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Jon Atack escaped Scientology, but then he got himself into much deeper trouble

Not long after we started this website in 2012, we reached out to a person we had long admired who had written one of the greatest books about the history of Scientology. Jon Atack was one of those authors who had not only escaped Scientology to then write about it, but he had done so when exposing Scientology was a much riskier proposition.

His book, A Piece of Blue Sky came out in 1990, and he was also a key source for Russell Miller’s 1987 book, Bare-Faced Messiah, which, for our money, are the two best books ever written on the subject.

But in 2012, where was Jon Atack? It turned out he was taking something of a break from speaking out about Scientology after literally decades being harassed by the organization. We were stunned and grateful when, after we sent him some entreaties, he once again took up his quill and began writing for the Bunker.

He then took to YouTube, where he’s been putting out critical assessments of Scientology for years, and we’ve highlighted many of his videos here.


And then, in 2020, Jon began putting out a short series of very different videos.

They were about love poetry.

He and Pamela Davies wanted to tell the world about how they had managed to meet and fall in love during the pandemic, which had made meeting new people less than ideal.

In three videos, this adorable couple related how they managed to find each other and how they had each expressed themselves in verse. Truly, it’s an inspiration.

And we’re very disappointed that we were unable to be in attendance this weekend as the two tied the knot in Nottingham.

Karen de la Carriere made the trip, and she tells us the ceremony was as unique as these two intellectually inspiring people. She says that about 200 people came from seven different countries for the event, and that some of them included names we would know.

Karen said she spent a lot of time with Steve Hassan, for example. (And our thanks to Karen for sending over some photos.)


Karen also got to meet Bonnie Woods and her husband Richard. Bonnie went through a legendary fight with Scientology in the 1990s, and she talked about it recently with Jon in one of his recent videos.



Well, we’re very envious. And we only hope we get a chance to go over there and meet Pamela for ourselves.

Poets taking vows! Maybe the world’s not ending after all.


Bonus items from our tipsters

Who had Hawaii this week?



Now available: Bonus for our supporters

Episode 5 of the Underground Bunker podcast has been sent out to paid subscribers, and it’s a conversation with Sunny Pereira dishing secrets of Scientology’s Hollywood Celebrity Centre. Meanwhile, we’ve made episodes 1 through 4 available to everyone, with Bruce Hines on the crazy life in the Sea Org, Jeffrey Augustine on recent Scientology court cases, Claire Headley exposing Tom Cruise, and Marc Headley on what it must be like for David Miscavige living in Clearwater, Florida. Go here to get the episodes!



Source Code

“The Rock has such terrific significances connected with it: violations, survival, not to survive, thisa, thata, the other thing, identifications, cross-references, see file B, see file A 1,002,642, cross-reference Navy Department, you get the idea. Bulletin of War, Space Command, planet Exnoo, figure-figure-figure-figure, think-think-think-think-think-think, figure-figure-figure-figure, thought-thought-thought-thought, thought, significance-significance-significance-significance… And when he looks at this particular piece of matter, energy, space and time which is all it’s conceived of, he doesn’t conceive of matter, energy, space and time. He thinks, Cross-reference: Space Command, 8,000,000,682, general order to all torpedo-men. Following: pursuant to the orders of the admiral… See? Now, this unfortunately cross-references with Order of the Day, Monastery Platitude, Mount Xenu. There shall be peace. Which conflicts with, Dear, I know you are dedicated to holy orders, but I need a new pair of shoes. Which in itself is very vastly in conflict with Order of the Mount: Honor thy father and thy mother. Wait a minute, how’d that get in there? And that’s why the preclear’s so baffled.” — L. Ron Hubbard, July 25, 1958


Avast, Ye Mateys

“LOCAL MONEY: Be sure you turn in your local wallpaper. I sure hope it’s cooler at sea!” — The Commodore, July 25, 1969


Overheard in the FreeZone

“An Ethics Court was held on Andy Nolch, conductor of The Indie Scientology Podcast, in absentia, because he is in prison in Australia. Andy’s crime is point 15 of the General Crimes as listed in the first edition of the Introduction to Scientology Ethics book: ’15. Causing severe and disreputable disturbances resulting in disrepute.’ Andy’s previous arrest and the latest incarceration for violation of court orders and on drug possession charges caused severe disturbance and disrepute to the field and to field Scientologists that he interviewed in his podcast. The recommendations are that Andy Nolch should not to be trained or processed on anything other than PTS technology and drug rehabilitation tech. Is assigned the condition of Treason.”


Past is Prologue

2001: Judge Thomas E. Penick this week issued a permanent injunction to replace the temporary injunctions against Scientology and protesters in Clearwater. “The Defendants have frequently picketed, protested, and demonstrated at the Plaintiffs facilities in Pinellas County, and Clearwater, in particular. Both sides have and continue to expend vast numbers of hours videotaping and ‘spying’ on each other. Such acts have heightened the tensions and frictions between the parties. During these picketing events, physical confrontations have erupted between the parties. When violence breaks out, the Clearwater Police have had to expend many work hours and taxpayers’ dollars to return peace and tranquility to the community… A permanent injunction is entered against the defendants, Robert S. Minton, Jr., Lisa McPherson Trust, Inc,, Jesse Prince, Grady Ward, Stacy Brooks, Jeff Jacobsen, Patricia Greenway, Peter Alexander, Mark Bunker and Tory Bezazian, their members, officers, agents, servants, employees and those persons and entities in actual concert or participation with them who receive actual notice of this injunction, enjoining them from picketing, protesting, and/or demonstrating in the areas designated in BLUE (the ‘prohibited zones’) on the diagrams of certain properties owned and/or operated by the Church, and from engaging in any of the aforementioned activities within ten feet of any entrance or exit actually used frequently on a daily basis to all Church property.”



Random Howdy

“I prefer to think of D.M. as Theon Greyjoy.”


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. Scientology petitioning US Supreme Court over appellate ruling.
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] More proof Scientology’s ‘Fresh Start’ clinics going belly up: San Diego County site for sale
[TWO years ago] Scientology to the rescue: After losing son and wife, Johnny Lewis’s dad is happier than ever
[THREE years ago] For once, a target of Scientology gladhanding did his homework and said no thanks
[FOUR years ago] 50 years ago today, Scientology was banned in the UK — Here’s why it was a bad move
[FIVE years ago] The Rathbuns hire a lawyer, and Ray Jeffrey answers questions about his legal salvo
[SIX years ago] Why does Scientology have no sense of humor? Because seriousness is a sacrament
[SEVEN years ago] A video response to Scientology’s crass celebrities, Jenna and Bodhi Elfman
[EIGHT years ago] Garcia federal fraud lawsuit survives another challenge by Scientology
[NINE years ago] Scientologists Warned about Facebook ‘Entheta’ After Leah Remini’s Departure
[TEN years ago] Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise’s Split Becomes an Advertisement


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 2,736 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,241 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,791 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,781 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,672 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 4,977 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 2,847 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 3,621 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 1,952 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,425 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,741 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,307 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 8,226 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,394 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 3,974 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,236 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,272 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 2,987 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,512 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 867 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 2,042 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,593 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,742 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 4,062 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 8,917 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 4,036 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,392 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,695 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,801 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 3,199 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 3,075 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,658 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 3,153 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,407 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,516 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on July 25, 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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