Daily Notifications
Sign up for free emails to receive the feature story every morning in your inbox at


What’s up, Dave? Scientology still looks no closer to opening Austin and Chicago

At his New Year’s event, Scientology leader David Miscavige claimed that his “Ideal Org” program was coming back online after the pandemic, and that four new gleaming cathedrals would open just in the first quarter of 2023.

Well, half the year is almost up, and we’re still waiting for Dave to open up an Ideal Org this year.

Miscavige started the program 20 years ago, and he’s converted about 60 of the normal “orgs” to “Ideal Orgs” in that time, in places like Tampa, Tokyo, Rome, Mexico City, and New York.

Scientologists are told that the expensive program, with each Ideal Org costing tens of millions of dollars, is a key part of Scientology’s plan to “clear the planet” and begin a “new civilization.”

But there’s little evidence that the program is anything other than a real estate acquisition program, with no evidence that the new buildings have created the rush of new membership Miscavige promises will happen.


Until the pandemic put a hold on things in 2020, the two projects that were closest to completion were in Austin and Chicago, and we suspect that they will be the next to open. But when?

Dave’s promises have come and gone, but the two locations look no different than they have for years, each of the on the verge of opening, just waiting for Dave to come to town for a ceremony.

In both cities we have helpful readers who go by occasionally to give us an update on things. We want to thank the reader who sent us these photos this week of the situation in Austin…


And our indefatigable correspondent in Chicago who gives us regular looks at the unchanging building there…


It’s been pointed out to us that with Scientology’s major PR problems, perhaps Dave is having a hard time recruiting the large staffs that his Ideal Orgs are supposed to require at opening.

But we figure Miscavige can hold these grand openings whenever he wants to, staffing levels be damned. So why doesn’t he? What’s the hold up, Dave?


Meanwhile, our great thanks to Phil Jones, who recently sent us this report on another Scientology location…

Is the Winnipeg Canada Ideal Org at Risk of Being Torn Down?

We’re back in Winnipeg for a visit and so we decided to check out the local Scientology Org as well as their Ideal Org building to see if there was any progress.

It was over a decade ago since we visited the building Scientology had purchased for their new Ideal Org on the corner of Smith and Notre Dame. We got a close-up view of the building, with its crumbling mortar foundation, boarded-up windows, and derelict demeanor. Since then nothing has been done about it. No renovations at all, which is too bad as it would be a beautiful building if fully renovated.


There was one small attempt at fundraising for renovations by Scientology Winnipeg that I saw recently, but it was a meager showing and wouldn’t have been even enough to create the requisite office for L. Ron Hubbard that every Scientology Organization building must have. They won’t be anywhere near having enough to renovate their Ideal Org building.

In the last five years or so the city of Winnipeg has seen an increase in the number of derelict properties which has grown by nearly 50 per cent. So far there are more than 680 properties registered by the city as being derelict.

Now, Winnipeg City Hall has stepped in to handle the problem.

“Winnipeg’s property committee voted unanimously to amend the city’s vacant and derelict buildings bylaw to allow the Director of the Property and Development Department to issue demolition permits without a public hearing, and without requiring a plan to build something new in its place.”


“We’re laser-focused on this tough-as-nails approach,” says property committee chair Sherri Rollins.

At some point, the Scientology building may get an inspection. Included in the new bylaw is a requirement for derelict property owners to pay for inspection fees.

Scientology Winnipeg has an extremely small following and if there were renovations to take place in order to avoid the City stepping in, the money would have to come from Scientology International. Will David Miscavige step up? We’ll see.

I don’t think the city is looking to tear down the building any time soon, or ever, but legally at this point I suppose they could.

In the meantime, Scientology Winnipeg remains in its small offices downtown, just off Portage, near Main. This is just a few blocks from their Ideal Org derelict building. There’s little parking available there and it’s one of the highest crime areas in the city. Not somewhere you’d want to have your wife go on course at the Org in the evening and then walk back to the car.


I checked the front door of the current Winnipeg Scientology Org and it was locked. During the week it’s only open in the evenings.

