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REPORT: Scientology loses captain of its Florida ‘spiritual mecca,’ a fundraising marvel

A couple of our best sources reached out to us this week to let us know they’ve heard something interesting that is coming out of Scientology’s “spiritual mecca,” the Flag Land Base in Clearwater, Florida.

This is the place where Scientology leader David Miscavige has been seen most often recently (according to legal filings and Scientology’s own publications), but it’s also the financial engine for the Scientology empire.

Wealthy Scientologists from around the world know they can only get certain high-level processes and auditing at the Flag Land Base, and so they fly in for weeks at a time and spend boatloads of money there. Former executives tell us that the Flag Land Base takes in more money in a week than the rest of Scientology’s facilities around the world combined.

So you can imagine that one of the most important positions in the Scientology universe is the “Captain FSO,” the person who runs the Flag Service Organization, which runs the Flag Land Base.

Years ago, that person was Debbie Cook. And her leaving that position and then going out to her fellow church members with complaints about the leadership of Miscavige in 2012 was a watershed in Scientology history.


She was replaced as Captain FSO by a man named Harvey Jacques (pronounced “Jakes”), who has been in the position for the last decade. Our sources are now telling us, however, that he died in December October.

Like we said, this is a major position in Scientology, and the passing of the Captain FSO is a big deal in Scientology. But don’t expect the secretive organization to say anything publicly about this development, or a word about its esteem for someone who held such an important position for so long.

For our own part, we’re going to remember Harvey Jacques by recalling some rather astounding videos of the man in action that we posted at the Village Voice way back in 2011.

What a different world Scientology was then! It was still having major international events, and at those events large gatherings of Scientologists were being “regged” for huge amounts of money. In a couple of videos, Jacques is seen working a room of Taiwanese Scientologists who have come to Clearwater to see in the new year of 2011.

Here’s how we described the videos at the Voice…

Here’s what we know about the video: It was taken at a New Year’s Eve party just as 2011 was about to start. Some Taiwanese Scientologists are having their own celebration at “Flag,” Scientology’s name for the church’s spiritual headquarters complex in Clearwater, Florida.

Nearing midnight, in wanders Harvey Jacques, Captain FSO of Clearwater. Jacques is one of the highest-ranking executives for the complex, and as he explains to the people at the party he has crashed, he has a problem.

As the SP Times stories have been demonstrating, executives like Jacques are given huge quotas in fundraising. Here, in the video, Jacques is quite honest about it: He has been charged with singlehandedly raising $5 million for the International Association of Scientologists (IAS) in the last two weeks of 2010. Now, with minutes left in the year, he still has $8,000 to raise.

“I can’t find it!” he tells the room. “I looked through the door, and I thought, thank God for Taiwan!”

He then works the room, trying to get enough people to fork over the money.

Give these brief videos a watch, and keep this in mind: This is a “church” in action.



Thankfully, these videos are still posted to YouTube, because they show what Scientology really is all about: money.

Harvey Jacques knew that. And he probably also knew that also knew that despite his around-the-clock dedication, he would not get even a mention from the organization after he fell in the line of duty.


Technology Cocktail

“The mental image picture has taken its stand as the foremost discovery of Dianetics and Scientology. By the handling of the mental image picture concurrently with the handling of present time, it is possible not only to destimulate the bank in its entirety, but also to bring about a number of abilities by which the individual can recover data of the past much more easily than ever before. This, everyone who has had anything to do with Dianetics will understand, is extremely worthwhile.” — L. Ron Hubbard, 1957



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?

[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

— The first Danny Masterson trial and beyond

[18] Trial special with Chris Shelton [19] Trial week one [20] Marc Headley on the spy in the hallway [21] Trial week two [22] Trial week three [23] Trial week four [24] Leah Remini on LAPD Corruption [25] Mike Rinder 2022 Thanksgiving Special [26] Jane Doe 4 (Tricia Vessey), Part One [27] Jane Doe 4 (Tricia Vessey), Part Two [28] Claire Headley on the trial [29] Tory Christman [30] Bruce Hines on spying [31] Karen de la Carriere [32] Ron Miscavige on Shelly Miscavige [33] Karen de la Carriere on the L’s [34] Mark Bunker on Miscavige hiding [35] Mark Plummer [36] Mark Ebner


Source Code

“The reactive bank is a thing. It’s got sort of mushy looking electronic masses and it’s got pictures and locks and other things associated with this, it is a thing. Well, the physical universe and the remaining dynamics, of course, are themselves a thing. And that’s what we mean when we say our universe and the other fellow’s universe and everybody’s universe. There were three universes, if you can remember rightly. Well, that apparently is very true, there are apparently three universes, but we were speaking of the reactive bank as meaning one of those universes where, as a matter of fact, that’s a little bit of a curve in the line. It turns out that there was his universe, you know, his brick walls, and we’re not sure right now whether or not they’re his brick walls and everybody’s brick walls or only his brick walls, or exactly what’s the status of these brick walls, because we’re right up a bunch, right up against the ability to disintegrate matter, all these various phenomena that — a yogi has been known as a good yogi if he could, you know, something or other, if he could levitate, you know, you’ve heard all these tricks and nonsense pieces and that sort of thing. Kid game stuff. This is the level you’re looking at. You see?” — L. Ron Hubbard, February 23, 1965


