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The Top 25 People Enabling Scientology, No. 16: James Packer

In 2011 we spent the month of August counting down a list of the “Top 25 People Crippling Scientology.” Nine years later, Scientology is still hurting, but church leader David Miscavige learned long ago that paid membership was only one resource that kept him in business. He also relies on a small army of enablers, some paid, some not, who help him stay in business even though they aren’t Scientologists themselves. So we thought we’d recognize them with this countdown.

Australian billionaire James Packer was a member of the Church of Scientology for only a few years, from about 2001 to 2006, according to Steve Cannane’s reporting in his excellent history of Scientology in Australia, Fair Game. But a couple of recent stories suggest that Packer continues to be a powerful friend of Scientology even as he’s moved on in his seemingly endless mid-life crisis.

James is the son of Australian magnate Kerry Packer, who died in 2005. And like a lot of children of self-made titans of industry, James struggled to live up to his father’s expectations. In particular, he took a bath on a bad telecommunications deal, and by 2001 his life was a mess.

It was Tom Cruise who came to the rescue. Cruise had befriended Packer and that year very quietly got his Australian pal a spot at Scientology’s flagship drug rehab facility in Oklahoma, the 200-bed clinic Narconon Arrowhead. After drying out, Packer then became a dedicated member of Tom’s church, and James could be seen in the front row at a 2004 IAS gala, the one which included the now infamous celebration of Cruise, who was awarded a Freedom Medal of Valor. Cruise and Packer could also be seen together on the gambling magnate’s yacht, along with Katie Holmes and Scientology spokesman and Cruise handler, Tommy Davis.



As Cannane reports, however, Packer had moved away from the church by 2006, but the next indication that he was still tight with his former friends came in 2016. By then, Tommy Davis had left his job as Scientology spokesman, but according to sworn testimony he gave in a deposition he was still a member of the church. Since leaving the employ of David Miscavige, Davis had been working for Tom Barrack, a wealthy real estate investor who had been a close friend to Davis’s father.

But then in 2016 Packer hired Tommy away to run his North American businesses, which included a small Hollywood studio he owned with director Brett Ratner and money man Steve Mnuchin, before he became Trump’s Treasury secretary.

For about a year, Tommy Davis got to play studio mogul thanks to his pal James Packer, but then Packer’s world turned upside down and everything changed. That year, 2016, turned out to be a nightmare for Packer as his engagement to Mariah Carey ended, several of his casino executives were arrested in China, and the movie studio suffered serious losses. Packer sold his ownership in the studio and Tommy suddenly found himself out of a job. (He went back to working for Barrack as a consultant.)

Despite that setback, it was interesting to us that Packer obviously still felt so close to Tommy, who was still in the church. And then, more recently, something else suggested to us that Scientology can count on him.

Leah Remini and Mike Rinder told us they believe it was Packer’s influence with his close friend Kerry Stokes, chairman of Seven West Media, that resulted in Bryan Seymour’s 10-part “Scientology Black Ops” investigation getting canceled at the last minute before it was scheduled to be posted on the 7NEWS website on July 14.

Leah and Mike told us that Tommy Davis and Tom Cruise were both going to be hammered in Seymour’s series, and so they believe they went to their friend Packer to ask Stokes to have the show killed (Seven West Media owns 7NEWS).

We were encouraged to see that the first two episodes of that series have now leaked to the Internet, but we’re still mindful that in James Packer, Scientology may continue to have a powerful friend.

The Top 25 People Enabling Scientology

3: The judges
4: The LAPD

5: The dirty tricks private eyes
6: The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department
7: The litigators
8: The ghost private eyes
9: The San Bernardino Sheriff’s Office
10: Political shills
11: Gary Soter
12: The city of Clearwater, Florida
13: Google and other tech titans
14: The Los Angeles Times
15: Jeffrey Riffer
16: James Packer
17: Louis Farrakhan
18: Mark “Marty” Rathbun
19: Wally Pope
20: Gensler
21: Parents who subscribe to ABCMouse
22: Graham Norton and other celebrity strokers
23: The apologist academics
24: Rebecca Dobkin and other low-level PI grunts
25: DirecTV and filmmakers buffing Dave’s channel


Bonus items from our tipsters

Spotted on a Scientologist forum. Is a group of “parishioners from the US, Colombia, Spain, Venezuela” joining in to buy up a new development in the Yucatan? Hm.




