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LAPD responds to Leah Remini tweets about Shelly Miscavige, gets stuff wrong

[Leah Remini, center, with Shelly Miscavige, right, circa 2004]

Last week, we told you about a story by Gene Maddaus at Variety that laid out some stunning allegations about a former LAPD Hollywood Division commander named Captain Cory Palka, who is accused of using his influence to kill a sexual assault investigation of Les Moonves, CEO of CBS.

We pointed out that Palka was very familiar to us because he was also known, before his retirement in 2021, for his cozy relationship with the Church of Scientology. And we pointed out that Leah Remini in the past had complained that for years Palka had been the face of Scientology’s influence in the LAPD. She contacted us this week and told us that she was going to make sure that people made the connection between Palka, his past favors for Scientology, and his current scandal.

On Thursday, Leah put out a tweet thread about Palka and the LAPD’s corrupt relationship with Scientology, and she focused on the 2013 missing-person report she filed in regards to Shelly Miscavige, the wife of Scientology leader David Miscavige who has not been seen at any Scientology events since 2005 and not in public since 2007.

Leah’s tweet thread went viral, racking up more than 155,000 likes so far, with other celebrities helping to raise its visibility.

The result? Late last night, the LAPD’s Public Information Office put out a response about how it handled Leah’s missing-person report. That report contained some inaccuracies.


We know, because it was the Underground Bunker that first broke the news of Leah’s missing-person report in 2013, and we spoke to the lieutenant who handled it at the time.

First, here’s the LAPD’s response to Leah’s tweets:



LAPD Responds to Comments Made by Leah Remini

Los Angeles: The Los Angeles Police Department is aware of public assertions recently made by Leah Remini regarding a missing person investigation involving Shelly Miscavige.

In 2014 [sic], Los Angeles Police Department detectives assigned to the Missing Persons Unit (MPU) went to Shelly Miscavige’s location and personally made contact with her and her attorney. Detectives found her to be alive and safe, and subsequently closed the missing persons investigation. The Missing Persons Unit handles adult missing cases throughout the City of Los Angeles and work out of LAPD’s Detective Bureau. This case was not investigated by Hollywood Division personnel and had no involvement by retired LAPD Commander Corey [sic] Palka.

Here’s what actually happened.

We broke the news at the Underground Bunker on July 8, 2013 that Leah Remini had defected from Scientology. A month later, on Monday, August 5, Leah filed a missing-person report about her friend Shelly Miscavige with the LAPD. Two days later, on Wednesday night August 7, we obtained a copy of the report. The next morning, on Thursday, August 8, we broke the news about the missing-person report.

Reporters from other news organizations began asking the LAPD for a response that day, and that afternoon the police department began telling them that the missing-person report had been designated as “unfounded.”

Those reporters, who were not aware that Leah Remini had actually filed her report several days earlier, on August 5, were given the impression that her report had been filed that morning when our story came out. Their stories subsequently mocked Remini for filing a frivolous “unfounded” report that had been open and closed on the same day.

At the time, the LAPD revealed none of the information they are referring to now, that they had actually spent some time going to meet Shelly “and her attorney” at her location.

In our own follow-up to the report, we asked to speak to the officer in charge of the investigation, and the LAPD connected us with Lieutenant Andre Dawson, who is now retired.


It was Dawson in 2013 who first told us that two of his detectives had gone to Shelly’s location (which he would not reveal) and spoke to her. He told us that all they could do was check to see that she was all right, and that she had declined to make any kind of public statement.

We asked Lt. Dawson if this meeting had occurred in the presence of other Scientology officials.

“That’s classified,” he said to us.

Meanwhile, even though the LAPD had given the impression to reporters that Leah’s report was a frivolous one that had been open and closed on the same day, and even though they had given us more detail when we asked for it, the LAPD never responded to Leah herself.

Three years later, in 2016, Leah had an attorney file a formal request for information about the investigation with the LAPD. But the department refused to comply, saying that it did not have to share any more information about it with her.

The department to this day has never given her a response about her missing-person report or explained what they did about it.

So where did the LAPD send two detectives to meet with Shelly in 2013? We believe that meeting actually occurred outside the jurisdiction of the LAPD, and in San Bernardino County.

