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Here’s our story about Nancy Cartwright that Scientology doesn’t want you to see

[Illustration by Chad Essley]

On Monday, we had a bit of a bombshell here at the Underground Bunker that had nothing to do with the Danny Masterson retrial, which we’ve been covering in Los Angeles since April 17.

We had received images from Scientology’s latest issue of Impact magazine, the publication the church uses to congratulate its big donors for turning over huge sums of money.

In particular, this issue was celebrating some wealthy members at the New Year’s event held at the Fort Harrison Hotel in Clearwater, Florida.

And among those generous donors was none other than Nancy Cartwright, the voice of Bart Simpson, who this time was being named “Patron Excalibur With Honors,” which, based on our years of covering the benefactors of the International Association of Scientologists, suggests a cumulative total of $21 million in donations.

And even better, the magazine featured a photo of Nancy with her new trophy and with Scientology’s leader, the diminutive David Miscavige.


Well, this didn’t sit well with either Dave or Nancy or some other Scientology minion, because they sicced Scientology attorney Gary Soter on us, and he filed a DMCA takedown request with Substack, which promptly removed our story.

Now, we could, of course, get into a protracted fight over this, arguing that a cropped photo from a magazine published by Scientology and containing such newsworthy material should qualify for a “Fair Use” exemption to copyright law.

But we have a funnier, more smart-assed way of handling it, and that’s how we roll.

We contacted our friend Chad Essley, a cartoonist who has come to our rescue in the past, and asked him to create his own take on the Cartwright-Miscavige image, something that not only is in Chad’s great style, but also something that is uncopyrightable by the Church of Scientology.

As for the other photos in the story, we’ve decided to get creative there as well.

Our original story on Monday was a huge hit with readers and really burned up social media — and mainstream media outfits like the Daily Mail and the Independent picked it up.

We only hope that you can help spread the word about this version as well, so that Nancy’s contributions are not forgotten.

Here, then, is the story Scientology had Substack take down…

The new issue of Scientology’s Impact magazine is here, and it contains a surprise!

Impact is our favorite of Scientology’s publications because it provides us with reports from the church’s celebrations of its biggest donors. (We call them “whales.”)

In this case, it was a relatively small number of multi-million dollar benefactors who were feted at the Ft Harrison Hotel in Clearwater, Florida on New Year’s Eve.

Before we show you the list, it’s really important to keep in mind that these are cumulative amounts given just to one Scientology initiative, the International Association of Scientologists, the church’s membership organization (and leader David Miscavige’s legal slush fund). Someone credited for giving $1 million, for example, may have given only a few thousand in recent months that enabled them to get past that plateau. (For an explanation of how we know what amounts the statuses represent or the estimates we’ve made for some of them, see our methodology here.)

Back in 2019, one of the whales celebrated in Impact was none other than Nancy Cartwright, voice of Bart Simpson, who at that point had reached the level of “Diamond Laureate With Honors,” reflecting that she’d given Scientology about $17.5 million.


And now, she’s topped herself again! This new issue of Impact indicates that on New Year’s Eve she received a trophy for reaching “Patron Excalibur With Honors,” suggesting she’s now coughed up $21 million in donations just to the IAS. (Big donors are also hit up for millions more in gifts specifically earmarked for building projects and other initiatives. Cartwright gave millions, for example, to the construction of the San Fernando Valley Ideal Org, which opened in 2017.)

“This was the most beautiful acknowledgment I have ever received in my entire life,” Cartwright told Impact magazine.

$21 million? ¡Ay caramba!

Here then are the million-dollar-plus donors listed in the new Impact magazine. These amounts are just astounding!


Stephen & Meg Epstein

Nashville, Tennessee

Lifetime Members since: 2011 (Stephen), 1999 (Meg)

Stephen Epstein is a Nashville investor who, we read recently in the Tampa Bay Times, recruited a “ringer” to front a new development in the north marina area in Clearwater, Florida.

Gold Meritorious = $1 million



The Andrus Family

Clearwater, Florida

Lifetime Members since: 1985/88

Gold Meritorious With Honors = $1.75 million


David & Erika Melrose and Family

Prosper, Texas

Lifetime Members since: 2002

Platinum Meritorious = $2.5 million



Howard & Karen Becker

Clearwater, Florida

Lifetime Members since 1985 (Howard), 1987 (Karen)

Platinum Meritorious With Honors = $3.75 million


Chie Mihara & Francisco Sanchis and Family

Elda, Spain

Lifetime Members since: 2006

Diamond Meritorious = $5 million



Steve Fabos & Peggy Oppenheim Fabos

Confirming what we noted a few weeks ago, the Fabos Factor is back!

Patron Laureate With Honors = $11 million


Nancy Cartwright

Northridge, California

Lifetime Member since: 1991

What’s this? Nancy gets to have Dave in the picture when she isn’t the biggest donor of the night? Wow, celebrity really is the coin of the realm in Scientology, isn’t it?

