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


Scientology hype video celebrating its pandemic response is the bomb

Thanks to one of our tipsters, we’re learning that all Scientologists are being asked to come down to their local orgs for an “international Scientology news update” in coming days.

What’s Scientology leader David Miscavige up to? Judging by this brief hype video announcing the event, it looks like David Miscavige is preparing to announce that Scientology has defeated the pandemic and is now ready to clear the planet. Or something.

We figured you’d want to see it.




Ian Rafalko puts up a tortured hour-long video

Ian Rafalko’s TikTok video denouncing his Scientologist father, chiropractor Eric Berg, has garnered 5 million views, and he seemed on the verge of a series of short videos exposing Scientology that would have garnered millions more in impressions. But Rafalko then went quiet for a few weeks, and turned to a Twitter account with few followers, saying he’d been locked out of his TikTok account.

Yesterday he posted an hour-long video to a YouTube channel that had only a few dozen subscribers (as of this morning it’s up over 200). To this much smaller audience he’s given a halting, tortured recitation of his experience in Scientology, his marriage to another Scientology staffer falling apart, and his father’s angry reaction to his TikTok.

Rafalko is obviously hurting, bewildered that Scientology turned out to be hypocritical and that it doesn’t follow its own rules. This is pretty typical for someone who has just come out and is still dealing with the fact that they have been abused by a totalitarian organization. We have reached out with a couple of private messages to him. We were especially concerned by his statement in this video that his bank account has a single dollar in it. We made a suggestion about how he might raise some immediate cash with a GoFundMe, and that we’d be happy to help him spread the word. We hope he responds.



And now a word from the former Chicago ED

Here’s #9 Chicago staff member Lyle Roland!



Meanwhile, those kids in Detroit aren’t letting anything hold them back.



Source Code

“Every time you throw a book in the mails, you see, why there was so much effort coming back toward one, and it’s neglected. Similarly, let’s say, the colored gentleman who has a good, high-paid job: sticking his head through a canvas and letting people throw baseballs at him. I think that’s a well-honored profession of one time or another in carnivals and so on. All right. So here he has these baseballs coming in at him all the time. The visible picture, you see, is made of everything, but his attention goes on the incoming baseball. Yeah, but as this baseball is coming in, actually there is a contrary reaction that he pays no attention to, because he’s interested in the baseball. He’s not interested in that contrary reaction. He wishes there were more of it, if anything, you see, to slow that baseball down. And the next thing you know, he will have too many baseballs thrown at him. Now, he’s actually the — it isn’t the injuries of the baseballs or anything; it’s just the fact that he’s built up a ridge in front of his face that consists of not the incoming baseball, but the resistance going back against the baseball. You got the idea? Well, it’s the resistance back against that baseball that sticks there, not the baseballs. So he has too many baseballs thrown at him and all of a sudden gets a horrible feeling of pushing out that way.” — L. Ron Hubbard, June 2, 1961


Avast, Ye Mateys

“Hey, how about completing TRs. One on the course is trying for a world’s record on TR 0. How about reading the HCOB and doing it? There is only one way off the course and that’s through it. 80 percent of one Class Xs pcs are on this course. For sure we want no Execs out there who can’t pass Zero. So….” — The Commodore, June 2, 1971



Overheard in the FreeZone

“Most Scientologists have been indoctrinated until the cows come home about how DANGEROUS communication is for those who haven’t had auditing. One can kill a preclear with too much communication without a LONG gradient. Most Scientologists are keyouts only, they know the next level of terror, horror, sorrow and monstrosity is hiding right there around the corner. Anyhow, the safe solution is silence, then no one can point the finger at them for ‘ruining a preclears case.’ Most Scientologists I knew were terrified of communicating about anything regardless of their ‘height’ on the bridge. And remember a Grade 0 still doesn’t even know about entities or demonic infestation. So how grade 0 is that? ‘What, you are an entity? How dare you post to my Facebook page, you might freak out my friends and me too!'”


