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Chris Shelton marks a Scientology milestone, and reveals something about himself

[Chris Shelton, Sea Org, circa 2009]

On the day before Christmas, Tony posted something here at the Underground Bunker that really caught me by surprise.

It was the latest roll call of Scientology’s wealthy donors, dressed in their finest to receive their latest trophies for turning over $1 million or more.

And there, among them, was the woman I had fallen in love with.

This happened in 2012, when my life was in turmoil: My marriage was falling apart, I was becoming disillusioned with the Sea Org and its incessant work hours, and I had been sent to a distant org on a special project.

And that’s where I met this woman, and then shortly thereafter, left the Sea Org. Scientology will tell you that my ethical lapses were what propelled that decision, but I know that my relationship status and love interests had nothing to do with why I left Scientology. It was the endless parade of lies I was being forced to tell public Scientologists on a daily basis that woke me up to the fact that I needed a big change.


For me, being a Scientologist was supposed to be about helping people and saving the world. It took me decades to wake up to the fact that I was surrounded by a world of lies and deceit. Being raised in that world makes it easier for some to stay put, but eventually I woke up.

I pursued that relationship after leaving the Sea Org by getting a regular job and trying to “make good” with the Church for my “crime” of leaving the SO. I was treated like a second-class citizen and a scumbag, but I persisted for months trying to sort it all out because I wanted a future with this new woman I had fallen in love with. And unfortunately, she was still a Scientologist, and a staff member, and her entire family was hardcore.

Her father was one of the largest contributors to their org, and so I was not entirely surprised to see them, years later, all pictured here on the Bunker for reaching $2.5 million in donations.

Still, I tried to talk her out of Scientology. It didn’t go well, and I’ve learned a lot more since that time, and the mistakes I made were classics in the cult intervention field, but ones that most family and friends make out of desperation, fear, and ignorance. I said too much, too fast, and I was too impatient. And that ended up costing me everything. Once it came out that I had been posting nasty things anonymously about Scientology online, the relationship quickly ended and I was disconnected from all of them.

However, before that break, a bizarre thing happened to me that I don’t think I’ve ever discussed publicly. Through this woman’s family, I met another Scientologist whose name is rather legendary in the history of the organization.

I met Gerald Wolfe.

He was one of the Guardian’s Office spies who actually went to jail for Scientology’s “Snow White Operation” of the 1970s, when GO operatives were infiltrating and breaking into government offices to steal copies of documents about L. Ron Hubbard. In 1976, it was Wolfe and another operative named Michael Meisner who were stopped by FBI agents at a DC law library and the whole thing began to unravel. Meisner eventually turned himself in and talked, leading to the famous 1977 raid on Scientology that was the largest in FBI history.

Yes, that Gerald Wolfe. It turns out he was best friends of the father of the woman I was seeing. I met him at a cafe where we all went out to dinner, him with his OT 8 wife.

Gerry was perhaps one of the nicest and most naive men I’ve ever met. He had this look about him that I can describe as kind of “distant” even though he was there paying attention to me in the moment. It’s like he was there but he wasn’t all there, a sort of vacant and dazed look in his eyes. He regaled me happily with his very pleasant “wins” from doing the Student Hat course for the third time, something he was very busy with back in 2013 when we talked. In short, he was showing that despite his long and checkered past, he was still very much on board and very much taken with L. Ron Hubbard and his “tech.” I didn’t actually appreciate at the time who it was I was talking to. It didn’t dawn on me until after we parted who Gerry really was. Like a ship in the night, Gerry had come in and out of my life – just another historical but tragic figure in Scientology history, now a broken soul who still can’t break out of the delusion.

Having that relationship stripped away and losing all my friends and connections overnight was pretty bad. But as I learned in 2013 in going down the internet rabbit hole on Scientology, there had been far worse cases of abuse against women and children that I never knew anything about when I was in Scientology and the Sea Org. I had learned about young kids being thrown in chain lockers on orders of L. Ron Hubbard directly, as well as the laundry list of criminal conspiracies the Church had engaged in with Operation Snow White and the hundreds of instances of intense Fair Gaming against its critics. All of this and so much more had finally been made clear to me and there was no going back. Scientology had to be stopped.

In late December 2013, I was officially declared a Suppressive Person by the Church of Scientology, almost exactly one year after I had officially left the employment of the Sea Organization in December 2012. My declare was the culmination of months of anti-Scientology postings by me on message boards and blogs under different pseudonyms such as “Galactic Patrol” and “iHateDuplicity.” The church eventually discovered who I was from some of what I had written and they monitored me for a while before finally letting me know the jig was up and I was no longer safely hiding behind anonymity.

Most of my posts were really just rants and data dumps to other ex-members, trying to contribute something worthwhile to the general understanding of what Scientology was and how it operated. I barely understood what I had been through and was only just coming to see the magnitude of the situation, but what I did know is that I was angry – really angry – and that something needed to be done about the abuses this so-called church was getting away with.

