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Internal LAPD emails show the department’s cozy relationship with Scientology

[Cory Palka]

On the morning of March 3, 2017, we broke the news that for several months the Los Angeles Police Department had been investigating the claims of three women who said they had been raped by Scientology celebrity and That ’70s Show actor Danny Masterson.

After our story appeared, other news organizations pressed the LAPD for confirmation, and later that day the department put out a short statement that it was investigating Masterson and that no charges had yet been filed. That opened the floodgates and news organizations across the country quickly put out the word.

The headline for the story the Los Angeles Times put out that day read “Actor says sexual assault claims are false and tied to anti-Scientology movie.”

Two days later, Captain Cory Palka, Commanding Officer of the LAPD’s Hollywood Division, sent an email to another LAPD official in the Hollywood area, Richard Gabaldon.

Citing the LA Times story, Palka wrote, “Is this ours[,] Rich[,] or some other entity?”


The email is a stunning confirmation that the LAPD had blindsided the Hollywood Division, where the alleged rapes had occurred, and where the police department was doing its best to keep its own captains in the dark.

When Chrissie Carnell Bixler and the other two women — we refer to them as Victim B and Victim C, but in the ensuing civil lawsuit they’re referred to as Jane Doe #1 and Jane Doe #2 — came forward in October 2016, they were told that the investigation would be handled downtown because the Hollywood Division had been hopelessly co-opted by the Church of Scientology.

In order to make sure that Hollywood officials like Palka wouldn’t know about the investigation, the women were told by downtown detectives that they were purposely going to keep any indication of their work out of the department’s computer system so that even a search wouldn’t turn up any evidence of it.

The May 5th email by Palka to Gabaldon illustrates just how thoroughly the LAPD’s precautions had been followed.

We were stunned to see the email indicating Palka’s complete blindsiding, and you may be wondering, how did an internal LAPD email end up in our hands?

Well, Cory Palka is not only someone Leah Remini has been calling out for years as a Scientology patsy, it also turns out that he’s been doing something he shouldn’t have: using a private email account for official LAPD business.

Some political gadflies in Los Angeles who call themselves the Hollywood Sunshine Coalition found out about that in September 2018 and put in an official records request for Palka’s emails, which he had no choice but to turn over. We only learned about the precious cache of inside LAPD emails this week from a reader familiar with the records request.

The collection of emails is a bit of a goldmine. There was this gem from later in 2017 that Palka was copied on, for example…

From: Greg LaClaire
Date: November 19, 2017
Subject: Christmas Stories INVITATION

Dear Assistant Chief [Beatrice] Birmala,

Well, I sincerely hope everything is going well for you.

First, I will just say we miss you as our Hollywood Division Commander! Of course we have enjoyed a great relationship with both Capt Zarcone and Capt Palka, but we are allowed to miss you! So, we do!


We wanted to extend an invitation for you to attend our Christmas Stories benefit again this year, being staged on two nights as always, the 1st (Friday) and 2nd (Saturday) of December.

This is our 25th year producing the show, so we are doing all we can to make it very special.

We added up the total, and it’s hard to believe, but this show has raised more than $400,000 for the LAPD Hollywood Division youth development programs since 1993! Obviously we are very proud of that, but more importantly, it’s the thousand upon thousands of children reached and guided to live a better quality of life that is truly important.

So if you are available, we’d love to have you either night! BUT, I just found out that on Friday night we still have the need for an LAPD official to accept the check of $20,000, so we’d love to have you fill that capacity if you can. However, if you would rather just come to enjoy the show, that would just as fine as well!

Bring as many guests as you’d like. Please let me know if you can make it.

And for a trip down memory lane, here are a few highlights of the show, over the years…

That led to a link which, we were surprised, is still active. Go there and you can see clips from Scientology’s “Christmas Stories” featuring John Travolta, Kirstie Alley, Kelly Preston, Jenna Elfman, Juliette Lewis and Michael Peña, as well as Danny Masterson, Laura Prepon, and some of their other That ’70s Show cast mates.

And we want to remind you that not only has Greg LaClaire presided over the annual check-giving ceremony for years, he’s married to Angie LaClaire, a Scientology “auditor” who interrogated both Victim B and Danny Masterson after he allegedly raped her in 2003, but LaClaire never reported her findings to the LAPD. And now she’s vanished, even though the LAPD has expressed an interest in interviewing her for the investigation.

The previous year, Palka was especially effusive in his thanks to Greg LaClaire after Greg sent over some photos from the 2016 Christmas event…


Thanks so much. Those are 3 of the best pictures I have seen all year! You guys rock!! Thanks for sharing some time with me today..Your commitment to our kids is incredible..



[Cory Palka takes a $20,000 check from Greg LaClaire at the annual Scientology Christmas event]


Here’s another email from 2017, when Scientology asked for special help from Palka with Leah Remini’s series starting up again…

From: Kirsten Pedersen
To: Cory Palka
Date: August 15, 2017

Good Morning Captain Palka,

I wanted to ask for your guidance on something. The 2nd Season of Remini’s show is going to begin tonight. We have already started getting an increase of hate mail just with the teasers, so I am expecting the threats to start up shortly after the first episode (tonight).

