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Giving birth (shhhh, silently!) in Scientology: What is that really like?

One of the accepted beliefs in Scientology is that founder L. Ron Hubbard knew everything about everything, no exceptions. Honestly, I’m not sure why that was accepted. I don’t call my orthopedic surgeon’s office or my attorney’s office and ask questions about why my eye hurts, I don’t call my attorney to ask him what to do if my foot hurts, I don’t call the water department to fix my TV or furnace nor do I call Dell to fix my iPhone.

But Hubbard had an answer for any question on any subject no matter how mundane, or how invasive in your life. He told you how to wash your windows, how to run your business. How to save your marriage. How to have a baby, how to raise the baby, and how to feed it as well. And we all followed his instructions blindly or pretended publicly to do so.

My daughter was born at home with a Scientology doctor and Scientology nurse in attendance. Hubbard teachings say that it had to be a silent birth because birth was painful for the baby and if you made noises, the noise would become part of the “birth engram.”

He addresses this at length (51 pages worth) in Dianetics: The Original Thesis, but basically he led people to believe that if words were said while you were in pain, they would be remembered in your “reactive mind,” and if those words were repeated again ever, it would bring back that original pain and you would act irrationally as a result.


I planned for my baby’s birth to be a calm thing. Way back then we didn’t know the baby’s sex before the child was born, but we were positive our child was going to be a boy. So positive that we didn’t even choose girls’ names.

I was one of those yippie hippie mamas of the 1970s. I didn’t touch a drop of caffeine after I got pregnant (yikes! how did I survive?), nor did I touch sugar. Only the healthiest and best for my child. I lived in LA, so our meals consisted of mostly fresh fruits and vegetables, although we weren’t by any means vegetarian. I read every possible book I could on pregnancy, labor and “The Womanly Art of Breastfeeding” and we bought everything we could: cribs, bumper pads, sheets, clothing (in neutral greens and yellows). We decorated the baby’s room with large animal stickers on the walls, had a diaper service, had a high chair, the whole thing. No binkys or bottles for this mama.

The baby was due the end of October. My mom flew out to be with me. I had morning sickness all day long all nine months, so we had to stop on the way home from the airport so I could throw up. I had quit my job the end of October and we were just waiting out the days. I got to spend some quality time with my mom. Mary Sue gave me the time with her. Unlike Hubbard, his wife Mary Sue was a strong advocate of family time. I was lucky to have been in the position I was. Or, maybe if I hadn’t been, I would have left sooner because my mother would have showed up to be with me and I would have not been with her (…hmmm).

Waiting out the days being past due really played a number on my head. By then I had had so many doubts about so many things in Scientology, I was really starting to believe that maybe I wasn’t pregnant and I was just faking being pregnant. Seriously.

On November 23, I took my mom back to the airport to catch her plane and went home and my labor started. Yes, my mom had to fly out the day I had the baby. Because I was having my child at home and because someone else I knew had been in labor 23 hours at that point, I didn’t even bother calling my husband Mark who was on course at CC. He got home and I told him I was in labor. He asked if I had timed the contractions, I said a couple of hours ago they were 45 minutes apart. We timed them they were 25 minutes apart.

His mother was in town and staying at the Manor. We went over there with plans of going to dinner in the restaurant there then going out to a movie. Yeah, those were the plans. I decided to stay in the room because I wasn’t feeling too hot and they walked down the hall to the restaurant. I laid down on her bed and then got up to go to the bathroom. My water broke and I immediately went into transition.

There was no phone in the room, so my choices were to walk down the hall with water flowing gushing down my legs with each step or just wait for them to come back. I waited. Luckily, the restaurant was closed and they came back pretty rapidly. Once again, we were in the dark ages, so there were no cell phones. We raced to our house where we called our doctor from our land line (at least it was a touch tone phone, we weren’t barbarians!). We got his answering service. It was rush hour, 4:50 p.m. the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. His office was in the San Fernando Valley, we were in North Hollywood.

We changed the sheets on the bed and I laid down on the bed and my mother-in-law was really freaked out. She had seven children and had never seen one born. She was about to experience the miracle of birth for the first time by watching me, a person who she barely knew, have her son’s baby.

So, of course, she did what any OT 7 Scientologist with a knowledge of engrams would do, she started vacuuming! Vacuuming! My response: Sorry, not going to apologize for this I screamed “turn that fucking thing off.” I laid on the bed doing my best to practice labor techniques (I had chosen the Bradley Method) which just weren’t the same when it was actually happening, and wondered if I was going to have this baby before the doctor got there. Mark kept calling the answering service who told him the doctor was on the way.

Finally, the doctor and his nurse rushed in, doctor said “are you ready to push?” I said “yes” and 25 minutes later I had a baby girl. Seven hours from first contraction to
birth. He asked us what name to put on the birth certificate and Mark and I just looked at each other quizzically. With all the preparations, we hadn’t planned one thing – what would we call the baby if it was a girl.

But we decided on a name on the spur of the moment, and I’m glad we chose the one we did. I really believe it fits her. And our boy got his name just short of three years later.

