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PODCAST: How Tory Christman saved Rosie O’Donnell from joining Scientology

One of the people we were happy to see in Los Angeles when we were covering the Danny Masterson trial was our old friend Tory Christman.

We first wrote about Tory back in 2001, and she’s still one of our favorite people in the world.

On this Christmas Eve, we asked if she would join us on the Underground Bunker Podcast. And wow, she let us get into some things we’d kept under our belt for a long time, as you will see.

Tory was a “public” Scientologist, someone who doesn’t work for the organization, but she explains how she was called on to help with operations to defend the church, such as at the Lawrence Wollersheim lawsuit in the 1980s, and at the Usenet group alt.religion.scientology as the new century dawned.


But it was there that she ran into a kind man named Andreas Heldal-Lund, and it led to her rather spectacular and public defection from Scientology, which was the subject of our story about her.

Since then she’s helped educate thousands of people through her YouTube channel about Scientology’s abuses and controversies. And along the way, she’s convinced some people not to get involved in the church at all. Including one prominent television personality, as you’ll hear.

Happy holidays, people!


Lawyers added to David Miscavige’s team


A couple of minor developments we wanted to tell you about as we prepare for a January 20 showdown between Scientology leader David Miscavige and a Tampa federal court.

We told you previously that Miscavige had finally responded to the court in a labor trafficking lawsuit by hiring a Florida Bar past president, William Schifino, who is preparing to argue that Miscavige should not be declared served by the court.

The plaintiffs, represented by attorney Neil Glazer, asked for the January 20 hearing to argue that they have done enough to prove that Miscavige has purposely been evading service in the suit and should be declared an official defendant.

Now, a couple of things to report: First, the January 20 hearing, which was originally scheduled to be a Zoom conference, has now been set by Magistrate Judge Julie S. Sneed for courtroom 11A at the federal courthouse.

Also, Schifino is bringing in some ringers from the powerhouse Washington DC firm Williams & Connolly: Attorney Krystal Durham and partner Joseph Terry (pictured).


With Miscavige, money is no object if it means keeping him out of a courtroom.

That January 20 hearing should be pretty interesting, and we plan to have someone there.


Continuing our year in review: The stories of April 2022

Emory University invited us to give a brief talk about Scientology’s legal battles over “religious arbitration,” but after our appearance in an online forum, Scientology frightened the folks at Emory into removing our presentation from the video record and didn’t publish our brief paper. So we did at the Underground Bunker. Nothing we said was libelous of course. But it was startling to see Emory lose its nerve.

Louise Shekter was back with another piece, this time about witnessing the birth of the RPF, the Sea Org’s notorious prison program.

The Scientology oversharer, an enthusiastic woman who loves to post things about her journey up the Bridge, topped herself by showing us her graduation speech as “Clear” at the new Kansas City Ideal Org.

We learned that OT 8 Scientologist and YouTube chiropractor Dr. Eric Berg was being sued for forcing Scientology on an employee. We told Berg’s son Ian Rafalko about it, and Ian offered to help the former employee with her litigation. The next day, Berg threw in the towel and cut a check to make the case go away.

We even beat TMZ with this one: Scientologist actor Eddie Deezen was, sadly, arrested again, and this time he was being held on a mental health watch. We just hope he can shake off Scientology’s indoctrination against psychiatric care.

We took another look at Scientology’s “at Home” program, which suggested that members tend to be concentrated in Mexico and Taiwan these days, as well as some of the traditional places.

California’s Supreme Court refused Scientology’s petition to review an appellate court’s stunning decision to restore the lawsuit filed by Danny Masterson’s accusers in January. It was another defeat for Scientology’s “religious arbitration” scheme.

Bruce Hines gave us another great narrative about his time in the Sea Org and remembering some of the crazy things he was expected to do to defend Scientology.

Another scoop: We’re leaked audio of David Miscavige announcing the new “Golden Age of Admin” release, the first audio we’ve had of him in several years.


And on April 28, the big news that Valeska Paris and two other former Sea Org workers living in Australia file a new labor trafficking lawsuit against Scientology in Tampa, Florida. It alleges that they were forced to become child workers in Scientology, including horrific treatment into adulthood aboard the cruise ship Freewinds.

