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Group Therapy, Ep. 16: The full gang is back, with an episode for everyone!

With the Danny Masterson retrial starting tomorrow, we’re shifting gears and preparing for some hard work in the weeks ahead.

So, in that spirit we thought we’d let the larger community in on something our subscribers have known about for a few months now: On Sundays, they receive a copy of our special podcast series we call “Group Therapy.”

Each week, some of our longtime Underground Bunker favorites get together to discuss the Scientology news of the week, and we have a lot of fun doing so.

This week, we’d like the rest of you to listen in and get a sense for what fun we have.


If you enjoy the episode, please consider joining our list of paid subscribers. You’d not only help support the work we do here, day in and day out, but you’ll also get access to the special podcast series we’ve been doing with Sunny Pereira, “Up the Bridge.” (Go here for a sample episode we recently made available for everyone.)

Listen to the Group Therapy podcast here.

— Your Proprietor


Technology Cocktail

“Testing is a very old subject…Here, for example, is a test I heard about, from the 18th Century down in Georgia. It was a guilt test. Somebody had stolen something, so they would have all
the negroes on the plantation line up and put a rooster underneath a big black kettle. This was a witch rooster or something of the sort. And they would say, “The man who stole it, when he touches the black kettle will make the rooster crow.” All the negroes on the plantation would go by the kettle and then the overseer merely had to go by and look at their hands. The negro who didn’t have any soot on his hands was, of course, guilty. All tests, however, have had an end goal, and they of modern times are more or less as covert as this rooster under the black kettle.” — L. Ron Hubbard, 1958



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

“There is a civilization a few galaxies over here that, it’s got spaceships and backpacks and infantry zerp guns, and it’s got this, and it’s got certain types of motorcycles, and it’s got that, and so forth. Probably a lot of you are from there because every time it loses a battle they ship the people over here — the enemy does. They know how to get even. So anyway, this old civilization is just about the meanest area to try to put an idea into it you ever had. You see, they worked it out for years and eons and eons. Been going for billions and trillions and trillions of years with an uninterrupted flow, which is pretty unusual in civilizations anyhow, see, and is on a complete, perfect no-Change. And you say, ‘We got an idea for spaceships.’ Their spaceships aren’t all that good. They’re as good as spaceships can be, but you could undoubtedly make a better spaceship, you see. But they blow up on occasion and they do this on occasion, they do that on occasion. They mess up one way or the other. And yet to try to get any idea across to them fills the hierarchy of that particular activity with absolute horror. Because they’ve lived with and through all of the areas of innovation, and innovation to them is dangerous on a departure from the highly workable.” — L. Ron Hubbard, April 16, 1964


Avast, Ye Mateys


“Division III where has the packaged soup come from? This is strictly against Flag Order. Where are such dishes as bean and ham soup, Irish stew, beef ragout, noodles and tuna, chicken and noodle soup, green pea soup and ham, chili con carne, fresh vegetable soup, baked beans and franks, shepherd’s pie, chicken and dumplings, lentil soup, potato soup, and chicken and rice soup. Midday meals are to be such as these — good and sustaining.” — MarySue Hubbard, Captain, April 16, 1969


Overheard in the FreeZone

“Leah said on TV that Scientology’s advanced levels are just deluded ‘space opera’ fairy tales. Are Leah and her handler Mike Rinder working for the Shadow USA government?”


Past is Prologue

2001: Bruce Pettycrew reported a protest in Mesa, AZ. “Kathy and I picketed from 10 to 11 yesterday morning, accompanied by two students from NAU (Northern Arizona U.). The students are doing a report for a sociology class and had requested to interview me after seeing a Web ad for a talk on the subject of ‘CoS vs the Internet’ that I had presented at local humanist and skeptics’ meetings. They did not carry signs, although one of them asked to be notified about later pickets. Just before the students arrived, as Kathy and I started the picket, two female sea org members walked up on the sidewalk from the Dobson intersection and entered the building. Towards the end of the picket a woman came out of the org with a Kodak ‘use once’ camera to take our picture. Kathy responded with a Sony Hi-8 video and I volleyed with my new Canon G1 Powershot digital camera in ‘Raw Pixel’ mode. Outclassed, she retreated.”


Random Howdy

“I took two trazodone at least six hours ago and I woke up and it’s only an hour later. What the hell is going on? Did the Fifth Invader Force land?”



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] Updated for 2022: Where in the world are Scientologists actually located?
[TWO years ago] Matt Willis pressured to divorce by Scientology? Our experts back him up.
[THREE years ago] Ex-con who says he’s returned L. Ron Hubbard has an indie Scientology revolt on his hands
[FOUR years ago] Leah Remini: Where’s the outrage about Scientology’s disappeared?
[FIVE years ago] Scientologists, gullible? Would they fall for a felon saying he’s the returned L. Ron Hubbard?
[SIX years ago] She ‘graduated’ from Scientology’s drug rehab, which told her she was cured. Now she’s dead.
[SEVEN years ago] More Atlanta video: David Miscavige cuts the ribbon on Scientology’s new real estate venture!
[EIGHT years ago] Scientology spy caught trying to interview Paul Haggis as fake ‘Time’ magazine reporter
[NINE years ago] Scientology takes aim at the latest move by the Garcias in their federal fraud suit
[TEN years ago] Scientology Means Never Having to Tell an Ashtray You’re Sorry


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 3,001 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,506 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 3,056 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 2,046 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,937 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 5,241 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 3,112 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 2,217 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,694 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 4,006 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,572 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 8,491 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,659 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 4,240 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,501 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,537 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 3,253 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,817 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 1,132 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 2,307 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,858 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,989 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 4,327 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 9,182 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 4,301 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,657 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,960 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 3,066 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 3,464 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 3,340 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,923 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 3,418 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,672 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,781 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on April 16, 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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