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What Marc Headley’s ‘Blown for Good’ says about Scientology ‘expert’ Hugh Martin Whitt

[Hugh Martin Whitt, Claire Headley’s stepfather, in a Scientology propaganda video]

After yesterday’s historic day, with Claire Headley testifying as an expert on Scientology for the prosecution in the Danny Masterson retrial, we went outside the courthouse and did our usual end-of-day video report.

We then accidentally sent it out only to paid subscribers, noticed it right away, and then sent it out to everyone else. However, we think that flub on our part may have kept some of you from receiving the video through e-mail, so we want to make sure you have a direct link to the video if you haven’t already seen it.

The other thing we wanted to bring up about Claire before the trial moves on to another witness this morning, is that at one point Deputy DA Ariel Anson brought up the name Hugh Martin Whitt, which is Claire’s stepfather. We learned before the trial started that the defense had made the bizarre move of putting him on their witness list as their own Scientology expert.

This seemed like pure intimidation, since Whitt has been disconnected from Claire for many years, and although he’s an OT 8 Scientologist, he wasn’t in management the way Claire was. (We have our doubts that he’s going to make an appearance in the trial at all.)

And a helpful reader pointed out that there’s some really interesting material about Whitt in Marc Headley’s terrific 2009 book Blown for Good. With Marc’s permission, we’re excerpting it here. We think it gives a really interesting insight into the man.


Now, Claire’s step-dad, Hugh, is not the most talkative person in the world. In the 12 years that Claire and I had been married, I estimate that her stepdad and I had spoken to each other for a total of 60 minutes. That night, Hugh talked to me for probably two hours straight. Apparently, he was in major trouble over something that had happened a few months earlier. Hugh was the Executive Director of the Beverly Hills Scientology Mission. He had been doing that for over a decade. He had been a Scientology auditor for his entire career. As the head of the mission, he would routinely fly off to places all over the US and audit high paying clients for the mission. The Beverly Hills Mission had a unique ability to draw in very wealthy people to deliver to. Some of these people, however, were only in Beverly Hills doing business and lived out of state. In most cases, the orgs or missions in the person’s own area were low quality dumps and these people wanted nothing to do with them. This is how Hugh ended up flying out to where they lived and auditing them there. This had been the way the Beverly Hills Mission had ALWAYS functioned and there were never any questions about this. Until now.

Well, with the advent of Dave Miscavige’s Ideal Org Program, no org or mission was allowed to deliver services to any person that was not in their immediate “sphere of influence.” If you drew a circle around the Beverly Hills Mission and their nearest competing org or mission, and then made those circles larger until they touched each other, you would have established the sphere of influence of each of those organizations. So this meant that any person who did not live within the sphere of the Beverly Hills Mission could not receive any services from them. To add insult to injury, the way all orgs or missions were to get new people into the org and onto services was now only through E-Meter stress test tables! That was it. Dave Miscavige had piloted this technique at New York Org and had established this as the best way to get new people into the org. Based on his isolated test, he cancelled all other forms of getting new people in and made this the ONLY way that any org or mission could get new people in. Well, in Beverly Hills you didn’t find many high-class operations busting out the crappy folding table and chairs and setting up shop on Rodeo Drive next to Gucci, handing out flyers and asking the filthy rich to get a stress test! But Dave Miscavige had spoken. This was now the ONLY way orgs or missions could operate.

According to Hugh, the mission had tried this and failed miserably. They had, over a period of years, perfected an exact way to generate business and keep the mission producing. The new method with the stress test tables simply did not work for them. Based on this, they carried on doing business as usual and ignored the new rules. Months earlier Dave Miscavige told a story about something that had happened in New York. At the time it meant nothing to me and I thought it was just another story that Dave liked to tell to show that he was the boss. He had been in New York right after the new Ideal Org opened and the place was a ghost town. He demanded that the org be filled with people and could not believe that it was not packed already. While he was going around the org and trying to find where all the people had gone, he happened to run into a guy from a WISE group. David Singer was a chiropractor that had a consulting business. He would consult chiropractors on how to expand their practices and then when they did better and wanted more information, they would end up getting into Scientology. Well David Singer was walking through New York Org and ran into Dave Miscavige. Dave Miscavige did not like David Singer. According to Dave Miscavige, he approached David Singer and leaned in close so as to whisper to him, and said, “I am going to find out what you’re up to,” and then walked away.

