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Scientology’s 2022: Another year is in the books at the Underground Bunker!

Another great year is ending here at the Underground Bunker, and the stories just won’t stop, even on a holiday week like this.

Just last night, for example, we heard from one of our best sources inside Scientology that not only is church leader David Miscavige at the Flag Land Base in Clearwater, Florida (while his attorney is telling a federal court judge that he’s in California), but that Miscavige was seen meeting with IAS donors at the Fort Harrison Hotel.

Oh, does that mean we’ll be hearing about new trophies soon? We always love to find out about the big donors and which ones have reached sky-high new donation levels of “Gold Meritorious” and “Patron Laureate” and the rest.

And so we end 2022 with a news tidbit that Scientology of course just keeps on doing what it always has: Gulling rich fools out of their millions.


And we’ll keep doing what we always do, reporting on Miscavige and his followers as we enter yet another year.

We want to thank our readers for another trip around the sun with so much great interaction in our comments section. It’s what sustains us and keeps us going, year after year. And this year, for joining us here at our new experiment at Substack, which has been a huge success for us.

So here’s our plan for today. First, here is the finishing installment of our 2022 year in review. Later today we’re going to send out a separate post on Substack that will have our top 20 stories of the year, Observer’s favorite shoops of the year, and some hint for what’s coming at midnight.

And then, as 2023 dawns, we’ll be sending out a special treat.

So, with that said: Continuing with our year in review, here are the highlights of November and December…

As November began, so did the third week of testimony in the Danny Masterson trial, and with a new witness: Jane Doe 2, whose direct and cross-examination finished on the same day.

That was followed by corroborating witnesses for Jane Doe 2, which included the actress Jordan Ladd and Jane Doe 2’s mother.

And right in the middle of trial, we landed a scoop: Jane Doe 2 and Jane Doe 3 were now represented by David Boies firm, “for their rights,” which sure sounded like they were ditching the vaunted Philly team. (And we got confirmation of that later.)

On Day 15 of the trial, we heard from Dr Mindy Mechanic, who explained why rape victims who know their attacker react differently than when the rapist is a stranger.

Then the bombshell: Lisa Marie Presley had intended to take the Fifth Amendment if she was called to testify because she had taken part in a crime to dissuade one of the Jane Does to go to the LAPD about her rape. Wow. But then Judge Olmedo ruled that it was irrelevant for the criminal charge, and the prosecution didn’t call Lisa Marie.

Another crazy story while we were at the trial: In New York, Tommy Davis had accosted the ex-wife and daughter of Paul Haggis on the street in Soho.

Jane Doe 4 arrived to testify, and she allowed us to identify her as actress Tricia Vessey. She recounted being raped twice by Masterson in 1996.

Meanwhile, the LAPD and Leah Remini were in a dustup over a breaking scandal about a former captain in the Hollywood division who for years was a Scientology shill. Leah then joined us for a podcast episode about it, our most-listened to episode ever.

After closing arguments, the jury in the Danny Masterson trial had the case and began deliberations.


While we waited, Mark Bunker gave us a great report from a hearing in the labor trafficking case in Tampa.

Deliberations were interrupted by a holiday week, but that gave us an opportunity for a Thanksgiving day podcast episode with Mike Rinder!

Back in LA, we waited as new jurors were seated and deliberations had to start over from the beginning.

Then, we brought you the Great Breakfast Burrito Scandal of 2022!

And then on November 30, the great let-down: The jury was hung on all three counts, and Judge Olmedo declared a mistrial. A retrial is scheduled for March 27, when the whole thing may start over again.

We then revealed a crucial document that the jury never saw, which described the account of a witness, Damian Perkins, who never got to testify. Will he get that chance in a retrial?

We learned that Scientology wasn’t happy that Valerie Haney had nominated Tom Cruise and Shelly Miscavige as arbitrators, and told her to choose once again.

Then a shock: Kirstie Alley was dead of colon cancer at only 71.

Two huge scoops for us then at the Bunker. First, Chris Shelton invited us to join him in an interview of the Danny Masterson trial’s jury foreman, who explained why no verdicts were reached in the case. And then, we released a two-part podcast with Jane Doe 4, actress Tricia Vessey, who described what it was like to testify in the trial, and reacted to the juror interview.

We confirmed that Kirstie Alley received only a small, private memorial service at Scientology’s Flag Land Base in Clearwater, Florida, and nothing at all at the Hollywood Celebrity Centre, where she had been such a fixture for so many years.

We learned that Jane Kember, Scientology’s legendary spymaster during the Snow White years, had died at 85.

Tory Christman joined us for a fun podcast episode, and revealed that she had used a story we wrote about her in 2001 to help keep Rosie O’Donnell out of Scientology. That was a secret we’d kept for more than 20 years!

A poll revealed that Americans hated Scientology as much as they did Satanism!

And we broke the news about a horrible tragedy: Whitney Mills, a 40-year-old real estate agent and OT 8 Scientologist, had set herself on fire and then shot herself over her physical and mental health issues.


