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Death of a ‘whale’: Scientology loses a major donor and Mark Bunker critic

[Steve Anderson]

This is the last thing Scientology leader David Miscavige needs right now. What with so much going on, including Scientology getting a drubbing in trials on two coasts, Mike Rinder still on his media rounds for his excellent new book ‘A Billion Years,’ and the two mayoral candidates in Los Angeles trying to outdo each other trashing Scientology, the organization’s slow recovery from the ravages of the pandemic has been a nightmare.

And now this. We have just learned that Platinum Meritorious donor and OT 8 Scientologist Steve Anderson died suddenly last month. He was only 53 and newly retired after the company he ran in Clearwater, AutoLoop, had merged with Affinitiv, a Chicago company, and he’d parachuted out as chairman after the transition.

The two companies merged after competing to grab the market of delivering data solutions to car dealers, selling packages that tracked everything from sales to ordering to service and everything else in the car-buying experience.

And while his company was growing in Clearwater, Anderson was not happy that Scientology critic Mark Bunker had been elected to the city council in March 2020 and was then asking to be added to the Downtown Development Board.

Anderson was one of a handful of prominent local Scientologists who made quite a showing at a public meeting in order to protest Bunker’s addition to the board. Here, take a look at Anderson’s contribution, it’s just a couple of minutes long as he warns that Bunker is going to bring back noisy protests against Scientology to Clearwater’s quiet streets…



OK, so that proved to be a faulty prediction. Mark Bunker has done no such thing. But Anderson moved on from AutoLoop-Affinitiv and in his brief retirement pursued his interests in an active life of kite-surfing, piloting, and then, this last year or so, race car driving. He was really living life to the fullest.

But then, on October 8, he suddenly died of what sounds like a heart attack. A memorial for him is being held in Clearwater on November 19.

We looked, but we were unable to find any statement about Anderson’s passing from the Church of Scientology, where he was not only OT 8, but he was also a major donor. He and his wife Jennifer were named “Patrons Meritorious” in 2006, which indicates a cumulative donation of $250,000 to the International Association of Scientologists, the membership organization of Scientology. And by 2014, they had really stepped up their game and were named “Platinum Meritorious” for a cumulative total of $2.5 million to the IAS.


An OT 8 who not only was loaded but who turned over millions to Dave’s coffers and was willing to step up at a public meeting and advocate against an arch Scientology villain?

Oh, Dave, we feel your loss.

Hey, speaking of Mark Bunker, he put out this video a few days ago encouraging the citizens of Clearwater to vote tomorrow for a ballot referendum to approve a $400 million sale of two bluff properties to a developer. And in the process, he really does a great job summarizing the current and past situation in that town with Scientology…




Motions and jury instructions at the Danny Masterson trial

Today, Monday, we’ll be at the courthouse as the Danny Masterson trial takes a break from testimony. Judge Charlaine Olmedo indicated that she would be dealing with motions, and that they would also begin talking about jury instructions.

So we expect there to be considerable news and we’ll get you those reports as soon as we can.

Testimony in the prosecution’s case will resume at 1:30 pm on Tuesday.

Yesterday we sent out a short message to our subscribers on a day off from the Danny Masterson trial. We’re releasing it to everyone this morning, and here’s also the version at our YouTube channel.



Technology Cocktail

“Working on the basis that the individuality and the actual substance of the person is an electronic field, L. Ron Hubbard spent considerable time investigating all the manifestations of energy and its behavior. These manifestations are few in number, and are readily identified. Once their manifestation on the life field is understood, the running of the basic incidents of the case becomes quite simple.” — L. Ron Hubbard, 1952




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 as Danny faces a potential sentence of 45 years to life in prison. NOW WITH TRIAL INDEX.


THE PODCAST: How many have you heard?

— The Underground Bunker Podcast

[1] Marc Headley [2] Claire Headley [3] Jeffrey Augustine [4] Bruce Hines [5] Sunny Pereira [6] Pete Griffiths [7] Geoff Levin [8] Patty Moher [9] Marc Headley [10] Jefferson Hawkins [11] Michelle ‘Emma’ Ryan [12] Paulette Cooper [13] Jesse Prince [14] Mark Bunker [15] Jon Atack [16] Mirriam Francis [17] Bruce Hines on MSH

— SPECIAL: The best TV show on Scientology you never got to see

[1] Phil Jones [2] Derek Bloch [3] Carol Nyburg [4] Katrina Reyes [5] Jamie DeWolf