Source Code

“Confidence in treatment on this planet is at its lowest possible ebb. The only planet I know of where it dropped any lower was the Marcab Confederacy, and it dropped much lower in the Marcab Confederacy. The way they taught medicine there, they had a number of drawers with dead, dried tissue in them. And they’d drag these drawers out, you see, and show the students, ‘And this is a dried head, you see. And this is tissue that’s been affected by tuberculosis. And this is this…’ and it was all dried, and so forth, and that was their total command of medicine. The only thing that was wrong with this particular activity is these really were infected tissues, and they were still carrying the germ spores, which I thought was always a little bit rough. But I remember giving medical lectures occasionally, and any student gave me any trouble, why, I’d just drop some tubercular tissue on his desk. This was all sort of raw. But there it got to a point where you weren’t ever permitted to get a new body. And this is typical of many space opera societies and is getting typical of this one. This one will go along too.” — L. Ron Hubbard, September 5, 1961


Overheard in the FreeZone

“DO NOT VOTE. Your vote will make zero positive difference in the outcome of the country’s future as all parties and the entire structure of voting is part of a huge negative creation and trap. By voting you immediately become ‘part’ and not ‘whole.’ By voting you become disempowered and no longer the person who decides your experience on Earth. It is the entire ‘democratic’ system that is the trap. There is no democracy. The system of democratic governance is designed and created to oppress the people of Earth. It is based on division, righteousness and aggression. The people are so busy fighting with each other that they do not see or are even interested in what really rules our reality. So… what rules our reality? YOU rule our reality. By giving your power away, you give the power to a system, person or organization to rule reality FOR YOU. So, what do you do instead? DO NOT VOTE. Create and support new educational, living and working structures and organizations. KNOW that covid19, global warming, racism and terrorism are ALL false flag creations made to DIVIDE AND CONTROL YOU. DO NOT get vaccinated for ANYTHING. This is very important.”


Random Howdy

“Dictators don’t like picking successors. It makes them nervous knowing there’s an official next guy. If DM croaks it will be just like when LRH croaked. He who dares, wins.”


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 October 5 in White Plains, NY. 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, bond raised to $350,000 on Aug 27.

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 29 (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: Second amended complaint filed, trial set for Nov 9, 2021.
Author Steve Cannane defamation trial: Trial concluded, awaiting verdict.


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] Available today, a new thriller based on a former Scientologist’s experiences
[TWO years ago] Scientology’s Colombia strategy becomes clear: It’s total war
[THREE years ago] Missouri school district boots sneaky Scientology front group after Underground Bunker article
[FOUR years ago] As Scientology declines, its members are even giving up on their spooky super powers
[FIVE years ago] Jon Atack: The mystery of mysteries that all Scientologists chase — and can never find
[SIX years ago] Angry Gay Pope loses ownership of ‘’ to … Kendrick Moxon
[SEVEN years ago] THE MARTY RATHBUN AFFIDAVIT: Scientology Leader David Miscavige Lied To Texas Court
[EIGHT years ago] Scientology and The Master
[NINE years ago] The Top 25 People Crippling Scientology, No. 12: Tommy Davis


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 2,051 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,555 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,075 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,095 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 986 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 4,293 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 2,161 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 2,935 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 3,739 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,055 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 11,621 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,540 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 3,708 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 3,289 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,550 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 2,588 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 2,301 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,826 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 1,356 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 5,916 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,056 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 3,376 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 8,231 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 3,350 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,706 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,009 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,115 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,517 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 2,389 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 1,972 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 2,467 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,721 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,830 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on September 5, 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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