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Paulette Cooper tells us she’s been interviewed for Leah Remini’s new Scientology podcast

[Leah with Paulette Cooper and her husband Paul Noble in 2015]

Yesterday, Leah Remini and Mike Rinder let the cat out of the bag that their new podcast would be titled ‘Scientology: Fair Game’ and would start on iHeartRadio on Tuesday.

If there’s a person we think of in relation to Scientology’s Fair Game retaliation operations, it’s Paulette Cooper, and she tells us that she was interviewed by Mike and Leah for the new podcast. We can hardly wait.

In our 2015 biography of Paulette, The Unbreakable Miss Lovely, we described the many years that she was the target of repeated and elaborate plots by Scientology’s spy wing, the Guardian’s Office.

In our title, we celebrated Paulette’s resilience. (“Miss Lovely” was the code name for her in Scientology’s internal spying documents.) Paulette persevered through the years of attacks, but they did take their toll. It’s something we expect Leah and Mike, who are constant targets of Fair Game themselves, will make a feature of their podcast: Scientology’s dirty tricks are no joke, and they can destroy lives and rip apart families.

To prepare everyone for Paulette’s appearance on the podcast, we thought we’d post an excerpt from our book, describing a time when Paulette was reflecting on the things she had lost because she was targeted by Scientology. It’s from Chapter 14, “The Raid,” and we pick up the action a few months after the FBI’s massive raid on the church on July 8, 1977, and years after Scientology had nearly driven Paulette to suicide after framing her for a series of bomb threats, a case that nearly put her in federal prison for 15 years.


If this piques your interest, you can pick up a copy of the book at Amazon or Audible.



On October 12, 1977, Paulette was working at her desk in her apartment when her telephone rang. A man on the line identified himself as Russ Cicero, and said he was a special agent with the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Sure he was, she thought.

Assuming it was a Scientology trick, Paulette told him to give her a number at the FBI where she could call to make sure he was telling the truth.

He gave her a number.

She called it, and it turned out to be the FBI. She asked for Cicero, and was patched through. So why was the FBI calling her? she asked.

Cicero said that what he had to tell her was confidential, but the Bureau wanted to know if she was interested in helping out with an investigation. He could only tell her a few general things about the results of the raid on Scientology, and the tens of thousands of documents that the FBI had seized. For the last three months, agents had been painstakingly going through them, and were stunned by what they found. Not just documents that spelled out the Snow White Program, but many other things.

Including, he said, documents about Paulette. Had she ever heard, he asked, about something called Operation Freakout?

Paulette wept after she put the phone receiver back down, not only because Cicero told her the FBI had documents which showed that the church planned to frame her in 1976 in something called Operation Freakout, but he also described other documents which made it clear that she had been framed with the bomb threat letters in 1972.

Finally, after eight years of harassment, an indictment, the lawsuits, the expense, the harm to her career – finally, she was going to be publicly exonerated. When, she didn’t know. But now that the FBI was on her side, things were going to be very different.

But that’s also what made her break down after the call. She thought about what she had lost. She thought of Bob Straus.

They had talked of marriage. He had wanted lots of kids. But her depression during those days had pushed him away, and the smear letters had made him doubt her innocence. Now, she knew there was proof of it. But it had been more than three years since they last saw each other. She didn’t even know if he was still single. If he was, she still thought there was a possibility for them.


She steeled herself, and called Bob’s office. She reached Bob’s secretary, and put on a cheery tone.

“I’m an old friend of Bob’s, and I was putting together my Christmas card list. But I’m embarrassed, I can’t remember the name of Bob’s wife. Can you help me out?”

Paulette thanked the woman after she reeled off not only the name of Bob’s wife, but also their two children.

Paulette hung up. Somehow she had already known that it was far too late to resurrect what she had with Bob. Maybe she just wanted him to know that she had been right, and that he shouldn’t have doubted her. He had believed she was innocent, she knew. But the smear letters, the harassment, had turned out to be too much. She could understand why he felt that way. The Church of Scientology’s campaign against her had, in this case, been successful and had done immense harm to her life.

But now, things were turning, and her disappointment about Bob Straus gave way to the elation she felt after her call from Russ Cicero. He asked Paulette, did she want to help the FBI prosecute the Church of Scientology?

Oh, did she.

The only people she told about the phone call from the FBI were her parents, who were both relieved and concerned – they still worried about her 1973 indictment becoming known and what it might do to her career, even if the FBI now believed she was innocent. They told her they always believed her, and they begged her not to get involved again. Forget the whole thing, they said, worrying that if she helped the FBI, the harassment would intensify again.

