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Mark Bunker makes the case for why Clearwater needs him to keep fighting Scientology

I was reading your Whole Track flashback article from 7 years ago in which Rod Keller gives an alarming look at the future of downtown Clearwater in 2017 as the city launched its efforts to revitalize the area with Imagine Clearwater. Things sure looked bleak and we still have enormous challenges ahead as Miscavige plots and schemes while ducking process servers at every corner but we are fighting back and I thought it might be a good time to look at our progress.

Imagine Clearwater has been a huge success. Tens of thousands of people come to the park and to events at the amphitheater called The Sound and they love what we have created for the people of Clearwater and all who visit. When people are given a reason to come downtown, they do. Our problem remains the empty buildings which should be filled with shops and restaurants and would be if it were not for Miscavige’s criminal racketeering scheme of buying everything he could get his hands on and using it as leverage to bring the city to its knees. We’re not bowing yet. In fact, we’re fighting back.

We just finalized the contract to build 400 apartments on the old city hall property with retail, restaurants, a hotel and a beer garden going up to compliment the park and create new spaces for business that Miscavige can’t control. Our contract with the developer, Gotham, has safeguards built into it that will prevent Scientology from buying the project in a future downturn should one happen.

The county will be vacating all the properties they hold in downtown Clearwater in just a few years and the county is committed to keeping those properties out of Scientology’s hands and working with us to ensure that developers can create a thriving downtown despite Miscavige’s best efforts. Lex Luthor’s diabolical property schemes fail in every Superman film as will Slappy Miscavige’s plans. He will ultimately fail in this little game he is playing.


Four years ago, when I first ran for city council, a line of OT’s appeared in council chambers to warn that I was going to cost the city millions in lawsuits (hasn’t happened), that I would be leading riots in the street (hasn’t happened) and they demanded that I not be allowed to sit on the Downtown Development Board as that would be akin to having the head of the KKK or Hitler in their midst. Wild efforts were made to get rid of me once I was appointed to the board and for what? For merely suggesting that as respected high level members of Scientology they were in the best position to get answers as to why Miscavige and fellow members of Scientology were secretly buying property at up to 4-6 times market value and leaving them sit empty for years. Wow, what a shocking suggestion…but they couldn’t bang the gavel fast enough or loud enough to try to shut me up.

The DDB attorney concocted some nonsensical excuse to try to kick me out of the meetings. “Why do we need two ex-officio members on the board,” explained attorney Else Winters. “We’re just taking up some of Mr. Bunker’s valuable time.” I volunteered to be the member to stay on the board but that wasn’t her goal. To Mayor Hibbard’s credit and that of the rest of the city council, they weren’t going to let the DDB get away with their obvious ploy and they voted the keep me on the DDB to the mounting frustration of Ms. Winters.

Toward the end, she tried to use the 24 year old injunction against me in a meeting and that was one of her last moves. Unhappy with the terrible performance of the board under her guidance, the city council voted to dissolve the board and take over control of the DDB to properly lead the downtown in a new direction. Having a board primarily of Scientologists gave the appearance to many that Scientology runs the city which they don’t. If those Scientologists had just run the board effectively, they would still be in those positions. You’d think Hubbard management tech would have given them an advantage…and it might have if it hadn’t been pulled out of his ass like everything else Hubbard gave the world.

In 2017, when Miscavige didn’t like how the last council turned down his generous offer to control all of downtown and turn it into a sparkling wonderland if we just sold him the CMA property he coveted, he told the paper he would wait until he gets a new council. He then set in motion his scheme to own every available piece of property he could get his hands on. In a move of bad luck for Slappy, in 2020, the citizens put me on the next council and I have made it clear that in order for a land swap to move forward, Slappy has to move first. Come through with everything he promises and then we’ll sell him the CMA property. Short of that, the CMA property would best be used for a parking structure supporting the park and amphitheater.

There have been many discussions on how best to deal with Scientology’s interference with downtown. Eminent domain is one of the strongest possibilities. Here’s what you should know. If we were to seize a property, there has to be a valid reason for doing so and parking is crucially important, especially for the Sound. The city would have to pay market rate for the property which Scientology has vastly inflated with their under-handed secret purchases. On top of that, Scientology would undoubtedly sue the city. As I said, parking is a valid defensible use so it is not out of the question. Can it be used for every building they are leaving empty? No. The city couldn’t afford to pay the hundreds of millions needed to buy them, but also, anything bought through eminent domain has to be put to public use. A parking garage qualifies but you can’t seize a property and give it to a developer to put up retail stores. We continue to explore options.

