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Tom Cruise goes black tie for Scientology at ‘Patrons Ball’ in England

What a weekend Scientology had!

The return of the International Association of Scientologists gala to Scientology’s UK headquarters — Saint Hill Manor in East Grinstead, England — after a four year absence was more than even we had dared to dream. It had everything, from the triumphant return of Scientology’s leader, David Miscavige, to the dramatic entrance his buddy Tom Cruise made in a helicopter.

And of course, our hats were off Friday night as we talked with Alex Barnes-Ross about his march and protest that day, and we’ll have more from him about the ensuing days later. But we thought this morning we would just focus on Scientology’s big showing, and to get your thoughts about what photos from the event are suggesting.

Friday night, the opening night of the three-day party, is Dave’s big show, when he regales the crowd with an hours-long speech about the state of Scientology, and recognizes a few Scientologists with Freedom Medals.

Dharma and Greg actress Jenna Elfman and her husband Bodhi showed off their outfits that night, and we were interested to see that she was not only going to emcee the Sunday night charity concert but attend all three nights of the event. What a trooper!


As for the venue itself, on Friday night they bring in the biggest crowd they possibly can, and every year it’s been fun trying to assess how many people they actually put in the big tent on the Saint Hill grounds.

One attendee helpfully used her smartphone to film her journey to her chair early on Friday night when the place was not yet very full. And we were surprised to see from her footage that the place seemed less cavernous than we had expected.

Another shot taken by someone else gives the view toward the back of the tent. We have always scoffed at the attendance figures that Scientology puts out, as many as 7,000 some years.

This year they told police they were expecting 6,000. But looking at the size of this place, we’re thinking it holds more like 2,500, right?

The only image we’ve seen so far of Dave on stage giving his big speech Friday was pretty blurry. Let us know if you’ve spotted a better one.

On Saturday, the rows of chairs were cleared out and tables were put in for the fancy Patrons Ball dinner as guests dressed up in black tie.

Jenna and Bodhi were prepared.

And it looks like guests enjoyed some interesting delicacies.

But of course the main dish was really Tom Cruise himself, who showed up in dozens of photos that we’ve seen, happy to pose with his fellow Scientologists at the ball.

The point of Saturday night’s banquet is to pay tribute to Scientology’s big donors, who are given new bowling trophies for the big amounts they’ve given the IAS in the last year. And so Tom is really a dessert treat for them, an incentive to give giving more and more of their cash. And what an incentive!

It was interesting to see that one of the attendees mugging with Tom was French attorney Philippe Blanchetier, who was indicted in 2015 along with a dozen others with former President Nicolas Sarkozy in a campaign finances corruption scandal, and these days is known for representing Russian oligarchs in trouble. Did anyone know he was a Scientologist?

We also noticed that the Florida electricity duo, Tom Cummins and Jim Bridgeforth, who together are the biggest Scientology donors behind Bob and Trish Duggan, were in attendance, and Tom did not disappoint with his sartorial splendor. As Mike Rinder pointed out, however, he was there with his daughter and not with his wife Victoria, who always puts on such a fashionable show. We hope she’s fine.

Mike also spotted one of our favorite church members, the Scientology oversharer! She was there with her man, and don’t they look great.

All in all, Saturday night’s banquet looked like a blast, and we’re looking forward to seeing some trophies in the next issue of Impact magazine.


On Sunday night, it was time for the charity concert.

We’re glad to see that our old friend Chill EB is looking rather prosperous these days.


