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How Scientology wrecks the lives of people who never even go near it

[Three generations, taken at the pergola at the Hollywood Celebrity Centre]

Some people don’t have to read a single word about Scientology in the media to know that they will never, ever, be part of that group. They haven’t read anything negative about Scientology, nor have they read anything positive about Scientology. They have never been a Scientologist, nor have they ever taken a course or an auditing session. But they have lived it. For some of you, this may be a friend or two that you knew before you got involved in Scientology. For me, it was family members.

Let me tell you a story.

As a two year old child, I followed my mother into the Sea Org environment. I found out I did not like it there at all, and complained often about it. It made no difference. This was my new life and I’d need to accept it. I hated it. I was unhappy and that simply did not matter. The world was at stake.

When I was around 8 years old, I saw a banner at my moms Sea Org office. In huge letters, it said “FIVE YEARS.” I read the rest. This Hubbard guy said Earth could be Cleared in five years. We just needed everyone on earth on board.

Well, I knew my mom had always been saying she had to Clear earth. So here it looked like it would only take five years! I was on it! I wanted to hurry things along so we could get the hell out of there.


Soon after that, I found myself in Texas, visiting grandparents. Back then, my maternal and paternal grandparents lived in the same town. So I would visit both of them. Even though I was disconnected from my dad, I still saw my grandparents.

(In the photo above, the one time my mom tried to recruit my grandmother into Scientology and failed. That time, my mom arranged a pinch test for my grandma.)

On a visit to my paternal grandparents house, I remembered this “Five years” banner. As a young child, not knowing how to explain things, I tried to get my grandparents to join Scientology. In my mind, I thought if they joined then earth would be closer to Clear and I would be able to get out of Scientology.

In their mind, I was a sad case of a horribly brainwashed child. They refused to join Scientology. For me, this meant that they wanted me to stay in Scientology because they would not help me Clear earth so we could be done with Scientology forever.

They repeatedly said no. I insisted. And they said no, and tried to change the subject. I brought it back up. It was hours one afternoon of me trying to recruit them. In the end, I had a tantrum on the floor and I was screaming at them “I can’t believe you aren’t Scientologists!”

Understandably, they were surprised and horrified by my behavior. That grandmother called my mom to tell her how rude I was being and that she needed to raise her child better than that. My mother and my grandmother got into a huge fight over this.

And that was the last time my paternal grandparents were ever allowed to see me. Or my brother.

We disconnected.

And so, moving forward from that, my maternal grandparents tried as hard as they could to bite their tongues and keep the peace between my mother and their concerns about how my brother and I were being raised.

You see, before we were old enough to join the Sea Org, we were sent to Texas every summer to visit with them. And they heard all kinds of horror stories about our lives there. We were not complaining at all, we were story-telling. (After I left Scientology and told my grandmother, she told my brother and I some of the things she saw and heard about from us: starting dumpster fires, missing school, climbing outside of four story buildings, disappearing for days at a time, having to steal food to eat, not seeing our mother for months at a time, etc).

I had wondered for so many years why my family had not offered me an out. I felt like they wanted me in Scientology.

After I put two and two together, the penny dropped and I finally figured out that my maternal grandparents were terrified that their grandchildren would be taken away from them too. And for that reason, they did not complain. They did, however, try everything they could to show us a normal life while we were with them.

The day we told our family that we were out for good was a day of happiness and celebration for the family. Sadly, by then my paternal grandparents had already died, and I never got to reconnect with them. But my maternal grandparents were able to see us leave Scientology and rebuild our lives before they passed last year.

But for thirty or forty years, there was not a single smiling face or shiny piece of promo from Scientology that could ever convince them that Scientology had anything to offer but sadness, disconnection, grief and agony to the friends and family of those Scientology members.


And so there was no way in hell, on earth or Target Two, that any of them would ever be a member of Scientology.

— Sunny Pereira


Bonus items from our tipsters

Meanwhile, at the Columbus org…


Marcel Stallings

When I started the Student Hat course I came face to face with the realization that my education in school had been severely lacking. I realized I had been glib. I was a master at tests but when it came to applying the data, it wasn’t as easy as just doing a test. I was an above average student, but I was never able to apply the things I learned. Rather, I would study to get good test results.

With this, I had a very hard time confronting coming on course to study. I felt as though my inability to study had made me an outsider to all the knowledge that Scientology has to offer. Simply being on course used to make me nervous and want to leave as soon as possible. I blamed everything from business failures, income, location and even family for why I hadn’t made any progress. But I found that it was study that was the barrier between me and the things I wanted to understand in Scientology.

As I progressed through the Student Hat course, my BIGGEST realization was that I CAN STUDY AND LEARN THE TECH! I have discovered the importance of not just studying, but really being able to apply what is studied. I feel completely comfortable with, and I now have a new found desire to study and be on course! I have the tools to improve my life, for myself and those around me. For the first time, I feel I can HAVE all of this tech and apply it. I feel I am able to learn everything there is about Scientology, and I am excited to learn it all! I feel I can study about everything! And the org here is incredible — everyone is friendly and everyone is here to help you.

I look forward to studying all the courses I had wanted to do before. Having these tools from LRH on study changes my viewpoint on everything. — M.S.



