Daily Notifications
Sign up for free emails to receive the feature story every morning in your inbox at


Scientology at a crossroads: When the ruthless upstarts pushed out the less compliant

[Alan Walter and Dean Stokes]

Our proprietor has asked me to make some comment on his splendid, corrected transcript of the Mission Holders’ Conference of 1982. I’ve long regarded this conference as the fatal turning point in Scientology, where any pretense at compassion was rejected by David Miscavige – at this time not the leader but Hubbard’s emissary – with his determination that henceforth Scientology would be “ruthless” – which is to say, without mercy.

Here are some notes on the events that led up to the conference. For more detail, please see my history of the group, Let’s Sell These People a Piece of Blue Sky.

With the conviction of the Guardian’s Office eleven in 1979, Scientology was on the brink of collapse. Many members left with the revelations of kidnapping, false imprisonment, burglary, breaking and entering, forgery of government credentials and theft. While appeals against the convictions continued, Hubbard assigned Bill Franks – the Executive Director International – to establish the Criminal Investigation Unit to investigate the Guardian’s Office in July 1981.

The Guardian’s Office (GO) made a last stab at reconciliation in November 1981 with a meeting at the Flag Land Base in Florida. They admitted that they’d been spying on the mission holders. Unbeknownst to either the GO or the Mission Holders, Ron Hubbard had already set plans in motion to restructure the whole Scientology organization. This was perhaps stimulated by news of a plot circulated among the mission holders by Alan Walter, who was one of their number. Walter also approached leading “old-timers” in the Sea Org – including Bill Franks.

Walter’s plan was called The Game. It advocated focusing on the poor as recruits for staff and the rich as “public.” Walter believed that the Commodore’s Messengers had taken over Scientology because Hubbard was no longer in control. This set the stage for a battle royal between the old guard and the Commodore’s Messenger Organization – originally teenagers and pre-teens who worked for Hubbard on the ship (see Janis Grady’s books for a detailed account of the original CMO).


The Guardian – Jane Kember – and the heads of Bureaux (the Deputy Guardians) were removed, and most of them were put on the Crims program at Gilman Hot Springs, where they dug ditches and ran around poles in the desert heat (Herbie Parkhouse, DG Finance, refused to go; Jane Kember and Mo Budlong were serving prison time). This was all window dressing, as the core of the criminal Covert Operations department remained.

As our proprietor says, the Guardian’s Office transformed into the Office of Special Affairs in the early 1980s. However, it is worth noting that the Covert Data Collection agency – Branch One – simply changed its name (becoming OSA Investigation or “Invest”). In the UK, long term B1 members Myles Mellor and Peter Stumbke were both active – Stumbke until at least 1991, when he spied on me.

Private investigators largely replaced B1; presumably because they could be held at arm’s length if caught. The 800-page Investigation Full Hat used by Branch One changed in only one detail – the words “Guardian’s Office” were replaced with “Office of Special Affairs”. The pack includes material on breaking and entering, and “training routine lying”, along with textbooks on spying (Black Boomerang and The Spy and His Masters) and Hubbard’s own lectures on dirty tricks.

Anyone who believes that Hubbard knew nothing about Guardian’s Office operations should revisit Ron’s Journal ’67 where he says “The organization under the direction of Mary Sue employed, and actually had employed earlier than I returned from Southern Africa, employed several professional intelligence agents who had long and successful professional backgrounds …”. Or take a look at my Scientology: Religion or Intelligence Agency for more detail.

David Miscavige was assigned to remove Mary Sue Hubbard from her post as Controller of the Guardian’s Office. After raging at him – and hurling a glass ashtray in his direction – she conceded. She had signed the Stipulation of Evidence in her case so that her husband would not be prosecuted. He remained one of 38 “unindicted co-conspirators.” She would never admit that her husband had planned the Snow White projects for which she and ten others would serve prison time in the US (there was also a successful prosecution in Canada).

While Hubbard seems to have been descending into dementia at this time (late 1981), he still controlled Scientology through Pat and Annie Broeker – who were with him in hiding at Creston. Their link to the ruling body of Scientology – the Watchdog Committee (WDC) – was through David Miscavige.

Miscavige was not a member of the Watchdog Committee. He worked for its chairperson, Diane “DeDe” Voegeding as Action Chief. He had been assigned the hopeless task of ending litigation against Ron Hubbard (about 300 writs and subpoenas had been issued against Hubbard). He also served as the go-between to Hubbard through meetings with Pat Broeker and notarized Hubbard’s legal documents (as he was never in the room with Hubbard, these documents are improper – including the will and the request to be cremated without full autopsy).

