lawsuit; Laura D asked to turn over computer
[SIX years ago] SCIENTOLOGY TO FEDERAL COURT: Let Us Refute The Garcia Declarations, And Then Butt Out of Our Religion
[SEVEN years ago] Charges Dropped Against Scientology Executive Jan Eastgate


Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley has not seen his daughter Stephanie in 5,426 days.
Valerie Haney has not seen her mother Lynne in 1,555 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,059 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 1,539 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 602 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 490 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 3,797 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 1,665 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 2,439 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 3,213 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 2,559 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 11,125 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,045 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 3,212 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 2,793 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,054 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 2,093 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 1,805 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,331 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 5,420 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 2,560 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 2,880 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 7,736 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 2,855 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,211 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 5,513 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 1,619 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,021 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 1,893 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 1,476 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 1,971 days.
Mary Jane Sterne has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,225 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,334 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on April 24, 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


Share Button
Print Friendly, PDF & Email