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Scientology has a toxic effect on family: A testimonial

Sunny Pereira’s remarkable piece about growing up in Scientology garnered a big response, including this dispatch that was emailed to us by a reader. We thought you’d want to see it.

Thanks for sharing Sunny’s piece on Scientology and attachment styles. It’s so relevant in this community, even outside the Sea Org.

I believe even out in the general Scientology public, insecure attachment styles are the norm for people who grow up in it. The environment breeds it.

I’ve married and divorced two Scientologists. Both of them born-ins, both raised by single moms on staff at orgs. Their moms weren’t present for their kids and the resulting attachment styles of their kids are proof of it. Truly sad beginnings. It’s also interesting that both of my exes are ex Sea Org, both joining in their teens.

One ex husband is mostly out of Scientology now, though he waffles back and forth, so I’m never sure. He has a disorganized attachment style. We were married a year and he left while I was pregnant. That sucked. I don’t think he will be able to have a steady, stable, and loving long-term relationship with anyone.


My other ex husband has an extremely strong avoidant attachment style, which made it hard to have a deep relationship with him, though our marriage lasted many years. He had weird views on marriage roles that seem to be plucked straight out of a 1950’s TV show. It’s super weird. I believe it has much to do with his mom, who left to do services out of state when he was months old. Apparently he didn’t recognize her when she came back. Nothing, absolutely nothing, would have had me leave my baby and go to training or work or anything. Nothing. She was fairly absent most of his life with staff by day, a real job at night, and using the dollar theater as a babysitter on the weekends. One dollar would last him the whole day since he’d just sneak from movie to movie. Reminds me of how those Japanese princesses had their feet bound and they never grew right leaving them mangled and distorted for life, same with my ex and the world of emotion, empathy, or love – it just wasn’t there.

I got into the church with my parents when I was a young kid, so I thankfully have a secure attachment style. And, as I raised my kids in a similar fashion to how I was raised as a baby, I held and sang to, and was extremely present for my kids despite a lot of hot and heavy pressure from the group to do the Bridge instead. I can’t tell you how many times my mother-in-law told me to “put that baby down” and that I was ruining my kid. That kid, by the way, is going on a full scholarship to university and is the kindest and most present family member; truly a good human. Very proud all round. So, Scientology can all take a long walk off a short pier with their parenting suggestions. The church makes bound-feet princesses, not healthy people.

Looking at a larger circle of my friends that I grew up with who also had parents on org staff when they were born but to married parents, those people are all anxiously attached. Several of my close friends are no longer in but are working through so much of this in their personal lives. So, one for one, the folks I’ve been close to that were born into Scientology and raised by org staff parents have either anxious, avoidant, or disorganized attachment styles. Not one has a secure style. Not one.

So, I’m fairly certain my kids are securely attached but it took a lot of persistence and heels digging in, and a lot of backlash from the community, just as a public, with ex staff mother-in-laws and ex Sea Org partners. I was definitely the minority. But, I’m stubborn and, now having learned about attachment styles, so glad I was.

Now, as I scrape up the broken pieces of my life after leaving, I seek a securely attached gent to share a life with, a life that is healthy and free of religious narcissism and systematic sociopathy.

Thanks again for sharing this story and I am so damn glad you are here.


Technology Cocktail

“Clearing a large population of Earth in our lifetimes is not even improbable now the way it’s going. By establishing responsible centres all over Earth, running HAS Co-Audits and having them train and process, by having HASI and the FC give upper level training, by holding a tight rein on off-beat activities, we’ll make it rather easily.” — 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 know it’s fashionable for the newspapers to say I never went to college and there are several colleges at this particular time that are wishing that I hadn’t gone there. But I can also assure you that you give them another decade or so, those colleges I haven’t even done more than go to a prom at will have some plates on ’em. You know? Man is silly, you see?” — L. Ron Hubbard, July 28, 1966



Avast, Ye Mateys

“SAILING: We sail at 1600 today regardless of barometer (which is falling) waves (which are rising) and restraint of Rulers and Princes (there are no restraints) Perils of the Sea (which are only too real) and Acts of God (means things you can’t figure out how you goofed). Standby to take on Dramamine (called so because it keeps one from ‘drama’-tizing). Secure everything and tie down everything except the watch. In short let’s get the blue blazes out of here!” — The Commodore, July 28, 1971


