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PODCAST: Spanky Taylor and Karen Pressley assess Leah Remini’s damage on Scientology!

Karen Pressley is in Los Angeles to celebrate the 25th anniversary of her decision to leave the Church of Scientology, and she’s visiting other escapees, including her good friend Spanky Taylor.

Spanky, of course, appeared in the 2015 HBO documentary ‘Going Clear,’ and she’s a longtime friend to the Underground Bunker.

We had a lot to discuss with both of them, but we definitely wanted to sound them out about this week’s bombshell news about Leah Remini filing a lawsuit against the church and David Miscavige.

The two of them also wanted to talk about the testimony in the Danny Masterson trial that exposed how Scientology punishes members who admit to being victims of crime, and they each related their own experiences seeing this. Both Spanky and Karen were important figures at the Hollywood Celebrity Centre in their eras.


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

Listen to or watch the podcast here.


Technology Cocktail

“Hubbard Communications Office Worldwide is now safely and securely established at Saint Hill Manor, East Grinstead, Sussex. Here, on half a hundred acres of lovely grounds in a mansion where we have not yet found all the bedrooms, we are handling the problems of administration and service for the world of Scientology. Included in the project list is the application of Scientology to the fifth dynamic. Ron has already created everbearing tomato plants and sweet corn plants sufficiently impressive to startle British Newspapers into front page stories about this new wizardry. The goal of the project is to reform the world food supply. But the project has already paid off to the extent of furnishing an entirely new theory of illness and a brand-new prevention of illness in human beings. Ron, helped by a full-time gardener, is doing this one in his spare time.” — 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

“The admiral’s office thinks very poorly of a person who gives any understanding to a crew about what they’re about, and who thinks very poorly of a ship that has fairly good morale. To have good morale is a condemnation. Got this? Now, that expediency goes up to a final peak where, man’s walking down the street, he’s picked up, he’s taken down to a spaceship, he’s laid in a bunk, he’s strapped down, given an injection. A speaker-phone starts going yap-yap-yap at him, indoctrinates him as a member of the crew, wipes out all former memory, works him over in general and he’s now part of the navy. Get the idea? It goes down to total no-determinism. Now, you just think I’m showing you a few of my engrams. They’re not my engrams; they’re the engrams of this race, and of all races in all times.” — L. Ron Hubbard, August 5, 1958


Avast, Ye Mateys

“LONG VOYAGES: WE will sail on the 12th on a 450 mile voyage. The radio direction finder must be checked for operation and accuracy. Freight etc must be all in hand in this country. Various ports need notifying of new schedule. MEA will have to be alerted. Should remaining TRCs be brought aboard? The awnings come down. Lot of work to do on all this. The Capt FSO should schedule such cycles and get them done on a realistic basis so its not a last minue flat out. A nice long sea voyage followed by others will get your sea legs working. It’s a calm part of the year.” — The Commodore August 5, 1971



Overheard in the FreeZone

“Here is my success story. I found myself in the restimulated being of the ‘intergalactic mercenary.’ I realized that it was because of this restimulation that I have no feeling of Home — a road and a constant movement are my home, no ties to any cozy place. The coolest one is my house on Alpha Centauri: I once woke up in the morning at the age of 18 with a clear confidence in this, I had only these words in my head: ‘my house is on Alpha Centauri.’ I had no idea what it was. Only when the Internet and the possibilities of Google reached me, I found complete information about this star and constellation. I also discharged a lot of electronic incidents and incidents connected with shells and those times when the human body was not yet created on Earth. The sensations are the most amazing after the releases!”


Past is Prologue

2000: Plans were announced this week for a benefit concert for the Lisa McPherson Trust, to be held in November in Clearwater. “The first annual benefit concert for the Lisa McPherson Trust. It is scheduled for Saturday, November 11, 2000 at a Clearwater, Florida venue to be announced at a later date. This event will feature area and regional musical acts, as well as appearances and speeches by former Scientologists and cult experts, among others. This event is being organized by area musicians, and all proceeds will be donated to the Lisa McPherson Trust.”


Random Howdy

“One man’s moonbat is another man’s freedom fighter. Winning is the only thing that truly matters.”


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] Jane Doe 1 makes rare statement: Don’t delay Danny Masterson trial for baseball conflict
[TWO years ago] John Travolta sells Clearwater house: What are the Scientology ramifications?
[THREE years ago] As Los Angeles schools prepare to reopen, Scientology keeps trying to worm its way in
[FOUR years ago] Scientology is the coolest religion on earth, video proves
[FIVE years ago] California is on fire, and Scientology naturally sees a golden recruiting opportunity
[SIX years ago] An unusual Scientology advertisement leads to new intel on secretive ‘Int Base’
[SEVEN years ago] Florida man sues medical sleep testing company after its dapper CEO forced Scientology on him
[EIGHT years ago] What really happens at a Scientology rehab? Nick Lister dishes on the Narconon experience
[NINE years ago] Mareka Brousseau compares growing up in Scientology to The Hunger Games
[TEN years ago] Will Shelly Miscavige Be Trotted Out at the Celebrity Centre Gala As a PR Stunt?
[ELEVEN years ago] Movie Night at Scientology’s New York “Org”: The Village Voice Gets Proselytized!
[TWELVE years ago] The Top 25 People Crippling Scientology


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 3,112 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,627 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 3,177 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 2,167 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 2,048 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 5,352 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 3,223 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 2,328 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,775 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 4,117 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,683 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 8,602 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,769 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 4,351 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,612 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,648 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 3,364 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,928 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 1,243 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 2,418 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,969 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 4,100 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 4,438 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 9,293 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 4,412 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,768 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 7,071 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 3,177 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 3,575 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 3,451 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 3,016 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 3,529 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,783 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,892 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on August 5, 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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