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Sinéad O’Connor and Scientology: How she dodged a Thetan-tipped bullet

[O’Connor on The Graham Norton Show in February, 2012]

Sinéad O’Connor’s death at the age of 56 has produced an outpouring of tributes to her as a transformative artist and political figure, as well as moving portraits of her struggles with mental illness, something she was more open about than most. (See, for example, this superb piece by Margaret Spillane.)

Last week we began to hear about an encounter that she had with Scientologists in Ireland about a decade ago. And it turned out that O’Connor herself provided some evidence that what we were hearing actually did take place. But in order to tell this story, we are not revealing the identity of our source, whom we will call Emily.

Emily had only recently broken up with the man who was the father of her son when she first met Jack (not his real name).

“I was just out from being with my son’s dad,” she says, explaining that one result of being on her own was that she had obtained a computer and was making her first forays on the Internet.


“Jack was one of the first people I’d ever met online,” she says. “We met on MySpace.”

Emily was in her early 30s, Jack about ten years older.

And one of the first things she learned about him was that he was a Scientologist.

Emily knew almost nothing about it, but she soon learned that Jack considered himself a higher kind of being, and that he expected her to get involved in Scientology too.

“The very first time I met him he told me he was a demigod.”

He told her that she needed to do the Communication Course at the Dublin Mission, and she began a tumultuous relationship both with Jack and with the church.

She describes an unequal relationship that today she realizes was unhealthy. But after the breakup with her son’s father, she was feeling lost.

She lived some distance away from Dublin, and so she’d wait for Jack to come out on weekends, and accepted his criticisms of her “reactive mind” and other shortcomings that he described in Scientology jargon.

“If Jack said the sky was pink, I’d have believed it must have been my fault,” she says. Looking back, she cringes at the way she blamed herself for any problems in the relationship and craved Jack’s attention as a form of approval.

“I always felt like he was better than I was. More intelligent and stronger. And if I could just get rid of my Reactive Mind, then things would be better. He would tell me that anything that I struggled with here and now was because I’d probably done worse in my previous lives, and that had stuck with me from that very first phone conversation he and I had. When I met him and he explained some of Scientology to me, I believed him. We did argue, but he’d win most of the arguments every time because he was Clear and I was not.”

Then, about three years into their relationship, Jack came out to see her for the weekend, and it had gone about the same as the other times through Friday and Saturday nights.

Then, on Sunday, just a couple of hours before he was scheduled to head back to the city, he said something that stunned her.

“By the way,” he said, “I’m going to meet Sinéad O’Connor on Friday.”

Confused, she remembers asking, “What do you mean?”


He said that the singer had said publicly that she had joined a dating site in order to meet men, and he had sought her out.

In March 2012, at her website O’Connor made the announcement about how to reach her: “This is to let you all know before anyone else does that I have now officially joined the dating site known as (or pof) under the username of VeryCareful1 and invite anyone interested to view my profile.”

Jack said he had taken O’Connor up on it.

“He was bragging that he had gotten her to meet him,” Emily says. “I was so upset. He already had so many things over me.”

Jack said he’d arranged to meet O’Connor after she performed in Dublin Friday night.

Emily remembers that she wondered what she had done wrong to cause this, and how she could fix it.

“I asked him, ‘Tell me what to do,’” and she pauses to think about it. “It’s so sad to think I said that.”

If she was bewildered at the time, in hindsight Emily thinks she understands Jack’s motivations now.

“I think his aim was to meet someone famous. He had said he deserved to know famous people. I think his plan was to bring her in to Scientology and then he would get all the praise that he believed he deserved.”

About a week later, Emily remembers, Jack told her about his meeting with the singer, which ended up back at her hotel room.

“He said he had met her and had a good time, but that her guitar player was better looking,” she says, adding how much his comments disgust her now.

“His exact words were ‘I could destroy her.’ He was referring to her taking medication for her mental health. I took it to mean that he could destroy her mentally and emotionally,” she says.

With her own relationship in trouble, Emily also worried about what could happen to O’Connor. At that point, she says, she reached out to someone she was not supposed to communicate with, someone who had not only left Scientology but who was very vocal about it.

A man named Pete Griffiths.


With her own doubts in Scientology growing, Emily had begun reaching out to other people who had left, which had gotten her in trouble with the people at the mission.

She describes her time in Scientology as a troubled series of comings and goings, and constantly being in trouble, what Scientologists refer to as being “in ethics.” This time, she was careful to be quiet about what she was doing.

“All I could do was hope that Pete would somehow be able to tell Sinéad to stay as far away from them as possible,” she says.

