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New evidence that private eyes stalking Leah Remini and J-Lo were working for Scientology

[TV polygraph expert Dan Ribacoff and his son Lance]

TV polygraph expert Dan Ribacoff has denied that his private investigators were following Leah Remini on behalf of the Church of Scientology in December 2017 when she was in New York filming a movie with her friend, Jennifer Lopez.

In June, writing for The Daily Beast we obtained text messages from one of those PIs, a retired NYPD detective named Yanti Mike Greene, which showed that Greene was on assignment from Ribacoff’s firm, International Investigative Group (IIG), following Remini as part of a team of PIs.

When one of the other investigators asked Greene why Scientology would want her followed, Greene replied, “Yeah — word is they want to kill her. Or at least know what she’s doing when in NYC.”

But Ribacoff, in a phone call, denied that his employees were following Remini on behalf of the church.

“If you think the Church of Scientology is my client, you’re 100 percent wrong,” he said.


We were skeptical about that at the time, and now we have even more reason to be.

We have obtained an email that was written by Dan Ribacoff’s son, Lance, who also works at IIG and gives PIs their assignments. It’s addressed to Greene’s AOL email account, which he confirmed was his account in court testimony.


The email shows that in February 2017, ten months before Greene was assigned to follow Remini, the Ribacoffs wanted him to follow another person that Scientology has surveilled and harassed for years.

Namely, your proprietor.

The email from Lance Ribacoff included images of this author and his wife, Arielle Silverstein, and asked Greene to go to our previous residence, an apartment on East 89th Street.

It included a number of instructions.


1. Speak with current tenant at 9L
a. Ask him if he knew the previous tenants Ortega and Silverstein
b. Ask how long he’s lived there (since what month/year)

c. See if you can take photos of how it looks currently
d. Get contact information for tenant so if we have follow up questions

2. Speak with Building Manager
a. See how Ortega and Silverstein left the unit when they moved out
i. was it dirty, smelly, any other information
b. Do they know why they moved out
c. Any complaints about them
d. Get contact information for Building Manager so if we have follow up questions

3. Speak with neighbors on the same floor
a. Ask them if they knew them
b. What were they like
c. Any issues, anything out of the ordinary, etc.
d. Get contact information for each tenant so if we have follow up questions

Take pictures of the building and the floor as well


We emailed Dan Ribacoff and explained that we were having a difficult time coming up with anyone other than the Church of Scientology who might pay the expensive rates of a private investigations firm to follow both Leah Remini and us in the same year.

We hope he calls back as quickly as he did last time.

What we’d ask him, if he does call, is whether he’ll admit that his client, while not “the Church of Scientology,” is one of Scientology’s attorneys or other agents, which is how they normally operate. It’s not “Scientology” that hires PIs, it’s attorneys like Elliot Abelson, or obscure sounding subsidiaries like “RTC” or “OSA.”

This is all very familiar, of course.

In 2015, former Scientology spokesman Mike Rinder and your proprietor learned at the same time that a private investigator named Eric Saldarriaga was facing prison time after being convicted of hacking about 30 people. The US Attorney’s office let us both know that we were among the targets.

(A couple of years earlier we had caught Saldarriaga “spoofing” us — sending out emails in our name — but we never found evidence that he ever managed to access our data.)

Again, it was quite obvious who was paying Saldarriaga. Who else would pay someone to hack both Mike Rinder and this correspondent? And in fact, in that case the New York Times reported that Saldarriaga was, indeed, working for Scientology.

Saldarriaga served three months in federal prison and then, sadly, died of cancer in 2017 without ever telling us more about the operation.


[Ribacoff is a fixture on the Steve Welkos Show]

Now, once again, a private investigator has been caught stalking two of the people that Scientology perpetually harasses online (Leah Remini, Mike Rinder, and yours truly are the subject of daily attacks at websites and Twitter accounts that openly or not so openly display their connections to the church).

Dan Ribacoff is interesting, however, because he’s a well known television figure who is brought on programs to talk about his expertise in polygraph examinations.

We can’t help wondering if he’d strap himself up to one now and tell us what he knows about what else Scientology has asked him to do.



US Supreme Court update

Yesterday the US Supreme Court issued new orders, and among them took on four new cases (“granted cert”). Valerie Haney’s case was not among them.

However, SCOTUSBlog noted that another set of orders is coming from the court Monday morning, so we’ll be looking for another update then.


Bonus items from our tipsters

More Minty fresh goodness from Scientology.



