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‘Brothers Broken’ gets its New York premiere, with Mike Rinder and your Proprietor

[A previous movie premiere, ‘Going Clear’ at Sundance in 2015]

What would you do if every day you woke up to a nightmare? Mine was being trapped in a cult for 46 years.

In 2019 my brother Robbie Levin and I started producing the full length documentary Brothers Broken about our years in music and Scientology. The film debuts with its east coast premiere in the prestigious Dances With Films festival that celebrates independent film with events in Los Angeles and New York. It’s having its New York festival this coming weekend at the Regal Theatre in Union Square. And two of my heroes who influenced my escape from Scientology will be there: Tony Ortega and Mike Rinder, who will both be taking part in the Q&A after the screening.

Back on August 30, 2011, I read my first article by Tony on Scientology, then at the Village Voice. The title of it was: “Tommy Davis, Scientology Spokesman, Secretly Recorded Discussing ‘Disconnection’.” (In 2021 Tony re-posted that piece here at the Bunker.)

For the previous three years I had been mired in deep depression with no end in sight. And I was still a Scientologist.

I was forbidden to read anything critical written by ex-Scientologists and Suppressive Persons such as Mike Rinder and Jon Atack. Randomly I stumbled onto Tony’s article on Google news; the timing was perfect.


The Scientology pseudo-therapy had not worked at all to relieve my depression. The Advanced Organization in Los Angeles could no longer help me. Their solution was to assign volunteer caretakers to check on me every day; to get me to eat and exercise. I was agoraphobic, so the caretakers had a hell of a time getting me out of the house.

I was not eating and I was down to 124 lbs, from 165.

After three years of constant depression I was at a point that I did not care about the Scientology rules or anything else for that matter. So I said to myself, “What the fuck, Tony Ortega is a journalist and is writing about someone I personally know, Tommy Davis. So I’ll read his article in The Village Voice. After all he’s not an apostate, he’s a journalist.” Little did I know what would result.

I was impressed with the way Tony wrote about the self-help organization I had joined in 1968. He seemed to know things I knew from my first-hand observations. plus he knew more. I could not put down the article. After that I would check the Village Voice website every day. I devoured Tony’s articles when they showed up. This went on from September to November in 2011.

When not reading his articles I fell back in my depression. However, a strange thing was happening in those two month of revelations. I now looked forward to “something” every day.

Without knowing it, reading Tony’s articles was undermining my brainwashing. And on a bright sunny day in early November, I woke up and I was actually grateful to be alive. The depression was gone. Vanished. And I knew with complete clarity I was no longer going to be a part of the Scientology organization ever again.

After that I got the courage to start reading Mike Rinder’s blog. And I personally knew so many people in Mike’s articles.

And at the age of 67 I began the six-year journey deprogramming myself and digging out of the debt I was in from giving so much money to the church ($100,000 just to the IAS). My ex-wife and children were in Scientology and most of my friends were in. On the bright side, I now understood that my brother Robbie had been right when he sat me down in 1984 and tried to tell me truth about Hubbard and Scientology. I disconnected from him then. I thought he was nuts. So I contacted Robbie’s son Max, who immediately reached out to his dad, and Robbie emailed me. We reconnected. It was a joyous reunion.

As the years rolled by I became an avid follower of Chris Shelton, Jon Atack, Karen De La Carriere and other writers who had been on staff or in the Sea Org. For years I had done events for the church and saw the lies first hand. I became a source of information for Tony and Mike. In 2016 I was on the new PTS/SP course at Celebrity Centre. Being on course was so different now, seeing how Hubbard inserted material in his doctrines that were meant to manipulate and control me, not enlighten me. It was actually fun to do the course and pass with flying colors because I knew the inside skinny. Scientology was not the gospel truth.

As my confidence grew I reconnected with my band members in PEOPLE!, the group that had a hit record, “I Love You,” in 1968. Fifty years after that hit, we started to produce a new album. And I began thinking about how to tell our story. That’s when I started thinking about producing a documentary about our journey. And the film director I was working for (I was his composer) knew my story and he suggested we make a full length documentary. We named it Brothers Broken.

The next thing you know we had a crew, and Robbie was in full agreement to do it and he became the executive producer as well as being in it.

Now, twelve years after I began to wake up from my Scientology nightmare, our film Brothers Broken is screening at the Dances With Films festival in New York City Sunday Dec 3, at 11:15 am at the Regal Theatre in Union Square. Dances With Films is a top festival independent filmmakers, and I’m so excited that Tony and Mike will be there at the screening to take part in the Q&A with me. These were the first two writers to expose me to the truth about L. Ron Hubbard’s pseudo-religious philosophy. If you are anywhere in the New York area please come to my screening. I would love to see you there.

Come and be inspired by our story. “HOW ROCK & ROLL TRIUMPHED OVER THE CULT OF SCIENTOLOGY.”

