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Dr. Eric Berg gaming YouTube? Ian Rafalko with more revelations about his Scientologist dad

It was great to hear from Ian Rafalko again this week. If you remember, we were first blown away by his viral announcement on TikTok, explaining that he was the son of Dr. Eric Berg, the YouTube phenom with 8 million subscribers who dispenses a lot of diet advice.

Ian drew attention to the fact that the very popular Dr. Berg is also a big time Scientology donor, and that Ian himself had been brought up in the church and had worked as a staffer in Atlanta.

Ian broke away from Scientology and is estranged from his father, who is a chiropractor. (Scientology loves to prey on chiropractors.)



After that initial splash on TikTok, Ian made a longer YouTube video about his time in Scientology, he appeared on Leah Remini’s podcast, and he also spoke to us about a lawsuit filed against Berg by one of his former employees.

This time, Ian drew our attention to some really entertaining videos he’s been posting at TikTok. In them, he says he’s caught his father gaming YouTube in a way that should get him in trouble with the video platform.

“This is my dad’s YouTube subscribers, every week. Crazy. Wow,” he says in the first video, pointing to Berg’s subscriber numbers. “Oh wow, look at all that realistic numbering,” he says sarcastically, citing the regularity of the daily increase in subscribers, and the low resulting views for an account with 8 million subscribers. For Ian the conclusion is inescapable: “It’s almost evident that you’re buying fake subs and fake views, which is what you see when you look at his profile.”

Days later, Ian followed that up with another video and announced to his audience that everything was fine now. “It’s OK, he stopped…buying them every day of the week,” he quips. Ian points to new numbers suggesting that his father is now buying new subscribers only every other day.

And Ian also claimed some credit for the change affecting Berg’s monthly new subscribers, which had fallen by some 70 percent.

“The moral of the story here is if you’re going to abuse your kids, be prepared that one day, that they may abuse you back, and you’ll deserve it,” he says in the TikTok.

And then, he says, his father reacted by taking down his Twitter account.


We told him we thought his new videos were startling and effective.

“When I worked for him, he had been reached out to by a team of Russian people who were translating and posting his videos in Russian for free, and they also had nearly identical traffic, so my guess is he got help from some Russian bot farm, as bizarre as that sounds,” he told us.

Ian says that the information he’s uncovered should get Berg in trouble with YouTube, and he’s made a report. But so far, the video giant hasn’t shown any interest.


“I don’t know what their process is, but I reported those channels twice after talking to Team YT on Twitter,” he tells us. “However, it seems irrelevant how I feel, considering YouTube is a big platform and I’m just one person without any sway to prioritize such things, The only way I feel like they would look into it as if there were many more reports. How is it he can be at almost 9 million subscribers, and yet still almost never break a million views on his videos? and you’ll check his Social Blade and you’ll see that his trends are suspicious as fuck. Any experienced YouTuber who gained their audience honestly would take one look and it would be clear his numbers are bullshit. I’m doing nothing more than holding someone I believe to be very dishonest person accountable.”


Technology Cocktail

“Say, for example, there is a big accident and a crowd of people are pressing around. The police are trying to push the people back. Well, push the people back and then push the policeman back. Say, “Officer, keep these people at a distance.” Then you lean over the victim and snap him back to rights. If you are enough THERE, everybody else will realize that you are the ONE that is THERE. Therefore, such things as panic, worry, wonder, upset, looking dreamily into the far distance, wondering what is wrong or what should be done, are no part of your make-up if you are rendering an assist. Cool, calm and collected should be the keynote of your attitude. Realize that to take control of any given situation it is only necessary to be there more than anybody else. There is no necromancy (magic; conjuration of the spirits of the dead in order to predict the future) involved. Just BE there. The others aren’t. And if you are there enough, then somebody else will pull himself out of it and go on living.” — L. Ron Hubbard, 1971


Now available: Bonus for our supporters

Episode 14 of the Underground Bunker podcast has been sent out to paid subscribers: We check in with Clearwater city councilman Mark Bunker about Scientology’s latest attempts to sabotage progress there. Meanwhile, we’ve made episodes 1 through 13 available to everyone, with such guests as Jesse Prince, Paulette Cooper, Michelle ‘Emma’ Ryan, Jefferson Hawkins, Patty Moher, Geoff Levin, Pete Griffiths, Sunny Pereira, Bruce Hines, Jeffrey Augustine, and Claire Headley. Go here to get the episodes!


