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First, do harm: Scientology’s secret war on mental health

We’re happy to say that today begins another epic dive into Scientology by historian Chris Owen. Today, part one of his three-part look at Scientology and its war on the mental health industry.

Few things in Scientology have been more of a constant than its campaign against psychiatry and mental health organisations. L. Ron Hubbard and his successors have waged a ceaseless war against mainstream mental health for the past seventy years, claiming to seek nothing less than the total annihilation of psychiatry. With two top Australian mental health advocates calling for Scientology to lose its tax exemption over its war against psychiatry, are Scientology’s attacks simply trash-talking – or something more sinister?

(A note from Chris: Many thanks to the benefactors whose generosity has been essential in covering the cost of the research subscriptions that enabled me to write this article — and much more besides. If readers would like to help contribute towards further research, please see my Patreon page. Thank you for your continued support!)


Scientology’s hostility to mainstream mental health has often been attributed to the reception that Hubbard’s 1950 book Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health received from doctors and mental health professionals. They roundly criticised it for its false claims, condemning it as a pseudoscience and a fraud. In some places, Dianetics faced close scrutiny and occasional enforcement actions from government regulators.

Such threats were a major part of the reason why, in 1953, Hubbard declared that his new ‘science of the mind,’ Scientology, would henceforth be a religion under the protection of the First Amendment. It was a “problem of practical business,” he declared, that would achieve the aim of “knock[ing] psychotherapy into history.”

However, his hostility towards psychiatry was not just due to personal pique, but had deep ideological roots. Hubbard had connections with the far right – he was linked to the white nationalist, anti-Semitic America First Party and the Christian Youth for America organisation via a common publisher, E.E. Manney of Fort Worth, Texas, and he proudly boasted in South Africa of Scientology’s “loyalty to the Rightist cause.”

The far right detested psychiatry as “a subtle and diabolical plan of the enemy to transform a free and intelligent people into a cringing horde of zombies,” as a 1955 flyer by the Keep America Committee put it. Far-rightists were particularly suspicious of the involvement of Europeans and Jews, and condemned psychiatry as ‘foreign’ and ‘un-American.’

The same attitudes were reflected in Hubbard’s own writings, in which he repeatedly attacked psychiatry in very similar terms to those of far-right anti-psychiatry campaigners. Although he later made much of having ‘offered’ Dianetics to the psychiatric profession, which ignored and then rejected it, his book Dianetics was deeply hostile to mental health treatments. He condemned “the practices of the ‘neurosurgeon’ and the ice-pick which he thrusts and twists into insane minds [to] reduce the victim to mere zombie-ism, destroying most of his personality and ambition and leaving him nothing more than a manageable animal.”

Hubbard reduced psychiatry to a caricature of 1940s practices such as lobotomies and electroconvulsive therapy. Scientology continues to promote the same caricature, despite the fact that such methods are now used far less frequently or, in the case of lobotomies, not at all.

During the 1950s, Hubbard increasingly became convinced that a conspiracy of Communists and psychiatrists was working against him to cause trouble for Scientology. He wrote a rambling letter to the FBI in July 1955 to complain that “psychiatry and Communist connected personnel” had sabotaged his organisations. “Appears mental,” an FBI agent noted in the margins.

Around the same time, Hubbard wrote a notorious hoax booklet – the so-called “Brainwashing Manual”, which falsely portrayed psychiatry as a communist-led plot for a political takeover. It proved to be one of his most durable works and is still circulated today by conspiracy theorists.


His fulminations against the medical profession took a darker turn when, in the early 1960s, Scientology came under fire from Australian doctors and the tabloid press. Hubbard hired private detectives and launched investigations into doctors in the state of Victoria for supposed communist links. “We can undo subversion as there are 12 Scientologists in Australia for every medical doctor,” he told a local police inspector.

He accused the local branch of the British Medical Association (BMA) of having “hands caked with blood” and declared that he was having the association’s Dr C.H. Dickson “investigated for Anti-social background, and if it ever comes to a court case, we’ll ruin him.” Hubbard announced that Australia would not only be the first “clear continent” but the first continent where medicine itself could be abolished. “Let’s declare war in our own way, in a Scientology way,” he wrote, “upon the enemy.”