A LOOK BACK AT APRIL 2021: Ben Schneiders uncorked a beauty about Scientology’s finances in Australia. OT 8 art dealer Izzy Chait went on to his reward. SNL’s breakout new star, Chloe Fineman, is a Scientologist and the child of Scientologists. New York chiropractor and Scientology donor Jay Spina was sentenced to nine years in prison for Medicare fraud. Tommy Davis and his new wife welcomed a son into the world.

A LOOK BACK AT APRIL 2020: Whoopi Goldberg recommended Narconon. Wealthy Scientologist Jim Mathers said of Covid, “healthy people don’t get sick.” Scientology started putting out some very weird videos as a result of members being locked down at home. LRH 2.0 faced a revolt. Another confirmation from Scientology itself that its numbers are in the thousands, not millions. David Miscavige turned 60.

A LOOK BACK AT APRIL 2019: Shooting victim Brian Statler was identified. Chris Owen filled us in on Scientology’s odd efforts in Papua New Guinea. Graham Berry shared another stunning demand letter with us. Sunny Perreira told us her story about Brad Pitt bringing his pet igauna to the Celebrity Centre for some auditing. Danny Masterson’s accusers and Mike Rinder’s daughter had a confrontation caught on video.

A LOOK BACK AT APRIL 2018: Chris Owen found that L. Ron Hubbard tried to buy Malawi. Leah Remini was subjected to a Scientology “noisy investigation.” We chatted with the convicted felon who says he’s the returned L. Ron Hubbard. Tommy Davis showed up with a new look. Kim Poff was finally able to give us an interview about getting fired by Oklahoma for blowing the whistle on Narconon. Rocker Cedric Bixler-Zavala told us about the harassment his wife Chrissie Carnell Bixler was going through after coming forward as a victim of Scientologist actor Danny Masterson.

A LOOK BACK AT APRIL 2017: Scientologist actor Erika Christensen raised eyebrows for playing a Christian convert on film. We dug up a reference to ‘Mount Xenu’ in a Hubbard lecture. Dee Findlay schooled the Clearwater city council. A 1973 documentary featuring Nan McLean resurfaced.

A LOOK BACK AT APRIL 2016: David Miscavige was filmed opening an Ideal Org in Atlanta. Phil and Willie Jones put up a billboard in Los Angeles about Scientology disconnection. We revealed that Giovanni Ribisi’s daughter Lucia Ribisi had ditched Scientology. The Gregg Hagglund story — seeing a Fair Game operation from both ends. How David Miscavige ripped apart his own family, and how Lisa Marie Presley became (at least for a short time) his biggest nightmare. David Miscavige threatened to sue his own Dad, and we were live on the scene as Laura DeCrescenzo’s lawsuit survived a second motion for summary judgment. Was this the greatest single month for news in the history of the Bunker? It was certainly up there.

A LOOK BACK AT APRIL 2015: We broke down the elements that made SNL’s parody, ‘Neurotology,’ so great. We brought you full audio tapes of police interviews with the Scientology private eyes who stalked Ron Miscavige. And we dug up the true history of Tom Cruise and Mimi Rogers.

A LOOK BACK AT APRIL 2014: We checked with his tailor to find out David Miscavige’s actual height. Tax documents spelled out Scientology’s amazing cash value. And an insider provided us documents showing that Narconon Arrowhead is running on fumes.

A LOOK BACK AT APRIL 2013: Live-blogging Rock Center‘s Narconon expose, behind the scenes at Int Base with “Love in the Time of Miscavige,” and Narconon in Georgia raided.


Technology Cocktail

“The basic stuff of the physical universe, to a thetan, is an incomprehensibility, but he is entirely devoted to trying to understand it. A thetan himself, the awareness of awareness unit, is understanding. Thus, we have this unit attempting to understand the incomprehensible. A thetan can, with perfect ease, understand incomprehensibility, but sometimes until it is called to his attention, he is continually on the track of trying to find some comprehensibility in the incomprehensible.” — L. Ron Hubbard, 1954




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

“You’ll find that there’s a hollow spot in back of the body. And if you will let one of those hollow spots — at least, there’s at least one — if you’ll let it say ‘hello’ backwards, you know, have a spot in back of the body say ‘hello’ backwards, you will discover some of the more interesting spaces. You get why that is? A thetan has always come in on the body on the back, you see, and nobody has ever said ‘hello’ to him. There’s quite often a machine pulled in there, which is one of the more interesting things you run into with this process. Big, big juicy machine with valves, tubes, endless belts and every other thing.” — L. Ron Hubbard, December 24, 1954


