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


The Top 25 People Enabling Scientology, No. 6: The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department

There have been many startling disclosures about what actually happens inside Scientology over the years. But one of the results of several former top Sea Org officials coming forward around the year 2009 — people like Mike Rinder, Marc and Claire Headley, and Tom Devocht, for example — was the greater appreciation we all gained of the horrors going on at Gold Base.

Also known as Int Base, Scientology’s secretive 500-acre international management compound in San Jacinto, California was not only home to Scientology leader David Miscavige, it was also where he put a concentration camp for his top lieutenants, known as “The Hole,” beginning in 2004.

In FBI documents and in many articles and documentaries, we learned about how Scientologists at Gold Base were treated as indentured servants at best, and were subjected not only to confinement like in the Hole, but were literally thrown into piles of shit, as Marc Headley once related. And how many stories have been told — and documented — of people having to escape the base with creative strategems, including Valerie Haney in the trunk of a car, or the way Ron Miscavige mailed his belongings out in packages disguised as gifts.

Time and again, when they hear these stories, our readers ask us the same question: Why doesn’t law enforcement do something about, for example, David Miscavige operating a prison for his own employees, putting them under lock and key for years at a time?


Well, in 2017 that question was put directly to a Riverside deputy, by a protester, Nathanial Thomas, who was standing outside the base and asked the deputy about it. Here was the deputy’s answer, which Thomas filmed:

“Scientology has actually been very forthcoming with all the information. I don’t represent them, neither does he [referring to another deputy], but they’ve helped us solve a lot of crime. A lot of crime. And I’m actually very grateful that they’re here, for a lot of reasons. Whatever they want to do behind the gates, that’s not my business.”

Wow. “That’s not my business.”

A year later, in 2018, the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department and its indifference to what was going on at Gold Base became a bigger story when Leah Remini and Mike Rinder tried to help Tammy Clark check on the welfare of her uncle, Heber Jentzsch, who at one time was the very visible president of the Church of Scientology International, but then had spent years as a prisoner in the Hole. Now with Heber in his 80s, Tammy had reason to worry about his health and wanted to check on him.

Sadly, A&E never got to air the episode that featured Leah and Mike trying to help Tammy and, that included scenes of them interacting with the sheriff’s department when they tried to see Heber. But we were fortunate enough to see a preview version of the show.

We really wish it had aired, because it featured a remarkable scene filmed in the parking lot of the Sheriff’s Department after the trio had been told by detectives that Jentzsch was fine and they wouldn’t be able to go on to the base to see him. With a camera rolling so you could hear the audio, Leah had a conversation with a county employee who came out to their car and admitted the real story: The sheriff’s department was terrified of Scientology and did its bidding.

Well, that’s obvious given how many outrageous things have happened at the base over the last 40 years.

Int Base has lost some stature in more recent years. Miscavige stopped going there some five or six years ago, our sources tell us. Clearwater shows signs of being the more favored hub. But there are still a few hundred people at Gold Base who go year after year without seeing the outside world, and who may still be subjected to the same indignities and horrors of past years.

As far as the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department is concerned, that’s their business.

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


Continuing our year in review: The stories of October 2020

October started out with another leaked ‘Scientology Black Ops’ episode, this one with Paul Haggis saying that he regretted sharing secrets with Marty Rathbun.

We posted a stunning document, a listing purportedly of Scientology’s entire portfolio of outside investments at the time it gained tax exempt status, 1993. The total was $251 million in assets, which matched almost exactly what Marty Rathbun said in the 2015 movie ‘Going Clear.’

An advertisement in the latest issue of International Scientology News inadvertently confirmed that our estimates for Scientology’s actual size are right on the money. Thanks, Dave!

October 6 was a big day in the lawsuit filed by Danny Masterson’s accusers, as his “demurrer” was overruled by Judge Steven Kleifield. (And so was Scientology’s.) Also, Danny’s request to have the Jane Does identify themselves was denied. It was a major hurdle for the lawsuit to overcome, but the mainstream press didn’t seem to understand that and characterized it as a win for Masterson.