For years, we have been reporting on the whereabouts of Shelly Miscavige. We have multiple, independent sources that put her at a small secretive Scientology compound in the San Bernardino Mountains, where she has been kept since late August or early September, 2005.

The only time she has been seen in public since then was at the funeral of her father, Maurice “Barney” Barnett in the summer of 2007. That funeral took place on a boat that spread Barney’s ashes at sea, sailing out of LA’s harbor, and Shelly was there with her Scientology “handler,” a woman named Anne (Joasem) Rathbun. It was clear to our sources who attended the funeral that Shelly had only briefly been let out, and would be going immediately back to where she was being kept out of sight.

Each Christmas, we publish what we know about Shelly’s location (even including a map), and evidence about her last days at Gold Base before she was taken away to her current location, the headquarters compound of a Scientology subsidiary known as the Church of Spiritual Technology (CST).

In December 2016, we reported that a person who lives a few miles from the CST base spotted a person who appeared to be Shelly Miscavige at a hardware store and a grocery store in the nearby town of Crestline in December 2015 and April 2016.

As a result of that story, we were contacted by some non-Scientology members of Shelly’s family who were concerned that in those sightings Shelly appeared “frail.” We suggested that they contact the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department, which actually has jurisdiction at the location of the CST compound. They told us that the Sheriff’s Department refused to do a welfare check, telling them that they did not have proof that Shelly was at that location.

So we wrote a letter to the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department, explaining the evidence that Shelly was, indeed, at that compound. Here’s what they sent us:

Hello Tony,


Concerning the welfare of someone within the jurisdiction of the Sheriff’s department, any call for service we receive will be appropriately addressed and handled accordingly.

We encourage anyone with information regarding a crime, or potential crime, to contact Sheriff’s Dispatch or their local Sheriffs station to report it so the matter can be investigated and resolved.

Thank you,

Adam Cervantes, Deputy Sheriff

San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Dept.
Public Affairs Division

When Scientology is pressed about Shelly by news organizations, it puts out statements saying that she is working on a special project and does not want to make a public statement.

The special project that is done at the CST headquarters is the bizarre work to archive Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard’s words and speeches on media designed to last thousands of years and that is stored in underground vaults at that location and three others in California and New Mexico.

Years ago we received reports that Shelly was working on the archive project, as well as other Scientology initiatives that are performed at the CST compound. And we have said it repeatedly: She may be resigned to her fate and is not trying to “escape” the small mountain base.

In 2016, a reader at the Underground Bunker used a drone to take high-resolution images of the CST headquarters and then allowed us to premiere the footage. Former CST employee Dylan Gill pointed out the function of each of the buildings we could see, and even suggested where Shelly would likely be spending her days working, and even where she would living.

David Miscavige has become so confident that no law enforcement agency will inquire about Shelly’s whereabouts, in 2018 he profiled the archiving work done at the CST headquarters in a slick program for his new DirecTV television channel.



We couldn’t help wonder: Was one of the figures in a clean suit actually Shelly Miscavige?

We’re very glad that Leah Remini has once again put the issue of Shelly’s current location in the forefront.

The LAPD will continue to put out excuses about its handling of her report in 2013. But the truth is, Shelly is not in the LAPD’s jurisdiction, and the San Bernardino Sheriff’s Department has made it plain that it is not interested in disturbing Scientology’s mountain retreat.

When will the federal government become interested in a “religious” leader banishing his wife to a small mountain prison for the last 17 years?


A special message from your proprietor

Yesterday afternoon we sent out a special Veterans Day message to our subscribers while we’re on a short break from the Danny Masterson trial. We’re releasing the short video to everyone this morning, and here’s also the version at our YouTube channel.



