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DONOR DRAMA: Stunning new data on the life cycle of a Scientology whale!

For years, we’ve been fascinated by the behavior of Scientology’s whales. These are the really big donors, the ones who give the church more than $1 million just in straight donations, above and beyond what they spend for courses, auditing, accommodations and the rest.

They’re a rare breed, and it’s even more rare to get some insight into the life cycle of a whale. But this week, what a treat we have in that regard.

For many years, Jim Speiser has been a prominent veterinarian in the Indianapolis area, and an enthusiastic Scientologist.

Scientology targets veterinarians, along with chiropractors and dentists, with their sneaky business consulting front groups such as Sterling Management and many others. These groups sell the idea that L. Ron Hubbard invented the most effective business methods of all time. (Up front, however, they don’t usually mention that Hubbard said he had taken those business organization ideas from an “old galactic civilization” that had used them for “80 trillion years.”) If the vet or dentist or chiro will just take on Hubbard’s business policies, it will take care of staffing headaches, and allow them to spend time on actually treating patients, or whatever.


The catch is that along with using Hubbard’s business methods, there will then be considerable pressure on the chiro or vet to start taking Scientology courses, and then to put even more pressure on the staff to knuckle under as well.

Over the years, this has resulted in numerous EEOC actions and lawsuits as workers sometimes object to being forced into Scientology as a part of their employment in a veterinary clinic or dentist’s office.

We don’t know if Jim ever asked his employees to go to Clearwater with him for Scientology seminars, but he has been a very dedicated church member over many years.

Records indicate that he’s reached numerous milestones: The L Rundowns (early 1990s), Clear (2003), OT 3 (2003), OT 7 (2008) and Super Power in 2015.

In 2018, Jim was featured in one of the early Meet a Scientologist videos at the new Scientology TV channel (see above), and there was a corresponding piece in Freedom Magazine. (Remember when Freedom was still publishing stuff?)

Today his practice in Indianapolis delivers 24-hour critical care, seven days per week in addition to the more basic veterinary services. He employs specialists in surgery, internal medicine, ophthalmology and other specialties, making it the premiere veterinary hospital in the state of Indiana. General practitioners in the area use his facility for their own patients that need a CAT scan, an MRI or lengthy rehabilitation.

Jim made his first appearance here at the Underground Bunker in January 2021, when he was featured for completing his Class V auditor “interneship.” So at the same time he owned and ran a major vet hospital in Indianapolis, he was training to be a Scientology auditor at the Cincinnati Ideal Org (which is actually across the river in Florence, Kentucky).


We next noticed last June that he was stepping up with donations (“Vanguard” = $35,000) for a new Ideal Org in Battle Creek.



And then in November, Jim finally revealed his major whale status when he was listed as “Gold Meritorious With Honors,” which translates to $1.75 million, and only in regards to donations to the International Association of Scientologists (IAS), which is Scientology’s membership organization. This does not count the money he had given for new buildings.

Thar she blows!


There would then be pressure on Jim to keep forking over donations so that he could reach the next status level, Platinum Meritorious, at $2.5 million.

But what’s this? In October, Jim’s hospital announced that he was retiring. And Indiana business records indicate that the hospital had undergone a change in ownership structure the year before.


So what’s a whale going to do in retirement? Hivemind, what is your experience? Are retired whales under just as much pressure to keep forking over more and more cash?

We have very little data on this.

But then, new information arrived.

Will you get a load of this!



Jim joined the Cincinnati Ideal Org as a staffer!

That means he signed a 2.5- or 5-year contract, and will be working for peanuts, if he’s paid at all. We assume he’s been hired on as an auditor, which he was training for.

Wow. This guy could be spending his retirement traveling or hanging out with his kids or whatever.

Instead he’s going to be an E-meter jockey in a hapless “Ideal Org” in Kentucky.

We’re not even sure what to think.

Community, please help us out here.


Technology Cocktail

“Although man continually uses ‘Freedom’ for his war cry he only succeeds in establishing further entrapment for himself. The reason for this is a very simple one. A game consists of freedom and barriers and purposes. When man drops the idea of restrictions or barriers he loses at once control over barriers. He becomes self-determined about barriers and not pan-determined, thus he cannot control the barriers. The barriers left uncontrolled then and there trap him.” — L. Ron Hubbard, 1956




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

“Man is continually representing to you that he owns a body, and he doesn’t. He steals one. And Freud was looking for guilt. Do you want to find some guilt? Let’s look that one in the eye for a moment. The very thing he owns with he stole and he knows he stole. And somebody comes along and grabs him and throws him into the clink or something for having run off with a couple of teaspoons from the local manor or something, and he goes into a complete fit. Why does he go into a fit? He thinks he’s going to be tried for his basic crime in this life which is the theft of one Homo Sapiens, which is kidnapping.” — L. Ron Hubbard, January 23, 1953