“I can’t recall what I found in the end, whether it was a direct email or her record company or management but I dashed off a message pronto,” Pete says, confirming Emily’s story. “It went along the lines of, ‘You don’t know me and I hate to intrude into your privacy but I was recently alarmed to hear that you have been developing a friendship with [Jack] who is a known Scientologist who is boasting that he is going to recruit you into the cult. This would be a terrible thing to happen to anyone and I am simply warning you that you are being targeted by this person. Once again I apologize for the invasion and I hope you will respect my concerns for your safety. Yours etc.’.”

Pete and Emily aren’t aware if O’Connor ever got the message, but Emily said that Jack eventually told her that he had changed his mind about bringing O’Connor into Scientology.

“I got it from him and from my auditor that she wasn’t welcome in Scientology because of her psychiatric medication.”

About a month after Jack first announced that he was going to meet O’Connor, on April 14, 2012, Sinéad herself published a new blog post in the form of a long letter to Bob Dylan. In it, she makes a reference to a man that is clearly Jack.

“I met another really nice man.. But he says he is going back with his wonderful girl friend.. Who he has probably actually been with all the time, now that I think of it. Also says I could never ‘be the woman’ for him as he doesn’t believe in mental illness or psychiatric drugs and I have the milder form of bi polar disorder and take meds.. But get this.. He’d like to keep coming round to make love with me.. I almost admire him for his honesty. Anyway.. The plight of a million women…”

What did Emily think of Jack coming back to her after his tryst?

“I was relieved. It’s sad now, but that’s how I thought then. I was glad he was coming back. I’m glad that he didn’t get Sinéad into Scientology. They would have hurt her. I think.”

She screenshotted O’Connor’s blog post with the reference to Jack and has kept it ever since.

“I remember reading that and checking the news and listening to all her songs that year like a total stalker just to see how I could be more like her and if he was still meeting her.”

Her relationship with Jack was soon over, however, and eventually, so was her affiliation with Scientology, but not after she was told that she was making a grave mistake.

“Jack said, you’ll be dead within six months of leaving Scientology.” And another Scientologist, referring to her growing friendships with Griffiths and other ex-church members, told her that if she continued to talk to them, “You might as well kill yourself.”


Emily shared with us several emails from her Scientology handlers, who did their best to convince her that she was making a big mistake by leaving and associating with people like Griffiths.

“Scientology is perfect and it works. Scientologists are not perfect but we will persist until we are all Clear and flawless. I assure you, the planet has no other chance…I advise you to stop talking with anybody who is entheta and is against Scientology because they have their own ax to grind. Hubbard researched this and proved it,” her auditor emailed her.

But she put Scientology behind her, and has remained out of it.

Just recently, she and Jack communicated again for the first time in years.

Jack told her that although he is no longer practicing Scientology, he still respects the ideas of L. Ron Hubbard.

“I have no Lord and no Saviour. We are all fractals of Source, the All that is. We are all infinite Creating beings. Our individual Beingness/consciousness/I Am Presence/thetan is not created. It always was. We are part of all creation, before time, before matter. We enter into this physical realm, and we adopt and grow a collection of bodies or fields which are possessions. The Physical. The Mental body. The Emotional body. The etheric body. We continue our journey of experience challenge, learning and expanding. As we do Source expands. At some point the body will expire, but we continue as we always have, and we can re-enter this earth realm or others to continue the adventure and game,” he wrote her.

Emily said she is reassured to see that Jack is still a demigod.


Technology Cocktail

“Injured children respond best to touch assists and to locational ‘Where did you fall?’ ‘Where are you now?’ etc repetitive until child is well. For an unwilling child use short sessions (as short as two minutes) but always begin and end the session complete with goals and PT Problem query. For a bad-off child use CCH 1 and 2; these are heroic but effective. They require a very skilled auditor and no interference. Give the child the dignity of real sessions. And when a child flips to trying to audit you as a turnabout, let him. Remember that if you spoil Scientology for a child with bad auditing you may close the door on the only way out he’ll have in this life.” — 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

