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His son may rule moneyed Scientology, but Ron Miscavige needs help to pay for his own funeral

In 2012, Ron Miscavige made a clever and daring escape with his wife Becky Bigelow from Scientology’s secretive “Int Base,” where the two of them had been living as “Sea Org” workers.

What made Ron’s escape more notable than the others from the base was that his own son, David Miscavige, was Scientology’s leader. Ron had run away from his own son’s “church” compound.

We heard about it a few months later from another escapee, and soon after that Ron began secretly communicating with us. For several years, we traded messages with him, looking forward to the day he would go public. As an initial step, in 2013 he asked us to write about his publication of a small book of childhood memories, which he titled “True Confessions of a Kid.” We couldn’t say it then, but it was Ron himself who encouraged us to give his little book of homespun tales some publicity.

We were happy to help him out. And we were also glad to see how much impact Ron made when he did come forward in earnest, publishing with Dan Koon a book about his escape from Scientology, Ruthless: Scientology, My Son David Miscavige, and Me in 2016. That release garnered him an appearance on ABC’s 20/20 and a trail of media since then, including an appearance on Leah Remini’s TV series and then Ron’s own series of weekly video podcasts.


And now, it’s time for more surprising news from Ron. He’s been battling cancer, and he’s recently taken a turn for the worse. To the point that he and Becky are preparing for what comes next. Namely, that even with their insurance accounts, Ron is concerned that Becky won’t have enough to cover a funeral.

So, they are turning to the public for help. And that’s where we come in.

Ron’s close friend Rick Shaw wanted us to know that he had collaborated with Ron on a new song, and that Geoff Levin helped with guitars and mixing. “I called it ‘Ron’s theme,” Rick says, “but he calls it ‘I’m happy.'”

Rick set up a GoFundMe account yesterday, and asked us to post a link to it and this video of the song, which contains some wonderful scenes from Ron’s life, particularly since he escaped Scientology and reunited with good friends.

We’re glad we got to be a part of Ron’s new life, and we hope you can help him make sure that Becky has some financial protection for what’s coming next.


Ron can’t go to his son David Miscavige for help. After Ron ditched Scientology in 2012, and knowing how much Ron knew about Scientology and Dave’s authority over it, the church leader unleashed a yearslong and vicious campaign of “Fair Game” against his own father. Besides setting up anonymous websites to smear his dad, David Miscavige also set private investigators on him.

A couple of PIs were being paid $10,000 a week to stalk Ron on behalf of Scientology when they were arrested in 2013 on unrelated charges and ended up spilling their guts about the operation. They had placed tracking devices on Ron’s car, had followed him wherever he went, and tried always to keep out of sight so Ron wouldn’t know he was being followed.

At one point, Ron was walking across a parking lot at Walmart when he fumbled his mobile phone from a shirt pocket and tried clutching at it. From a distance, the private eyes thought they were witnessing an older man have a heart attack. So, they later told police, they called up their handler who put them right through to David Miscavige himself. If they rushed to help Ron, it would blow their cover. But David told them to keep their distance. “If he dies, he dies,” Miscavige told them.

Now, some eight years later, Ron really is dying, and he knows he can’t turn to his son for help. So he’s turned to the public. And after the service he’s done to help the world know more about what really goes on in Scientology under the control of David Miscavige, we hope the public responds.



Source Code

“A few days ago I decided I would look young. Well, how do you look young? All you do is take flesh off certain planes of the face. This is what artists do in making faces old or young. So, I selectively ran incidents until the planes of the face were smaller. Oddly enough you run out tiredness also when you do this. You can actually select off certain pieces of flesh, and change your appearance. You have with this technique the power of changing your own physiological being. You go on up, theta line running, and you have another choice: You can change beings. You could! Of course you have been growing and nurturing this body, and you are somewhat attached to it. But it is just as much an object as this eraser, and your existence with this body is something like going around holding this eraser all the time, and saying, ‘I’m the eraser.’” — L. Ron Hubbard, June 24, 1952


Avast, Ye Mateys

“TROUBLE: The fastest possible way for a senior to get into trouble is to fail to get in Ethics on a downstat junior. The US ‘solves’ all this with huge government pay offs and propitiation. And look at the upsurge of riots. Capitalism works only on the reward side. It takes two sides to make a game. If an I/C lets Ethics go out on his juniors he pulls the rug out from under himself — and slaughters the juniors also. A team is composed of teammates. Those who mess up the team aren’t teammates. The decline of the FSO and FAO WHY is really — the seniors let ethics go out on their juniors and sought to be ‘good fellows.’ This dumped the lot back onto me. The VFP of our 3 orgs is not juniors who think their seniors are good fellows. And it isn’t ‘good fellows’ either. Effective SO Members is one of our VFPs. We have some. We will have more.” — The Commodore, June 24, 1971


