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Juliette Lewis tells the NY Times she doesn’t identify as a Scientologist: What gives?

[Juliette Lewis and her late father, actor Geoffrey Lewis]

We heard from a lot of readers who noted that Juliette Lewis, in a new interview at the New York Times this week, seemed to distance herself from Scientology, which she grew up in.

“My parents cultivated this rebel, meaning they cultivated the individual spirit.”(They studied Scientology, and Lewis has, too, but she doesn’t identify that way. “I’m a spiritualist,” she said.)

While this isn’t a criticism of Scientology, it does seem like yet another church celebrity turning away from David Miscavige’s organization in a major media interview.

We asked Geoff Levin for his thoughts. Geoff was very close to Juliette’s father, character actor Geoffrey Lewis, and they collaborated on Geoffrey’s storytelling performances and recordings under the name ‘Celestial Navigations.’ Geoff knew Juliette when she was growing up.


“For her to say that in the New York Times is major,” Geoff says. “I know that her mother Glenis and half-sister Brandy are fire-breathing Scientologists, so Juliette has made up her mind, or her publicist has swayed her, to get away from the church in interviews. I think this will be of some concern for the Celebrity Centre at the president’s office.”


[Geoffrey Lewis and Geoff Levin during their ‘Celestial Navigations’ days]

Juliette’s statement comes after the musician Beck Hansen explicitly said he was no longer a Scientologist in an interview with an Australian newspaper in 2019, and Laura Prepon earlier this year told People magazine that she had been out of Scientology for five years.

But Levin cautioned us to put Juliette’s background in perspective.

“Juliette was raised with a very sloppy Scientology education because her father Geoffrey did not particularly push Scientology on her or on her brother Lightfield. As a result both were never fully certain of their position in the church. Juliette’s band were not Scientologists, so her music career was devoid of that influence. Only when she was around her mother would there be Scientology.”

Levin noted that it was particularly traumatic for Juliette when her father Geoffrey Lewis died in 2015. Levin wonders if this shock helped push her away from the church.


Continuing our year in review: The stories of September 2021

Early in September we reached the final couple of items on our list of Tom Cruise’s Scientology superpowers, including his #1 ability: To shatter the suppression of a 15-year-old child.

For Labor Day, we posted some pretty great anecdotes from our former Sea Org experts on the extreme working conditions under a billion-year contract.

A draconian new anti-abortion law in Texas was eliciting a lot of Gilead imagery in reaction on social media, but we pointed out that using Elisabeth Moss in her Offred getup was a problematic icon for reproductive rights given Scientology’s long history of coercing abortion in the Sea Org.

Bruce Hines knocked us out with a stunning narrative about how he escaped from Scientology’s Sea Org with a cross-country, desperate run for freedom.


Danny Masterson’s civil attorney Andrew Brettler added Prince Andrew as a client and the online reaction was huge. Since then, Brettler has also been hired by actor Chris Noth.

A new witness came forward, a man named Nick Olszewski who had worked with Danny Masterson on his Netflix series The Ranch, to reveal some pretty interesting things about Masterson and Brettler.

We had our own “Sorry, Antivaxxer” moment here at the Bunker when we reported on the death of Brian Duimovich, third-generation Scientologist, OT 8, and father of several small children, to Covid-19. He was only 53. He had joined in the campaign to fight against Leah Remini’s TV series on behalf of the church, but we’d rather he was still around. Get the vaccine, people.

We were a bit stunned to see that the Oregonian, a newspaper we respected, had not only named Scientology’s expensive boarding school the Delphian to be the best small employer in the state, but also the small business with the best “values” in Oregon. Ay, carumba.

News wires were reporting that Russia had taken another harsh step against Scientology, naming it an “undesirable organization,” and so we turned to historian Chris Owen for some perspective on what was really going on.

And the month ended with yet another Covid death of a Scientology OT, this time in Clearwater, Scientology’s spiritual mecca.

A LOOK BACK AT SEPTEMBER 2020: Dennis Nobbe, big time Miami chiropractor and Scientology donor, drops dead while awaiting trial on Medicare fraud. More spiked ‘Black Ops’ episodes showed up. Tommy Davis showed up in the book ‘Melania and Me.’ Leah Remini won her second Emmy for ‘Aftermath.’ Danny Masterson makes his first court appearance on rape charges. A Scientologist and former Sea Org figure ran for city council in Oregon. We discovered that Danny Masterson had filed nutty federal lawsuits over his Hollywood Hills home.

A LOOK BACK AT SEPTEMBER 2019: Miscavige was having even more success with donors, both the lesser whales and the big leviathans. New daily features: Source Code, Overheard in the Freezone, and Random Howdy. Michelle “Emma” Ryan announces she’s archiving the ESMB forum. The Islams try sovereign citizen craziness in court. Dream team files its third lawsuit, on behalf of a Jane Doe in Miami. The strange tale of how Mike Rinder ended up with Richie Acunto’s Scientology trophy.

