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Mark Bunker wants to get the FBI looking at Scientology in Clearwater

[Make sure you’ve seen yesterday afternoon’s breaking news about Jane Doe’s lawsuit being dismissed.]

There were two good pieces from Tampa Bay Times reporter Tracey McManus yesterday, with each of them focusing on Mark Bunker’s attempts to get the city of Clearwater to face up to its Scientology problem.

In the first story, Bunker voted against giving a couple of Scientologist developers $500,000 in city money to help them convert an eyesore into a place with apartments and retail, a motion that passed on a 3-2 vote. We have more from Bunker on that below.

In the second story by McManus, she marveled at witnessing how Bunker, elected on a platform of doing something about Scientology, had managed to at least force the council to raise the question and discuss it.


And, after explaining that the city seemed reluctant to do anything at all, at the very end of her story McManus dropped a bombshell: After Bunker failed to get the rest of the city council interested in going to the FBI, he said, “I guess my next step is to turn to the FBI myself.”

“It was an interesting day,” he said to us last night when we called him to follow up on that remarkable statement. “I fought back against Ray Cassano and Shahab Emrani’s building downtown. And that was close, but they got the money they wanted for their project. And at least thankfully the blight will be ended on that corner. It really was a horrible eyesore that Scientology has been using for decades.”

He pointed out that past mayor Cretekos had been tough on the developers over the request in the past.

“I wish Cassano and Emrani had been there so I could ask them some probing questions,” Bunker said.

As for bringing up a general discussion about Scientology in Clearwater, late last night Bunker posted video of that portion of the working session…


And we asked him, what did he mean about going to the FBI?

“Early on I asked the city manager if I can go to outside agencies, county and federal agencies, to ask questions. And this was centered around the fact that it didn’t seem like our police department would be able to do a welfare check on Sea Org members living in cramped conditions [during the pandemic]. I was planning to turn to the county level, but then police Chief [Dan] Slaughter was allowed into the Hacienda Gardens. So I didn’t go forward with that,” Bunker said.

“But the general idea that I can ask questions leads me to believe that I can go to the FBI and ask, does this look like racketeering? Is this something that looks actionable?”

He’s referring to the sketchy land-grab by wealthy Scientologists that was uncovered by McManus in her recent series, showing that after Scientology leader David Miscavige was spurned by the city over the purchase of a 1.4-acre downtown parcel, a buying spree took place, essentially doubling Scientology’s control of the downtown area.

“I didn’t think it was that much of an ask for the city to check with the FBI about this,” Bunker said.

But Bunker was disappointed that he couldn’t get his fellow city councilmembers interested in an investigation of that land grab, and whether it was done at Miscavige’s orders and whether it violated any laws. “So the one thing I got out of the meeting today was, and I didn’t think there was a way to argue and win this, was that the city was OK if Scientology is breaking the RICO act, and racketeering to get their way. Which to me is a little alarming and surprising,” he said. “That’s what it’s come down to. Nobody wants to take action. But at least we can get them on the record.”



Bonus items from our tipsters

Scientology cosplay on the Upper East Side!


Scientology cosplay in Mexico!


What a difference the Wall of Fire makes!



Clear, sure, but you can’t levitate until the OTs…


This Thursday!



Source Code

“We are the only science of mind that has ever come up the line and sat back on its haunches and proved itself across the board, we can also undo that. If we want to take enough trouble we can also save Gracey Zilch. One auditor sits on her head and the other straps the cans to her feet and a third, as she’s being held down, locates what she has been doing on an E-Meter, you see something like a Joburg or something like this, you see, and actually gets the thing taped out and then finally says, ‘Well, Gracey, we’ve got the goods on you. And now why don’t you go off someplace and realize that if you don’t do something decent about this, you’re sunk.’ And I don’t care it might take two hours, two years or two lifetimes; sooner or later she’s going to come in and tell all. Fascinating, huh? We can undo it. So, in a little, tiny, microscopic way, not accepting a half a million dollars from the Communist Party of America to do in a Central Organization; that of course killed a man. I bet you right now he’s tagging around in a schoolroom someplace or another, wondering what is wrong with him and why he feels so spinny. Fellow by the name of Don Purcell. He died. He did this, and for three years he just went on a toboggan and died. One of the reasons was is nobody was interested enough to even try to do anything for him. And the other thing was he had made it impossible to arrive at that data earlier by causing such a tremendous disturbance that he slowed up research.” — L. Ron Hubbard, May 19, 1961



Overheard in the FreeZone

“Running anything other than composite case after Clear — utilizing New Era Scientology processing and NOT (NOTS) — which only leads one to endlessly run circuits and entities without a subjective reality on actual case factors. Doing so has been shown to be almost fatal at times to one’s health and sanity — and the probable reason why so many have passed away from cancer after having run NOTS.”


Random Howdy

“Thank god I didn’t have to go to confession. It would have taken a team of priests working in shifts to cover my multitude of sins.”


Full Court Press: What we’re watching at the Underground Bunker

Criminal prosecutions:
Jay Spina: Sentencing was set for April 3 in White Plains
Hanan and Rizza Islam and other family members: Trial set for October 7 in Los Angeles

Civil litigation:
Luis and Rocio Garcia v. Scientology: Waiting for an appellate decision from the Eleventh Circuit
Valerie Haney v. Scientology: Forced to ‘religious arbitration.’ Hearing on motion for reconsideration set for August 11
Chrissie Bixler et al. v. Scientology and Danny Masterson: July 8 (plaintiff attorneys pro hac vice), August 31-Sept 1 (CSI/RTC demurrer against Riales, Masterson demurrer), Oct 7-19 (motions to compel arbitration)
Jane Doe v. Scientology (in Miami): Dismissed by Jane Doe after Clearwater Police closed its investigation of the allegations.
Matt and Kathy Feschbach bankruptcy appeal: Oral arguments were heard on March 11 in Jacksonville
Brian Statler Sr v. City of Inglewood: Amended complaint filed.


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] Free of measles, Scientology’s cruise ship gets back to separating OTs from their money
[TWO years ago] When Scientology leader David Miscavige targets you for a beatdown: A Jefferson Hawkins classic
[THREE years ago] Elisabeth Moss in this week’s ‘Handmaid’ sure sounded like FBI testimony about Scientology
[FOUR years ago] Here are the instructions Scientologists are getting for the May 28 media center opening!
[FIVE years ago] Leah Remini helps us celebrate our book in Los Angeles with a gang of Scientology ‘SPs’
[SIX years ago] Scientology’s drug rehab network sued for conspiring to misuse counseling credentials
[SEVEN years ago] How Not to Protest Scientology
[NINE years ago] Scientology Deathwatch: Kenickie Edition


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 1,942 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,446 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 1,966 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 986 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 877 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 4,184 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 2,052 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 2,826 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 3,600 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 2,946 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 11,512 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,431 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 3,599 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 3,180 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,441 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 2,479 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 2,192 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,717 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 1,247 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 5,807 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 2,947 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 3,267 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 8,122 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 3,242 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,597 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 5,900 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,006 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,408 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 2,280 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 1,863 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 2,358 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,612 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,721 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on May 19, 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, 1995-2019 Just starting out here? We’ve picked out the most important stories we’ve covered here at the Underground Bunker (2012-2019), 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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