The next day we got our first look at the new upcoming documentary “Brothers Broken” from Geoff and Robbie Levin and their band People! that joined the Sea Org back in the day.


The tenth and final episode in the ‘Scientology Black Ops’ series was leaked, and now we had all ten embedded and with their transcripts.

Prosecutors took apart the “demurrer” Danny Masterson filed in his criminal case, while on the civil side the actor filed to have discovery halted, which was expected.

What an interesting insight we got into the relationship between Danny Masterson and his wife Bijou Phillips, thanks to Bijou’s sister Chynna Phillips Baldwin, who overshares on YouTube.

As the November election neared, we explained to potential voters in McMinnville, Oregon that there was even more to think about in relation to city council candidate and former Sea Org executive Brittany Ruiz.

We had yet another Narconon horror story from a family that was, like the others, completely deceived by this dishonest enterprise. How many of these do we have to print before local governments start doing something about these bogus rehabs?

After Danny Masterson had spent months arguing that the two Jane Does suing him should be named, his attorney “inadvertently” revealed the name of Jane Doe #1 on a court filing. And just as troubling, her own attorneys filed nothing as the mistake took nearly a full week to be fixed.

Tommy Davis hired Australian attorneys to ask us to take down the ‘Scientology Black Ops’ episodes about him in a letter it said was not for publication. So we published the letter and kept up the episodes.

On October 19 there was another hearing in Danny Masterson’s criminal case, although the actor was still in Wyoming on a family vacation. Judge Eleanor Hunter overruled Masterson’s “demurrer,” and his arraignment was now set for November 2.

The next day we bored into what prosecutor Reinhold Mueller had revealed, which included hints that at some point he was going to be adding enhancements to the charges against Masterson.

On October 21 we posted a letter sent in by attorneys for Seven News, which for the first time asked us to take down the leaked episodes of the Scientology Black Ops series. We did so, but you can still read the transcripts of all ten episodes.

A suggestion by commenter Ruby became an actual issue in the Danny Masterson lawsuit: How could his accusers be compelled into “religious arbitration” and be forced to face their victimizer, when they are under protection of the court in the criminal case?

Leah Remini was feeling pretty fed up with the court arguments and made a public appeal to judges: Scientology has no “religious arbitration” and they’re being duped.

Valerie Haney’s petition for a writ of mandate to the California 2nd Appellate District was denied, and with only a curt statement that her petition had been late.

In the federal insurance fraud case of Scientologist chiropractor Jay Spina, there was an interesting new development. Although Spina had pleaded guilty, there were fact disagreements over his culpability. And so both sides asked the judge for a sort of mini-trial to hammer out the facts in dispute. And hey, that means we may get to see it happen, so we’re all for it.


We marveled at the news that lifelong Scientologist Riley Keough has been signed to play a cult investigator on an upcoming series.

And the month ended with a look at the political shills who always seem to fall for Scientology’s pretty talk.

A LOOK BACK AT OCTOBER 2019: Valerie Haney dropped ‘Jane Doe’ and filed a brutal amended complaint. Hanan Islam in handcuffs in a Los Angeles courtroom as her Narconon insurance fraud case got crazy. FreeZone wizard offers the secret to living to 150. Nancy Cartwright’s new trophy for reaching $17 million in giving. Tom Cruise brought Isabella and Connor to the IAS gala for the first time. The Kominsky Method skewers Scientology, and we figured out that creator Chuck Lorre had an extensive Scientology past.

A LOOK BACK AT OCTOBER 2018: Heather Ruggeri told us her story of forced abortion and escape from the Sea Org. The Underground Bunker gave statuses to its own whales. DC District Attorney Stanley Harris schooled Scientology in 1983. Detroit got its Ideal Org. Sylvia DeWall spoke truth to family that had abandoned her. Alec Nevala-Lee’s fine book ‘Astounding’ came out, and he gave us an amazing document he found in his research, when L. Ron Hubbard invented a friendly psychiatrist to rebut Dianetics. On Halloween we released our book with Paulette Cooper, Battlefield Scientology.

