Daily Notifications
Sign up for free emails to receive the feature story every morning in your inbox at


Scientology protest goes off without a hitch, and Tom Cruise made the scene

We hope you joined our live conversation yesterday afternoon with Alex Barnes-Ross, who was in an East Grinstead pub and told us about his adventures protesting at Scientology’s UK headquarters.

It was not only a demonstration that had a coherent message, impressive signage, and smart planning, but it garnered press interest, including a team from Daily Mail that took some good photos.

If you didn’t see our post-game panel, you can catch it below as we were also joined by Chris Shelton, who helped us put Alex’s success in perspective.

Not only had the demonstration gone the way Alex planned it, and not only did he get some interesting reactions from the Scientologists on their way into the event, but one of them, a certain Tom Cruise, also made the scene.

When Alex told us that yesterday, we thought he was joking. But he was not!


When a helicopter appeared overhead during the protest, Alex said the Daily Mail journalists with him checked the aircraft’s identification number and it turned out it was Tom’s whirlybird.

Now, we’re especially happy that it was the Daily Mail that got this scoop, because it’s the Mail that earlier this year published what we described as perhaps the lamest ever “Tom-Cruise-is-leaving-Scientology” claptrap, and it was also based on his helicopter.

The Mail’s entertainment gossip columnist pointed to the fact that airport data showed that Tom had not flown his helicopter into East Grinstead in three years to conclude that he was leaving Scientology, even though the one fact did not follow the other. We pointed out that the columnist had not even bothered to check with someone like Mike Rinder or Claire Headley before announcing that Tom’s lack of trips to Saint Hill meant he was leaving the church.

It didn’t mean that, of course, and when we pointed it out the columnist responded to us on Facebook and said that she was also convinced Tom might be leaving Scientology because the church never got back to her. That was her “confirmation.”

The sad part was that so many publications then leaped on the story and announced that it was now settled fact that Tom had left the church. So what are they going to do now that the opposite has proved to be true?

Of course Cruise showed up for his buddy Dave. This is a very big moment for the Scientology leader, and remember what Jean Brousseau told us more than a decade ago: “Tom Cruise worships David Miscavige like a god.”

Tom proved that again last night, and we look forward to the other things we’re going to learn about how this weekend went for C.O.B. under the big tent.


Jon Atack on L. Ron Hubbard




Technology Cocktail/

“Through a great deal of study, not entirely complete, the following surmises can be made about the Time Track, the physical universe and the pc. The tendency of the physical universe is condensation and solidification. At least this is the effect produced on the thetan. Continued dwelling in it without rehabilitation causes the thetan to become less reaching (“smaller”) and more solid. A thetan, being a static, may become convinced he cannot duplicate matter, energy, space, or time or certain intentions and so succumbs to the influence of this universe. This influence in itself would be negligible unless recorded by the thetan, stored and made reactive upon the thetan as a Time Track, and then maliciously used to trap the thetan.” — L. Ron Hubbard, 1963



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’re not trying to make superman here, because after you’ve done that is when you start to work to really make superman. Now you really have to get clever. Of course, a thetan in real good operating condition can make himself visible. It would be the shock of somebody’s life to suddenly realize that he was visible. And it would ruin this whole society and put us squarely in the hands of Bishop Shenanigan if you were to start doing this. Because you as a MEST body would never be able to explain fast enough to tell him you really weren’t Christ. They’ve been looking for him to come back — with blood in their eyes. You know, they only got a few nails in that guy last time.” — L. Ron Hubbard, November 4, 1953


Avast, Ye Mateys

“WINDS OF CHANGE: Advance indicators from the UK point to a change of government attitude and a better future for Scn there.” — The Commodore, November 4, 1970


Overheard in the FreeZone

“Outside of Dianetics and Scientology, there’s no actual tech capable of as-ising mental mass and shedding our own ball-chains and handcuffs. It is just fantastic to me that people on this planet have fallen for the falsehood of material existence, what they call Reality; and any slightest clue that there is anything else triggers a vast field of booby-traps — all of which are self-imposed. Who would believe that?”



Past is Prologue

2000: Frankfurter Neue Presse reported that Ursula Caberta has called for Hamburg to move against Scientology infiltration and recruitment in private companies and the government. “Hamburg sect expert Ursula Caberta has called for the Hessian state administration to more earnestly fight infiltration by Scientology adherents into government. According to a presentation by the department director in the Hamburg Interior Agency, Scientologists are gaining more new members from private companies and government agencies through institutions of continuing education and training. According to the Giessen’s executive presidium, it has tried to prevent this form of infiltration for about one and a half years in its contracts. Any corporation which trains members of Giessen’s executive presidium has to sign a contract clause. This clause prohibits instruction according to the teachings of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard.”


Random Howdy

“The way things are going evidence-wise and if DM is required to appear in court, I think Monique could demand an 8-figure deal without an NDA, without any contention.”


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. Sentenced to 30 years to life 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. Next pretrial hearing October 30.
David Gentile, GPB Capital, fraud.

Civil litigation:
Leah Remini v. Scientology, alleging ‘Fair Game’ harassment and defamation: Complaint filed August 2, Scientology submitting anti-SLAPP response Oct 26.
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: Discovery phase.
Jane Doe 1 v. Scientology, David Miscavige, and Gavin Potter: Case unsealed and second amended complaint filed. Scientology moves for religious arbitration.
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] WHOA: Jane Doe 2 and Jane Doe 3 now represented by David Boies firm for their ‘rights’
[TWO years ago] A new group comes forward, saying it’s going to spill secrets of Scientology’s abuses
[THREE years ago] L. Ron Hubbard’s stolen valor: A new breakdown of his bogus medals by a military veteran
[FOUR years ago] David Miscavige and a slate of local shills welcomed the new Kansas City ‘Ideal Org’
[FIVE years ago] Scientology is pulling out all the stops for its next gleaming Clearwater landmark
[SIX years ago] Read the police report for the 17-year-old injured at Scientology’s ‘Flag’ building
[SEVEN years ago] Trouble for Scientology in 1966: When the Daily Mail called L. Ron Hubbard’s degrees ‘bogus’
[EIGHT years ago] Hey, Mark Bunker, what’s taking that film of yours — ‘Knowledge Report’ — so long?
[NINE years ago] Scientology’s own plans show it paid $37 million for a building to serve only 87 people
[TEN years ago] Claire Headley Takes Us OT! Here We Go with Scientology’s Operating Thetan Level ONE!
[ELEVEN years ago] Scientology Sunday Funnies: The Road to Clear!


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 3,203 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,718 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 3,268 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 2,258 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 2,139 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 5,443 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 3,314 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 2,419 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,866 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 4,208 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,774 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 8,693 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,860 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 4,442 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,703 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,739 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 3,455 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 3,019 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 1,334 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 2,509 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 7,060 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 4,191 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 4,529 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 9,384 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 4,503 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,859 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 7,162 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 3,268 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 3,666 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 3,542 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 3,107 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 3,620 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,874 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,983 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on November 4, 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


Share Button
Print Friendly, PDF & Email