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The Scientology celebrity exodus from LA to Clearwater continues

[Michael Peña and Brie Shaffer]

A year ago, we noted that there was anecdotal evidence to back up an assertion we’ve been making for some time, that Scientology’s gravitational center has been moving from Los Angeles to Clearwater, Florida.

Not only has Scientology leader David Miscavige made the move from California to Scientology’s ‘Flag Land Base’ in Clearwater (something that was confirmed by his attorneys), but we’ve been seeing church celebrities make the move as well.

Last year, we noted that Kirstie Alley’s Scientologist daughter Lillie Parker had not only pulled up stakes and moved to Clearwater, but that she said, “With our first kid on the way and everyone moving out of Los Angeles we decided this was the best move for our growing family and business.”

Everyone? Well, yes, it feels like it. In the year since then, we see little reason to change that assessment, and we thought we’d add an interesting new data point to the pile.

Another couple who made the move from LA to Clearwater in recent years is actor Michael Peña and his wife Brie Shaffer. Peña is having a great career in Hollywood, and he’s been able to dodge much of the controversy that comes with being a Scientology celebrity.


But his wife Brie, who has worked as Danny Masterson’s assistant, is a fascinating figure in her own right, as we’ve explained here at the Bunker in the past.

Masterson is facing trial for violently raping three women who were Scientologists at the time. One of those incidents occurred in April 2003, and when the victim, known today as Jane Doe 1, eventually reported the attack to the police in 2004, one of the witnesses she listed was Shaffer.

A couple of months later, after the LAPD had dropped that investigation, Masterson and Jane Doe 1 worked out an agreement (Jane Doe 1 has testified that she felt forced into it by the Church of Scientology). And then, days after that agreement was worked out, Masterson moved two pieces of properties he owned, each worth about $1 million, into Shaffer’s name.

A year later, in 2005, just as the time for Jane Doe 1 to file a lawsuit against Masterson had run out, Shaffer then transferred those two properties back into Masterson’s name.

Was Masterson using his assistant to keep a couple of valuable properties out of Jane Doe 1’s reach if she filed a lawsuit against him, and then took them back once the coast was clear? Neither Masterson or Shaffer responded to our questions about that.

Anyway, it’s recently come to our attention that in 2018, Peña and Shaffer bought a house in Clearwater and then moved there from Glendale, California. We aren’t going to name the location of the house or describe it. We don’t want anyone going by to take a look.

However, we also noticed that the couple had bought another Clearwater house this past January, a nice home right on the intracoastal, and then filed a notice with the county that they planned to demolish it.

These Hollywood types and their tear downs.

Curious about whether the demolition had taken place, we asked a reader to go by and snap a photo. And sure enough, the house that was there is there no longer. Here’s the before shot, from Google streetwise…


And here’s the same lot a few days ago…



Well, they’re making themselves right at home in Clearwater, aren’t they.

And with criminal and civil lawsuits involving Danny Masterson back in Los Angeles, buying and tearing down homes in Clearwater must seem awfully uptone.

Speaking of uptone, checking Brie’s completions we see that according to Scientology’s own publications, she completed OT Eligibility in 2018 and New OT 5 in 2019. This tells us that she went through a barrage of interrogations in order to qualify for upper level auditing, and that anything Brie Shaffer knows about Danny Masterson, the Church of Scientology probably now knows as well.

We’d be interested to hear from our excellent longtime Scientologist commenters about what it means to go through OT Eligibility at the Flag Land Base. We hear it’s pretty grueling.


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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

