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


If Scientology forced your children to disconnect from you, what would you do?

[Phil Jones and his son Mike]

On Saturday, we posted Skip Young’s update about how he tried to defy Scientology disconnection by flying across the country to see his two grown daughters. It didn’t go well. We got a couple of interesting responses to that, and we wanted you to see this one today. It was submitted by Phil Jones, a pretty familiar name around here.

In 2013 Willie and I were still under the radar (That means not in agreement with Scientology but not saying anything so as not to lose our kids).

During that time our son Mike, who is in the Sea Org, was in Clearwater in October setting up the big tent for the IAS event. I went down to see him pretty much every day and brought him coffee. We’d sit and chat in the car and on one of those days we drove to the beach for lunch. It was the most interaction we’d had in years.

Towards the end of our visit with Mike, just before he left to go back to Celebrity Center in LA, Willie and I told him we were out and why. Willie told him we’d never disconnect from him and would always be there for him. He hugged Willie for dear life for a long time.


Amazingly, after he got back to LA Mike still remained in touch with us. We’d talk on the phone and send photos and fun videos back and forth. This went on for about 8 or 9 months. We thought we could carry on that way for a long time. Unfortunately that didn’t last.

In 2014 my OT8 sister was pressuring us, trying to convince us to disconnect from various ex-Scientologists. At first I did so, but after a bit I just started ignoring her requests. Then one day I got a message that she was in Clearwater and wanted to get together. At the time Willie and I had moved somewhat south to be away from Clearwater and the possibility of Scientology registrars or ethics people showing up at our door. We didn’t give anyone our new address. Anyway, I kept putting my sister off because I thought this might be more than just a social family visit. After a week went by and my sister got more and more insistent I agreed to meet at a coffee shop (Starbucks, downtown Clearwater). I told Willie that if things went south we’d just leave and go home.

When we arrived at the Starbucks there was an OT8 friend of ours and several members of her family there. We greeted them with hugs as we hadn’t seen them for a while. It did strike us as odd that they were there on a Friday morning since they all worked in offices and should have been at work. I turned to introduce them to my sister and when I looked at her there was a look of shock and almost terror on her face. I realized at that point she’d brought ‘backup.’ This was for Willie and me, the most unthreatening couple you could find.

Well, we sat down with my sister and I steered the conversation into family and things like that. After only about 5 minutes she brought up the whole Facebook friends thing and that we weren’t active on the Bridge. I told her we should keep the conversation just about family and went back to that. She kept bringing up the other stuff and I knew at that point that was the sole reason she was there.

I said that if we’re going to talk about that we should go outside, so we left the coffee shop and walked down the street. When we got to the corner I told Willie I thought this wasn’t going to go well and that we should just leave. I told my sister we’re going home and at that point she laid into us. She said that if we didn’t go into Flag and get with the program we’d lose our family and the kids. I told her if that happens and she goes into Flag to report us that was on her. Then we turned and left.

Within 24 hours we were getting cut off. Facebook friends started unfriending us. My sister and brother blocked us on all social media as well as any other means of contact. Business contacts cut us off. One major business owner I’d worked for told me straight up that if I wasn’t in good standing with Scientology I couldn’t work for him.

A short while later we got a handwritten letter from Emily that she’d talked to her brother Mike and how I’d said such horrible things about L. Ron Hubbard. Then we were cut off completely.


[With Emily, before disconnection]

We did hear from Emily once in 2016. After we’d done the billboard in Los Angeles we were setting one up in Clearwater. The night before we got there we were in a hotel and my cell phone rang. I answered it and it was Emily. She was calling to try to get us to stop the billboard from going up, as well as backing out of the TV show we were involved in, and to stop criticizing Scientology. It sounded like there were others in the room and I’m sure she was being coached by OSA. She said we’d have to do all of those things if we wanted a relationship with our kids. I told her I would agree to all three of those things. The only thing I’d want from her was to stop Scientology disconnection for the thousands of families affected.

I knew that even if I agreed to stop the billboard and the other things that Scientology would never keep to their side of the agreement. Plus, we’d had so many people supporting the billboard, and so many heartbreaking stories of disconnection from ex-Scientologists I just couldn’t betray them to make an agreement that benefited just us.

