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


Scientology in a nutshell: The lights are on, but nobody’s home

We continue to get great tips from our readers, including this report from a correspondent in Los Angeles. Their account seems like such a good description of Scientology in general, which is involved in so many front groups and fake do-gooderism, but in reality is shrinking and barely able to staff its locations.

Here’s our tipster’s report…

I work in downtown L.A. near 8th and Figueroa, half a block from the Figat7th shopping complex, which is super busy most weeknights. About two months ago, a group of six Scientologists started setting up two “free stress test” tables with e-meters and piles of LRH books just outside the entrance to the complex every evening around 4 pm, I guess to try to get the high-traffic after work crowd. Each week the number of lackeys manning the tables has dwindled until today, when I went to Target to grab a few things, there was literally no one manning them at all. The tables were set up, but no one was at them. At 6 pm on a busy summer weeknight in downtown Los Angeles.



In this pic, actually taken first as I went inside, you can kind of see a guy in a red shirt sitting inside a white mini-van behind the tables, who I assume was responsible for setting them up (the dude in black was just locking up his bike). Also, in the distance you can see that the Jehovah’s Witnesses also have their cart in the same location.

The people who have been there before staffing the tables all have matching red T-shirts, and I’ve noticed the white mini-van before. When I came back out a half hour later, the van and tables were still there, completely un-attended, with the red shirt dude nowhere to be seen, which is when I took the second picture from the other angle (seen at the top of the page).

They seriously just set up the tables and then left them there. Insane. Can’t imagine they’re getting many people in the doors that way.

While Los Angeles shrivels up, London continues to try and put on the impression that it’s on fire. Get a gander at the redesign on its new FSM newsletter!



Bonus items from our tipsters



Actual caption: “In the past 6 weeks I’m the only Solo Nots (OTVII) auditor in the whole Middle East. Quite a responsibility, don’t you think? (I mean the Arabic area) — in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.”

Oh look, they roped in Miss Teen Ohio. (With her is Michael DeLeon, founder of the Scientology front group Steered Straight.)


Meanwhile, in Canada…


Oh look, another front group. Look out, Sturgis…


Buenos Aires, like everywhere else, needs help going Ideal!



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

[Erika Christensen, Ethan Suplee, and Juliette Lewis]

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] Colombian senator asks defense minister to investigate Scientology over medal scandal
[TWO years ago] Bogus court documents, compliant search engines, and Scientology-style rehabs
[THREE years ago] Scientology’s richest couple buys ‘Holy City,’ a California ghost town and former cult site
[FOUR years ago] EXCLUSIVE: Tom Cruise Scientology video shows the actor praising the church — in Spanish!
[FIVE years ago] Scientology Sunday Funnies: The Sea Org full regalia edition!
[SIX years ago] Jon Atack and a Special Guest Wrestle with Gerry Armstrong’s Legal Scientology Nightmare
[SEVEN years ago] Scientology’s Idea of a Rollicking Sermon: Watch This Gem From 1984
[EIGHT years ago] Londoners See a Disaster, But Scientology Sees an Opportunity!


Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley has not seen his daughter Stephanie in 5,534 days.
Valerie Haney has not seen her mother Lynne in 1,663 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,167 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 1,687 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 707 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 598 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 3,905 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 1,773 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 2,547 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 3,321 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 2,667 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 11,233 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,152 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 3,320 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 2,901 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,162 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 2,201 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 1,913 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,439 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 5,528 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 2,668 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 2,988 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 7,844 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 2,963 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,318 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 5,621 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 1,727 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,129 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 2,001 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 1,584 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 2,079 days.
Mary Jane Sterne has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,333 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,442 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on August 10, 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