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PODCAST: Louise Shekter compares working closely with both Hubbard and Miscavige

[Louise on her first day at the Apollo, in 1969]

Louise Shekter has written some dynamite pieces for us at the Underground Bunker. She not only was in some amazing places to witness Scientology history during her tenure (1969-2000), but she’s a terrific writer of evocative prose.

We thought it was time to bring her on the podcast, and we told her we had a special subject in mind. Louise is a member of a pretty select club: She worked closely, for years, with both Scientology’s founder, L. Ron Hubbard, and the man who succeeded him, David Miscavige.

On the yacht Apollo, she was one of Hubbard’s longest-serving personal aides. For Miscavige at Gold Base, she was a film director. She saw both men up close, and worked with them on major projects. How many people today who have left Scientology can say the same thing, we thought.

We asked her to compare her experiences with these two ultimate leaders of Scientology, and we hope you find her answers as fascinating as we did.

Listen to the podcast at this link.



Technology Cocktail

“Man’s inhumanity to Man is gaining monuments daily. The time to bring a chaos under control is before it is well begun. We’re slightly late as it is. Brutally, there is no other organization on Earth that can slow these down. Factually there is no other know-how on Earth that can plumb the problems of Man. So if we don’t want all of us to be sitting amongst the charred embers, we had better get busy.” — 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 [40] Clarissa Adams


Source Code

“The possession of an object is necessary to its handling and control. The ability to have something is necessary to its nullification. In other words, if you want to take the danger out of something, you’d better be able to have it. Don’t try to stretch away and run away to the other end of Earth because some machine is going whirr-clang. Because there’s a guillotine somewhere that is going whirr-clang is no reason that you have to go to south Borneo. It might be if you’re trying to play the game of preserve the body, preserve the body, preserve the body, to take the body there. But I assure you, that if you run away from a guillotine, the next time you get beheaded it’ll hurt like hell. But if you didn’t run away from the guillotine there’s a distinct possibility that the guillotine wouldn’t clang. If it did it wouldn’t hurt. First, if it did clang it wouldn’t hurt, or it wouldn’t even drop, or it would disappear, or you probably have the ability to simply mock up a body someplace else. In other words, you could vanish if you could be there. But not if you ran away.” — L. Ron Hubbard, March 25, 1957


Avast, Ye Mateys

“WEDDING: The Wedding of Diana Hubbard and Jon Horwich went off beautifully. The reception at the hotel was extremely nice. They will go on a honeymoon to the states on April 15. It is planned to have a second ceremony at Jon Horwich’s home. PARTY: There will be a party with the same band aboard on the evening of 3 April for those who did not attend the reception yesterday evening.” — The Commodore, March 25, 1971


Overheard in the FreeZone


“Scientology was created for the most part by one person, and it’s the first technology of its kind and only one to truly make people’s lives better. Any other form of therapy or knowledge is limited in its application whereas Scientology has few limits. When one tries to accept changes to the tech, we’re dealing then with other people’s realities and cases dependent on where they are on the Tone Scale and how much training they themselves have had. LRH spent thirty years developing, trying, and testing Scientology. It is a study of the human mind. Altering it means changing that which works to that which MIGHT work. It’s not practical when we have the answers in front of us.”


Past is Prologue

2000: Mrshowbiz published an interview with Scientology celebrity Jenna Elfman this week. “My husband has been a Scientologist for years, and I kept hearing him talk about Dianetics. And I said, ‘What is Dianetics?’ So he gave me the book. And he said there’s a course you can take and you just have to read parts of it. And then one day I ran into a situation that made me like, frazzled. I was spending the night at my now-husband, boyfriend-at-the-time’s house. I was so used to the alarm that it didn’t wake me up, and I woke up an hour and a half after I was supposed to be there. I got in the car and I was all frazzled and starting to cry and was rushed, and I couldn’t think. Then I went, Wait a minute — that’s purely reactive and insane. Look, you’re in the car, you can’t get there any faster. So just turn the music on, enjoy. And I went da-da-da, da-da-da and got a lot more analytical about the situation. When I got there, I said, ‘I’m very sorry I’m late. The alarm didn’t wake me up.’ And they said, ‘That’s fine. We’re not going to get to you for another few hours.’ Like, wow! I went, This is great. It’s just very simple: Scientology helps me live my life better.”


Random Howdy

“You know, I actually try not to swear on here. And If I’m in mixed company I try to do the same. Even though I’m an old punk I do have fairly good manners, and I have the scars from my mother’s fingernails digging into the fleshy part of my arm when I didn’t to prove it.”


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] Danny Masterson accusers to CA Supremes: Stop Scientology from harming Valerie Haney!
[TWO years ago] Another records request from Scientology shows how Mark Bunker drives them nuts
[THREE years ago] The million-dollar donors keeping Scientology flush, New Year’s 2020 edition
[FOUR years ago] Scientology, naturally, is trying to capitalize on the New Zealand mosque massacre
[FIVE years ago] The Ideal Org grift isn’t complete until Scientology’s ‘Birthday Game’ is won
[SIX years ago] ‘God of Pop’ Kuba Ka on meeting Scientology’s David Miscavige: ‘Like an emperor or the Pope’
[SEVEN years ago] Attorney for Scientology’s drug rehab centers threatens lawyer running anti-Narconon website
[EIGHT years ago] ‘Going Clear’: Marty Rathbun on what he was thinking during his key moment in Gibney’s film
[NINE years ago] Lawyer Vance Woodward sues Scientology over his time in the church — here’s the complaint
[TEN years ago] A SMERSH Madness Update: Time for the Bracket Finals to Begin!
[ELEVEN years ago] Scientology Sunday Funnies: RON the Encyclopedia — THE VIDEO!


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 2,979 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,484 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 3,034 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 2,024 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,915 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 5,219 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 3,090 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 2,195 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,672 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,984 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,550 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 8,469 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,637 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 4,218 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,479 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,515 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 3,231 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,795 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 1,110 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 2,285 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,836 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,967 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 4,305 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 9,160 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 4,279 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,635 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,938 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 3,044 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 3,442 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 3,318 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,901 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 3,396 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,650 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,759 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on March 25, 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, 1995-2022 Just starting out here? We’ve picked out the most important stories we’ve covered here at the Underground Bunker (2012-2022), 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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