Daily Notifications
Sign up for free emails to receive the feature story every morning in your inbox at


Shelly Miscavige: More about the place where she registered to vote, but is she still there?

[Shelly and the vault at Petrolia]

Last month, those of us interested in the whereabouts of Scientology leader David Miscavige’s wife Shelly Miscavige — who has not been seen at Scientology events since 2005 — were surprised to learn from an anonymous tip at Reddit that she had been registered to vote in 2017 at an address in Petrolia, California.

Marc and Claire Headley picked this up in a memorable video, and then we independently confirmed that Shelly is currently registered to vote at the address of the secretive Petrolia facility operated by Scientology’s most hush-hush subsidiary, the Church of Spiritual Technology (CST).

This created quite a stir, but after consulting with our sources, we think it may be likely that Shelly is still being held at CST’s headquarters facility near Twin Peaks, California, in the San Bernardino Mountains about 70 miles northeast of Los Angeles, the place we believe she has been located for almost all of the time since she vanished in late summer 2005.

If Shelly did spend some time at CST’s Petrolia location, it may have been for only a short duration, but long enough for her to perhaps renew a drivers license and therefore have her voter registration also renewed. (Records show that Shelly has not actually cast a ballot in an election since the 1990s.)

While we are still trying to find out more about Shelly’s current location, and whether she is still at CST’s Twin Peaks headquarters, we do have more information about the Petrolia location, thanks to the same reader who put together a really informative three-part series for us last year about CST’s properties and people (part 1, part 2, part 3).


Here’s our reader’s information about the Petrolia CST location, where, again, we suspect that Shelly may have only spent a short time on a special assignment, and perhaps more than once in the years she’s been “missing” since 2005…

Petrolia: Microcosm of Scientology’s Sea Org

Humboldt County, which sits along the Pacific coast of Northern California, is a densely forested, mountainous and rural county. It has an estimated population of approximately 136,000 people and is perhaps best known for its impressive redwood trees.

Scientology’s Petrolia compound, one of the sites managed by its Church of Spiritual Technology (CST) division, and staffed by Scientology’s Sea Org members, sits in a remote section of this county. It is a small, extremely isolated compound, where staff are largely cut off from support systems and interaction with others. Public records show only a handful of CST employees have any association with the small Petrolia facility, but these records help shed some light on how Scientology’s CST and Sea Org manage its people.

The Petrolia compound comprises seven adjacent parcels of land forming a combined 1,375 acres in the county. The most recent tax assessed value of this land lists it at $3 million. While the market value of this land and its facilities is considerably higher, this property benefits from Scientology’s status as a religious non-profit in its county tax assessments, as do all of Scientology’s properties.

In addition to the land itself, public records also show this property has five different mineral rights, taxed at $13,704 annually. This is the only identified CST property known to have mineral rights. According to Humboldt County’s Government website, gold mining became one of the first important industries in this area. Other minerals such as copper, chromium, silver, and zinc were also once produced. Current mineral resource production in the area is primarily limited to sand, gravel, and rock extraction. The purpose of CST’s mineral rights are unclear, but were part of the original deal when Scientology purchased the property.

In the years before the pandemic, Jim and Joyce Isaacson (now age 82 and 85, respectively) were known caretakers of this property, including most recently between 2015-2018. This included the time when Shelly Miscavige’s California voting address was first reportedly changed to the Petrolia compound in 2017. However, records show the Isaacsons were relocated to Scientology’s notorious Gold Base (also known as the Int Base) compound in Gilman Hot Springs, California sometime around 2018-2020. Similarly, Tania Skrabak (now age 85), is another long-time Sea Org member who was assigned to Petrolia as far back as 2016. She was also relocated to the Gold Base compound around the same timeframe, 2018-2020.

These individuals are actually fairly representative of elderly members of CST, who are not permitted to retire or reunite with family members on the outside after their time as CST caretakers concludes. Instead, they are relocated to Gold Base, surrounded by razor wire and allowed even less contact with the outside world when compared to Petrolia.

Today, aside from the recent voting registration located on Shelly herself, records show at least two other CST individuals associated with the Petrolia compound. Mark Locke, age 66, has been associated with CST in various roles since at least 1999. He likely first moved to the Petrolia compound between 2017-2018. Mark is believed to have a spouse, Jacqueline Locke, age 74, who likely first moved to the United States on a Religious (R1) visa. While Jacqueline is believed to be a member of the Sea Org, there are no records showing she is assigned to Petrolia or currently part of the CST division at all.

Similarly, Alfredo Gracida (also known as Alfredo Cuevas, age 57), has been associated with CST since 1998. Alfredo likely first moved to the Petrolia compound around 2020-2021. There are indications he also first came to the US on an R1 visa, which is becoming more common across many different CST properties, particularly as older US members age out and are moved back to the Gold Base. Records indicate Alfredo is separated from his wife and daughter, who are posted elsewhere.

In Shelly Miscavige’s own case, records indicate she likely has little financial independence and is not permitted to even have a credit card in her name. Just like others, she too is separated from family and has a sister housed at the Gold Base.

Scientology’s Sea Org has perfected its various hooks of control in the personnel it sends to such remote locations. From paying its Sea Org staff only $50 per week to the separation of family members to the control of visas and immigration status, this small compound appears to be a microcosm of trends occurring at many Scientology locations around the globe.



