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OT Phenomena: Ghost stories that entice Scientology members to pay millions

Here we go again, campers! Our thanks to the reader who sent in the new ‘Advance!’ magazine with its beloved feature, ‘OT Phenomena.’ We can’t get enough of it and we know you can’t either.

For the new folks, here’s our usual introduction to the subject:

As much as Scientology wants the public to think of it as a totally not weird self-help group that offers things like improved communication and business acumen, the reality is much stranger and, frankly, a lot more interesting. What Scientology actually offers is a yearslong pursuit of past-life therapy and other esoteric practices which is supposed to lead to superhuman powers, granted as a church member reaches the “Operating Thetan” auditing levels.

These upper-level secrets are not cheap. But to entice members to keep forking over the big bucks, for decades Advance! magazine has been printing ghost stories — er, totally true and factual accounts — of Scientologists discovering their new supernatural skills obtained while they are going through their OTs.


The magazine calls them ‘OT Phenomena,’ and we always dig it.

Here’s the new batch. As ever, let us know if you think these stories would be enticing enough to convince you to fork over a million dollars or more to reach the upper OT levels.


In my company, there were three employees who had been giving us a hard time. Instead of being supportive of the work we were doing, they were highly critical of it. Their negative attitudes were affecting others, and it was hurting the company.

As an OT, I knew I could solve this, so I decided that the situation would be handled. Soon after, I received an email notifying me that each of these problem employees had resigned of their own accord. At the same time, an employee who had left our company over a year ago — someone we had not wanted to lose — contacted me and said he’d like to come back to work for us. He was back in ARC and just like that, with no effort, the whole situation was handled.

I know with total certainty that these events were absolutely not coincidences. — P.K.


My husband’s family has a cabin that he used to visit as a kid. He hadn’t been there in over 20 years and didn’t know exactly where it was, nor did he have a key.

We sometimes talked about tracking it down but never followed through.

While Solo auditing on OT 2, I suddenly had the desire to spend some time in nature and sit around a campfire, and I thought it would be nice to visit the family’s cabin, but I didn’t get the chance to mention it to my husband. In true OT style, the very next day out of the blue my husband’s uncle came by his office to drop off the keys to the cabin and offered to show us around that weekend.

We’ve since visited and I got to spend some time in the forest, amongst the redwoods. OT postulates are very strong! — S.S.



My husband and I were moving to another town and we needed to rent out our apartment. I didn’t want to have to weed through a lot of applicants, but I wanted to find just the right tenant. I was talking to a friend about the steps I needed to take — like figuring out where best to place an ad. A couple of days later, I got a phone call from a person who said, “I heard you had an apartment to rent.” We talked for a few minutes and I knew immediately that she was the perfect tenant for my apartment. Life just works out when you’re an OT. — M.N.


My perceptions have become very sharp recently, so sharp that I don’t need my sight, hearing or touch to be aware of things. For example, there have been several times I’ve been able to find things that other people have lost. On one occasion, a woman in our office couldn’t find her phone. She was frantic. She came into my office, where she had been earlier, and asked if I had seen her phone. As soon as she mentioned that it was red, I perceived a red phone in her purse. I had her sit down and with her permission, I reached my hand in her purse and pulled out her phone.

Another time, a friend who works in my building lost his favourite jumper, and after three days looking everywhere, he mentioned it to me. He described the missing jumper, and as he was getting ready to leave the building, I had the idea that it was in a cupboard behind him. I asked him if he had looked there, and he said yes, five times, but he’d check again. He shrugged and walked over, opened the cupboard door and there it was.

I also helped a boy who’d looked all over for his backpack. I “saw” the backpack on the third floor above us and said, “Come with me.” We ran up the backstairs and when we opened the door, it was right there on the floor.

It’s fun using this theta power to help others! — J.K.


While on OT II, my viewpoint and perceptions about myself and life completely changed and I started to discover OT phenomena. For example, one day after auditing, I got the idea that a friend of mine needed a carpenter. Without second-guessing what I perceived, I sent this friend the contact info of a carpenter I knew. My friend got back to me and said, “What a coincidence! I was just looking for a carpenter!” But I knew it wasn’t just a coincidence, it was an OT phenomenon. — B.M.


Technology Cocktail

“The things wrong with a thetan are the lower harmonics of the characteristics of a thetan. You could say carelessly that the only thing wrong with a person is himself. Let us say more accurately that the only thing wrong with a person is his abandonment of self and the assumption of other selves. Because there is a self, the assumption of selves is possible.” — 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

“One day this part of the reactive mind which has been trying to keep a doll surviving on the Galaxy Gee Whizzes, from being destroyed by gorillas, gets a whiff of a fur coat and goes into total action. Takes over, right as out of that moment. You’ve got an emergency situation, instantly. You’ve got gorillas in the vicinity and it’s better not to inspect, even. People who turn around and really inspect things are very often amongst the wounded and dead. So what are you going to do? It means, that when you speed up things in the universe to too great a degree, on the false basis that you are ‘prone to non survival,’ but in the interest of keeping something surviving, you are then going to run into this timeless reactivity of action without inspection. Infinite dedications to the survival of forms and patterns.” — L. Ron Hubbard, June 9, 1961