Hubbard established a Department of Government Affairs to oversee his “war.” It was to take the offence against the BMA in Victoria:


Rock them with petitions to have medical laws modified which they are to sign. Couple the BMA attack with any group hated by the government. Attack personally by threats or suits any person signing anything for the BMA. Slam the matter into politics, advance a bill into parliament that strips the BMA of all legal rights by opening healing to all. Make the attack by the BMA look ridiculous. Attack medical practices. Investigate horrible practices loudly. (Always investigate loudly never quietly.) Make the distinct public and governmental impression and BMA impression that they’ve run into a barrage of arrows or electronic cannon and that continued attack by them will cause their own disintegration.

It was not very effective, though, as continued media and political pressure led to the Victorian government establishing a public enquiry into Scientology. The Anderson Enquiry produced a devastating condemnation of Scientology and Hubbard personally that led to further public enquiries and restrictions on Scientology in several states and countries.

Hubbard was livid. He announced that Scientology would not cooperate with any future enquiries and told his followers that the tables should be turned on the medical and psychiatric professions. Scientology should be “continually holding to view their wealth and monopolistic efforts and gory history,” and should “put psychiatry on trial for murder, mercy killing, sterilisation, torture, and sex practices.” As Scientology’s troubles worsened, Hubbard took an increasingly vengeful attitude towards psychiatry. “During this period we have been mostly on the receiving end,” he told Scientologists. “We’ve taken about all they have to throw. Now it’s our turn. We will start dishing it out.”

When Lord Balniel, the chairman of Britain’s National Association of Mental Health, raised questions about Scientology in the UK Parliament in 1965, Hubbard set up a Public Investigations Section and hired private investigators to target Balniel and other critics. “Start feeding lurid, blood sex crime [sic] actual evidence on the attackers to the press,” he wrote. His hired PIs were instructed to find “at least one bad mark on every psychiatrist in England, a murder, an assault, or a rape or more than one,” starting with Lord Balniel.

Soon afterwards, Hubbard established his own private intelligence agency, the Guardian’s Office. He put in charge Jane Kember, a fanatical Kenyan-born Scientologist who had led Scientology’s attack against psychiatry in South Africa. In February 1966, Hubbard launched “Project Psychiatry” to eliminate all of Britain’s psychiatrists. He announced the creation of a “Committee for Sane Psychiatry” that would expose psychiatry’s “brutal treatment and sex orgies” and force legislatures to regulate psychiatry, which he said “conducts itself in a totally outlaw fashion.”


[Jane Kember, with David Gaiman]

The campaign, he wrote, was to be “hot and heavy and well financed by us.” It was to document case histories of “brutal savage treatment” and publicise them through a committee or front group in a “loud, lurid and effective” way. By exposing “psychiatric bloodsports, Psychiatric Auschwitz all proven by individual cases,” Hubbard promised, “we will remove them.”

The British government became increasingly convinced that Scientology was harmful and introduced restrictions on its members in 1967. It banned foreign Scientologists from entering the UK and terminated Hubbard’s visa. He evaded the ban by taking to the sea on a small fleet of vessels, from which he ran Scientology’s worldwide operations.

These included masterminding a covert war against psychiatry. In a September 1968 directive titled simply, ‘The War,’ he blamed all of Scientology’s problems on “a dozen men at the top,” who he said were “red as paint” and “reach into International Finance, Health Ministries, Schools, the press. They even control immigration in many lands.” The guilty dozen were the leaders of the Switzerland-based World Federation of Mental Health (WFMH) and its national affiliates, who had chosen psychiatry and mental health as “a vehicle to undermine and destroy the West!”

The solution he identified was nothing less than to destroy psychiatry. Hubbard told his followers that he wanted psychiatrists to be driven “out of every country, I want them out of every institution and I want them out of every college in the world.” “Our error,” Hubbard told Scientologists, “was in failing to take over total control of all mental healing in the West.”

Hubbard subsequently issued what he called the “Occupy Territory Eval[ulation]” to set out a plan for how Scientology would displace psychiatry. He ordered Scientologists to “invade the territory of Smersh [his term for the WFMH], run it better, make tons of money in it, to purify the mental health field.” He told his followers to work on “grabbing huge contributions and appropriations all as Mental Health not Scn.” The problem, as he saw it, was that “governments hold onto and nurse psychiatry and the mental health movement.” He wanted to replace this with an “ideal scene” whereby “Scientology has replaced psychs in all government zones.”