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Source Code

“We could bring people in off the streets and have them walk down the hall and stop in Office 1 where a little sign says, ‘Glasses removed here.’ We wouldn’t have any couches or anything cluttering the place up like that, and we could just walk them around the hall and at each station there would be another auditor and he would just ask standard questions. The people coming in would walk all the way around and then out on the street again. Of course, they would stop at the desk before they went out and write out a check for the equivalent amount of medical treatment, which would come to $8,687,962.05! There is some slight possibility that we may be at that stage. I don’t want to over evaluate anything, however.” — L. Ron Hubbard, October 1, 1951


Avast, Ye Mateys

“With only a third of the crew done Festival Stats have fallen. Immediate Emergency action was taken. A new threat is required according to the C/Ses. The three Highest Hours get a SPECIAL BONUS. The three with the Lowest Hours have to push a peanut with their nose the whole circle of the prom deck on Grand Ball Night and the one who loses the peanut race can only wear a sheet for the next 24 hours. Review Auditors are included.” — The Commodore, October 1, 1971


Overheard in the FreeZone

“The 8Ds work only here and only for theta/mind but not the different beings and from different universes. I should leave it here since only a handful of people understand the difference, which is massive, between the two consciousnesses. In the Matrix all spiritual beings are lumped under theta. That’s what mankind is supposed to believe and nothing could be further from the truth.”



Past is Prologue

1998: Bob Minton posted documentation of Scientology’s continued pattern of harassment against him and his family. “The Scientology misfits let loose their CCHR attack dog on Mass General Hospital and passed out the following flyer to all Beacon Hill homes: ‘Local members of an international psychiatric watchdog group held two 15 foot banners outside the main entrance of Massachusetts General Hospital to protest their use of lobotomies. Mass. General is the only hospital in the nation admitting to this barbaric procedure, said Kevin Hall, New England Director of the Citizens Commission on Human Rights (CCHR), ‘A lobotomy protest may be startling, but it’s time people wake up to the brutality, ham and even death created by psychiatry.'”


Random Howdy

“The only place D.M. is taking his ass if the seat gets too hot is to Tahiti or the Russian Riviera. He’s a gangster, not a fanatic.”


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

Criminal prosecutions:
Danny Masterson charged for raping three women: Next hearing set for November 10. Trial tentatively scheduled for February.
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 October 7 in Los Angeles
David Gentile, GPB Capital, fraud: Next pretrial conference set for November 19.
Joseph ‘Ben’ Barton, Medicare fraud: Pleaded guilty, awaiting sentencing.

Civil litigation:
Luis and Rocio Garcia v. Scientology: Oral arguments were heard on July 30, 2020 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 November 2.
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 June 28, 2022.
Author Steve Cannane defamation trial: Trial concluded, Cannane victorious, awarded court costs. Case appealed on Dec 23. Appeal hearing held Aug 23-27. Awaiting a ruling.



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 BLACK OPS, Episode 8: The secret Paul Haggis shared with the wrong person
[TWO years ago] Valerie Haney drops ‘Jane Doe’ label in brutal amended complaint against Scientology
[THREE years ago] Dispatches from our far-flung correspondents agree: Scientology still sucks
[FOUR years ago] Scientology celebrates its disaster response in Florida, but struggles in Puerto Rico and Mexico
[FIVE years ago] Atack: Scientology advocates serenity, so why are so many Scientologists angry jerks?
[SIX years ago] Cathriona White’s Scientology ‘twin’ on grueling courses was an actor named Travis Case
[SEVEN years ago] Scientology’s drug rehab network hit with lawsuit number 22 by attorney Ryan Hamilton
[EIGHT years ago] RAY JEFFREY 1, SCIENTOLOGY 0: Disqualify Motion Denied in Harassment Lawsuit
[NINE years ago] Secrets of The Master: Elements of Scientology That Didn’t Make It into the Film
[TEN years ago] Scientology Internal E-Mails: Even More Depressing Than You Might Assume


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 2,440 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,945 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,465 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,485 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,376 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 4,683 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 2,551 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 3,325 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 1,655 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,129 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,445 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,011 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,930 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,098 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 3,679 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,940 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 2,977 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 2,691 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,216 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 571 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 1,746 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,297 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,446 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 3,766 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 8,621 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 3,740 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,096 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,399 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,505 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,903 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 2,779 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,362 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 2,857 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,111 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,220 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on October 1, 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


Tony Ortega at The Daily Beast


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