Previously I was going to the Hollywood station to report any threats we received, but sometimes this is difficult as they are not the normal types that the officers at the front desk are used to dealing with. Then in January I was advised I could work directly with the Threat Management Unit, which has been very helpful, but does not result in my ending up with a Police report documenting the fact that we received and reported a threatening communication.

I fully realize that a lot of what we report will not necessarily go anywhere as far as investigation and prosecution, but I still feel very strongly that I must report and properly document that I did so. Part of the reasoning on this is that we have experienced that we will get a random threat and then down the road, it connects to another more serious one. Combining the two then starts to build a case that can sometimes then get pursued on Law Enforcement or Legal lines.

Bottom line of my request is guidance on how to best set up a line with an Officer at your station that I can make these reports with. Simply to document the fact that they occurred — so I can have it reported to the police, and can come away with a document showing that I did. The yellow Police report copies that I get when I go to the station is enough for the purpose of documenting the harassment and the threats.

Any guidance you can provide on this would be greatly appreciated. Thanks.


Palka responded:

Hi Kirsten

I will have an officer who is available to you directly that can document these incidents. Thank you for reaching out to me.



Other emails indicate that the church did report several threats of violence that allegedly came in from misguided Remini fans.

Let us be clear about this: No matter how you feel about Scientology and its controversies and abuses, calling up Scientology facilities to make threats of violence is a dick move. Don’t do it.

Anyway, other emails show that Scientology was happy to lend out its facilities for LAPD uses, in this case a supervisors’ training day…

From: Lissa Alexandre Date: April 7, 2017
Cc: Cory Palka
Subject: April 27th Meeting at SMP

Dear Ramiro,

Hello! I spoke with our Technician and he can set up a connection for a power point in the “Little Theater” and in the stage, whichever is preferred by your team.

I wanted to also find out if you would give me a few more details on the meeting. Is it a day of training seminars for the officers?

Would you be able to send me an agenda for the day?

We can also print the agenda for you here at the studio with a nice design if you would like.

Also, if I could get the list of who will be attending officers & civilians (ie. Chamber of Commerce and Los Angeles LGBT Center etc.) this way I can give it to our front gate ahead of time.


I will also be working this weekend so please feel free to contact me with any questions or if anything is needed.

Thanks very much!

Kind Regards,

Lissa Alexandre
Director of Public Affairs
Scientology Media Productions

A year later, Palka and Alexandre exchanged expressions of high esteem for each other…


Here was an odd one. On April 11, 2017, Gary Kukaua, head of the Hollywood Division’s Robbery Unit, informed Palka that he was running some sort of investigation (“invest”) with the cooperation of Scientology, which had turned over a couple of forged checks:



Was someone writing bad checks to Scientology? Now that takes some sand!

Ooh, this next one doesn’t look too good for Palka. It’s a 2018 email from him on behalf of Scientology representatives, who are trying to reach Detroit’s police chief, James Craig, to discuss with him their upcoming “Ideal Org” opening. To help Scientology, Palka writes to LAPD Gang Homicide commander Peter Whittingham…


And here’s the golden nugget buried under piles of other emails. It was a September 14, 2018 invite from Scientology’s Janet Weiland to Palka, among many others, to celebrate the annual IAS gala on October 20.

Dear Friends,

Our annual International Association of Scientologists event is coming up. Please save the date on your calendar.

It is an exciting recap of our social betterment programs around the world. I hope you will join me for it. Warm regards,


The International Association of Scientologist is Scientology’s membership organization and a prime fundraising arm that amasses wealth for church leader David Miscavige to use for his various initiatives to defend the organization. The IAS holds its annual gala in East Grinstead, England, where a special celebration is held for that year’s biggest donors to the slush fund.

Then, a week later, video of the England event is shown at local orgs, including in Los Angeles. It was to this local event that Weiland was extending an invitation to Palka. But the reason we find this email so significant is that it reveals Weiland’s entire email invitation list.

Among those friends of Scientology who were invited to come down and celebrate another year of Miscavige fundraising was…

— Alan J. Reinach, executive director of the Church State Council, “the religious liberty educational and advocacy arm of the Pacific Union Conference of Seventh-Day Adventists”