A LOOK BACK AT NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2021: We listened live to an appeals hearing in the Bixler case. The Garcia appeal was struck down by the Eleventh Circuit. Finally, a mostly full transcript of the infamous 1982 Mission Holders Meeting. L. Ron Hubbard’s last living son Arthur begins blogging. We sadly noted the passing of a gentle soul, Jim Dincalci. A document leak describes the “Chase Wave” that became an important ploy used by Scientology until about 2019. To our surprise, ex-con flim flammer LRH 2.0 showed up in a Tennessee jail. The real LRH shows up in a new WW2 private diary. We start to get reports about the state of Scientology from “The Insider.”

A LOOK BACK AT NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2020: A military vet takes a new, and more thorough, look at L. Ron Hubbard’s “stolen valor.” Julian and Katherine Wain, part of Leah Remini’s extended family, tell their Scientology escape story. Other exes tell the stories of what they would have missed if they’d stayed in the church. The London Ideal Org’s swanky new look. Steve Cannane is victorious in his ridiculous libel trial. Danny Masterson’s sketchy friends are ripe for investigation. The California state supreme court won’t consider Valerie Haney’s petition. Tom Cruise screams at the Mission: Impossible 7 crew over Covid protocols, and Leah Remini weighs in.

A LOOK BACK AT NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2019: David Miscavige presided over Ideal Org grand openings in Kansas City and Columbus. Guy White, L. Ron Hubbard’s former son-in-law, goes public for the first time. We said goodbye to Nan McLean and Pete Combs. Beck said he was not a Scientologist, and Leah Remini called it a “pussy move.” “Harlem Homie” is really a new status in the church. Evidence surfaced that Scientology is keeping at least one witness in the Danny Masterson case out of police reach at the Freewinds. A Scientology spy’s interrogation is leaked.

A LOOK BACK AT NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2018: We published a 1972 account of his life by L. Ron Hubbard Jr (with Paulette Cooper) that had never before seen the light of day. Clay Irwin sold his bar and tipped us off that Scientology was secretly buying up more property in Clearwater (which Tracey McManus at the Tampa Bay Times proved in a brilliant 2019 investigation). Leah Remini focused on Jehovah’s Witnesses, and then started out her third season about Scientology with the bombshell story of Valerie Haney’s escape from Scientology’s Gold Base. Sunny Pereira revealed the moment she realized Clear doesn’t exist. We interviewed Valerie Haney about about David Miscavige’s private life. Leah exposed the Nation of Islam, and we learned then that Tiponi Grey had died. NOI’s Tony Muhammad then took a slimy jab at Leah. After 68 years, we finally found Sonya Bianchi, L. Ron Hubbard’s first “Clear.”

A LOOK BACK AT NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2017: We learned that Aftermath had filmed an episode with Danny Masterson’s accusers that was not going to air. But the second season ended with a stunning reunion. We provided a roadmap for the new president if he was really serious about reviewing Scientology’s tax-exempt status. We wrote about the death of Brad Bufanda and said goodbye to Sinar Parman. We wondered if Bob Duggan had flown the coop, and we made public for the first time the FBI file of former Clearwater mayor Gabe Cazares. We tracked down notorious Snow White spy Michael Meisner, and finished up the year with a heartwarming story of love.

A LOOK BACK AT NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2016: Scientologist Vivian Kubrick’s plan to raise money for Shelley Duvall falls apart. David Miscavige’s claim that L. Ron Hubbard brought surfing to California is debunked. Scientology tries to derail the premiere of Leah Remini’s new series with a scummy letter. And Leah’s first “special” episode features Paulette Cooper.

A LOOK BACK AT NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2015: Leah Remini’s memoir, Troublemaker, hit bookstores. The Texas Third Court of Appeals handed Monique Rathbun a huge victory that seemed to pave the way for a world of hurt for Scientology. We began a day-by-day look at the final days of Lisa McPherson, 20 years after her tragic death. Tabatha Fauteux became Narconon’s newest victim. Legoland funded a Scientology front group on behalf of Jenna Elfman. And one of our biggest stories of the year, felony charges for Scientologists who had used students from primarily minority high schools in a suburb of LA to scam state insurance money.

A LOOK BACK AT NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2014: Leaked plans show that a new $37 million Scientology facility in Australia will serve only 87 people, on average, at any one time. Some great nuggets about L. Ron Hubbard turned up in Robert Heinlein’s letters collection. We learned how Scientology strains to erase Hubbard’s second wife, Sara Northrup, from the historical record, while Hubbard’s first wife, Polly, filed an affidavit that Hubbard was a deadbeat dad. We went long with the surprising saga of Richie Acunto’s rise and fall. And Marty Rathbun gets ambushed again, this time with Louis Theroux.

A LOOK BACK AT NOVEMBER/DECEMBER 2013: Mike Rinder and Mike Bennitt in a helicopter over the Super Power party, our exclusive interview with Jacqueline Olivier, the principal at Will and Jada’s Scientology school, and we marked the actual 60th anniversary of the first ‘Church of Scientology.’


