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Scientology’s lobbyist: He was sent to DC with a secret mission, and we have it

[Greg Mitchell and Renee Bessone]

For quite a few years now stories have popped up occasionally in the media about Scientology’s DC lobbyist, Greg Mitchell. Usually, they’re some version of, “no way, Scientology has a lobbyist?”

And we really can’t blame folks for being astonished. It does seem kind of crazy that Scientology openly pays a guy to influence Congress.

Way back in December 2006, for example, the Wall Street Journal seemed pretty amused that Mitchell and Scientologist actress Jenna Elfman were hosting a holiday party at the L. Ron Hubbard house in DC and were being pretty open about it. “It is a time for us to thank you for your hard work and dedication, celebrate our successes, and look ahead to many shared wins in 2007!” said the invitation the newspaper received.

In 2013, the conservative Daily Caller noted suspiciously that Mitchell had lobbied the incoming Obama Administration on behalf of Scientology. (But Mitchell has lobbied both Democratic and Republican administrations.)

In 2015, Business Insider interviewed Mitchell, who said he was mainly focusing on issues of “religious freedom” for the church. He said that he was a Scientologist and had been lobbying for the organization since 2003. “I did it because I believed in the programs,” he said.


In more recent years, here at the Underground Bunker Rod Keller noted that in 2019 Mitchell and his wife, former dancer Renee Bessone, had formed a political group they called “Conscience Coalition” that focused mainly to oppose vaccine mandates. (And that was before the pandemic.)

Rod noted that in 2019 Mitchell managed to meet directly with Vice President Mike Pence to talk about international religious freedom.

Also, records indicate that in 2020, Mitchell finally went Clear. Well, good for him.

Open Secrets has records of Scientology’s DC spending over quite a few years, indicating that it has just one lobbyist (Mitchell), and that it tends to spend between $60,000 and $100,000 each year, with less in the last few years.

Mitchell has a few other clients (the latest disclosures suggest he represents four other firms besides Scientology), and his company, The Mitchell Firm, usually only employs him, although it did have a few other lobbyists bringing in money from 2011 to 2015.

So Mitchell has been at this for 20 years for the church, he tends to be Scientology’s only DC lobbyist. That’s a long time to be currying favor in DC with successive administrations.

But to what end?

“Religious freedom” is pretty vague. And Mitchell told Business Insider that a focus on prisoner issues was related to Criminon and something he was more focused on earlier.

So what is Scientology hoping to get from paying a DC lobbyist, a Scientologist, to gladhand members of Congress and curry favor at the White House?

Turns out Scientology wrote its aims for Mitchell all down.

Recently, Marc Headley announced that he had got his hands on a trove of documents from Scientology’s secret spy wing, the Office of Special Affairs, which outlined its detailed covert operations that were going on in 2007.

One of them was the OSA program defining Greg Mitchell’s aims as lobbyist for the church in Washington, which Marc generously shared with us.

We sent a copy of the program to Mitchell more than a week ago, but we’ve heard nothing back from him. We’ll let you know if he eventually reaches out.

Here’s the OSA program outlining in 2007 what Mitchell’s instructions were. It’s some pretty interesting stuff.


(Note: ABLE is the Association for Better Living and Education, Scientology’s Sea Org-run umbrella organization that oversees its various front groups, referred to as “Social Betterment” corporations or SBCs in this document.)


So this document suggests that Mitchell is tightly controlled by Scientology’s spy wing, and that his major target is to win support for Scientology in Congress.

While he doesn’t appear to be getting a lot of progress on that, we figure this document is a good reminder of Scientology’s ultimate aim: Acceptance of L. Ron Hubbard and his “tech” by the public, and banishment of psychiatry.

Good luck, Greg.


Technology Cocktail


“I have a great deal of data now that has not been generally released and indeed was never before known here on Earth. The figures are in, the checks have been made. And here’s what I have found: The first Clears I made in 1947 that were stable were in reality Theta Clears, not Mest Clears. Had I had more finance and the data I collected between 1947 and 1959 I would have known that.” — 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 [43] Tory Christman [44] Kate Bornstein [45] Christian Stolte [46] Mark Bunker [47] Jon Atack [48] Luke Y. Thompson



Source Code

“I feel I should apologize for coming a little bit late to this lecture: three, four, five minutes. But you should realize that this particular planet has a great many lures. There are all kinds of things. There’s drink, you know, there’s beautiful women. There are all of these various things and they lure you away and distract your attention from what you should be doing. And recently, I’d had a Lincoln for ages — since about ’54 — and I sold it and got a fantastic price for it. And then I traded an old Humber we had out here for it, you see, and I got me a Jaguar and — a 60, 61 Jag — and came out all straight on this. And I regret to have to report to you that the Jaguar is leading me astray. I went out to take a fifteen-minute run to get some fresh air and came back three hours later. So you see, sometimes it’s drink, sometimes it’s women. In this particular case it’s a Jaguar. You’ll pardon me weaknesses. Blame it on the planet.” — L. Ron Hubbard, July 12, 1962


