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Do Scientologists celebrate Christmas? Well, the London org sure did.

We’ve pointed out numerous times that Scientology has a problematic relationship with Christmas, but in the end, it’s a secular holiday and whatever the reason for your season, have at it.

And they certainly did at the London Ideal Org, based on photos that were posted to social media by London staffer Sandrine Hall. Hey, it looked like a fun time was had by all, but we thought it might be fun to ask Alex Barnes-Ross about what he saw in the pictures.

“Apostate Alex” was a staffer at the London org himself, and he knows the people there very well. So he generously sent over some captions to help us out.


Alex: “From left to right. Kate Wakley — HCO Exec Sec. She’s Charlie Wakley‘s wife and OT VI as of 2016. Glenn Milton — Dir Reg, currently on OT VII. When I was on staff he was the Academy Sup and he got me through my Staff Statuses and a few other courses. Scott Milton — HAS. He has been in this post for a decade and attested Clear in 2018. Sandrine Hall — Public Exec Sec and last I heard she had completed OT 2.”

Alex: “This photo is particularly amusing.. That’s Barry Currie, who used to spend a lot of time with us at the Test Centre on Tottenham Court Road body routing. He used to say, in his thick Caribbean accent, “If you go Clear, I’ll buy you a beer!” which always made people smile. But when David Miscavige came to inspect the new Celebrity Centre ‘VIP Auditing room/reception area’ for Tom Cruise, Barry was among the staff sent to another location because he ‘looked downstat.’”

Alex: “In the middle is Michelle Clerkin, who was in HCO when I worked at London Org. She attested to OT 7 earlier this year and is one of the many staff at London who made huge progress up the Bridge in a very short period of time. She went from Purif/SRD in 2014-ish to OT Preps in 2016 and by 2019 was OT 6.”

Alex: “That’s Nat Wakley, Charlie’s Mum. Nat was lovely. She came out bookselling with us and was one of the few FSMs I could rely on to show up religiously and actually sell books. Charlie put a lot of effort into recruiting her on to staff, and I remember part of that journey was to have her spend more time in Div 6. She was definitely the top FSM bookseller in London. When she joined she was posted at the Test Centre, where I believe she was posted as the Book Store Officer. She was OT 5 last time I checked. All 3 of her sons are on staff — Matt was a course sup but is now an auditor, I believe. Charlie is D/ED and Jason is now in the Sea Org and posted in LA, I think as Dir I&R but not sure which Org.”

Alex: “This is the Chapel at London Org, where we would hold events and staff parties etc. Looks like a busy staff party with lots of people, but if you look carefully I can only count about 20 people. It makes me sick looking at the joy they are having playing musical chairs… if only they knew the tales from executives like Amy Scobee and Mike Rinder about how that very same game was used as some kind of sick punishment by David Miscavige in the ‘Hole’ at the Int Base.”

We certainly do remember that scene from Going Clear, don’t we? Thank you, Alex.

And what about Charlie Wakley himself? We do we continue not to see someone who was previously so prominent in photos from the London Org?

Alex: “Last time we spoke, which was less than a year ago, he was heading off to LA for some training. And my inside sources suggest he and Craig, the E/D, are currently at Flag in Florida, training on the Golden Age of Admin — although they may be back by now. But my guess is he wasn’t at the party because he was at Flag. There are quite a few people missing from the photos posted that I know are definitely on staff and would’ve been at that party. So either they just weren’t in the photos or they were out bookselling or at Flag training.”

Thank you for that help, Alex. And well done, London org, for a festive party that we hope included some figgy pudding and a few hours of respite from Scientology’s insane schedules.



Continuing our year in review: The stories of September 2023

David Miscavige sent his personal attorney Jeffrey Riffer to protest that COB hadn’t been served properly in the Jane Doe 1 forced-marriage lawsuit.

We were surprised that Tom Mesereau and Sharon Appelbaum gave up their appeals of Judge Charlaine Olmedo’s sanctions ruling, after she found that the duo had, indeed, leaked sensitive prosecution evidence in the Danny Masterson case to Scientology’s attorneys.

We couldn’t be there in person, but we had help from those who were to witness Masterson’s sentencing in court. We reflected on the penalty he received, 30 years to life.

The next day, we had a huge scoop as we, along with Meghann Cuniff, published the letters written to the court by Ashton Kutcher, Mila Kunis, and others on behalf of Masterson, and it generated a firestorm online.

At the Daily Beast, we interviewed Joe Reaiche about what his kids, Jordan and Alanna Masterson, had said about him in their letters to the court.

We also put out the full court transcript of the brave statements made by the Jane Doe victims at the sentencing.

And then we had even more letters written on behalf of Masterson, including one by his acting pal Ethan Suplee.

Major Scientology donor and ABCMouse honcho Doug Dohring moved on to Target Two.

Retired NYPD detective and former Scientology private eye Yanti Michael Greene was deposed.

