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A Scientology childhood: Jon Atack talks to ‘Bad Cadet’ author Katherine Spallino

Last month we published an excerpt from a new book, The Bad Cadet: Growing Up in the Church of Scientology’s Sea Organization.

Now, its author, Katherine Spallino, talks about the book with our old friend Jon Atack.

Please let us know what you think about their conversation.



Also, we have a bonus: Jon also continues his discussion with Mark ‘Warrior’ Plummer.



Technology Cocktail

“One very worrisome case was that of a thetan whose skull was used by a carnival who put a motor in the jaws to make them keep on opening, and the thetan just couldn’t take it. I actually had to unwrap a preclear from that particular skull. He still had a finger on it even though he had another body. People actually become curators of museums just to keep a finger on a body they might have once had.” — 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

“I saw a little fellow once, about 110 pounds, pick up a grand piano and shove it out of a burning house. He never pushed a barbell in his life. Of course, when he got out on the lawn; he wondered who brought the piano out. He just produced enough energy at that moment and overcame enough gravity and threw enough postulates out the window so that the piano would dematerialize in the living room, and rematerialize in the front lawn. And he says, ‘I wonder who brought that piano out?’ Now, if he had arduously trained himself so as to eat Wheaties, why, he would have, of course, left the piano right where it was.” — L. Ron Hubbard, May 7, 1954



Avast, Ye Mateys

“UK ENQUIRY: The ‘Findings’ of this enquiry have been handed over to Sir Joseph in House of Lords. This means very early publication. Past signs are that they will not be viciously unfavorable. We are busy working to handle any possible repercussion. It may be a week or so yet before they hit the UK press. This cycle is far from conclusive. We made a last minute breakthrough on the WHO that began all this and keeps busy hounding us. This breakthrough puts the initiative in our hands. Instead of trying to find out WHO has been hitting Scientology we now find we are moved right over, on target, of WHO is responsible for East-West upsets and the atomic war threats and the economic crises. Whetever the UK ‘enquiry’ says, the end of the war is well in view.” — The Commodore, May 7, 1971


Overheard in the FreeZone

“There’s countless factions of Scientology out here in the field operating apart and if we continue this way, then divided we fall. That was by design as well because the SPs know we have THE most powerful tech that can put an end to them. There are tens of thousands of us Scientologists out here in the field and we need to get back together and form up into a Planet-Clearing machine that would make LRH proud. We need to audit this nonsense out and apply PTS/SP tech and get this world out of the soup it is in. LRH said that the purpose of the Sea Org is “To get in ethics on the planet and eventually this universe”. Didn’t happen. Why? Because we didn’t take him serious enough. So – once again we are the only way out for this planet. If we don’t form up and get organized now, we will have lost BIG.”


Past is Prologue

2001: “Barb” protested in downtown Hemet, California. “We decided to stake out a busy intersection in downtown Hemet. Hundreds of people drove by and read my sign, ‘Scientology, the ‘church’ with a Body’ One guy stopped, told me he was a cab driver who picked up a couple at Gold who wanted to leave. His cab was chased. He also gave someone a ride out to Happy Valley and got inside the gate, but wasn’t allowed to linger once he discharged his passenger. I gave him a Xenu flier that had an insert provided by Keith, ‘Scientology Hurts People.'”


Random Howdy

“Hubbard just took ‘astral projection’ and redefined it as ‘exteriorization’.”



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] You just dropped tens of thousands on Scientology: Could you be any more excited?
[TWO years ago] The nanny task list from a Scientology couple that is driving Twitter insane
[THREE years ago] Tom Cruise in orbit: Why it makes sense for NASA to launch Scientology’s space cadet
[FIVE years ago] Scientology celeb Joy Villa takes down her ‘testing the waters’ for Congress web pages
[SIX years ago] Even in Mexico, Scientology bullies people with hired muscle — but for now strikes out
[SEVEN years ago] Scientology’s hypnotic suggestion: What’s true for you is what’s true for L. Ron Hubbard
[EIGHT years ago] Guest post: 20 reasons the Church of Scientology is a cult and a fraud
[NINE years ago] Scientology’s plans for the KCET studios in Los Angeles finally taking shape?
[ELEVEN years ago] The Five Most Dream-Like Sequences in the John Travolta Sex-Assault Lawsuit


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 3,022 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,527 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 3,077 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 2,067 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,958 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 5,262 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 3,133 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 2,238 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,685 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 4,027 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,593 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 8,512 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,680 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 4,261 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,522 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,558 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 3,274 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,838 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 1,153 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 2,328 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,879 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 4,010 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 4,348 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 9,203 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 4,322 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,678 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,981 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 3,087 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 3,485 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 3,361 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,944 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 3,439 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,693 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,802 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on May 7, 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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