Past is Prologue

1996: The film Schizopolis was shown at the Cannes Film Festival. “The picture starts out as an apparent satire of, and attack on, Scientology-like organizations. Munson (Steven Soderbergh) is a functionary working on behalf of a movement called Eventualism, the guru of which is the uniquely selfish, mean-spirited T. Azimuth Schwitters. Focus then veers to the annoying antics of a weird exterminator in an orange suit and goggles named Elmo, whose aggressively promiscuous activities remain utterly unfathomable throughout the running time. No narrative is developed on a comprehensible level, nor is any single idea fleshed out to meaningful dimensions. Along the way, characters begin speaking in different forms of gibberish, with Munson and his wife relating in a fitfully amusing techno-ese in which they might say hello by uttering ‘generic greeting,’ or indicate they’re going out by announcing ‘imminent departure.’ Genuinely funny is Munson’s habit of speaking to his wife in foreign languages, and some of Soderbergh’s absurdist wordplay isn’t bad either. But what he’s getting at isn’t clear beyond some sort of comment on the paucity and difficulty of communication, a problem the film does nothing to ameliorate.”


Random Howdy

“In the cosmology of L. Ron Hubbard your children aren’t really ‘your’ children. Instead they are just non-corporeal immortal alien beings who popped into the genetic entity inhabiting the womb of the bigger thetan who proceeds to plop it out. They would have these little thetans signing billion-year contracts with their little footprints if they could.”


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


Criminal prosecutions:
Danny Masterson charged for raping three women: Held to answer for trial, next arraignment set for June 7.
Jay and Jeff Spina, Medicare fraud: Jay sentenced to 9 years in prison. Jeff’s sentencing to be scheduled.
Hanan and Rizza Islam and other family members, Medi-Cal fraud: Pretrial conference August 21 in Los Angeles
David Gentile, GPB Capital, fraud: Next pretrial conference set for June 18.

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 to US Supreme Court submitted on May 26. Scientology has until June 25 to respond.
Chrissie Bixler et al. v. Scientology and Danny Masterson: California Supreme Court grants review on May 26, asks Second Appellate Division to direct Judge Steven Kleifield to show cause why he granted Scientology’s motion for arbitration.
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.



We first broke the news of the LAPD’s investigation of Scientology celebrity Danny Masterson on rape allegations in 2017, and we’ve been covering the story every step of the way since then. At this page we’ve collected our most important links, including our four days in Los Angeles covering the preliminary hearing and its ruling, which has Danny facing trial and the potential sentence of 45 years to life in prison.


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 BLACK OPS: Tom Cruise and dirty tricks. 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] Steve Cannane took Scientology’s line, says unrepentant ‘Deep Sleep’ doctor
[TWO years ago] Having conquered QR codes, Scientology goes all in on WhatsApp
[THREE years ago] Janis Gillham Grady on Scientology jail: ‘LRH had been like a father to me. So much betrayal!’
[FOUR years ago] Scientologist’s lawsuit against Jim Carrey over Cat White’s suicide survives dismissal
[FIVE years ago] Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard’s tall tales about himself never get old
[SIX years ago] Scientology, six degrees of separation, and Miss Lovely — author Paulette Cooper
[SEVEN years ago] Ryan Hamilton files lawsuit number eleven against Scientology’s drug rehab network
[EIGHT years ago] Scientology Sunday Funnies: What Did David Miscavige Tell the Troops Last Night?
[TEN years ago] Ex-Scientology Actor Attacks Ex-Scientology Plaintiff in TMZ Story Clearly Not Planted by Scientology


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 2,319 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,824 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,344 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,364 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,255 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 4,562 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 2,430 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 3,204 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 1,534 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,008 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,324 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 11,890 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,809 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 3,977 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 3,558 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,819 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 2,857 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 2,570 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,095 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 450 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 1,625 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,176 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,325 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 3,645 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 8,500 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 3,619 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,975 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,278 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,384 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,786 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 2,658 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,241 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 2,736 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,990 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,099 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on June 2, 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


Share Button
Print Friendly, PDF & Email