A LOOK BACK AT OCTOBER 2017: We received reports that the RPF was a thing of the past. We marveled at the 1989 OT 8 graduation of Margie Zacks. David Miscavige’s new portrait in the belly of the Freewinds wowed us. Aftermath looked at Mace-Kingsley Ranch and talked to Mimi Faust. The vile secret in Dianetics got dissected.

A LOOK BACK AT OCTOBER 2016: Karla Taylor’s lawsuit reminded us of the chances people take when the sue Scientology. We broke the news that Tom Cruise was building a double penthouse in Clearwater. And we ID’d one of the private eyes stalking Leah Remini in Denver.

A LOOK BACK AT OCTOBER 2015: The month began with a lot of Cat White and Jim Carrey and Mark Burton coverage, including the young Hollywood Scientologists she hung out with, and the family in Ireland that had first pointed her toward the church. We went to the London premiere of Louis Theroux’s My Scientology Movie. And thanks to Bryan Seymour and Steve Cannane, our trip to Australia’s cities of Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, and Perth was a great success. And our big bombshell: The “Knowledge Reports” about Leah Remini that informed her book.

A LOOK BACK AT OCTOBER 2014: Scientology’s private threat letter to the S.F. Chronicle. A perplexing tale about Bob Duggan, the richest Scientologist in the world. Tom Cruise and his medal in London. Marty Rathbun ambushed at LAX by raving Jenny Linson. L. Ron Hubbard’s amazing 1949 letter to Forrest Ackerman. Mark Ebner finds Gay Ribisi’s plaques.

A LOOK BACK AT OCTOBER 2013: Live-blogging the Garcia mini-trial in Tampa, Scientology denied by the US Supreme Court, interpreting Leah Remini’s epic dance, and live-blogging a dramatic hearing in Laura DeCrescenzo’s lawsuit in Los Angeles.

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

October 2: Mat Pesch
When I was the Security Chief at the International base in Hemet all staff were drilled on how to deal with a process server. I even had a dog that with a hand signal, would grab the papers out of the hand of the process server and run off. One time a senior executive wrote a Knowledge Report on me and was yelling and waving it in my face. I gave the hand signal, the dog leaped up, grabbed the KR and ran off. Priceless.


October 11: Observer
Really, is it any wonder that Masterson grew up with such contempt for women after being steeped in Hubbard’s vile misogyny since childhood? That’s not an excuse by any means. But I do wonder how many men with cracks in their character had those cracks widened to chasms by constant fracking with Hubs’s pathological hate and fear of women.

October 16: Andrea “i-Betty” Garner
We can all make mistakes, granted. But Masterson’s lawyers didn’t make a mistake with a date, a location, point of law or any other myriad examples, their mistake outed a rape victim’s name after being denied the right to do so by a judge. There’s no such thing as coincidence in matters of such import. This was done with malicious intent. Jane, I’m so sorry you are being revictimised in this way. Stay strong.

October 17: Grisian Farce
This comment is not for publication.

October 24: Holy Cow
Freezoner: ‘…how the Jews managed to trick the world to declare war against Germany.’ WOOOOW!! I thought the Freezone section had plumbed the depths of conspiracy nut jobbery but that one really took my breath away. There really are some very sick and dangerous minds out there. It’s chilling.


Source Code

“Now, I realize you’re very happy with the game you are playing. Cheerful game, whatever the game is. Keeps you occupied so you won’t think of other things. Games such as ‘all garbage cans must be emptied.’ You know, high-level game. Something with nobility and future. And you get so you think there’s no other game, you know. ‘Got to keep those garbage cans emptied, man. If we empty them good enough and long enough, why then we’ll get to empty more garbage cans. And maybe someday we’ll work up to only emptying garbage cans and we won’t have to do anything else. Won’t have to think of anything else. And there we are, emptying garbage cans.’ If it weren’t for Scientology, 200 trillion years in the future, there you would be emptying those garbage cans. Well, maybe you like to empty garbage cans, so Scientology isn’t for you. It’s true there have got to be hewers of wood and drawers of water and emptiers of garbage cans. That’s a stable datum for this universe.” — L. Ron Hubbard, December 30, 1961



