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Scientology and Ukraine: While some back Putin, Volunteer Ministers see an opportunity

While Vladimir Putin’s aggressive war on Ukraine is resulting in more killing of civilians with Russian rockets, Scientology is in an interesting situation.

Many if not most Scientologists in the US tend to be Alex Jones conspiracy types who were anti-maskers and anti-vaxxers during the pandemic and have seamlessly switched to rooting on Putin, as so many Q-flavored ‘patriots’ here have.

A few examples from some of Scientology’s more unhinged, including Juliette Lewis’s mom Glenis Batley, UK loon John Mappin, and LD Sledge….



But the destruction and loss of life in Ukraine also translates to a public relations opportunity for Scientology and its “Volunteer Ministers,” as one of our readers pointed out. In Hungary, actress Timea Vojtilla is posting about efforts to help Ukrainian refugees there.

We think any assistance for Ukrainian refugees at this point is a good thing. But knowing Scientology, they’ll be handing out L. Ron Hubbard books and giving out faith healing “touch assists” as much as they’ll be handing out blankets and food, so please keep that in mind.


And as Mike Rinder pointed out last week, Scientology fundraising on the Ukraine war has already begun, with members begged for cash so that L. Ron Hubbard books can be rushed to the battlefield, or something.

We expect the overall Scientology response to the terrible tragedy in Ukraine to remain somewhat schizophrenic. While conspiracy-minded US Scientologists might be rooting for Vlad Putin, remember that Russia’s leader has been trying to kick Scientology out of that country for years. Could regime change there actually be good for David Miscavige’s cabal? The mind reels.


Bonus items from our tipsters


Got a spare $100,000 to hand over and fill one of the boxes?



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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

“I blew up a whole writing class one time. It’s a wonder they all didn’t leave school. Actually, they relegated it to sort of getting the professor to reprimand me. It was the short story class of Harvard — excuse me, ‘Hah-varrd.’ They made the mistake of having a series of lectures from successful writers. And each one of these gave them a short series of lectures. And all of these people were in a class called Creative Writing. And they were very nicely dressed children. And so my lectures were very well received, and so forth, right up to a point….Because what I told the class that caused them to completely blow up was, I said, ‘Well,’ I said, ‘when you’ve written a few hundred thousand words, why, then you’ve got a style. And it’s taken me about I think, about a hundred thousand words before I had any inkling of any kind of a style.’ And I suddenly noticed, I looked around, I had a class in front of me that was in a state of shock!…It had never occurred to those damned fools or that professor that writers write! And this had nothing whatsoever to do with their education. I know that’s an unbelievable experience. It left me in a state of shock. ‘Well, Hubbard’s an awful bad fellow.’ Never forgave me. I was probably used as a horrible example in that school for years.” — L. Ron Hubbard, March 9, 1965


Avast, Ye Mateys


“AOUK is the highest GI since September 1969! The International GI is the highest since 5 May 1969! Yet several orgs GIs were missing on it due to telex delays! So the FB and production of FAO are showing up where it counts. This is the direct result of renewed Flag industriousness, the teams we are sending out and the on the ground hard work of willing staffs. All have a part in producing such wins, storesmen, engineers, the whole crew.” — The Commodore, March 9, 1971


Overheard in the FreeZone

“I relate to Beingness as the primary assumption of a Cycle of Existence, Here and Now which may then be differentiated by relative location in space. For me time is relative location in space. Reality is Here, beyond the dissolution of the mechanical conditions of existence, Mind and the separateness of Identity. Reality as Agreement is exactly that: MEST Agreements and Allegiances. In truth reality is a condition of Isness beyond existence and it is composed of everyone. The reality of people. Life is a product of Imagination, identity I, You, He, She, It, We, You plural, They and Mind which generates the Void of Potentiality and results in Existence through the assumption of Beingness as Source.”


