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PODCAST: ‘Oppenheimer’ and Scientology, with physicist Bruce Hines

The highly anticipated new film Oppenheimer, directed by Christopher Nolan, hit theaters yesterday, and we had a crazy idea: Watch the film on opening day here in New York while former Scientology auditor Bruce Hines caught it in Denver, and then talk about it!

Why Bruce? Well, not only has he been a great contributor to the Underground Bunker, writing really terrific narratives about his time in the Sea Org and auditing some really interesting people (such as Nicole Kidman and Mary Sue Hubbard), but he’s also a physicist!

And we wanted to discuss with him the totally nutty way that Scientology and the Oppenheimer film actually do intersect, thanks to a particularly bombastic tall tale from founder L. Ron Hubbard, who claimed to have been involved with the scientists working on the first atomic bombs.

You can read about that in this 2015 piece we put together with help from researcher Lauren Wolfe. It’s amazing stuff, and we know Bruce would have some fun things to say about it.

Listen to or watch the podcast here.



Technology Cocktail

“Scientology, in less than a decade, has become the world’s primary study of Man and the mind and has today more offices and practitioners than all other Nineteenth Century practices combined. Thus we must learn to bury the past of mental healing and look forward to our better day, the day of Scientology and new hope, the day of help without threat or harm, the day of a new and better civilization, born with the birth of a better understanding of Man.” — 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 [49] Mark Ebner


Source Code

“I took a hard-boiled, hardheaded, sonic shut-off, somatic shut-off, reality shut-off case and had him pretend he was dead, in the hope that he would swing into the dead person in whose valence he was, and then he could tell us all about the funeral. So I said, ‘Go to the time when you were dead.’ So he obligingly went to 1797 in Sicily, when he was in a farmhouse dying. He died with full somatics. I thought this was very interesting, so I brought him up to present time and thought about it a little more, and took another case….We are discovering incidents back there. I never investigated them before, although I probably should have. We don’t currently know much about them except that people feel better when they are run. This is not part of the standard technique of Dianetics at present although I have known this material was there for some time.” — L. Ron Hubbard, July 22, 1950


Avast, Ye Mateys

“NOTICE: Any FEBC student who arrived here before April 20th is overdue for completion. Your Orgs need you; therefore, you should do everything in your power to complete all your outstanding cycles quickly and thoroughly so that you can be fired. As per HCO PL of Feb 22, 1968, ‘The secret of any executive success is the ability to COMPLETE cycles of action QUICKLY.’” — Mary Sue Hubbard, Controller, July 22, 1971


Overheard in the FreeZone

“I don’t think LRH knew I was coming from the future. I didn’t get that until after I had the sessions where I listened to Alex Collier tell us this period of time had already happened and the future is in terror and we came back to fix it in Sept 11, 2012. Everything opened up then. I couldn’t get the Church of Scientology to know this because I didn’t know it yet. I think LRH spotted this in me and thought maybe I was another one of him and I could feel at FSO he was a bit afraid of me. I could feel it. I joined the Sea Org right after I went out of body into a UFO the night before I joined to Sea Org in 1971 and I had a compulsion to get to LRH and get him to Audit me and deliver whatever messages they flooded into me. If I could have gotten to him then maybe the takeover wouldn’t have happened.”



Past is Prologue

2000: The Lisa McPherson Trust issued a press release this week on the visit of Ursula Caberta to Clearwater for a press conference. “The Lisa McPherson Trust will host a reception and press conference for Ursula Caberta, head of the Task Force on Scientology of the Hamburg, Germany, government, at 10 a.m. on July 25, at the LMT offices located at 33 N. Ft. Harrison Ave. in Clearwater. Mrs. Caberta will discuss recent revelations that German Scientologist Antje Victore submitted fraudulent documents to a Tampa, Florida, judge to obtain political asylum in the United States. Mrs. Caberta will highlight the activities of her task force and the harassment to which she has been subjected at the hands of the Scientology organization in Germany. “Mrs. Caberta will also discuss the case of a German former Scientologist who has brought suit against Scientology in Clearwater, Berlin and Copenhagen for lost wages and imprisonment. The suit claims he was held prisoner for two weeks in a six-foot square, windowless room in Clearwater, and that he was subjected to ‘psychological torture.’ A live audio stream will be available on the LMT website,, during the conference.”


Random Howdy

“My opinion is that the ‘true believer’ type personality is as much, if not more, the reason why some people end up in cults, than the ‘mind control’ explanation.”


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 Sep 7.
Jane Doe 1 v. Scientology, David Miscavige, and Gavin Potter: Case unsealed and second amended complaint filed. Next hearing August 1.
Chiropractors Steve Peyroux and Brent Detelich, stem cell fraud: Ordered to mediation.



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] Is Scientology key to solving a young woman’s disappearance? Police want to know.
[TWO years ago] Here’s our motion to quash the subpoena Danny Masterson’s attorney slapped us with
[THREE years ago] Scientology is a special hell for the ‘staff’ who work at your local ‘org’
[FOUR years ago] Sudden change in Maiden Voyage events in Los Angeles a clue to Ideal Org problems?
[FIVE years ago] A tale of two cities: Scientology courts pols and police in one place, acts sneaky in another
[SIX years ago] Janis Grady’s new book on life in Scientology: Jon Atack’s take, and an excerpt
[SEVEN years ago] Was it something we said? Scientology wants Cindy Plahuta’s letter in fraud lawsuit struck
[EIGHT years ago] How Scientology is Tom Cruise? How he put ethics ‘ruthlessly’ in on his own family
[NINE years ago] More trouble for Scientology fundraising and recruitment in Europe
[TEN years ago] DISCONNECTION: A Double Dose of Scientology’s Toxic Use of “Leverage”
[ELEVEN years ago] Neil Gaiman, 7, Interviewed About Scientology by the BBC in 1968


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 3,098 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,613 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 3,163 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 2,153 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 2,034 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 5,338 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 3,209 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 2,314 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,761 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 4,103 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,669 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 8,588 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,755 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 4,337 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,598 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,634 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 3,350 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,914 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 1,229 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 2,404 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,955 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 4,086 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 4,424 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 9,279 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 4,398 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,754 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 7,057 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 3,163 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 3,561 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 3,437 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 3,020 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 3,515 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,769 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,878 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on July 22, 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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