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Mark Bunker: Scientology going nuts over upcoming Tampa Bay Times report

[Bunker helpfully identifies Scientology mouthpiece Ben Shaw]

Late last night we heard from Mark Bunker, who wanted us to know about some comments he had made at last night’s Clearwater, Florida city council meeting.

To help explain his comments, he wanted us to know that Tracey McManus is apparently about to unload another whopper of a story at the Tampa Bay Times, and Scientology is freaking out about it.

So much so, local Scientology spokesman Ben Shaw sent a couple of letters to McManus and copied them to Clearwater’s mayor and other officials, making them public documents.

Bunker sent along the second of these two letters, and yes, you really have to see it in its entirety to get the full flavor of it.

We can’t wait to see what Tracey has in the works, but in the meantime, savor this freakout from Scientology about its supposedly grassroots propaganda operation, the STAND League, which we have multiple times in the past proved has operated social media accounts with bogus names and stock photos.


Here’s the letter in its entirety…


So, to summarize, a city official noted that Clearwater had been tagged in tweets by something called Hate Monitor.

Tampa Bay Times reporter Tracey McManus helpfully explained to that city official that Hate Monitor is operated by Stand League, a propaganda effort of the Church of Scientology.

To give you some idea of the kind of thing that Scientology is constantly putting out supposedly from this grassroots group, here are a couple of items that represent the repeated attacks it makes on Leah Remini and Tracey McManus…


And here are Bunker’s comments about this at last night’s city council meeting…




Technology Cocktail

“I have lectured on writing to Harvard university students many times, and they have asked me how one develops style. Personally, as far as style was concerned, all one had to do was express what he wanted to say and that was style. It is no more complicated than this and sometimes, just for gags, why, write in the valence of Shakespeare or other literary figure. I have said to these students, ‘Style — well, I can tell you how you would find out whether you had a style or not, or how to develop one. Just sit down and write a hundred thousand words.’ The class fainted.” — 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

“With governments leaning all over Scientology and looking down our throats, for instance, the probability — Mary Sue was always curious. She always said, ‘The government wants something out of Scientology.’ She’s always saying this. ‘The government wants something. There’s some reason for this.’ And we finally found it. They want the E-Meter for front-line combat troops. I thought that was very interesting. Yeah, it’s pretty crazy, isn’t it? Typical. You see, they get so much infiltration — this is serious — they get so much infiltration in modern warfare of the type that is being fought, that they can’t tell friend from foe. So they’re going to equip front-line combat troops with portable lie detectors. And, of course, there’s only one portable lie detector in the world, the E-Meter. I knowed something was getting those chilluns, you see? But apparently they have some kind of an interest in it. And you would — a thief or a criminal never can ask you for something. They’ve got to steal it. And I wasn’t saying all the governments are thieves or criminals. Don’t get me wrong. I think there’s one or two that aren’t. I know this is about the wildest curve you ever heard of and it’s completely unbelievable. You can see a soldier walking around carrying an E-Meter. Before he shoots the guy, you see, he puts the electrodes in his hands, you know? Bunch of psychotics. I know, it doesn’t sound right. But it sounds just exactly what a government would do.” — L. Ron Hubbard, March 17, 1964


Avast, Ye Mateys

“Norman Starkey is welcomed to the post of Deputy CS-2. Student riots are really tearing the ground up. The Office in the Capitol is now acting to help the government. Things are cool on lines. ASHO is down again, measures are being taken. London has some out Ethics. DK needed help — they had 3 minor blows and a stat drop for 2 weeks — and are getting it. Their stats are now up again.” — The Commodore, March 17, 1970



Overheard in the FreeZone

“Genocide on a galactic magnitude does not work. Look what happened after a galactic ruler attempted that on us. The solution for these hivemind Gray ETs is auditing, not genocide. The problem is that there are good Grays and bad Grays. They come from Andromeda. They are minions of the reptilians, but I see the lizards from Buckingham Palace very alive and kicking. That without mentioning that they seem to RULE THE WORLD including the USA. Also, remember that LRH said the future civilization for Earth is a Galactic Confederacy type of society described in the taped lecture ‘The Free Being.’ In it the society includes all kinds of beings, from OTs, limited OTs, Doll Bodies, Meat Bodies and in the meat body bracket comes the Gray ETs and their ant hills. It is probably not well known that, according to Bill Robertson, the government of this Galaxy met with the good Grays from the government of Andromeda to reach an agreement.”


Past is Prologue

1999: The St. Petersburg Times reported that the judge in the Lisa McPherson civil case has ruled that the McPherson estate have access to Lisa’s auditing folders. “Two boxes of notes jotted in a unique shorthand sit in the office of a Tampa judge while the Church of Scientology fights another legal battle for what it says are its religious rights. The notes were written by Scientology ‘auditors’ who ‘counseled’ Scientologist Lisa McPherson in 1995, the year she died after a 17-day stay at a church retreat in Clearwater. On Monday, Hillsborough Circuit Judge James S. Moody Jr. rejected for a third time Scientology’s attempts to keep those records private. But the church, fielding a battery of seven lawyers, said it would immediately appeal. It contends the records of McPherson, like those kept on all Scientologists, are as private as disclosures in a Catholic confessional. Scientology indicated it would appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court if necessary. Releasing the records, the church’s lawyers said, would undermine the ironclad promise of privacy in an auditing session, the core practice of Scientology in which parishioners are said to purge psychological and physical problems. McPherson’s auditing records are sought by Tampa lawyer Ken Dandar, who represents McPherson’s family in a wrongful-death lawsuit against the church. Dandar says the records could help prove his contention that McPherson wanted to leave Scientology and was held captive. Church lawyers reject that theory and say Dandar has many other ways to try to prove his case.”


Random Howdy

“Capt. Howdy swears by some Dr Pepper and Jim Beam Black at the end of another lackadaisical day.”


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] This is what it’s like to become a super being at Scientology’s Florida ‘mecca’
[TWO years ago] ‘Cult City’ Ted takes a body blow from the Tampa Bay Times, but says it won’t slow him down
[THREE years ago] Clearwater takes a stand against Scientology: MARK BUNKER WINS!
[FOUR years ago] Scientology pitches a fit about sensible mental health reform in wake of Parkland shooting
[FIVE years ago] Scientology’s L. Ron Hubbard considered James Bond’s nemesis SMERSH his biggest enemy
[SIX years ago] A HowdyCon 2017 announcement: Special guests and performances!
[SEVEN years ago] Scientology’s ‘personality test’ taken apart like never before, and by a former member
[EIGHT years ago] More proof that Scientology used the ‘R2-45’ method to intimidate enemies
[NINE years ago] Here are the wealthy people keeping Scientology alive
[TEN years ago] ABC finally takes on Scientology…with General Hospital
[ELEVEN years ago] Why Irish (Ex-Scientologist) Eyes are Smiling


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 2,971 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,476 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 3,026 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 2,016 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,907 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 5,211 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 3,082 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 2,187 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,664 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,976 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,542 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 8,461 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,629 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 4,210 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,471 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,507 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 3,223 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,787 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 1,102 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 2,277 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,828 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,959 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 4,297 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 9,152 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 4,271 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,627 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,930 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 3,036 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 3,434 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 3,310 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,893 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 3,388 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,642 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,751 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on March 17, 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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