Now with no restrictions: Our podcast series on the Scientology docuseries that never aired

In five episodes, we recently looked at something we’ve been curious about for several years: The potentially explosive television show, produced by Sirens Media, that would have featured L. Ron Hubbard great-grandson Jamie DeWolf as its presenter, and that would have taken an active look at the families ripped apart by Scientology’s “disconnection” policy. Unfortunately, even though the series was ready to air on the A&E network in 2016, it never has. Our podcast series turned out even better than we were hoping, and we’ve made all five episodes available to everyone.



Source Code

“There is cyclical illness which is dictated in the various R6 implants. A fellow was forced to get sick at the age of five, followed multiples of five, and he’s supposed to get sick from this and from that, and from the other thing. Measles and, you know he’s supposed to have and that’s certain. They predict his health, in other words. When he’s fifty he’s supposed to something or other. What they’re trying to do is make a body cave in. See?” — L. Ron Hubbard, September 30, 1968


Avast, Ye Mateys

“It was more dangerous to raise the stern anchor than it was to hope it held as it was holding. Rear view mirror into the past. We should have anchored on the other side of the little island day before yesterday. We’re sitting here held by my postulates and a stern anchor. If either let go we’d wreck our screws. Let this be a lesson in seamanship. The morale is anchor more safely when you can, not after you’re unsafely anchored.” — The Commodore September 30, 1970


Overheard in the FreeZone

“I’ve never seen ANY cause to attack, criticize, blame, and otherwise malign and impugn LRH. I personally went through extreme hell as a result of writing up GAT as a technical degrade when I was Snr C/S of my org, but I never lost my integrity and affinity for the old man, nor his tech. All the reverse sec-checking, imprisonment, wrong indications, etc., never alloyed my affinity. So I’ve little tolerance for that or the badmouthing of Scientology.”


Past is Prologue


1998: John Ritson, Hartley Patterson Martin Poulter reported their picket against Scientology in London this week. “About a dozen suppressives picketed the Tottenham Court Road, London ‘Org’ this afternoon. Not only did they have the indefatigable ‘Duke’ the loveable toy pooch (named in memory of Judge Swearinger’s drowned dog) and placards and the boom-box playing extracts from L. Ron Hubbard’s wackiest rants, but brightly coloured ‘BodyThetans’ – both stuffed toys about six inches high, and inflatables about two feet high, which squeak when squeezed. There were people coming out after doing the ‘personality test’ and then having a laugh with us. The Scientologists responded by mostly non-confronting, but then sending out Jacques Vollet to do some photography. Eventually they responded by playing some kind of music from a cassette machine on an extension lead. One passer-by suggested we should try and get it stopped as they were not displaying the necessary authorisation from the Performing Rights Society. TC Road is a busy street in London’s main shopping area best known for its Hi-fi bargain shops. Unfortunately as well as pedestrians it also a one-way throughfare, but only a passing fire engine was able to drown out Roland’s ‘Tone 40’. I crossed the road to distribute my leaflets (about 100 each of ‘Xemu’, ‘Lisa’ and ‘Cult of Greed and Power’). OSA tech had sussed me out however – they cunningly sent a young lady across to counter leaflet!”


Random Howdy

“I realized this maybe six years ago when I first read about TR-Alice. I was gobsmacked at how obvious it was. I’ve read numerous examples of Hubbard having a laugh at his followers’ expense since then.”


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 scheduled to be sentenced on Oct 28.
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] Another Scientology OT dies of Covid, this time near the Florida ‘spiritual mecca’
[TWO years ago] Could Danny Masterson’s odd legal fight over his Hollywood house endanger his freedom?
[THREE years ago] Scientology tried to sell ‘Daily Mail’ on story she was a sexual abuser, Leah Remini says
[FOUR years ago] Scientology going ‘Ideal’ with drug rehabs too, and will replace an ailing clinic
[FIVE years ago] Never before seen: Video from the first ‘LRH Birthday’ aboard the Scientology ‘Freewinds’
[SIX years ago] When L. Ron Hubbard briefly let down his guard and admitted Scientology was all a con
[EIGHT years ago] Does a judge’s order in the Garcia fraud lawsuit suggest trouble for Scientology?
[NINE years ago] Meet the New Editor of Scientology’s Propaganda Magazine, Freedom!
[TEN years ago] Scientology Sunday Funnies!
[ELEVEN years ago] Scientology’s SF Leaker Talks: We Ask Amy Scobee to Interpret


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 2,803 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,308 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,858 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,848 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,739 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 5,044 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 2,914 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 2,019 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,492 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,808 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,374 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 8,293 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,461 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 4,041 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,303 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,339 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 3,054 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,619 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 934 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 2,109 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,660 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,791 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 4,129 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 8,984 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 4,103 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,459 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,762 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,868 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 3,266 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 3,142 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,725 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 3,220 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,474 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,583 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on September 30, 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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