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Chris Shelton interviews Katherine Olson, who only escaped Scientology’s Sea Org last year

Big news from Chris Shelton this week as he has graduated with a masters degree and he has a live guest this week on his podcast who has only recently escaped from Scientology’s Sea Org.

Katherine Olson left the new Columbus Ideal Org just last year, so she has some of the freshest information about what Scientology is like right now. In this first part, she talks with Chris about her history in Scientology, which began on staff in Portland in 1992 when she was only 15 years old.

Katherine’s career took her many places in Scientology, and she witnessed so much of what we’ve been reporting on over the years, from the beginning of the Ideal Org program, to the chaos over the Basics, to the rise and fall of the Chase Wave.

What a great way to start out this Memorial Day weekend, with a new look inside what a managerial nightmare Scientology is.




Jon Atack and Karen de la Carriere



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Source Code


“Now, you’re a registrar and somebody is coming in, or you’re signing up PCs. (All of you have to wear a registrar’s hat at one time or another.) And you’re trying to get somebody to get some auditing, you’re a registrar, see? And there you are one fine day with a yow-yow-yow and a scream-scream-scream standing in front of your face: Seventy-five hours of auditing have been delivered — he feels terrible! He says, ‘Oh, I could kill everybody in the place,’ and he ought to go out and sue everybody, and he’s going to inform the government that so on and so on and so on and so on-yap, yap, yap, you never hear such a thing. Don’t worry too much about the threats, because the person totally lacks direction. Person will go halfway down the steps and change his mind and do something else, don’t you see? They’re incapable of carrying forward a program that has any cohesion or direction, see.” — L. Ron Hubbard, May 28, 1963


Avast, Ye Mateys

“GOOD NEWS: The Governor’s Office of Calif is commending us for the Narco-non and Drug Abuse Campaigns and our effectiveness in this field. This is a second official one only days apart evidently. Also the Gov of Calif’s son is reported planning to join the SO.” — The Commodore, May 28, 1970


Overheard in the FreeZone

“If there is no ethics in the field, then American indies will keep ending up in the wog justice system or ignored completely.”


Past is Prologue

1999: Jon Atack’s book on Scientology, A Piece of Blue Sky, continued to make news after restored it to their catalog last week. From Heise News: “The internet book dealer,, under pressure from massive protest, has decided to put a book critical of the Scientology sect back into its selection. In 1995, a British court had decided that the book contained a slanderous statement. However, it is hardly conceivable that in the United States, where freedom of speech counts rather high on the scale of Constitutional rights, that a similar judgment would be carried out there. After Wired News reported of the withdrawal of the book, a hail of protest came from internet news groups, particularly from the alt.religion.scientology forum. Amazon speaker Bill Curry said, ‘On the basis of the information which we had in February, the decision we made seemed right to us. Happily, however, the actual information we have received in the past few days has caused us to take a second look.'”



Random Howdy

“I’m from S.F. and the Jonestown massacre happened on November 18, 1978 and the Moscone/Milk assassinations happened on November 27, 1978. So yeah, it was definitely a very strange and stressful time to be living in Frisco. It seemed like Armageddon. My father worked with a guy named Fred Lewis who lost 27 relatives at Jonestown. As far as a Jonestown-like event happening at Gold Base, I find it doubtful, but if the ‘perfect storm’ of mishaps, misadventures, miscommunications took place, like at Waco, it’s possible. I think Miscavige is more the mob boss type than the fanatical cult leader type. That’s a major factor.”


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.
Rizza Islam and other family members, Medi-Cal fraud: Pretrial conference June 9 in Los Angeles
David Gentile, GPB Capital, fraud: Next pretrial conference set for June 2.
Joseph ‘Ben’ Barton, Medicare fraud: Pleaded guilty, awaiting sentencing.
Yanti Mike Greene, Scientology private eye accused of contempt of court: Found guilty of criminal and civil contempt.


Civil litigation:
Baxter, Baxter, and Paris v. Scientology, alleging labor trafficking: Complaint filed April 28 in Tampa federal court.
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. Next hearing scheduled for June 29.
Brian Statler Sr v. City of Inglewood: Third amended complaint filed, trial set for December 6.
Author Steve Cannane defamation trial: New trial ordered after appeals court overturned prior 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] Ten Days That Shook The (Scientology) World: Dave and Danny’s very bad predicament
[TWO years ago] Scientology’s hammy Grant Cardone and the political operator: A significant connection?
[THREE years ago] Scientology’s happy promotions can’t hide the cancer eating away at its core
[FOUR years ago] Joy Villa makes it back to the White House, but on a sour note
[FIVE years ago] Child deaths at a pop concert turn into the latest chance for Scientology to spread its propaganda
[SIX years ago] Will Scientology’s celebrities heed the call and show up for today’s big media center opening?
[SEVEN years ago] Former Scientologist found guilty of defrauding other exes — ALSO: 1998 film re-release
[EIGHT years ago] Scientology’s drug rehab system hit with tenth federal fraud lawsuit by Las Vegas attorney
[NINE years ago] Scientology Gets Emotional: Claire Headley on the Tone Scale


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 2,678 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,183 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,733 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,723 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,614 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 4,920 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 2,789 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 3,563 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 1,894 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,367 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,683 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,249 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 8,168 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,336 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 3,916 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,178 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,214 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 2,929 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,454 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 809 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 1,984 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,535 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,684 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 4,004 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 8,859 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 3,978 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,334 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,637 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,743 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 3,141 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 3,017 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,600 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 3,095 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,349 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,458 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on May 28, 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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