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


Jokes aside, has Scientology ‘Clear’ Joy Villa managed to ‘safepoint’ the White House?

Our longtime readers know that we’ve watched for years (at least as far back as 2013) as ‘Princess Joy Villa’ went from Scientology Celebrity Centre wannabe to Make America Great Again icon, Congressional maybe-candidate, and then fell from political grace almost as quickly as she arrived.

Within months of her Grammys ‘MAGA dress’ coup in 2017, she was at the White House, meeting with the likes of Steve Bannon and Roger Stone. Even the president, in a tweet, seemed to endorse her idea of running for Congress. But then it all fell apart by the end of 2017, with some top conservatives starting to realize that they were being played by a Scientologist grifter. We talked to her former manager about how Joy seemed to squander a lot of opportunities because of her Scientology loyalties, including standing up Donald Trump Jr. at an appearance. By the spring of 2018, Joy had taken down her Congressional exploratory website as she was relegated to the conservative minor leagues.

But as marginalized as she appeared to be, she never gave up, gradually working her way back, and started showing up again at Fox Business and other outlets, promoting herself as a new style of young conservative, and playing down Scientology as a set of “life skills” that didn’t prevent her from being an anti-abortion Christian. (In fact, she’s a Scientology ‘Clear,’ for years she’s helped promote Scientology in its publications, and with her husband, photographer Thorsten Overgaard, she’s a Patron Meritorious of the IAS, donating at least $250,000 to the church. In a March event in Los Angeles where church leader David Miscavige celebrated the second season of Scientology TV, Joy was seated in the front row with other Scientology celebrities. And this month, she took part in a special July 4 Scientology cruise event in Marina del Rey.)

She’s managed to rehabilitate herself with the MAGA crowd so well, she was invited by the White House to its “social media summit” last week, and she claimed in a tweet that the president singled her out for praise, saying, “You wear those dresses. You’re very brave there in Hollywood. You’re a fantastic actress, singer songwriter.”



In Scientology, there’s a concept known as “safepointing.” It’s an L. Ron Hubbard policy that says Scientologists should reach out to politicians and other “opinion leaders” (police, for example) and generate enough goodwill so that if the idea of investigating Scientology ever comes up, that friendship would tend to deflect it.

So, from that perspective, if the president really said that, did Joy Villa just pull off the biggest safepointing victory in maybe Scientology history?

There’s certainly a reason for the church to do what it can to influence the president. We have in mind the 2017 report that Trump, at least at one time, was interested in reviewing Scientology’s tax exempt status, a report that was never confirmed, and that so far seems to have amounted to nothing. Has Joy Villa taken a step to making sure that continues to be the case?

We turned to our friend and frequent contributor Jeffrey Augustine for his thoughts.

Jeffrey: I didn’t see it as a coup for Scientology but rather for Joy. She was thrown out of White House circles before, but I saw Joy working her A to Es on her way to get back in the party’s good graces. She worked from the outside in beginning with the fringe group Walk Away.

The Bunker: And by A to Es, you’re referring to the Scientology checklist that a former member has to go through to get back into the church’s good graces. Yes, that is what she seemed to be doing for the last year or so, proving her conservative bona fides, but playing down her Scientology loyalty.

Jeffrey: Scientology lobbyist Greg Mitchell, and possibly others had enough clout to get her into the audience at Trump’s social media disaster. She plays the Christian card. I have also watched her change her personal narrative: She grew up a preacher’s kid and learned to help other people. She is on her fourth or fifth spin cycle. She is trying to position herself as something, but I haven’t figured out her positioning or message except to get attention for herself.

The Bunker: Yeah, we’ve all watched her work her way back. But the shocker was seeing Trump single her out for praise.

Jeffrey: I think it was spontaneous. Trump saw Joy in the audience, remembered the MAGA dress, and gave her a shout out.

The Bunker: Don’t you think Miscavige will be thrilled?