To accomplish this, he aimed to make governments “offload psychs and unload Scientology” through a PR campaign that would include continuing “to attack psychs everywhere.” The Scientologists’ anti-psychiatry propaganda would “unsell states and financiers on psychiatry and sell them Scientology in its place.”

Hubbard was an inveterate fantasist; none of his plans for the destruction of psychiatry had much chance of becoming a reality. The lurid anti-psychiatry propaganda pumped out in the pages of Scientology’s ‘newspaper,’ Freedom, was far too crude and unbelievable to have much impact. However, he had more than enough money and followers to ensure that he could at the very least cause a serious nuisance for mental health organisations.


Scientology launched a campaign to infiltrate and take over Britain’s National Association for Mental Health. Hubbard also targeted the WFMH, which he saw as the nerve centre of a world psychiatric conspiracy. He was particularly incensed that the Geneva-based World Health Organisation (WHO), a UN agency, had friendly relations with the WFMH.

In 1968, he ordered that the Geneva headquarters of the WHO was to be burgled to obtain whatever files it held on Scientology. Two Sea Org members were selected for the task, which Hubbard personally oversaw. Another mission targeted the offices of the WFMH, which was also headquartered in Switzerland. The operations were successful and produced useful intelligence on what Hubbard believed to be the hidden conspiracy against Scientology.


[WHO headquarters in Geneva, in the 1960s]

As a result of what had been discovered through the burglaries, another Sea Org mission was dispatched to Switzerland to carry out a plot to disrupt the WFMH by taking advantage of an administrative oversight by the organisation. According to Liz Ausley, who was one of those involved:

We were going to incorporate in Switzerland and were planning, thereafter, to sabotage the entire mental health movement. We wanted to get member mental health groups all over the world to join us. We were planning to achieve that by bad mouthing the existing heads of the WFMH …

We established an office and put up large posters and plastered the Federation of Mental Health name all over it. We got the program going. We sent mailings out to all the major drug companies around the world, saying that we really were in favour of euthanasia (in this case “mercy” killing on a broad scale, a euphemism for ridding society of “undesirables”) and that we wanted endowments from them to push it through in the United Nations.

We figured that if the drug companies were sleazy enough to back it they would send us money, and if they were pretty cool they would realise that the WFMH were evil SOBs because they were pushing euthanasia. Either way we came out OK. We would either make the WFMH look like a bunch of sleaze bags, or we would end up with a good amount of money for operating capital.

Hubbard was delighted with the operation and announced to Scientologists that the Sea Org had mounted “a frontal attack calculated to cut all enemy finance lines.” However, it went wrong when the Scientologists were challenged by the Swiss government body dealing with incorporations. The Swiss Minister of Health became involved and summoned the Sea Org ‘missionaires’ to a meeting. Ausley later recalled:

We were caught red-handed by the Swiss Minister of Health and received a summons to a meeting with him and the Attorney General, surrounded by security police. We were just caught, hung tied and quartered, until I somehow managed to convince the minister that I truly was a member of the World Federation of Mental Health. I told him that what we were trying to do really was the result of an internal squabble within that organisation. He finally bought this line, dropped the idea that we were impostors, and asked the law enforcement guys to leave.

Hubbard panicked when he was informed of the outcome. He was convinced that the Swiss authorities were planning to lull the “missionaires” into a false sense of security before arresting and interrogating them, potentially exposing Scientology’s role. They were ordered to abandon the “frontal attack” and return at once to the Apollo, which hastily left Sardinia in case an order came through to arrest Ausley and her companion. Afterwards, Hubbard wrote sourly that the Swiss Health Minister had said that “it was all right for [the WFMH] to be illegal but it wasn’t all right for anyone else to be illegal. Wonderful.”

The WFMH moved its headquarters to Edinburgh in Scotland, prompting Hubbard to crow that Scientology had “already hurt [the enemy’s] morale and finances enough to make him move his HQ.” He declared that “our forces are closing in on it again in the new location.” This was no idle boast. The WFMH’s new offices suffered a burglary in which a list of participants in a forthcoming international mental health conference was stolen, along with a quantity of headed notepaper. All those attending the conference were subsequently sent a forged letter under the WFMH letterhead advising them that the conference would be held in Havana, Cuba rather than Washington, DC. Fortunately for the attendees, all but one were warned in time.

