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


Answering Scientology’s smears with truth: Phil Jones takes a STAND

[Phil and Willie Jones with their kids Emily and Mike, pre-disconnection]

For those of us who get smeared by Scientology on a regular basis, there’s always a decision to make: Speak up about Scientology’s lies and risk bringing more attention to their scummy online attacks, or ignore them and assume that intelligent people who run into that material on their own can recognize the juvenile namecalling and histrionic exaggeration for what it is.

For the most part, we try not to breathe life into Scientology’s sordid attacks by linking to them or even discussing them. When the church came out with a new video attacking a well-known former Scientologist last year, for example, we asked him if he wanted to respond and he said he didn’t plan on even watching the video. We completely understood.

But we also understand when a target of Scientology’s dirty tricks wants to speak up. And when Phil Jones let us know that he’d decided to respond to an attack on him made by Scientology’s fake grass-roots organization, the STAND League, we told him we’d be happy to post it for you to see.

Here’s what Phil sent us…


STAND: Phil and Willie Jones were Scientologists for 40 years. Lured by attention and money, they turned against their former religion and began viciously harassing their adult children, Mike and Emily, through a bigoted reality TV show.

Phil: Well, there was certainly no money in it. We had some of our expenses covered during filming but after all was said and done, and the time off work, we lost money. I don’t believe there were any vicious attacks on our children ever.

STAND: In December 2015, Phil Jones — with a 5-man reality TV camera crew, a known anti-Scientologist, and private investigators hired by the TV production company — showed up unannounced at the Church of Scientology in Los Angeles where his son Mike is a staff member. Pretending he was “looking for Mike,” who had worked there for nearly 20 years, Phil staged a phony incident for the cameras about “rescuing” Mike — a 42-year-old married man with a responsible job who wanted nothing to do with his father’s vicious charade. To generate footage for the camera crew, Phil Jones’s next diabolical antic was to plaster Mike’s neighborhood with “MISSING” fliers with Mike’s name and photograph emblazoned on them. Some were placed in the coffee shop where Mike had picked up his coffee that morning, as usual.

Phil: Well, to us Mike was missing. We hadn’t seen nor heard from him in some years. He was last seen at Scientology Celebrity Center. We’ve known ex-Scientologists whose loved ones get ill, or die without them being informed by Scientology. Mike was ‘missing.’

STAND: Phil Jones’s next scam was to file a knowingly fraudulent report to the Los Angeles Police Department claiming Mike was somehow being held against his will. It failed in its intent to generate dramatic TV footage of police investigating, but it did not fail to waste the time of a police force already stretched thin protecting the public. It was dismissed immediately.

Phil: With Mike missing and us not knowing whether he was alive or dead we asked the police to do a welfare check, which they did. I also find it laughable that Scientology, known for calling the police at the drop of a hat, would complain about someone wasting the time of police.

STAND: Desperately needing more footage to satisfy the reality TV team, Phil Jones filed a false report with California Adult Protective Services claiming Mike was in dire need of medical help for a degenerative disease — that he does not have. It too failed to produce viable footage, wasting the time of yet another overburdened government agency. There are laws protecting police and state agencies against those who file knowing false reports, and Phil Jones violated those laws.

Phil: This is an interesting one. When we were at the police station asking for a welfare check, in the conversation it came up that we might also be able to have a check done by Adult Protective Services. This was never brought up before by us, and not mentioned to anyone afterwards. The only way Scientology would know about this ‘idea’ was to get it from LAPD. Also, interestingly, we never did go to California Adult Protective Services. Scientology just took the concept and lied about it.

STAND: Phil’s harassment is the thanks Emily Jones gets from her father for her efforts to help him in 2013 when he suffered from a back ailment so crippling he was wheelchair bound. Emily researched, located and paid for special treatment for her father, which helped him to such an extent that he is now able to walk.

Phil: I do have a back problem. At that time I certainly was not wheelchair bound though. Emily wanted me to see a Scientology chiropractor. The one who apparently treats all the staff at ASI. I kept refusing. This went on for a while until Emily said I should at least have it looked at by this guy, and that she would pay for it. I went. It was a 5.5-hour drive. The whole examination was bizarre. I’ve been to a few chiropractors in the past but never ran across one that had me disrobe (entirely!). I wondered later if he had hidden cameras or something. Anyway, the bill for the whole exam was $55. There was no big treatment that miraculously helped me to walk.

STAND: Phil Jones then launched a dishonest “Call Me” campaign, placing billboards in Los Angeles in 2016 and 2017 and raising money from people unaware of the full story. The billboard message is a lie. Emily did call him, and Mike called him too. Emily told him that he needed to cease harassing Mike and her if he wanted to repair the relationship. But Phil refused. He loves the attention more than he cares about his children. The billboards are a blatant attempt to incite hatred and violence against a religion and its members, while stroking Phil’s ego and his insatiable desire for publicity.

