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Scientology wanted to make him their next superstar: The strange death of Kuba Ka

Over at the Daily Beast today we have a bizarre story that took us some while to put together: The macabre details in the death of Jakub Stepniak, the entertainer we knew as “Kuba Ka” when we wrote about him for the first time in 2017.

Still a very young man, Kuba died in April after a prolonged and suspicious ailment that even his family struggled to explain to us.

Thanks to our coverage of Kuba’s brief and odd involvement in Scientology, we had gotten to know Kuba, his mother Tina, and Kuba’s Uncle Danny. It was Uncle Danny who spent Kuba’s final months with him in an apartment in Los Angeles, and he and Tina not only gave us intimate details about Kuba’s strange demise, they gave us access to medical records, phone recordings, and Kuba’s autopsy report.

It all adds up to one of the strangest deaths we’ve ever heard about, and we wish we had known that Kuba was going through so much pain in 2020 and early 2021.


We got to like him very much in 2017 when we heard that he had walked away from Scientology after it spent several months grooming him to become the Hollywood Celebrity’s next superstar. If you remember, he told us that he planned to have his 26th birthday party at the Celebrity Centre in 2017, but officials there balked when he said he wanted to bring in sick kids from a local hospital so they could share in the festivities. Scientology, help sick kids? Was he crazy?

Even more astounding, he said he had proposed inviting Leah Remini, hoping it might help heal the rift between the ‘King of Queens’ actress and Scientology.

We told Kuba there was little wonder that the Celebrity Centre had found his ideas objectionable.

We had such a good time talking to Kuba and his mother, we invited them to our Howdycon that year, which was held in Denver (unfortunately, they were busy and couldn’t make it). Kuba, meanwhile, decided to change to a new persona and began calling himself “Amen Ra.”

Sadly, we lost track of each other at that point, and so his death this spring came as quite a shock. But that only made us curious to find out what had happened to him, and we were stunned by what we found. We hope you read the Daily Beast story and come back here to discuss it.



Bonus items from our tipsters

The big stars come out for Scientology’s celebrity rehab in Ojai.



Drug-Free World goes safepointing in St. Louis…




And Vermont!



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Source Code

“At any given time on the track an individual is a member of two or three groups at the same time. Member of the family, he’s a member of the society, he’s a member of the business he’s connected with. I mean anything like that, you know? Even if he’s a bum, he’s a member of a group called bums. He’s at least two or three groups, you see? All right. Now, how long has he been on the track? About two hundred trillion. And I’d say that it was about three groups every twenty-five years would be the most conservative underestimate of the situation. So that is something on the order of twelve groups a century times two hundred trillion less one hundred, you see? Less two cycles. So, it’s two trillion times twelve, or twenty-four trillion, and you would have to do this twenty-four trillion times. Now, how long are you going to live? Could you afford the number of E-Meters that you were going to wear out during this period?” — L. Ron Hubbard, October 24, 1961


Avast, Ye Mateys

“Most healing is in a primitive state. We are actually far more precise and organized in Dianetic and Scientology auditing than in any of the so-called healing arts. Almost all of our troubles come from being flanked on all sides with incompetent ‘sciences.’ These include medicine, psychiatry, chemistry — you name it. The world’s ‘sciences’ are so imbalanced they are delivering an overt product — a decaying Earth. The animal kingdom is almost gone. The rivers and seas support less and less life. If ‘science’ was so good, there would be steady improvement in the planet itself. And there isn’t. This goes directly back to Man’s failure to solve the riddle of himself. This failure then opened the door to domination by destructive personalities. If we ourselves get rid of the idea we are just drifting along with the tide and begin to demand and deliver high level performance on every post, we can get there while there’s still a planet left. We must raise our sights as to what we expect from ourselves and each other. Only then can we arrest and then reverse the decline. For this reason I am following a policy of demanding high competence on post and a total intolerance of slackness. We must be and can be a very sharp smart organization. I am doing all I can to make it so. Help me out.” — The Commodore, October 24, 1971


Overheard in the FreeZone

“What kinds of ‘dark’ things did Ron do in his past? I don’t really want to know. I’m a lot more interested in all the stuff Ron wrote about and spoke of which has to do with Scientology. And for which I’m endlessly grateful.”



Past is Prologue

2000: Former Scientologist Tory Christman reported that she has been declared a suppressive person by Scientology. “Today, on October 28th, 2000 almost 3 months exactly from when I left the Church, I received on goldenrod my official Declare! It says I abandoned my husband. This is false. It says I abandoned my friends. This also is false, and in fact, when I have tried to call them, they have hung up on me. In 1969 I read Dianetics and I hitchhiked from Chicago to LA to study Scientology. I have been there for 30 years. During much of this time I have fought my own battle with people mislabeling me as ‘PTS’ and people treating me as if there was something wrong with me, because I have a physical condition. Well, now they have changed their minds. I am no longer PTS, I am an official SP.”


Random Howdy

“The statistical fact that the vast majority of people who tried Scientology walked away from it almost immediately belies this idea that it’s a world class predatory system. A five percent success rate at hooking sucker fish is not impressive.”


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 December 17 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.’ US Supreme Court denied Valerie’s petition Oct 4.
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, 2020 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] An early revolt against Scientology leader David Miscavige found in 1983 document
[TWO years ago] Court docs say Danny Masterson was served in lawsuit filed by rape victims — but was he?
[THREE years ago] Phil Jones: How Scientology sucked me in — even as National Lampoon warned me
[FOUR years ago] Tonight on ‘Leah Remini’: The business of Scientology, and the pitfalls of suing it
[FIVE years ago] Kathy Slevin, sister who attacked Paul Haggis on behalf of Scientology, dies at 60
[SIX years ago] From our man in Europe: Details on the Dutch denial of tax exemption to Scientology
[SEVEN years ago] Scientology got another legal spanking in France months ago and we’re just now finding out
[EIGHT years ago] Jefferson Hawkins on Scientology Ethics: Let’s Get Utilitarian!
[NINE years ago] It’s Official: Tommy Davis No Longer a Scientology Spokesman
[TEN years ago] Scientology’s South Park Investigation: Orders to Send in a Young Mole


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 2,463 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,968 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,488 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,508 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,399 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 4,706 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 2,574 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 3,348 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 1,678 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,152 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,468 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,034 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,953 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,121 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 3,702 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,963 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 2,999 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 2,714 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,239 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 594 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 1,769 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,320 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,469 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 3,789 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 8,644 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 3,763 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,119 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,422 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,528 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,926 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 2,802 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,385 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 2,880 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,134 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,243 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on October 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


Tony Ortega at The Daily Beast


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