So it was a bit of a no-brainer for me when Karen De La Carriere reached out to me shortly after I announced I had been declared and invited me to Los Angeles to talk about my experiences on her channel. It was a knockout trip. While I was nervous as hell, I wasn’t worried about myself or what Scientology was going to do in response. I just wanted people to get the most current information I could provide to the most number of people so something could be done about it.

That was 10 years ago today, on February 7, 2014, that I appeared on YouTube for the first time.


Little did I know what I was getting into. I wasn’t just starting down a new road for myself, but really what I was doing was sort of merging onto a freeway where a lot of other folks were already travelling and I was becoming part of that train of exposure, advocacy, protests, and every other thing we do to try to push back against the Cult of Scientology and its awful activities. It wasn’t just about me – it was about a whole lot of people who had been fighting for a long time in the same direction I was now fighting.

I had allies and new friends and people to work with! All those horrible people that Scientology were labelling “Suppressive” were actually some of the friendliest and welcoming and compassionate people I’ve ever met before or since. For a little while it was fun to be the “new kid” and be praised for my words and efforts. And I, in turn, got to get into the trenches and get dirty fighting the good fight, and before too long I was one of the ones welcoming other new ex-members into the fight. And that cycle has continued ever since as Scientology expels more and more people, becoming less and less powerful or influential over the years we’ve been fighting it.

And make no mistake, because it needs to be said out loud that these ten years of blood, sweat, and tears have not been in vain. I’ve not just been a voice behind a microphone on YouTube, nor have so many others who I have been fighting side-by-side with. I’ve had the opportunity to work directly in cult interventions as well as one-on-one with hundreds of people on cult exiting and recovery. Like I said, it’s been a wild ride on and off the camera. I’ve been on television and radio, countless podcasts and speaking engagements and have produced over 1,000 videos on the subjects of Scientology and coercive control. If nothing else, I’ve not been idle. And as a result I got to be part of the group that forced Scientology to cancel their cruel Rehabilitation Project Force, their incessant demands for abortion as a method of cult retention, their stripping of basic human rights and even their recruitment of children. While the very existence of Scientology continues to be a blight on humanity, we have to take note of the gains we have had and not lose sight of the fact we are changing things. The kind of change we want is always too slow and too incremental, but it does happen and we must not forget that.

There are lots of days where the work we do can feel lonely and where we feel in a bit of a vacuum that no one else is even paying attention to. During those times, I get by with a little help from my friends and collaborators and they are many. None of what I’ve been able to accomplish has been done alone. Whether looking back on the work of the OG giants in this area such as Lawrence Wallersheim, Paulette Cooper, Gerry Armstrong, Tory Christman or Jon Atack; working with therapists and trained professionals such as Dr. Janja Lalich, Dr. Yuval Laor, Rachel Bernstein, Natalie Feinblatt or Dr. Steve Hassan; collaborating with other former members such as Mike Rinder, Leah Remini, the Headleys and Alex Barnes-Ross. Of course I’m leaving off far many more names than I can include, so no sleight is intended on anyone. I just wanted to acknowledge that I stand on the shoulders of giants and none of what I’ve done would have even been possible without them.

Since this is being written on Tony’s Substack, let me name him last but not least as not only an ally in this fight but someone I am proud to call a friend. His blog was quite literally the FIRST place where I read the real truth about Scientology that actually got home to me. Tony’s Underground Bunker was the source of so much information for me when I first started questioning my beliefs, I don’t know that I will ever be able to express the impact it had on my life then and now. Everything I’ve been doing since has been my own effort to do the same thing for others and where I know Tony succeeded, I have come to learn over the years that I too have succeeded. And that success – that help – is the only thing to me that really matters in all of this. For me, that’s all this has ever been about.

Here’s to another 10 years moving forward in the fight against coercive groups and cultic elements all around us. The struggle is real, the fight is never ending but I really can’t think of anything better I could be doing. Thank you to those of you out there who support me and my work. Every bit of it helps.

— Chris Shelton


Technology Cocktail

“It has been revealed at Saint Hill that HGC auditors and Review auditors are permitting their preclears to be sent through to Ethics for writing disconnection letters to any person or group which the preclear thinks to have been suppressive of him and then continuing the Search and Discovery to find the SP on the list. This is improper. The auditor should continue the proper auditing of an S and D until the proper item on the list is found. An Ethics Officer should only accept from a Type Two PTS, the proper SP found upon the completion of an S and D properly listed and nulled to one SP.” — L. Ron Hubbard, 1966




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

“Evidently, it’s practically an affront not to be able to find out about something. Any time you want to go around wearing a bath towel with a Woolworth diamond on it and be a swami reading people’s minds, also take out a large insurance policy and get your burial arrangements straight. It’s probably why they hung Christ, if they did. That’s right. That’s right. If he was the Son of God, he should have been able to find out about all the orthodox malpractices. And he didn’t. And they hung him. They didn’t hung him. They crucified him. Common practice of the day. If he existed. It isn’t true that he led a good life, so they crucified him. You see, that wouldn’t be the right story. He should have found out about ’em and he didn’t, so you see they had to crucify him and that’s just about the way it would be. Now, if you go around telling everybody you can read their minds — I know this might get you lots of PCs for a little while — be sure at the same time that you go down to the Bide-a-Wee Cemetery and get yourself a nice quiet lot because probably you won’t have time a little while later. It’s very hard to buy a lot when you haven’t got a body to pull money out of the pockets of. But that’s about how it is, you see?” — L. Ron Hubbard, February 7, 1962