— Geoff Levin



Technology Cocktail/

“The meter in actual fact does nothing but locate charged areas below the awareness of the pc and verify that the charge has been removed. The meter cures nothing and does not treat. It only assists the auditor in assisting the preclear to look and verify having looked.” — 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

“Once in a while, you will exteriorize a thetan and he will try to steady himself by putting a beam on the wall, and the wall will eat up the beam. The beam, you see, is very, too close to the wavelength of that wall, and the, he’ll stick….It isn’t that he’s drifted down in combating the wavelength forever, he just mocks up on that level with great ease, and he’s got a real body. He’d be visible, to some slight degree, even to MEST eyes. They’re, scare people stiff if they happen to turn around and see one of these boys, because they’re real rough-looking characters, there’s no doubt about it. Of course, they have a sort of a humor about their roughness. I ran into one, one time, that had a beautiful tail. This solid black, sort of furry, with a beautiful tail, and a cat’s face, and long electronic — this sounds like something out of a nightmare, I know — and long electronic claws. And, I asked this character a few questions, one way or the other, I mean, I exteriorized him just that way, you see, exteriorized him in his body, and I asked him to knock a piece of paper off the desk, and he simply reached over and he knocked the piece of paper all right, but he also charred it! And, he reached around a moment later and took hold of the sofa and stuck to it. He couldn’t get his hand free instantly, startled him, and he did an immediate flip back into the body. But he was quite visible to MEST eyes. It was like a dark shadow standing in the room. If you can imagine a shadow, a quite plain shadow, standing upright in the room with a quite bright set of streamers coming out of its hands, you’d have this. This is very, very strange. This fellow, by the way, was quite afraid of demons. And he’d mocked his, he had mocked himself up this way because for many centuries he had fought demons. And of course he went in and mocked up, then, the winning valence: the demons.” — L. Ron Hubbard, November 26, 1953


Avast, Ye Mateys

“LRH COMM FLAG: Norman Chouinard is appointed LRH Comm Flag, part of the double hat Ken Urquhart had been wearing in addition to LRH Personal Comm. LRH Comm Flag continues the duties of LRH Comm FAO but now for all Flag internal LRH projects and Eds and orders. The FAO LRH Comm post simply broadens. All LRH Comm actions aboard, internal and External come under LRH Personal Comm Flag.” — The Commodore, November 26, 1971


Overheard in the FreeZone


“I think LRH’s own case got the better of him ultimately. Researched alot of processes, but did he GET ALOT? (Hell, even Hubbard’s own auditor tapes of him auditing SUCK!…he double and triple acks….invalidateive and even supercilious.) He put FAR TOO MUCH ATTENTION on NAYSAYERS. You DON’T ACKNOWLEDGE them or give them credence. ACT as if ALREADY disconnected from them. If Arnold Schwarzenegger listened to all naysayers, he’d still be in Bavaria somewhere parking trucks or driving tanks!”


Past is Prologue

2001: Caroline Letkeman reported protests against Scientology in Vancouver. “Yesterday I did my first picket, with Gerry Armstrong. Gerry did the Cavalry Charge on his mouth trombone. Gerry’s sign has the following messages: ‘Scientology: Let Our People Go’ and ‘Thank God Hubbard was Dead Wrong.’ My sign says, ‘Scientology: Let My Daughter Go’ and ‘Scientology: Give My Money Back.’ For a picket flyer, I handed out copies of my 11/13/2001 letter to David Miscavige et al, that I posted to a.r.s. under ‘Demand for Refund.’ Early on in the picket, we noticed an OSA agent taking photographs of us from across the street. When I started walking toward him to get a better photograph of him, he escaped quickly, going west on Hastings. One group of people came around and someone asked pointedly, ‘Yeah, we know Scientology is a fraud, but,’ nodding at my sign’s message about my daughter, ‘what is your story?’ I told them about my daughter and that she was not allowed to talk to me. They were appalled and commensurately very supportive of our effort.”


Random Howdy

“Third party law was specifically created by Hubbard to handle mothers-in-law.”


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] How the Danny Masterson trial looks inside the Church of Scientology
[TWO years ago] A triple BONANZA of Scientology vids promoting its rockin’ cruise ship, the Freewinds!
[THREE years ago] On a Thanksgiving like no other, we’re thankful again for people we will never forget
[FOUR years ago] David Miscavige: Valerie Haney’s lawsuit is a publicity stunt and I want no part of it
[FIVE years ago] When the person who certified Scientology ‘Clears’ discovered that there were no Clears
[SIX years ago] EXCLUSIVE: Scientology interrogated Danny Masterson and accuser, didn’t notify LAPD
[SEVEN years ago] ‘Radar’ magazine latest to peddle ‘Tom Cruise leaving Scientology’ fake news
[EIGHT years ago] We’re giving thanks here in the Underground Bunker, and we hope you’ll help us out
[NINE years ago] Scientology asks court in Monique Rathbun’s case to take note of Vance Woodward’s loss
[TEN years ago] Bizarre and Pricey! Auditing Scientology’s Operating Thetan Level 2 with Claire & Bruce
[ELEVEN years ago] Florida Court Hears Scientology Testimony in Strict Secrecy


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 3,225 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,740 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 3,290 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 2,280 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 2,161 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 5,465 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 3,336 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 2,441 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,888 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 4,230 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,796 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 8,715 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,882 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 4,464 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,725 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,761 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 3,477 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 3,041 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 1,356 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 2,531 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 7,082 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 4,213 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 4,551 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 9,406 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 4,525 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,881 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 7,184 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 3,290 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 3,688 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 3,564 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 3,129 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 3,642 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,896 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 15,005 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on November 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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