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Scientology whistleblower Steve Fishman: Out of prison and getting younger every day

The last time we checked on Steve Fishman, he was serving a 21-year prison sentence in California.

In that 2015 story we described how Fishman was named in the legendary 1991 Time magazine cover story about Scientology that launched numerous lawsuits by the church, including one aimed at Fishman, and he had defended himself by posting a treasure trove of upper-level Scientology secrets in a court file that became known as the “Fishman Papers” and which the church spent decades trying to suppress from the Internet.

Also in that story we took a fresh look at Fishman’s book about his Scientology adventure, “The Lonesome Squirrel,” and pointed out that 20 years after its publication some of the people named in it were now out of Scientology and told us that the book was actually an elaborate parody.

Whatever the truth of his actual involvement in Scientology, there’s no denying that his court filings had a devastating effect on church secrecy which echoes even to the present day.


So how did he end up in prison? Court papers told the story:

According to the federal government, from 1998 to about 2005 Fishman was a key player in a classic fraud operation that suckered investors out of millions of dollars by convincing them that 150-year-old railroad bonds were worth billions…In a document that describes the scheme in significant detail, the roles that different people played is spelled out. One of them was the gladhanding salesman. Another played the part of the overseas agent who supposedly had access to European markets. But the government said the nucleus that held it all together was Steve Fishman.

A Tulsa jury found Fishman guilty and he was sentenced to 21 years in prison. He wasn’t supposed to be released until 2028, so imagine our surprise when we learned that he had actually been out of prison for several months.

We spoke to him on the phone last night to catch up with him.

“I was the law clerk at Terminal Island, and then they sent me to Lompoc, where people were dying left and right,” he says.

Fishman was featured in a Santa Barbara Independent story in May about the conditions at the Lompoc prison during the pandemic, and how Fishman and other prisoners accused the institution of manipulating data and downplaying the crisis.

“I filed a lawsuit on that,” Fishman says. “Eventually the trial judge terminated my prison sentence.”

He made his way to Yucca Valley to be near one of his daughters.

“I have been very active in the anti-vaccine campaign, and I’m trying to keep people from getting sick from mRNA vaccines,” he says. “The masks are just a big fraud too. It deprives oxygen and we’re not plant life so we can’t breathe in our own carbon dioxide. You can’t go anywhere without a mask and I just hate it.”

Fishman says he tested positive for Covid in June while at Lompoc prison. “I took hydroxychloroquine the next day and never had another symptom. That’s the only thing that cures it, besides Remdesivir and Ivermectin. As far as I’m concerned, Covid is a big hoax. Everyone who got it could have lived if they’d just taken the right medicine.”

And besides agitating against vaccines and face coverings, Fishman says he’s also promoting something called IHerQLes, a treatment he says is making him younger.

“What it does is it prevents telomeres [structures at the ends of chromosomes] from dying on the body as we age, and actually reverses our age,” he says.

“I’m now 71, and I’m taking this age reversal treatment. I was able to get rid of my diabetes and high cholesterol,” he says.

He still keeps in touch with Paulette Cooper, who has remained a good friend, and he says that Graham Berry is still his attorney.


“I’m glad that over the years I’ve cost Scientology a lot of money,” he says with a laugh.

He’s convinced that he’s not just more healthy, but that he’s literally getting younger because of the new pills.

“We just need to make sure the good guys, not Scientology, gets ahold of this,” he says cheerfully.

We wished him well.


Chick Corea, the Grammys, and L. Ron Hubbard

Former Scientologist and professional musician Geoff Levin watched the Grammys last night and was disappointed to see how Chick Corea was memorialized during the broadcast:

I had the privilege of recording with Chick on several album recordings. He was truly a genius.

His wife Gayle Moran will get kudos from the higher ups at the Church of Scientology for mentioning Ron Hubbard during her acceptance speech for Chick’s posthumous Grammy awards. “L. Ron Hubbard was very inspirational to Chick, for continual guidance and inspiration for many years,” she said.

I’m sad that Hubbard’s name was used in the same breath with Chick’s exceptional music and talent. So many OTs have died from cancer who were promised superhuman abilities including healing their bodies with Scientology.

To me, Hubbard getting a mention at the Grammys was the ultimate in cognitive dissonance, hypocrisy, and tragedy. This did not have to be.



