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Celebrity Sunday: A South American actress has us recalling David Miscavige getting a medal

We’re continuing our occasional look at Scientology’s Celebrity magazine, which appears to be a victim of the pandemic. And this week, we’re looking at an issue that featured Colombian actress Maria Lara in January 2018.

We know you’re reaction is likely to be, “Who?” Yes, this is something of a come down from familiar faces that came in the months before, like Erika Christensen and John Travolta. Even Jim Meskimen is at least recognizable.

But even if Lara is not a big star, she was a Freedom Medal winner (2014) and we find it very interesting that in 2018 Scientology was featuring a Colombian actress on the cover of Celebrity magazine who is the daughter of a retired Captain of the Colombian National Army.

Scientology leader David Miscavige has pushed hard in South America, and in particular in Colombia. (That was, however, before the pandemic slowed things down.) In 2015, he opened a new “Ideal Org” in Bogota, and then in 2018, a few months after this issue of Celebrity came out, an interesting political battle took place,


In June, Miscavige had himself pinned with a “transparency” medal by a retired Colombia National Army general. That kicked up a controversy in Colombia’s media, and then a couple of federal senators raised questions about why Scientology seemed so cozy with the country’s military. (Jeffrey Augustine subsequently dug into the relationship between Scientology and Colombia and found some fascinating things.)

So yeah, we haven’t heard of Maria Lara either. But it’s fun to remember how Scientology tried to infiltrate Colombia through its military.

Elsewhere in the issue, we were intrigued to see this fluffing of Beck Hansen’s dad, David Campbell. (Beck is reportedly estranged from his dad, which is why he took his mom’s last name.)



Composer, conductor and arranger David Campbell has an impressive list of recent collaborators, starting with none other than Pharrell Williams. The pair composed an orchestral score for Rules of the Game, a multi-disciplinary modern dance work created by contemporary artist Daniel Arsham and choreographer Jonah Bokaer. The International Festival of Alternative and New Theatre honored their collaboration with a prestigious award, “Particular Expressivity in the Border Areas between the Theatre and Other Arts.” David also composed an entire symphony set for the the B-52x, which they’ve performed in major cities across the US. And he composed the lush, haunting string arrangements on Pink Floyd co-founder Roger Waters’ latest album, Is This the Life We Really Want. The masterful work was praised by Rolling Stone magazine after Waters performed one of the new tracks on The Late Show.

Yes, kids, Judy Norton, Mary Ellen on the Waltons, is a big old Scientologist and has been for a very long time.


Each issue of Celebrity includes shout-outs to a number of lesser figures we haven’t heard of, but we thought some of you might have heard of this Sullivan King person (a/k/a Keaton Prescott).



Hey, you college kids might get a chance to catch Evan on a tour…


And we’re including this write-up because it struck us as such a prototype for one of Scientology’s most long-running come ons: The “acting classes” gambit for wannabe Hollywood types.


And finally, we wanted to point out that each issue included an item about a famous person who stayed or lived at that Manor Hotel, which was the incarnation of the building before it became the Hollywood Celebrity Centre. In this case, it was Ed Sullivan. See, kids, Scientology is so cool, even the Beatles show up in its magazines!




Technology Cocktail

“When the pc exteriorizes for the first time he feels there must be a cause for rejoicing and has the idea he has gotten somewhere. Well, in fact you could achieve the same result by hitting him over the head with a club. He would exteriorize. The point is not exteriorizing the pc but cutting down his dependency upon a body.” — 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 [41] Louise Shekter [42] John Sweeney


Source Code

“One of the prime principles you must know about any universe to keep it in a good, messy, chaotic, solid, disordered form is to take no responsibility for ever having created it. Say, ‘God did it,’ you’ve practically got it made! And the more you say, ‘God did it,’ the more solid the universe is going to get — if you made it up. Get the idea? Listen, if God made it and that was the true ownership of it, it would disappear! Because that’s assignment of proper ownership; that’s taking a full responsibility for it. That’s understanding exactly what its source was. And it would disappear, just like that.” — L. Ron Hubbard, April 9, 1959


Avast, Ye Mateys

“When you view how far flung the SO is and how much it’s doing, I doubt there’s a group on the planet that could begin to equal it. Now in the wog world, there’s nothing but sunshine, chicken and ice cream. And H bombs and stupidity and snobs and aberration and the draft and droughts and inflation… Did you ever hear of troops fighting a comfortable war? I haven’t.” — The Commodore, April 9, 1969


Overheard in the FreeZone

“If we look into the current new age mass awakening we are experiencing, former Scientologists certainly have played a major part. Among top conspiracy theorists Scios are up there and have helped awaken us. Some exteriorise out the top of Scientology and bring about a new world. Others get trapped, and although it might seem mean some of these people are naughty boys which need timeout on the naughty chair forever. Hubbard believed in Crowleyism, so this might have been one of his operating principles in life and it does make sense.”



Past is Prologue

2001: La Prensa reported that Scientology’s ship, the Freewinds, may be inspected for dangerous asbestos levels. “People of the Shipping Inspection expect problems in seriously dealing with the ‘Freewinds’. All buildings and ships built before 1970 were built with asbestos. All plates/panels on roofs are made of dangerous asbestos. According to a functionary of the Shipping Inspection, this is a material which provides good protection from fire. ‘Why should we begin refusing ‘Freewinds,’ when we know that all ships built before 1970 were fitted with that material? Then we would have to refuse the majority of ships,’ according to the statement. Richardson emphasizes that blue asbestos is not dangerous, as long as one does not come into contact with it. ‘We understand that the asbestos on board is in hard, and not powder, form. We will soon inspect the ‘Freewinds.’ We will do this together with Shipping Inspection and the Port Safety Inspection, since these are the the nautical authorities in this case,’ according to Richardson’s statement.”


Random Howdy

“So Miscavige quit doing processing right around the same time he assumed power? Sounds like he read OT 3, realized it was rubbish and went for the gold instead. That’s pretty much what I’ve always assumed.”


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] When you’re a child in Scientology’s Sea Org, the stress is meant to overwhelm you
[TWO years ago] Aussie journo Ben Schneiders helps us grasp the fuss he’s kicked up about Scientology
[THREE years ago] Bobette Riales’ house burned? Scientology: ‘Can’t sue us. Didn’t happen in California.’
[FOUR years ago] Scientology policy is to investigate rape victims seeking help, 1963 document reveals
[FIVE years ago] Our prayers are answered — Freedom magazine is coming to Scientology television!
[SIX years ago] Scientology spends millions on its shiny new buildings, but its workers have to beg for food
[SEVEN years ago] Scientology buys ‘.org’ and ‘.net’ sites to battle anti-disconnection billboard in Los Angeles
[EIGHT years ago] Read the police report on the spies who kept tabs on the father of Scientology’s leader
[NINE years ago] Appeals court: Would deposing Scientology’s leader violate Texas law?
[TEN years ago] How Scientology’s ‘Study Tech’ Turns Schoolwork Into Conditioning


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 2,994 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,499 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 3,049 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 2,039 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,930 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 5,234 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 3,105 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 2,210 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,687 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,999 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,565 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 8,484 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,652 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 4,233 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,494 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,530 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 3,246 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,810 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 1,125 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 2,300 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,851 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,982 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 4,320 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 9,175 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 4,294 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,650 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,953 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 3,059 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 3,457 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 3,333 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,916 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 3,411 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,665 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,774 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on April 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, 1995-2022 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


Tony Ortega at Rolling Stone


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