Source Code

“I feel I should apologize for coming a little bit late to this lecture: three, four, five minutes. But you should realize that this particular planet has a great many lures. There are all kinds of things. There’s drink, you know, there’s beautiful women. There are all of these various things and they lure you away and distract your attention from what you should be doing. And recently, I’d had a Lincoln for ages — since about ’54 — and I sold it and got a fantastic price for it. And then I traded an old Humber we had out here for it, you see, and I got me a Jaguar and — a 60, 61 Jag — and came out all straight on this. And I regret to have to report to you that the Jaguar is leading me astray. I went out to take a fifteen-minute run to get some fresh air and came back three hours later. So you see, sometimes it’s drink, sometimes it’s women. In this particular case it’s a Jaguar. You’ll pardon me weaknesses. Blame it on the planet.” — L. Ron Hubbard, July 12, 1962


Avast, Ye Mateys

“If you want to start a project or two 1. Grab your hat 2. Speed up the ships comm 3. Resign from the Bid-a-Wee Social Club and join the SO! I can and do single-hand this 3200 ton ship. It’s time some made up their minds to decide its theirs too and help me out.” — The Commodore, July 12, 1969


Overheard in the FreeZone

“Life in Scientology Town, USA: A Narrative for your Consideration. In Scientology Town, coordination and cooperation are the rule of the day, not competition. In our factories and fields, almost everything is made, harvested, maintained, and repaired by intelligent machines, and near-human autonomous robots. Human people and our alien friends create art, culture, games, do interesting research, and maintain Scientology outposts on nearby inhabited planets. Our schools and universities use study tech and Hubbard educational methods. School attendance is not mandatory. Education is loads of fun. Students absorb materials online or in study centers where teachers, trainers, drill instructors, and courseroom supervisors monitor the students but generally do not repeat the same principles of the study material which has already been well delineated in the materials. Our communities do not have police departments. Military operations take place only on other planets. On Earth, we have Ethics Officers, who only teach principles. They do not punish or penalize. There are no SPs or PTSs, except in off-Earth locations. Our Government runs off of HCO PLs, and generally avoids making additional laws, restrictions, regulations, or requiring licensing as a prerequisite. We do not have psychs. There are no drug manufacturers. We have no recreational drugs, and no drugs, period. Our doctors teach health principles. They do not perform surgeries. They heal with physical therapy. We have almost no lawyers because we don’t need them. The few agreed-upon laws are founded upon HCOPLs and we ourselves can read and understand them; we don’t need lawyers in order to understand them or to represent us in front of a committee or court of law. It is not at all dangerous to speak for ourselves or advance our concerns here. There are a lot of us who work in space, busily constructing space stations or running space-resort complexes.”


Past is Prologue


2001: An email from the Celebrity Center in Los Angeles urged Scientologists to promote a new album featuring several Scientology celebrities, Joy of Creating. “This campaign is to get everyone using the ‘Joy of Creating’ album plus other promotional items. There is a computer screensaver that is animated and parts of the painting move and then the art breaks wide open to display LRH’s quote: ‘The greatest joy there is in life is creating. Splurge on it!’ Why not modify your e-mail ‘signature’ to include the website link? You can put a little clip of the screensaver on your e-mail so that they can SEE the art and invite them to download the screensaver! If you have a business, consider buying the album so you can put it onto your ON-HOLD music system. You can purchase the CD through the orgs or through Bridge Publications. If anyone takes off and runs with these projects and by chance gets something into print, or on the air or something please let Kay Connelly (AO or through OSA) or Barb Oliver (CC Int) know as this is a statistic and becomes a win for everybody!”


Random Howdy

“The first time I heard about the ‘overt motivator sequence’ was when the Carmen Rainer outrage occurred and vaLLarrr was defending Jan Eastgate for telling a 10-year-old girl it was her fault that her stepfather molested her. I asked vaLLarrr, ‘So it was her karma?’ and vaLLarrr said it was something different than karma. The resident ex-Scientologist explained the overt motivator sequence to me and my head exploded.”


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: Next pretrial conference set for Sept 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 responded on June 25.
Chrissie Bixler et al. v. Scientology and Danny Masterson: California Supreme Court granted review on May 26 and asked the Second Appellate Division to direct Judge Steven Kleifield to show cause why he granted Scientology’s motion for arbitration. Oral arguments scheduled for Oct 5.
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] Scientology turned ‘Dianetics’ into a 4-hour video, and the result is UTTER MADNESS
[TWO years ago] Scientology front group claims it fed an anti-psychiatry story to the L.A. Times
[THREE years ago] Derek Bloch reflects on what having Scientology parents can mean for kids in the church
[FOUR years ago] David Miscavige’s dark vision for Scientology: ‘What did you think you were joining?’
[FIVE years ago] Here’s how you can help make a difference in lives touched by Scientology
[SIX years ago] Jon Atack: Scientology’s snitch culture, and how ex-members must relearn the notion of privacy
[SEVEN years ago] Scientology accused of financial sleight of hand to avoid paying in human slavery lawsuit
[EIGHT years ago] Hey, Tom Cruise, Why Weren’t You the One to Raise a Stink When This Woman Went Missing?
[NINE years ago] Scientology Auditing Kids: Proof From Church’s Own School Website
[TEN years ago] Scientology Quick Hits: Janet Reitman Is Not Afraid, and Other News


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 2,359 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,864 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,384 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,404 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,295 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 4,602 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 2,470 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 3,244 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 1,574 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,048 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,364 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 11,930 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,849 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,017 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 3,598 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,859 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 2,897 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 2,610 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,135 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 490 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 1,665 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,216 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,365 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 3,685 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 8,540 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 3,659 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,015 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,318 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,424 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,826 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 2,698 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,281 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 2,776 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,030 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,139 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on July 12, 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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