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New website sets out to document Scientology cancer and other deaths

It’s something we’ve been asked many times, and we’ve never really had a good answer for: Do Scientologists die of cancer at higher rates than other people?

Certainly, we hear about Scientologists foregoing legitimate medical care for serious ailments because of founder L. Ron Hubbard’s skepticism of western medicine and doctors. Nearly every former Scientologist you talk to will describe friends or relatives trying to deal with serious medical problems with Hubbard’s “auditing” techniques or other alternative medical methods until it’s too late to go the conventional route.

But how big is this problem? A group of anonymous researchers tell us that they’d like to take on that question, and they’ve started a new website where users can anonymously provide information about Scientologists who died of cancer and other causes.

The site is just in its infancy, but we think some of you will be very interested in helping it grow, and so we agreed to give the site an early plug.


It’s called The Scientology Death List, and you can find it at

The question of Scientologists and cancer deaths has been something we’ve seen discussed by ex-church members for many years, but we saw mainstream media outlets pondering it in recent years after the deaths of Kelly Preston in 2020 and Kirstie Alley last year. Public statements by their families insisted that they had received legitimate treatment at reputable cancer centers.

But did either of them delay that treatment in favor of Scientology handlings?

We’ll be interested to see if, given the cover of anonymity, those with knowledge of Scientology deaths may come forward to help us get some clarity on this issue.


Technology Cocktail

“To understand a squirrel, consider the reaction of somebody who could not run the fifth leg of help “How could another person help another person”. The thought of this drives some people spinny. That’s a squirrel. They can’t view other people helping others without going berserk.” — 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

“It’s pretty hard to complete a cycle in a half a billion years. You can try. And you get it down to a million years, and of course, to get anything done in a million years and make it stick, that’s really going some, man, you’re really on your way, that’s tearing the ground up in all directions. The length of time since the birth of Chr — the alleged birth of Christ — is so short, that before you’ve gone very long on the road to OT, you could probably remember what you had for breakfast in the year 2, and during the third day of the Saturnalia or something like that. Not that you would, probably cause you as much work to remember what you had for breakfast that morning as it does now to remember what you had for breakfast yesterday, see. You probably can’t think of what you had for breakfast yesterday right now. So that is a very finite period of time. That’s a very short period of time. A couple of thousand years, nothing. I’d like a couple of thousand years just to sit on a rock and look at the scenery — one of my ambitions.” — L. Ron Hubbard, May 30, 1963


Avast, Ye Mateys


“PERSONAL HYGIENE: CS-6 and the Public Officer’s nominee should compose a short course on personal hygiene and cleanliness. A ship is a small place. In old navies the penalty was a bath with sand and canvas and a ducking for those with deficiencies.” — The Commodore, May 30, 1970


Overheard in the FreeZone

“If you’re a big enough Thetan and you stay on the Bridge, you will be like floating, your postulates creating anything you desire pretty much and you will be completely protected from any other SP’s invalidation. It’s like another world that they can’t touch. So I don’t agree with their validation affecting us. Yes, the other entities attached to us could, no doubt, but the OT levels detach all of those – and still creating magic, like creating MEST out of thin air is not possible for anybody on this planet! It’s also a mystery why in other planets why Thetans can destroy all the people on them. I projected myself in full color from all around a planet and reached down and tortured all the people just before getting implanted and coming here. So there must be some sort of ‘protection’ around this planet so other Thetans can’t do that here – maybe a force screen? But still the creating MEST out of thin air is not possible and is a mystery as of yet.”


Past is Prologue

1996: The film Schizopolis was shown at the Cannes Film Festival. “The picture starts out as an apparent satire of, and attack on, Scientology-like organizations. Munson (Soderbergh) is a functionary working on behalf of a movement called Eventualism, the guru of which is the uniquely selfish, mean-spirited T. Azimuth Schwitters. Focus then veers to the annoying antics of a weird exterminator in an orange suit and goggles named Elmo, whose aggressively promiscuous activities remain utterly unfathomable throughout the running time. No narrative is developed on a comprehensible level, nor is any single idea fleshed out to meaningful dimensions. Along the way, characters begin speaking in different forms of gibberish, with Munson and his wife relating in a fitfully amusing techno-ese in which they might say hello by uttering ‘generic greeting,’ or indicate they’re going out by announcing ‘imminent departure.’ Genuinely funny is Munson’s habit of speaking to his wife in foreign languages, and some of Soderbergh’s absurdist wordplay isn’t bad either. But what he’s getting at isn’t clear beyond some sort of comment on the paucity and difficulty of communication, a problem the film does nothing to ameliorate. Focus returns to Eventualism in a climactic assassination attempt on Schwitters, but lack of any dramatic through-line or coherent subject makes bewilderment the principal response to the film as a whole. Its humorous intent is signaled more by such devices as speeded-up action and goofy sound effects than by any genuine wit or behavioral comedy. “A Point 406 Ltd. production. Produced by John Hardy. Directed, written by Steven Soderbergh.”


Random Howdy

“First there was the Thetaverse and the Thetans were born, and through shared agreement and control of MEST (superpowers) they created other universes and then they created the MEST universe so they could assume physical form and have a playground to play ‘games’ in and enjoy the pleasures of the flesh. But eventually they forgot all this. And I thought to myself, ‘Hey, isn’t this a Star Trek or Outer Limits episode?’”



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] The subchaser that never was: L. Ron Hubbard’s farcical first command
[TWO years ago] Today at The Daily Beast: Ron and Leni, a Scientology mystery solved
[THREE years ago] Steve Cannane wrote the book about Scientology in Australia — and now he’s on trial
[FOUR years ago] Scientology’s slick new ‘Freewinds’ magazine surprisingly makes no mention of measles
[FIVE years ago] Bad boys of the Sea Org: guns, drugs, murder and Scientology
[SIX years ago] To counter Leah Remini’s return to A&E, Scientology recruits her father in smear attack
[SEVEN years ago] How Scientology’s smears of Ron Miscavige could end up a bigger problem for his son Dave
[EIGHT years ago] Jon Atack: Auditing and recovered memory — why do Scientologists accept it as fact?
[NINE years ago] Three videos the Church of Scientology would rather you not watch
[TEN years ago] Word To Your Mother: Dianetics And Its Lack of Boundaries


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 3,045 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,550 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 3,100 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 2,090 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,981 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 5,285 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 3,156 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 2,261 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,708 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 4,050 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,616 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 8,535 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,703 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 4,284 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,545 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,581 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 3,297 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,861 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 1,176 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 2,351 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,902 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 4,033 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 4,371 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 9,226 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 4,345 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,701 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 7,004 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 3,110 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 3,508 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 3,384 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,967 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 3,462 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,716 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,825 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on May 30, 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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