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PODCAST: Michelle ‘Emma’ Ryan provided a landing place for people fleeing Scientology

[Michelle “Emma” Ryan]

This week, we had the extreme pleasure of hearing from someone we have long admired. We last spent time with her on a trip to Australia, when she took us on a lovely trip to the zoo.

We’re talking about Michelle Ryan, known also for her nom de guerre, Emma. It was Michelle who started up the Ex-Scientologist Message Board in 2007, and provided an important landing place for people coming out of Scientology, a place where they could find each other, tell their stories, and share information about this controlling organization.

As she explains, the place was swamped by Anonymous when it arrived on the scene a year later, and her interactions with that group ended up getting her arrested as Scientology, once again, convinced law enforcement to do its dirty work.

Michelle provided her forum for 12 years, an eternity on the Internet, before archiving ESMB in 2019 (a replacement forum has sprung up in its wake). She dropped us a line this week after she heard Patty Moher’s episode on the podcast. We’re so glad she did. We think you’ll enjoy what she had to say, and see the unusual direction that our conversation took. (It caught us totally by surprise!)

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


Not a paid subscriber? Well, we have something for you, too. Last week’s episode was with Jefferson Hawkins, helping us decode David Miscavige’s latest marketing efforts. In the weeks before, we talked to Marc Headley, Patty Moher, Geoff Levin, Pete Griffiths, Sunny Pereira, Jeffrey Augustine, and Claire Headley.

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


Technology Cocktail

“If Chaldea could vanish, if Babylon turn to dust, if Egypt could become a badlands, if Sicily could have 160 prosperous cities and be a looted ruin before the year zero and a near desert ever since — and all this in SPITE of all the work and wisdom and good wishes and intent of human beings, then it must follow as the dark follows sunset that something must be unknown to Man concerning all his works and ways. And that this something must be so deadly and so pervasive as to destroy all his ambitions and his chances long before their time. Such a thing would have to be some natural law unguessed at by himself. And there is such a law, apparently, that answers these conditions of being deadly, unknown and embracing all activities. The law would seem to be: A THIRD PARTY MUST BE PRESENT AND UNKNOWN IN EVERY QUARREL FOR A CONFLICT TO EXIST.” — L. Ron Hubbard, 1968


Jon Atack and Chris Shelton



Source Code


“There are actually hundreds of prison systems. And yet they have hung themselves with the one which they found was the least rehabilitative, the least workable and produced the most crime….I’m not even standing up for another system. Frankly, if you just erected a big stockade someplace or another and told the fellows to go in there for a while, and we didn’t care who they took with us, we’d probably, you know, have a better system. If the Scientologist were to go about this — I already figured this out for the federal prisons of the United States. The head of all federal prisons in the United States has required Dianetics to be read, by the way, by all his wardens. And I worked out a system for him. Too much work for me to put into effect and so never went into effect. We are not without friends or connections or influence, in spite of the fact that some two-bit-some drug addicts, the Federal Drug Addicts, are after us, because they’re actually not under the government, they’re under the AMA.” — L. Ron Hubbard, September 3, 1963


Avast, Ye Mateys

“COMMEND: The Qual Div and Quentin as Auditor and R. Lindsell are commended for the work on an Aides Auditing Project. This project series was very well done and entirely flubless as is usual with Quentin’s auditing. Liese and Tommy both did one each of the project and these were also very well done. Qual is very upstat.” — The Commodore, September 3, 1970


Overheard in the FreeZone

“There are people who are more ‘hatted’ than me. However, I do not see them having as much Purpose as I have. Secondly, they are not LRH so they do not know neither apply Scientology 100 percent. Still, if anything moves they are the first to USE POLICY TO STOP. They cannot even see that all those years all they should be doing is Hat, Hat, Hat… But no, they know better. Those who postulated 100 percent policy are still postulating and DO less than they could. A team with any policy is better than a team with NO policy even if it’s the ALL STARS playing. You know that. Or if you don’t know read Org Board and Livingness.”


Past is Prologue

1999: Keith Henson reported that his lawsuit against the Internal Revenue Service has been dismissed. “Plaintiff H Keith Henson alleges that the IRS conspired with the Church
of Scientology and various Church related entities to defraud the United States. More specifically Plaintiff alleges that the IRS unlawfully executed a ‘closing agreement’ granting the Church tax exempt status. Plaintiff alleges that the IRS’ conduct violated the Establishment clause of the Constitution of the United States…The United States moves to dismiss the action, contending that Plaintiff lacks standing, has failed to include an indispensable party, namely the Church, and cannot demonstrate waiver of sovereign immunity or that this Court otherwise has jurisdiction to hear this matter…Plaintiff acknowledges that even if he were to prevail in this litigation, Plaintiff would be unable to stop the Church from continuing the alleged harmful conduct. Therefore, the Plaintiff lacks standing. For the reasons set forth above, the IRS’ motion to dismiss is GRANTED with prejudice. JAMES WARE United States District Judge.”



Random Howdy

“Owls get spontaneous spasmodic upvotes from me, always.”


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.
‘Lafayette Ronald Hubbard’ (a/k/a Justin Craig), aggravated assault, plus drug charges: Grand jury indictments include charges from an assault while in custody. Arraigned on August 29.
Jay and Jeff Spina, Medicare fraud: Jay sentenced to 9 years in prison. Jeff’s sentencing to be scheduled.
Rizza Islam, Medi-Cal fraud: Trial scheduled for October 24 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 filed 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] VIDEO: Scientology prepares Chicago takeover, will target college student dorms downtown
[TWO years ago] After arrest, Scientologist chiro Dennis Nobbe in even more trouble for contacting witnesses
[THREE years ago] The donors keeping Scientology afloat in 2019: Today, part one, the lesser whales
[FOUR years ago] Scientology rehabs are hiring — if you don’t care about money or a decent place to live
[FIVE years ago] Scientology’s slick (and bogus) drug education program snares another school district
[SIX years ago] Dan Koon, co-writer of Scientology tell-all ‘Ruthless,’ on his days with L. Ron Hubbard
[SEVEN years ago] It’s a video extravaganza as three former members tell us about life inside Scientology
[EIGHT years ago] Nancy Cartwright puts out the creepiest Scientology advertisement of all time
[NINE years ago] Making the Grade: Scientology Prepares Us for the Future
[ELEVEN years ago] Ex-Scientology Executive Marty Rathbun Headed to Germany This Week


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 2,776 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,281 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,831 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,821 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,712 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 5,017 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 2,887 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 1,992 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,465 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,781 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,347 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 8,266 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,434 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 4,014 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,276 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,312 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 3,027 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,552 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 907 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 2,082 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,633 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,764 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 4,102 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 8,957 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 4,076 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,432 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,735 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,841 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 3,239 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 3,115 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,698 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 3,193 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,447 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,556 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on September 3, 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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