Daily Notifications
Sign up for free emails to receive the feature story every morning in your inbox at


Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard’s 112th birthday: What’s your favorite tall tale of his?

One hundred and twelve years ago today, on March 13, 1911, the Great Thetan, the Commodore, Source, LRH, the Great OT, yes L. Ron Hubbard himself, was born in Tilden, Nebraska.

Now, normally the organization he left behind, the Church of Scientology, would have its annual international event at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater, Florida, and a couple of thousand devotees would be treated to tall tales about Hubbard as “Mankind’s Best Friend,” featuring astounding stories of his exploits over his lifetime, which lasted until 1986.

But alas, since the pandemic hit, Scientology has pared back its yearly events and we don’t even know if they are putting on the same sorts of elaborate shindigs, which featured Hubbard’s official biographer, the late Dan Sherman, mixing research with pure fantasy to puff up Ron’s resume.

However, if Scientology is hurting these days, we are prepared to leap into the breach. We are bringing you a tall tale told by Hubbard himself which was featured by Dan at the 2012 LRH Birthday event.


It’s a whopper, and features Hubbard claiming that he and his pal Johny Arwine kept America’s nuclear physicists from banding together to use A-bombs to overthrow the US government late in 1945. Oh, that Ron. This is great stuff. Here’s the transcript.

Right at the end of World War II, a chap by the name of Johny Arwine, lieutenant commander of the Coast Guard and myself went to the California Institute of Technology, Caltech, to meet with a great many old-time atomic physicists who had been at the projects that dropped the original bomb, the people from Los Alamogordos. And it was our intention to organize these people so that some sort of sensible control could be monitored across the bomb. We were still in uniform when we went down to Caltech and we got these atomic physicists together. We said, “We’re going to have a meeting.” And they remembered us and they were very happy to talk to us. And the next thing you know, we did. We had a very vast number of atomic physicists there and I took the chair and Arwine addressed them. And we spoke of using a propaganda weapon against anyone who would use atomic fission further against the human race, of using any means we had to educate the people in the world concerning this. And the nuclear physicist was already so mad, he was already so furious, that Arwine and I could not control that meeting, even vaguely. We could keep them in their place. We could tell the next fellow to talk. But we — we couldn’t get across any thought to them that was rationally workable. And these men said only one thing — “We wish to overthrow the government of the United States by force.” Now that is an astonishing little chapter in the field of nuclear physics that only a few of us know about. There was a revolt. And later on you saw offices in the United States being opened to propagandize the public and a movement led by Albert Einstein. And that was the outgrowth of that meeting. But all Arwine and I could manage to do at that meeting was say, “Guys, please! You people are talking in terms of mutiny, revolution.” And the only answer we’d get to it was, “We’ll develop a bomb so that every atomic physicist can have one and nobody can arrest him and we’ll put this government in its place.” These fellows were mad. We withdrew our support and did what we could to knock the rough edge off the movement. We said we could not associate our names with this organization. And it all fell to nothing. But the atomic physicist did try. That was his push. It took place late in the year of 1945 in the United States. The punishment taken against him was severe.

Three years after that slick video was produced by Scientology for the 2012 event, with the help of Lawrence Wright’s researcher Lauren Wolf we pieced together the actual history of the “physicists’ revolt” that Hubbard mangled. Of course, Hubbard had created pure fantasy from some things that had actually happened (but which didn’t actually involve him.)

Hey, but that’s Ron. And we’re thinking of him on this day, wherever he is.

We’d love to hear from you: What’s your favorite of Ron’s many whoppers?


Technology Cocktail

“It is not the place of the Director of Training or an Instructor to defend the organization, LRH, or the past track of Dianetics and Scientology. Any new subject combating vested interests develops some randomity. Rather than defend against critical attacks by students it is much more productive to look over the student’s case with an eye to sending him to the Registrar.” — 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 [39] Fredrick Brennan


Source Code

“NEW DEVELOPMENTS: Quad Dianetics, Quad Power, Quad R6EW are all going like a bomb. Four Times the result! Opens the door to Quad Grades. Really gives a booster shot. It is the result of taking a discovery in upper level tech and applying it to the lower levels. OUR HGC: Our Flag Auditors are going truly great. The new line works very well. UPSTAT UNITS: The FB (excepting in Action which is in Danger due to necessary by-pass) is doing very well. Including Mimeo. The E/R FSO is great. The HU is doing well. HCI FAO is doing its job well. Qual FAO is picking up. Reg Dept FAO is doing Reg. Income Dept FAO is doing great. Ship’s Rep FSO is doing very well. Other divisions are cordially invited to join this upstat parade by getting organized and into full production.” — L. Ron Hubbard, March 13, 1971