Technology Cocktail/

“The intention of the physical universe (and those who have become degraded enough to further only its ends) is to make a thetan solid, immobile and decisionless. The fight of the thetan is to remain unsolid, mobile or immobile at will, and capable of decision.” — 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

“Your thetan has to be able to tolerate three kinds of space in order to endure at all in this universe. This universe isn’t any savage beast sitting there. It’s just a sort of an inanimate boobytrap which we have made ourselves, really. And then we victimized ourselves with it, so we have all been betrayed. This universe couldn’t have had a better purpose in going forward so that everybody could be the, have the beautiful sadness of having been betrayed. And yet you look into it, the only person that can betray an individual is himself.” — L. Ron Hubbard, November 6, 1953


Avast, Ye Mateys

“HYGIENE: Step up all hygiene standards, personal, berthing and food. With the turn of cold weather I’m going further north. There is a bit of flu about and the World Health Organization has not been doing all that well in keeping ports’ public health in good shape.” — The Commodore, November 6, 1971



Overheard in the FreeZone

“Real Scientology is safe and busy finding its way to billions of individuals. Like water it will bend and bleed and trickle into every crevice it encounters on its journey into the consciousness of modern Man. A hundred SP dictators could not stop it, no more than they could stop a rainstorm from tumbling down. Those Beings who are ready for it get it; those who are not will not experience its gifts, or the joys they bring. Not at this time, but in their own time, they will I’m sure.”


Past is Prologue

1995: Jeff Jacobsen provided a summary of the Cult Awareness Network Conference held last week in White Plains, NY. “About 270 attended and about a dozen Scientologists hung around the hotel bugging people. Early Friday morning Snipe and I set up his computer in the book sale room and gave an internet demonstration during the day. I think we made several converts to the net there. At supper CAN officials told that they have filed Chapter 11 bankruptcy (this is to reorganize, not dissolve) in order to win time to appeal the Jason Scott decision against CAN. There is also a CAN lawsuit against Scientology and Bowles & Moxon I think on conspiracy charges based on the 46 lawsuits that Moxon apparently boilerplated against CAN. The lunch speaker was Dan Leipold, attorney for Tom Klemesrud. He gave a general outline of the internet and the copyright wars going on in our little newsgroup. The Scientologists generally hung out in the hallways of the hotel and tried to engage people in a discussion or hand them a CAN dead agent pack (this is the one that included Kim Baker’s declaration). Huheyniaman, that foul-mouthed anonymous poster that I outed several months ago, sat down by me at the hotel lounge and very weakly apologized to me for the things he said (thus 100% certifying that my fingering him was correct) and I weakly accepted his semi-apology. Later on he told me that he hopes we all give a lot of $ to CAN so Jason Scott can collect his million dollars. John Carmichael tried talking to me about how wimpy our picketing efforts have been, and BTW about 6 Scientologists picketed for just a few hours in front of the hotel. Another Scientologist told me that she has never seen any fair gaming going on and the church to her view only does good works. I talked with her about 10 minutes.”


Random Howdy

“I understand where you’re coming from but the bottom line is that Scientology is a con and conning people is illegal, regardless of whether the victims are dupes and suckers.”


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] Deposition: Scientology’s targeting of Paul Haggis that isn’t speculation
[TWO years ago] Heads on pikes: L. Ron Hubbard’s lasting legacy of ruthlessness in Scientology
[THREE years ago] Scientology looking to force Danny Masterson’s accusers into ‘religious arbitration’ today
[FOUR years ago] Kansas City gets its first Scientology wedding: We solicited some advice for the young couple
[FIVE years ago] Juliette Lewis wants on ‘Red Table Talk’ — and here’s what Jada Smith should ask her
[SIX years ago] Tracking Scientology’s claims about membership — a new digital project with Jonny Jacobsen
[SEVEN years ago] After Scientologist is outed, leaders he fooled still stick up for his quack drug theories
[NINE years ago] RIFFER MADNESS: Scientology leader David Miscavige goes smeary in new court filing
[TEN years ago] More Questions About Scientology-Style Drug Rehab And Insurance — This Time in Michigan
[ELEVEN years ago] Scientology and the Presidential Election


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 3,205 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,720 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 3,270 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 2,260 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 2,141 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 5,445 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 3,316 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 2,421 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,868 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 4,210 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,776 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 8,695 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,862 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 4,444 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,705 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,741 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 3,457 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 3,021 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 1,336 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 2,511 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 7,062 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 4,193 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 4,531 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 9,386 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 4,505 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,861 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 7,164 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 3,270 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 3,668 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 3,544 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 3,109 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 3,622 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,876 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,985 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on November 6, 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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