— Phil Jones


Technology Cocktail


“Without a guiding central organization Scientology would fall into an anarchy of opinions in a week for there are too many who can go through the motions of auditing who do not know their basics. They think a new thing, Scientology, is an experimental thing. It is not. The basics are inflexible and have been for years.” — 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

“The United States is having an awful happy time right now pouring billions into foreign aid so these dirty, filthy, fly-ridden grass huts in Balooga-uga-uga-stan can all be torn down and they can put in nice seven-bedroom ranch houses with hot and cold running politicians throughout. And they’re just having a ball. And nobody is more surprised or will be more surprised than the United States government at the end of a period of time to find out that the exact proportion of ‘hate the United States government’ and ‘love the United States government’ exists as before. They might even have gone over toward ‘hate it’ before, to the degree that they actually enforced people to live in these seven-bedroom ranch houses, see. Because you talk to a boy in Blooga-uga-uga-uga-stan and he’s liable to tell you something on this order: ‘Ah, nice house, yeah, nice house. Yeah, reeds, reeds, nice reeds, side of a river, nice reeds. Wife there to raise some yams and so forth, and nice reeds, very thin walls.’ So you say, ‘What do you mean, very thin walls?’ He’s kept crooning over this idea of these thin reeds, you know. And it doesn’t sound like this guy’s very smart. And he looks at you like you’re crazy.” — L. Ron Hubbard, June 12, 1963


Avast, Ye Mateys

“Your bonus and wherewithal to work depends on the arrival and departure of students. Flag expense is up to three and a half times to five times what it was last year, mostly in the FAO. Two recent weeks were only around three thousand and six thousand. Such an average would be just about a tenth of the total cost. The income of Flag must be such that 20 percent of the gross covers bonuses. If it does not, then there are no bonuses.” — The Commodore, June 12, 1971


Overheard in the FreeZone

“I worked with Ron last life, and this life also before DM had him killed off. I do not trust anything of DM’s time, OK? I have met now four claiming to be Ron, but I just invited the one who is the real Ron returned. The others may also have some of the knowingness, but are not the same being.”


Past is Prologue


1995: The Associated Press reported this week that the Chilocco Development Authority has turned over the former Indian school to the Bureau of Indian Affairs rather than continue to deal with Narconon, the Scientology detoxification program. “But Wanda Stone, chairwoman of the Kaw Tribe, said her tribal council approved the move because it was tired of dealing with Narconon Chilocco New Life Center, a substance abuse treatment facility that has a 25-year lease on the site. ‘We decided we didn’t have time to mess with them,’ Ms. Stone said. The tribes had expected to receive a total of $16 million over 25 years when they signed the lease with Narconon five years ago. But Stone said the facility has only about 75 of the expected 1,000 beds. ‘We would get checks maybe every quarter for $2,500,’ she said. ‘We decided we had more important things to do.'”


Random Howdy

“As long as you’re not a boo-hoo or a grim weeper, you’re all right in my book.”


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] Spend enough on Scientology, and you too can bend the universe to your will!
[TWO years ago] What’s going on at the compound where Scientology is keeping Shelly Miscavige?
[FOUR years ago] Scientology’s new strategy for ex-members ignoring its letters: Sending out invoices
[FIVE years ago] How to get fired from a Scientology job the easy way — a real-world example
[SIX years ago] Scientology and kids: L. Ron Hubbard talks about small children as ancient beings
[SEVEN years ago] Scientology’s ‘Battlefield Earth’ campaign, featuring Frank Frazetta and a crashed saucer
[EIGHT years ago] Jon Atack: Scientology’s early history is something most members don’t actually know
[NINE years ago] More proof of Kerri Kasem’s Scientology involvement, and Laura Prepon lies like a rug
[TEN years ago] Tommy Davis & Jessica Feshbach: New Jobs and New Lives for Scientology’s Former Mouthpieces


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 3,058 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,563 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 3,113 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 2,103 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,994 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 5,298 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 3,169 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 2,274 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,721 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 4,063 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,629 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 8,548 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,715 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 4,297 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,558 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,594 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 3,310 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,874 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 1,189 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 2,364 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,915 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 4,046 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 4,384 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 9,239 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 4,358 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,714 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 7,017 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 3,123 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 3,521 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 3,397 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,980 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 3,475 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,729 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,838 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on June 12, 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


Share Button
Print Friendly, PDF & Email