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Thanks to some Scientology OTs, you can now rent a cabin only a mile from Shelly Miscavige!

Has it really been more than five years since Alex Gibney’s movie Going Clear premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah? Ah, the memories.

Of course, one of the things we’ll never forget, besides the glitz and glamour of the premiere itself, was the attempt to smear everyone in it by the Church of Scientology.

If you remember, Scientology leader David Miscavige was in such a panic over Gibney’s documentary, in the weeks leading up to it he put up anonymous websites with attacks on people like Jesse Prince and Karen de la Carriere just in case they ended up in the film. And then after the movie came out, he really went on the offensive against people like Tom DeVocht and Mike Rinder and Jason Beghe because they had taken part.

And we especially noted the vicious assault made on one of the most sympathetic figures in the movie, Sara Goldberg.


You no doubt remember Sara’s story, a mom who refused to cut ties with her son Nick Lister after Scientology decided he was an enemy of the church. So Scientology convinced Sara’s daughter, Ashley, to cut off ties with her. And Sara’s scene in the movie, describing what it was like to breathe in the smell of Ashley’s hair at what she knew was probably the last time she would ever see her, was the emotional payoff of Gibney’s masterpiece. (Full disclosure, Gibney let us chew some scenery too.)

Sara’s story had first been told in the Tampa Bay Times by Joe Childs, and part of what made it such an effective narrative was that so much of this family being ripped apart was spelled out plainly in church documents.

One might naively expect that Scientology would not attack a mother who had, with such good documentation to prove it, been abused so badly by something that called itself a church.

But no, this is Scientology we’re talking about, and of course they did what they always do. They made a P.O.W.-style video featuring Ashley denouncing her own mother, and calling Sara a “home wrecker.”

The video also featured the fellow you see in the photo above, identified simply as “Gary,” an “in-law.”

His name is Gary Epstein, he’s an OT 8 Scientologist, and his son is married to Ashley, Sara’s daughter who disconnected from her. Here’s what Gary says in the film…

When my son and daughter and my grandchild lived in Sara’s house, for which she was charging rent, the son would sleep all day, get up, come over to the kitchen, in front of me, take food off the table, stuff it in his mouth and then go out drinking.

Having done his duty, Epstein exited the smear video at that point.

But since then, we found out, Gary’s been very busy. Over the last year he and his wife Sandy and other family members have been renovating the rustic cabins of an old campsite in the mountains northeast of Los Angeles. They’ve created a lovely little lodging experience along with a stunning looking website.

“The Perch at Twin Peaks,” it’s called.


And it’s exactly one mile up the road from the super-secret Scientology compound where we believe Shelly Miscavige has been kept out of the public eye for the last 14 years.


“It’s purely coincidental,” Sandy Epstein told us when we called up the Perch yesterday.

We told her that the place looks stunning in photos and the work they put it into really shows. But it seemed a little odd that a family of Scientology OTs would open a business so close to Scientology’s most secret mountain holdfast. Sandy assured us that there was no connection between the two locations.


“I didn’t even really know about it until someone pointed it out to me,” she said.

And she didn’t know that Shelly Miscavige is most likely living only a mile away?


“I don’t know anything about it, honestly I don’t. I’m so busy here, running ten cabins,” she said.

We have no doubt that she was sincere, but we couldn’t help thinking of the business opportunity they’re missing out on.

Want to spend a few nights in mountain isolation and breathe the same air as Scientology’s most famous captive? Will a walk in the woods result in a glimpse of the former queen of Scientology? Seems like a sure-fire gimmick to us.



Nick Lister confirmed for us that the Gary and Sandy Epstein of The Perch are, indeed, Ashley’s in-laws. In the photo of them here at The Perch, they’re posing with their daughter Laura, right, and their business partners Jud Williams and Cheney Shapiro, also Scientologists.

“Gary was this major FSM,” Nick tells us. A “Field Staff Member” helps Scientology bring in new members, and makes a commission doing so. “He’s out there, man. He tried to have an intervention on me at 21 to convince me of the merits of OT. It obviously didn’t stick,” Nick added.


Bonus items from our tipsters

The last-minute rush is still on!



Source Code

“This idea of somebody full-armed from the brow of Jove or something like that, coming down and helping man, and so on, that’s an old story. That isn’t even news. But somebody by his own bootstraps, even as you, pulling himself up through this thing, that is news. And whatever you have done and been on the Whole Track, or whatever I have done and been on the Whole Track, it still amounts to the fact that a guy just like you made this. And has made it, and also ‘physician heal thyself,’ has been broken all ways from the middle. Because it never happened before. That’s what’s news. I suppose my bank to a large degree’s been keyed out but over a period of time has been keying in harder and harder and harder and about knocked my head off, and I was working out technology by which you could get Clear, and I hadn’t had any auditing to amount to anything for a couple of years, actually. Mary Sue rolled up her sleeves and there we went and here we are. And this is a very satisfactory, well, I won’t say an end to the story, because the story is a long way from ended. But I will say it’s a very satisfactory denouement on the question, ‘Can one lift himself by his own bootstraps and beat all the laws of God and men in this whole universe from one corner to the other?’ And the answer, of course, is yes.” — L. Ron Hubbard, February 21, 1963


Overheard in the FreeZone

“I just wanted to say that I really enjoy the ‘Overheard in the Freezone’ daily feature. It is the first time I have seen thoughts similar to mine, thought processes and interests and realities of a ‘post-Scientology’ similar to mine in a very long time. And I feel at home for the first time in years, the first time since I left Scientology. Except that I could not trace those comments to their writers and comment back. I wish I could. Many of them are really interesting, and I’d like to get to know them and discuss ideas. Please keep the feature going, it is really interesting and worthwhile. It shows some very interesting perspectives that augment mine in a thrilling way, which is rare anywhere.”


Random Howdy

“Pleasure and pain are what motivates everyone on the most basic level. People do things because they make them feel good, whether it be dope or Scientology. Even after drug addiction becomes destructive, people keep doing it because it’s become their way of life and people fear change (and pain) more than anything.”


Start making your plans…

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


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

[Kelly Preston, Jason Dohring, and Anne Archer]

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] If you thought Scientology’s ‘Axioms’ were dumb, the ‘Logics’ are even dumberer
[TWO years ago] Hubbard’s ‘Brainwashing Manual’ — how a crude Scientology hoax became a far-right touchstone
[THREE years ago] As Scientology shrinks, its leader dreams up new ways to convince followers otherwise
[FOUR years ago] When Scientology was in trouble in 1955, L. Ron Hubbard told prosecutor he was a ‘psychologist’
[FIVE years ago] When Scientology was pouring on the ‘religious’ angle very thick: A video mystery
[SIX years ago] Federal judge dismisses Georgia class-action lawsuit against Scientology and rehab network
[SEVEN years ago] Narconon Staff Certifications in Jeopardy After New Whistleblower Comes Forward
[EIGHT years ago] Scientology Hip Hop: The Melbourne Day Rap Battle Team!


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 1,855 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,359 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 1,879 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 899 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 790 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 4,097 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 1,965 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 2,739 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 3,513 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 2,859 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 11,425 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,344 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 3,512 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 3,093 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,354 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 2,392 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 2,105 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,630 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 1,157 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 5,720 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 2,860 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 3,180 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 8,035 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 3,155 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,510 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 5,813 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 1,919 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,321 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 2,193 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 1,776 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 2,271 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,525 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,634 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on February 21, 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


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