Avast, Ye Mateys

“JANIS GILLHAM is assigned a condition of LIABILITY for goofing up an LRH Conference recording resulting in that one side of the tape did not record. I am assigning myself a condition of NON-EXISTENCE for not testing recorder before the recording started.” — Msm Anne Tidman, January 23, 1971


Overheard in the FreeZone

“Just started reading and looking at videos on app downloaded. I’m 64 years old — person my age, is there any help for a person in my late years to begin this journey? Many years looked and traveled seeking truth only find out wanting. My desire is not just to improve myself but humanity as a whole. All of these religions and other ideas on spirituality of searching for over 50 years still leave me as something missing. I do know God created us to be as he intended but mankind has missed the mark. My heart breaks seeing the world in shambles and lack. Not just money, but peace, love, kindness and help mankind be whom we were actually designed as we are supposed to be. This will and is my last call for help as all other systems have failed. There is truth, but truth must be allowed to be put in action. May God help us all.”


Past is Prologue


2002: published a retrospective on January 24th on L. Ron Hubbard, which is the date of his death in 1986. “Before the Scientology incarnation, Hubbard had a 20-year career writing pulp magazine stories – adventure, crime, westerns and then mostly science fiction. In 1982, after decades of Church work – much of it the labor of dodging the FBI, CIA, IRS and reporters – Hubbard returned to his muse with ‘Battlefield Earth: A Saga of the Year 3000.’ If the numbers are to be believed, it became one of the greatest science-fiction hits of all time; if the apostates and investigative reporters are to be believed, the novel was a required purchase, and another Church scam. If Hubbard himself is to be believed in his introductory essay, he had been ‘studying the branches of man’s past knowledge at that time to see whether he had ever come up with anything valid.’ He had done ‘some pioneer work in rockets and gasses,’ was ‘in rather steady association with the new era of scientists, the boys who built the bomb,’ and therefore well-placed to be ‘one of the crew of writers that helped start man to the stars.’ According to the Church Web sites, his greatest accomplishment is the 10-book ‘Mission Earth’ series, a work that believer-critics find reminiscent of both ‘the later Henry James’ and ‘the later Charles Dickens,’ and such ‘a biting commentary on exactly who is doing what on today’s earth’ that it is ‘repeatedly drawing comparisons to the works of Jonathan Swift.’ Presumably the later Jonathan Swift; possibly that section in ‘Gulliver’s Travels’ wherein the mad scientists of Lagado endeavor, among other things, to reconstitute food from excrement.”


Random Howdy

“Typical Space Ozzie & Harriet ‘Remember the good ole days before all the perversion and permissiveness that lead to the downward spiral?’ reactionary bullshit. Except for the Space Opera, Scientologists have the same mindset as your average teabagger, fundie christian, conspiracy nut, gun lovin’ closet Nazi wingnut. I suggest we round them all up and send them to the FEMA camp called Branson MO.”


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

Criminal prosecutions:
Danny Masterson charged for raping three women: Mistrial declared November 30. Retrial scheduled, jury selection begins March 29.
‘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 on the Autobahn: Selling blue sky to the Germans and Swiss back in the day
[TWO years ago] Tom Cruise doesn’t want you to visit his camera-heavy condo in Scientology’s mecca
[THREE years ago] Where in the world is Scientology leader David Miscavige?
[FOUR years ago] Never forget: Scientology calls exes liars, but spells out its own abuses in documents
[FIVE years ago] Scientology celeb Kerri Kasem marches for religious freedom in Hungary
[SIX years ago] Scientology wastes no time making a move on the new president, but where does Trump stand?
[SEVEN years ago] Whale watching, 2016 edition: Who’s keeping Scientology afloat?
[EIGHT years ago] VIDEO LEAK: Another segment from Marty Rathbun’s deposition — his ‘Liability Formula’
[NINE years ago] Ray Jeffrey on Scientology in the courtroom: ‘Constantly getting tripped up on the facts’
[ELEVEN years ago] Scientology Network TV Ads: More Precious Reactions!


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 2,918 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,423 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,973 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,963 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,854 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 5,158 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 3,029 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 2,134 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,607 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,923 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,489 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 8,408 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,576 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 4,157 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,418 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,455 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 3,170 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,734 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 1,049 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 2,224 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,775 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,906 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 4,244 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 9,099 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 4,218 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,574 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,877 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,983 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 3,381 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 3,257 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,840 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 3,335 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,589 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,698 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on January 23, 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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