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Leah Remini podcast: Scientology leader’s Fair Game campaign against his own father

[Ron Miscavige]

In the latest episode of Leah Remini’s podcast, which we have embedded for you below, Leah and Mike talk with Ron Miscavige, father to Scientology’s leader David Miscavige and author of the 2016 book Ruthless: Scientology, My Son David Miscavige, And Me.

And not only did the three of them get into David Miscavige’s surveillance campaign of his own father, but they also talk about a strange consequence of that spying campaign that involved an impounded laptop computer and the secrets it held.

We went into this story in depth in a 2016 article that might be helpful for you if you find the podcast conversation a little confusing. We’ll try to quickly summarize it here:

In 2013, a father-son team of private investigators, Dwayne Powell and his son Daniel, were arrested by the West Allis Police Department in Wisconsin for acting suspiciously. When their car was searched, it turned out to have an arsenal of weapons, which was not illegal. However, also in their possession was a homemade silencer made from PVC pipe for one of their rifles. This was a major federal offense, and Dwayne Powell found himself facing ten years in prison. So the two of them sang like canaries.

They admitted that they were being paid $10,000 a week in cash by the Church of Scientology to follow Ron, and that they had received instructions directly from David Miscavige himself. Now, two important things resulted from that arrest. First, a federal prosecutor granted Dwayne Powell a deferred prosecution, allowing him to stay out of prison as long as he behaved himself for the next five years. And secondly, Powell’s two laptop computers were seized and their hard drives were imaged, with the information stored away as evidence, which again was stipulated that it would be held onto for at least the next five years (until 2019).


But then, we found out, Powell risked his personal freedom to do something incredibly risky. He hired an attorney in Milwaukee named Jeremy Levinson, who went into a state court and asked a judge to issue an order to have the laptop and its contents returned to Powell.

Remember, at the time, Powell was under a federal prosecution agreement to keep his head down for five years, and that his laptop be left in evidence during those five years. Levinson asked for this state court order without notifying the judge that his client was under this agreement. Legal experts told us that Levinson was risking disbarment to do this, and Powell was risking the feds rescinding their agreement and sending him to prison.

Why would Powell risk his freedom to do that? As Mike Rinder explained to us, the answer was simple: David Miscavige was panicking about what was on Dwayne Powell’s laptops, which was now in the hands of law enforcement.


[Daniel Powell, left, and his father Dwayne]

It turned out that Powell was a major private investigator for Scientology. We found that he had not only been following Ron Miscavige, he had also been involved in operations against Amy Scobee and Mat Pesch, against Mike Rinder, and others. There were likely to be years of sensitive data spelling out major Scientology spying operations on his computers.

“Nobody gets documents like that. The last time documents like that got out was after the 1977 FBI raid. I mean, they’re that significant,” Rinder told us at the time.

We reported in 2016 that Levinson’s attempt to use a court order to get that data from the West Allis police was thwarted by an alert cop. But in the podcast, Ron explains that his own attempts to get his hands on that data failed. He got the runaround from the both the local police and the county sheriff.

Ultimately, it appears that Scientology was successful at getting that information erased.

Another fascinating part of Ron’s story is the involvement of Lisa Marie Presley, who was the person who made sure the LA Times found out about the Powells being arrested. We wrote a lengthy story about that in 2016, and how, at the time, Lisa Marie was really on the warpath against David Miscavige.

But as Leah explains in today’s podcast, even though Lisa Marie was pushing her and others in that time frame to expose Scientology, she later went silent on everyone.

Leah really goes into a rant about it, with some very choice language. (Keep in mind this was recorded before the tragic loss of Lisa Marie’s son Ben.)




Steve Cannane awaits a verdict

Just a note to point out that final arguments have finished in Steve Cannane’s defamation trial in Sydney. He’ll now wait, potentially for months, for the judge to render a verdict. We’ll let you know when we hear anything.

