Daily Notifications
Sign up for free emails to receive the feature story every morning in your inbox at


Scientology social media is like space age Christmas, praise Xenu!

[Remember us?]

Our thanks once again to the source who keeps us plugged in to what Scientologists are sharing with each other on social media. Let’s catch up with what church members are excited about as the year nears its end, shall we?

We often see people new to watching Scientology ask on Facebook and Twitter why Scientologists celebrate Christmas. They don’t seem to understand that for many people Christmas is a secular holiday that has nothing to do with Christianity. (Santa? A tree in your house? The yule log? Come on, people.) It’s perfectly fine for individual Scientologists to keep the holiday in whatever way they wish.

The part we have an issue with is that the Church of Scientology itself, which was founded by a guy who is heard on tape saying “There was no Christ,” would use Christmas as a recruitment tool, as it does with its “Winter Wonderland” setups and other come-ons.

But anyway, let’s get to the year-end success stories from Scientologists who are, like the rest of us, happy to see the back end of 2020.

We’ll start with some folks celebrating that they’ve now achieved the state of Clear, and up first is Jerry Fetta, who is apparently sort of a bush league Grant Cardone who says he’s living at the Hollywood Celebrity Centre.



Scientology success stories make Clear sound like all the other completions, completely vague and superficial. But hey, another staffer has gone Clear, so let’s party!


Oh look, John and Gemma went to Saint Hill for the holiday! Where have these two been?



Hey, it’s not just the Czech Republic heading for Dublin. Slovakia gets into the act too!


Shiloh already signed his Sea Org contract, in crayon!


“I’m dreaming of a Clear Christmas…”


It’s a Christmas miracle!



We love Sea Org recruitment posters.


Also being shared on Scientology social media was the exciting news of a glowing profile in the Columbus Dispatch about Scientologists sharing their pandemic happy stories with Scientology TV. Normally you’d have to visit your favorite online porn provider to see a blowjob this sloppy.



Continuing our year in review: The stories of August 2020

We started off August with some hopeful signs that the Garcia appeal might be going well. (We’re still waiting for a ruling on their appeal from the Eleventh Circuit.)


Scientologists continued to overshare online while they were stuck at home during the pandemic, and Rod Keller found a telling video with a Field Staff Member admitting that the way to bring in new members is not to tell them what they’re actually getting into.

With her potential VP candidacy in the balance, Karen Bass tried to explain that she had attended a 2010 Scientology grand opening because it took place in her state legislative district. But we pulled up the old maps and showed that this simply wasn’t true. She then had to correct her statement and admitted that she hadn’t written it. Talk about costly blunders.

On August 7 we published for the first time material from the Clearwater Police investigation into the allegations of Jane Doe, the woman who sued Scientology in Miami. She was alleging that she had been molested as a kindergartner in a Scientology school, and as a child worker for the church, but the police ran into trouble finding people who fit her description from 20 years before.

The next day we started a new series, Top 25 People Enabling Scientology, with the people who run David Miscavige’s vanity television network. We like to put together lists like this in August, when things tend to be a bit slow, but this one has taken us longer than we thought it would and we’re still not finished with it!

Valerie Haney was back at square one after Judge Richard Burdge denied her motion for reconsideration. He upheld his ruling that Valerie’s beef with Scientology was a contract dispute and she should take it to “religious arbitration.”

After the defeat of her motion for reconsideration, Valerie Haney gave us a public statement, saying that she would continue to fight the ruling that required her to submit to Scientology’s “religious arbitration.”

One of the highlights of 2020 was that we were fortunate enough to hear from a new source with access to Scientologist social media. And that really paid off for Sea Org day, when rare tributes to young people in that reclusive organization gave us a glimpse of who they are.

There was an interesting update in the Brian Statler lawsuit when his family won the right to reports and video footage of Statler’s death from the city of Inglewood.

As our Top 25 countdown continued, we included some Scientology enablers that some readers might not have predicted: parents who subscribe to ABC Mouse, for example, and the Gensler design firm.

At their podcast, Leah Remini and Mike Rinder went over some of the atrocious Fair Game harassment that Mike has gone through since leaving Scientology in 2007.

Mark Bunker made a clever suggestion to help Clearwater deal with its Scientology problem: Embrace it, and turn Scientology into a tourist attraction.

