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It’s time for this website’s annual little meetup, and this year, wow, do we have a lot to talk about. David Miscavige is being sued again, with more lawsuits coming, as a stellar legal team has decided to draw a line in the sand.

Who else will be included as plaintiffs in those lawsuits? Can this effort somehow do more than previous civil lawsuits to bring some justice to Scientology’s controversies? We hope you can join us to discuss these ideas, as well as the surprisingly quick wrap-up of the Nxivm trial and other things we’ve been watching here at the Bunker since we last gathered.

We have many people to thank for helping us put on our little shindig this year, and it’s really fun to be back in the town where we grew up. We hope you have a chance to come by one of our events and introduce yourself. HowdyCon is simply about stepping out from behind the computer to share a good time with the people who enjoy this website all year.

Things kick off this afternoon with happy hour cocktails at a Hollywood tavern as we prepare to take in Cathy Schenkelberg’s remarkable one-woman show, “Squeeze My Cans.” She previewed part of her show for us at our Denver meetup two years ago, and now she’s on her final run of shows here in Hollywood and in Canada, and we hope you can catch it with us. (Get your tickets here.) Cathy has been especially helpful to us and we’re grateful.


Tomorrow, we’re having our main event at a theater in East Hollywood, and we have some surprises planned. Our great thanks to James Underdown of Center for Inquiry for helping to set this up. There’s no charge for the event and we still have a little room left. Drop your proprietor an rsvp by email if you’d like to attend.

And on Saturday, we’re going to attend a barbecue, Janis Gillham Grady’s annual reunion, which this year will honor Bill Franks and some other departed Sea Organization figures. It’s at a private home, and again, if you’d like to attend drop us a line.

OK, the quick recap for those who don’t know what in tarnation we’re talking about. Back in 2015, we were on a barnstorming book tour, visiting cities all over the place in support of our book about Paulette Cooper, The Unbreakable Miss Lovely. At some point, one of our commenters asked why we were stopping in so many places, and we quipped that we needed to see them all before choosing one for holding a convention. That joke took on a life of its own, and soon our readers were voting for where they wanted a convention to take place. Cleveland was chosen, and in June 2016 about 50 regular readers of the Underground Bunker toured the town and talked and laughed, and it culminated in a catered dinner and brief addresses from several invited guests. We named the gathering “HowdyCon” in remembrance of Steve “Captain Howdy” Cox, a beloved commenter who died in 2015. We also dedicated it to Mary “sugarplumfairy” Marinelli, another favorite commenter who had recently passed away. We were very lucky that commenter TexasBroad helped us pull things together for that first meetup.

The next year, Kim O’Brien arranged for us to be in Denver, home to a lot of prominent ex-Scientologists. And we had some stunning presentations by Claire and Marc Headley, as well as from journalist Steve Cannane, who came all the way from Australia to talk to us about his new book, Fair Game.

Last year we met in Chicago, thanks to the hard work of Chee Chalker. Once again we had guests from overseas, and our main event featured the singing of former Scientologist and Chicago Fire star Christian Stolte.

Here are a few shots of those times as we get ready to make some new memories.



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

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

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] Scientologists charged with Medi-Cal insurance fraud will stand trial on August 28
[TWO years ago] John Brousseau: Marty Rathbun is putting words in my mouth about the FBI’s Scientology probe
[THREE years ago] Scientology is holding this Kazakh 20-year-old prisoner, says her media-grabbing mom
[FOUR years ago] RFK Jr’s anti-vax activism hits lowest spot ever — with Scientology and the Nation of Islam
[FIVE years ago] Paul Haggis tells us his favorite Scientology stories of 2014
[SIX years ago] Dianetics Noir: Dangerous Women Hiding Their Womb-Secrets
[SEVEN years ago] Debbie Cook — Exiled by Scientology?
[EIGHT years ago] Grant Cardone, NatGeo’s ‘Turnaround King’: Doing Scientology’s Dirty Work?


Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley has not seen his daughter Stephanie in 5,483 days.
Valerie Haney has not seen her mother Lynne in 1,612 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,116 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 1,636 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 656 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 547 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 3,854 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 1,722 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 2,496 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 3,270 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 2,616 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 11,182 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,102 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 3,269 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 2,850 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,111 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 2,150 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 1,862 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,388 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 5,477 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 2,617 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 2,937 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 7,793 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 2,912 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,267 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 5,570 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 1,676 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,078 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 1,950 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 1,533 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 2,028 days.
Mary Jane Sterne has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,282 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,391 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on June 20, 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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