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PODCAST: Jonny Jacobsen, our man in Paris, was on Scientology’s abuses before most

We’ve had a lot of fun recently talking to great reporters who have covered Scientology like John Sweeney, Mark Ebner, and Steve Cannane. So of course we wanted to check in with our man in Paris, one of the very best journalists we know, Jonny Jacobsen.

It was really fun to go back over his work to see how early he was to stories like David Miscavige beating his staff, and that his blog ‘Infinite Complacency,’ contains such amazingly detailed and well-researched material.

But we’re also indebted to Jonny for being the Underground Bunker’s Paris correspondent over the years. We can always rely on him for thorough and smart coverage that really explains the larger context of what’s going on over there.

Listen to or watch the podcast here.



Technology Cocktail

“World War Two pretty well saw the end of the last dregs of sincere help in psychiatry, most governments involved in the war employed psychiatry, it now turns out, for political purposes. They were set a very good example by one, Hitler. Thus the last embers of sincere help in psychiatry were more or less extinguished. Nothing like this would happen in Scientology because we are dealing with basic truths rather than basic ambitions. Where ambition becomes greater than truth any sphere of activity goes to pieces. Indeed, in the final analysis that is the fundamental deterioration of the track.” — L. Ron Hubbard, 1960


Jon Atack and Chris Shelton with more about Charles Manson!




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 toured around the empty ship and it looked lonesome. The galley was kept going by deckhands. Vixie had some trouble towing the ship out to anchor but made it. (The Commodores Messenger couldn’t find the Main Engine throttles as the engineers evidently took them on liberty.) Six new X trainees came aboard and were quickly trained up and fired by Dimples the man-eating shark — at least she said they had been fired. All in all it was quiet and restful.” — L. Ron Hubbard, August 26, 1971



Avast, Ye Mateys

“The Con of All Hands, the Navigator and the forward well deck fender tenders are assigned a Condition of Non Existence for approaching a dock too fast at too steep an angle and not correcting or recovering from an obvious pilot error and not buffering it with fenders. This resulted in a small dent and a crack in the hull. They may not have any liberty in this port. The area crack is to be welded and a small plate placed over it.” — The Commodore, August 26, 1969


Overheard in the FreeZone

“Prior to the writing of the American Constitution it was known that true governments can oppress true citizens along with the open and ongoing, more inclusive and integral, development and advancement of what is true, truth, and evermore truthful. KSW is part of a more Conscientiously Integral Science advancing in our society.”


Past is Prologue

2000: Deseret News published an article on a new series of books by cult apologists. “‘Studies in Contemporary Religion,’ under the direction of Massimo Introvigne of Italy, offers a digest look at faiths ranging from the Baha’is to the Unification Church of Sun Myung Moon. The first volume in the series, an 80-page look at Scientology by J. Gordon Melton, will be
out next week. A volume on the ‘Unification Church’ by Massimo himself will soon follow. The series is published in association with the Center for Studies on New Religions in Milan. ‘We’ll also be marketing them to religion professors for use in classes,’ he says. ‘There will be a new one every six months.'”


Random Howdy

“Hubbard was making the whole thing up as he went along, and the ‘tech’ is nothing but mumbo jumbo. Until these people realize that LRH was the flim flam man, they will never be truly free.”



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:
Leah Remini v. Scientology, alleging ‘Fair Game’ harassment and defamation: Complaint filed August 2, hearing on proof of service on Oct 3.
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 Nov 6.
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] Andreas Heldal-Lund, who stared down Scientology, now faces his own mortality
[TWO years ago] Gerry Armstrong hits back at apologist journal for questioning Hubbard ‘pinks & greys’ letter
[THREE years ago] Ahead of next week’s hearing, Danny Masterson’s accusers blast his attacks on their lawsuit
[FOUR years ago] Tonight, Leah Remini ends ‘Scientology and the Aftermath’ with a hard look at Danny Masterson
[FIVE years ago] Scientology keeps pushing for ‘Ideal Orgs’ in places where it’s pure madness
[SIX years ago] DOX: The FBI’s 2008 investigation of Anonymous and its attacks on the Church of Scientology
[SEVEN years ago] Is the Enquirer’s ‘exclusive’ on Scientology’s ‘hooker orgy’ a David Miscavige backfire?
[EIGHT years ago] So much for tabloid rumors: Tom Cruise visits Scientology’s ‘Ideal Org’ while he’s in Bogotá
[NINE years ago] More trouble for Scientology’s drug rehab network, Narconon — this time in Florida
[TEN years ago] ANETTE IREN JOHANSEN: “I Auditioned To Be Tom Cruise’s Wife”
[ELEVEN years ago] (2012’s) Top 25 People Crippling Scientology, Nos. 14-16
[TWELVE years ago] The Top 25 People Crippling Scientology, No. 16: Marc Headley


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 3,133 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,648 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 3,198 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 2,188 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 2,069 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 5,373 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 3,244 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 2,349 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,796 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 4,138 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,704 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 8,623 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,790 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 4,372 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,633 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,669 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 3,385 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,949 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 1,264 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 2,439 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,990 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 4,121 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 4,459 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 9,314 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 4,433 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,789 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 7,092 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 3,198 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 3,596 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 3,472 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 3,037 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 3,550 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,804 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,913 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on August 26, 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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