Mission Corporate Category Sort-Out (MCCS) was led by Larry (later Denise) Brennan, who was assisted by Gerry Armstrong. The plan allowed for money to travel upwards to Hubbard through two new
corporations, the Religious Technology Center and Author Services Incorporated. These bodies could charge for consultancy services, so could strip most of the wealth from the hundreds of lower organizations.

I broke the pretence of corporate separation – the corporate veil – in a 1988 case in Los Angeles, by showing that David Miscavige held signed, undated resignations from corporate officers, giving him ultimate control. This material was later used in both the Wollersheim and the Corydon cases.

MCCS brought a new legal framework and introduced yet more bodies to the already overburdened Scientology networks. Over the years, Hubbard continually added new agencies that largely spied on
organizations to ensure that money and power remained in his hands. These included the Guardian’s Office Finance Bureau, the Flag Operations and Liaison Office and the L. Ron Hubbard Communicators network. To these were added the Religious Technology Center and the International Finance Police (headed by the Finance Dictator).

The Mission Holders’ Conference of 1982 was supposed to refresh the mission network. Instead, it collapsed the network by impeding or removing the most successful mission holders – Martin Samuels (who also founded the Delphi Schools), Kingsley Wimbush, Dean Stokes and Bent Corydon among them. The missions had been the primary recruiters for Scientology, so recruitment plummeted after the conference.

The conference was addressed by lawyer Larry Heller, who explained the welter of new trade and service marks registered by Scientology. The list passes 2000 such marks, including “The Friendliest Place in the Whole World” and the word “Happiness.” Scientology was to become the first fully integrated religious business.


If I can find a few more spare moments, I’ll comment on the content of the conference in a future article. In the meantime, please read Let’s Sell These People a Piece of Blue Sky, which remains the only comprehensive history of Hubbard and his creations. My YouTube channel houses about 300 videos, many of them about Scientology. I rounded up my forty-year study of Scientology at the Getting Clear Conference in Toronto in 2015, with the help of 27 other experts. This remains the most thorough deconstruction of Scientology to date and can be watched for a paltry sum. It was professionally filmed in glorious HD. Two of the talks can be found on my YouTube channel free of charge – Ron Hubbard: Black Magic, Dianetics and the Creation of Scientology and Scientology indoctrination methods deconstructed with Steven Hassan, PhD, Chris Shelton and Christian Szurko. Many of my articles and papers can be found online, and our proprietor hosts more than sixty on this very site. My short guide to Scientology for those fortunate never to have participated is Scientology: the Cult of Greed.

— Jon Atack


[TruNews has found the Bunker]

Leigh Dundas finds herself in the crosshairs

We’ve been telling you about Scientologist “human rights attorney” Leigh Dundas for more than a year now, and things got a lot more interesting when she provided fiery speeches before and during the January 6 riot at the US Capitol. We found footage suggesting that Leigh had made it at least up to the doors of the Capitol that day, and we spoke to someone who had been interviewed by the FBI who told us the agency was asking about Leigh.

After some weeks in Mexico to cool her heels after the insurrection, Leigh came back and has been on a series of barnstorming tours around the country, entertaining crowds with her mile-a-minute delivery while denouncing sensible public health initiatives as if she and other anti-maskers and anti-vaxxers were the new victims of Auschwitz.

It’s tiresome and offensive, but the evangelical crowds at churches where she speaks eat it up. And they never seem to have noticed our coverage that Leigh is actually a Scientologist attorney who was representing Scientology front groups when she caught fire.

But now, the evangelicals themselves may be turning on her. Yesterday, the notorious Rick Wiles, infamous for his anti-Semitism, spent more than an hour reminding the viewers of his TruNews network that he had earlier warned them about Scientologist Greta Van Susteren’s cozy relationship with Franklin Graham, and now Leigh Dundas was an infiltrator who should be kicked out of the patriot movement.

Yikes! Wiles even gave this website a pat on the back, and hearing our name on TruNews gave us the same kind of thrill we felt when Milo Yiannopoulos declared himself to be a big fan.


Well, whatever. We can’t help being interested in whether a strong denunciation from Wiles will translate to Dundas having a harder time finding enthusiastic evangelicals for her nutty screeds. And maybe the most interesting thing about yesterday’s program was that Joy Villa came in for some heavy shelling as well. Could the MAGA movement finally be getting a clue about Scientology and its abuses?

— The Proprietor



Bonus items from our tipsters

Are you ready, Chicago?



Sign up for a daily email when we post a new story on Scientology.