Hubbard’s wife Mary Sue ordered the Guardian’s Office to put the WFMH and other mental health organisations under surveillance “[so] that their actions against us can be exposed fully.” The regional chiefs were instructed “to infiltrate any such groups in your area,” collect information on them and “do everything possible in the collection of such data.” They were also to “do everything possible to inhibit or stop any actions directed against us” by the WFMH and its allies.

GO operatives infiltrated the American Psychological Association, which they believed was connected to the WFMH. They pursued the WFMH for years, infiltrating its offices in Jamaica and Vancouver and stealing files. A March 1974 order from Jane Kember instructed GO operatives in the US that “now the [WFMH] Secretariat is in Jamaica … I would like a mission sent to finish off the files and make quite sure we have cleared them out. As it is closest to your area, could you please select missionaires with a decent cover etc, so we can finish them off. What I am after is any files on Scn [Scientology], Dn [Dianetics], LRH [Hubbard] etc, that the WFMH has.” The FBI later found 16 volumes of stolen WFMH documents in the GO’s Los Angeles headquarters.


Covert action against psychiatry took place across the GO’s worldwide network. After a burglary at the Dutch National Centre for Mental Health in Utrecht in which the organisation’s files on Scientology were taken, two young Scientologists were stopped by police during a routine traffic check, and were found to have the stolen files on the back seat of their car. The Royal College of Psychiatrists in London was likewise burgled during a public holiday. Intruders forced open a door in the basement and spent several hours going through the files, leaving everything of value untouched but taking the college’s file of material on Scientology. The college’s photocopiers also appeared to have been used.

In Canada, the police discovered that the Toronto branch of the GO had stolen files from the Ontario Hospital in Whitby, Ontario “for the express purpose of attacking the field of psychiatry and the treatment of mental patients in institutions to embarrass the field of psychiatry and to deflect patients to SCIENTOLOGY.”

The GO also infiltrated the Canadian Mental Health Association headquarters in Toronto with a trio of agents who passed reports on the CMHA’s activities to the GO’s continental HQ in the United States. Another agent obtained a job as director of volunteers at Toronto’s mental hospital. At the Hamilton Psychiatric Hospital, Scientologists resorted to direct action by invading the building, yelling at staff before being removed by police.

Local mental health groups in the US were similarly targeted. In the mid-1970s, GO staff member Robert Vaughn Young, who later became Scientology’s international spokesman, directed a covert sabotage operation against a California mental health group while temporarily managing the Los Angeles org’s GO intelligence bureau. “The operation created considerable bad press for the group, severely hurt their fund-raising and was not traced to Scientology,” he later wrote. Similar operations were likely carried out across the US by regional GO branches.

In South Africa, where Hubbard had sought for years to build friendly relations with the apartheid government, Scientology attempted to portray psychiatry as an enemy of the state.

It urged the government to “investigate fully the enemy [i.e. psychiatry] within South Africa” and “maintain its firm stance against subversive special interests despite pressure brought to bear on it by international bankers who are also directors of psychiatric front groups.” It claimed that South Africa was being undermined by “Communist infiltrators and psycho-politicians working in Mental Health groups to further the cause of Communism, and the ultimate degradation of Society.” The end goal, it claimed, was “a psychopolitical takeover in South Africa.”

The campaign fell flat, however, as the South African government became increasingly suspicious of Scientology. By the later 1970s, the government’s increasing hostility to Scientology likely led the GO to make the bold if risky decision to target the government directly to expose abusive mental health practices in state-funded institutions. In 1976, Scientologists reportedly burgled the Ministry of Health, church offices and the office of the director of a company that ran mental institutions in South Africa.

Hubbard’s campaign against psychiatry was fueled by his own obsessions, but he did not lack allies. The huge increase in psychiatry in the United States following World War II had prompted a backlash, initially from right-wing elements which saw psychiatry’s doctrines as liberal, left-wing, subversive and anti-American or pro-Communist. Hubbard had exploited this sentiment very effectively with his “Brainwashing Manual” hoax in 1955.

