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Kirstie Alley, the Scientology Celebrity Centre, and that time we lost a teenager

[The Hollywood Celebrity Centre]

“Where’s my thisther?” I asked the lady on the other end of the phone.

I was hiding out in the Treasury department, which was in the basement at the Hollywood Celebrity Centre. My office was on the third floor. My title was Staff Section Officer, I was a Sea Org department head in charge of staff training, which Scientology takes very seriously.

It was 1996, and leader David Miscavige was about to release his first big alteration to Scientology’s processes, which he was going to call the “Golden Age of Technology.” Everyone was under incredible pressure to make the roll-out of Miscavige’s big initiative a success, and that meant getting a lot of people secretly trained on GAT before the announcement was made. This way, once Miscavige presented GAT to the Scientology world, there would already be a small army of people trained and ready to start moving the public through it.

And in that mad rush, we had lost a minor girl.

She hadn’t made a run for it, what we called “blowing” in Scientology. We had literally just lost track of her.


She was the daughter of Dave Petit, the Commanding Officer of Celebrity Centre International, which runs all of the Celebrity Centres around the world and is headquarted at the Hollywood CC in the old Fifield Manor building on Franklin. She, and about five others from CC Int, had completed their secret training at the Flag Land Base in Clearwater, Florida, where Miscavige had personally been training them for weeks. Or months.


[David Miscavige (with wife Shelly next to him) at Flag in 1996, preparing for the GAT release]

After their stay at Flag, the trainees were being flown out to orgs around the world. Hundreds of people were being flown out on a single day, and in that chaos, we had lost track of a single 14-year-old girl who happened to be the daughter of CC Int’s commanding officer.

It was an utter disaster in the making.

The night before, we had been telexed flight information for everyone that was traveling, and Flag had someone at the Tampa airport, running around making sure people got on the right flights.

And the Celebrity Centre wanted a big welcome for their trainees, so they had a limo ready to pick them up at LAX, and Kirstie Alley waiting in the President’s Office area to welcome them back.

Like I said, this was a very big deal for Miscavige and Scientology.

And so it was panic time when Dave Petit’s daughter was was not on the same flight as the rest of our trainees. She was somehow missing.

I tried to reach the person in Florida to get her flight information. Of course, “phones are psychotic” according to Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, and so Sea Org workers are encouraged not to use them. I could not reach her by phone. Oh hell.

Meanwhile my senior was screaming at me. Here I was back in a lower condition of liability because somehow it was my fault the girl is missing. My job was to oversee all staff training, so this fell under me, I guess. “Kirstie Alley is waiting to greet them and you have no idea where she is!”


[Kirstie Alley in 1996]

This last comment probably didn’t hit me the way my senior intended it. As far as I was concerned, Kirstie Alley was always bitching and moaning about something, so it might as well be this. I didn’t really care if Kirstie’s panties were in a wad, what I did care about was this 14-year-old girl and what had happened to her. And being screamed at by my senior wasn’t helping the situation.


I was trying to get out of the conversation so I could figure out how to locate the girl. Shut up and go away, I thought.

I was not getting anywhere trying to get information from people in Florida. Nobody knew anything. I did know what airline she had been booked on, and I knew that she was coming home on a round trip ticket.

So I hid out in Treasury and called the airline and acted like a child, pretending that I was a distraught younger sister. I cried and asked childish questions to the woman on the phone, who kept trying to explain to me that she could not give me any flight information. I just kept repeating “is she coming back home?” “Is my sister there with you?” “Can I talk to her?”

She took my “sister’s” name from me and looked it up. I guess I was persistent enough, because eventually she told me my sister was on a flight heading to Los Angeles. She even told me the flight number and when it would land.

Just as I hung up with her, here comes my senior again, glaring at me for hiding out. She starts screaming at me again about how useless I am. I yelled the flight information, which I had to repeat to get through to her. She was shocked that I had found it out.

There was a mad scramble to get the girl picked up at LAX.

The limo that had been circling the airport for a couple of hours finally knew where to pick her up. She was picked up, and a very annoyed Kirstie Alley (faking happiness, of course) welcomed back all of our trainees and cake was had.

But there was no cake for me. I was in liability for losing her in the first place, you see?

Remember, if you want to join the Sea Org ever, be ready to work insanely hard to make things work out and still be treated like you are useless.

— Sunny Pereira


Bonus items from our tipsters

Give thanks and get out yer wallets!