Overheard in the FreeZone

“The leader of the Church of Scientology basically came out and said Covid is a hoax. He called it ‘planetary bullbait,’ which Scientologists will know what that means. Among other things he said it’s ‘hysteria.’ I am so proud of him. I’m no longer in the church because it’s kinda dodgy, but it’s so good that he actually told Scientologists the truth about Covid. We get so many presidents and politicians lying to us all the time that it’s just so nice to hear someone in a leadership role come out and tell it how it is. This is why the mainstream media attacks Scientology all the time. In fact it’s great to see lots of religions resisting the Covid propaganda: Christian TV, the Muslims, etc. This is why the leftists have been trying to destroy religion for the past 100 years, because they want the people only following them. Scientology doesn’t go along with the world socialist government and its programs, like this whole Covid hoax, and the world socialists freaking hate that. It also teaches people how to read excellently, a thing the leftists hate. They want dumb masses that are easy to manipulate.”


Past is Prologue

1999: The Los Angeles Business Journal published a profile concerning Heber Jentzsch, President of the Church of Scientology International. “In 1967, Heber Jentzsch was singing in front of an unusually rowdy crowd in Las Vegas. In the middle of his set, a man stood up and began demanding that Jentzsch get off the stage and that the showgirls be brought in to replace him. It was at that very moment the then-32-year-old Jentzsch realized his life was heading in the wrong direction. He got in his car and headed west to Los Angeles. He went downtown to the Church of Scientology – an institution he had read about while in the Army – and turned over his life. Jentzsch, now 63, has become the president of the Church of Scientology International, which reportedly has 8 million members. As an ordained minister of the religion, he performs weddings and funerals and keeps up his study of Scientology’s tenets several hours each week. Jentzsch also helps to direct the church’s volunteer ministries and community outreach programs, a task that placed him on the front lines of the L.A. riots and Northridge earthquake. Jentzsch blames ongoing animosity toward the church on a fear of changing the status quo. He argues that nay new religion is going to be met with disapproval. ‘I guess I would have to say to the naysayers that if you have a better program and you can save people, then do it,’ he said. Spurred by the involvement of famous celebrities including John Travolta and Kirstie Alley, the church now claims 250,000 members in Southern California – more than any other region of the world. ‘Celebrities are more spiritual in nature,’ Jentzsch said. ‘L. Ron Hubbard said, ‘A culture is as great as its dreams, and dreams are dreamed by artists.'”


Random Howdy

“Someone please find the e-mail they sent out telling the clams how to go to the dentist and get their gold fillings extracted for cash to donate. That is the ultimate example of what Scientology really is for me.”



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] VIDEO: Katie Holmes in the front row at a 2007 Scientology event with Tom Cruise
[TWO years ago] More Scientology euphoria: What it looks like to finish Grade 3!
[THREE years ago] Leah Remini: In Scientology, all sickness comes from enemies of the church
[FOUR years ago] Scientology uses actor Jason Dohring as bait in what ends up as a false imprisonment case
[FIVE years ago] Scientology in Europe: ‘A scapegoat always had to be found when something went wrong’
[SIX years ago] Bryan Seymour takes a Scientology field trip, and we’re the better for it
[SEVEN years ago] As Stacy Murphy lawsuit heads to crucial hearing, two Scientology entities settle
[EIGHT years ago] From Cradle to Slave: Nora Crest starts her video series with frank talk about Scientology and sex
[NINE years ago] Scientology’s fight with Ryan Hamilton delivers dox: The Eric Tenorio affidavit and more
[TEN years ago] With Leah Remini Under Attack on Twitter, TV Actor Christian Stolte Was a First Responder
[ELEVEN years ago] ‘Tom Cruise Worships David Miscavige Like a God’: A Scientology Insider Gives First Full-Length Interview to the Voice
[TWELVE years ago] VIDEO: Scientology Spy Comes Clean to Riverside County Board of Supes


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 3,104 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,619 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 3,169 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 2,159 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 2,040 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 5,344 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 3,215 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 2,320 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,767 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 4,109 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,675 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 8,594 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,761 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 4,343 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,604 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,640 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 3,356 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,920 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 1,235 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 2,410 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,961 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 4,092 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 4,430 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 9,285 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 4,404 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,760 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 7,063 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 3,169 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 3,567 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 3,443 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 3,026 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 3,521 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,775 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,884 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on July 28, 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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