A new anti-psychiatric movement emerged in the US in the 1960s that brought together left-leaning intellectuals and former psychiatric patients. It argued that psychiatry was inherently controlling and a threat to freedom of thought. The American Psychiatric Association’s labelling of homosexuality as a psychiatric disorder was a particular flashpoint for the emerging generation of gay rights activists.

One of the leading thinkers behind this movement was Dr. Thomas Szasz, a trained psychoanalyst who had become an outspoken critic of psychiatry and published an influential book, The Myth of Mental Illness, in 1961. He lent his support in 1969 to Hubbard’s newly established Citizens’ Commission on Human Rights.


[Thomas Szaz]

Despite its name, this had little to do with citizens or human rights; it was a Scientology front group dedicated to the destruction of psychiatry. It would seek “to obtain information for prosecution” of psychiatrists, which would be acquired from the public, lawyers and medical doctors, “most of whom,” Hubbard claimed falsely, “oppose psychiatry.”

CCHR was under the direct control of the ‘social reform’ section of the Guardian’s Office. It was openly associated with Scientology, unlike many other front groups, to meet Hubbard’s directive that Scientology must position itself in the public eye as the organisation that was cleaning up the field of mental healing.


Szasz’s perceived credibility was an essential asset for Scientology. In 1971, Hubbard secretly launched “Campaign Szasz,” a plan which aimed to “abolish institutional psychiatry and debar [medical doctors] from handling mental illness.” He wrote that worldwide attacks on Scientology all traced back to psychiatric organisations. Scientology and Szasz therefore had a common enemy. However, Szasz was under-resourced while Scientology, as Hubbard implicitly conceded, had a poor public reputation.

The solution, in Hubbard’s mind, was to make Szasz the figurehead of Scientology’s campaign against psychiatry, but without obviously making him appear to be a Scientology puppet. Hubbard regarded Szasz as “a powerful authoritative source speaking convincingly against these groups [who] can greatly damage them if publicised.” Therefore, wrote Hubbard, “we must popularize Szasz and get him around.”

Szasz, who was not a Scientologist, openly acknowledged that the relationship was an alliance of convenience. As he put it bluntly, “my enemy’s enemy is my friend.” CCHR was “the only organisation who had money and had some access to lawyers and were active in trying to free mental patients who were incarcerated in mental hospitals,” he told an Australian interviewer in 2009. He regarded that as “a very worthwhile cause,” but declared that “I no more believe in their religion or their beliefs than I believe in the beliefs of any other religion.”

Whatever Szasz’s intentions, however, his alliance with Scientology did not produce the results he might have wished for. CCHR became notorious for its extreme views on psychiatry, which it blamed for everything from drug abuse to the Holocaust. Rather than burnishing Scientology’s claims, Szasz found his own reputation being damaged by his association with the church and his ideas were widely discredited as a result.

While CCHR’s campaigning has often been obnoxiously false, it has occasionally uncovered genuine problems in psychiatric care. In South Africa in the 1970s, it publicised the appalling treatment that the mentally ill people were suffering in institutions run by private firms on behalf of the government. An energetic campaign by Scientology resulted in heavy international criticism and prompted reforms to be enacted – though the government also amended the law to suppress any future public scrutiny of mental hospitals and prisons. CCHR’s infiltration of a psychiatric hospital in New South Wales, Australia in 1980 exposed a lethally dangerous treatment regime that led to a Royal Commission into mental health care in the state.

CCHR has often failed to mention, however, that problems with psychiatric care have frequently been caused by neglect and underfunding by the state. In South Africa, for instance, those suffering in state-run institutions were overwhelmingly black, suffering from acute neglect by the apartheid government – a government that Scientology had enthusiastically backed and Hubbard had praised. For CCHR, however, everything comes down to the belief that psychiatry is intrinsically evil.