— SPECIAL: Your Proprietor’s updates on the Danny Masterson trial

[1] Sep 21 [2] Sep 28 [3] Oct 4 [4] Oct 10 [5] Oct 11: Day One [6] Oct 12: Day Two [7] Oct 13: Day Three [8] Oct 17: Day Four [9] Oct 18: Day Five [10] Oct 19: Day Six [11] Special interview with Chris Shelton, Oct 19 [12] Oct 20: Day Seven [13] Oct 21: Day Eight [14] First week in review, with Jeffrey Augustine [15] Oct 24: Day Nine [16] Oct 25: Day Ten [17] Oct 27: Day Eleven [18] Oct 28: Day Twelve [19] Second week in review, with Jeffrey Augustine [20] Halloween special [21] Nov 2: Day Thirteen [22] Nov 3: Day Fourteen [23] Nov 4: Day Fifteen [24] Third week in review [25] Nov 5, Saturday special [26] Nov 6, Sunday special [27] Nov 7, Day Sixteen



Source Code

The ship in question — the ship in question was a heavy cruiser and its four-stripe captain had first come ashore and had looked at me, you know, ‘What! You’re Senior Officer Present ashore?’ and had sniffed. And I was trying to get him orders and he was trying to get orders and everybody was trying to do something to get it out of here, because the Japanese might strike in the north at any time. He finally came in the office, you know, all four stripes and gold braid and so forth, and he said, ‘Mr. Hubbard,’ he said, ‘if you will sign — if you will sign sailing orders for me, I’ll sail.’ So I scribbled out: ‘You are hereby detached from this station and shall proceed upon your way as befits your duties and missions. Signed, L. Ron Hubbard.’” — L. Ron Hubbard, November 7, 1959


Avast, Ye Mateys

“SUCCESS: My sincere gratitude to L. Ron Hubbard, Commodore, for my recent auditing program. Thanks to Tommy Klingvall my auditor for helping me to see the TRUTH and as-is the lies and take responsibility for the overts on the old Time Track. This IS what Total FREEDOM is. Nothing there but me.” — Lt. N.F. Starkey, Clear OT, November 7, 1971


Overheard in the FreeZone

“Apparently only OT Scientologists know that the Matrix/Cabal/NWO is triggering/keying in the R6 implant against Trump. Namely the implant to force the population to lynch anybody that is trying to save the world. In this case, Make America (and the world) Great. OTs know the handling/destimulation for that… auditing.”


Past is Prologue


2001: The St. Petersburg Times reported that the city of Clearwater, Florida has agreed to give small parcels of land to Scientology. “Clearwater commissioners voted Thursday to give several city alleys and easements on a block of land downtown to the Church of Scientology despite objections from a Pinellas County official, who argued that the county should receive some of the land. “Ed Armstrong, an attorney for the church, said that laws governing the vacation of property should determine who gets the land if the city has no use for it. Armstrong contended that legally only the church was entitled to the property on a block southwest of Franklin Street and East Avenue, where the church plans to build a parking garage to serve its new $50 million Flag Building that is under construction. City officials agreed.”


Random Howdy

“I’m still nursing injuries from slam dancing.”


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

Criminal prosecutions:
Danny Masterson charged for raping three women: Trial began October 11 in Los Angeles.
‘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 March 1 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. Hearing scheduled November 17 to argue the arbitration motions.
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 at least through December 13.
Brian Statler Sr v. City of Inglewood: Case settled ahead of scheduled Dec 6 trial.
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.



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] Spanish news website calls out Scientology volcano vultures at La Palma
[TWO years ago] Medal by medal, Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard’s ‘stolen valor’ is laid bare
[THREE years ago] Scientology proudly now displaying miserable secret deal it offered Clearwater leaders
[FOUR years ago] Here’s an example of how Scientology’s ‘disconnection’ is designed to eat away at you
[FIVE years ago] Tonight on ‘Leah Remini’: ‘I just walked away from Scientology after seeing Leah’s show’
[SIX years ago] On the ballot tomorrow: The former lawman who let Scientology’s drug horror clinic off the hook
[SEVEN years ago] Desperate to hurt Going Clear‘s Oscar chances, Scientology goes down a dangerous path
[EIGHT years ago] Scientologist (and Tea Partier) Brent Jones is elected to Nevada’s legislature
[NINE years ago] Statistically Speaking: Jefferson Hawkins Takes Us Into Scientology’s Numbers Fixation
[TEN years ago] FOUR MORE YEARS!…Of Inaction On Scientology?
[ELEVEN years ago] Tom Cruise and Stacy Francis Singing Together on Scientology’s Ship Freewinds


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 2,841 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,346 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,896 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,886 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,777 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 5,082 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 2,952 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 2,057 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,530 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,846 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,412 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 8,331 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,499 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 4,079 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,341 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,377 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 3,092 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,657 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 972 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 2,147 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,698 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,829 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 4,167 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 9,022 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 4,141 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,497 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,800 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,906 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 3,304 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 3,180 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,763 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 3,258 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,512 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,621 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on November 7, 2022 at 09:00

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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