Recently Willie and I also made the attempt to contact our kids, although not quite as aggressively as flying across the country like Skip did. We’ve tried calling them both many, many times over the years. We never got through. Most often it was on a birthday or Christmas.

This past Christmas we called again. Michael we couldn’t reach, but incredibly we did manage to contact Emily and hear her voice for the first time in years, but of course, in the Scientology way, it didn’t go well.


We had managed to find out Emily’s private cell phone number and called her on Christmas day. She answered. We both immediately recognized her voice. No question about it. But when she realized who was on the line she must have handed the phone to someone else because the voice changed and then pretended Emily wasn’t there, and that she’d look for her. But of course couldn’t find her.

There was no doubt it was Emily we spoke to. Just very sad that she’d immediately turn the phone over to someone else rather than talk to her parents.

A few seconds of hearing her voice. That’s what we got. For us, it was a lot.

Hubbard, Scientology, Miscavige. They are all a blight on our lives. I know some say they just want the Scientology abuses to end, but in my opinion Scientology is a con and a scam and in itself is abusive. It just needs to end.

— Phil Jones



Source Code

“In August I wrote Kennedy; he was offered by me at that time help in the space race, speeding up the IQ, straightening out pilots. And this, the White House has already asked us twice for presentations of Scientology and we’ve granted them, and they have done weird things like fire the fellow who asked for them and that sort of thing….And anyway, in August, thinking that it would be a good gesture I wrote him a letter concerning this, at the White House, and time rolled along and the FDA suddenly became very interested and the organization was sniffing around the corners. And suddenly the US government — let’s not compartment this thing down, see, it’s just the government — issued a smear campaign in the Washington press, calling us all sorts of hard names, organized this thing completely, down to the last detail and actually the papers were on the streets before anybody appeared at the organization. Interesting, isn’t it? Hours later somebody appeared at the organization. Anyway, they raided a church and seized philosophical and religious texts for burning and meters. Armed raid on a church. Stop and think about it for a moment. How could they get away with this? How’d they do this?” — L. Ron Hubbard, January 8, 1963


Overheard in the FreeZone

“There is a recognition point that occurs when a person blows the current cycle of existence and rehabilitates spiritual reality where the person understands they have multiple eternities running concurrently, each with its own timeline, or as LRH puts it, theta line, and that they can choose to view that timeline at any moment. So they come up with multiple selves and timelines in independent universes….I am aware of beings in parallel universes who are able to peer into this one. However, to date these appear to be techno based civilisations whose basic intent is some form of manipulation or programming at the level of elsewhereness, albeit the elsewhereness consists of a parallel universe and alternative theta line.”


Random Howdy

“It really doesn’t matter if the people still in the Church of Scientology are happy or not because the organization itself is a criminal conspiracy that needs to be brought down. Are we suppose to go easy on organized crime because its members might be, generally speaking, having a good time?”


Start making your plans…

Head over to the convention website and meet us in St. Louis!


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

[The Big Three: Tom Cruise, John Travolta, and Kirstie Alley]

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] A Scientologist on trial for double murder: A story the church is very nervous about
[TWO years ago] When two political longshots spar over Joy Villa and Scientology, everyone wins
[THREE years ago] Phil and Willie Jones launch a new effort for billboard about Scientology disconnection
[FOUR years ago] AUDIO: Hear Scientology boast about the $5.7 million it got from Google in free ads
[FIVE years ago] The new Scientology ad running on TV — and maybe for the Super Bowl
[SIX years ago] See Scientology’s new TV ad before it’s released — and more IAS gala video!
[SEVEN years ago] John Sweeney Talks The Church of Fear, Which Comes Out Today


Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley (1952-2019) did not see his daughter Stephanie in his final 5,667 days.
Valerie Haney has not seen her mother Lynne in 1,810 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,314 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 1,834 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 854 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 745 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 4,052 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 1,920 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 2,694 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 3,468 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 2,814 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 11,380 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,299 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 3,467 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 3,048 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,309 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 2,347 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 2,060 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,585 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 1,112 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 5,675 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 2,815 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 3,135 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 7,991 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 3,110 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,465 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 5,768 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 1,874 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,276 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 2,148 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 1,731 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 2,226 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,480 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,589 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on January 7, 2020 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