That night at 2:00 a.m. my daughter started crying. That’s when it all hit. That’s when I realized the enormity of the whole situation. This little crying being was my responsibility for the rest of my life. I was overwhelmed. I was scared. I had no idea what to do and was sure I had brought someone into this world who I would scar for life.

Being a good little Scientologist, I didn’t ever tell anyone about that. Luckily when my daughter experienced those feelings after the birth of her much wanted and very highly anticipated son, she was able to verbalize them and work through why she felt that way. I tamped them down. I got to work through them by getting up the next morning and cooking Thanksgiving dinner.


I loved my daughter in a way I didn’t know existed, but I didn’t get to rejoice over her birth or cry over the feelings I felt. I was pushed right back into the world of “saving the planet.” I got to have her with me most days, which was more than I would have been able to do if I had even been allowed to keep her if I had been in Sea Org, and I spent time with her in a way most Sea Org mothers back in those days didn’t get to experience.

I was one of the lucky ones because Mary Sue loved her children. Her husband didn’t understand how or why children worked and thus referred to them as adults in a child’s body, not allowing them to be educated properly in the ways of life. My daughter was breastfed until she was on solid food because when we tried to give her LRH’s Barley Formula… (Not even going to give you the formula ingredients; if you feel the need to look it up, please do not use it, it is a thin watery thing with karo syrup in it and, it causes malnutrition, don’t give it to your baby) …she would bite the nipple off the bottle and throw the bottle across the room, smart girl.

She also has her Scientology christening certificate. She keeps it as a party starter. She loves to show off the fact that she was christened in Scientology and has godparents even her mom couldn’t pick out in a lineup – haven’t seen them since she was 3 months old. Thank goodness, she had so little Scientology indoctrination that she doesn’t remember it, it’s just a fun fact in her history that she was born into it and never did anything in it.

Skipping forward, as this is only about Scientology births, we are in Salt Lake City now. My husband and I are living in a dark ugly fixer upper house (and that’s giving it a lot more credit than it deserves) that we bought with his mother. My husband and his mother stay home all day and work on the house, getting it ready to resell and I am pregnant and taking the bus downtown to go to work every day at a typing service in a large building.

We are still sort of doing Scientology – showing up occasionally at the Salt Lake Mission, signing up for the Sweat Program back in the day, we even had a hard-wired car phone in our Peugeot which we didn’t use because of the cost. (Oh, the pretentions.) But mostly, I am earning the money and Mark and his mom are working on the house. Mark’s mom went to Flag the day before I went into labor so she wasn’t around for this birth.

We had a midwife for our second child as well. We lived in Utah where it was illegal for doctors to deliver a baby at home. I knew from my first birth that I was going to go fast, so when I had a contraction at 3:00 a.m. I called the midwife, by the time she got there at 4:30 I was in transition. Here’s where Scientology comes in. I was pushing and I grunted, yes grunted. Mark looked at me and said through clenched teeth “get your fucking TRs in.”

When our son was coming out, he had the cord wrapped around his neck so I had to NOT push – not fun, the midwife talked, telling me to pant not push. Mark at least had the decency to not yell at her. We got the cord off his neck and he started screaming. My daughter wandered in the room and said “why’s my baby brother crying?” Again, stone ages, we didn’t know the sex of the child, but it was a boy. Because my daughter asked why her baby brother was crying, we attributed OT powers to her. I kid you not. As for the name, we had a name from almost three years prior.

But you get the idea. Even in the home, even in childbirth, Hubbard was present. You didn’t go to course or auditing and come home and shed the trappings of Scientology. You were a Scientologist 24-7. You lived Scientology every hour of every day.

As for Hubbard’s method of silent birth? Two thumbs down, would not recommend.

— Valerie Ross


Technology Cocktail

“When you can’t run out (erase) a dog bite engram, why then you find the “shoot dog” engram. PSYCHOSOMATIC ILLS OR ABERRATIONS THAT DO NOT RESOLVE BY RUNNING ONE SIDE, USUALLY RESOLVE BY FINDING AND RUNNING THE OTHER. When you can’t erase an engram about shooting a dog, why then there’s a bitten by dog. It’s all very simple really. There are always two sides to the coin. If one won’t run, you try the other.” — 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

“The one thing by which the communist profits in Australia and Suid-Afrika are the laws against perversion. The state, of all means, is regulating how you are going to perform the sexual act. I think that’s very interesting. I’ve seldom seen any police officers in my bedroom. And I’m afraid if I did they’d have short shrift. Of course, I have had the people the police officers are supposed to restrain trying to crawl into my bedroom windows and a few things like that, you know, but that, of course, they wouldn’t be interested in. Now, what are they doing? They’re just trying to invent some new withholds, aren’t they? I think that’s fascinating, because the communist uses blackmail of this particular kind as a means of controlling heads of state. In other words, if the state itself lends its weight to punishment of withholds, see, it has just laid itself out to be crazy. Because now, anybody in the state can be blackmailed so as to overthrow the state, because the state will punish the overthrow or the withhold. Do you understand this, or any part of this?” — L. Ron Hubbard, February 20, 1962


