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PODCAST: Jon Atack on Charles Manson and Scientology

Jon Atack’s piece for us this week about Charles Manson and Scientology was such a hit with our readers, we knew we had to get him on the podcast this week to chat with him about it further.

Once again, choose your poison. You can listen to the audio podcast here or watch the video version at YouTube, which is embedded below.

Also, as he mentions at the end, Jon now has an audiobook version of his short overview, Scientology: Cult of Greed. We recommend you give it a listen.




Technology Cocktail

“Scientology is the greatest movement on Earth today, the only honest movement with real hope for Man’s future. It must not be stalled by the prevailing low of American ethics. It is shameful that I can only guarantee Scientology results in America where HCO or myself can directly supervise the processing. This must change. A professional auditor’s certificate must continue to mean honesty, results and adherence to the codes.” — L. Ron Hubbard, 1959



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

“To date, I think I’ve lost something in the neighborhood of four or five hundred dollars treating patients by accidentally leaving change around while treating somebody I didn’t know was a kleptomaniac — it wasn’t part of the diagnosis. And I’ve had people halfway through to Clear all of a sudden put the money back in the drawer again. That was about the first time I learned about how, as people come up the line, their honesty level comes up too.” — L. Ron Hubbard, July 1, 1950


Avast, Ye Mateys

“PERSONAL HYGIENE: Until 3 July the 1600-1745 period may be devoted to personal hygiene.” — The Commodore, July 1, 1970


Overheard in the FreeZone

“There are some who consider that LRH standard tech is the ultimate. However that is plainly not the case to anyone who can look. We do not have OTs. LRH was the most brilliant researcher into our condition that I have ever met or even read about. He had quite a unique ability to cut to the essentials. He also had a case of his own. Thus it might make sense to look at LRH’s case to find the occluded areas of research. What might LRH not have looked at due to having his own areas of occlusion?”



Past is Prologue

2000: The Riverside Press-Enterprise reported that a woman at Scientology’s Gold Base near Hemet, California was killed by electrocution in a utility pit. “A Church of Scientology member was electrocuted in a bizarre accident Sunday morning in an underground vault at the church’s film studio north of San Jacinto, authorities said. She was a woman in her 20s who had been a church member for 2 1/2 years, said Riverside County sheriff’s spokeswoman Lisa McConnell. The girl was a production company crew member at Golden Era Studios, which produces promotional and training films for the church. Firefighters were called to the scene about 10:15 a.m., said Riverside County fire Capt. Tim Chavez. The call first came out as a traffic collision, then as a structure fire. ‘When we arrived we found a woman electrocuted in a below-ground level vault, obviously dead,’ Chavez said, adding she was badly burned. She apparently died instantly after contacting a 7,200-volt wire connecting two transformers in the 10-foot by 10-foot by 8-foot vault, the Sheriff’s Department reported. ‘The individual was very badly burned and visual identification was impossible,’ said Senior Deputy Robert Moquin. The general manager, Ken Hoden, said the woman, interested in helping animals, was concerned about the death of a squirrel in the vault a few weeks earlier, went to investigate and, apparently, fell on the wires.”


Random Howdy

“People get distracted by the crazy convolutedness of the ‘Tech.’ At its core Scientology is simply a con game, a ‘long con.’ Hubbard just kept adding to his ‘Winchester Mystery House’ as he went along hoping the marks wouldn’t catch on. Unfortunately for D.M., Hubbard didn’t leave him much in the way of building materials.”


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 sentencing of Masterson on Aug 4.
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] Australia gained 2 million people between 2016 and 2021 — and lost 26 Scientologists
[TWO years ago] Defeating the ‘Satan worshippers’: Scientology’s secret war on doctors
[THREE years ago] Who knew? Scientology Volunteer Ministers bring ‘spiritual’ aid to disasters & not just PR
[FOUR years ago] Measles-free, Scientology’s cruise ship holds its annual ‘Maiden Voyage’ celebration
[FIVE years ago] Scientology celebrates 30 years of duping wealthy people on the high seas!
[SIX years ago] HowdyCon: From ‘Squeeze My Cans,’ Cathy Schenkelberg’s sexy Scientology sec-check!
[SEVEN years ago] Scientology’s ‘Ideal’ program really reaching at this point as it eyes a city without an org
[EIGHT years ago] Is David Miscavige really planning to extend Scientology’s ‘Bridge’?
[NINE years ago] Rathbun: ‘Scientology never endorsed anyone where there wasn’t a clear self-interest’
[TEN years ago] Scientology To Turn Over 18,000 Pages of Evidence to Laura DeCrescenzo on Tuesday
[ELEVEN years ago] How Scientology Is Likely To Be an Issue in the Divorce of Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise
[TWELVE years ago] Scientology and the Nation of Islam: A Heartwarming Independence Weekend Parable


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 3,077 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,592 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 3,142 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 2,132 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 2,013 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 5,317 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 3,188 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 2,293 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,740 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 4,082 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,648 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 8,567 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,734 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 4,316 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,577 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,613 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 3,329 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,893 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 1,208 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 2,383 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,934 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 4,065 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 4,403 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 9,258 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 4,377 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,733 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 7,036 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 3,142 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 3,540 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 3,416 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,999 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 3,494 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,748 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,857 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on July 1, 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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