Danny Masterson again pressed for the Jane Does suing him to identify themselves, even as he was facing 45 years to life in prison for allegedly raping them.

And on the last day of the month, a bombshell: Someone had leaked the initial episode of the spiked “Scientology Black Ops’ series featuring Bryan Seymour and Paul Haggis, and we had an embed of the video and a transcript.


A LOOK BACK AT AUGUST 2019: Chris Owen detailed Scientology’s 1970s attempt to take over the UK’s National Association of Mental Health. Rod Keller looked at Scientology attempts to make inroads with the Trump administration. Victoria Locke describes her abuse in Scientology. Danny Masterson’s accusers sue him and the Church of Scientology. Leah Remini and Mike Rinder finished their A&E series ‘Scientology and the Aftermath’ with a powerful final episode.

A LOOK BACK AT AUGUST 2018: David Miscavige’s “transparency medal” blew up into a major press story in Colombia as senators there call for an investigation. R.M. Seibert delivered again with a government document showing the US was fully aware of Scientology’s essential scam 50 years ago. Scientology scrambled to throw money at Efrem Logreira after realizing how much trouble it was in. The mid-year Maiden Voyage whales surfaced. Sea Org was now expected to salute donors. Scientology had to remove a kiosk from an LAPD station.

A LOOK BACK AT AUGUST 2017: Carol Nyburg told us about her part in an unaired TV series. Leah’s second season started off with a bombshell about child molestation. Michael Peña’s wife Brie Shaffer backed her former employer, Danny Masterson. Pastor Willy Rice got the Scientology smear treatment. We made the full 2009-2010 FBI file about Scientology trafficking public (and on the same day we took in the solar eclipse with Jefferson Hawkins). We attended a San Antonio court hearing about Marty Rathbun.

A LOOK BACK AT AUGUST 2016: Scientology didn’t make us feel very welcome at its Harlem grand opening. Life in retirement looks pretty good for Scientology’s notorious dirty trickster, Eugene Ingram. In the presidential campaign, a lot of comparisons between Donald Trump and L. Ron Hubbard were being made, but we pointed out that it was the Clinton White House that had serious Scientology baggage.

A LOOK BACK AT AUGUST 2015: Steve Fishman, of the famous Fishman Papers, is doing serious time for a bizarre crime. Tom Cruise gave a speech in Spanish, and turned up at a Scientology org in Colombia. And Paulette Cooper had an amazing encounter in Europe.

A LOOK BACK AT AUGUST 2014: We remembered Denise Brennan on the occasion of her passing. Mary Sue Hubbard’s house finally went up for sale, as we had predicted. And Kim Poff and Michael DeLong filed lawsuits over the troubling behavior of Oklahoma state officials who were too afraid to take on Scientology.

A LOOK BACK AT AUGUST 2013: Leah Remini filed a missing-person report on Shelly Miscavige, PZ Myers read A History of Man with us, Gerry Armstrong helped us tell his tale, and Monique Rathbun filed her harassment lawsuit.

Five of our favorites from the most-upvoted comments of August 2020

August 3: Andrea “i-Betty” Garner
“Since then, published first-hand accounts in books, interviews and documentaries have exposed this group. Everyone is now aware of the allegations against Scientology.” – Karen Bass
No. That is not nearly unequivocal enough for me. Not even close.
— Scientology’s treatment of children is cruel and sickening. Say that.
— Scientology’s doctrine of Fair Game to silence and defame its critics is criminal. Say that.

— Scientology’s decades-old pattern of covering up sex abuse and rape of and by its members is criminal and nauseating. Say that.
— Scientology’s destruction of families through its disconnection policy is too cruel to be borne. Say that.
— Scientology’s avaricious plundering of its members wealth is often criminal and always revolting. Say that.
— Scientology’s ongoing attempts to stifle journalism and legal justice is criminal and the antithesis of their claim to be a force for human rights. Say that.
— Scientology’s well-documented pattern of coercing women to abort their babies is barbarous and distressing. Say that.
— Scientology’s human trafficking and slave labour conditions for its Sea Org workers are a disgrace. Say that.
None of this is a secret known only to the initiated. It wasn’t a secret in 2010, 2011, 2012 or 2013 and it isn’t a secret now. There is NO EXCUSE for supporting Scientology through the weight of elected office. Because there is no excuse, all you can do is apologise. Unequivocally and sincerely. This apology is neither. Neither is it an apology, it’s an attempt at justification.