A LOOK BACK AT SEPTEMBER 2018: Two upstate New York Scientologist chiropractors charged in an $80 million Medicare scam. We decoded David Miscavige’s chest ribbons. Jeffrey Augustine tangled with a Scientology PI. Jeffrey also detailed the history of the Freewinds. The US government adopted a Russian Scientologist as a ‘prisoner of conscience.’

A LOOK BACK AT SEPTEMBER 2017: On national television, Leah Remini and her mother Vicki Marshall exposed OT 8 for the shameful scam it is. And then we posted the actual New OT 8 materials for the first time to prove it. Clarissa Adams told us her disconnection story. John Brousseau, Karen Pressley, and Paul Haggis appeared on Aftermath, and Haggis answered Marty Rathbun’s smears. And we said goodbye to Bernie Feshbach.

A LOOK BACK AT SEPTEMBER 2016: Marty Rathbun goes on the attack against Ron Miscavige and Louis Theroux. The anonymous drone pilot begins premiering his footage of Scientology bases. Jason Lee ditches Scientology. And Steve Cannane’s excellent book Fair Game comes out.

A LOOK BACK AT SEPTEMBER 2015: We marked a full decade since Shelly Miscavige first vanished. Alex Gibney’s documentary Going Clear took home three Emmy awards. And we broke the news that Jim Carrey’s girlfriend, Cat White, was a Scientologist on the SRD when she killed herself.

A LOOK BACK AT SEPTEMBER 2014: Nancy Cartwright makes perhaps the creepiest Scientology ad ever. Jim Jackson remembers Lyman Spurlock. And Scientology crows about getting money from Google.


A LOOK BACK AT SEPTEMBER 2013: Scientology’s private dancer, live-blogging at the Monique Rathbun temporary restraining order hearing, and day two’s live-blog which set a then-record number of comments for a single blog post at the Bunker (3,442).

Five of our favorites from the most-upvoted comments of September 2021

September 10: chukicita

To me one of the most cruel things Scientology does to its own people is make them believe that our beautiful, amazing, sacred mother Earth is a prison.

September 18: Mat Pesch

There is a lot of work and little to no profit in just selling Scientology services. Captain Dave realized that long ago and switched over to pushing for “donations” where no exchange was necessary. He is like the king that is driving the looting and pillaging of his own people. He is filling his coffers while burning the bridges. The king is living large in a mentally deluded state while the kingdom shrinks and eventually disappears.

September 20: Graham

Dear Norbert, I have been a Scientologist for fifty years and I have done the Purification Rundown five times. The Org keep on telling me I have to do it again to get rid of the last bits of radiation in my body. I was wondering if I bought all of your products whether they would rid me of this radiation and protect me from further radiation, so then maybe I won’t have to do the Purif for a sixth time. Or do you think it would be wiser to buy all your products and do the Purification Rundown again? ARC, I. M. A. Sap

September 24: Andrea “i-Betty” Garner

“Brian Duimovich was 53. He leaves behind several small children.” Just so sad. I’m terribly sorry for his family and friends, particularly his children who are fatherless. They didn’t need to be. I genuinely feel nothing but pity for this man whose brain was softened and manipulated by a cult for four decades, and perhaps made him more susceptible to mistrusting science. Please vaccinate, Bunkeroos. I don’t want to lose any of you.

September 25: Amethyst

I worked at Delphi for 6 years. Everything Liz Gale said is true plus more. We were all considered volunteers and got room and board and about $5 a week. If you didnt have another source of income life was rough. We worked 60 hour weeks and had one day off. We were expected to study Scn two hours a day on top of working. The students got away with all kinds of antics, especially drugs and sex. To see this named as the Best Small Business to work at is ludicrous. It was a scn organization from top to bottom. Big brother was always watching. I am glad I escaped when I did.



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Source Code

“I got a frantic wire the other day from a scientific congress that was occurring in, I think, Boston, and they wanted to know if I had any proof I could offer that thought created matter. They’d suddenly stumbled onto some mathematical proof of this one way or the other, and they wanted to know if I had any proof of this at all, and I sent ’em back a wire telling ’em that, yes, we’d had somebody mock up large mock-ups and stuff ’em into his body and increase his weight thirty pounds in a few weeks and then, by getting the reverse flow, to reduce his weight back again. We’ve actually made that experiment. That’s quite an experiment to make, by the way, because it takes a devilish lot of auditing and the fellow has to be awfully good at solid facsimiles and mock-ups and things of that character before you can perform the series. But we have done it, taking thought alone, without increasing somebody’s diet, and increasing his weight and decreasing it. So, I sent ’em this data and I got back a highly enthusiastic wire saying that my data, as sent to them, had been of great assistance, so I hope they were all edified. That’s all I’ve heard about it.” — L. Ron Hubbard, December 29, 1957