Avast, Ye Mateys

“If you want to start a project or two 1. Grab your hat 2. Speed up the ships comm 3. Resign from the Bid-a-Wee Social Club and join the SO! I can and do single-hand this 3200 ton ship. It’s time some made up their minds to decide its theirs too and help me out.” — The Commodore, July 12, 1969


Overheard in the FreeZone

“Life in Scientology Town, USA: A Narrative for your Consideration. In Scientology Town, coordination and cooperation are the rule of the day, not competition. In our factories and fields, almost everything is made, harvested, maintained, and repaired by intelligent machines, and near-human autonomous robots. Human people and our alien friends create art, culture, games, do interesting research, and maintain Scientology outposts on nearby inhabited planets. Our schools and universities use study tech and Hubbard educational methods. School attendance is not mandatory. Education is loads of fun. Students absorb materials online or in study centers where teachers, trainers, drill instructors, and courseroom supervisors monitor the students but generally do not repeat the same principles of the study material which has already been well delineated in the materials. Our communities do not have police departments. Military operations take place only on other planets. On Earth, we have Ethics Officers, who only teach principles. They do not punish or penalize. There are no SPs or PTSs, except in off-Earth locations. Our Government runs off of HCO PLs, and generally avoids making additional laws, restrictions, regulations, or requiring licensing as a prerequisite. We do not have psychs. There are no drug manufacturers. We have no recreational drugs, and no drugs, period. Our doctors teach health principles. They do not perform surgeries. They heal with physical therapy. We have almost no lawyers because we don’t need them. The few agreed-upon laws are founded upon HCOPLs and we ourselves can read and understand them; we don’t need lawyers in order to understand them or to represent us in front of a committee or court of law. It is not at all dangerous to speak for ourselves or advance our concerns here. There are a lot of us who work in space, busily constructing space stations or running space-resort complexes.”


Past is Prologue


1997: The St. Petersburg Times carried an article this week on TradeNet, a Scientologist-run multilevel marketing company setting up headquarters in Dunedin, Florida, near Clearwater. “The property, assessed for tax purposes at $909,000, is located at 380 Main St. has been purchased by TradeNet, an 18 month old company that is a network marketer (sort of like Amway), selling environmentally safe products. It’s biggest seller is a 3″ plastic ball filled with a blue liquid that is supposed to replace soap in washing machines by emitting a ‘Negative charge,’ causing the water to clean your clothes. It is good for about 1,000 loads and sells for about $75.00. TradeNet employs about 150 people. The company also leases the former Yakie Lumber Yard on Alt. US 19 in Palm Harbor where 40 others work. This situation has put the squeeze on downtown parking which is of concern to other businesses in the area although the city has recently started enforcing the three hour parking limit. ‘Just so the blue shirts stay in Clearwater,’ said a local restaurant owner, ‘That’s all I care about because it scares people.’ ‘They’re going to take over the whole town,’ said another business owner. And yet another said, ‘I’m still afraid that Dunedin’s going to end up looking like downtown Clearwater.'”


Random Howdy

“The first time I heard about the ‘overt motivator sequence’ was when the Carmen Rainer outrage occurred and vaLLarrr was defending Jan Eastgate for telling a 10-year-old girl it was her fault that her stepfather molested her. I asked vaLLarrr, ‘So it was her karma?’ and vaLLarrr said it was something different than karma. The resident ex-Scientologist explained the overt motivator sequence to me and my head exploded.”


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 Sep 7.
‘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] Singing for David Miscavige: What it was like in Scientology’s indentured servitude
[TWO years ago] How Scientology wrecks the lives of people who never even go near it
[THREE years ago] Scientology turned ‘Dianetics’ into a 4-hour video, and the result is UTTER MADNESS
[FOUR years ago] Scientology front group claims it fed an anti-psychiatry story to the L.A. Times
[FIVE years ago] Derek Bloch reflects on what having Scientology parents can mean for kids in the church
[SIX years ago] David Miscavige’s dark vision for Scientology: ‘What did you think you were joining?’
[SEVEN years ago] Here’s how you can help make a difference in lives touched by Scientology
[EIGHT years ago] Jon Atack: Scientology’s snitch culture, and how ex-members must relearn the notion of privacy
[NINE years ago] Scientology accused of financial sleight of hand to avoid paying in human slavery lawsuit
[TEN years ago] Hey, Tom Cruise, Why Weren’t You the One to Raise a Stink When This Woman Went Missing?
[ELEVEN years ago] Scientology Auditing Kids: Proof From Church’s Own School Website
[TWELVE years ago] Scientology Quick Hits: Janet Reitman Is Not Afraid, and Other News


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 3,088 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,603 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 3,153 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 2,143 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 2,024 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 5,328 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 3,199 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 2,304 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,751 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 4,093 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,659 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 8,578 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,745 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 4,327 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,588 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,624 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 3,340 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,904 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 1,219 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 2,394 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,945 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 4,076 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 4,414 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 9,269 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 4,388 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,744 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 7,047 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 3,153 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 3,551 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 3,427 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 3,010 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 3,505 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,759 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,868 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on July 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


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