Miscavige then sent some of his RTC staff to track down Singer and put him on the E-meter to be interrogated. Apparently, David Singer was planning on doing one of his consulting seminars to a bunch of doctors at the new auditorium in the New York Org. The seminar had nothing to do with the New York Org, it just happened to be a nice place that he could gather up a bunch of people and do a seminar and because he brought new people into Scientology, the org would let him do this for free. He was not even necessarily planning to get people onto service at the org. He had just arranged that a lot of East Coast chiropractors would meet up there. When Dave found this out, he was furious. Here he was working to make new Ideal Orgs and guys like David Singer were sabotaging his efforts and using the orgs for their own profit. Dave then ordered that anyone involved with this activity be Comm Eved, with the option of being declared an SP if warranted. So what did this have to do with Hugh Whitt, Executive Director Beverly Hills Mission? Well upon “investigation” it turned out that David Singer Enterprises, Hollander Consultants and the Beverly Hills Mission had an arrangement that these prominent doctors and professionals were being sent to do their services with the Beverly Hills Mission. As a result, the Beverly Hills Mission was one of the most productive missions in the world. It was routinely winning awards and this REALLY pissed off Dave Miscavige. They were doing well and had not been doing one thing that he had worked out. In fact they were doing the exact opposite and it was working well for them.

Hugh did not know any of this about Dave Miscavige in New York and why all this was happening. He only knew that somehow, out of nowhere, the mission was being investigated for getting clients from WISE groups and that Vanessa Stoller, the owner of the mission, was being Comm Eved and that he was going to be Comm Eved and possibly declared an SP. He was trying to get through his OT Level 7 at Flag and this would make it nearly impossible for him to do so. If he ended up being declared, he would not be able to see his children and wife, he would have to get another job and probably start his life over from scratch. If Vanessa Stoller was declared, that would surely end up closing the mission and he would have to get a new job anyway. Things looked bleak. He told me how RTC had done inspections of the mission several times over the years and they knew exactly how the mission operated. They even had a Keeping Scientology Working Award from RTC! It all meant nothing now. Hugh had talked to me more that night than the entire time I had known him. He was devastated. I remember thinking to myself at the time, that here was an example of the most dedicated public Scientologist around. The guy had been auditing people his entire life, he was at the mission all the time, and gave up most of his personal freedoms to do Scientology. Even with all of that, it meant nothing. He just happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time when Dave Miscavige was upset.

I could not tell him what I knew and why he was being put through this. I simply told him that I knew some other information that might be related to this and that this was a lot bigger than he knew. If I said anything more and it was found out about, I would surely be declared an SP myself. After Hugh and I talked, I went back into the living room and played with the kids a bit more. They were staying up late that night so they could spend a few hours with us. A little after 3:30 a.m., Claire and I left to head back to the Base. As we drove back, Claire slept in the passenger seat and I just sat there in the driver’s seat. The radio was turned off. I sat there with only the sound of the road accompanying my thoughts. I could not help but think about Hugh and his family. How could this be happening? How could Hugh, of all people, be in trouble? I was angry, but I could not think of anything to do that would help him. If I even brought up the subject, it would be investigated how I even heard about the Beverly Hills Mission’s involvement in this. If I said anything at the Int Base it might get him in even more trouble. When we got back and Claire woke up, I talked to her a bit about it. I told her what Hugh and I had talked about and that he was about to get royally screwed. She had no ideas about what to do either. It was now around 5:00 a.m. We decided to watch a DVD before going back to post in the morning. We watched I, Robot with Will Smith and went back to post. That day I could not help but think about my conversation with Hugh some more. It was really bugging me. It had struck a chord and I was not able to just “forget about it.” New Year’s Eve came. In the Sea Org, there was a holiday that historically took place around Christmas time and this was the Beer and Cheese party. Besides Sea Org day, this was really the only Sea Org party that might possibly take place all year. Well, of course, this years’ Beer and Cheese party was postponed and would be combined with our New Year’s Eve Party. The Beer and Cheese party was, as expected, amazing. It was only missing three things – beer, cheese and party. Everyone was called down to the dining hall at 11:50 p.m. There were a few tables that had Ritz crackers and some orange sodas on them. Jenny Devocht from CMO Int said that we all needed to get every one of the event items done and that we could have a good New Years if that happened. We then counted down the New Year and gave three cheers to LRH. We were dismissed and most people went back to post, wondering if we would even get the next day off. Not likely.

— Marc Headley, Blown for Good


Technology Cocktail

“When you realize that you have the capability of endowing things with life then we don’t even know that the genetic entity is alive. It might just be machinery or computation of one kind or another that goes on and that you continue to endow with life to some degree until you separate from it.” — 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


“Every physicist, every single physicist, including Newton, and all the rest of the boys, have fallen flat on their faces by not establishing the basic conditions of what they were dealing with. They have started from an unreasonable assumption. They’ve assumed that somebody knew what space was, and have gone on from there. And they’ve decided that somebody knew what a static was, and they’ve gone on from there. And of course they’d wind us up in trouble sooner or later with a thing like an atom bomb. Naturally, they’d wind us up in trouble because they didn’t know where they were proceeding. This is not an indictment, you understand, of science at large. It’s just hoping it will perish soon. Because if this is the scientific method, to start with unreasonable assumptions and never discover what your definitions are before you proceed into a problem, then we want nothing to do with a scientific method. And you actually are then not following the scientific method, because that is the scientific method. You’re really not dealing, then, in the field of science if the field of science is what we have had in psychology and physics. Because then we are not dealing with this. Because we do this, and there are a new set of principles established here. And the only thing you could call them, I guess, would be a Scientological method, as unhandy as Scientology becomes when you start to add suffixes to it.” — L. Ron Hubbard, May 4, 1954