Patron Excalibur With Honors = $21 million



Tom & Victoria Cummins and Family

Pietrasanta, Italy

Lifetime Members since 1985 (Tom), 2006 (Victoria)

Diamond Maximus = $40 million


Trish Duggan

Clearwater, Florida

Lifetime Member since: 1986

Patron of Legend With Honors = $300 million plus?

Trish and Bob Duggan have been split up for about six years now, but Trish is still going strong as David Miscavige’s biggest funder. In an interview with the Tampa Bay Times, Bob Duggan insisted that he’s still in the fold, even though he doesn’t attend these events anymore. He has also confirmed that he and his ex-wife have given north of $300 million in donations, and Scientology had to come up with a special status just for Trish: “Patron of Legend.” This time, adding “With Honors” to it seems like weak sauce. But she’s still the queen of Scientology richies.



Technology Cocktail

“There are people getting cleared now all over the world. Just remember that you share the agreement of the society in which you live. You’ll have to be able to audit to skillfully handle aberrated persons. And it will take a lot of auditors to have a cleared society.” — L. Ron Hubbard, 1958


Jon Atack and Mark Plummer




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

“It’s my belief that in a good society every child ought to be equipped with and taught to fire a sawed-off shotgun.” — L. Ron Hubbard, May 20, 1952


Avast, Ye Mateys


“BIG LEAGUE: A lot of SO people do not realize that we play in the Big League. It’s not from choice. We are apparently considered a prime threat to those who run things from behind the scenes. A new estimate based on new data of the money spent to knock us out is at least 20 million pounds. Your concept of security and concept of snap and pop on operations and actions should be scaled upward to match the Big League. We are so tiny in numbers we have to make up for it in brilliance and efficiency. No other group on the planet gets the simultaneous international attention that we do. We cave in the pressure against us by highly effective operation of orgs and ships. And it is gradually giving ground. We will win in 3 years IF we play it with Security, brilliance and efficiency on all our parts.” — The Commodore, May 20, 1970


Overheard in the FreeZone

“Einstein in his theory of relativity made a prediction in the early 20th century that there exist gravitational waves. It wasn’t until 2016 that those waves were detected. Similarly, Scientology makes a theory, makes predictions and gets validated when those predictions are found. No need for doctors, university scholars or peer review publications agreeing or not on it.”


Past is Prologue

2000: Battlefield Earth was released in the U.S. this week. American Atheists News reported on May 8th on the connection between Scientology and the film. “Some argue that the film, written by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, is a ‘recruiting’ tool for the group. They point to the involvement of lead actor John Travolta, perhaps the most visible member of the group, along with church ‘fronts’ presumably linked to the leadership of Scientology. Nonsense, say producers and even representatives of the Church. On the internet and elsewhere, church opponents have charged that ‘Battlefield Earth’ is everything from a publicity stunt to a moneymaker for a group that Time Magazine in 1991 described as a ‘Thriving Cult of Greed and Power.’ John Travolta rejected charges that ‘Battlefield Earth’ was some kind of subliminal vehicle for brainwashing the public with Scientology teachings. ‘The truth of why I’m doing it is because it’s a great piece of science fiction,’ he told the Post. ‘This is not about him (Hubbard.) I’m very interested in Scientology, but that’s personal. This is different. This has nothing to do with Scientology.'”


Random Howdy

“If you want some major lulz, google ‘David Icke forum Scientology’ and get ready to read the 12-foot shape-shifting reptilian fanboys make fun of the immortal super powered Thetans. it’s a hoot.”



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] VIDEO: This is peak Scientology, when its big donors were going to clear the planet
[TWO years ago] Day three of the Danny Masterson prelim: Jane Doe 3’s cross-examination continues
[THREE years ago] Leah Remini to Jane Doe after dismissing suit against Scientology: ‘You let no one down’
[FOUR years ago] A paradox of apathy and zealotry: What props up Scientology, from within and without
[FIVE years ago] Russia’s ineffective Scientology crackdown includes smearing foreign leaders
[SIX years ago] Scientology forks over phone numbers to federal judge, who puts his foot down again
[SEVEN years ago] Scientology gets judge disqualified in forced-abortion lawsuit and wants recent order voided
[EIGHT years ago] Scientology’s wealthy donors play royalty in Italy while Paulette Cooper takes San Diego
[NINE years ago] Marc Headley returns to Scientology and finds a whole new ballgame
[TEN years ago] Your Hot Scientology Event in Los Angeles Tonight
[ELEVEN years ago] Ursula Caberta on Scientology: “You Have to Be Always Watching Them”


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 3,035 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,540 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 3,090 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 2,080 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,971 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 5,275 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 3,146 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 2,251 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,698 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 4,040 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,606 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 8,525 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,693 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 4,274 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,535 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,571 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 3,287 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,851 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 1,166 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 2,341 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,892 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 4,023 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 4,361 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 9,216 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 4,335 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,691 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,994 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 3,100 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 3,498 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 3,374 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,957 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 3,452 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,706 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,815 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on May 20, 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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