Trish Conley, the star of our ‘Scientology day care from hell’ story came forward to identify herself.

Leah Remini filed for an injunction to stop Scientology harassment while she’s suing them. (Ballsy.)

We finally learned something about “Ann Jensen,” the woman L. Ron Hubbard tried to marry in 1949, while he was still married to Sara Northrup.


Mark Bunker announced his re-election campaign.

Independent Scientologists held a protest at Big Blue in Los Angeles.

The Bixler lawsuit was finally back in action after Masterson’s sentencing.

Graham Berry shared with us a demand letter about a horrific case of elder abuse that at least got Rosemary Chicwak some of her money back.

And lastly, we were able to post some photos of infamous Scientology enforcers Chris and Miranda Scoggins.

What a month!

A LOOK BACK AT SEPTEMBER 2022: Scientology won a 9-year fight for tax exempt status in the Netherlands. For the podcast we talked to Paulette Cooper about her new memoir. There was tantalizing evidence of what legendary Hollywood fixer Marty Singer told a grand jury. In LA, the mayor’s race became a contest to see who could denounce Scientology in the strongest terms. And we got out the first full-length review of Mike Rinder’s book “A Billion Years” published anywhere! And yes, we liked the book a lot.

A LOOK BACK AT SEPTEMBER 2021: Bruce Hines on his stunning cross-country run for freedom after ditching the Sea Org. Someone who worked on ‘The Ranch’ with Danny Masterson came forward with info about him. The Oregonian named Scientology’s expensive boarding school the Delphian to be the best small employer in the state. And a couple of Scientology OTs fell victim to the Covid pandemic after staunchly refusing the vaccine.

A LOOK BACK AT SEPTEMBER 2020: Dennis Nobbe, big time Miami chiropractor and Scientology donor, drops dead while awaiting trial on Medicare fraud. More spiked ‘Black Ops’ episodes showed up. Tommy Davis showed up in the book ‘Melania and Me.’ Leah Remini won her second Emmy for ‘Aftermath.’ Danny Masterson makes his first court appearance on rape charges. A Scientologist and former Sea Org figure ran for city council in Oregon. We discovered that Danny Masterson had filed nutty federal lawsuits over his Hollywood Hills home.

A LOOK BACK AT SEPTEMBER 2019: Miscavige was having even more success with donors, both the lesser whales and the big leviathans. New daily features: Source Code, Overheard in the Freezone, and Random Howdy. Michelle “Emma” Ryan announces she’s archiving the ESMB forum. The Islams try sovereign citizen craziness in court. Dream team files its third lawsuit, on behalf of a Jane Doe in Miami. The strange tale of how Mike Rinder ended up with Richie Acunto’s Scientology trophy.

A LOOK BACK AT SEPTEMBER 2018: Two upstate New York Scientologist chiropractors charged in an $80 million Medicare scam. We decoded David Miscavige’s chest ribbons. Jeffrey Augustine tangled with a Scientology PI. Jeffrey also detailed the history of the Freewinds. The US government adopted a Russian Scientologist as a ‘prisoner of conscience.’

A LOOK BACK AT SEPTEMBER 2017: On national television, Leah Remini and her mother Vicki Marshall exposed OT 8 for the shameful scam it is. And then we posted the actual New OT 8 materials for the first time to prove it. Clarissa Adams told us her disconnection story. John Brousseau, Karen Pressley, and Paul Haggis appeared on Aftermath, and Haggis answered Marty Rathbun’s smears. And we said goodbye to Bernie Feshbach.

A LOOK BACK AT SEPTEMBER 2016: Marty Rathbun goes on the attack against Ron Miscavige and Louis Theroux. The anonymous drone pilot begins premiering his footage of Scientology bases. Jason Lee ditches Scientology. And Steve Cannane’s excellent book Fair Game comes out.

A LOOK BACK AT SEPTEMBER 2015: We marked a full decade since Shelly Miscavige first vanished. Alex Gibney’s documentary Going Clear took home three Emmy awards. And we broke the news that Jim Carrey’s girlfriend, Cat White, was a Scientologist on the SRD when she killed herself.


A LOOK BACK AT SEPTEMBER 2014: Nancy Cartwright makes perhaps the creepiest Scientology ad ever. Jim Jackson remembers Lyman Spurlock. And Scientology crows about getting money from Google.

A LOOK BACK AT SEPTEMBER 2013: Scientology’s private dancer, live-blogging at the Monique Rathbun temporary restraining order hearing, and day two’s live-blog which set a then-record number of comments for a single blog post at the Bunker (3,442).