Technology Cocktail

“STANDARD TECH ALONE RESOLVES ALL CASES. No matter how bright, the other processes and new inventions of someone else (a) work only on a few and (b) are efforts to solve one’s own case by auditing others. To let Standard Tech go out is an act of Treason as Scientology then loses all meaning in an org.” — L. Ron Hubbard, 1968



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 reactive bank is a thing. It’s got sort of mushy looking electronic masses and it’s got pictures and locks and other things associated with this, it is a thing. Well, the physical universe and the remaining dynamics, of course, are themselves a thing. And that’s what we mean when we say our universe and the other fellow’s universe and everybody’s universe. There were three universes, if you can remember rightly. Well, that apparently is very true, there are apparently three universes, but we were speaking of the reactive bank as meaning one of those universes where, as a matter of fact, that’s a little bit of a curve in the line. It turns out that there was his universe, you know, his brick walls, and we’re not sure right now whether or not they’re his brick walls and everybody’s brick walls or only his brick walls, or exactly what’s the status of these brick walls, because we’re right up a bunch, right up against the ability to disintegrate matter, all these various phenomena that — a yogi has been known as a good yogi if he could, you know, something or other, if he could levitate, you know, you’ve heard all these tricks and nonsense pieces and that sort of thing. Kid game stuff. This is the level you’re looking at. You see?” — L. Ron Hubbard, February 23, 1965


Avast, Ye Mateys

“RECRUITS: We appreciate all the new recruits. You are very valuable to us. It permits older hands to move up. In your turn if you do a good job, you will also be moving up in your time. You are expected to do the job assigned well and raise its stats. You are expected to complete your AB, SS I, SS II and Mission School during your study time, which should be about 2.5 hours a day during one or another of your study periods.” — The Commodore, February 23, 1971


Overheard in the FreeZone

“I may wind up doing OT 9 in Reno with Rey Robles. I haven’t decided yet. Also, keep in mind that in Marty Rathbun’s 1st book, he recommended that any OT 7 who wants to do more can, on their own, discover for themselves new levels of awareness.”



Past is Prologue

2000: Medical Examiner Joan Wood has changed her opinion of the manner of Lisa McPherson’s death. It has been changed from “undetermined” to “accidental”. From the St. Petersburg Times: “Scientology’s top executives, clearly pleased Tuesday, called the switch ‘extremely significant and a huge development that dramatically affects the state’s case.’ They said it supports their view that McPherson’s death while in the care of Scientology staffers in Clearwater was sudden, unpredictable, ‘undiagnosable’ and not the church’s fault. Assistant State Attorney Doug Crow, the lead prosecutor in the case, called the change ‘something of major significance we need to review.’ He declined to discuss how the case might be affected, adding: ‘We really need to evaluate that, and we’ll take some time to do that.’ Wood’s decision came after church officials and their lawyers spent months plying the veteran medical examiner with expert information that revealed the lengths to which Scientology has gone to defend itself. There were scientific studies on a body substance known as ketone, an elaborate accident reconstruction, even a report by an ‘anthropometric’ specialist who studied McPherson’s physical stature. Gone from the new report is the original reference to the bed rest and dehydration. Wood still traces the death to a blood clot behind McPherson’s knee. But she lists McPherson’s psychosis and a minor auto accident as major factors.”


Random Howdy

“‘Ness is More.’ It’s Hubbard’s version of his favorite book ‘1984″ ‘Reduce the language down to its most base level and you can control what people think and it also separates them from the rest of society. Hubbard was already fairly knowledgeable about mind control techniques and hypnotism before he wrote Dianetics, so I don’t know why anyone would think his specific control techniques were by accident.”


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] REPORT: Scientology loses captain of its Florida ‘spiritual mecca,’ a fundraising marvel
[TWO years ago] Shekter: A trial by storm for Scientology’s most dedicated still resonates today
[THREE years ago] Gary Beeny, 1949-2020: Scientology figure in notorious takeover of anti-cult group
[FOUR years ago] For once Scientology gives up on Ideal Org, settles for a fancy ‘mission’ instead
[FIVE years ago] Leah Remini pays for vexing Tom Cruise with Scientology’s ‘Truth Rundown’
[SIX years ago] Laura DeCrescenzo fires back at Scientology’s desperate new federal court gambit
[SEVEN years ago] Scientology’s Celebrity Whisperer: An inside account of life in the fame-obsessed church
[EIGHT years ago] Scientology tried to suppress this video, and that’s why you’re seeing it here today
[NINE years ago] Scientology Australia spills its guts, and you can thank Bryan Seymour and Nick Xenophon
[TEN years ago] Five things to watch for in today’s first Scientology wedding in the UK
[ELEVEN years ago] Scientology Mythbusting with Jon Atack: Fair Game!


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 2,819 days.
Valerie Haney has not seen her mother Lynne in 3,314 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,829 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 3,379 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 2,369 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 2,250 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 5,554 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 3,425 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,977 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 4,318 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,885 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 8,804 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,972 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 4,553 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,814 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,850 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 3,566 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 3,130 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 1,445 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 2,620 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 7,171 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 4,302 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 4,640 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 9,495 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 4,613 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,970 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 7,273 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 3,379 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 3,777 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 3,653 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 3,218 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 3,731 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,985 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 15,094 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on February 23, 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


Share Button
Print Friendly, PDF & Email