August 7: Observer
Dear Jane Doe: There is something VERY wrong with your mother. Our culture pretty much deifies mothers as having love stronger and like no other for their children, being self-sacrificing angels who would die for their children, etc. Fortunately, with most mothers that is approaching the truth, but not all. Some are self-centered, me-first…well, I’m going to say it: sociopaths. The children of these mothers spend their lives wondering why they weren’t good enough, what’s wrong with them that their own mothers can’t love them and won’t protect them. The real question is what’s wrong with these mothers that they can’t love their precious children. None of this is because there is something wrong with you. There isn’t. Your mother brought you into a group of people whom Hubbard very deliberately set about to change into monsters, or to exacerbate already existing monstrous tendencies so they would be just like him. And now our legal system has failed you. I would be so proud if you were my daughter. I’d brag to everyone who would listen about your strength and courage, your determination, your resilience, your intelligence. You are worth a million of your mother.

August 12: Hana Eltringham Whitfield
I am so sorry that Valerie lost in court yesterday! At the same time I applaud her bravery in bringing her lawsuit in the first place as there are few former Scientologists who dare to do so. It’s a daunting venture to go up against a group as vindictive, unethical, immoral, and indeed criminal as the Church of Scientology, and know that one is going to face years of harassment, spite, injustice, and Fair Game mostly alone. Yet it is the right thing to do. Our society provides means to permit wrongs to be made right. And all on their own, honesty and decency demand the same. I hope Valery has the strength and purpose to pursue her lawsuit, no matter how unsavory her choices are right now, and see it through. Jerry and I are with her and behind her all the way.

August 14: Pete Griffiths
Those parents imagine that they are sacrificing their kids lives to salvage a planet that needs it badly, but only they know that, it’s a secret to the rest of us and society at large. Those parents are too cowardly to dedicate their own lives to the Sea Org but happy to give their kids away to a miserable existence. I will not forget being told by the ED of my org when I complained that I was starving to just go and eat with the Sea Org. I will never forget the looks on those faces as I walked into the eating place and they looked up from their plates of rice. I have never felt so unwelcome. Did they think I was going to eat their food? Survival in the Sea Org is as basic as when do we eat?

August 29: chukicita

I bet Marty’s mad at only being number 18.


Source Code

“The term thetan, of course, is one which is derived as a mathematical symbol, derived from that symbol, and is an effort to have a precise word, which will describe a precise thing: The unit of beingness, which is the individual. Theta is a Greek letter and you know mathematicians they can’t talk English, so they use Greek symbols and mathematicians long since have picked on theta as a symbol, which they commonly use and the Greeks used it to symbolize thought. And so we have theta, thought, mathematical symbol and then we just put ‘thetan’ on it, and we have something which could describe at once, but doesn’t describe really: the human soul, a ghost, a spirit, a saint, a god, an individual, a being. It’s one of these nice big ‘group’ words. Why? Because it is the word which describes the energy-space production unit which is the individual himself.” — L. Ron Hubbard, December 28, 1953


Avast, Ye Mateys

“TO ANCHOR: We’re going out to anchor so don’t walk off the gangway if there’s no boat under it! (Joke).” — The Commodore, December 28, 1970


Overheard in the FreeZone

“I don’t believe that a thetan will ever completely relinquish his right to disagree with MEST, or anything else, despite the persuasion he may experience. We may not know the exact details, but I fancy some of us will refuse to react to provocation whatever button may be pressed. And some of us may yet cling to the hope that there is another solution to stress, or being banky, and put that ‘charge’ to one side knowing somehow, that there is another reality there, somewhere, no matter how faint.”



Past is Prologue

1997: Scientology continued its letter-writing campaign to LA Weekly, which published an article on efforts to introduce Scientology techniques to public schools. “I was surprised and disappointed at the poor journalism in your article ‘The Learning Cure.’ I felt it was written to prove a point, not written from actual research. I am the founder of a technology company that has grown from two employees to 800 in just over three years. I’m 26 years old, and have been written about in many national publications as a young success. I never attended college, and I attribute much of my success to my education at the Delphian School of Oregon, which trains its students in the use of Hubbard’s study technology. This technology allows you to get the most out of the study of any subject. Knowing it, I was able to accomplish my post-high school education on my own. If Hubbard’s technology is working, why attack it? — Sky Dayton, Founder, Earthlink Network Inc.”


