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Report: LAPD covered up that Shelly Miscavige’s fingerprints didn’t match in 2013

[Shelly Miscavige in the 1990s, and her 2010 driver’s license photo]

Journalist Yashar Ali posted a bombshell investigation to his Substack last night. After six years of reporting, he found that when the LAPD met with Church of Scientology executive Shelly Miscavige in 2013 after Leah Remini had filed a missing person report, the fingerprints that were taken from Shelly didn’t conclusively match what was already on record — but rather than investigate further, the LAPD covered up the discrepancy for the church.

That summer we first broke the news on July 8, 2013 that Leah Remini had left Scientology, and then a month later in August, that she had filed a missing person report on her old friend Shelly Miscavige, wife of Scientology leader David Miscavige, who had mysteriously vanished after being a very visible figure in the organization.

On August 8, 2013 the LAPD announced that Remini’s report about Shelly was “unfounded,” but we later spoke to LAPD Lt. Andre Dawson, who told us that two of his detectives had met with Shelly and that she declined the opportunity to make a public statement. When we asked Dawson if that meeting had taken place in the presence of other Church of Scientology officials, he said “that’s classified.”

Now, Yashar has learned that the meeting actually took place at a coffee shop in West Covina (outside of LAPD jurisdiction), and that Shelly was accompanied by Jeffrey Riffer, an attorney we have seen handle David Miscavige’s personal legal issues in the past. At the meeting, Yashar says, Shelly’s fingerprints were taken, but they didn’t match conclusively the set of prints that were already on file at the DMV.

Yashar also obtained a record of Shelly’s driver’s license renewal at a West Covina DMV office in 2010, including the photo of her you see above, the first photo of her since her appearance at a Madrid “Ideal Org” opening in 2004, and since her disappearance in the summer of 2005.


Also, security footage from the coffee shop that would have shown if the woman with Riffer actually was Shelly Miscavige was found to have been scrambled, Yashar says.

Yashar’s sources tell him that the LAPD violated numerous law enforcement standards during its investigation.

My sources, and a review of documents, told me that Shelly was not informed that she was the subject of a missing person’s report by the LAPD detectives and that Remini was the one who filed it. There is also no indication that they ascertained why she was missing or what led her to withdraw so severely from life and her friends.

Not presenting Shelly with this critical information goes against every standard practice of law enforcement when a missing adult is found, even if they claim they are voluntarily missing.

In 2016, Leah Remini pursued this kind of information when she filed requests with the LAPD for records of what had happened with her missing person report, but she was told she wasn’t going to get any records at all.

Now, Yashar Ali has done a remarkable job learning just what the LAPD did — and didn’t do.

His report also goes into detail about Shelly’s overall story and describes how Scientology has such a grip on the LAPD. It’s a remarkable indictment of a law enforcement agency that not only failed to ask Shelly Miscavige the most basic questions about her situation but also kept from Leah Remini any information at all about how her report had been handled.

Yashar also mentions that Shelly was assigned Scientology Sea Org women to “handle” her in her banishment, something that we had also learned from Ron Miscavige before he died: Antonella Tisi, who was Shelly’s auditor, and Anne Joasem (formerly Anne Rathbun), her “handler.” And Yashar adds another name: Elsie Benhraiem (formerly Tucker).

In August or September of 2005 (not 2006, as numerous sources have it), Shelly Miscavige was moved from Scientology’s secretive international management base (“Int” or “Gold” it’s called), up to an even more secretive and much smaller compound, the headquarters of the Church of Spiritual Technology in Twin Peaks, California, and not far from Crestline and Lake Arrowhead.

Based on multiple lines of evidence, and public records, we believe that Shelly has been kept at that compound ever since, being let out only occasionally since then for excursions to Crestline and other places. She was seen by former Scientology film director Mitch Brisker in Redlands around 2008, and a woman in Crestline may have seen Shelly in 2015 and 2016. There are no serious reports of Shelly being seen outside the compound since that time.

Scientology, when it is asked about Shelly, says that she’s on a special assignment and not missing, and they have cited church attorneys who say they have spoken to Shelly and that she’s fine. For that reason, we do believe that Shelly Miscavige is not only still at the CST headquarters compound, but that she’s alive. (Attorneys may help Scientology cover up her whereabouts, but they are less likely to cover up a death.)

Each Christmas, we review what we know about Shelly’s strange banishment to the CST compound, and what law enforcement hasn’t done about it. (Including a time when Shelly’s own extended family tried to do a welfare check on her in 2016 and were rebuffed by the San Bernardino County Sheriff’s Department.)

Now, thanks to Yashar, we know even more about the lengths that law enforcement will go to protect David Miscavige and the Church of Scientology. Incredible.