But she told them there was no way she couldn’t help the FBI in the investigation. Finally, law enforcement was on her side, and she told them she wanted Scientology to pay for the years it had stolen from her. She wanted badly to see the documents about her that the agents had seized. But she was told she wasn’t going to see them, not while they were still being litigated in court.

Even as agents began coming over to her apartment at the Churchill to talk to her about Scientology, they were careful not to show her the Operation Freakout documents or anything else referring to her. It was disappointing, and she had no idea how long she’d have to wait before she could see what they had found.


But they did show her photographs. And what they showed her stunned her. One showed Paula Tyler. She was the young woman from California Paulette had helped get an apartment in her building.


The young woman who had been introduced to Paulette by Margie Shepherd after Margie had showed up at her door canvassing for Cesar Chavez. The woman who, after moving into the Churchill, had come over constantly to talk with Paulette about her troubles. The woman who had introduced her to Jerry Levin.

The woman who suddenly had to go to Europe after Paulette had spotted a photograph of someone who looked like her in a Scientology magazine.

That Paula Tyler.

The FBI showed Paulette photographs they had taken of Scientologists in their investigations, and she spotted Paula. She told them about her. And about Margie Shepherd. And about Jerry Levin. All of them, she now began to realize, were working for Scientology.

She thought of her teenage diary, tucked way back in her coat closet. It was Jerry, she suspected, who had taken it out and copied pages of it for the church so they could be dropped off at her father’s office three years ago. It was Jerry who always wanted her to come up to the roof. To look at the view from the ledge, where she always felt nervous.

It was Paula and Jerry she had confided in, telling them her fears as she was at her absolute lowest, while awaiting trial in 1973. And everything she had told them, she knew, had gone right to Scientology.

She wanted to throw up.

Despite the FBI’s caution with her documents, and Paulette’s own care speaking only to her parents about what she was going through, the story about her frame-up that was spelled out in the documents seized by the FBI finally became public on April 28 and 29, 1978 in two stories by journalist Ron Shaffer in the Washington Post.

Paulette was taken by surprise. Although Shaffer had talked to two of her attorneys – Paul Rheingold and Virgil Roberts – Paulette herself was in Europe on a travel writing assignment in the days leading up to the story and hadn’t heard it was coming out. But someone in the Bureau had talked to Shaffer, and had spelled out pretty clearly what was in the Snow White Program and Operation Freakout documents.

Finally, five years after it had happened, the indictment of Paulette Cooper was public information. In 1973, it was her greatest fear that newspapers would find out she had been arrested and indicted, and she had decided she would kill herself if a trial actually happened. But now, it was finally out in the open, and she was thrilled.

Finally, she could talk about what she’d been through.

“The ‘attack and destroy’ campaign carried out by the Church of Scientology’s ‘Guardian’s Office’ to silence critics has involved illegal surveillance, burglaries, forgeries and many forms of harassment, according to sources close to an intensive federal investigation of the Scientologists’ activities,” Shaffer wrote in the first of his two stories, and briefly described Paulette’s situation without actually naming her: “Scientologists obtained the personal stationery of a woman, typed a bomb threat on it, mailed it to a Scientology office and reported the threat to police.

The woman, who had written a book critical of Scientology, was arrested, charged with making a bomb threat, and then charged with perjury when she denied doing it. She suffered a nervous breakdown before the case eventually was dismissed.”


The story also detailed the hit-and-run scheme that was designed to ruin the political career of Gabe Cazares. The next day, Shaffer’s second story was all about Paulette.

“According to informed sources, FBI agents have found in church records evidence that the Scientologists framed Cooper by stealing her stationery and sending the bomb threat to themselves.

“The Scientologists deny they were involved in any such scheme. ‘It’s totally ridiculous and typical of outrageous false statements that some people feel they need to pass on regarding the church,’ George Layton, a Church of Scientology spokesman, said.”

Also that day, a story by another Post reporter, Timothy Robinson, revealed that the day before, after Shaffer’s first piece had come out, Scientology’s attorney, Philip Hirschkop, had asked a judge to force Shaffer and the newspaper to turn over any FBI documents or notes on those documents that Shaffer had used.

The judge refused. Clearly, Scientology was extremely unhappy that Shaffer had revealed what was in the FBI’s possession. Less than a month later, on May 25, 1978, the Church of Scientology of California filed suit against Paulette Cooper, accusing her of helping the Post produce Ron Shaffer’s stories, which it said was a violation of the settlement agreement she had made with them at the end of 1976.