Avast, Ye Mateys

“There has never been any order permitting mail to be taken directly to the post office by individuals. I would like to find out who started this. It is illegal to send mail any other way than via the Dept of Comm.” — N. Jessup, CS-1, December 24, 1968


Overheard in the FreeZone

“Disconnection is an individual’s choice. Yes, Ethics might encourage someone to do it, but at the end of the day it’s the persons who do it, who are to accept responsibility for it and not blame the church with the ‘following orders’ excuse. I don’t blame the church when my friends in the church disconnected from me. I blame them and their inability to confront the truth, and also just that they were happy with the church and I’m cool with that, it was their personal decision to disconnect from me, not the church’s. But I just don’t like it when people blame big organizations for actions they do. For example, it wasn’t Hitler’s fault for the holocaust, it was the SS soldiers who did it. They believed in the cause, they wanted to do it, they thought what they were doing was right, they should take responsibility for it and should be blamed for it.”



Past is Prologue

1999: A Scientology press release claims that the villain in the upcoming John Travolta movie, Battlefield Earth, is one of the most notorious of the 20th century. “Traditional figures in the roster of the arch-villains of books, film and television — Frankenstein’s monster; Transylvania’s blood thirsty gift to the ghastly, Count Dracula and the entombed terror of ancient Egypt, the Mummy — took the lead in the survey by Dateline News Service with 50% of those polled. But for a full 30 percent of the respondents, the 20th century’s most sinister characters were ominously newer: the visored darkness of Star Wars’ Darth Vader; the muzzled fury of Hannibal Lecter, and the alien evil of Terl, the space villain of L. Ron Hubbard’s science fiction epic Battlefield Earth, whose nine feet of taloned, gas-breathing menace — personified by John Travolta — is already giving film goers a ‘teasing’ glimpse on his way to filling the country’s movie screens in May, 2000.”


Random Howdy

“‘If all Scientologists were John Travolta clones, Scientology would be a good deal.’ I’m not sure the Massage Association of America would agree with you on that one, Jimmy.”


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

Criminal prosecutions:
Danny Masterson charged for raping three women: Mistrial declared November 30. Status conference scheduled January 10, retrial scheduled March 27.
‘Lafayette Ronald Hubbard’ (a/k/a Justin Craig), aggravated assault, plus drug charges: Grand jury indictments include charges from an assault while in custody. Plea deadline scheduled for December 16.
Jay and Jeff Spina, Medicare fraud: Jay sentenced to 9 years in prison. Jeff scheduled to time served with three years supervised release, restitution of $9.7 million.
Rizza Islam, Medi-Cal fraud: Trial scheduled for March 1 in Los Angeles
David Gentile, GPB Capital, fraud: Next pretrial hearing December 9.
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 November 17 to argue the arbitration motions, awaiting ruling.
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 February 7.
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] Feds suing ‘stem cell’ scammers for preying on the elderly. Oh, and they’re Scientologists.
[TWO years ago] Whoops. Letter shows Scientology gave Jane Doe #1 permission to sue Danny Masterson in 2004
[THREE years ago] Scientology is denied an emergency hearing, but here is its ‘arbitration’ motion
[FOUR years ago] We got a correspondent into Scientology’s New Year’s Event Saturday in Los Angeles
[FIVE years ago] Year in review: In April, Dee Findlay delivered a truth bomb to Scientology in its spiritual mecca
[SIX years ago] A Christmas Eve treat: Our man Down Under on Scientology’s antipodean troubles in 2016
[SEVEN years ago] Release the hounds! Scientology suddenly getting more aggressive with media: Report
[EIGHT years ago] As Luka Magnotta is convicted, questions about his Scientology involvement remain
[NINE years ago] The Underground Bunker Year-in-Review starts today: A January for the ages!
[TEN years ago] Scientology’s 2012 in Review: Springtime for Miscavige
[ELEVEN years ago] Scientology Succession: 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 2,888 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,393 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,943 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,933 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,824 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 5,129 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 2,999 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 2,104 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,577 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,893 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,459 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 8,378 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,546 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 4,127 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,388 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,424 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 3,139 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,704 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 1,019 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 2,194 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,745 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,876 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 4,214 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 9,069 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 4,188 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,544 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,847 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,953 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 3,351 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 3,227 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,810 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 3,305 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,559 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,668 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on December 24, 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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