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On this day of declaring independence, we want to hear about your own fight for freedom

Here in the United States we are celebrating our independence, and we hope you are too, wherever you are.

Last year, your proprietor was feeling especially patriotic in these dark times and so for the first time we spent Independence Day where it all started, at Independence Hall in Philadelphia.

This year, also feeling concerned about how this old democracy is doing, we’ll be taking in the fireworks in Boston, on another patriotic pilgrimage.

As usual, however, we mark Independence Day here at the Bunker by asking readers to tell us about their own declarations of freedom from Scientology indoctrination. What first led you to question your involvement in the organization? How did you negotiate the tricky path of leaving if you still had family members in?


If you’ve told us before about how you left Scientology, what’s changed for you in the last year or two? Has your conception of your Scientology experience changed over time? Would you have done things differently to leave the group if you could?

And for the never-ins, tell us which of the escape stories you find most illustrative, most exciting, most devastating.

And maybe most importantly, what advice can you offer to those under-the-radar types who today are sneaking a peek at this website as they consider whether it’s time, finally, for them to declare their own independence and dissolve the bands which have connected them to David Miscavige and the Church of Scientology?


Technology Cocktail

“You can actually pick up an engram where he was running as Abraham Lincoln, and in the engram he was shot in Ford’s Theatre — you know — and the date is obviously correct. Dropped and everything. And then he runs John Wilkes Booth—no, he wasn’t Lincoln, he was John Wilkes Booth. And so help me God, you may find that he was the Secret Service Agent who had a couple of drinks that night and wasn’t watching. You don’t care whether he runs it dub or not. Don’t give up because he’s running it wrong, because it’ll come out right.” — 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

“Moral codes are solutions to problems which aren’t announced. And you can therefore define a moral code, technically. A moral code is a series of solutions to problems which have not been confronted or analyzed. And you get upset about moral codes. ‘Thou shalt not drink pitchers of milk after three P.M. before thy parents,’ or something like this. Do you realize that almost all of those commandments which are in the Bible at this particular time, that we call the Ten Commandments, are prompted by some obsessive crimes that existed at that state of the game, and that several of these commandments are solutions to venereal disease? Isn’t that interesting? I think it’s fascinating.” — L. Ron Hubbard, July 4, 1961


Avast, Ye Mateys

“RADIO NEWS: I don’t know what happened to our daily radio news and ALSO why we use radio news. There’s nothing much on it. Recent radio news was carefully censored of all major actions. US news magazines and Herald Tribune headlines are available daily in the port. (By the way, the Manson trial prosecutor says Manson said nothing about Scn and was worlds away from it and BBC is sweating to find out WHO said it on their pgm! Fair shook them. Our PR people are all over them and our legal is sharpening up an axe. BBC has stuck its neck out a half mile.)” — The Commodore, July 4, 1971



Overheard in the FreeZone

“Exterior with full perception may be a false goal. Consider that it takes agreement with the physical universe to see and feel it. As we go up the bridge we have less and less agreement with the physical universe and more and more we are in a creative band, creating something in the physical universe, or just for others to see. While it is delightful, while exterior to ‘feel’ a wall as it feeds its solidity back to you, I just do not understand why the goal of exterior with full perception was so important to LRH. Does anyone besides me really care if I am exterior with full perception, or not? Not really. They care about who I am and maybe what I am doing. Being exterior with full perception, does that really help clear the planet, or is it just a first dynamic ego trip?”


Past is Prologue

1996: A filing from Grady Ward to Judge Whyte was posted this week, in which he describes the wide availability of the secret Advanced Technology materials on the Internet.
“I understand the court is considering a brief and survey arguing that RTC’s so-called ‘Advanced Technology’ documents that are the subject of both that litigation and my litigation C 96-20207 inter alia has only been ‘briefly’ exposed on the internet. Despite that characterization by the plaintiff RTC, those documents have been continuously available over the internet since their initial releases in August 1, 1995 and May 6, 1996 respectively for the ‘Fishman Affidavit’ containing OTI-VIII and the NOTs series. These documents were not hidden and could be found by any individual using the commonly available search engines freely accessible over the web. In fact after describing to counsel for plaintiff Helena Kobrin the fundamentals of web search engines such as those freely available at I averred during my second accelerated deposition on June 27, 1996 that anyone would find these materials within thirty minutes or so. Surely enough, following my deposition, on Saturday, June 29, 1996, an internet user in Germany, Bruce Scott was in fact sent a cease and desist e-mail from counsel Kobrin for plaintiff. To this day the so-called SCAMIZDAT has been generally known, continuously and publicly available through internet-wide search and retrieval services. Exhibit B contains a posting describing how simple it is to access this material. Moreover, according to the testimony of Keith Henson in a related litigation, the ‘Fishman Affidavit’ containing the OTI-VIII documents have been in fact disseminated from an internet site whose owner, David Elrod, was reported to have permission to post Scientology and Dianetics related materials.”


Random Howdy

“There aren’t enough Scientologists left in the world to fill a sports arena, let alone a stadium.”



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] As Scientology’s struggles continue, it’s time to declare your independence!
[TWO years ago] Jon Atack and Mike Rinder on Scientology’s wackiest book: ‘A History of Man’
[THREE years ago] On this day of declaring independence, we want to hear about your own fight for freedom
[FOUR years ago] On this day of declaring independence, we want to hear about your own fight for freedom
[FIVE years ago] It’s ‘Declare your Independence of Scientology Day’ here again at the Underground Bunker
[SIX years ago] Images from spy camera show Clearwater bar owner not only target
[SEVEN years ago] Tell us how you declared your independence of Scientology on this glorious Independence Day
[EIGHT years ago] Jon Atack: Looking back on a week of Scientology enturbulation in Toronto
[NINE years ago] Scientology’s ‘Disconnection’ policy foiled as Jeremy Powers reunites with his family
[TEN years ago] The Declaration of Independence: When Did You Join the Sons of Liberty?
[ELEVEN years ago] Scientology Marriage Counseling Comes Down to This: ‘What Have You Done to Tom?’
[TWELVE years ago] Scientologists: How Many Of Them Are There, Anyway?


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 3,080 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,595 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 3,145 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 2,135 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 2,016 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 5,320 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 3,191 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 2,296 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,743 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 4,085 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,651 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 8,570 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,737 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 4,319 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,580 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,616 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 3,332 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,896 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 1,211 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 2,386 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,937 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 4,068 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 4,406 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 9,261 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 4,380 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,736 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 7,039 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 3,145 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 3,543 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 3,419 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 3,002 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 3,497 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,751 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,860 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on July 4, 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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