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Scientology celebrity Catherine Bell’s July 4th was on fire!

[Don’t tread on Penny Atwell Jones]

Penny Atwell Jones is an OT 8 Scientologist who has a way of drawing attention to herself. She’s appeared in a couple of stories here, and she tends to get a little news coverage these days as one of the president’s most enthusiastic supporters.

We have no problem with her Trump adoration, but what originally brought her to our attention was that she was one of several Scientologists who lined up to smear Leah Remini after her television series, Scientology and the Aftermath, proved to be such a hit (and such a thorn in the side of church leader David Miscavige).

If you remember, Scientology quickly lined up numerous former “friends” of Leah to accuse her of being a big meanie. Penny was more than willing to join in…

Leah has never been an A-list celebrity, but she thinks she is. They don’t demand all this extra attention. They’re here like every one of the rest of us are here. But not Leah—she wants to be followed around and just given all this attention. I can remember saying to her at times, “Wow! How much attention do you really need?”


Sounds legit.

Anyway, a reader pointed out that Penny’s latest drama was to protest that Clearwater, Florida had canceled its public fireworks display for July 4 because the city didn’t want to draw a large crowd with the potential for spreading the coronavirus even further in that hard-hit state.

“The city shut down fireworks, but my family didn’t — we had our own!” she uttered at her Instagram account and posted images and short videos showing the family party at her son Demian Mochary’s house on the Intracoastal, where fireworks were going off from the home’s boat dock.

And what caught our eye was this photo of her son Demian, 50, with another member of the family who also attended the party…


That’s NCIS: Los Angeles actress Catherine Bell, 51, who is in a relationship with Penny’s daughter Brooke Daniells, 42, who was also at the party.

Six years ago at his blog, Mike Rinder explained how awkward it was for Penny, a Scientologist who is very sensitive about her stature in the church, to have a daughter in a relationship with Bell, who is also a longtime Scientologist.

The notoriously homophobic church makes it very difficult for gay members. Rinder said in 2014, “I heard Penny Atwell Jones cannot stand anyone bringing up the subject of Brooke.”

But we’re happy to see that whatever internal family strife there might have been over the relationship has subsided, and Catherine was welcome at the family’s (slightly illegal) fireworks extravaganza.


[Penny, Catherine, and Brooke in February]

How, you may ask, does Catherine Bell retain her own standing in such a homophobic organization? Always remember: Celebrities get to break all the rules.



Danny Masterson lawsuit hearing this morning

There’s a procedural hearing today in the lawsuit against the Church of Scientology and Danny Masterson, who are being sued by his rape accusers. The lawsuit was first filed last August, but nearly a year later the Philadelphia-based legal team that is representing Chrissie Bixler and the other women have yet to be formally appointed to practice law in the case.

Today, Judge Steven Kleifield will probably accept them as a mere formality, but it’s been interesting to see Scientology’s attorneys fighting this normally minor matter. (In Scientology litigation, every hill is one to die on.)

The coronavirus pandemic has delayed things and is causing this hearing to be held virtually. But on the positive side, that gives us a chance to listen in, after we were granted access to the hearing by the court. It’s scheduled to start at 8:30 am Los Angeles time, which is 11:30 am here in New York. We’ll try to do a little live blogging in the comments when the time comes.

UPDATE: We listened in as Judge Kleifield ruled that he would accept the Philly lawyers as long as they submit information about the specific courts they had been admitted to previously, something Scientology had pointed out that they did not do in their applications. Robert Thompson, on behalf of the plaintiffs, readily agreed. So, the powerful legal team is finally admitted to their own lawsuit, nearly a year after they filed it.

Also, Scientology’s attorney Bill Forman suggested consolidating the “demurrer” hearings so that they all take place on September 4, and that was agreed to. That will be the next time we are in court.


Source Code

“One patient, who all morning, every morning, had to be kept in an institution in a wet pack, promptly at noon with a smile would jump out of bed, after having been in a fetal position all morning, very happily get dressed, go around and talk to everybody, as sane as anyone you wanted to meet. But the attendants would come around the next morning and there she would be curled up in a fetal position, so they would again put her in a wet pack until noon. This went on every day, and had been going on for five years — an interesting example of a time clock running on an engram.” — L. Ron Hubbard, July 8, 1950



Overheard in the FreeZone

“Scientology operates on the Organizing Board. It is its own form of government. The Org Board can be used to run an org, the freezone, a country or the planet. The field in Europe has its own authorities. Only the American indies have a cowboy mentality.”


Random Howdy

“Why does any henchman remain loyal to a corrupt leader? It’s because they are reaping some of the rewards also, whether it be money or power, or in Mary Sue’s case, both.”


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

Criminal prosecutions:
Danny Masterson charged for raping three women: Arraignment scheduled for September 18.
Jay Spina, Medicare fraud: Sentencing is set for August 27 in White Plains, NY
Hanan and Rizza Islam and other family members, Medi-Cal fraud: Trial set for October 7 in Los Angeles

Civil litigation:
Luis and Rocio Garcia v. Scientology: Oral arguments set for August 27 at 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): Jane Doe dismissed the lawsuit on May 15 after the Clearwater Police dropped their criminal investigation of her 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, trial set for Nov 9, 2021


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

[Elisabeth Moss, Michael Peña, and Laura Prepon]

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] David Miscavige misses out on $30 billion building project proposed by Scientologists
[TWO years ago] Masterson witness fears for safety as investigation drags on and on
[THREE years ago] Scientology and the Spoonbenders: Jon Atack on a previously unpublished Ingo Swann essay
[FOUR years ago] Our money man takes another look at new (and grim) Scientology financial disclosures
[FIVE years ago] NYTimes reports link between Scientology and hack of two who appeared in ‘Going Clear’
[SIX years ago] Ryan Hamilton files lawsuit 16 against Scientology’s drug rehab network
[SEVEN years ago] SCIENTOLOGY CELEBRITY REBELLION: Leah Remini Dared to Ask, “Where’s Shelly?”
[EIGHT years ago] Prehistoric Aggression: More Reasons Katie Holmes Was Smart to Avoid Scientology Marriage Counseling
[NINE years ago] Tom Cruise Not a Kook! Pfizer Protest Linked to Scientology, But Don’t Tell the Protesters That


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 1,992 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,496 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,016 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,036 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 927 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 4,234 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 2,102 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 2,876 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 3,680 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 2,996 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 11,562 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,481 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 3,649 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 3,230 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,491 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 2,529 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 2,242 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,767 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 1,297 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 5,857 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 2,997 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 3,317 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 8,172 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 3,292 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,647 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 5,950 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,056 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,458 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 2,330 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 1,913 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 2,408 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,662 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,771 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on July 8, 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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