Technology Cocktail

“The common denominator of a group is the reactive bank. Thetans without banks have different responses. They only have their banks in common. They agree then only on bank principles. Person to person the bank is identical. So constructive ideas are individual and seldom get broad agreement in a human group. An individual must rise above an avid craving for agreement from a humanoid group to get anything decent done.” — L. Ron Hubbard, 1965



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

“I got a frantic wire the other day from a scientific congress that was occurring in, I think, Boston, and they wanted to know if I had any proof I could offer that thought created matter. They’d suddenly stumbled onto some mathematical proof of this one way or the other, and they wanted to know if I had any proof of this at all, and I sent ’em back a wire telling ’em that, yes, we’d had somebody mock up large mock-ups and stuff ’em into his body and increase his weight thirty pounds in a few weeks and then, by getting the reverse flow, to reduce his weight back again. We’ve actually made that experiment. That’s quite an experiment to make, by the way, because it takes a devilish lot of auditing and the fellow has to be awfully good at solid facsimiles and mock-ups and things of that character before you can perform the series. But we have done it, taking thought alone, without increasing somebody’s diet, and increasing his weight and decreasing it. So, I sent ’em this data and I got back a highly enthusiastic wire saying that my data, as sent to them, had been of great assistance, so I hope they were all edified. That’s all I’ve heard about it.” — L. Ron Hubbard, December 29, 1957


Avast, Ye Mateys

“LIBERTY: You may have a proper 24 hour liberty under more favorable weather conditions in the near future. The barometer, Neptune and acts of god and perils of the sea have operated to delay the 24 hour liberty. Consensus is, Who wants any liberty in this weather? As it is dangerous to use the sled in such weather for large parties and too hard on Division IV, we will run only minimal shore boats and only then for vital business. So that no one can say you had one when you didn’t, we will cancel this one for now.” — The Commodore, December 29, 1970



Overheard in the FreeZone

“A lot of terminals, I believe, think they were sentenced to MEST. In Christianity the physical plane is not the Garden of Eden, Paradise, etc., but a descent on a gradient? P.S., the future may end up like ‘1984’ plus ten. Chips and AI implants, etc. Do you think an organisation of robots like Miscavige has is worse? I don’t think so. Sure, he likes to play god with the Bridge and has a 1.1 serfac attitude to public (‘I’ll take all their money because they are out-ethics public who need to be sec checked like the SPs that they are,’ etc). I can almost see it in his head. However, I wouldn’t want to see the church end just on the off chance it changes. Even the slightest chance true? This is how you play the game with an SP.”


Past is Prologue

1999: Jeff Jacobsen reported on a revenge picket by Scientology at his workplace. “Last night about 12 Scientologists with one-sided signs picketed the hotel where I was DJing for about an hour. I went out to take pictures of them but once again they would hide their faces behind their picket signs so I couldn’t photograph them. I told them that I they were obviously ashamed of what they were doing and that I never hid my face when I picketed. This is 3rd hand picketing on their part. They are not picketing me, nor my employer, but a hotel that my employer has contracted.”


Random Howdy

“To my mind all religion is organized superstition and magical thinking that was created to explain the unexplainable and to get people to behave. Also, financial reward and social power for the creators has sometimes played a significant role. Some of it was made up thousands of years ago, some of it was made up much more recently. If you can get people to believe it’s a religion…it’s a religion.”


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 January 29, 2024.
David Gentile, GPB Capital, fraud.

Civil litigation:
Leah Remini v. Scientology, alleging ‘Fair Game’ harassment and defamation: Complaint filed August 2, motion to strike/anti-SLAPP motions by Scientology to be heard January 9, 2024.
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] David Miscavige lives in Florida when he’s sued in LA, and in LA when he’s sued in Tampa
[TWO years ago] Juliette Lewis tells the NY Times she doesn’t identify as a Scientologist: What gives?
[THREE years ago] Scientology sounds so different from those still in and those who have left
[FOUR years ago] Scientology’s sneaky front groups and building projects under the microscope in 2019
[FIVE years ago] How Marc and Claire Headley’s Scientology lawsuit is being used by the NXIVM defense
[SIX years ago] Scientology sues Laura DeCrescenzo in latest plot to kill her 8-year forced-abortion claim
[SEVEN years ago] The disturbing detail other media missed about TMZ’s Scientology scoop yesterday
[EIGHT years ago] Scientology’s 2015 in review: In September, Erika Christensen was out of this universe
[NINE years ago] One Scientologist is out to teach HBO a lesson for its upcoming documentary
[TEN years ago] Scientology’s 2013 in review: A summer of delicious scoops!
[ELEVEN years ago] Scientology’s 2012 in Review: Parting Shots from a Year David Miscavige Won’t Soon Forget


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 3,258 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,773 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 3,323 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 2,313 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 2,194 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 5,498 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 3,369 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,921 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 4,263 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,829 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 8,748 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,916 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 4,497 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,758 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,794 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 3,510 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 3,074 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 1,389 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 2,564 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 7,115 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 4,246 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 4,584 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 9,439 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 4,558 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,914 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 7,217 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 3,323 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 3,721 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 3,597 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 3,162 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 3,675 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,929 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 15,038 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on December 29, 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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