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PODCAST: Our never-heard 2021 interview with Ron Miscavige about daughter-in-law Shelly

[Shelly Miscavige and her father-in-law, Ron]

This week, a story we have been covering for a long time, the disappearance of Shelly Miscavige, suddenly became national news, thanks to a joke by comedian Jerrod Carmichael as he was hosting the Golden Globes Awards.

For years, we’ve been telling you what we’ve uncovered about Shelly, the wife of Scientology’s ruthless leader, David Miscavige. Shelly used to help Dave run his empire, but in late August or early September 2005, she vanished from Scientology’s secretive international management base near Hemet, California.

Two years later, in 2007, she was seen at the funeral of her father in the presence of a Scientology “handler.” But since then, there’s been no confirmed sighting of this person who used to be a very visible figure in the Hubbardite world.

You know, if you’ve been reading our reporting, that we believe David Miscavige had his wife banished to a small mountain compound near Lake Arrowhead, California that is operated by a Scientology subsidiary known as the Church of Spiritual Technology, or CST.


And yes, we hear from readers all the time that they have a hard time believing that Shelly is still alive, but we have reason to believe that she is still living at the CST base, which is often referred to as Twin Peaks, the name of a nearby hamlet. And yes, Shelly may be resigned to her fate.

A couple of years ago, we were interviewing various people who knew Shelly for an unnamed project that we couldn’t publish anything from.

Until now.

On March 15, 2021, we knew that our friend Ron Miscavige, father to Scientology leader David Miscavige, had received a medical diagnosis that he had only weeks to live. We called him up in part to ask him about his memories of Shelly, and we spoke for about 40 minutes.

Ron died several weeks later, in June 2021.

He was a wonderful man, a great trumpet player, and we’re really glad that we got to know him.

Now, we are publishing material from the conversation we had that day in March 2021, with some explanations to help listeners follow what we’re talking about. Also, we must apologize for the technical quality of the call. At the time we thought that we would have a chance to have a more formal recording session with Ron later, but that turned out not to be the case.

You’ll see that along the way we learned some very interesting new things about Shelly Miscavige as Ron described for us what he remembered about his daughter-in-law.


Technology Cocktail

“I don’t expect auditors or Scientologists to instantly agree with or seize upon whatever I say. I would be offended if they did and would feel they weren’t a Free People. Since they are intelligent I expect them to think over what’s said, try it, and if it’s good for them, use it. That old auditors sooner or later come back to and use what I have discovered isn’t any testimony to our relationship at all, it’s only a testimony to my being right because I meant to be right in the first place.” — L. Ron Hubbard, 1956



Jon Atack and Chris Shelton




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

“Putting tickets on the windshield of a car is illegal, according to our own Consititution, which requires personal service. Police get away with it because people don’t want the bother of going down and getting a trial date set. So they send in the amount of an arbitrary fine. This is duress and extortion — so there’s no difference between a criminal and a cop.” — L. Ron Hubbard, January 14, 1954


Avast, Ye Mateys

“Spectatorism is very great in our modern society. Because some people cannot conceive of causing anything they just watch it. They don’t do anything. They are not PARTICIPANTS. They are spectators. You see this in magazines. Hee hee hee articles about how odd this is or that is. No understanding of it. It’s just odd and one watches it in a detached sort of way. Below this is somebody who doesn’t even notice. Such a person has to come up scale just to be a spectator. An unfinished cycle of action comes about because (a) The importance of it is not grasped (b) The cycle itself is not fully understood. (c) Non compliance and false reports are given as a method of self-protection wherein are hopes it will not be noticed. What we need are more PARTICIPANTS, more team mates. You belong to the SO or you don’t. If you do you’re at cause over the various situations. So we define an SO Member the way you do an OT — At cause over Life, Thought, Matter, Energy, Space, Time and Form. The degree you can be cause in handling the targets and needs of a group determines right away how far you’ve come up the line. Blaming case is effect, isn’t it? Sex is effect, isn’t it? I don’t care what your grade is, you are alive. Your true ability depends on the degree you can exercise the definition of OT over your post in forwarding the purposes of the group. You are actually insulting yourself to insist that I personally make whatever advances are made on vital actions of the group. If what you are trying to do doesn’t happen its a poor comment on your OTism.” — The Commodore, January 14, 1969


Overheard in the FreeZone


“We have been looking at things globally and realize that many people have lost jobs or had to take out loans etc to deal with economy fluctuations. We also realize that many of you may be experiencing tougher times given the situation and it is important now more than ever to get up the Bridge! So we have considered everyone and would like to offer everyone the opportunity to go up the Bridge, therefore we are running a MASSIVE sale on our auditing packages! Spots are limited as our organization can only take on so many people, so get in contact TODAY!”


Past is Prologue

2000: The Tampa Tribune reported this week that Bob Minton will be charged with battery for an incident during a protest at the Fort Harrison Hotel in October. “An outspoken critic of the Church of Scientology was formally charged with misdemeanor battery late Friday. New Hampshire millionaire Robert S. Minton Jr. faces a maximum penalty of one year in the county jail and a $1,000 fine if convicted of striking Scientologist Richard W. Howd Jr. during a protest Oct. 31 outside the church’s spiritual headquarters in downtown Clearwater. State Attorney Bernie McCabe had the option of not prosecuting the case, and Minton had been waiting since his arrest the night of the incident for a determination. Neither could be reached for comment late Friday. In the battery incident, Minton was carrying a protest sign up and down the sidewalk outside the Fort Harrison Hotel on Halloween night while Howd filmed him at close range with a video camera. Minton testified that he struck Howd with his placard when Howd would not back away as Minton left the area.”


Random Howdy

“The tech is the meaningless musings of a drug- and alcohol-addled madman who was making it up as he went along. You might as well have been playing hide-and-go-seek for 17 years.”


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 tries (and fails) to rehabilitate L. Ron Hubbard’s involvement in South Africa
[TWO years ago] Hanan and Rizza Islam get trial date for $4 million Medi-Cal fraud at Scientology rehab
[THREE years ago] Scientology ripped apart his family, but this former member explains why he doesn’t fight it
[FOUR years ago] EXCLUSIVE: Scientology tells A&E it has ‘blood on its hands’ for murder in Australia
[FIVE years ago] Scientology plans Narconon drug rehab for Ireland, but the locals are not having it
[SIX years ago] The most incredible lie Scientology attorney Monique Yingling told ABC ’20/20′
[SEVEN years ago] Oscar snubs Alex Gibney’s Scientology documentary ‘Going Clear’ despite buzz
[EIGHT years ago] Scientology reveals a lot more of its lofty plans for the former KCET studios
[NINE years ago] Being and nothingness: And now we move on to Scientology’s Operating Thetan Level Four!
[ELEVEN years ago] Scientology Recon: 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 2,909 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,414 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,964 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,954 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,845 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 5,150 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 3,020 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 2,125 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,598 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,914 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,480 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 8,399 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,567 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 4,148 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,409 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,446 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 3,161 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,725 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 1,040 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 2,215 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,766 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,897 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 4,235 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 9,090 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 4,209 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,565 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,868 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,974 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 3,372 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 3,248 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,831 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 3,326 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,580 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,689 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on January 14, 2023 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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