Avast, Ye Mateys

“LOCAL PROPERTY: I rode the motorcycle Mary Sue gave me for Christmas out to see some property we bought. Arthur Hubbard, my test rider and mechanic in chief, acted as guide on his bike. He took me way out in the green countryside on the excuse he didn’t know any other route to the property. We circled back and found the right place right on the edge of town. Anything for a ride. It’s a very nice property. Several apartments, 18 bedrooms on one upper floor, a dozen garages, a big buss garage, four classrooms and a gym, and a lot of other bits. Our sign is up and well lighted at night. Our caretaker is a very nice chap. The place is well built of stone and masonry, quite pretty in fact. We intended it for light manufacturing but have not put it to use as yet. We own quite a bit of property over the world. Will be acquiring more as well as some countries.” — The Commodore, February 20, 1971


Overheard in the FreeZone

“According to LRH this is not so. Men are not created equal. According to LRH, there are higher order thetans and ‘puppet society’ thetans. In the Bill Robertson cosmology, there are Source Thetans, created thetans and several hierarchies of thetans. The spiritual world is not ‘democratic’.”


Past is Prologue


1997: Jeff Jacobsen and his family came under additional harassment this week, with a visit from a Scientology private investigator and two pickets.
“As I type this, Eugene Ingram, Scientology private investigator, is in South Dakota visiting my father’s business establishments, asking questions about me. It is a written practice of the church to noisily investigate someone that they are upset at. I was warning my neighbors that there might be private investigators hanging around the area again. One neighbor then told me that 2 women were picketing my house a few nights ago about 9:30pm. The neighbors told the women to leave or they’d call the police, and they left. The Scottsdale police told me that there is a law against picketing in a residential area here. Tonight as every Friday night I went to my dj’ing job at the All Singles Dances. I went out to see about 20 or so people walking along the hotel property next to a busy major street (speed limit there about 45 mph). I remember 2 signs; one said ‘Jacobsen sued his family!’ and another said ‘Jacobsen sells XXX rated videos.’ I asked the guy holding the first sign what that meant since I had never sued anyone in my life. He said ‘you’ll have to ask that guy’ pointing up ahead to someone or other. I guess he didn’t even know what his own sign was about! My father has video rental stores in South Dakota, one of which won an award for best store in the state. He does rent x-rated videos, as well as Disney and everything else in between. Do you see what they’re doing? Rather than address what is on that page, they go after my family! Can you think of anything more despicable? I heard that after about 45 minutes of picketing the hotel called the police. The police told the picketers they were interfering with the hotel driveway (they had been marching right through the entryway) and also were distracting traffic and setting up a situation where someone driving by would likely be rear-ended while trying to read the signs. So the picketers left.”


Random Howdy

“All you need to do to strike spiritual gold is to tell the mutant killer apes with the over-developed brain stems that death is not the end and that they’re more than just another species of animal.”


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 February 26, 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: motion to file new complaint, hearing on March 20.
Jane Doe 1 v. Scientology, David Miscavige, and Gavin Potter: Case unsealed and second amended complaint filed. Scientology moves for religious arbitration, hearing on March 26.
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] TRANSCRIPT, PART 2: Experienced auditor is taped talking about E-meter, the OT levels
[TWO years ago] What Scientology’s happy propaganda doesn’t tell you about its Florida ‘spiritual mecca’
[THREE years ago] Has Scientology’s cruise ship, the Freewinds, made its last voyage?
[FOUR years ago] Blacks not ready for the vote: L. Ron Hubbard’s damning 1960 harangue supporting apartheid
[FIVE years ago] Tony Ortega: Musician, songwriter, and steel executive, 1938-2019
[SIX years ago] How L. Ron Hubbard tried to hoax the FBI, and ‘brainwashed’ politicians of the far right
[SEVEN years ago] Louis Farrakhan: Nation of Islam will stand by Scientology as Leah Remini ‘goes in hard’
[EIGHT years ago] Why Scientology’s petition to the Texas Supreme Court mentions a dildo, and other surprises
[NINE years ago] Scientology’s Orwellian methods of control explained in a new book by Jefferson Hawkins
[TEN years ago] Scott Pilutik helps us evaluate Scientology’s petition to Texas appeals court
[ELEVEN years ago] Oklahoma Drug Rehab Bill Passes Senate: Scientology’s Narconon Days Numbered?


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 2,816 days.
Valerie Haney has not seen her mother Lynne in 3,311 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,826 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 3,376 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 2,366 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 2,247 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 5,551 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 3,422 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,974 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 4,315 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,882 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 8,801 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,969 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 4,550 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,811 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,847 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 3,563 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 3,127 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 1,442 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 2,617 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 7,168 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 4,299 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 4,637 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 9,492 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 4,611 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,967 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 7,270 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 3,376 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 3,774 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 3,650 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 3,215 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 3,728 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,982 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 15,091 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on February 20, 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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