— Chris Owen

Next: How Scientology secretly attacked medical doctors


Source Code

“Science plays a lively tune and they play it with very glossy photographs. They play it with very good advertisements. They play it with great big, imposing universities, huge facades built out of gorgeous marble, imported from South Dubuque. They’ve got themselves a pretty good face, see? Big stuff. People’s cars go whiz-whiz down the streets and the petrol that goes into the engine will make it run at vast expense. They’ve got it up to a point where an engine can actually utilize over a thousandth of the potential power in a gallon of gasoline. They’ve got it fixed up so they can color your health bread by certain breeds of mold, and so they can get appropriation from other breeds of mold called ‘Congress.’ You’ve got yourself quite a game going here. It’s called science, and you yourself are not totally aware of the fact how that cuts your personal throat.” — L. Ron Hubbard, June 30, 1964



Avast, Ye Mateys

“The shark picked up a lot of paper that was thrown over and wants to take the DAC. He’s got a former therapy thing going though. Used to be partners with an electric eel in a psychiatric racket. I told him if we didn’t get some auditors soon I’d discuss his application further. He went off singing an odd song that went ‘Most courteous fish in the ocean, with temper forgiving and mild. Though his record is dark, he’s a Man-eating shark who would eat neither woman or child.’ Good luck to full time DAC on your exams.” — June 30, 1969


Overheard in the FreeZone

“I have no problem, but you won’t confront that the products you deliver are full of flaws. The NOTs material is based on the work of David Mayo who himself no longer believed in it. I’m really not in Confusion with L. Ron Hubbard and his teachings. All I want is that the Independent Field goes back to deliver real LRH Tech. And by the way, I’m critical of the whole field that delivers NOTS, NED and all the fake stuff that was invented after 1978. Until you don’t deliver the results of the early 1970 OT Levels, you are not producing real results.”


Past is Prologue

1996: The office of Scientology lawyer Kendrick Moxon issued a press release concerning the recent demise of the Cult Awareness Network. Moxon litigated the Scott case, which led to the award that caused CAN’s insolvency. “The civil rights attorney who filed the motion to dismiss CAN’s attempt to protect its assets in the bankruptcy court, Kendrick Moxon, said ‘CAN’s sole purpose now is to start paying off its victims and the people it has hurt’ referring to the $4.9 million judgment against CAN and three others in the kidnapping of a Seattle area man who belonged to a Pentecostal church. That 1994 civil rights case was brought under the federal statute commonly known as the Ku Klux Klan Act and was the largest civil damages award rendered against CAN or any deprogrammer in U.S. history. CAN tried to avoid paying the punitive and actual damages assessed against it by declaring Chapter 11 bankruptcy late last year. Moxon, who has fought for civil and religious rights for decades, added, ‘CAN was a hate group that promoted religious intolerance, broke up families and incited hatred. It had a long history of criminal acts and kidnapping activities. Religious freedom is a little more free now.'”


Random Howdy

“Scientology is in the same category as Christian Science and the Jehovah’s Witnesses as far as being a ‘spiritual’ practice that has caused the deaths of its adherents in the past through the denial of legitimate medical treatment. These crimes need to be stopped.”



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] That time Laura Prepon helped silence a Danny Masterson victim for Scientology
[TWO years ago] Scientology continues to use the United Nations as a prop for its propaganda
[THREE years ago] Scientology scam: ‘It hadn’t occurred to me I was getting appalling advice from Church execs’
[FOUR years ago] We have the letter Scientologists are receiving from a federal judge!
[FIVE years ago] Scientology produces miracles — but you only get to hear about them in one place
[SIX years ago] Scientology leader’s father signs a book deal, for ‘IF HE DIES, HE DIES’
[SEVEN years ago] That time L. Ron Hubbard was hit by lightning while wearing full armor: It’s science!
[EIGHT years ago] Tampa Bay Times Portrays Twin Sister of Scientology Leader as Dope-Smoking Slumlord
[NINE years ago] What Katie Holmes is Saving Suri From: Scientology’s Interrogation of Children
[TEN years ago] Scientology Goon Squads Face Fines After Texas Town Rallies To Marty Rathbun’s Cause


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 2,347 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,852 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,372 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,392 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,283 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 4,590 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 2,458 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 3,232 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 1,562 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,036 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,352 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 11,918 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,837 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,005 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 3,586 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,847 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 2,885 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 2,598 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,123 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 478 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 1,653 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,204 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,353 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 3,673 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 8,528 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 3,647 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,003 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,306 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,412 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,814 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 2,686 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,269 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 2,764 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,018 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,127 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on June 30, 2021 at 07:00

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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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