Avast, Ye Mateys

“RECRUITS: We appreciate all the new recruits. You are very valuable to us. It permits older hands to move up. In your turn if you do a good job, you will also be moving up in your time. You are expected to do the job assigned well and raise its stats. You are expected to complete your AB, SS I, SS II and Mission School during your study time, which should be about 2.5 hours a day during one or another of your study periods.” — The Commodore, February 23, 1971



Overheard in the FreeZone

“According to L. Ron Hubbard, the Marcabians would have arrived to Earth in 1983. The first thing the Marcabians would have done is to take over the Church of Scientology. Captain Bill Robertson described later how this was done with the help of the Government of the United States of America.”


Past is Prologue

1998: John Travolta’s claim to have influenced U.S. President Clinton’s opinion on Sceintnology and Germany was the subject of NBC’s ‘Meet The Press’ televisions show. “RUSSERT: What this says, Mr. Berger, is that John Travolta, was seduced by the president, and has created a movie called ‘Primary Colors’ which in the words of ‘George’ magazine is a ‘celluloid valentine’ to the president, because you helped him out… on his pet cause of Scientology. BERGER: It sounds to me, Tim, like you’re getting, you’re getting, developing your own conspiracy theories here. The fact is there has been an issue about the treatment of Scientology, in a number of countries, Germany in particular. The State Department Human Rights report was critical of the Germans in terms of discrimination against Scientologists. I did meet with a delegation including Mr. Travolta to indicate that we would continue to discuss with the German government our belief that one should not be discriminated against on the basis purely of, of belief. And that’s the long and the short of it. RUSSERT: Did you or the president hope to influence Mr. Travolta, and make ‘Primary Colors’ more favorable to the president? BERGER: The only thing I was trying to get an autograph for my, one of my kids. But other than that I have no ulterior motive. RUSSERT: But isn’t it unusual for the national security advisor to brief an actor from Hollywood? BERGER: This is not just Mr. Travolta. This was a delegation of several people, I, half a dozen people who came in, and they have, and they have been on the Hill, they have been in the State Department, they wanted to, to, I didn’t ‘brief’ them, I explained to them that we would continue to discuss with the German government our general view, that human rights should not be violated.”


Random Howdy

“‘Ness is More.’ It’s Hubbard’s version of his favorite book ‘1984″ ‘Reduce the language down to its most base level and you can control what people think and it also separates them from the rest of society. Hubbard was already fairly knowledgeable about mind control techniques and hypnotism before he wrote Dianetics, so I don’t know why anyone would think his specific control techniques were by accident.”



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. Next pretrial hearing: Feb 16.
‘Lafayette Ronald Hubbard’ (a/k/a Justin Craig), aggravated assault, plus drug charges: Grand jury indictments include charges from an assault while in custody. Next pretrial hearing Feb 13.
Rizza Islam, Medi-Cal fraud: Trial scheduled for March 1 in Los Angeles
David Gentile, GPB Capital, fraud: Next status conference Feb 13.

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: March 15, 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.
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] Shekter: A trial by storm for Scientology’s most dedicated still resonates today
[TWO years ago] Gary Beeny, 1949-2020: Scientology figure in notorious takeover of anti-cult group
[THREE years ago] For once Scientology gives up on Ideal Org, settles for a fancy ‘mission’ instead
[FOUR years ago] Leah Remini pays for vexing Tom Cruise with Scientology’s ‘Truth Rundown’
[FIVE years ago] Laura DeCrescenzo fires back at Scientology’s desperate new federal court gambit
[SIX years ago] Scientology’s Celebrity Whisperer: An inside account of life in the fame-obsessed church
[SEVEN years ago] Scientology tried to suppress this video, and that’s why you’re seeing it here today
[EIGHT years ago] Scientology Australia spills its guts, and you can thank Bryan Seymour and Nick Xenophon
[NINE years ago] Five things to watch for in today’s first Scientology wedding in the UK
[TEN years ago] Scientology Mythbusting with Jon Atack: Fair Game!
[ELEVEN years ago] Scientology Demands the Right to Employ Slaves in Australia While Getting Puff Pieces in DC, Florida


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 2,949 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,454 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 3,004 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,994 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,885 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 5,189 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 3,060 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 2,165 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,642 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,954 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,520 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 8,439 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,607 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 4,188 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,449 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,486 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 3,201 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,765 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 1,080 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 2,255 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,806 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,937 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 4,275 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 9,130 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 4,249 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,605 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,908 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 3,014 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 3,412 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 3,288 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,871 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 3,366 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,620 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,729 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on February 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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