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Mark ‘Wise Beard Man’ Bunker: His Scientology-protesting past and political future

When we asked readers for their favorite moment of the third season of Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath, the overwhelming winner was Mark Bunker’s hilarious and frightening stroll to a Clearwater Park when he, Leah, and Mike Rinder were swarmed by Clearwater police.

Apparently there’s nothing that strikes fear in the Church of Scientology like these three walking around free in downtown Clearwater, and it was really something to see the local police jumping at Scientology’s beck and call, acting like Bunker’s presence in a public park was worthy of a four-car response.

Well, as funny and instructive as that moment was, it’s helped launch Bunker on his newest venture, running for Clearwater’s city council. Chris Shelton interviewed him in a lengthy video we have for you today, asking Bunker about his past with the Lisa McPherson Trust and his reasons for wanting to be elected in Scientology’s spiritual mecca.

At the very least, this is going to be a very entertaining election to watch.




Is the RPF back?

Naturally, we’ve run into a lot of skepticism since we reported in 2017 that three recent defectors all claimed that over the years 2010-2014, David Miscavige systematically dismantled Scientology’s storied Rehabilitation Project Force (RPF) a notorious prison program for Sea Org workers that could keep them literally enslaved for years.

Peter Nyiri, who escaped from the Flag Land Base in 2016, told us that he had witnessed the RPF being ended there, a source who had left Int Base said the same thing had happened at that location, and Paul Burkhart, who had worked at the Hollywood Guaranty Building until 2013, said he witnessed the same thing being documented at bases in Australia, Europe, Los Angeles, the UK, and Canada.

Miscavige’s motivation, they surmised, was that he was tired of following L. Ron Hubbard’s arcane rules about the RPF, and wanted to be able to punish Sea Org workers under his own terms. And that was an important point that we think some people missed — Sea Org workers are no doubt still going through harsh treatment, but these recent defectors say that they did witness the old program get taken apart.

Since we wrote that story we’ve heard from numerous people who have witnessed Sea Org workers being treated harshly, and we’re asked from time to time if the RPF is back or if those defectors were simply wrong. And this week, former Flag security officer Brendan Tighe reported that he saw what he believed to be four RPFers being escorted by security in Clearwater.

And just yesterday, we received this stunning photo from Clay Irwin, Clearwater resident and former owner of the Lucky Anchor pub. He said the heat index was over 100 degrees, and it was the second week he’d seen this crew working on a parking lot at a Scientology-owned motel in 12-hour shifts.


Are they RPF? No question it’s miserable. But Peter Nyiri says we’re seeing people in the Sea Org’s boot camp, the Estates Project Force (EPF), not the RPF.

“This is EPF. Grey T-shirt with the Sea Org logo and jeans,” he says, and adds that it became the Flag EPF outfit in 2014.

Brendan Tighe, who worked security at Flag until he left in 2011, agrees that the four workers in the foreground in light grey shirts with logos are EPF. But he suspects that the man behind them, in the darker shirt, is on the RPF. “It’s pretty obvious to me that by his physique he has been doing hard labor for an extended time. That’s pretty much how I looked after several years on the RPF. It’s not super common but it has happened many times over the years that EPF and RPF work together to get an ‘important’ project done,” he says.

Brendan says that he can see there being a “no RPF” period in Scientology, but he thinks now it’s coming back. “It has happened every 5 to 10 years in the Sea Org that there’s a blanket amnesty or some such and the RPF gets wiped out, but has always come back,” he says. He’s sure he saw those four RPFers being escorted the other day at Flag.

Anyway, as for those younger EPFers working in the heat, with all that’s known about Scientology’s abuses, these are people who have only recently signed their billion-year contracts so they can go to work for the Sea Org 365 days a year, in 112-hour weeks, and for pennies an hour.

And that’s MEST up.


Source Code

“All right now, let’s look at an engram. An engram isn’t very serious if somebody walks up and steps on your toes and says, ‘You skunk.’ That’s not very serious because there’s not very much chaos there into which to put a stable datum. But if this individual walked up to you from behind, slugged you over the head, kicked you in the ribs, wound you up in the hospital, but somewhere in the midst of all of this he said, ‘You’re a skunk,’ you’d probably start to smell like one.” — L. Ron Hubbard, September 14, 1955


Overheard in the FreeZone

“All of Ayn Rand’s books are awesome.”


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] Jesse Prince, witness to Scientology’s ugliest behavior, spills it all in new book
[TWO years ago] Is Ohio’s newest legislator a Scientologist? ‘I had him on the cans,’ says our man in Cincy
[THREE years ago] DRONE FLYOVER: Scientology’s secret base where David Miscavige keeps wife out of sight
[FOUR years ago] Another rare Scientology video leaks, and this time we see its long vanished president
[FIVE years ago] Scientology Sunday Funnies: Smile while you write that check, pardner!
[SIX years ago] THE TEXAS POST-GAME REPORT: Scientology, Monique Rathbun, and Judge Dib Waldrip
[EIGHT years ago] The Top 25 People Crippling Scientology, No. 8: Mike Rinder


Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley has not seen his daughter Stephanie in 5,568 days.
Valerie Haney has not seen her mother Lynne in 1,697 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,201 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 1,721 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 741 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 632 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 3,939 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 1,807 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 2,581 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 3,355 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 2,701 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 11,267 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,186 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 3,354 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 2,935 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,196 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 2,235 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 1,947 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,473 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 999 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 5,562 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 2,702 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 3,022 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 7,878 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 2,997 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,352 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 5,655 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 1,761 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,163 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 2,035 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 1,618 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 2,113 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,367 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,476 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on September 14, 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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