Random Howdy

“I’m guessing Dan Sherman has a ‘Word of the Day’ thing he sends out on the telex doohickey.”


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

Criminal prosecutions:
Danny Masterson charged for raping three women: Masterson’s demurrer denied Oct 19, arraignment delayed to Jan 6.
Jay and Jeff Spina, Medicare fraud: Jay’s sentencing delayed for ‘Fatico’ hearing on Jan 19.
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 were heard on July 30 at the Eleventh Circuit
Valerie Haney v. Scientology: Forced to ‘religious arbitration.’ Petition for writ of mandate denied Oct 22 by Cal 2nd Appellate District. Petition for review by state supreme court denied Dec 11.
Chrissie Bixler et al. v. Scientology and Danny Masterson: Dec 18, re-hearing on motions to compel arbitration, awaiting ruling; Jan 29, Masterson’s request to stay discovery pending the criminal case
Matt and Kathy Feschbach tax debt: Eleventh Circuit ruled on Sept 9 that Feshbachs can’t discharge IRS debt in bankruptcy. Nov 18: Feshbachs indicated they will enter into consent judgment to pay the debt.
Brian Statler Sr v. City of Inglewood: Second amended complaint filed, trial set for Nov 9, 2021.

Concluded litigation:
Author Steve Cannane defamation trial: Trial concluded, Cannane victorious, awarded court costs.
Dennis Nobbe, Medicare fraud, PPP loan fraud: Charged July 29. Bond revoked Sep 14. Nobbe dead, Sep 14.
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.


SCIENTOLOGY BLACK OPS: Tom Cruise and dirty tricks

The Australian Seven News network cancelled a 10-part investigation of Scientology and its history of dirty tricks. Read the transcripts of the episodes and judge for yourself why Tom Cruise and Tommy Davis might not have wanted viewers to see this hard-hitting series by journalist Bryan Seymour.


After the success of their double-Emmy-winning, three-season A&E series ‘Scientology and the Aftermath,’ Leah Remini and Mike Rinder continue the conversation on their podcast, ‘Scientology: Fair Game.’ We’ve created a landing page where you can hear all of the episodes so far.


An episode-by-episode guide to Leah Remini’s three-season, double-Emmy winning series that changed everything for Scientology watching. Originally aired from 2016 to 2019 on the A&E network, and now on Netflix.


Find your favorite Hubbardite celeb at this index page — or suggest someone to add to the list!

Other links: Scientology’s Ideal Orgs, from one end of the planet to the other. 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 a weekly series. How many have you read?



[ONE year ago] Danny Masterson asks for more time to answer lawsuit — while he’s skiing in Park City
[TWO years ago] Best Scientology shoops in the Bunker this year, and let’s see your faves too
[THREE years ago] Joy Villa on the prospect of Trump going after Scientology’s tax-exempt status: ‘Nope’
[FOUR years ago] After Steve Cannane’s big year writing about Scientology, we hit him up for a look back
[FIVE years ago] Confirmed: Narconon’s entire Northern California network splits with Scientology
[SIX years ago] Scientology’s 2014 in review: New lawsuits and a house for sale in August!
[SEVEN years ago] Scientology’s 2013 in review: July fireworks, courtesy of an actress from Brooklyn
[EIGHT years ago] Belgium Prosecuting Scientology as a Criminal Organization
[NINE years ago] Scientology Story of the Year — The Vote Is In!


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 2,164 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,668 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,188 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,208 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,099 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 4,406 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 2,274 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 3,048 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 3,852 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,168 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 11,734 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,653 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 3,821 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 3,402 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,663 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 2,701 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 2,414 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,939 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 294 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 1,469 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,020 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,169 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 3,489 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 8,344 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 3,463 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,819 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,122 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,228 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,630 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 2,502 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,085 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 2,580 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,834 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,943 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on December 28, 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, 15 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


Share Button
Print Friendly, PDF & Email