“Cooper will not utter, publish or republish to any public gatherings or in the press…information or material concerning the Book, Cooper’s prior writings and statements concerning Scientology, and past litigation between Cooper and Scientology, including but not limited to the terms and provisions of this settlement agreement,” the 1976 settlement read.

Scientology had no evidence that Paulette had discussed her book or the Queen magazine article or her prior litigation with the Post, and the agreement didn’t cover Scientology’s own behavior – surveilling Paulette, harassing her, or framing her, or planning to do more. But the church decided that the Post story was enough to convince a jury that Paulette had violated the agreement she signed to end all litigation in 1976.

Paulette was ready for a fight. She’d been on the defensive for years, but now, even if she didn’t have the Snow White and Operation Freakout documents in her possession yet, she knew they existed, and she knew the FBI was becoming as interested in seeing Scientology punished as she had been for many years.

Paulette filed a counterclaim against the California church, asking for $10 million in damages. In June, the Church of Scientology of New York filed its own breach of contract lawsuit against her. And in August, she counterclaimed against the New York church, asking $20 million in damages.

The litigation war was back on.


Your proprietor on the airwaves

We had fun late Thursday night with the folks at EchoplexMedia on their Twitch channel.




Source Code

“Evolution: there’s no such thing. Bodies don’t evolve. They deteriorate, but they don’t evolve. You can trace all kinds of reasons how they evolve, and why they evolve, and you can figure it all out, but the truth of the matter is when you get horses on a planet, somebody came along and mocked up some horses! Now, they also mocked up these horses with the capability of growing hair or not growing hair. You’ve got adjustment factors, but not evolution factors. So you confuse the adjustment factors and prove the whole theory of evolution. And now you know man came from mud, and you can write a book like Pavlov and get the whole world poisoned. You see how this one goes. All of this is based on what? It’s based on errors in time.” — L. Ron Hubbard, July 18, 1963


Overheard in the FreeZone

“Ever since I can recall I’ve been aware of some sort of interchange between myself and other beings, that was non-verbal, and could span distances in the absence of vias (other than the particles, and distance needed to have the comm in the first place). I didn’t really know what this was, and more or less figured it was my own thoughts and mock ups. I’ve since become much more aware and cause over these lines of communication, and gotten better at spotting whose stuff is whose, and even managed to ease it up for them, when I can, so whatever problem or trouble they seemed to create in terms of my universe, I now surely don’t add to, or mis-own, and even am more able to alleviate it, allowing them to play some other game, since most times, I had no interest in what it was that was going on anyway. Without the truths recovered as a Scientologist, I think I would have rattled around with this phenomena for ages, not really knowing what it was, or how to assume KRC for it all.”


Random Howdy

“I use Hubbardese all the time IRL because it’s fun.”


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: Next pretrial conference set for Jan 12 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!

[Erika Christensen, Ethan Suplee, and Juliette Lewis]

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] Miss New York organization changes course, ditches Scientology front group
[TWO years ago] Is this case of Scientology draining a senior of his savings the one police are looking for?
[THREE years ago] Our man in Ireland ponders Scientology’s big plans for the Emerald Isle
[FOUR years ago] Joey Chait’s sentencing memo: Abused in Scientology’s Sea Org and in fear of wealthy dad
[FIVE years ago] Do Scientologists consider L. Ron Hubbard God? Part Two of the Aaron Smith-Levin podcast
[SIX years ago] Ryan Hamilton files his 18th lawsuit against Scientology’s embattled drug rehab network
[SEVEN years ago] LEAH REMINI’S SISTER NICOLE: How We Got Into Scientology, And How Leah Got Out
[EIGHT years ago] Scientology and Forced Abortion: Laura DeCrescenzo’s Three-Year Legal Odyssey
[NINE years ago] Janet Reitman: Unflappable as Scientologists Question Her Motives


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 2,002 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,506 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,026 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,046 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 937 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 4,244 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 2,112 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 2,886 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 3,690 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,006 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 11,572 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,491 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 3,659 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 3,240 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,501 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 2,539 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 2,252 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,777 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 1,307 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 5,867 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,007 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 3,327 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 8,182 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 3,301 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,657 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 5,960 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,066 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,468 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 2,340 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 1,923 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 2,418 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,672 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,781 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on July 18, 2020 at 06:00

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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