Avast, Ye Mateys

“The rule that blown SO members may not work in orgs is now being fully enforced. This affects Durban and Asho. CS-1 should advise these and other orgs. Franchises employing them are instantly indebted $5000 to the SO for VIIIs and other sums for other training. One special permission exists for Chris Stevens on petition to work in Tech only in JBG org. SO members who do not return from leave are classified as blown. It is interesting that freeloader org and SO billings are paid when billed. It gives an avenue of conscience money. It is actually very cruel not to provide an avenue for redress of wrongs. But freeloader billings have to be billed regularly.” — The Commodore, February 7, 1971


Overheard in the FreeZone

“Given the current athmosphere in the world against the family and the push for the sodomite agenda, it is not hard to predict that some people might discard or ban from LRH books any reference to homosexuality, including the descriptions of the 1.1 tone level in ‘Science of Survival’ as regards ‘sexuality’ and ‘procreation.’ My intention is to demonstrate how those quotes (the dangerousness of the 1.1 tone level as regards to sexuality and procreation) are more valid today than any time in human history.”


Past is Prologue

1998: The St. Petersburg Times carried a story this week on the suicide of Scientologist Patrice Vic and the trial in which Scientologists were convicted in relation to his death. “Mrs. Vic blames her husband’s death on the Church of Scientology; the church’s top official in Lyon badgered her husband to come up with $6,000 to take more Scientology counseling. Jean-Jacques Mazier, the Scientology official, was convicted of manslaughter and fraud in Vic’s death. The French court also ruled that Scientology was pressuring members for money that wound up in Clearwater, where the church maintains its spiritual headquarters. The charges against Mazier and several other Scientologists centered on the way they pressured prospective members who needed help. Testimony also described foreign bank accounts that were used to send money to Clearwater, where it paid for training of high-level Scientology officials. On the day before her husband’s death, Mrs. Vic testified, Mazier came to their home in Lyon and urged her to sign loan papers for the money. She said her husband became highly agitated, paced the house and went to the Scientology center in Lyon instead of going to his job as an industrial designer. After spending a day with Mazier and failing to convince his wife to help obtain the loan, Vic returned home looking for papers so he could apply for the loan by himself, Mrs. Vic said. ‘He was just coming in and out, very agitated,’ she said. ‘He kept getting up out of bed, he was unable to sleep.’ At 5 a.m. as she tried to stop him, Vic dashed toward the window in the room where their two sons were sleeping. ‘He said ‘Don’t keep me, it’s the only solution,’ and he went through the window, she told the Times. Patrice Vic was 31.”



Random Howdy

“The 49ers sucked so bad I was forced to turn to punk rock and hard drugs for entertainment. It’s all John Brodie and Scientology’s fault.”


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] VIDEO: Scientology begs for staff in Chicago as it prepares to go ‘ideal’ — as soon as Saturday?
[TWO years ago] Scientology will be central in tomorrow’s Danny Masterson rape case hearing
[THREE years ago] Here’s Scientology’s 2021 Super Bowl ad: A pandemic-flavored ‘mystery sandwich’
[FOUR years ago] Scientology will try to force Jane Doe in Miami child abuse case into ‘religious arbitration’
[FIVE years ago] Scientology’s social media effort tries so hard to distract you from what’s really going on
[SIX years ago] Scientology officials from around the globe called to Florida for news of ‘Scientology TV’
[SEVEN years ago] Great moments in Scientology journalism: When Alex Mitchell blew the lid off ‘Babalon Working’
[EIGHT years ago] Yes, that was a Scientology ad you saw during the Super Bowl. Here’s what’s in it.
[NINE years ago] An L. Ron Hubbard island fantasy: The Scientology daydream you haven’t heard
[TEN years ago] REPORT: Man was hired to keep Shelly Miscavige from escaping Scientology base near L.A.
[ELEVEN years ago] Jenna Miscavige Hill Continues Her Media Blitz; More Scientology News in Thursday Roundup


Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley (1952-2019) did not see his daughter Stephanie in his final 5,667 days.
Tammy Synovec has not seen her daughter Julia in 2,803 days.
Valerie Haney has not seen her mother Lynne in 3,298 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,813 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 3,363 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 2,353 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 2,234 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 5,538 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 3,409 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,961 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 4,302 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,869 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 8,788 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,956 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 4,537 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,798 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,834 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 3,550 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 3,114 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 1,429 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 2,604 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 7,155 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 4,286 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 4,624 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 9,479 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 4,598 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,954 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 7,257 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 3,363 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 3,761 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 3,637 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 3,202 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 3,715 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,969 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 15,078 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on February 7, 2024 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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