Scientology remains the reason much of downtown is a nuclear wasteland but we are making progress. There is an election on March 19th and I hope I will get re-elected to continue standing guard as I believe former Mayor Gabe Cazares and police Lt. Ray Emmons would wish me to do. I sure wish I had their guidance but I did have their example of standing strong, unafraid of the dangerous organization in our midst.

I have something else this election. In my first race, I had the support of Leah Remini, the readers of the Bunker and the citizens of Clearwater. In this race, my opponents are not just Scientology but also the good-old-boy establishment who want to get rid of me every bit as much as Slappy does. But I am overwhelmed to see that in this race, I have earned the support of people who never would have backed someone taking on Scientology four years ago. The Clearwater firefighters and the Clearwater police FOP have endorsed me in this race and I have people and groups throughout the community that have seen that I am fighting for them in every way I can and not just on Scientology and they are giving me much more widespread support. Plus, people all around the country have been donating generously to the campaign allowing me to reach many more people in Clearwater than I ever could four years ago.

A former council member a couple of years back set in motion a change to the way we run elections to make sure that someone like me could never win a race again. A question on the ballot will ask if we should start doing run-off elections. If a candidate wins less than 50% of the votes, as I did last time in the five person race, we would have to immediately mount another expensive campaign. Run-offs favor the wealthy and the powerful, the good-old-boys who have always ruled. Minorities and those without funds are at a huge disadvantage in a run off. I limped to the finish line last time, exhausting what little funding we had by election day. If I had to campaign for another six months in a run-off I would have been buried. That’s the whole point.

Those rules wouldn’t apply in my race on March 19th, but I’m hoping that the rules aren’t changed for future candidates because I have seen first-hand how the establishment operates. Mayor Hibbard is a man I respected and liked. He lost two votes, one on bringing safety to a dangerous stretch of Drew Street which he and the business community didn’t want touched because it would add an extra three minutes for the drive from the highway to downtown. The other was when we voted four to one to finally proceed with a new city hall which had $30 million dollars set aside since we closed the old city hall in 2017 for the project. He quit mid meeting and went on a nationwide tour to burn us to the ground, telling Fox News we were building a $90 million dollar Taj Mahal for ourselves. That lie spread quickly and it continues to be used to try to defeat candidates in this race.

We’re spending $31 million wisely for needed infrastructure that will allow several key departments, now scattered, to be working under one roof, easily accessible to the public with a council chamber that hopefully will be as iconic as the one where Clearwater held a week’s worth of hearings on Scientology back in 1982. I was always in awe when I spoke to the council in those chambers back in 2000-2001. Mayor Hibbard wanted us to take over the library on the bluff next to the amphitheater for city hall, but we just spent $84 million dollars to activate that area for the public. The council doesn’t need offices with beautiful waterfront views. We have tiny windowless offices now and that is perfectly fine. The library needs to remain there for the public and we have something really amazing in store for the ground floor that will activate the building in a way that will be exciting for people who live in Clearwater and for those visiting. Another great way we can activate the bluff and enhance it as a destination.

Politics, like Scientology, can be dirty but I refuse to play that way and I am unwilling to shut my mouth. Mayor Hibbard once threatened to “take me outside” during a meeting when I pointed out that he was the only one on the council who knew Scientology had been interfering with an affordable housing project we had approved for downtown. That interference drove the project and the developer out of town. Mayor Hibbard was also the only one who voted against that project.

I will continue to stand up and speak out when I see injustice. I am proud when citizens in Clearwater thank me for that and I’m hoping to have another four years of fighting for them from within City Hall.

If Clearwater becomes the first “Scientology City,” it won’t be on my watch.

— Mark Bunker


Mark Bunker for Clearwater City Council 2024


Technology Cocktail

“Some thetans are bigger than others. None are truly equal. But the degraded being is not necessarily a natively bad thetan. He is simply so PTS and has been for so long that it requires our highest level tech to finally undo it after he has scaled up all our grades. Degraded beings are about 18 to 1 over Big Beings in the human race (minimum ratio). So those who keep things going are few. And those who will make it without the steam of the few in our orgs behind them are zero. At the same time, we can’t have a world full of them and still make it. So we have no choice.” — L. Ron Hubbard, 1967



