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Scientology nostalgia: Never-before-seen photos from a 2001 celebrity wankfest

Hey, we’re going to have a little fun today. We recently managed to get our hands on some photos from a 2001 event that may represent an apotheosis for celebrity-driven Scientology. And for that reason, we think it’s worth revisiting.

The event was the opening of a new Scientology mission in San Francisco, and it took place on September 29, 2001, yes, just a couple of weeks after the terrorist attacks that changed our world entirely.

On September 11, Scientology leader David Miscavige reacted to the attacks by issuing Inspector General Network Bulletin No. 44, titled “Wake-Up Call,” which would become a refrain he would use over and over at subsequent events.

It is time to get busy. Very busy. Every Scientologist. Everywhere.


The terrorist attacks of this day demonstrate the destruction a small minority of suppressive persons can wreak. If nothing else, it also demonstrates why our mission is so vital and why speed in accomplishing our aims is of paramount importance.

Bluntly, we are the only people of Earth who can reverse the decline, and we do not have an endless amount of time to pull it off. Every sector of Scientology activity plays a vital role that must be fulfilled.

Two weeks later that spirit was certainly on display in San Francisco when an impressive array of Scientology celebrities showed up for the grand opening of a new mission that had been sponsored by actress Jenna Elfman.

Tom Cruise was there, and so were John Travolta, Kelly Preston, and Kirstie Alley. And you probably have seen this shot from the opening with these most famous of Scientology’s celebrity ornaments…


Also on hand were Juliette Lewis, Catherine Bell, Danny and Christopher Masterson, Linsey Bartilson, and Jennifer Aspen.

And Tommy Davis was there.

We’ve obtained a few casual snapshots taken that day, and it reminds us how powerful Scientology once was in Hollywood, and how confident they were about the opening of a new mission. Today, Miscavige is fortunate if anyone more renowned than a local police chief shows up at one of his ribbon cuttings. But here, soak up that 2001 atmosphere.

Tommy Davis and Kelly Preston…



Tommy and Danny Masterson…


Tommy and Catherine Bell…


Bell and Masterson…


Danny and his brother Christopher…



Jenna with her husband Bodhi, and Travolta behind them…


The whole crew on stage…


Oh, and then there was this little fellow, who is so rarely caught in unposed photos…



And Dave watching Jenna…


The new facility was called the SoMa Mission because it was in the South of Market district in San Francisco. But just weeks later, the church put the building up for sale.

“Well, Scientologists tend to be optimists. We believe that you make your own life,” said Scientology spokesman Jeff Quiros.

One person who was there that day who did not turn up in the photos we received?

Shelly Miscavige.

Perhaps someone else has a photo of her from that day in San Francisco?

And speaking of Shelly, today happens to be her 60th birthday.

Will they have cake and candles for her at the CST compound at Twin Peaks today?

Here’s a short film we made about her a couple of years ago, and in case you missed it on Christmas Day, our annual tribute to what we know about her disappearance.




Leigh at the Capitol

In a previous story, we posted videos that Scientologist anti-vaxx anti-mask attorney Leigh Dundas had shot just outside the US Capitol on January 6, screeching “Traitor! Traitor! Traitor!” at Capitol police.

But now video has been found that appears to show Dundas up near the doors of the Capitol itself. Is that why she’s been so quiet on Facebook, going silent after January 7?



Source Code


“The technology we have, without any thought at all we can make the sane saner and the insane sane, and the breakthrough which exists here technically is so strong that it actually cuts though the normal protective mechanisms of the mind, wham, wham. And that the use of this material by any but a well organized, well disciplined group would be very fatal, quite lethal. And therefore we’re in the peculiar position now of not being able to export all the technology we have, because the areas into which we would export it, and the orgs into which we export it are insufficiently organized to be able to handle and control it.” — L. Ron Hubbard, January 18, 1971



Avast, Ye Mateys

“‘CHILDREN’: By FO No. 301 a Condition of non-existence is assigned to any member of the ships company that obstructs a child from doing his or her work, deprives the child of his possessions or his job. This applies to all cadets and Middies as well.” — The Commodore, January 18, 1971


Overheard in the FreeZone

“The ‘heaviness’ of the world’s problems and issues is held simply by the intentions of a few beings with which others are in agreement through ignorance and apathy driven by past experiences and little education in the realities of life. So how can we change this? Reality is agreement. The more agreement there is the more real something becomes. The MEST universe, for example, has more agreement than you can throw a stick at and it is certainly persisting and is more real to most people than their own beingness. The current agreement for the future for this planet is not of the best. It currently lies in irresponsibility and not-is-ness. The reality of an individual’s beingness is being buried in the enforced reality of MEST.”


Past is Prologue


2002: The Evening Standard published an article on Scientology celebrity John Travolta. “His new film, Domestic Disturbance, racked up a reasonable $44 million in the US last year, while Swordfish, which he terms now ‘an anti-terrorism movie,’ fared even better with a whisker under $70 million. He dropped his fee to $10 million for the roundly panned Battlefield Earth, adapted from a novel by L Ron Hubbard, founder of Scientology. Ask him if there’s a film he regrets making and one might hope he’d cite the latter. But not a bit of it. The endlessly upbeat Travolta says he ‘loved it.’ He claims the film ‘made 100 million bucks,’ though its US run made only $21.5 million. ‘And it was the first Hubbard film to make it to the screen. He’s a great science fiction writer. There’s still the second part of the same book we might do.'”


Random Howdy

“I’ve already exteriorized three times today…without coffee!”


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 20.
Jay and Jeff Spina, Medicare fraud: Jay’s sentencing delayed to March 2.
Hanan and Rizza Islam and other family members, Medi-Cal fraud: Trial scheduled for May 20 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 30, Judge Kleifield granted Scientology’s motions to compel arbitration; 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. Dec 17: Feshbachs sign court judgment obliging them to pay entire $3.674 million tax debt, plus interest from Nov 19.
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] Narconon whistleblower Lucas Catton puts out a new memoir about his Scientology nightmare
[TWO years ago] Filmmakers tell us why they decided to help Scientology with its new TV network
[THREE years ago] A new chapter for one of the best Scientology books of all time? Yes, and we have it!
[FOUR years ago] Leah Remini has changed Scientology forever — which episode was your favorite?
[FIVE years ago] Stalked in New Orleans cemetery: Scientology’s secretive defectors getting more open
[SIX years ago] VIDEO LEAK: See former Scientology official Marty Rathbun interrogated under oath
[SEVEN years ago] Jon Atack on Scientology’s fundamental feature: the thousand-yard stare
[EIGHT years ago] Blogging Dianetics, Part 3: The Meaning of Life!
[NINE years ago] Scientology’s Goons: Intimidating a 71-Year-Old Missouri Grandmother


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 2,185 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,689 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,209 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,229 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,120 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 4,427 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 2,295 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 3,069 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 3,873 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,189 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 11,755 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,674 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 3,842 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 3,423 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,684 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 2,722 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 2,435 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,960 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 315 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 1,490 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,041 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,190 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 3,510 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 8,365 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 3,484 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,840 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,143 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,249 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,651 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 2,523 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,106 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 2,601 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,855 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,964 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on January 18, 2021 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, 1995-2020 Just starting out here? We’ve picked out the most important stories we’ve covered here at the Underground Bunker (2012-2020), 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


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