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Special series starting today: The best TV show on Scientology you never got to see

[Phil Jones]

In 2016, the A&E Network was preparing to take on the Church of Scientology in a big way.

What few people knew, however, was that the network was in a bit of a quandary.

That summer, it had paid for two separate series that had been filmed and edited by different production companies and were both ready to air, each of them exposing Scientology in different ways.

A&E decided to air the series that featured King of Queens actress Leah Remini and former Scientology spokesman Mike Rinder, and it was a decision that paid off immediately. Scientology and the Aftermath was a huge hit right from its first episode, the biggest A&E premiere in more than two years.

The show would go on to have three full seasons, and won two Emmy awards, including one for its final, 2-hour special about the Danny Masterson case.


Scientology watching would never be the same. Leah Remini’s show deserved every accolade it received, and it permanently changed the way Scientology is perceived and covered by the press.

The other show, however, was a different story. In the past we have discussed the fate of the series that was fully filmed and ready to air in 2016. We have posted stories here about the experiences of some of the people who would have been featured in it, such as Derek Bloch and Carol Nyburg. When we wrote those stories, five years ago, they still hoped that A&E might sell the series to another network so that it might have a chance to air.

Those hopes have dimmed. But we are still intrigued about the series, produced by Sirens Media, because it would have taken a very different approach than Aftermath. Sirens producers wanted a more active show, and tried to set up situations where the people like Derek and Carol who had been cut off from family members by Scientology might get a chance to see their loved ones in emotional, action-packed scenes. (And full disclosure: Early in the project we worked briefly for the producers as a consultant helping them find subjects for a couple of the episodes. We were not involved in any of the planning or filming of episodes.)

We have also been curious about how the show would be presented and packaged, and what it might have meant for its star.

So we decided it might be interesting to take another look at the Sirens series by talking to some of those participants in our new podcast format. Starting today, we’re posting our conversation with one of the people we were most looking forward to seeing onscreen: Phil Jones.

Phil and Willie Jones are well known to the Bunker community, and in part because of the billboards they put up in Los Angeles and Florida trying to convince their Sea Org children to give them a call. Phil previously talked to us about how this was part of the Sirens production. And now, we got a chance to talk to him in more detail about his entire involvement in the show.

We are producing this special series as a thank-you to our paid subscribers, who have been so generous to help us out with our new Substack experiment. If you’re not a paid subscriber, we still have other podcast episodes that you can listen to for free. All of the podcast episodes can be found here.


Scientology’s response to amended complaint coming August 23

We have the new briefing deadlines for both sides in the labor trafficking lawsuit that was filed against Scientology in Tampa. Now that an amended complaint has been filed, Scientology will file new motions to dismiss, and then the plaintiffs will get a chance to respond.

We’re talking about the lawsuit filed on April 28 by three residents of Australia who are former Scientology Sea Org workers, Valeska Paris and Gawain and Laura Baxter. The suit alleges that they were forced to join Scientology’s Sea Org as children, and then were abused and neglected as they worked into adulthood aboard Scientology’s cruise ship the Freewinds. Valeska also alleges that she was abused sexually by Sea Org co-workers, and was punished for speaking up about it.

Scientology ignored Valeska’s sexual abuse allegations, and the things the plaintiffs said happened to them as children, and on July 12 they filed motions to compel arbitration, saying that Valeska and the Baxters had signed contracts as adults that obliged them not to sue Scientology, but instead to take their complaints to Scientology’s internal “religious arbitration.”


Responses to those motions were due on August 2, but instead Valeska and the Baxters filed an amended complaint that added more allegations of abuse, essentially starting the lawsuit over again. That made Scientology’s motions moot, so they’re filing another set of them to compel arbitration, and also to dismiss the case on jurisdictional grounds.

Now, Judge Thomas Barber has signed off on giving both sides a little more time. Scientology’s new motions will be due August 23, and then the plaintiffs will file their responses to those motions by September 6.

As always, we’ll get you those new documents as soon as they are available.


Technology Cocktail

“When one is working on pcs to heal, not to clear, and when the sole object of auditing is healing, then one does not move over into clearing during a given series of sessions but only uses Clay Table Healing. Example: Mrs. G comes to be audited to heal her bad arm. On her, only Clay Table Healing is used. Mrs. Y comes to improve her ability. On her, Clay Table Clearing is used and as sessions progress, some sessions of Clay Table Healing also become necessary in the general course of auditing. Mrs. G would have to alter her reasons for being processed on her own say-so before one would move her into Clearing. This point is made to clarify for auditors the fact that when people want to be healed, they are given healing and one doesn’t force them into living better lives also. This takes care of case levels.” — L. Ron Hubbard, 1964.


