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


No, Will Smith was not high on Scientology when he slugged Chris Rock at the Oscars

[The slap heard ’round the world]

Naturally, after Sunday night’s absolutely bizarre moment during the Oscar broadcast when Will Smith slapped Chris Rock’s face for making fun of Will’s wife Jada Pinkett Smith, the jokes about the Smiths and Scientology started up on social media.

We jumped in with a tweet trying to stem the tide, but it was a mostly futile attempt.


We’ve been writing about the Smiths and Scientology for many years, and we have very, very good sources on those stories.

There’s simply no doubt that the Smiths were Scientologists at one point. In 2007, they started up a program with some other parents to teach their children using Scientology curricula, and the next year invested $1.235 million to lease a campus so their school, Leadership Academy in Calabasas, California, would have a home for at least three years. By that time, 2011, their own children had moved on to another school, and Leadership Academy closed for good in 2013.

We were the first to interview Jacqueline Olivier, the school’s first principal, who said that not only was Leadership Academy’s curriculum based on L. Ron Hubbard’s “Study Technology,” but Scientology “ethics” concepts were also used in the school to discipline children, and teachers were required to take Scientology courses at the Hollywood Celebrity Centre.

As for Will and Jada and their own involvement, our sources have always maintained that Jada was the ardent Scientologist, and that Will was more of a dabbler.

To illustrate Jada’s ardor, at one point in 2010 when a minor Hollywood figure and close friend to Jada was having a nervous breakdown because their marriage was falling apart, Jada answered a call for help by showing up at their house to offer support — with her E-meter in hand.

We had an eyewitness to that scene, and the Hollywood figure’s publicist confirmed that they were taking Scientology courses. But this person’s involvement in Scientology was very brief, so we’ve never named them.

We also have an excellent source who confirmed for us that Jada and Will were completely done with Scientology by 2015. That source, in fact, told us about it in the presence of Mike Rinder who, we noticed, retweeted our statement following the Oscars incident. Mike will remember who told us that the Smiths were out, and why this was a particularly strong piece of evidence.

In 2018, Jada had Leah Remini on an episode of Red Table Talk and claimed that she was never really into Scientology. We said at the time that this was not very believable. But on the other hand, having Remini on the show was a very brave thing for Jada to do, and assures that she too will be considered an “enemy” of the church.

As for the beef that motivated Will to take a swing at Chris Rock, we’re sure you can find plenty of other places to read all about it.

We just wanted to clear up the Scientology angle.


UPDATE: We see a lot of claims being made about the hug that John Travolta gave Will Smith later in the broadcast.

Some are saying it’s proof that they are both still in Scientology, others are saying it’s proof that they’ve both left Scientology.

It’s proof of neither. Please keep in mind that Scientology celebrities get to break most of Scientology’s rules about “SPs” and “PTS” and other forms of discipline that less famous Scientologists have to live by.

We know the tabloids have published a lot of speculation about Travolta leaving Scientology since the death of his wife Kelly Preston. We wrote a story suggesting that if Travolta sought solace in his old friend Lisa Marie Presley, it might result in him leaving the church. But we haven’t seen any evidence that this is the case. As far as we know, Travolta continues his very strong loyalty to L. Ron Hubbard.

And even though Leah Remini appeared on Jada’s show, and even if that means Jada was declared SP and Will PTS (although there’s no public evidence of either) that would still not mean Travolta would have to keep away from Will during an Oscars telecast.

This is why we point out, again and again, that someone like Tom Cruise can also ignore these “ethics” policies, and he could see his daughter Suri any time he wanted to and ignore Scientology’s petty rules. That he doesn’t, and that he has so publicly chosen Scientology over his own daughter, says so much about him.


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


“It’s an interesting thing that there exists on Earth a cult which believes a hundred percent that it has the only god there is in this universe. And this is quite an interesting thing. See, this is terribly interesting. Anybody who says he has a total monopoly on all there is of something, which you can’t weigh, see or measure, is suspect. Christianity’s gain in the world and its departure from its own announced principles were in the main in the direction of control…It is not even a major group today in European and American spheres of influence. It keeps telling you that it is, but it isn’t. The majority of the white races today are not members of the Christian church. And there are about ten times as many Buddhists. Oh I don’t know, two hundred times as many Buddhists or something. Rather overwhelmingly big. But that was an effort to control. And an interesting effort to control, because when it failed in its own basic tenets it then departed from its basics. And our quarrel with it is, that in practice it isn’t what it says it is. That’s our only quarrel with it. It is something that tries to appear one way when it is something else.” — L. Ron Hubbard, March 28, 1957


