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Heads on pikes: L. Ron Hubbard’s lasting legacy of ruthlessness in Scientology

In a new video, Jon Atack and Karen de la Carriere discuss one of Scientology’s most hallowed sacraments: The finding of scapegoats so founder L. Ron Hubbard or David Miscavige after him would have a “head on a pike” to answer for any failing.

Jon’s helper Spike Robinson sent us this description of what you’ll see…

Even though Halloween is past, Jon and Karen were inspired to share a spooky Halloween story for this week’s video. Karen tells us how, while she was staying in Sea Org berthing in Manhattan (in a broken-down building she describes as looking ‘a lot like that house in Psycho’), she heard eerie footsteps coming up the stairs. Ever the helpful person, she attempted to give the spirit comfort – and then promptly turned herself into Ethics, because, while exorcising Body Thetans infesting living people is acceptable, helping those who have passed on is not ‘standard tech’!

During the same mission, she was declared the ‘WHO’ at fault for causing a dip in income for the entire eastern part of the United States – all because the man she gave a security check to ‘blew’ shortly after (it turns out he left for totally unrelated reasons); before Ray Mithoff came to her rescue, she was sentenced to hard labor in the galley!


Jon, after sharing his own ghost story, explains how Scientology always needs a scapegoat – as Hubbard put it, ‘a head on a pike’. Hubbard declared that this punitive practice was acceptable, as Scientology was the only organization that had the ‘technology’ to cure a person damaged by this harsh regime, but the ‘cure’ offered to Karen is about as unbelievable as the rest of Scientology.



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Did you know you can get an email every morning when we post our daily Scientology story? We know some of the folks who come to the Underground Bunker aren’t here to talk about the politics of the day, and that’s why we created a daily politics feature over at our other blog, The Lowdown, and we ask readers to take their political discussions over there. And if you drop us a line at tonyo94 AT gmail, we’ll put you on the list so you get a morning reminder that a new Scientology story has been posted — and only for our Scientology stories.


Source Code

“Your thetan has to be able to tolerate three kinds of space in order to endure at all in this universe. This universe isn’t any savage beast sitting there. It’s just a sort of an inanimate boobytrap which we have made ourselves, really. And then we victimized ourselves with it, so we have all been betrayed. This universe couldn’t have had a better purpose in going forward so that everybody could be the, have the beautiful sadness of having been betrayed. And yet you look into it, the only person that can betray an individual is himself.” — L. Ron Hubbard, November 6, 1953


Avast, Ye Mateys


“HYGIENE: Step up all hygiene standards, personal, berthing and food. With the turn of cold weather I’m going further north. There is a bit of flu about and the World Health Organization has not been doing all that well in keeping ports’ public health in good shape.” — The Commodore, November 6, 1971


Overheard in the FreeZone

“Real Scientology is safe and busy finding its way to billions of individuals. Like water it will bend and bleed and trickle into every crevice it encounters on its journey into the consciousness of modern Man. A hundred SP dictators could not stop it, no more than they could stop a rainstorm from tumbling down. Those Beings who are ready for it get it; those who are not will not experience its gifts, or the joys they bring. Not at this time, but in their own time, they will I’m sure.”


Past is Prologue

1999: Bob Minton announced the formation of the Lisa McPherson Trust this week. “The Lisa McPherson Trust is a direct outgrowth of several very significant events relating to Lisa’s death: A) the fateful call by Fanny McPherson to an attorney by the name of Ken Dandar who was and is both courageous enough and pure enough to withstand the assaults of Scientology; B) the Internet awareness campaign started by Jeff Jacobsen which helped bring the tragic death of Lisa McPherson to national attention; C) the death-bed request by Fanny McPherson to Ken Dandar that she wanted Ken to let the world know what Scientology did to Lisa; and D) the continued courage of Lisa’s remaining family led by Dell Liebreich to make Scientology accountable for Lisa’s tragic death.”


Random Howdy

“I understand where you’re coming from but the bottom line is that Scientology is a con and conning people is illegal, regardless of whether the victims are dupes and suckers.”



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 held November 2, awaiting a ruling.
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] Scientology looking to force Danny Masterson’s accusers into ‘religious arbitration’ today
[TWO years ago] Kansas City gets its first Scientology wedding: We solicited some advice for the young couple
[THREE years ago] Juliette Lewis wants on ‘Red Table Talk’ — and here’s what Jada Smith should ask her
[FOUR years ago] Tracking Scientology’s claims about membership — a new digital project with Jonny Jacobsen
[FIVE years ago] After Scientologist is outed, leaders he fooled still stick up for his quack drug theories
[SEVEN years ago] RIFFER MADNESS: Scientology leader David Miscavige goes smeary in new court filing
[EIGHT years ago] More Questions About Scientology-Style Drug Rehab And Insurance — This Time in Michigan
[NINE years ago] Scientology and the Presidential Election
[TEN years ago] Scientology Sunday Service: Your Open Thread For Worship (Or Whatever)


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 2,476 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,981 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,501 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,521 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,412 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 4,719 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 2,587 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 3,361 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 1,691 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,165 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,481 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,047 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,966 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,134 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 3,715 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,976 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,012 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 2,727 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,252 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 607 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 1,782 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,333 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,482 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 3,802 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 8,657 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 3,776 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,132 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,435 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,541 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,939 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 2,815 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,398 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 2,893 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,147 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,256 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on November 6, 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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