Technology Cocktail

“For the first time I have worked out a purely first dynamic process. It is used by the Auditor on a pc with lots of attention to ARC Breaks, havingness and, of course, smooth skill. The process is ‘Invent something worse than you.’ Theoretically this is a “one shot clear” process. It directly changes the being that is making the bank—the thetan.” — 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

“You’d feel awfully strange if a robot clanked into the room, sat down in the auditing chair and began to pump your hand. As a matter of fact, you’d feel a little queasy. And in view of the fact that this has probably happened quite often on the track, that a robot walked in and started to dismantle you or something of the sort because you’d just had your doll body revoked, you react very badly to something that doesn’t communicate. You probably wouldn’t even object to the robot dismantling your doll body if he came in and said, ‘Well, I got an order here from the general council that you, having been guilty of mopery and dopery in high space, are herewith deprived of one doll body, and we’re going to take it apart and leave it on the bench for seventy-two hours.’ No, that’s what I used to do. This is a different one.” — L. Ron Hubbard, June 27, 1961


Avast, Ye Mateys

“I’ve just had a grand slam across the boards on C/S. With Belkacem auditing most, some by Dusty Rhodes and one by Otto, we really swept it up 100%. Two Very Well Dones and the rest Well Dones. And not easy C/Ses to do either. Boy can we get auditing done. Rest of you students better get going. You’ve got a lot to live up to with the standard now being set.” — The Commodore, June 27, 1969


Overheard in the FreeZone

“What is OT? If it is cause over matter, energy, space, and time, then it is still vague to me. It would be good to know what is possible with one’s mind and spirit, but granted, what LRH did in one lifetime was beyond amazing! Perhaps it is up to us to discover the possibilities. My 6th sense says to me that the CIA has an entire department that have studied and used Scientology tech for advanced horrors.”



Past is Prologue

1996: Variety magazine published an article on a film to be made with John Travolta and several other Scientology members. “At the same time he’s looking at doing a film with Sean Penn, Travolta has also been circling ‘Common Ground,’ a character-driven action drama about LAX security police during a series of bomb threats at the airport. The last incarnation of the project looked to be a Scientology reunion, with cast members Travolta, his wife Kelly Preston, and Kirstie Alley (who insiders said Travolta wanted in the picture) all members of the faith. Sources said there is a time constraint involved and the project may not happen with Travolta.”


Random Howdy

“You ever get up in front of 6,000 people who want to murder your ass until you prove you’re worthy of their adulation and they are spitting and throwing bottles and everything else they can lay their hands on? Because I have on numerous occasions.”


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. Sentencing on Aug 4.
‘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.
David Gentile, GPB Capital, fraud.


Civil litigation:
Baxter, Baxter, and Paris v. Scientology, alleging labor trafficking: Forced to arbitration. Plaintiffs allowed interlocutory appeal to Eleventh Circuit.
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.
Jane Doe 1 v. Scientology, David Miscavige, and Gavin Potter: Case unsealed and second amended complaint filed. Next hearing August 1.
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] After ‘Roe,’ can Scientology continue to force Sea Org women into unwanted abortions?
[TWO years ago] More minor Scientology celebrities making news, and not in a good way
[THREE years ago] The private eye who started out working for Danny Masterson & now may testify against him
[FOUR years ago] Tommy Davis is tying the knot in Morocco, and we didn’t get an invite
[FIVE years ago] In the Sea Org, no one can hear you scream: Another small slice of Scientology horror
[SIX years ago] REPORT: David Miscavige has not been to Scientology’s secretive ‘Int Base’ in four years
[SEVEN years ago] Leah Remini is shooting a TV series about Scientology
[EIGHT years ago] Did Scientology hire the man sent to prison for hacking us? Not his job to find out, judge said
[NINE years ago] Here’s a reminder of Scientology’s Cold War origins — L. Ron Hubbard on radiation!
[TEN years ago] Judge Whittemore Sets Evidentiary Hearing in Garcia Federal Fraud Lawsuit
[TWELVE years ago] Scientology’s ‘Martin Luther’ Nails Up His Disputation: Marty Rathbun’s Open Letter to his Texas Neighbors


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 3,073 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,588 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 3,138 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 2,128 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 2,009 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 5,313 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 3,184 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 2,289 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,736 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 4,078 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,644 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 8,563 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,730 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 4,312 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,573 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,609 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 3,325 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,889 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 1,204 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 2,379 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,930 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 4,061 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 4,399 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 9,254 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 4,373 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,729 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 7,032 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 3,138 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 3,536 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 3,412 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,995 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 3,490 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,744 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,853 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on June 27, 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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