Phil: We launched the billboards to get the kids to call. Emily’s call was to get us to do three things. Stop the billboard, back out of the TV show, and stop criticizing Scientology. That would supposedly lead to a relationship with our kids again. I agreed. I said I’d do all three things, but just asked one thing in return, and that was to stop Scientology disconnection for the thousands of families suffering from this abuse. The conversation went back and forth for a bit. Emily was being coached by someone in the background. They must have not liked how the conversation was going because halfway through one of Emily’s statements they disconnected the phone. One thing about this, I don’t trust Scientology. If I’d gone along with what they wanted they would never have let us have a relationship with the kids. Once they got what they wanted I’d be kicked to the curb. And one other thing, anyone who knows me, knows that I love my kids more than anything. I’m not a publicity hound. I did all of that stuff for my kids, and only for my kids.

STAND: Phil Jones focuses on Scientology solely because he sees profit in attacking a prominent religion. He has no shame in spitting on Mike and Emily’s freedom to practice their religion. It would be no different if the parent of a Catholic, Methodist, Jew (or any other religion) did what Phil Jones is doing. Mike and Emily have a right to live their lives as they please and practice their faith free from the vicious harassment of their parents.

Phil: Again, no profit here for us. Scientology often uses this argument against critics. Ironic as Scientology is the biggest money grubbing organization out there. As far as Mike and Emily practicing their religion, if the beliefs include family disconnection, fair game, human trafficking, and many other crimes and abuses, then I don’t really feel the need to respect those ‘beliefs’.


STAND: The Jones billboard is not about religion at all. It’s about dishonest, disingenuous parents with stars in their eyes who put profit and attention ahead of family.

Phil: The billboard wasn’t about religion at all. This is correct. It was about our kids. Only our kids, and for others who had loved ones Scientology had taken as well.


It’s lucky number seven for the Bunker!

Seven years ago today, on September 28, 2012, this website sprung into life. We can hardly believe it’s already been that long as we continue to cover the Church of Scientology as a news beat, day in and day out.

We have so many people to thank who have contributed to the Bunker, with investigative pieces like the ones written by Chris Owen, Jeffrey Augustine, and Rod Keller, to the heartfelt personal essays like those of Sunny Pereira, and the many tipsters and other helpers who send us amazing scoops and story ideas every day of the week. We really couldn’t keep this thing going without you.

And keeping this thing going is something we really want to do, but it isn’t easy on a blogger’s level of revenue — which rivals Sea Org pay (and similar hours, too). So please, if you enjoy this website and want to see it keep going with the same quality that you’ve seen for the past seven years, consider becoming one of our benefactors with a small monthly contribution (see the donate button at the top of the page).

Now, on to the next outrage!


Bonus items from our tipsters

Hurry, class starts this morning!


Meanwhile, in Canada…



Source Code

“The faults I find with Scientologists is they very often will see somebody fall on his head, get run over by a truck, and do some kind of a light touch assist and say ‘That’s that.’ And then wonder why the guy is limping. And then they sort of say, ‘Scientology doesn’t work.’ Man, I’ve got a word for you. That auditor is afraid of work. Do you see?” — L. Ron Hubbard, September 28, 1968


Overheard in the FreeZone

“The sheer quantity of detail used to enslave people is almost incomprehensible. How to make a thetan blind and believe he is an organic oddity took many, many minds and extreme dedication. Making the universe and our immediate environment convincing and pleasurable has been purposefully worked out; it has taken ingenuity, vast effort, and money. That work goes on to this day.”


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] US Government ‘adopts’ Russian Scientologist in religious rights protest
[TWO years ago] ‘Aftermath’ fan gets into party at Scientology’s ‘Int Base,’ brings Karen Pressley’s book along
[THREE years ago] DRONE FLYOVER: First images of Scientology’s Gold Rush mine in California
[FOUR years ago] If it’s Monday, it must be Seattle: Let’s talk Scientology!
[FIVE years ago] Celebrating two years in the Bunker: Jonny Jacobsen on Russia, and Sunday Funnies!
[SIX years ago] Blood Relation, Blood Ritual: A Hubbard Family Occult Mystery
[SEVEN years ago] Talking About The Master on Public Radio
[EIGHT years ago] The Top 25 People Crippling Scientology, No. 1: L. Ron Hubbard


Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley has not seen his daughter Stephanie in 5,581 days.
Valerie Haney has not seen her mother Lynne in 1,710 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,214 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 1,734 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 754 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 645 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 3,952 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 1,820 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 2,594 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 3,368 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 2,714 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 11,280 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,199 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 3,367 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 2,948 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,209 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 2,248 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 1,960 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,486 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 1,012 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 5,575 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 2,715 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 3,035 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 7,891 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 3,010 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,365 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 5,668 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 1,774 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,176 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 2,048 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 1,631 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 2,126 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,380 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,489 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on September 28, 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, 14 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