Technology Cocktail

“Communication outranks by far affinity and reality. Processing space, beingness and communication is the road through to fast clearing. Any kind of communication, even painful communication, is more desirable than no communication; just as the thetan would rather be anything than nothing.” — L. Ron Hubbard, 1953




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 [28] Lisa Marie Presley breaking news [29] Nov 8, Day Seventeen [30] Nov 9, Day Eighteen [31] Nov 10, Day Nineteen



Source Code

“It is interesting that the Tagalogs weren’t ever told that you were supposed to stop when you were hit by a bullet. So they would get hit with three or four bullets through the heart and one through the head and then run seventy-five yards and take a machete and whack off an American soldier’s head. This was disconcerting to our troops during the Philippine insurrection. So we sent a lot of people in and convinced them that when you were hit by a bullet you were supposed to die. They have never repeated this performance. That is an interesting datum. And yet there were lots of Tagalogs running around getting shot at during World War II and none of them put on this kind of a performance. What actually happened to them was mechanical.” — L. Ron Hubbard, November 12, 1951


Avast, Ye Mateys

“Radical sweeping changes based on the wrong why can crash an org or area. When stats are awful or near zero it doesn’t much matter what you do. But when they’re on a nice steady week after week rise DON’T CHANGE ANYTHING! As one’s pay and morale and Scientology advance depends on this know-how, it is very very important!” — The Commodore, November 12, 1970


Overheard in the FreeZone

“Many gods rule the Matrix. They are the same ones since the Egyptians but names were changed for the Greek and Roman gods. There is one head God, many lesser gods, the watcher gods are in the millions and ultimately the ones that are here in charge of the prison planet and take human form.”



Past is Prologue

1999: Stacy Brooks reported some of the dirty tricks being used against the new Lisa McPherson Trust, attempting to establish a presence in Clearwater. “I couldn’t find an office building that would lease to us. The office manager of the SunTrust building informed me that the owner had declined to lease to us. Then the realtor for the NationsBank building told me that he got an email from the owner of that building saying that the owner had ‘decided to rethink how he wants to utilize the building.’ I told the realtor it was obvious Scientology had contacted him. He hemmed and hawed and said he’d have a final answer for me the next day. Next I tried at the Clearwater Tower building. The way that realtor refused us was to tell me the owner had said they would have to get a release from all the other tenants in the building before they could lease to us. The owner of the AmSouth building at first told me there would be no problem leasing to us, but later changed his mind and refused. In conversation with the realtor for that building I was able to discover that Scientology had sent him a large package of materials ‘documenting’ the dangerous nature of each of the principals in the Lisa McPherson Trust. He refused to show me the package, but he did mention that the owner wouldn’t want to lease to a ‘convicted felon.’ I told him he was being given false information by Scientology and told him the real story of the assault charge against Bob in Boston and how the charge had been thrown out by the judge.”


Random Howdy

“I’m bemused that ex-Scientologists still actively engage in magical thinking, not realizing that the number one reason that they got sucked into Scientology in the first place is because they were already engaged in magical thinking through a belief and interest in the supernatural and the paranormal which had already placed them on the slippery slope to cult hell.”


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] Lest we forget: Scientology started out as quack cure-all, selling electronic snake oil
[TWO years ago] Valerie Haney takes fight against Scientology ‘arbitration’ to California Supreme Court
[THREE years ago] Woman who fled Scientology after being lured in by Jason Dohring acting class goes public
[FOUR years ago] AUDIO: Scientology fundraising throws in a little conspiracy-mongering for effect
[FIVE years ago] Tonight on ‘Leah Remini’: Scientology’s front groups, including Narconon, get a special look
[SIX years ago] Leah Remini schools us on what motivates Scientologists to toe the line
[SEVEN years ago] Countdown to Room 174: Remembering, in real time, Scientology’s grimmest scandal
[EIGHT years ago] Scientology Photoshopping: Erasing L. Ron Hubbard’s second wife from ‘The RON Series’
[NINE years ago] Bruce Hines Joins Us As Claire Headley Keeps Us Moving Through Scientology’s OT Levels!
[TEN years ago] Scientology Desperately Wants Your Children: The Cruise Ship Come-On
[ELEVEN years ago] Scientology Seasickness: Commenters of the 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 2,846 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,351 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,901 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,891 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,782 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 5,087 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 2,957 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 2,062 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,535 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,851 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,417 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 8,336 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,504 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 4,084 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,346 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,382 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 3,097 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,662 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 977 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 2,152 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,703 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,834 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 4,172 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 9,027 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 4,146 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,502 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,805 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,911 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 3,309 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 3,185 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,768 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 3,263 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,517 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,626 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on November 12, 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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