“One time a few years ago in a war that everybody fortunately has forgotten, a submarine appeared on my port bow. We’d been hanging over it for some time and it ran up its periscope. They used to throw up a patch of oil and then run the periscope up through the oil so as not to leave any salt scum or anything like that on their periscope lens, you know. So a blob of oil appeared and the fellow who was running the engine room telegraphs on the bridge was the only fellow looking in that direction. And he saw this blob of oil appear and he thought that was strange and interesting. We were going very slowly, we were almost dead in the water, and then right up through this big blob of brown oil on a blue sea comes a periscope — swswswswhhh — and looks around in every direction but at our ship! If it had turned another ninety degrees it would have read the biggest doggone 422 that you’d ever seen, fully magnified for the skipper. But anyway, the man on the engine room telegraphs is the only person who observed this incident in its various steps. The bridge was absolutely crammed with men because we were at general quarters. But nobody was looking right down there; they were looking out there, you know. And the fellow on the engine room telegraphs would say, ‘Thh.’ I finally noticed this strange performance and I was all set at this moment, you see, the second I saw this — flank speed and drop a depth charge right. Even if it blew our own stern off, that was fine, you see. And I said, ‘Khh!’ That was the awfulest mess of noncommunication! It finally came off all right. We dropped a depth charge and so on, but we were laughing about this for days. Nobody could talk!” — L. Ron Hubbard, June 5, 1955



Avast, Ye Mateys

“MAYFAIR: Mayfair magazine UK published an article by me as a ‘World Exclusive.’ It may effectively handle a lot of things. It ended off the William Burroughs thing. It said why we’re attacked and attacks hard. It appeared on the stands just before Parliament adjourned. Captain AOUK said it acted like an S&D on the crew there. INJURIES: Those recently injured were not PTS. Survey showed they were exterior and feeling powerful and didn’t watch where they were sending the body.” — The Commodore, June 5, 1970


Overheard in the FreeZone

“I’ve recently been cogniting on how life is a game. One cog I had was that in confronting and handling certain barriers I was thinking of applying solutions that would have sufficed a couple of hundred years ago, but had no place in today’s society. So on that 3rd dynamic problem I always became stumped. I was playing, or attempting to play, the game out of PT. When I realised what I was doing, a solution presented itself. It was a hell of a win for me on the 3rd dynamic! I got that from studying an ACC. LRH was a friggin genius, and I would thoroughly recommend that people coming out of the church continue up the Bridge because as you say, it’s the only way to learn what life is about and thereby get above it, and play a game that you really want to play, whatever that may be.”


Past is Prologue

2000: A transcript of the broadcast of John McLaughlin’s One on One TV show was posted to a.r.s this week, on the subject of religious discrimination and mentioning Scientology. “MR. MCLAUGHLIN: At the dawn of the 21st century, one of mankind’s age-old curses still afflicts us. It is religious intolerance. In China, Christians and so-called ‘cults’ are the targets of brutal government crack-downs. In the Sudan, antichristian riots have killed hundreds. In Russia, antisemitism is rearing its despicable head. SEN. BROWNBACK: The Religious Commission report on international religious liberty and they’re putting forward three countries that they’re particularly citing that have some of the worst cases of religious abuse, such as in the Sudan and China, and one that we hold some of the most promise, but some of the problems are rearing their head, in Russia.”



Random Howdy

“I almost got castrated by an emu when I was a teenager.”


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

Criminal prosecutions:
Danny Masterson charged for raping three women: Next pretrial conference June 30. Trial scheduled for October 11.
‘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] Was David Miscavige behind Tom Mesereau’s biggest blunder at Danny Masterson’s prelim?
[TWO years ago] Year after taping ‘Scientology & the Aftermath,’ Victoria Locke is still waiting for justice
[THREE years ago] Scientology survey for its members: Why aren’t you giving us more money?
[FOUR years ago] First person: Four Scientologists have been shot, and you’re being sent to audit the pain away
[FIVE years ago] Donna Fiore says Scientology is hounding her for dirt on stepdaughter Leah Remini
[SIX years ago] Scientology’s next big opening — its totally unneeded ‘Advanced Org’ in Australia
[SEVEN years ago] If the Sea Org doesn’t legally exist, how does it run Scientology?
[EIGHT years ago] 60 years ago and today: Scientology in its heyday, and now not so much
[NINE years ago] Just What Oklahoma Tornado Victims Need: Scientology to the Rescue!


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 2,686 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,191 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,741 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,731 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,622 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 4,928 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 2,797 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 3,571 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 1,902 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,375 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,691 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,257 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 8,176 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,344 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 3,924 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,186 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,222 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 2,937 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,462 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 817 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 1,992 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,543 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,692 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 4,012 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 8,867 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 3,986 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,342 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,645 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,751 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 3,149 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 3,025 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,608 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 3,103 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,357 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,466 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on June 5, 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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