Avast, Ye Mateys

“QUESTION: When are you going to dig this ship out of N/E? It will take a lot of action, not desk time. She is unbilled, undrilled and accepts rumours of my orders that aren’t true and rejects direct orders that are.” — The Commodore, June 9, 1970


Overheard in the FreeZone

“There was the era of The Games Universes, the longest and most creative times of our existance. This lasted for trillions of what we consider years, perhaps much longer. Ron called this the Home Universe. This was a very creative and fun time. Games and adventures galore. Beautiful scenery, the physical challenges of handling different mest objects and bodies. Spook houses were quite popular for quite some time. Experiencing and enjoying other people’s creations became a big activity. Individuals and groups would go ‘universe hopping.’ It was really fantastic. The laws of MEST were codified and the knowledge of how to make stuff operate properly were worked out. MEST life was invented. The nature of time and space were agreed upon. Physics became more complex in order to make more and more different things which could interact. There were a few individuals who got very good at making complex universes. These individuals began creating most of the universes that others would visit to play and admire. They built universes that, after a time, visitors would consider their permanent home, their residence. This idea of residency was promoted and eventually pushed hard and even enforced by those who assembled these universes. This indoctrination went on for several million years, by our time, and was repeated with a few changes with each successive universe. One of the necessities of the birth-death cycle was amnesia. It was necessary to start each life with a clean slate. All was forgotten and forgiven. There were many occurrences in the past which reinforced this idea of starting clean which have been well explained by LRH.”


Past is Prologue

1999: The Associated Press reported this week that Scientology celebrity John Travolta credits his power in the film industry for the upcoming Battlefield Earth movie. “John Travolta’s comeback is old news. Now he’s so big in Hollywood he can really throw his weight around. ‘I can get things done that a studio might not normally do,’ Travolta says. ‘I told my manager, ‘If we can’t do the things now that we want to do, what good is the power?’ It’s a waste, basically. Let’s test it and try to get the things done that we believe in.” One result of that effort is ‘Battleship Earth,’ a movie version of L. Ron Hubbard’s science fiction novel. ‘It’s the pinnacle of using my power for something,’ Travolta said. ‘We’ve been trying to make it for 10 years, but we never got a script that was right. Hubbard had been writing sci-fi, fantasy and pulp since 1937, and it’s high time it was done.'”



Random Howdy

“You need to word clear ‘whole track’ as well as ‘mass hysteria hypnotized role-playing pseudo-religious delusional Stockholm syndrome suffering suckers’.”


Full Court Press: What we’re watching at the Underground Bunker

Criminal prosecutions:
Danny Masterson charged for raping three women: Found guilty on two counts on May 31, remanded to custody.
‘Lafayette Ronald Hubbard’ (a/k/a Justin Craig), aggravated assault, plus drug charges: Grand jury indictments include charges from an assault while in custody. Trial scheduled for August 15.
Rizza Islam, Medi-Cal fraud: Trial scheduled for June 26 in Los Angeles
David Gentile, GPB Capital, fraud.

Civil litigation:
Baxter, Baxter, and Paris v. Scientology, alleging labor trafficking: Forced to arbitration. Plaintiffs asking permission for interlocutory appeal.
Valerie Haney v. Scientology: Forced to ‘religious arbitration.’
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 June 28.
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] Joy Villa recruiting for Scientology in Brighton: The photographer’s tale
[TWO years ago] The Scientology celebrity blues: ‘Oh, Danny boy, the banks, the banks are calling…’
[THREE years ago] Scientology ‘Sunday service’ has always been a lazy PR ploy, and now it’s on full display
[FOUR years ago] Scientology in Sweden: A telling snapshot of a failed Ideal Org under pressure
[FIVE years ago] DENIED: Los Angeles judge rejects Scientology’s latest delay tactic in forced-abortion case
[SIX years ago] Thanks for the slick videos, Marty Rathbun. Here’s a not very slick one for you.
[SEVEN years ago] There’s nothing quite like when Scientology cancels your superhuman powers with a ‘declare’
[EIGHT years ago] When the FDA interviewed L. Ron Hubbard’s first family about Scientology
[NINE years ago] Casey Kasem’s sordid family drama: Is Kerri’s involvement in Scientology relevant?
[TEN years ago] Scientology Sunday Funnies, Revolt in the Stars Edition!
[TWELVE years ago] Scientologist Giovanni Ribisi to Play David Koresh: Why There’s a Precedent for a Scientology-Branch Davidian Connection


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 3,055 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,560 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 3,110 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 2,100 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,991 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 5,295 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 3,166 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 2,271 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,718 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 4,060 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,626 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 8,545 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,712 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 4,294 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,555 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,591 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 3,307 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,871 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 1,186 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 2,361 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,912 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 4,043 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 4,381 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 9,236 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 4,355 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,711 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 7,014 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 3,120 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 3,518 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 3,394 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,977 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 3,472 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,726 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,835 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on June 9, 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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