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PODCAST: Bruce Hines on Scientology Sea Org insanity, and a Shelly story we hadn’t heard

[Bruce Hines]

We have been so fortunate that Bruce Hines continues to mine his experience as one of Scientology’s top auditors in a series of pieces that he’s written for the Underground Bunker. His tales from the Sea Org not only capture the paramilitary group’s insanity, but Bruce is better than most at describing what he went through mentally in that “prison of belief.”

This week, we published a new narrative from him, describing his Orwellian (but mercifully brief) experience being busted down from the “Int Base” side of Gilman Springs road to the “Gold Base” side. We wanted to talk to him further about it, and not only did he help us get an even deeper understanding of life on the base, he also told us a bizarre anecdote about Shelly Miscavige that we hadn’t heard before.

Today, we’re releasing the fourth 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 hope you enjoy the hour we spent talking to Bruce about this latest story, and diving into his other eye-opening observations about Scientology, David Miscavige, and the Sea Org.

Not a paid subscriber? Well, we have something for you, too. Last week’s episode, with Jeffrey Augustine, had us reviewing Scientology’s latest moves in litigation. The week before, Claire Headley exposed Tom Cruise in some new ways that really blew us away. And our inaugural episode featured Claire’s husband Marc telling us some great stories about Scientology leader David Miscavige that we had never heard before.


Those first three episodes are now free to all of our subscribers, paid and unpaid. All of our podcast episodes can be found here.

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


Bonus items from our tipsters

L. Ron Hubbard, magician.



Source Code

“Man, in the past, every time he got up along the strata of trying to evaluate data, would get up to some point and say, ‘Above this point it is just God, and God did everything from here on down and you can’t go any further than that.’ Then he would push back the frontier of knowledge just a little bit further and he would say, ‘Beyond that is God. God starts right in here,’ and he would use that to evaluate data. This is somewhat unworkable because there are not two data. That is why man was having trouble. But there was a second datum there all the time: there was the devil. This fits in with the double-data system. The basic unit of knowledge is two. You have to know there is a man before you can know whether or not a man can be aberrated or not aberrated. How do we describe the devil? The devil is evil and God is good. We can describe, then, and we can get some conception of magnitude, of comparative data and of value. It is very simple. ” — L. Ron Hubbard, July 16, 1951



Avast, Ye Mateys

“All DOC members are to star-rate check out on HCO PL 22 February 1968 ‘Ethics Admin’ and FO RS 322 ‘The Hat of the Master”. Compliance to be effected within 24 hours. Twin checking between DOC members is preferred.” — The Commodore, July 16, 1970


Overheard in the FreeZone

“As I progressed in Scientology training and auditing my own understanding of telepathy increased. A really interesting instance was just last night, as I watched my dog sleeping in her bed. She was dreaming and her body was twitching and she was even doing muffled barks in her sleep. I easily picked up and saw the dream she was having, could easily see the pictures and feel her reactions to them. I acknowledged her (not vocally), and she settled down and slept peacefully from then on. Never would I have thought I could read the thoughts (or dreams) of animals, but it is now becoming clear that OT is very different to what I had originally thought it was. I know what I know.”


Past is Prologue

1999: U.S. Representative Mary Bono is speaking out about Scientology’s relationship with her late husband, Sonny Bono. From the Washington Post: “Since her election to the House, Rep. Mary Bono (R-Calif.) has gotten two visits from emissaries of the Church of Scientology, including one from well-known church adherent John Travolta. The California Republican’s late husband was a devotee of Scientology, but church officials did not find a receptive audience in Mary Bono. Bono tells George magazine that Sonny Bono ultimately became disenchanted with the church. ‘Sonny did try to break away at one point, and they made it very difficult for him,’ the congresswoman says. Bono says she told the Scientologists who visited her House office that she will deal with any ‘legitimate concern’ they have. A church official denied to the magazine that there had been any estrangement with Sonny Bono.”


Random Howdy

“If the government simply enforced the already existing laws we wouldn’t even be here.”



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

Criminal prosecutions:
Danny Masterson charged for raping three women: Trial scheduled for October 11, pretrial conference August 17.
‘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, Scientology moving to compel arbitration.
Valerie Haney v. Scientology: Forced to ‘religious arbitration.’ Selection of arbitrators underway. Next court hearing: February 2, 2023.
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] How many Scientologists live in your town? Surprisingly, Scientology has an answer
[TWO years ago] Scientologists mourn the loss of Kelly Preston, say nothing about former member Ben Keough
[THREE years ago] It’s not hard to figure out where L. Ron Hubbard came up with Scientology’s space cooties
[FOUR years ago] Saturday on L. Ron Hubbard Way — Scientology rolled out its sneaky focus on minorities
[FIVE years ago] Scientology’s ‘Drug-Free’ influence-peddling plans for New York on August 1, in detail
[SIX years ago] Scientology’s appeal denied, trial date to be set in forced-abortion lawsuit
[SEVEN years ago] Leah Remini’s ex-Scientology friends rock TLC — and our interview with one of them
[EIGHT years ago] Camilla Andersson goes public after 29 years in Scientology’s inner elite
[NINE years ago] Claire Headley Wonders, Was Kirstie Alley Doing Scientology’s ‘Doubt Formula?’
[TEN years ago] Breaking Away from the Church of Scientology: Reading Marty Rathbun’s Manifesto
[ELEVEN years ago] Scientology Is Not Happy With ‘Inside Scientology’


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 2,727 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,232 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,782 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,772 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,663 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 4,968 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 2,838 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 3,612 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 1,943 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,416 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,732 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,298 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 8,217 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,385 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 3,965 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,227 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,263 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 2,978 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,503 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 858 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 2,033 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,584 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,733 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 4,053 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 8,908 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 4,027 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,383 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,686 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,792 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 3,190 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 3,066 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,649 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 3,144 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,398 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,507 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on July 16, 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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