Avast, Ye Mateys

“NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER go near a British Consul in any port we are in for passport renewal or any other reason. Send the person to another port we don’t use. The Corfu trouble has been traced by our Missionaires to FORTE the Corfu British Consul who told the most vile and fantastic lies about us such as the H&W men were now in an insane asylum in Athens! That we poisoned wells and did black magic. We are suing him there and also will kick it back to England. The whole Corfu incident was censored out of Greek press and has not hit International Press. So no ports know of it. Which is okay. But let that be a lesson to us about British Consuls. So that’s how they lost their empire! 3rd Party specialists. By the way they supply arms to both sides of the Biafra conflict and both sides in the Israel-Jordan Suez war! Also, by the way, an official protest was made by the Panama Consul General in Athens to the Greek govt. And so Panama is on our side. Also the Nomarch is being removed in Corfu. Hah! But the people there are terrified of arrest so we’re pulling our Mission out. We won after all.” — The Commodore, March 28, 1969


Overheard in the FreeZone

“The many communications regarding Scientology on electronic media that rely on reporting the effects of ‘bad tech/policy’ practiced upon others as their only source of discussion upon Scientology or Dianetics is counterproductive in my opinion, and eventually follows the same path as suppression and insanity, a constant willingness and desire to destroy. Justice has been sadly lacking in application within the Scientology organisation and always has been since LRH disappeared and even he was subject to the extent it was lacking. The ethics guidelines in KSW1 fell on death ears for the most part. The exposing of the abuses and alterations and by whom must continue concerning Scientology, but there is another side which remains mostly hidden or open to instant ridicule upon social media and that is the positives of applying the correct technology. Never has there been truer words than, ‘make the tech your own.’”


Past is Prologue

2002: Reuters reported that Scientology minister Reed Slatkin has agreed to plead guilty to investment fraud. “EarthLink co-founder Reed Slatkin, accused of defrauding investors out of nearly $600 million, has agreed to plead guilty to 15 federal charges, prosecutors said Tuesday. Slatkin, who was charged with 15 felony charges for allegedly orchestrating a massive Ponzi scheme in which he solicited more than $593 million from some 800 investors – including members of the Church of Scientology, where he is a minister – has reached a deal with prosecutors to plead guilty to all of the charges. Slatkin, 53, was charged with five counts of mail fraud, three counts of wire fraud, six counts of money laundering and one count of conspiracy to obstruct justice during an investigation being conducted by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.”



Random Howdy

“I laugh when Scientologists state that Scientology has nothing to do with faith or belief, and that it doesn’t involve a belief in the supernatural or paranormal. Yeah, spirits, reincarnation, telekinesis, astral projection, demons (body thetans) have nothing to do with anything like that!”


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. Additional charges also referred to grand jury after January 5 assault while in jail.
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 May 20 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’s motion for reconsideration denied on March 15.
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] Scientology social media: The gang’s all here, let’s clear the planet!
[TWO years ago] This is Scientology’s plan for bringing good ‘hygiene’ to your door
[THREE years ago] Scientology’s Narconon drug rehab expansion plans DENIED in Maryland and Michigan
[FOUR years ago] Scientology TV was launched with a massive ad campaign — is it working?
[FIVE years ago] Lawrence Wright goes to Nazareth; or, how Reza Aslan drove us into the arms of L. Ron Hubbard
[SIX years ago] Scientology at Comic Con: An attempt at a minor intervention, as told by Phil Jones
[SEVEN years ago] On the eve of ‘Going Clear’, Leah Remini says she’s grateful to the people behind it
[EIGHT years ago] VIDEO: Learn the power of Scientology in L. Ron Hubbard’s Science of Survival lectures!
[NINE years ago] In Dianetics, the Uterus is a Frightening Place — ALSO: Nation of Islam Boosting Involvement?


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 2,617 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,122 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,642 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,662 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,553 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 4,860 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 2,728 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 3,502 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 1,833 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,306 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,622 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,188 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 8,107 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,275 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 3,856 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,117 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,153 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 2,868 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,393 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 748 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 1,923 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,474 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,623 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 3,943 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 8,798 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 3,917 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,273 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,576 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,682 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 3,080 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 2,956 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,539 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 3,034 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,288 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,397 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on March 28, 2022 at 00:40

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


Share Button
Print Friendly, PDF & Email