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The Top 25 People Enabling Scientology, No. 12: The city of Clearwater, Florida

It was one of the most popular scenes from Leah Remini’s three seasons of ‘Scientology and the Aftermath’ on the A&E network. She and Mike Rinder had accompanied Mark Bunker to a small park owned by the Church of Scientology in the downtown of Clearwater, Florida.

Bunker wanted to demonstrate to Leah how much the city of Clearwater itself was in Scientology’s pocket.

And sure enough, within moments of the three of them stepping foot in the park, Cleawater Police Department cruisers started showing up as officers approached the trio and began questioning them about what they were doing on Scientology’s property.

It was about the best demonstration of Clearwater enabling Scientology that we’ve ever seen.


It wasn’t always this way. There was a time when Clearwater tried to band together against the invading force that had taken over its downtown.

In 1975 Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard had his followers sneak into the city under cover names in order to begin buying up buildings for what became Scientology’s “spiritual mecca,” the Flag Land Base. By the time the town woke up to what was going on, the church had moved in armed guards and began intimidating then-Mayor Gabe Cazares for daring to speak out about the surreptitious takeover.

Scientology got so serious about trying to destroy Cazares for criticizing the way Scientology had lied its way into town, they set up a hit-and-run incident in Washington DC in order to destroy his political career, and the operation was fully spelled out in documents that the FBI seized in a 1977 raid.

By 1979, the full extent of Scientology’s spying and dirty tricks and ruthless designs on Clearwater had become known, and the town rose up to do something about it. Over the next three years Clearwater’s residents and local leaders opposed Scientology, culminating in 1982 public hearings.

Today? Not so much. Thanks to investigative reporter Tracey McManus of the Tampa Bay Times, we know that Scientology now owns more of Clearwater’s downtown than ever before, and the downtown is even deader than it was in the past.

Is Clearwater finally ready to stop being a doormat to this organization that hates the non-Scientologists of Clearwater and does everything it can to keep them out of the center of their own town?

The election of Mark Bunker to the city council seemed like a big step forward. But when will the rest of the city start getting serious about Clearwater being home to Scientology’s most successful factory for separating the gullible from their cash?

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


Leah Remini podcast: Mark Bunker

Mark Bunker’s election to the Clearwater city council was a stunning moment, to be sure. And we’ve been documenting here, with Mark’s help, how much the Church of Scientology is freaking out about his electoral victory.

In this week’s podcast, Leah Remini and Mike Rinder are reunited with Bunker for another episode of their podcast. We have it for you here. Please give it a listen and tell us what stood out for you.





SCIENTOLOGY BLACK OPS: Tom Cruise and dirty tricks, the series axed by Seven News

In July the Australian Seven News network cancelled at the last minute a ten-part nightly news in-depth investigation of the Church of Scientology and its history of dirty tricks operations. All ten episodes have now been leaked to the Internet, and we’ve collected all ten links in one place. Judge for yourself why Tom Cruise and Tommy Davis might not have wanted viewers to see this hard-hitting series by journalist Bryan Seymour.


Source Code

“I was asked to study the physical universe. I was being asked to study nuclear physics, atomic, and molecular phenomena, all sorts of odds and ends and incomprehensibles, and they had not basically resolved the most fundamental things they had to resolve, which are: space, energy and time — what are these things? They’re psychological phenomena. That’s all they are. And the whole science of physics, then, is entirely dependent upon the mind. You want to know why, then, did a nuclear physicist ever go into the field of the mind? Why did we ever get Dianetics and Scientology? Why did I become interested in it? Well, I became definitely interested in it because the smallest unit of energy I could find must be a mental unit of energy.” — L. Ron Hubbard, October 13, 1954


Overheard in the FreeZone

“Wise Scientologists are adopting the advice of Captain Bill Robertson regarding this civilization, that is, “Do not support the Old Civilization.” They just need to take the next step. That is to “Support the New Civilization.” Captain Bill Robertson already set an admin structure and definitions for that New Civilization. Examples: The monetary standards is going to be the value of an auditing intensive. Note: It should be noted that Donald Trump, just like Ronald Reagan before, does not fit into the parameters of the Old Civilization.”


Past is Prologue


1995: The text of “Psychiatry and Scientology” by L. J. West, M.D. was posted this week. It was originally printed in The Southern California Psychiatrist, published in 1990 and 1991. “The medical profession as a whole, and psychiatry in particular, has generally failed to fight back or even take notice of Scientology, its slanders and other depredations. In the medical literature there are only a handful of references to Scientology. It is clear that the legitimate healing professions have not come to grips with the dangers posed by cults in general, and with the peculiarly hostile and antipsychiatric ‘church’ of Scientology in particular.


Random Howdy

“I’m not here to change anybody’s mind. I’m a soldier.”


Full Court Press: What we’re watching at the Underground Bunker

Criminal prosecutions:
Danny Masterson charged for raping three women: Demurrer filed by Masterson, arraignment delayed to October 19.
Jay and Jeff Spina, Medicare fraud: Jay’s sentencing is set for October 29 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 revoked Sep 14. Nobbe dead, Sep 14.

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.’ Petition for a writ of mandate filed with Cal 2nd Appellate District, Sept 10.
Chrissie Bixler et al. v. Scientology and Danny Masterson: Oct 26 (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 tax debt: Eleventh Circuit ruled on Sept 9 that Feshbachs can’t discharge IRS debt in bankruptcy. Update required in federal lawsuit on Oct 19.
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!

[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] Just what Panama City needed, a new Scientology ‘Ideal Mission’!
[TWO years ago] A queer story about Scientology, gender, and L. Ron Hubbard’s sweet pile of Swiss cash
[THREE years ago] After pausing to reflect, Marie Bilheimer takes on Scientology’s attack of her ‘Leah Remini’ spot
[FOUR years ago] Attempted murder, a fancy lawyer, and the long path to healing: A Scientology life, exposed
[FIVE years ago] Back in London for the next Scientology summit, featuring Russell Miller!
[SIX years ago] Kelly Preston finally blows away the last of her Scientology space cooties!
[SEVEN years ago] Sunday Special: Remembering Some People Who Mattered
[EIGHT years ago] L. Ron Hubbard Whines (Again) About His Scientology Workload
[NINE years ago] Scientology Officially Probing the Village Voice!


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 2,088 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,592 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,112 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,132 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,023 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 4,330 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 2,198 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 2,972 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 3,776 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,092 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 11,658 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,577 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 3,745 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 3,326 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,587 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 2,625 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 2,338 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,863 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 1,393 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 5,953 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,093 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 3,413 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 8,268 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 3,387 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,743 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,046 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,152 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,554 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 2,426 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,009 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 2,504 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,758 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,867 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on October 13, 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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