Avast, Ye Mateys

“PERSONNEL: Jeff Gray (Judy Ziff’s son, 9) is assigned as messenger HCO Div 1 Dept 2. His buddy and watches will be assigned by HCO. He is to attend school in HCI at the regular hours. Policy re children and their hats applies.” — The Commodore, December 30, 1970


Overheard in the FreeZone

“We have a large Field to recover. This will take years, if not decades. But in the meantime, we who are trained are not enough, and we’re not getting younger. Sooner rather than later, we will be moving on to new bodies and new lifetimes. In the meantime, someone has to carry on our work. It’s nice to hope that the Church will get handled and all will get better. But that’s just a hope, not a predictable event on the horizon. So we need much much more training going on in the Field. Aside from emotional/spiritual cleanup, it could be said to be our most important product. (This is actually a sub-product for Clearing the planet or any other product involving auditing.) Moreover, trained people disseminate more, if I recall correctly. Another answer is (I hate to say it): sell books. This was a classic LRH solution. BUT, it is critical that the books you sell direct the reader to Field practices, not the Church of Scientology. If I had a Field practice in an area, I would have cards made up to direct readers to my practice. And then I would find every Dianetics/Scientology book I could, in a fifty mile radius, and insert the cards into each and every one of those books. This includes libraries, new and used bookstores, etc. And then purchase every LRH book I could afford to buy (E-Bay, Craig’s List, etc.) and sell those with cards in them and old lists of orgs in them crossed out.”


Past is Prologue

1996: The Daily Telegraph on a decision in the UK to recognize Scientology leaders as ministers, not cultists: “LEADERS of the sect of Scientology are to be allowed to enter the United Kingdom as recognised religious ministers following a revision in Home Office immigration guidelines. Scientology has previously been defined as a cult by the Home Office. In 1968 it was deemed ‘socially harmful’. Members were prohibited from entering the country to study or to minister. The rules were softened in 1980 and cases were judged individually but no scientologists qualified for the provision for missionaries and religious ministers until this month. The sect was informed of the change by the Immigration and Nationality Directorate of the Home Office via a letter to their solicitors on Dec 10. The news was welcomed as a ‘breakthrough’ by the sect which has its headquarters in East Grinstead, Sussex, and has been struggling to be accepted as a mainstream church since its inception in 1954. A spokesman for the Home Office said: ‘Previously we did not see Scientology as a religion but as a cult. ‘That position has changed which shows that we do what we say which is to keep things under continual review’. The 1971 Immigration Act provides provision for religious ministers to enter the country providing they can prove experience of ministry, religious training and that they are invited by a congregation in Britain.”


Random Howdy

“When I hear Blubbard speak I can totally hear him trying to copy those old time comedians and storytellers like Will Rogers.”



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] BEST OF THE DECADE: Scientology watching’s biggest 2010s hits at the Underground Bunker
[TWO years ago] Scientology’s building projects & front groups under the microscope in 2018
[THREE years ago] While Scientology struggled, David Miscavige upped his game in 2017
[FOUR years ago] Garcias file new motion asking judge to reject Scientology’s sham arbitration
[FIVE years ago] What Scientology’s ‘social betterment’ front groups are really all about
[SIX years ago] Scientology’s 2014 in review: Our October surprise was all about the Duggans
[SEVEN years ago] Scientology’s 2013 in review: Courtroom antics reported live and on the spot!
[EIGHT years ago] Final Sunday Funnies of 2012: Scientology Targets the Rose Parade!
[NINE years ago] Scientology in the Village Voice: 2011 in Review
[ELEVEN years ago] Ex-Scientology Official Scrambles As His Blog Gets Hacked


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 2,166 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,670 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,190 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,210 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,101 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 4,408 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 2,276 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 3,050 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 3,854 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,170 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 11,736 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,655 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 3,823 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 3,404 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,665 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 2,703 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 2,416 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,941 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 296 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 1,471 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,022 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,171 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 3,491 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 8,346 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 3,465 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,821 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,124 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,230 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,632 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 2,504 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,087 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 2,582 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,836 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,945 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on December 30, 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