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

“There’s another item that’s posted on the bulletin board, has to do with one R. — I think it is — R. M. Nixon. You notice that on the bulletin board? And John is attributing the fact that we clobbered Nixon to the fact that he’s clobbered. I don’t know to what point this extends, but it’s interesting that that is the first political figure in the United States that we really have clobbered. Of course, we hit him hard. Mary Sue isn’t here. Mary Sue isn’t here, so I can tell you that actually I hit him because he hit at Mary Sue. It’s almost that corny. But this fellow was using the United States Secret Service as a sort of a private Gestapo. And he’d been doing this all over Washington and so forth. So I just didn’t think it was good political, I didn’t think he had the right political color, somehow or another.” — L. Ron Hubbard, November 15, 1962



Avast, Ye Mateys

“BIRTH CONTROL PILLS — these apparently cause severe depression and severe damage to female sexual organs. It is of interest that these four things are the direct product and tools of the same people who for 20 years financed and pushed the attacks on Dianetics and Scientology. Thus we are looking at the current center of psychosis on the planet. The drug companies and their primary pushers — the psychiatrist and medicos. About half the ringleaders in attacks on us are disabled or dead. It’s like audint a planet already.” — The Commodore, November 15, 1970


Overheard in the FreeZone

“Do you think the jews are the Marcabs? Cpt Bill and LRH for PR purposes could have used the word Marcab instead. I swear I read somewhere that LRH said the Marcabs were the Elohim or nephilim from the bible, and so they were like the jewish gods, and we all know gods is simply a primitive earthlings word for alien, so aliens were interbreeding or hanging out with the Israelis back then. Therefore these marcab gods have seeded a race here on Earth. And if these Marcabs have police states and controlled economies and suppressive economics planets then that would make sense with what we see here with lots of jews being top bankers and lawyers and apart of the suppressive New World Order economic system. It’s all very interesting.”


Past is Prologue

2001: The Buffalo News reported that the city may seize the Scientology org there to create a parking ramp. “The city has offered to buy the five-story building owned by the Church of Scientology for $425,000, City Real Estate Director John Hannon told the Common Council’s Finance Committee. He said the figure was based on what he called two good appraisals. Except for space occupied on the first floor by the owner, most of the structure is vacant, city officials said. Under powers of eminent domain, governments can initiate condemnation proceedings to obtain private property for public use. The Common Council is expected to authorize public hearings on the planned condemnation proceedings within the next couple weeks.”



Random Howdy

“Those who still believe in the tech will say that they ‘know’ that it works from personal experience and that science hasn’t caught up to LRH yet. vaLLarrr used to ask us if we thought we loved our mothers or if we knew we loved our mothers in her attempts to defend the tech as being empirically provable. It’s all self delusional mind games they’re playing with themselves.”


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

Criminal prosecutions:
Danny Masterson charged for raping three women: Next hearing set for February 8. Trial scheduled for August 29, 2022.
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: Eleventh Circuit affirmed ruling granting Scientology’s motion for arbitration. Garcias considering next move.
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 has your certificate, pilgrim. Join these big beings around the world!
[TWO years ago] The new leaders of ‘Scientology’ tell us about their fight to free the world
[THREE years ago] Eric Saldarriaga, private eye who took the fall for Scientology, 1973-2017
[FOUR years ago] Jared Fogle, former Subway huckster, turned to an indie Scientologist for failed ‘appeal’
[FIVE years ago] In court today: Flop filmmakers who met in Scientology face 75 years for Ponzi scheme
[SIX years ago] Tom DeVocht: Watching David Miscavige watch Lisa McPherson and her faulty ‘needle’
[SEVEN years ago] Judge calls for February mini-trial in Garcia case, and we have text of the Lemberger lawsuit
[EIGHT years ago] Judge James Whittemore Reins In the Garcia v. Scientology Case
[NINE years ago] LA’s Sheriff Lee Baca Handing Out Scientology Booklets This Sunday?
[TEN years ago] Scientology in Israel: Arson, Attempted Murder, Foreclosure, General Paranoia — And a Visit by the Voice!


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 2,485 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,990 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,510 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,530 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,421 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 4,728 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 2,596 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 3,370 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 1,700 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,174 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,490 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,056 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,975 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,143 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 3,724 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,985 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,021 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 2,736 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,261 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 616 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 1,791 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,342 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,491 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 3,811 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 8,666 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 3,785 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,141 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,444 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,550 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,948 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 2,824 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,407 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 2,902 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,156 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,265 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on November 15, 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


Share Button
Print Friendly, PDF & Email