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Let’s help out a couple of former Scientologists who could use your attention

[Ian Rafalko]

We’ve been pretty busy with the Danny Masterson trial over the last few weeks, but now that it’s on pause, we want to bring your attention to some other important issues.

Namely, that a couple of different Scientologists are going through a very difficult time right now, and there is a way you can lend them a hand.

First, we wanted to remind you about Ian Rafalko. 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, he also spoke to us about a lawsuit filed against Berg by one of his former employees, and he raised questions about his father gaming YouTube’s numbers.

Most recently, Ian reached out to us to let us know that he’s struggling. We encouraged him to create a GoFundMe campaign, where he posted this description of what he’s facing…


I’ve been broken down by the cult and my parents using the cults methods, in ways that has greatly debilitated me. To the point working, talking and even living without a very severe depression is impossible currently. The PTSD, extreme anxiety, depression and OCD has taken its toll and I need help from a professional clinician. Scientology has a way of reducing the ability of its members to ask for help and to seek any evidence-based treatment, so that is more so the reason this is only happening now. I plan on meeting with a specialist ASAP but I have been just barely surviving and I am ready to ask for help.

Scientologists often have a difficult time when they come out of this controlling, totalitarian organization, and they’ve been conditioned not to seek help from professionals. So we’re very supportive of Ian making this move, and we hope you can find a way to help him out.

Another campaign we want to make you aware about is the health crisis being faced by Jerry Whitfield.


[Hana and Jerry Whitfield]

Underground Bunker readers are certainly familiar with Jerry’s wife Hana Eltringham Whitfield, who had such a prominent role in Alex Gibney’s 2015 HBO documentary Going Clear. Hana and Jerry have been known for decades for helping Scientologists leave the organization, and Hana has appeared here numerous times in stories.

We were distressed to hear that Jerry is having a very tough time, and we wanted our readers to be aware of the GoFundMe campaign set up to help the two of them get through it. Here’s some material from the campaign…

Jerry required a liver and kidney transplant in 2014, and did very well for a number of years. Earlier this year, however, Jerry began experiencing complications associated with his transplanted organs and has spent the last four months in Cape Coral hospitals. Two days ago, Jerry was transported to Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami, which has a superb medical staff that specializes in transplant patients. We are hoping beyond hope they can help Jerry pull through this latest challenge. To continue providing Jerry with the personal and emotional support he needs, Hana must rent an affordable hotel/motel or Air B&B near the hospital for six to eight weeks or more, which is how long doctors predict it will take before Jerry can be released. Once he and Hana are able to return home to Cape Coral, it will be months and months before Jerry gets his strength back to where he’ll be able to operate independently.

We’re rooting for you, Jerry. And Bunker readers, if you can help out with either of these campaigns, we would really appreciate it.


Yesterday’s wrap-up: Deadlocked!

We received the stunning news yesterday from Judge Charlaine Olmedo that the jury in the Danny Masterson trial had been unable to reach verdicts on all three counts. She has sent them home for the Thanksgiving week and we will resume on November 28. We released our end-of-the-day video to everyone here at Substack, but we’re linking to it here in case you haven’t seen it. And here’s also the version at our YouTube channel.




Technology Cocktail

“You have observed the phenomenon of people who were theta exteriors getting back into the body and not being able to get out again. This is because they were actually insufficiently aware and because they ran into this one single aberration: ‘They must not reach away from MEST.'” — 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


Jon Atack on L. Ron Hubbard



Source Code


“I handled a preclear not too long ago who was in the valence of a horse. He had been in the valence of a horse for a long time. He had gotten so mad at a horse that he had wished everything off on this horse imaginable and then the horse won. And the preclear went into the horse’s valence. Fact. You have probably processed people in the valences of dogs and so forth. As a matter of fact, if I were raising a little child, I would certainly hang all the pets out the window and let them run away rather than have them around a child, because the pet is liable to give the child trouble.” — L. Ron Hubbard, November 19, 1951


Avast, Ye Mateys

“WORD TO WISE: When you are told it was by my orders you were moved, shot, demoted, denied a place in line at the canteen, forced to eat spinach with sand in it, ask to see it in writing. If it isn’t written it isn’t true.” — The Commodore, November 19, 1970


Overheard in the FreeZone

“As Ron says in ‘The Reason for Orgs’ there are others who would like to ensure that real OTs are not being made. For instance there were some (not all in fact I ran into quite a few who were and are spooks who think OT is a very cool thing) in CIA and other sectors of ‘National Security’ who feel threatened by it. I mean their job is to keep things secret and hidden and having pesky OTs around totally ruins that game plan for ’em. Then of course you have your average SP who isn’t too thrilled by the idea because it makes ‘the masses’ (probably an appropriate term by those stuck in a GPM) harder to suppress and dominate.”


Past is Prologue

1999: A French court this week handed down guilty verdicts and sentences for Marseilles Scientologists now convicted of fraud. From Reuters: “A French court on Monday jailed a former leader of the Church of Scientology for six months, with a further 18 months suspended, for fraud. Xavier Delamare, an ex-leader of the church in southeastern France, was also fined 100,000 francs ($15,750). Five other members of the church were given suspended sentences ranging from six months to a year. One of the defendants, who has turned against the group and accused Delamare of sending him on shady fundraising missions, was cleared. The seven Scientologists went on trial last September on charges of fraud, violence and illegally practising medicine in connection with courses in spiritual purification organised for church members. Delamare’s lawyer Jean-Yves Le Borgne said after the verdict that the proceedings had smacked of lynch law. The trial was marred by the disappearance of legal evidence, which authorities blamed on a court clerk’s mistake. Legal documents that could have been used as evidence against the movement in two other cases have also gone missing.”



Random Howdy

“A Scientology divorce is simply postulating and as-ising that wife #2 never existed.”


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] L. Ron Hubbard 2.0 surprises us yet again with his latest venture: Sitting in a Tennessee jail
[TWO years ago] Danny Masterson takes another expensive and futile swipe at his criminal charges
[THREE years ago] Nan McLean, 1923-2019: One of the bravest women who ever exposed Scientology’s abuses
[FOUR years ago] Disaster relief? Scientology’s own documents spell out the real mission of ‘Volunteer Ministers’
[FIVE years ago] Most remote large city in the world won’t be overlooked by Scientology’s zeal to be ‘ideal’
[SIX years ago] EXCLUSIVE: See the letter Scientology sent to scare A&E out of airing Leah Remini’s series
[SEVEN years ago] ‘Babywatch,’ day one: Lisa McPherson raves out by Scientology’s holiest swimming pool
[EIGHT years ago] L. Ron Hubbard, deadbeat dad ALSO: Former members of Scientology show off their stuff
[NINE years ago] The Oiliness Table, For Real! A Look Inside Scientology’s Super Power Building
[TEN years ago] LA’s Sheriff Lee Baca and Simpsons Actress Nancy Cartwright Shill for Scientology
[ELEVEN years ago] Scientology’s Grand Scheme of Greed Was Kickstarted by the 9/11 Attacks — St. Pete Times


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 2,853 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,358 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,908 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,898 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,789 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 5,094 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 2,964 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 2,069 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,542 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,858 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,424 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 8,343 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,511 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 4,091 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,353 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,389 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 3,104 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,669 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 984 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 2,159 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,710 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,841 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 4,179 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 9,034 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 4,153 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,509 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,812 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,918 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 3,316 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 3,192 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,775 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 3,270 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,524 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,633 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on November 19, 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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