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PODCAST: Bruce Hines on what it was like to spy for Scientology

Once again this week we received a timely and terrific narrative from Bruce Hines, a former top auditor in Scientology whose involvement in the church went back decades.

This time, he was reacting to news we reported about the death of Jane Kember, the woman who at one time ran Scientology’s worldwide spy network, the Guardian’s Office.

It turned out that Bruce had worked as a Guardian’s Office volunteer on a local level, and he had some really interesting things to say about what it was like to engage in espionage for Scientology.

We thought we’d talk some more with him about that in a new podcast episode.



Continuing our year in review: The stories of October 2022

Jon Atack talked to us on the podcast about Mike Rinder’s new book “A Billion Years” and where it belongs in the Scientology reporting pantheon.

The US Supreme Court didn’t take up Scientology’s petition, and so a stunning California appeals court decision restoring the lawsuit filed by Danny Masterson’s accusers can proceed without being derailed by Scientology’s “religious arbitration.”

Danny Masterson’s attorney Philip Cohen asked to delay trial because of Rick Caruso’s mayoral campaign ads that attacked Scientology. (Cohen’s motion was denied.)

We broke the news that the prosecution was planning to call Lisa Marie Presley as a witness in the trial, and how a major Scientology donor couple’s son was another witness on the list.

And then, on the eve of trial, we began a series of what would become very popular short video reports from the courthouse.

On Day 2 of the trial, we were stunned to spot prosecutor Deputy DA Reinhold Mueller greeting a known Scientology spy in the court hallway. What was up?

On our first weekend break in the trial, Bruce Hines really delivered with a story about what it was like to audit Mary Sue Hubbard in her years of exile, and then he talked to us for a podcast on the same subject.

On October 18, the Danny Masterson trial seated a jury and shifted into gear with opening statements, its first witness, Jane Doe 1, and even defense attorney Philip Cohen’s first of many motions for a mistrial.

Day 2 of testimony began with another move for a mistrial, then more testimony from Jane Doe 1 and then the beginning of her cross-examination. We summarized Day 3’s full day of cross.

Judge Charlaine Olmedo chastised Philip Cohen on Day 4 of testimony for his “incredibly condescending” questions for Jane Doe 1, and then DA Mueller began his redirect of the witness.

As the second week of testimony began, Marc Headley helped explain who the Scientology spy in the hallway was in a fun new podcast episode.


Then a Scientologist, Shaun Fabos, was called to the witness stand and was declared a hostile witness. He was followed by the second victim, Jane Doe 3. The next day, on October 25, Jane Doe 3 had an epic panic attack on the stand when describing attacks on her family by Scientology. We then summed up her third and final day on the witness stand.

Danny Masterson and Marc Headley had an interesting encounter in the hallway, rocker Cedric Bixler-Zavala testified on behalf of Jane Doe 3, and an LAPD witness made us wonder if Danny might have been prosecuted 18 years ago if a detective could have moved her vacation.

Jeffrey Augustine helped us review the wild second week of testimony in the trial as we prepared for it continue after the Halloween weekend.

A LOOK BACK AT OCTOBER 2021: Dan Ribacoff’s PI firm was not only working for Scientology, it was also being paid to stalk your Proprietor. Chris Shelton took on the academics. Taking a look at L. Ron Hubbard’s nutty cosmology. Revealing the name of the ‘Cooper I/C.’ David Miscavige passed L. Ron Hubbard in tenure. A Toronto woman added her name to the list of Danny Masterson’s victims. How the Sea Org broke Bruce Hines’s spirit. And at the Daily Beast, the mysterious death of Kuba Ka.

A LOOK BACK AT OCTOBER 2020: A leaked document showed Scientology’s outside investments at the time it got tax exemption. Geoff and Robbie Levin previewed the trailer for their documentary. Bijou Phillips said her husband Danny Masterson was the “Strong Island” type with women. Tommy Davis hires Australian attorneys to go after the ‘Black Ops’ leak.

A LOOK BACK AT OCTOBER 2019: Valerie Haney dropped ‘Jane Doe’ and filed a brutal amended complaint. Hanan Islam in handcuffs in a Los Angeles courtroom as her Narconon insurance fraud case got crazy. FreeZone wizard offers the secret to living to 150. Nancy Cartwright’s new trophy for reaching $17 million in giving. Tom Cruise brought Isabella and Connor to the IAS gala for the first time. The Kominsky Method skewers Scientology, and we figured out that creator Chuck Lorre had an extensive Scientology past.

