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Scientology documentary resurfaces, and it leads to a foreign exchange program!

[Rod Keller and Stacy Young, 1998]

We recently heard from Peter Reichelt, an Austrian journalist, and what an interesting name from Scientology journalism’s past.

In 1997, Peter wrote a book about artist Gottfried Helnwein (known mainly to American consumers for some of his images being used for iconic rock album covers), and confirming Helnwein’s deep involvement in Scientology. (Reichelt had worked as an advisor to Helnwein at one time.)

We found Peter’s book very helpful when, for example, we wrote a story for the Voice in 2011 about Melissa Paris, a Sea Org worker who had been, she said, forced to marry Helnwein’s son when she was only 16.

Peter reached out to us for some help tracking down some new information, and while he’s thinking about Scientology again he has been releasing some really interesting video footage to YouTube, including a dynamite 1998 documentary he made for German television that features Jesse Prince and Gerry Armstrong, as well as some pretty infamous aerial footage of Scientology’s secretive Gold Base, which had not really been exposed to that level before.

We noticed some oldtimers at Facebook really marveling at seeing the pristine copy of the documentary that Peter uploaded. And we think you’ll find various parts of it really interesting.



While Peter was looking for a little help on something, we told him we could also use a little help.

There have been some reports, we told him, that the Scientology Celebrity Centre in Munich had closed down. And we were wondering what that looked like, and if he could put us in touch with a journalist in Munich. He did us one better and went there himself to take a look. He sent us these images…


Peter says that the Celebrity Centre has been replaced by something called “Regium.”

“As I arrived I was asked by the concierge what I was looking for. I asked her about what happened to the Celebrity Centre. She told me that the Scientology CC moved out and closed on September 30. She knew them for years and they told her the reason of closing was lack of celebrities. She showed me the former office. On January 1 a new company moved into the renovated rooms, named ‘Regium.’ They did not know that a Scientology branch had be in those rooms for many years. They have nothing to do with Scientology.”

At his blog, Mike Rinder totaled up seven Celebrity Centres that have either closed or been combined with other orgs under David Miscavige.


“Miscavige has effectively destroyed the ‘CC Network’ much as he has done with the Mission Network….Scientology is shrinking at a faster rate than at any time in its history,” Mike says.

What a legacy, Dave.

And our thanks to Peter!


Technology Cocktail

“Our campaign is to sell Scientology. If we sell it well, psychiatry and psychology will collapse.” — 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 [37] Karen Pressley [38] Steve Cannane


Source Code

“I blew up a whole writing class one time. It’s a wonder they all didn’t leave school. Actually, they relegated it to sort of getting the professor to reprimand me. It was the short story class of Harvard — excuse me, ‘Hah-varrd.’ They made the mistake of having a series of lectures from successful writers. And each one of these gave them a short series of lectures. And all of these people were in a class called Creative Writing. And they were very nicely dressed children. And so my lectures were very well received, and so forth, right up to a point….Because what I told the class that caused them to completely blow up was, I said, ‘Well,’ I said, ‘when you’ve written a few hundred thousand words, why, then you’ve got a style. And it’s taken me about I think, about a hundred thousand words before I had any inkling of any kind of a style.’ And I suddenly noticed, I looked around, I had a class in front of me that was in a state of shock!…It had never occurred to those damned fools or that professor that writers write! And this had nothing whatsoever to do with their education. I know that’s an unbelievable experience. It left me in a state of shock. ‘Well, Hubbard’s an awful bad fellow.’ Never forgave me. I was probably used as a horrible example in that school for years.” — L. Ron Hubbard, March 9, 1965


Avast, Ye Mateys

“AOUK is the highest GI since September 1969! The International GI is the highest since 5 May 1969! Yet several orgs GIs were missing on it due to telex delays! So the FB and production of FAO are showing up where it counts. This is the direct result of renewed Flag industriousness, the teams we are sending out and the on the ground hard work of willing staffs. All have a part in producing such wins, storesmen, engineers, the whole crew.” — The Commodore, March 9, 1971



Overheard in the FreeZone

“There are suppressive people in our groups and we are reasonable with them. We allow them to third party good auditors, we allow them to pervert the tech. We allow too much and thus, like a cancer, it spreads, and it taints the very hard work we do to make things go right for us and for the rest of us. Consider that your average SP is dangerous enough. Now, you add Scientology into the mix and you have a much more powerful monster. We have monsters among us. I’m sorry if that’s too critical, too bitchy, too reactive for you to have. We have monsters posing as friends, 1.1ing us all the way until our eventual demise. Confronting evil is necessary. In my opinion it is one of, if not the most ethical thing(s) to do.”


Past is Prologue

1998: Graham Berry announced that he has formed a new law firm to continue his practice and his cases against Scientology. “Since late 1991, I have been engaged almost continuously in the handling of numerous large cases filed by the Scientology organization. During those seven years, various major insurance carriers have invested nearly $5 million in developing my experience, skills and education in matters involving cults, coercive indoctrination and psycho-terror groups. I have decided to establish my own law firm to aggressively handle demanding and dangerous litigation. The Law Offices of Graham E. Berry, at least initially, will be a general litigation boutique available to handle last-minute trials and emphasizing matters involving cults, coercive indoctrination, psycho-terror groups and other dangerous and difficult opponents.”


Random Howdy

“Hey, a free trip to America and free rice and beans probably sounds pretty good to a fairly large segment of the world’s population.”



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] Scientology and Ukraine: While some back Putin, Volunteer Ministers see an opportunity
[TWO years ago] Civil case on ice (for now), and will Danny Masterson show for next criminal hearing?
[THREE years ago] Scientology attempts to clean up its balloon mess by clearing beach of syringes
[FOUR years ago] William Burroughs at Scientology’s ‘Saint Hill Manor’ in 1968, before his discontent
[FIVE years ago] Scientologists bombarded to attend Hubbard birthday events, and this is our favorite flier
[SIX years ago] As Louis Theroux’s ‘My Scientology Movie’ hits U.S., troubling news of co-star Marty Rathbun
[SEVEN years ago] Scientology ‘disconnection’ billboard to be a block from David Miscavige’s office & residence
[EIGHT years ago] Scientology documentary ‘Going Clear’ participants getting harassed, threatened
[NINE years ago] Video Vault: When Scientology basked in the success of giant cucumbers
[TEN years ago] Scientology Mythbusting with Jon Atack: Xenu the Galactic Overlord, Part 1!
[ELEVEN years ago] Scientology: Told to Chill in Texas, and Another Embarrassing Admission in Israel


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 2,963 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,468 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 3,018 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 2,008 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,899 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 5,203 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 3,074 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 2,179 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,656 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,968 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,534 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 8,453 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,621 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 4,202 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,463 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,499 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 3,215 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,779 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 1,094 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 2,269 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,820 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,951 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 4,289 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 9,144 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 4,263 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,619 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,922 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 3,028 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 3,426 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 3,302 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,885 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 3,380 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,634 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,743 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on March 9, 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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