Jeffrey: I’m not sure. Joy squandered everything before. She might have had a real shot at Congress if she’d chosen the right district. The MAGA dress gave Joy huge momentum but then she blew it. Also, Joy distances herself from Scientology in GOP circles because she has to, given L. Ron Hubbard’s teachings on Jesus. Joy’s handlers let the dust settle and worked her up the ladder by steps via the anti-abortion flank of the party. She must have someone doing her strategy. She has toned down her self-promotion. Joy seems to be positioning herself to benefit from the 2020 election, however it goes.


The Bunker: And you don’t see it as safepointing? It’s true that she’s not openly promoting Scientology, but that’s not necessarily what Scientologists do when they’re safepointing. The Fialkoffs, for example, have worked their way into the NYPD in order to get help spreading Hubbard’s influence in New York City’s schools without the NYPD even knowing that’s what they’re doing.

Jeffrey: True. Scientology counts on ignorance.

The Bunker: Even if the president doesn’t specifically know that he praised a Scientologist, Joy is doing exactly what Miscavige would want her to do in the wake of that report that Trump was in favor of an IRS investigation, right?

Jeffrey: Look at how far Scientology has fallen though. In the 1990s, Travolta convinced Clinton to support Scientology in Germany. In exchange, he went easy on the Clinton character in Primary Colors. And Tom Cruise took private meetings with Scooter Libby.

The Bunker: Yes, Joy Villa is a far cry from Cruise and Travolta. But Trump seems to love her dresses. If she keeps rehabilitating herself, couldn’t you see her getting into the White House itself, particularly if Trump is re-elected, and helping to make sure that any idea of investigating Scientology is dismissed as distasteful or bigoted?

Jeffrey: You have a point. I guess I didn’t see her being that ambitious.

The Bunker: But that’s all she has! It’s just ambition. Not talent. Not brains. Just pure, climbing ambition. And it would be nice if the White House could figure that out.

Jeffrey: It would also be nice if Fox News could figure that out as well. Trump’s recent shout out to Joy could very well get her back on Tucker Carlson as a regular. The odds on that are probably better than 70 percent going into the 2020 election cycle.


Bonus items from our tipsters

It’s a miracle! From Juliette Lewis’s mother, Glenis Batley…


Meanwhile, in Florida… Actual caption: “CCHR at the Florida Association of School Resource Officers conference in Miami! — at Trump National Doral Miami.”


Actual caption: “CCHR and Florida Sheriffs working together to protect Florida’s children!”


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 proves it will try to capitalize on just about any disaster
[TWO years ago] Scientology’s ‘Block Party’ today in Clearwater: Sending a message to the Lucky Anchor?
[THREE years ago] Scientology caves: Fred Haseney avoids court hearing, will take camera to Big Blue tomorrow
[FOUR years ago] Nick Lister: Scientology asked me to seduce Mike Rinder’s wife in a spy operation
[FIVE years ago] Lawsuit number 17 filed by Las Vegas attorney against Scientology’s rehab network
[SIX years ago] Scientology’s Drug Rehab Fights Class-Action Lawsuit With Move to Federal Court
[SEVEN years ago] Video from the Memorial of Alexander Jentzsch; Also: Scientology Commenters of the Week
[EIGHT years ago] Scientology’s “Documentary” of Marty Rathbun Revealed!


Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley has not seen his daughter Stephanie in 5,508 days.
Valerie Haney has not seen her mother Lynne in 1,637 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,141 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 1,661 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 681 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 572 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 3,879 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 1,747 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 2,521 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 3,295 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 2,641 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 11,207 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,126 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 3,294 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 2,875 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,136 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 2,175 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 1,887 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,413 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 5,502 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 2,642 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 2,962 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 7,818 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 2,937 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,292 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 5,595 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 1,701 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,103 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 1,975 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 1,558 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 2,053 days.
Mary Jane Sterne has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,307 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,416 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on July 15, 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