A LOOK BACK AT OCTOBER 2018: Heather Ruggeri told us her story of forced abortion and escape from the Sea Org. The Underground Bunker gave statuses to its own whales. DC District Attorney Stanley Harris schooled Scientology in 1983. Detroit got its Ideal Org. Sylvia DeWall spoke truth to family that had abandoned her. Alec Nevala-Lee’s fine book ‘Astounding’ came out, and he gave us an amazing document he found in his research, when L. Ron Hubbard invented a friendly psychiatrist to rebut Dianetics. On Halloween we released our book with Paulette Cooper, Battlefield Scientology.

A LOOK BACK AT OCTOBER 2017: We received reports that the RPF was a thing of the past. We marveled at the 1989 OT 8 graduation of Margie Zacks. David Miscavige’s new portrait in the belly of the Freewinds wowed us. Aftermath looked at Mace-Kingsley Ranch and talked to Mimi Faust. The vile secret in Dianetics got dissected.

A LOOK BACK AT OCTOBER 2016: Karla Taylor’s lawsuit reminded us of the chances people take when the sue Scientology. We broke the news that Tom Cruise was building a double penthouse in Clearwater. And we ID’d one of the private eyes stalking Leah Remini in Denver.

A LOOK BACK AT OCTOBER 2015: The month began with a lot of Cat White and Jim Carrey and Mark Burton coverage, including the young Hollywood Scientologists she hung out with, and the family in Ireland that had first pointed her toward the church. We went to the London premiere of Louis Theroux’s My Scientology Movie. And thanks to Bryan Seymour and Steve Cannane, our trip to Australia’s cities of Sydney, Melbourne, Adelaide, and Perth was a great success. And our big bombshell: The “Knowledge Reports” about Leah Remini that informed her book.

A LOOK BACK AT OCTOBER 2014: Scientology’s private threat letter to the S.F. Chronicle. A perplexing tale about Bob Duggan, the richest Scientologist in the world. Tom Cruise and his medal in London. Marty Rathbun ambushed at LAX by raving Jenny Linson. L. Ron Hubbard’s amazing 1949 letter to Forrest Ackerman. Mark Ebner finds Gay Ribisi’s plaques.

A LOOK BACK AT OCTOBER 2013: Live-blogging the Garcia mini-trial in Tampa, Scientology denied by the US Supreme Court, interpreting Leah Remini’s epic dance, and live-blogging a dramatic hearing in Laura DeCrescenzo’s lawsuit in Los Angeles.



Technology Cocktail

“Here we have essentially the idea of the person who lifts a calf every day until the calf becomes a bull. Then we have a person who is able to lift a huge animal. Now, I don’t know that anybody ever tried this, but theoretically it would actually occur.” — 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

“Now, I realize you’re very happy with the game you are playing. Cheerful game, whatever the game is. Keeps you occupied so you won’t think of other things. Games such as ‘all garbage cans must be emptied.’ You know, high-level game. Something with nobility and future. And you get so you think there’s no other game, you know. ‘Got to keep those garbage cans emptied, man. If we empty them good enough and long enough, why then we’ll get to empty more garbage cans. And maybe someday we’ll work up to only emptying garbage cans and we won’t have to do anything else. Won’t have to think of anything else. And there we are, emptying garbage cans.’ If it weren’t for Scientology, 200 trillion years in the future, there you would be emptying those garbage cans. Well, maybe you like to empty garbage cans, so Scientology isn’t for you. It’s true there have got to be hewers of wood and drawers of water and emptiers of garbage cans. That’s a stable datum for this universe.” — L. Ron Hubbard, December 30, 1961


Avast, Ye Mateys

“PERSONNEL: Jeff Gray (Judy Ziff’s son, 9) is assigned as messenger HCO Div 1 Dept 2. His buddy and watches will be assigned by HCO. He is to attend school in HCI at the regular hours. Policy re children and their hats applies.” — The Commodore, December 30, 1970