Avast, Ye Mateys

“LIBERTY: You may have a proper 24 hour liberty under more favorable weather conditions in the near future. The barometer, Neptune and acts of god and perils of the sea have operated to delay the 24 hour liberty. Consensus is, Who wants any liberty in this weather? As it is dangerous to use the sled in such weather for large parties and too hard on Division IV, we will run only minimal shore boats and only then for vital business. So that no one can say you had one when you didn’t, we will cancel this one for now.” — The Commodore, December 29, 1970


Overheard in the FreeZone


“A lot of terminals, I believe, think they were sentenced to MEST. In Christianity the physical plane is not the Garden of Eden, Paradise, etc., but a descent on a gradient? P.S., the future may end up like ‘1984’ plus ten. Chips and AI implants, etc. Do you think an organisation of robots like Miscavige has is worse? I don’t think so. Sure, he likes to play god with the Bridge and has a 1.1 serfac attitude to public (‘I’ll take all their money because they are out-ethics public who need to be sec checked like the SPs that they are,’ etc). I can almost see it in his head. However, I wouldn’t want to see the church end just on the off chance it changes. Even the slightest chance true? This is how you play the game with an SP.”


Past is Prologue

1996: Jeff Jacobsen posted an account of his trip to Scientology headquarters and prison camp, Golden Era Studios (aka Gold Base). “I went by an apartment complex that they use for berthing, and took a photo of the apartment and 3 buses in front. Then I went on to Golden Era Studios. I parked near the new studio and started taking photos. Immediately a guy on a motorcycle came up to me and asked what I was doing. I said I just wanted to take photos of the property and then I’d be leaving. He asked who I was and who I was working for and I refused to answer both questions. He called on his walkie-talkie ‘professional photographer coming up.’ As he drove off to get my license plate number, I went on to take photos of the ship and such. As I was about 20 yards from the gated entry, 2 guys came out and started taking pictures of me. One had a telephoto lens and the other a cheapy camera. I told them that I was just going to take a few photos and leave. They said they were worried about me because I wouldn’t reveal who I was or who I was working for. So I took their photo too. The one guy told me that the curb was their property line, which doesn’t leave much room for walking! I took shots of the sign (after the one guy finally got out of the way when I said I’d stay there as long as it took to get that photo), the ship, and the chapel. When we got to my car he took photos of the inside of the car. Then I opened the trunk to get out my video-camera. He called on his walkie- talkie ‘he’s taking out a video camera.’ Sheesh. He photographed the inside of the trunk of the car, and I told him I considered that a violation of my privacy. I told him I was only going to take about 30 seconds of the studio, which I did. I then thanked him for the conversation, shook hands, and drove off.”


Random Howdy

“To my mind all religion is organized superstition and magical thinking that was created to explain the unexplainable and to get people to behave. Also, financial reward and social power for the creators has sometimes played a significant role. Some of it was made up thousands of years ago, some of it was made up much more recently. If you can get people to believe it’s a religion…it’s a religion.”


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.

‘Lafayette Ronald Hubbard’ (a/k/a Justin Craig), false imprisonment, aggravated assault, plus drug charges: Next hearing scheduled for January 18.
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 January 22 in Los Angeles
David Gentile, GPB Capital, fraud: Next pretrial conference set for February 11.
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.
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.
Chiropractors Steve Peyroux and Brent Detelich, stem cell fraud: Lawsuit filed by the FTC and state of Georgia in August, now in discovery phase.



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 sounds so different from those still in and those who have left
[TWO years ago] Scientology’s sneaky front groups and building projects under the microscope in 2019
[THREE years ago] How Marc and Claire Headley’s Scientology lawsuit is being used by the NXIVM defense
[FOUR years ago] Scientology sues Laura DeCrescenzo in latest plot to kill her 8-year forced-abortion claim
[FIVE years ago] The disturbing detail other media missed about TMZ’s Scientology scoop yesterday
[SIX years ago] Scientology’s 2015 in review: In September, Erika Christensen was out of this universe
[SEVEN years ago] One Scientologist is out to teach HBO a lesson for its upcoming documentary
[EIGHT years ago] Scientology’s 2013 in review: A summer of delicious scoops!
[NINE years ago] Scientology’s 2012 in Review: Parting Shots from a Year David Miscavige Won’t Soon Forget
[TEN years ago] Scientology Goes Upstat for the Final News Roundup of the Year (And Why We’re Grateful)


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 2,529 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,034 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,554 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,574 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,465 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 4,772 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 2,640 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 3,414 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 1,745 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,218 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,534 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,100 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 8,019 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,187 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 3,768 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,029 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,065 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 2,780 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,305 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 660 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 1,835 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,386 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,535 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 3,855 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 8,710 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 3,829 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,185 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,488 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,594 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,992 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 2,868 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,451 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 2,946 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,200 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,309 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on December 29, 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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