“You’d be surprised how often you find a wrong date. And you’re running the Helatrobus implants, so you think, and you go right into the next goal for which you’ve listed. And then you try to get ‘absolutably’ and you can’t get a rocket read, and you say, what’s happened? TA’s up and stuck. I’ve got this next goal ‘to be a goof.’ It’s obviously the next goal in line, only it isn’t here. Shucks, man, you’re probably running a Bear implant. It’s probably shot back on the track Lord knows where, because the one thing a GPM won’t do is properly time. You can duration a GPM and you can time a GPM and you can get the date of a GPM almost endlessly. Why? Because its primary basis is lousing up time. Those two opposing items fire against each other — sound like time to the PC — produces a no-change situation. So the GPM floats on the track and so it’s very difficult to time a GPM. So it’s just nothing to get the next GPM in line to run, and find out that it isn’t at forty-three trillion but at fifteen trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion trillion. Embarrassing. Eventually you go back and start looking for wrong dates on the case, and you finally locate that ‘to be a goof’ is not the next Helatrobus GPM but a GPM which exists in the early limbos of nowhere.” — L. Ron Hubbard, August 7, 1963



Avast, Ye Mateys

“COMM EVS: Officers who fail to take full responsibility for their areas, divisions and sections without further orders will hereafter be comm eved for offenses after this date and will be reduced to swamper. Ethics is obviously out on this vessel and some of its officers are obviously more interested in being good fellows than putting a well run ship here.” — The Commodore, August 7, 1969


Overheard in the FreeZone

“I’m ready to argue that anything as attacked and vilified as Scientology must be a pretty damned effective spiritual technology. As a comparison, look at the ineffective crap that the media and general public ARE willing to rally around – psychiatric medications, for example. I just got out of session, and it was a good and productive session. Somebody totally ARC-broken with Scientology should have their ruds flown, by themselves if they are solo trained, by someone else if they are not. Sitting in a huge ARC break for years and years, or for decades – what kind of nonsense is that?”


Past is Prologue

1995: Ted Mayett, former Scientologist, has been attempting to get a refund from the Las Vegas org, and has taken the unusual step of attempting to picket their location.
“The picket reads: They Lie About Money. When I arrived at the building there were five cars parked there. I park across the street and through the glass storefront I look at them and they look at me as I approach. And now I’m right in front of the glass, on the property, as I proceed to unsling and untie the picket. Before I get off the property. You may find this hard to believe. The door opens and one of them comes flying out. And it’s the DSA Las Vegas. She happened to be there. Well, the picket never happened. We stood in the heat for an hour, this woman and I. I do not mention her name because I am not sure of the legality of it. Ted, what is the problem? You are being fed lies, this entire church is built on lies. She wants to know what lies. These people are truly brain dead. I tell her the people in this building alone have lied to me five times regarding this money. One of the boys comes out with a check for $500.00. I had already declined another partial payment, told them it was no big deal. That when they had the full amount I would be right out here and they could give it to me. Now I have two of them asking me to take the five hundred and not picket. I said yes and that I would be back Tue. for the balance. The said they would not have the balance by then. I said no problem, five hundred a day would keep me from picketing. But not less.”



Random Howdy

“My IP was blocked from the Washington Times comments because I kept bringing up the Rev. Moon connection so I started using Tor, then they started using an app that could tell you were using a proxy. Cults SUCK.”


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] Former Scientology flak Tommy Davis potential witness in foreign-agent trial of Trump pal
[TWO years ago] Evidence from Danny Masterson’s preliminary hearing aired on KABC Ch 7 in Los Angeles
[THREE years ago] Clearwater Police release reports from closed Scientology child sex abuse investigation
[FOUR years ago] Scientologists behaving badly: What’s prison time to a trillion-year-old thetan?
[FIVE years ago] Proof that the US government has all it needs to act on Scientology — and it has for 50 years
[SIX years ago] ‘Scientology and the Aftermath’: Mike Rinder answers a few of our questions after TCA win
[SEVEN years ago] Scientology’s sneaky anti-psychiatry front has found a new way to target kids in Florida
[EIGHT years ago] How Scientology sets up its members to find themselves helpless in court
[NINE years ago] Camilla Andersson on Tom Cruise, and a gift for the Scientologist who has everything!
[TEN years ago] Prepare to Be Audited: Claire Headley Takes Us Through Scientology’s “ARC Straightwire”
[ELEVEN years ago] Scientology’s Recruitment Film: The Version They Don’t Want You to See
[TWELVE years ago] Scientology Goons Exposed: “Make Marty’s Life a Living Hell”


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 3,114 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,629 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 3,179 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 2,169 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 2,050 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 5,354 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 3,225 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 2,330 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,777 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 4,119 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,685 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 8,604 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,771 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 4,353 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,614 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,650 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 3,366 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,930 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 1,245 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 2,420 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,971 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 4,102 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 4,440 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 9,295 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 4,414 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,770 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 7,073 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 3,179 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 3,577 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 3,453 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 3,018 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 3,531 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,785 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,894 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on August 7, 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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