Overheard in the FreeZone

“We have a large Field to recover. This will take years, if not decades. But in the meantime, we who are trained are not enough, and we’re not getting younger. Sooner rather than later, we will be moving on to new bodies and new lifetimes. In the meantime, someone has to carry on our work. It’s nice to hope that the Church will get handled and all will get better. But that’s just a hope, not a predictable event on the horizon. So we need much much more training going on in the Field. Aside from emotional/spiritual cleanup, it could be said to be our most important product. (This is actually a sub-product for Clearing the planet or any other product involving auditing.) Moreover, trained people disseminate more, if I recall correctly. Another answer is (I hate to say it): sell books. This was a classic LRH solution. BUT, it is critical that the books you sell direct the reader to Field practices, not the Church of Scientology. If I had a Field practice in an area, I would have cards made up to direct readers to my practice. And then I would find every Dianetics/Scientology book I could, in a fifty mile radius, and insert the cards into each and every one of those books. This includes libraries, new and used bookstores, etc. And then purchase every LRH book I could afford to buy (E-Bay, Craig’s List, etc.) and sell those with cards in them and old lists of orgs in them crossed out.”



Past is Prologue

1998: Scientology this week sent a letter to all the residents of Sandown, New Hampshire. Scientology critic Bob Minton is a resident of the town, and the subject of the attacking letter. “My name is Maureen O’Keefe and I am a parishioner of the Church of Scientology. About a year ago, I first became aware of Robert Minton when, seemingly out of nowhere, he began verbally attacking my Church and spreading vicious lies via the media and the Internet about Scientology and its founder, L. Ron Hubbard. Since that time, Mr. Minton has become increasingly vocal and violent in his attacks on my Church and parishioners, myself included. He has poured millions of dollars into funding what is nothing less than a massive anti-religious hate campaign. On August 13, 1998, however, Robert Minton crossed the line as far as I was concerned. On that day, while professing to be a Scientologist, Mr. Minton tried to force his way into my Church on Beacon Street in Boston. After I refused to allow him to enter, Mr. Minton emphatically stated, ‘I am going to destroy Scientology!’ At that moment I decided that I was not
going to allow him to impede my Constitutional Right to freely practice the religion of my choice. Religious freedom is not contingent upon whether or not Robert Minton happens to agree with my religious beliefs. It is my right as an American just as it is every American’s right, including yours. All I have asked of Mr. Minton is that he respect the religious beliefs of others. Our message to him is quite simple: ‘You leave us alone. We’ll leave you alone.’ It is simply a matter of defending one’s Constitutional Rights. I’d like to thank you for listening and wish you and your family a very happy holiday season and a prosperous 1999.” Sponsored by the Parishioners of the Church of Scientology of Boston, 448 Beacon Street – Boston, MA – 02115″


Random Howdy

“When I hear Blubbard speak I can totally hear him trying to copy those old time comedians and storytellers like Will Rogers.”


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] INSIDER: David Miscavige has one more trick planned to disguise Scientology’s sad state
[TWO years ago] The Top 25 People Enabling Scientology, No. 6: The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department
[THREE years ago] BEST OF THE DECADE: Scientology watching’s biggest 2010s hits at the Underground Bunker
[FOUR years ago] Scientology’s building projects & front groups under the microscope in 2018
[FIVE years ago] While Scientology struggled, David Miscavige upped his game in 2017
[SIX years ago] Garcias file new motion asking judge to reject Scientology’s sham arbitration
[SEVEN years ago] What Scientology’s ‘social betterment’ front groups are really all about
[EIGHT years ago] Scientology’s 2014 in review: Our October surprise was all about the Duggans
[NINE years ago] Scientology’s 2013 in review: Courtroom antics reported live and on the spot!
[TEN years ago] Final Sunday Funnies of 2012: Scientology Targets the Rose Parade!
[ELEVEN years ago] Scientology in the Village Voice: 2011 in Review


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 2,894 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,399 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,949 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,939 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,830 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 5,135 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 3,005 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 2,110 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,583 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,899 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,465 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 8,384 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,552 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 4,133 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,394 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,430 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 3,145 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,710 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 1,025 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 2,200 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,751 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,882 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 4,220 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 9,075 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 4,194 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,550 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,853 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,959 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 3,357 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 3,233 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,816 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 3,311 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,565 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,674 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on December 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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