Now available: Bonus for our supporters

Episode 7 of the Underground Bunker podcast has been sent out to paid subscribers, and it’s a conversation with Geoff Levin about Scientology’s celebrities and which ones are most likely to defect. Meanwhile, we’ve made episodes 1 through 6 available to everyone, with Pete Griffiths on running a mission, Sunny Pereira dishing secrets of Scientology’s Hollywood Celebrity Centre, 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 results with psychotics at the present time are pretty fair. Of course, psychotics are definitely in the hands of psychiatry — they are actually wards of the state — and we are trying very hard to keep those psychotics in the hands of psychiatry where they belong. After all, psychiatry is organized to handle that problem. Psychiatrists have been open-minded about Dianetics for quite a while, but recently I was over at the state institution in St. Louis and the chief of the institution was running a young lady. I pitched in and gave him a hand. She had been schizophrenic for a number of years and she lay down on the couch insane; we worked on her for about two hours, hit the key engram in the case and she got off the couch sane. So the psychiatrists are no longer open-minded at Missouri State.” — L. Ron Hubbard, August 10, 1950


Avast, Ye Mateys

“I don’t think anyone believed the FAO had delivered that many training and processing hours in the last few months. Over 147,600 hours of training and over 12,000 hours of Class X auditing! On FEBCs alone. 91 fired to the US. 31 to other areas. This pgm is only a few months old. Astonishing stats! We work.” — The Commodore, August 10, 1971


Overheard in the FreeZone

“Personally I always thought that Mary Sue should have thrown the three stooges Jane, Mo, and Mike under the bus and denied any knowledge of their actions. This would have saved us from the CMOI Junta that followed, but as anyone there knows there was so much confusion being generated at that time aside from Smersh and rogue Government Agencies including the ‘White Elephant’ no one on the Hill talked about until the Church Committee was an effort to go after Ron’s estate launched by Flynn and Assoc. with St. Gerry of Armstrong (another mole who told the LAPD’s CID ‘all ya gotta do is allege’) leading the charge being assisted by Ron’s estranged son who was a poster child for MK-Ultra Mind Control. As far as I’m concerned one of the key reasons Miscavige is where he is (aside from him being supported by rogue factions of ‘our’ Government and Smersh) is that he has become a fixed aberrated stable datum. In other words a walking, talking Ser Fac who has become a stable datum to anyone who can’t confront the prior confusion. That is my opinion and is the reason why I never bought into the ‘lone Miscavige theory’.”


Past is Prologue

1996: Martin Hunt this week posted the story of his leaving Scientology, and the reaction of his former friends. “[S]ome three weeks after I blew I went back to Vancouver to pick up my stuff. The Scientologist I was sharing an apartment with wouldn’t let me in, as she thought I had flipped and was now a dangerous suppressive person (phobia indoctrination). I knocked on the door, but she wouldn’t answer. I called out her name, told her I knew she was home, that I just wanted to pick up my stuff, and that I wasn’t a threat of any kind to her. She still wouldn’t let me in, or even acknowledge that I was at the door, but literally hid in fear from me and pretended to not be there, even though I knew she was. I walked out to the corner and phoned her. I then said that I wouldn’t call the cops if she let me have my stuff back, and to this she told me to go to the org downtown and get an OK first and go through ethics as my only terminal, so I went back to the org I hadn’t been to or communicated in any way with for about three weeks. When I showed up at reception, the receptionist immediately called in a higher-up to deal with me, and I was frostily told to go straight to the ED, where I was given a form in triplicate to route-out properly. The ED told me not to talk to anyone, and was very cold to me despite a long acquaintance that went beyond the org; I had been to her house, met her family, seen her down in the State where she was on course while I was (she was doing the FEBC). I went through the form, and had to deal with several people on it, my superior, my division executive, the ethics officer, etc. Everyone talked to me as if I was an evil piece of shit, if they talked to me at all. It was a shocking experience to say hi to someone I thought I knew very well and considered a friend only to have them literally turn their back or walk away or just sneer at me; it was more shocking to see this repeated over and over with everyone I talked to, as if they had all been given instructions on what to do and how to shun me in the best possible manner to cause the most pain.”



Random Howdy

“People spend years, decades, stuck on OT 7. It drives them insane, like George Baillie or poor Biggi Reichert.”


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. Plaintiffs filing amended complaint on August 2.
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] Judge in Danny Masterson case quashes ‘fishing expedition’ done for Scientology’s benefit
[TWO years ago] The Top 25 People Enabling Scientology, No. 24: Rebecca Dobkin and other low-level PI grunts
[THREE years ago] Scientology in a nutshell: The lights are on, but nobody’s home
[FOUR years ago] Colombian senator asks defense minister to investigate Scientology over medal scandal
[FIVE years ago] Bogus court documents, compliant search engines, and Scientology-style rehabs
[SIX years ago] Scientology’s richest couple buys ‘Holy City,’ a California ghost town and former cult site
[SEVEN years ago] EXCLUSIVE: Tom Cruise Scientology video shows the actor praising the church — in Spanish!
[EIGHT years ago] Scientology Sunday Funnies: The Sea Org full regalia edition!
[NINE years ago] Jon Atack and a Special Guest Wrestle with Gerry Armstrong’s Legal Scientology Nightmare
[TEN years ago] Scientology’s Idea of a Rollicking Sermon: Watch This Gem From 1984
[ELEVEN years ago] Londoners See a Disaster, But Scientology Sees an Opportunity!


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 2,752 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,257 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,807 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,797 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,688 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 4,993 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 2,863 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 3,637 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 1,968 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,441 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,757 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,323 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 8,242 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,410 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 3,990 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,252 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,288 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 3,003 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,528 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 883 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 2,058 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,609 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,758 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 4,078 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 8,933 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 4,052 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,408 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,711 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,817 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 3,215 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 3,091 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,674 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 3,169 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,423 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,532 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on August 10, 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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