Mark Bunker’s videos of Saturday’s tour



Source Code

“I said, ‘Go ahead and fly through the air,’ to a preclear once in a very careless moment. Preclear had said something about flying all to pieces, or going up in the air, and I said, ‘Well, go ahead and fly through the air.’ It was a bad thing for me to do, because I was disgusted. I was disgusted with the preclear, and I actually mirrored it. And the preclear took it as an auditing command and looked at me blankly and said, ‘How am I supposed to do that?’ Well, I could have said at that moment, ‘It’s a mis-command. I didn’t mean it.’ But I didn’t. I picked the preclear up and made him fly through the air. And I said, ‘See, you can do it.’” — L. Ron Hubbard, March 15, 1957


Avast, Ye Mateys

“SLIDE-TAPE SHOW: Geoff Barnes and Al Bornstein are highly commended for their excellent slide-tape show about Flag. As you read this it has already been exported to the various continents, having left the ship at 0600.” — The Commodore, March 15, 1971



Overheard in the FreeZone

“In this Universe, spiritual survival and physical survival are polarized against each other. One tends to exclude the other. For that reason, trying to be an auditor and/or spiritual worker and make much money at the same time tends to be so difficult or unachievable. Spiritual workers have great dignity and are worthy of all the admiration, but they should know they need to keep a separate income. Understanding this is crucial for the immediate peace and future survival of auditing practices and other spiritual help activities.”


Past is Prologue

2002: The Sunday News from Lancaster, Pennsylvania reported that a counselor with Narconon, Scientology’s drug rehabilitation program, was found guilty of selling heroin. “Anthony J. Mariani, 40, now of Dunwoody, Ga., also was found guilty of possessing drug paraphernalia. Mariani, who has undergone voluntary drug rehabilitation and now works as a counselor for the inpatient Narconon program outside Atlanta, faces a possible 2-year mandatory minimum prison sentence. On Sept. 9, 2000, Mariani, who had a long history of heroin addiction, was involved in a disturbance at the Turkey Hill Minit Market, 2787 Lincoln Highway East. When police arrived, they found Mariani in possession of 31 packets of heroin, weighing 1.1 grams, and assorted drug paraphernalia.”


Random Howdy

“I (and my parents) got my high school teacher fired for trying to use EST to teach us algebra. This was after he threw me out of the class for pointing out to him that EST was a cult and what he was doing was illegal and against school policy. This was like ’73 or ’74.”



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

Criminal prosecutions:
Danny Masterson charged for raping three women: Masterson arraigned Jan 20. Next conf to set prelim, March 24.
Jay and Jeff Spina, Medicare fraud: Jay’s sentencing delayed to April 13.
Hanan and Rizza Islam and other family members, Medi-Cal fraud: Trial scheduled for May 20 in Los Angeles
David Gentile, GPB Capital, fraud: Charged in Brooklyn federal court on Feb 4. Arraigned on Feb 9. Pretrial conference set for Apr 29.

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. June 7: Status conference.
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.
Author Steve Cannane defamation trial: Trial concluded, Cannane victorious, awarded court costs. Case appealed on Dec 24.

Concluded litigation:
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] Report: Scientology cancels LRH Birthday, but still spreads quackery about coronavirus
[TWO years ago] Tom Cruise, John Travolta and some other rare celebs made Scientology event in Florida
[THREE years ago] What do you want to see in Leah Remini’s third season of ‘Scientology and the Aftermath’?
[FOUR years ago] Sheriff’s deputy on what Scientology does behind its gates: “That’s not my business”
[FIVE years ago] Scientology disconnection rips apart another family, this time affecting a familiar face
[SIX years ago] ‘Going Clear’ subject Tom DeVocht gets a lesson in Scientology’s social media surveillance
[SEVEN years ago] Ryan Hamilton files two new suits against Scientology’s drug rehab network — in California
[EIGHT years ago] VIDEO: What Did You Lose in Scientology?
[NINE years ago] Scientology’s Future History! A Vision from 1969, and our Stats Roundup


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 2,241 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,745 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,265 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,285 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,176 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 4,483 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 2,351 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 3,125 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 3,929 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,245 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 11,811 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,730 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 3,898 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 3,479 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,740 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 2,778 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 2,491 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,016 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 371 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 1,546 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,097 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,246 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 3,566 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 8,421 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 3,540 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,896 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,199 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,305 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,707 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 2,579 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,162 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 2,657 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,911 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,020 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on March 15, 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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