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Mark Bunker: Scientology is up to its old tricks in Clearwater

Just before we left Los Angeles after nearly two months there covering the Danny Masterson retrial, we thought we’d check in with Mark Bunker to see what’s been going on over on the other end of the country.

Clearwater’s vice mayor has a number of updates for us, including his heartfelt thoughts for Mike Rinder, a man he once was pitted against as a member of the Lisa McPherson Trust while Mike was still the head of Scientology’s Office of Special Affairs.

Bunker was also concerned about yet another way that Scientology is infiltrating and co-opting organizations in Clearwater, including Amplify Clearwater, the new name for the Chamber of Commerce there.

Here’s our interview:



He also brought up those concerns to the city council, and sent along this video documenting it…

(In the thumbnail photo, Bunker is giving the side-eye to the table of Scientologists at a recent Amplify Clearwater event.)



Technology Cocktail

“It is fascinating that theft of objects is really an effort to steal a self. Objects represent selves to others. Thieves and what they steal cannot be understood by the logic of their material needs. They steal tokens of selves and hope to assume thereby another self. It is sometimes not amusing to me to be missing my lecture notes or a book from my shelf. This is covert theft of beingness.” — 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

“We follow the rule — if it’s out out there it begun by being out on Flag. In getting it in on Flag we know how to get it in out there. That’s why management orgs must never be separate from a service org — separated, management goes unreal. You can’t say that about Flag. We really get our hands dirty. Unlike the housewife who criticizes the neighbors while her own living room is mountained with garbage, we clean it up at home first. Then we’re in a position to tell others how to do so. See, ma! Clean hands!” — L. Ron Hubbard, June 10, 1971



Avast, Ye Mateys

“DRESS: Dear All, regarding our uniforms and dress — we looked a rather mottled lot on the dock yesterday and it was necessary to delay the Port Captain’s arrival to prevent him seeing us all in that state. Please remember we are an important ship round these ports so we must look that way. Please improve your dress and smarten up to fit. PORT: The Port Captain came aboard for drinks — he has invited Liz and I out for a meal and wants to return with his wife so she can see the ship. PRO in this port is cool.” — Lt. Barry Watson PO/Port Captain, June 10, 1970


Overheard in the FreeZone

“I think it is time to review the several kinds of LRHs on Earth and in other planets that are able to make tech. There is the first ‘other LRH’ that Hubbard speaks of in a taped lecture of the ‘Time Track of Theta’ lectures. LRH explains that there is ‘another him’ (theta line) that is not in this planet and was publishing Book 1, ‘Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health’ at the same time as LRH. In conclusion, there is another LRH in another planet developing Scientology or Dianetics and this was described by LRH himself. Then we have another probable time line of LRH, described as a Brazilian Nazi drug dealer called Pedrito. I don’t think Pedrito might reincarnate and claim he is the original LRH we knew and make tech. The reference is also in the Time Track of Theta tapes. The next LRH after his body death would be Captain Bill Robertson’s Elron Elrey. The story goes that LRH dropped his body and assumed the identity of Galactic Patrol Commander for Sector 9, Elron Elrey. This Elron Elrey LRH would communicate with Capt. Bill and developed the Ron’s Org Tech. This tech does not replace Scientology tech but continues the research. I was told of a female LRH but I don’t know if she is a contemporary or a returney and I have no more data on that.”


Past is Prologue

2000: Tony Williams reported a protest in Atlanta this week. “We had two new signs – I had one that said ‘Scientology Lies –’ on one side, and ‘Who is Xenu? find out at’, while ethercat carried ‘What is Scientology? Its a Bait and Switch Scam’, backed with ‘Scientology – They sell you a Bridge, and their logo is a Double-Cross!’. We brought some Flyer-Paks(R) with us; we were able to hand out 3 of them! We picketed from a little before 11:00 until a little past noon, as we had planned. A bit before noon Linda the OTVII showed up to water the poor dying marigolds and petunias planted in the obviously un-prepared ground next to the sidewalk. At a previous picket Ethercat had promised to bring some information to Linda concerning Hubbo’s hatred of Gays, and the last time we saw her she had berated us for not bringing it. Well, we had it today, but Linda refused to accept it.”


Random Howdy

“I think it was John Brousseau who said that he heard C.O.B. demean his father by calling him a ‘theetie-weetie thetan.’ LRH used the term in a lecture, I do believe.”



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] Scientologist chiro gets 5 years probation for fraud after settling sex harassment suit
[TWO years ago] Danny Masterson’s odds? Juries really don’t like Scientology, Wise Beard Man reminds us
[THREE years ago] Singing for L. Ron Hubbard in the Sea Org: New videos about the Scientology experience
[FOUR years ago] YouTube runs interference for Scientology and its Nation of Islam bigot problem
[FIVE years ago] Scientology working its grift on a continent where it’s the last thing they need
[SIX years ago] Who’s the most powerful elected Scientologist in the land? We have a candidate.
[SEVEN years ago] Tonight, Cathy Schenkelberg takes her Scientology cans to the Hollywood Fringe
[EIGHT years ago] Garcias file notice of appeal with the Eleventh Circuit, take on two more specialist attorneys
[NINE years ago] About that ‘threesome’ with L. Ron Hubbard and the Heinleins
[TEN years ago] Scientology Goes After Critics With Legal Threat Letters Following Strange Infiltration
[ELEVEN years ago] Scientology Book Bonanza! Jeff Hawkins Delivers, and More Reasons for Librarians to Hide


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 3,056 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,561 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 3,111 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 2,101 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,992 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 5,296 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 3,167 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 2,272 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,719 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 4,061 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,627 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 8,546 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,713 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 4,295 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,556 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,592 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 3,308 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,872 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 1,187 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 2,362 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,913 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 4,044 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 4,382 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 9,237 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 4,356 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,712 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 7,015 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 3,121 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 3,519 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 3,395 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,978 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 3,473 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,727 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,836 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on June 10, 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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