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Why Scientology can worry if John Travolta and Lisa Marie Presley seek solace in each other

Yesterday, The Daily Beast published a story written by us that looked at Kelly Preston’s involvement in Scientology. We had talked to numerous former Scientologists with firsthand knowledge about what a “hardcore” and “strict” member of the church Preston was.

An OT 8, Preston would have been “cause over matter, energy, space, and time,” an “operating thetan” with godlike powers.

Sadly, she died of breast cancer on July 12 at the age of 57, and the world learned about it from an Instagram post written by her husband, actor John Travolta.

In the story, we talked to Bruce Hines and Mike Rinder about how common it is for Scientologists to turn to auditing to battle serious ailments while they trust in the “technology” of L. Ron Hubbard.


In his Instagram post, however, Travolta thanked the staff at MD Anderson Cancer Center, suggesting that Preston had sought out legitimate medical treatments for her illness.

Perhaps the most surprising thing in the article, however, was the church’s response: “There is nothing in Scientology that says an individual at any level is impervious to disease, and there is nothing in the religion that says anything about ‘curing cancer.’”

It’s almost like they think we can’t simply look these things up in L. Ron Hubbard’s lectures or something.

Anyway, we not only talked to a lot of people while preparing that piece, we actually gathered more material than we could fit in a story that was focused on Kelly Preston and her Scientology involvement.

There was another angle we worked on that didn’t fit for the The Daily Beast article, and so we thought we’d put it together for a piece here at the Bunker.

At the end of our story, both Spanky Taylor and Karen Pressley pointed to how much tragedy John Travolta has been through, with the loss of his son Jett and his wife Kelly, and they wondered when it would be enough to make him think twice about his involvement in Scientology.

And several of the people we talked to all suggested that actually, there is someone with a close connection to Travolta who might have the influence on him to make him finally break away from the church.

That person is Lisa Marie Presley.

Several former Scientologists who were close to Presley say that she and Travolta share a special bond. They enjoyed getting together for all-night, wine-soaked fat-chewing sessions which Preston, we’re told, didn’t necessarily approve of. Some of these meetings continued to occur even after Presley left Scientology in October 2014.

“Lisa would get drunk with John and tell him about Miscavige,” one of our sources tells us, which we also heard from a completely different friend close to Presley.

We first reported Presley’s 2014 break with church leader David Miscavige at The Underground Bunker in 2016, and Ron Miscavige, David’s father who made a 2012 escape from the Sea Org, also described Presley’s defection in his 2016 book Ruthless: Scientology, My Son David Miscavige, and Me.

Since then, Lisa Marie’s life has gone through the chaos of a messy divorce with fourth husband music producer Michael Lockwood and a custody fight over their 11-year-old twins, Finley and Harper. And most recently, the death of her 27-year-old son Benjamin Keough, who ended his life with a gunshot on July 12 at his mother’s Calabasas estate.

Presley is reportedly inconsolable over the death of her son.

“I think Lisa Marie Presley needs John Travolta right now as much as John Travolta needs Lisa Marie Presley,” Ron Miscavige tells us.


“I had heard that Lisa Marie and John have a connection,” Spanky Taylor tells us. “I was told that she was going to encourage John to see ‘Going Clear.’ I know that she saw it.”

Multiple former Scientologists with close ties to Presley say that in 2015, after her split with the church, she encouraged Travolta to use her house in Hawaii so he could be alone and “be who you are,” Presley told her friends. (She put that house on the market later that year.)

Presley was encouraging Travolta not only to reconsider his position in a church that is notorious for its homophobia, but also to come out publicly.

“Lisa said she told him, ‘Why do you let them control you? You can come out. It’s a different time’,” our source says.

Tom DeVocht is a former top Sea Org official who appeared in the movie “Going Clear,” where he described what it was like to be one of Scientology leader David Miscavige’s closest confidants. We asked him what Miscavige had told him about Travolta.