— Pepperdine University professor of religion Dyron B. Daughrity
— USC contributing fellow Rev. Frank Jackson, Jr.
— CSUF professor of comparative religion James Santucci
— Leslie Luke, Deputy Director, Los Angeles County, Chief Executive Office, Office of Emergency Management
— Loyola Marymount instructor of theological studies Nirinjan Khalsa
— Baydsar Thomasian, deputy district director for State Senator Kevin De Leon
— Steve Veres, vice president, Los Angeles Community College District Board of Trustees
— Captain Patricia Sandoval, LAPD
— Steven Whiddon, executive director, Friends of the Hollywood Central Park
— Leron Gubler, (then) CEO of the Hollywood Chamber of Commerce
— Tim Hysom, chief of staff, Congressman Alan Lowenthal
— Larry Laboe, New Filmmakers of Los Angeles
— Mike Gipson, California State Assembly
— Oscar Arslanian, publisher, Discover Hollywood magazine
— Rev. Roberto Recillas, Executive Director of I Believe in My Future Initiative
— Umar Hakim-Dey, Executive Director of Intellect Mercy Love Foundation
— Nasser Zomorod, Universal Peace Federation, Director for Southern California
— Skipp Townsend, executive director, 2nd Call
— Bishop Juan Carlos Mendez, founder, Churches In Action
— Steve Houchin, deputy city attorney
— Donald Westbrook, lecturer, author of ‘Among the Scientologists’
— Kevin James, Los Angeles County Board of Public Works
— Jeff Zarrinnam, Hollywood Chamber of Commerce
— Jason Periard, Jewish Federation of Greater Los Angeles
— Dr. E. Wayne Gaddis, Sr., Greater True Light M.B.C.
— Tod Burnett, executive vice chancellor at Brandman University
— Rev. Margaret H. McCauley, St. John’s Cathedral
— Armando Hogan, deputy chief, Los Angeles Fire Department
— Sergeant Darrell Davis, LAPD
— Captain Jonathan Pinto, LAPD

Isn’t Janet’s friends list revealing and nifty?

We want to thank Cory Palka for putting police business on his private email account and giving us all this unique look into the relationship between the LAPD and an organization that forces young women to have abortions, allows David Miscavige to banish his wife to a small mountain compound for the last 15 years, rips families apart as part of its totalitarian control methods, and works children year round without days off.

What a guy.


Mark Bunker: Scientologists shut down talk about Scientology at Clearwater board

New Clearwater city councilman Mark Bunker got himself appointed to the Downtown Development Board as an ex-officio member, but he says that the Scientologist-dominated body is changing the rules to keep him from raising issues about church’s influence on the struggling town.

“The Clearwater Downtown Development Board (made up largely of OT members of Scientology) passed new rules to ensure no one can bring up the topic of Scientology which is one of the major factors that has prevented the downtown from being successfully redeveloped,” he wrote last night as he posted a new video from the board…




Source Code

“When you take bodies which have been mocked up and thetans who have been indoctrinated in very definite lines — to fight, to do this, to have certain types of societies; to do this, to do that, to do the other thing — and then they get scooped up from this galaxy and that system and this star and here and there and the other place and are dumped in on one system as unwanted merchandise, you have these tremendous impulses which are at work, one against another. And it works up a lot of heat of friction. You have such a society here at this particular time. This society belongs nominally to the Espinol United Stars. This is Sun 12, and it is one little tiny pinpoint. Their whole title is Espinol United Stars, pardon me, Espinol United Moons, Planets and Asteroids, this part of the Universe is ours, Hup!” — L. Ron Hubbard, July 9, 1963


Overheard in the FreeZone

“It is interesting how our OT perceptions and knowingness can be invalidated by others who have never experienced the same, or who insist on invalidating anything that is not evidenced in the sciences. Their loss!”


Random Howdy

“Scientology….the Renaissance Faire meets the ‘Invasion of the Body Snatchers’.”


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 30 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: Sept 4 (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!

[Jenna Elfman, Giovanni Ribisi, and Greta Van Susteren]

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] To be fair, we went by a Scientology ‘Ideal Org’ on its biggest day of the week
[TWO years ago] Scientology’s blatant social media fraud fuels attacks on Leah Remini and Mike Rinder
[THREE years ago] Scientology trying to salvage its derelict Narconon flagship as new training center
[FOUR years ago] Atack: Which of Scientology’s thought-stopping clichés has stayed with you the longest?
[FIVE years ago] How Scientology’s 1970s infiltration scandal led to the creation of its IAS slush fund
[SIX years ago] Jon Atack: The abandoned ideas that L. Ron Hubbard turned into Dianetics
[SEVEN years ago] Claire Headley Shows Us That in Scientology, You Just Can’t Shout at Ashtrays Enough
[EIGHT years ago] 10,000 Scientologists Got This E-Mail Today About “Disconnection,” their Church President, and a Mysterious Death
[NINE years ago] Placido Domingo Jr: Scientology’s Retaliation is “Scary and Pathetic”


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 1,993 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,497 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,017 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,037 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 928 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 4,235 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 2,103 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 2,877 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 3,681 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 2,997 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 11,563 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,482 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 3,650 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 3,231 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,492 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 2,530 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 2,243 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,768 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 1,298 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 5,858 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 2,998 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 3,318 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 8,173 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 3,293 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,648 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 5,951 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,057 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,459 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 2,331 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 1,914 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 2,409 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,663 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,772 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on July 9, 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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