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Podcast: Claire Headley on the questions Tom Cruise never gets asked

This week, Tom Cruise reached a new milestone as his movie Top Gun: Maverick became his first ever billion-dollar box office smash. But amid all the hoopla, several people have dared to dampen the party by pointing out that Tom, besides being a movie star, is also the face and the symbol for a certain totalitarian-leaning organization that we happen to keep an eye on around here.

One of those people who spoke up did so in a really remarkable way and it captured a lot of attention at Facebook and Twitter. We thought you’d want to hear from her. We’re talking, of course, of Claire Headley, Sea Org escapee and one of the most important insiders who has ever left Scientology. We talked to Claire about the statement she made online on June 9 about Cruise, and much, much more.

Today, we’re releasing the second episode of our podcast to our paid subscribers at Substack. You should receive it presently at your email inbox if you’re on the list.

We were stunned by some of the things Claire told us, things we’ve never heard about Tom Cruise and Scientology, and we think you’ll find this an hour very much worth your time.


Not a paid subscriber? Well, we have something for you, too. Last week’s episode, our inaugural podcast effort, featured Claire’s husband Marc Headley telling us some great stories about Scientology leader David Miscavige that we had never heard before.

Now that Miscavige has made Clearwater his home, what’s that like for him and his minions? Marc has great examples from the past that suggest how things are currently going at Flag.

We’re now making that first episode free to all of our subscribers, paid and unpaid.

And if you’re not a subscriber, what are you waiting for? Go here to sign up for our Substack emails.


Source Code

“I can very easily go 500 years ago back into France and give you the name, rank, and serial number of a lot of things, see? And I can give these things to you, but after I’ve run a few of them, I start running into ‘Let’s see, was her name Mary? or was it Marie? or was it … ? And did that happen at Agincourt? or was that at Poitiers?’ And next thing you know I’m in a fog. And if I go on this way very long, I’ll start wondering whether I even was alive yesterday because I haven’t entered it from a zone of certainty. See?” — L. Ron Hubbard, July 2, 1964


Avast, Ye Mateys

“By advices from the MO the entire crew will be innoculated today. (Groan.) There will be two shots a week or so apart. This means on many auditing will be suspended for two weeks. Also solo. Some are not badly affected and these will be audited. TR course and study will not be suspended. This is a good time for auditors and internes and the tech personnel connected to catch up with their study and admin backlogs.” — The Commodore, July 2, 1971



Overheard in the FreeZone

“It takes years to make a good auditor. It takes a lot of courage to be an auditor. An auditor faces in the preclear’s case all the horrors of the reactive mind, and gets the PC through it. Understand for an auditor to do a perfect job, he needs an organization that backs him up. In the freezone we don’t have the perfect set-up as auditors. We are missing the organization. We cope. Some auditors don’t have C/Ses. Some are not even trained in C/Sing and don’t use C/Ses. Some don’t have examiners. OK, so any auditing is better than no auditing, except auditing over missed withholds, but to get a person through the Bridge that takes a LOT of skill.”


Past is Prologue

1999: Mark Bunker posted descriptions of his attempts to film a Scientology event on L. Ron Hubbard Way this week. “As you know, it’s a big weekend on Hubbard Way in L.A. as they have the street blocked off for a carnival. I tried to attend tonight but was blocked the moment I arrived. The rented cop lied to me saying it was a private street. The local precinct has no idea who Officer Leonard is as this ‘cop’ does not work in that jurisdiction. I was then surrounded by my old friend, Dan Murnan who had picketed my home, plus Mark Perkins and another whose name I didn’t know. They tried to be at cause over me by yelling at me and accusing me of crimes. I was greatly amused. I believe you will be too when you see the video. Scientology Rent-a-Cop: ‘The street’s closed off. You’re not welcome here.’ Scientologist: ‘Put the camera down; you don’t have permission to shoot me.’ Another Scientologist: ‘We’re for total freedom here!'”


Random Howdy

“OT 2 is where the bait and switch part of the long con kicks in. It switches from a pseudo Freudian-Jungian neo Buddhist self help scam to full blown Buck Rogers and Ming the Merciless malarkey. At this point Hubbard is softening up the marks for the big reveal that comes at OT 3.”


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: Readiness hearing scheduled for August 22 in Los Angeles
David Gentile, GPB Capital, fraud: Next pretrial conference set for September 19.
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.
Valerie Haney v. Scientology: Forced to ‘religious arbitration.’ Valerie’s motion for reconsideration denied on March 15. Nominated Elisabeth Moss to be her arbitrator in July 1 letter.
Chrissie Bixler et al. v. Scientology and Danny Masterson: Appellate court removes requirement of arbitration on January 19, case remanded back to Superior Court. Stay in place, next status hearing October 25.
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] ‘Global psychiatric obliteration’: Scientology’s ongoing war on psychiatry
[TWO years ago] A family’s Scientology drug rehab nightmare: The Narconon ‘Fresh Start’ scam strikes again
[THREE years ago] Introducing ‘The Cult Awareness Podcast,’ recorded at HowdyCon 2019 in Los Angeles
[FOUR years ago] Freed files: Scenes from a government investigation of Scientology
[FIVE years ago] Facing government opposition, Scientology prepares to play dirty
[SIX years ago] Field report: Visiting the mission that told the Church of Scientology to take a hike
[SEVEN years ago] How to read a tabloid magazine story about the Church of Scientology: A primer
[EIGHT years ago] Scientology litigation update: The Garcias respond, and the NAFC plays hardball
[NINE years ago] Scientology Turns Over Documents, Laura DeCrescenzo Begins Process to Review Them
[TEN years ago] Tom Cruise’s Former Scientology Auditor: ‘He Should Let Katie Have Everything She Wants’
[ELEVEN years ago] Scientology Fireworks! Commenters of the Week, Independence Day Edition


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 2,713 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,218 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,768 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,758 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,649 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 4,955 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 2,824 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 3,598 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 1,929 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,402 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,718 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,284 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 8,203 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,371 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 3,951 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,213 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,249 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 2,964 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,489 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 844 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 2,019 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,570 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,719 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 4,039 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 8,894 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 4,013 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,369 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,672 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,778 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 3,176 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 3,052 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,635 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 3,130 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,384 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,493 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on July 2, 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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