Avast, Ye Mateys

“HARD WORK: Diana, in readying up the CS-6 post so she could leave, worked 72 hours straight through and then boarded the plane. It is not fully known that, with Franchise and Celebrity Centres, Diana handles many more orgs herself than the whole FB. Blackburn Smith is standing in as her deputy during her three week absence. Due to the jumbled state my photo gear was allowed to get into I couldn’t find a camera to give her but fixed it so she could buy one and thus bring back pictures of her travels. I think this is her first vacation in four years in the SO.” — The Commodore, May 4, 1971


Overheard in the FreeZone

“Why am I a Scientologist? Just naturally smart. I was born very intelligent. And intelligence is the ability to resolve problems relating to survival.”


Past is Prologue

1998: Lawrence Wollersheim released a filing to the Court of Appeals asking them to uphold the judgment of the lower courts, and allow him to finally collect. “Nearly twelve years ago, Respondent Lawrence Wollersheim, having already braved six years of litigation in this case, endured a five month circus trial and finally prevailed. A unanimous jury awarded him a multimillion dollar judgment against the Church of Scientology of California. By the time of his victory, as he would later learn, a years-long campaign to divest CSC of its property, income and authority was nearly complete. Although the Honorable Ronald Swearinger, who presided over the 1986 trial, would characterize that series of asset-depleting maneuvers as ‘mere jiggery, pokery,’ they have nonetheless been an important part of Scientology’s drive to ensure there would be ‘Not One Thin Dime for Wollersheim.’ A protracted appeals process resulted in the judgment becoming final in 1994, and Mr. Wollersheim began collection efforts. In ultimately moving to amend the judgment to add CSI and RTC as defendants and judgment debtors, Mr. Wollersheim submitted a total of 40 exhibits and 19 declarations. As the six-page Order amending the judgment confirms, the trial court gave proper and thoughtful consideration to all the admissible evidence that was before it; appellants’ indignant assertions of ‘fact’ contrary to those found by the court below are almost universally incompetent, since they are based primarily on the statements of CSC’s president, Neil Levin, whose declaration demonstrates his utter lack of personal knowledge. In the end, RTC’s and CSI’s assignments of error are impotent and do nothing to undermine the fact that the amendment of the judgment in this case is more solid and thoroughly supported than any in California’s reported decisions. There is no basis to disturb the trial court’s well-documented findings that the defense of this case against CSC was financed and controlled through RTC and CSI. Neither appellant has been deprived of due process. Nor does either of them even claim to have been prejudiced by the passage of time since the judgment was entered. For all the foregoing reasons, Respondent Lawrence Wollersheim respectfully urges the Court to affirm the Judgment.”



Random Howdy

“People keep calling for the government to do something about Scientology. I just hope none of those people are the same people calling for a lot less government, because that would be kind of hypocritical, don’t you think? And I’ll leave it at that.”


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’s rape prosecutors tell Calif. Supremes why his Scientology argument is weak
[TWO years ago] Scientology is back! Fundraising back on to turn the entire country ‘Ideal,’ praise Xenu!
[THREE years ago] Danny Masterson: Drop me from Scientology lawsuit if the ‘Jane Does’ won’t name themselves
[FOUR years ago] Scientology measles ship back in Curaçao, which talks tough about quarantine
[FIVE years ago] Federal judge smacks down Scientology’s shameless attempt to delay forced-abortion case
[SIX years ago] Forced abortions, beatings, and sleep deprivation: The FBI on Scientology’s Sea Org
[SEVEN years ago] Scientology confirms it won’t oppose Monique Rathbun’s plans to ditch lawsuit
[EIGHT years ago] More from a secretly-recorded executive griping about Scientology’s sad state of affairs
[NINE years ago] Sunday Funnies: Scientology says, May the Fourth be with you
[TEN years ago] SCIENTOLOGY TO CALIFORNIA SUPREMES: State’s Priest-Penitent Law is Unconstitutional
[ELEVEN years ago] Amanda Palmer Loved Kate Bornstein’s Memoir So Much, She Crashed the Book Party


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 3,019 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,524 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 3,074 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 2,064 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,955 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 5,259 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 3,130 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 2,235 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,682 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 4,024 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,590 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 8,509 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,677 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 4,258 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,519 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,555 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 3,271 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,835 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 1,150 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 2,325 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,876 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 4,007 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 4,345 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 9,200 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 4,319 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,675 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,978 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 3,084 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 3,482 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 3,358 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,941 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 3,436 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,690 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,799 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on May 4, 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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