“Travolta was ‘the faggot.’ In his terms, that’s how he said it,” DeVocht says. “This was when [the 2000 movie] ‘Battlefield Earth’ was being made, and Dave said that Travolta was in a relationship with a producer of the movie. I don’t know if that’s true, but that’s what Miscavige said.”

DeVocht, like the others, points out that Preston was actually the more strict, committed Scientologist of the two, and shielded Travolta from negative information about the church.

Without that influence, will he finally have a real chance to break away?

That’s what we heard from Karen Pressley and many of the others.

“John has lost a son and a wife in relatively close proximity. He’s hurting badly. If Lisa Marie could spend time with John now, she could probably influence him out of Scientology,” she says.


Bonus items from our tipsters

Mark Bunker might like to ask Clearwater Downtown Development Board member Shahab Emrani about kicking in money to finance a new Ideal Org in Hawaii, but the DDB won’t allow it. It’s against the rules!



Meanwhile, in swinging London…



Source Code

“I got in a silly cycle. I don’t know, a trillion, trillennia, trillennia, trillennia ago. And every time they had a war, why, I went out. I would either be a pilot in, or commander of, or somebody connected with an interceptor squadron on the outside of the capital. Societies used to last longer than they do now. And it wasn’t anything for a society to go a billion years without much change. But, every time the society would get into trouble, usually with the same adversaries, why, that was the drop of the hat. That was the signal. The whistle had gone and you would go down and snappily report to the Seventeenth Interceptor Squadron, which had in charge of it the protection of the capital, don’t you see? And the enemy would come over and you would take off in an interceptor and you would go up to the center of the airport and you would either shoot down the attacking plane or be shot down and always at the center of the same airport — for a billion years. ” — L. Ron Hubbard, July 20, 1961


Overheard in the FreeZone

“We have auditors who see the Tech as a business, as money making machine and disagree on who is who and what is what. Which Ls are the original, which are the OT levels, etc. We have auditors who invent processes, who acknowledge usurpers, auditors who practice the Code of Silence and cover for each other, who lie. And we also see PCs sometimes who are not qualified or are illegal and are nevertheless audited for the sake of money and later we see the results. Or PCs who just wanted a status but not work hard on the level. Is that the way the independent field is supposed to operate? If so, then those who think so, deserve what they get.”



Random Howdy

“Seeing as how Louanne and vaLLarrr are dead in the head, that makes you the last Internet canary clam in the coal mine, Marco. How’s the 2-pack-a-day anti-cancer therapy working out?”


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!

[Alanna Masterson, Terry Jastrow, and Marisol Nichols]

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] Scientology failed to destroy Sylvia DeWall, but its latest letter to her is simply bizarre
[THREE years ago] Tommy Davis’s Hollywood experiment is apparently over as he moves to Splitsville
[FOUR years ago] BILLBOARD UP IN FLORIDA: Scientology ‘disconnection’ on view near Clearwater ‘mecca’
[FIVE years ago] Stacy Murphy is still dead, but Oklahoma gives the Scientology rehab that killed her new life
[SIX years ago] Sunday Funnies: Scientology has only its ‘humanitarians’ to help it refurbish eyesores
[SEVEN years ago] Leah Remini’s Friend, TV’s Michelle Visage, Says Scientologists Are “Scattering Like Roaches”
[EIGHT years ago] Stacy Dawn Murphy, 20: Another Death at Scientology’s Flagship Narconon Drug Treatment Center in Oklahoma
[NINE years ago] Scientology Loves Making Fun of Itself, Apparently


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 2,004 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,508 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,028 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,048 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 939 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 4,246 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 2,114 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 2,888 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 3,692 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,008 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 11,574 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,493 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 3,661 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 3,242 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,503 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 2,541 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 2,254 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,779 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 1,309 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 5,869 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,009 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 3,329 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 8,184 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 3,303 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,659 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 5,962 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,068 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,470 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 2,342 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 1,925 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 2,420 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,674 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,783 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on July 20, 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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