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Source Code

“You got a pc who isn’t ARC breaky and you now feel happy about the thing and you can go on auditing and find out what is wrong. This is to get him back into the realm of the living. So you see, that’s a valuable thing to know. If that fails you, well, you’ve always got suicide. You could propose that to the pc. That would solve his problems. ‘R2-45’ by its various . . various other techniques. So don’t think that you just have this one technique to fall back on. Now, that’s a valuable thing to know, that you can probably desensitize the situation . . that is to say, you can resensitize the meter by running the goal.” — L. Ron Hubbard, October 31, 1961


Avast, Ye Mateys

“A person found on a post who is not fully hatted is liable to ethics action. Awareness of the scene does not seem to exist in the absence of hatting. Thus unhatted persons look sort of blind. Mystery on post equals mystery of environment. You see this as a sort of frightened no confidence. I think hatting even changes eyesight. We ought to test it out. We already know that unhatted people get hurt more than hatted people. We know overts stem from misunderstoods. And we know running overts changes eyesight. it then probably follows that unhatted people couldn’t see a tiger if it was biting them! So, how to be mystified by it all and afraid — remain unhatted. But leave that to the old Catholic Church. They wanted everyone ignorant. So they would be terrified and blind? It figures. So get hatted and see.” — The Commodore, October 31, 1971



Overheard in the FreeZone

“Big Bangers say that a sort of moronic intelligence has somehow evolved to explain organic biology and the spirit of play (their latest theory is the God Comet). They have no explanation for why life forms bother to survive, and go through all that courtship, white wedding, reception, drunk speeches and a scuffle afterwards. Ron’s statement that ‘extroverting the attention (as in Scientology),’ may sound rather mundane, but we already know that some life forms are more extroverted than others, as in say a whale compared to a dolphin. It isn’t just a case of what jeans and chromosomes and complexity the life form is dressed in, what the fashion is. A whole wealth of interest arises from his statement, such as, what is being extroverted, why does it invariably feel better than introverted, and what is attention, anyway – a certain group of molecules facing the same way?”


Past is Prologue

2000: The benefit concert for the Lisa McPherson Trust is still planned for Clearwater on November 11. “Taz, the vocalist for Tampa Bay area band Trocar received an anonymous
death threat by telephone at his work last Thursday, saying that if he performed at the Lisa McPherson Trust benefit concert, he ‘wouldn’t walk out alive.’ He said he did not recognize the voice, and they called him by his ‘stage name’ rather than his real name, so he felt that this threat was not some personal issue. Taz says he will not be swayed from performing at the benefit due to this attempt at intimidation. In fact, he has been galvanized to push even harder, and picked up a stack of a couple hundred more fliers to distribute as he relayed the news of this threat. Appearances on Tampa Bay area radio stations are being lined up for event MC Jamie Kennedy, the latest being the morning show on 98 Rock WXTB. This is the ‘Bubba the Love Sponge’ show, possibly the biggest morning radio show in the Tampa Bay area. He will be on the show Thursday, November 9.”


Random Howdy

“As Claire pointed out, the whole ‘What is true for you is what you have observed yourself’ is a circular logic conundrum. It should be ‘If something isn’t true for you it’s because you have a M/U.’ I recall reading a paper by Touretzky or Kent that explained how the ‘misunderstood word’ is what everything else in Scientology revolves around. It is the key.”



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] The Top 25 People Enabling Scientology, No. 10: Political shills
[TWO years ago] How ‘The Kominsky Method’ nailed it: Writer Chuck Lorre’s secret Scientology past
[THREE years ago] On sale today: Battlefield Scientology — the best of the Bunker, with Paulette Cooper!
[FOUR years ago] Garry Scarff, 1956-2017: A complex figure and dogged researcher
[FIVE years ago] Leah Remini reveals that she’s been stalked during production of her new TV series
[SIX years ago] Jon Atack: The ‘Axioms’ — L. Ron Hubbard’s attempt to make Scientology sound ‘sciencey’
[SEVEN years ago] A reminder, this Halloween, that Scientology’s tricks tear families apart
[EIGHT years ago] Honesty in Scientology: Jefferson Hawkins Helps Us With Another Ethical Quandary
[NINE years ago] It’s Halloween, and Narconon is Very, Very Afraid
[TEN years ago] Scientology Investigation of South Park the Last Straw for Katie Holmes: Aussie Magazine Report


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 2,470 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,975 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,495 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,515 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,406 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 4,713 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 2,581 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 3,355 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 1,685 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,159 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,475 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,041 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,960 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,128 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 3,709 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,970 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,006 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 2,721 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,246 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 601 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 1,776 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,327 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,476 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 3,796 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 8,651 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 3,770 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,126 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,429 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,535 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,933 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 2,809 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,392 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 2,887 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,141 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,250 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on October 31, 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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