Technology Cocktail

“One of the goals of Modern Straight Wire is to get the preclear to throw the engram out of present time or into present time at will. In other words, to teach him that he doesn’t necessarily have to vanquish all energy masses—that he can handle these energy masses and get them up to him or away from him at will. A clear, by definition, is somebody who does not have any engrams in present time with him. By actual practice a clear would have to be a stable Thetan exterior since the body itself is composed of energy masses which unfortunately contain engrams.” — 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

“Sixty-three was the year I had to do all the research work. I’ve sacrificed everything now. The other day, the other day, not too long ago, I was outside taking a look at the dawn and it was a great relief. The Van Allen belt is nice and warm and you can sit in the Van Allen belt amongst the radiation that’s supposed to be so harmful. It’s nice that it’s there. It holds in the warm air, you know, and you can put out your beams and warm your hands. And rain clouds are absolutely beautiful there. They’re almost as good as a drink of Coca-Cola. And you can get into the ice crystals of a rain cloud and it’s very nice. It’s very nice. It’s cooling, refreshing, you know, like taking a cold shower on a hot summer day. And all of a sudden you’re not stricken by these fantastic temperature reactions. See, you’re in a body, you see, you get a temperature difference of ten degrees up or ten degrees down and you’re kind of miserable, you know? And outside, you get a temperature differential of two hundred degrees centigrade up and two hundred degrees centigrade down — it makes a nice change!” — L. Ron Hubbard, December 31, 1963


Avast, Ye Mateys

“DIV VI: Win! Al Bornstein now head of Div VI has turned out the basic first step of a PR division — its different publics — and issued the test FSO on them. What a nice thing to see. Standard Div actions!” — The Commodore, December 31, 1970


Overheard in the FreeZone

“I think one of the things that got us in trouble way back was to make Scientology ‘Mainstream’ or by trying to gain ‘acceptance,’ which I believe is one of the reasons so many are buying into this ‘Ideal Org’ money laundering scam. They think by putting up these ostentatious edifices it will attract the ‘right’ kind of people to Scientology. What it’s basically attracted are a bunch of elitists who look at Scientology as a tax write off and the deluded types who believe that if they Solo enough NOTs that the world will somehow magically change before their eyes. ‘Led’ by some guy who couldn’t find his way to the rest room….I’m not saying miracles can’t occur, I do believe that the release of OT VIII definitely had something to do with the fall of the Berlin Wall. That said the fact is that many if not most of the first OT VIIIs were in fact auditor trained. Unlike the current bunch of untrained status-hungry by-passed cases who are now in the Church these days endlessly ‘auditing’ ‘the level’ who couldn’t even get a chameleon to change color in. Many of these ‘False Threes’ do more to discredit Scientology then all the bad press and media combined.”


Past is Prologue


1999: Vernon Cain continued his protests at the Hawaii org this week, with daily pickets. “Soon after I arrived one of the minions came out to lean against a parking meter to smoke a cigarette. I just kept trying to open a communication with him. He did respond with a ‘I’m doing OK’ to one of my how’s it goings that I would offer him from time to time. He did hear my picket patter of ‘Space Alien Cult, Just another UFO Cult, and Space Alien SCAM!, mixed in with Bait-and-Switch Scam and sometimes Don’t Ask about Xemu! His reaction as to ‘Stare me down’ and watch me with his ‘Death Stare’ even while taking in another drag on his smoke.”


Random Howdy

“Well Sherbet, it doesn’t look like this tired ole punk is going to make it to midnight, so a ‘HAPPY NEW YEAR’ to you and the the rest of the Degenerates and a ‘Big, Big Love’.”


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] Scientology’s 2021: Another year is in the books at the Underground Bunker!
[TWO years ago] Scientology’s 2020: Another year is in the books at the Underground Bunker!
[THREE years ago] Scientology’s 2019: Another year is in the books at the Underground Bunker!
[FOUR years ago] Scientology’s 2018: Another year is in the books at the Underground Bunker!
[FIVE years ago] Scientology’s 2017: Another year is in the books at the Underground Bunker!
[SIX years ago] LEAKED AUDIO — Scientology’s New Year’s event 2017: ‘Welcome to Scientology forever!’
[SEVEN years ago] Scientology’s 2015: Another year is in the books at the Underground Bunker!
[EIGHT years ago] Scientology’s 2014 in review: So long to another great year in the Bunker!
[NINE years ago] Scientology’s 2013 in review: The Super Power-ful finish to an eventful year
[TEN years ago] John Sweeney and Marc Headley Visit Scientology’s Odd New Mexico Vault
[ELEVEN years ago] Scientology Spectacular: Commenters of the Year!


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 2,895 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,400 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,950 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,940 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,831 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 5,136 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 3,006 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 2,111 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,584 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,900 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,466 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 8,385 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,553 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 4,134 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,395 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,431 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 3,146 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,711 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 1,026 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 2,201 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,752 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,883 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 4,221 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 9,076 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 4,195 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,551 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,854 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,960 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 3,358 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 3,234 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,817 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 3,312 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,566 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,675 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on December 31, 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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