Overheard in the FreeZone

“The independent field is a scattered, disjointed effort to preserve standard tech but many auditors and c/s’s are senior citizens and we have to ask ourselves urgently what will be available for the next generation!? A unification process is needed where one standard set of materials is authorised by what I call a WDC consisting of all the greatest independent minds currently doing Scn for a living. Decent groups exist in Russia, Israel, Switzerland, Ukraine, Taiwan, South Africa, the US and Germany. Somehow these should come together and simply supplant the church. Having already lost people like David Mayo and all the Class XIIs I identified with my very first survey, the urgency to form up a strong international group, is urgent. The only alternative is to take back the church, which can be done if the truth can be vested as reality with its remaining sheeple. And that will take some doing.”


Past is Prologue

1997: Court documents filed by Janice Hayward were posted this week. Janice is suing Scientology for a refund. Janice also alleges physical force used against her by staff members. “I contracted with the Church of Scientology Phoenix Organization to become a Dianetic Clear and the Special Price was $25,000. I was guaranteed results or my money back. Both written and verbal agreements were broken to extort more money beyond the agreed upon price. John DeNiro, a staff member said that I was ‘a mark’ on 24 Dec. 1991. He meant that they were just out to take my money. In February, 1995, I was told by Karen Mosher, Acting Executive director, and John DeNiro a staff member, that I could not receive the Dianetics program. My contract was broken and I was put out. My financial and counseling records were altered, and I was charged excessively, over and over again, and then kicked out with no refund. Therefore, I ask that a judgment be awarded me in the amount of $67,000 for actual financial harm, plus court costs and attorney fees. In addition, I ask that a judgment be awarded me in the amount equal to three times my actual financial losses as punitive damages for the physical and mental stress I suffered. On or about 21 Dec., 1992 I was assaulted by Wendy Keene, Ethics Officer. Mary Sugher, Secretary, tried to physically force me to stay at the Church of Scientology against my will. She called for Wendy Keen and Kathy Bennett, a Division 6 Supervisor, to attack me. Kathy ran off, but Wendy slammed me repeatedly into the wall in the back of the church for over half an hour. Finally, John DiNero, a staff member, came in and made her stop. I confronted Mary Sugher about the assault. She told me that L. Ron Hubbard’s policy states that it is all right to physically assault people.”



Random Howdy

“An ice cold martini sure sounds better than lukewarm vodka and lemonade”


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

Criminal prosecutions:
Danny Masterson charged for raping three women: Next hearing set for August 9. Trial tentatively scheduled for early November.
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: June 18 pretrial conference delayed until July 9.

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: Third 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] Danny Masterson’s Scientology upbringing: An interview with his former stepdad, Joe Reaiche
[TWO years ago] YouTube permanently shutters channel that exposed Scientology’s bigotry
[THREE years ago] Coming soon, our collaboration with ‘Miss Lovely’ herself, Paulette Cooper!
[FOUR years ago] Scientology watchers, one mile high: HowdyCon 2017’s big night is here
[FIVE years ago] Scientology stealth opening: Tomorrow, David Miscavige will dedicate two buildings in Florida
[SIX years ago] A rundown on the truth being delivered at the Toronto Scientology conference
[SEVEN years ago] UP THE BRIDGE: We finally reach ‘OT 8’ — but was its first version really a hoax?
[EIGHT years ago] Laura D to Scientology: It’s Too Late for a Protective Order in Forced-Abortion Case
[NINE years ago] Scientology Plays Denver’s Police Chief Like a Violin
[TEN years ago] Janet Reitman: An Interview with the Author of Inside Scientology
[THIRTEEN years ago] Scientology’s Crushing Defeat


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 2,341 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,846 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,366 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,386 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,277 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 4,584 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 2,452 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 3,226 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 1,556 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,030 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,346 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 11,912 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,831 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 3,999 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 3,580 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,841 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 2,879 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 2,592 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,117 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 472 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 1,647 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,198 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,347 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 3,667 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 8,522 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 3,641 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,997 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,300 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,406 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,808 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 2,680 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,263 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 2,758 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,012 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,121 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on June 24, 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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