Although there was little at first, now that the trial has reached its end, there has been some very good coverage of the case in the Australian media. We liked this assessment of the court testimony in a new piece in the magazine The Monthly, which looked at how Cannane’s defense was that he had relied on a royal commission written by a Judge Slattery, but that the former Chelmford doctors, John Gill and John Herron, were trying to convince the judge that the commission had got them all wrong back in the day…

“While Gill and Herron are determined to change the Chelmsford narrative, others took the stand just as intent on seeing Slattery’s findings endure….To so many other witnesses, the staying of proceedings in the ’80s and ’90s must have felt like the doctors getting off scot-free. Gill and Herron themselves testified that they had left Chelmsford behind and learnt to live with the blows dealt by the commission — or, in the unspoken alternate, learnt to live with what they had done.”


Bonus items from our tipsters

Check out the fancy newsletter from Scientology’s boutique celebrity rehab, Narconon Ojai in California…




Source Code

“Where does that leave psychology?…This is the way the wheel is going to turn. And the wheel has already begun its slow inexorable spin. They are about to become a more radical element of Scientology. And we’re about to become the conservatives and they’re about to become the revolutionaries. They’re the Johnny-come-latelys, the cowboys in the black hat. And we’re the old homesteaders, been there a long time. And they’ll give us all the propaganda we want to drive this point home, because it will outrage them to such a degree that every time they pick it up or hear it they will go into a complete scream. They will help us. In every university they will help us. They’ll explain to all of their classes, ‘Hubbard is crazy because he says actually Scientology is a very broad subject that psychology is just a part of,’ Ha-ha-ha! None of the students are laughing. Students can understand a radical offshoot, or a Johnny-come-lately type of an approach that says all men are animals.” — L. Ron Hubbard, September 1, 1964


Overheard in the FreeZone

“Scientology is NOT dead. It is alive and well, much to the chagrin of squirrels and SPs. The only thing that can kill Scientology is reasonableness and allowing SPs and squirrels to dilute and suppress the philosophy and technology. The way forward is to pour the coals on the purpose of Scientology and validate THAT, not the antithesis.”


Random Howdy

“It’s too bad Russell Crowe didn’t become a full-time Scientologist. He would have been the ultimate batshit crazy Scieno. He would have made Cruise look like Mr. Rogers.”


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 and Jeff Spina, Medicare fraud: Jay’s sentencing is set for August 27 in White Plains, NY, but attorneys are asking it be moved back. Jeffrey’s is set for October 24.
Hanan and Rizza Islam and other family members, Medi-Cal fraud: Next pretrial conference set for Jan 12 in Los Angeles
Dennis Nobbe, Medicare fraud, PPP loan fraud: Charged July 29

Civil litigation:
Luis and Rocio Garcia v. Scientology: Oral arguments were heard on July 30 at the Eleventh Circuit
Valerie Haney v. Scientology: Forced to ‘religious arbitration.’ Motion for reconsideration denied on 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. Plaintiffs granted permission to file changes to amended complaint by Sept 4.


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] Another capital to get a ‘national’ Scientology center. Can you feel the excitement?
[TWO years ago] A peek inside Janis Gillham Grady’s second volume as ‘Commodore’s Messenger’
[THREE years ago] DRONE FLYOVER: Scientology’s failed underground vault project in Wyoming
[FOUR years ago] Marty Rathbun defends Scientology leader David Miscavige as he trashes tell-all memoir ‘Ruthless’
[FIVE years ago] Louis Theroux film — ‘My Scientology Movie’ — to premiere October 14 at the London Film Festival
[SIX years ago] Signs of chaos emerge for Scientology’s drug rehab legal defense
[SEVEN years ago] Scientology Leader David Miscavige Files Declaration in Texas Lawsuit


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 2,047 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,551 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,071 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,091 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 982 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 4,289 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 2,157 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 2,931 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 3,735 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,051 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 11,617 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,536 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 3,704 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 3,285 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,546 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 2,584 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 2,297 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,822 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 1,352 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 5,912 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,052 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 3,372 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 8,227 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 3,346 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,702 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,005 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,111 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,513 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 2,385 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 1,968 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 2,463 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,717 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,826 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on September 1, 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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