Past is Prologue

1997: Boulder Weekly published an article about Stephen Keller, a father who was forced to turn over his daughter to the Scientology mission by police. “Cuffed and sitting in the front seat of a police car, but not under arrest, Keller explained to the cops his fears about the Church of Scientology and his belief that he would never see his daughter again. Amanda is the 15-year-old pawn in a brewing custody battle between Keller and his ex-wife Suzanne, a high-ranking Scientologist. Keller says he has already lost his son Ben to the church. And he says the thought of losing his only daughter is too much to bear. Currently Suzanne Keller, who lives in a Scientology compound in Clearwater, Fla., has custody. A court hearing in Boulder County District Court in early April will determine sole custody. Officers contend that Keller violated a custody order by keeping his daughter in Colorado two days later than the court order mandated, and that they were only doing their job. And, they say, Suzanne Keller gave her permission to the sheriff’s department to turn her daughter over to Boulder Dianetics Foundation executive secretary Susan Anderson – the same woman Keller had run off his property earlier that day. Before being turned over to Anderson, Amanda and Steve Keller had spent three weeks together trying to dance around a Church of Scientology plan to marry Amanda off to a 23-year-old Chilean man to thwart her father’s bid for custody. It was not, Keller says, a merry Christmas. Boulder attorney Michael Morphew, who is representing Keller in the custody action, says he has seen the effects of Scientology on teenagers. ‘The types of developmental issues (teens) face and how they learn to go about becoming an adult. And the challenges and the things you need to be faced with as a teenager isn’t going to happen in a Scientology commune.'”


Random Howdy

“Hey, a free trip to America and free rice and beans probably sounds pretty good to a fairly large segment of the world’s population.”



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

Criminal prosecutions:
Danny Masterson charged for raping three women: Next pretrial conference May 31. Trial scheduled for August 29.
‘Lafayette Ronald Hubbard’ (a/k/a Justin Craig), aggravated assault, plus drug charges: Last hearing was on January 18, referred to grand jury.
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 March 25 in Los Angeles
David Gentile, GPB Capital, fraud: Next pretrial conference set for April 8.
Joseph ‘Ben’ Barton, Medicare fraud: Pleaded guilty, awaiting sentencing.
Yanti Mike Greene, Scientology private eye accused of contempt of court: Hearing held on February 15, awaiting ruling.

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.’ Valerie asks for March 15 hearing on motion for reconsideration.
Chrissie Bixler et al. v. Scientology and Danny Masterson: Appellate court removes requirement of arbitration on January 19, case remanded back to Superior Court. Scientology has said it will file an anti-SLAPP motion.
Brian Statler Sr v. City of Inglewood: Third amended complaint filed, trial set for June 28.
Author Steve Cannane defamation trial: Trial concluded, Cannane victorious, awarded court costs. 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] Civil case on ice (for now), and will Danny Masterson show for next criminal hearing?
[TWO years ago] Scientology attempts to clean up its balloon mess by clearing beach of syringes
[THREE years ago] William Burroughs at Scientology’s ‘Saint Hill Manor’ in 1968, before his discontent
[FOUR years ago] Scientologists bombarded to attend Hubbard birthday events, and this is our favorite flier
[FIVE years ago] As Louis Theroux’s ‘My Scientology Movie’ hits U.S., troubling news of co-star Marty Rathbun
[SIX years ago] Scientology ‘disconnection’ billboard to be a block from David Miscavige’s office & residence
[SEVEN years ago] Scientology documentary ‘Going Clear’ participants getting harassed, threatened
[EIGHT years ago] Video Vault: When Scientology basked in the success of giant cucumbers
[NINE years ago] Scientology Mythbusting with Jon Atack: Xenu the Galactic Overlord, Part 1!
[TEN years ago] Scientology: Told to Chill in Texas, and Another Embarrassing Admission in Israel


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 2,598 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,103 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,623 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,643 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,534 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 4,841 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 2,709 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 3,483 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 1,814 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,287 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,603 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,169 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 8,088 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,256 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 3,837 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,098 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,134 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 2,849 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,374 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 729 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 1,904 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,455 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,604 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 3,924 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 8,779 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 3,898 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,254 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,557 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,663 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 3,061 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 2,937 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,520 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 3,015 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,269 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,378 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on March 9, 2022 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, 1995-2021 Just starting out here? We’ve picked out the most important stories we’ve covered here at the Underground Bunker (2012-2021), 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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