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

“Greece, in its Golden Age, could be said to have been at Tone 4. Perhaps in the first days of this country, when we were searching out a wilderness and building the nation, we could be said to have been at Tone 4. A nation follows in its cycles the same tone scale as individuals. A person can be as high as Greece was, or in a state of apathy as were the American Indians when they were destroyed as a nation. You can tell just what the mental health of a nation is by observing its actions. A country like Russia that is always angry is at 1.5 or 2. It is either angry or in a state of war. If a human being were in this band he would be titled insane. A state in this band could not help being a police state. The United States for a while was rather bored but getting along. However, this last war reduced us to around 2.1, which is rather overtly hostile — ready to fight. We are drifting back down the tone scale. Between here and death is totalitarianism.” — L. Ron Hubbard, February 15, 1951


Avast, Ye Mateys

“The actual value of a trained SO member is very high, yet is not being assigned a value. The wogworld tends to impress on people that the individual has no value. Welfare states deplore having people. Yet we run on and because of people. The value is actually too high to be calculated easily. Because value to self is all the wide world thinks of. Value to the group is discounted. Yet the whole value of a being is to his group and not to himself at all. The aberrated think of modern times says one has no real value to the group. Yet that is a being’s greatest value. We should work more on these lines in a practical sense.” — The Commodore, February 15, 1971



Overheard in the FreeZone

“After being audited by trey I was trying to find a source point to all the time lines. I had found about 10 in the stars and a million sent back to raise the vibration of the planet. So if the spirit is in the static it is all knowing so it can’t see the physical universe being source. because if it knows everything then it knows the creation and that would vanish the creation, so there must be another viewpoint that is in the physical universe that can create all the timelines. So I think that is where I go when I pop out of this time and go to a void and then pop into another point in time. And since all the timelines come from the same spirit then I would be able to view all of them from there and even repair them from there. So then if we could get to that point it would be like being 3 feet behind your head you would just KNOW HOW to heal it. So that was my realization. If there was a way we can get to that source point which is in the physical universe and can see it and all its time lines we could fix this place pretty easy.”


Past is Prologue

1999: Danish newspaper Politiken published an article on Scientology’s filtering software, which prevents access to a large number of critical web sites. “‘Members have their own choice if they want it or not, but we give it to them to protect them, not for controlling them’, says Anette Refstrup (PR OSA Denmark). ‘We want to protect them against manipulated thoughts when they are at such a spiritual level that they can’t deal with criticism’. Scientology have 13000 web sites for their members and they are all identical. One can only contact a member through the org’s PR people. Catarina Pamnell left the movement in 1995 and tells that ‘Scientology wants to control peoples thoughts and that’s why Internet is such a huge problem for them’.”


Random Howdy

“Jenna Elfman is jihadi-level crazy. She wouldn’t hesitate to go on a martyr mission if D.M. ordered her to.”


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] So David Miscavige is now a defendant: But can the trafficking lawsuit avoid arbitration?
[TWO years ago] How Scientology kills without pulling a trigger: The story of a sister who was loved
[THREE years ago] Scientology spying on Anonymous: Leaked from the files of a church private eye
[FOUR years ago] DRONE FLYOVER: First look at Scientology’s drug rehab at Larry Hagman’s estate
[FIVE years ago] The Axioms of Dianetics: L. Ron Hubbard’s science-y foundation of Scientology ‘tech’
[SIX years ago] Scientology mag: Why aren’t you in Florida already dumping all that sweet cash?
[SEVEN years ago] Federal judge once again finds for Scientology’s nonexistent and Orwellian ‘arbitration’
[EIGHT years ago] Chuck Beatty is right: L. Ron Hubbard lofted culty cosmic ideas a decade before ‘Dianetics’
[NINE years ago] Scientology Sunday Funnies: New ‘Continental’ Narconons opening soon?
[TEN years ago] Did John Travolta reveal too much about Scientology?
[ELEVEN years ago] Blogging Dianetics, Part 7: The Hard Cell


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 2,811 days.
Valerie Haney has not seen her mother Lynne in 3,306 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,821 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 3,371 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 2,361 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 2,242 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 5,546 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 3,417 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,969 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 4,310 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,877 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 8,796 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,964 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 4,545 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,806 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,842 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 3,558 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 3,122 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 1,437 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 2,612 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 7,163 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 4,294 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 4,632 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 9,487 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 4,606 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,962 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 7,265 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 3,371 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 3,769 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 3,645 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 3,210 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 3,723 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,977 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 15,086 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on February 15, 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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