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Scientology makes an exception for ABCMouse honcho, will hold memorial for Doug Dohring

Our readers know that we’ve become accustomed over the years to writing remembrances for Scientology figures because the church itself is usually silent about the passing of even some of its most important figures.

Just a couple of weeks ago, for example, we learned that Norman Starkey, one of the highest ranking Scientologists for many years, had been dead for four years and the church said nothing about it.

And also recently we announced the death of one of Scientology’s most important underwriters, the major donor Doug Dohring, who not only has give more than $30 million to the church, but was able to do so because he’d made a fortune as the mastermind behind ABCMouse, the toddler education software.

We expected that, as usual, Scientology itself wouldn’t utter a peep about Dohring, but we were wrong about that. It turns out that in a couple of weeks, some kind of memorial event will be held at the Fort Harrison Hotel in Clearwater, Florida in Dohring’s honor. (The Fort Harrison is the centerpiece of Scientology’s “Flag Land Base,” and the place where Scientology leader David Miscavige has been based in recent years.)

Other events of this nature have been rare, with a couple of other recent exceptions. Scientology did recognize Chick Corea after his 2021 death, and a small ceremony of some kind took place last year for Kirstie Alley. Both were closed to the public.


We also expect that the tribute to Dohring won’t be open to the public, but it’s remarkable, we figure, that it’s taking place at all.

To be fair, one of Scientology’s bedrock principles is that we are all eternal beings called “thetans” who live countless lives, and we simply jump into a newborn down at the maternity ward after the corpus we’re walking around in breaks down at the end of this lifetime. So Scientologists can have a pretty casual attitude toward death, with their concept that it’s simply a quick transition to a new lifetime.

However, it still seems striking that Scientology often says nothing about the deaths of longtime members who have spent so many years dedicated to the cause, such as with Starkey.

But Dohring, at least, will get his due.

If you happen to go to the ceremony, we’d love to know how it comes off.


Technology Cocktail

“It is time we spent time on improving auditing skill. We have the technology. We can make clears and OTs with it as you will find out. Our only remaining problem is getting it applied skillfully.” — L. Ron Hubbard, 1962



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 [50] Bruce Hines [51] Spanky Taylor and Karen Pressley [51] Geoff and Robbie Levin [52] Sands Hall [53] Jonny Jacobsen [54] Sandy Holeman


Source Code

“We could bring people in off the streets and have them walk down the hall and stop in Office 1 where a little sign says, ‘Glasses removed here.’ We wouldn’t have any couches or anything cluttering the place up like that, and we could just walk them around the hall and at each station there would be another auditor and he would just ask standard questions. The people coming in would walk all the way around and then out on the street again. Of course, they would stop at the desk before they went out and write out a check for the equivalent amount of medical treatment, which would come to $8,687,962.05! There is some slight possibility that we may be at that stage. I don’t want to over evaluate anything, however.” — L. Ron Hubbard, October 1, 1951



Avast, Ye Mateys

“With only a third of the crew done Festival Stats have fallen. Immediate Emergency action was taken. A new threat is required according to the C/Ses. The three Highest Hours get a SPECIAL BONUS. The three with the Lowest Hours have to push a peanut with their nose the whole circle of the prom deck on Grand Ball Night and the one who loses the peanut race can only wear a sheet for the next 24 hours. Review Auditors are included.” — The Commodore, October 1, 1971


Overheard in the FreeZone

“The 8Ds work only here and only for theta/mind but not the different beings and from different universes. I should leave it here since only a handful of people understand the difference, which is massive, between the two consciousnesses. In the Matrix all spiritual beings are lumped under theta. That’s what mankind is supposed to believe and nothing could be further from the truth.”


Past is Prologue

2001: The San Francisco Chronicle reported that Scientology celebrity Jenna Elfman has worked to open a new mission in San Francisco. “Jenna Elfman was helping an eager crew put finishing touches on the new Scientology mission set to open tomorrow. She told TIC she’s been spending a lot of time in San Francisco helping to build and paint the children’s art center in the basement. Elfman had befriended firefighters who stopped by yesterday morning. She was wearing a red aluminum bracelet sold by L.A. firefighters to raise money for New York disaster relief efforts. When fellow Scientologist Kirstie Alley called, the four firefighters shouted their hello. Elfman described a day of fire training she’d once done for a magazine story and praised her visitors’ courage and superhuman strength, and they joked about coming to the mission for dance lessons.”


Random Howdy

“The only place D.M. is taking his ass if the seat gets too hot is to Tahiti or the Russian Riviera. He’s a gangster, not a fanatic.”



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, first hearing set for Dec 4.
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. Next hearing set for Sept 26.
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] PODCAST: Jon Atack has some things to say about Mike Rinder’s new book on Scientology
[TWO years ago] New evidence that private eyes stalking Leah Remini and J-Lo were working for Scientology
[THREE years ago] SCIENTOLOGY BLACK OPS, Episode 8: The secret Paul Haggis shared with the wrong person
[FOUR years ago] SCIENTOLOGIST ARRESTED IN L.A. COURT: Narconon fraud defendants in wild scene
[FIVE years ago] Dispatches from our far-flung correspondents agree: Scientology still sucks
[SIX years ago] Scientology celebrates its disaster response in Florida, but struggles in Puerto Rico and Mexico
[SEVEN years ago] Atack: Scientology advocates serenity, so why are so many Scientologists angry jerks?
[EIGHT years ago] Cathriona White’s Scientology ‘twin’ on grueling courses was an actor named Travis Case
[NINE years ago] Scientology’s drug rehab network hit with lawsuit number 22 by attorney Ryan Hamilton
[TEN years ago] RAY JEFFREY 1, SCIENTOLOGY 0: Disqualify Motion Denied in Harassment Lawsuit
[ELEVEN years ago] Secrets of The Master: Elements of Scientology That Didn’t Make It into the Film
[TWELVE years ago] Scientology Internal E-Mails: Even More Depressing Than You Might Assume


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 3,169 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,684 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 3,234 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 2,224 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 2,105 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 5,409 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 3,280 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 2,385 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,832 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 4,174 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,740 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 8,659 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,826 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 4,408 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,669 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,705 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 3,421 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,985 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 1,300 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 2,475 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 7,026 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 4,157 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 4,495 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 9,350 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 4,469 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,825 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 7,128 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 3,234 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 3,632 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 3,508 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 3,073 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 3,586 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,840 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,949 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on October 1, 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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