Avast, Ye Mateys

“We, the Officers and crew of the Apollo, Athena, AO Greece, SH Greece, Nkambi and Diana wish you a very happy birthday. Each and every one of us consider it a great honor to serve under you and we vow to honour the trust you have placed in us by backing you up and in every way and fully wearing our hats. You have personally helped each and every one of us to be strong and we will grow stronger and stronger as the days go by. We acknowledge you as the source of Power in Scientology and on this planet and in this Universe. We will do everything we can to ease your burden, to defend you, to give you more ease and provide active contribution to the achievement of our targets. You have, without reservation, our unlimited devotion and loyalty.” — Deputy Captain, Officers and Crew of Apollo; Captain, Officers and Crew AO/SH Greece; Captain, Nkambi; Captain, Officers and Crew of “Diana”; Captain, Officers and Crew of “Athena,” March 13, 1969


Overheard in the FreeZone

“The Independent field is still spending far more time on its own circular comm cycles and infighting that we’ve totally lost the point of why we’re all here. The actual VFP — spiritual freedom for ourselves and others — has just been almost dismissed as an irrelevance. Why can’t we swallow that gnat of our respective games conditions, which frankly are circular and pointless games of chasing overts and motivators, and look at the war zone that surrounds us and just do what we can? How could individuals ever think that there’s anything to be gained in the long term from a narrow-minded 1D introverted view, when ultimately it is themselves they are destroying? I have lurked in the shadows of the Independent field for perhaps a decade and a half now, not really wanting to stick my head too far up the parapet having witnessed the ongoing bizarreness. I think now more than ever, people desperately need our help. We’ve got so much suffering and so much misery that we need to get busy, even if we have disagreements. We need to stop being stuck in Be and start doing a bit of Do and Have. We are clear to the touchline to make a fundamental and unique difference to the planet right now and there are literally no actual barriers stopping us from doing so other than those which we’ve mocked up for ourselves.”


Past is Prologue

2002: Rob Clark reported this week that a Scientologist’s personal web page described a Danish day care center as Scientology-related, contrary to descriptions last week by Scientology officials. “‘My name is Virginia Lindskog, I am 27 years old and live in Copenhagen, Denmark. I am a mother of two small children, Nicklas who is 2 years old and Patrick who is 4 years old. I have just opened a kindergarten and nursery for Scientology families. We are 11 children and 3 adults as well as 2 volunteers (children range from 1 to 5 years old). We are planning to move to a bigger and better quarters to be as soon as we find them. My whole purpose right now is to expand Lillekilde (our kindergarten) so there is place for all the children who want to come in and make it a safe and happy environment for all children to be in.’ The cultists have changed the page. Now it no longer mentions the kindergarten by name.”


Random Howdy

“So they regulate brothels in Nevada but not drug rehabs?”



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] It’s Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard’s eleventy-first birthday! And we have guests!
[TWO years ago] L. Ron Hubbard is 110 years old, and Scientology is ready for its close-up!
[THREE years ago] For Scientology on L. Ron Hubbard’s birthday: A sworn declaration from Mike Rinder!
[FOUR years ago] Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard is celebrating another birthday, and it’s a party!
[FIVE years ago] Scientology TV kicks off with Miscavige monologue, settles into familiar propaganda
[SIX years ago] Danny Masterson turns 41 today, and we have a gift from his cast and crew at ‘The Ranch’
[SEVEN years ago] John Travolta and his ancient galactic friends celebrate Scientology’s holiest day of year
[NINE years ago] ‘BARE-FACED MESSIAH’ back in print: Our interview with author Russell Miller
[TEN years ago] What Could L. Ron Hubbard Use on His 102nd Birthday? How About a Little SUPER POWER!
[ELEVEN years ago] Happy Birthday, L. Ron Hubbard! Here’s Our Surprise Gift For Scientology’s Founder


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 2,967 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,472 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 3,022 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 2,012 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,903 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 5,207 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 3,078 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 2,183 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,660 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,972 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,538 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 8,457 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,625 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 4,206 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,467 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,503 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 3,219 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,783 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 1,098 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 2,273 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,824 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,955 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 4,293 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 9,148 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 4,267 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,623 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,926 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 3,032 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 3,430 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 3,306 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,889 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 3,384 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,638 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,747 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on March 13, 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


Share Button
Print Friendly, PDF & Email