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David Miscavige went to ‘Crazy Town’ at Scientology’s Austin Ideal Org opening!

Yesterday, Scientology leader David Miscavige made his triumphant return to the “Ideal Org” program by showing up to open the new org in Austin, Texas. And what did he talk about? He talked about crazy town.

We know that string of words must seem pretty unrecognizable to the general public, but let us explain.

David Miscavige has been, since the death of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard in 1986, the ultimate, ruthless leader of the Scientology movement, which has, all evidence suggests, been in pretty steep decline since the 1990s.

In 2002 or so, Miscavige came up with a way to at least prop up the appearance that Scientology was still expanding by replacing the large “orgs” (short for “organizations”) in each big city around the world with something even bigger and more expensive, what he called an “Ideal Org.”

So for the last two decades, what remains of the Scientology membership has been under incredible pressure to come up with huge piles of cash to pay for Miscavige’s real estate obsession.


Austin was no different than the others, and so for many years the few local Scientologists who actually live in the Texas capital were subjected to fundraising pressure that was not only intense, but it was also goofy.

You may remember that in 2021, we were fortunate that a woman named Kat helped us put together some pretty amazing footage of that fundraising, which she had managed to obtain after her brief time at the (pre-Ideal) Austin org. She was a local stand-up comedian who joined more as a way to infiltrate the church than a sincere effort to become a Scientologist, and after about 18 months inside, she came out and gave a couple of memorable interviews to our friend Chris Shelton in 2017.

She then helped us put together some amazing footage of the fundraising for the Ideal Org, which included such gems as the hula dance that was supposed to encourage members to fork over tens of thousands of dollars.

And keep in mind, this was a decade ago. That’s how long these local folks have been waiting to see their cash turn into yesterday’s ceremony.

Well, Kat let us know that she was there yesterday along with other curious folks who were being kept away from the ceremony with the use of such standard Scientology methods as shrubs in planters placed in strategic locations, as well as security guards and local police.

However, she was close enough to be able to hear Miscavige giving his speech, and she tells us that there was no doubt she heard him multiple times referring to…

Crazy town!

“Bystanders were really curious what the hell he was talking about,” Kat tells us. “You might recognize ‘Crazy Town’ as the theme of many of Austin’s fundraising nights. Stacy Sass was the ‘Mayor of Crazy Town,’ and Crazy Town involved a lot of stupid costumes and ridiculous behavior to hype up donations. On a few occasions Jeff Fischer dressed up in a hula skirt and coconut bikini and danced around when they hit goals.”

Oh, how could we forget! Of course we still have fond memories of that footage…


We’re glad that Kat took the time to go by yesterday’s event…

Since I was taking courses at the org in Austin seven years ago, and left right at the time they moved into the temporary space, I thought I’d give my observations about the event.


First, the local official they got to speak to the crowd was the president of the Austin NAACP. I couldn’t hear his whole speech, but generally he praised L. Ron Hubbard for supporting civil rights and talked about him as if he were still alive. Then they brought out David Miscavige at about 1:30pm. The big thing he announced was that because the staff had been fully trained, “Austin is the first all Golden Age org in history.”

He shouted out a number of Austin org leaders that I recognized:

Liz Combs Seivert – ED Foundation.

Sean Seivert – Liz’s husband, chiropractor in Taylor, TX (Atlas Natural Medicine). I did my first course with him, the Dianetic auditing introduction.

Jim and Stacy Sass – local whales who own Cody Builders Supply off of 290 out toward Manor, TX. I have a lot of memories of Stacy from when I was in the org. She was a big fundraising person. A very particular memory I have of her is one day in the TV room, she held a little event in which she took $100,000 cash and threw it throughout the room and had us “play” in it.

Tracy and Sheila Springer – The Springer clan is huge in the Austin org. I was interrogated on the cans by the son when I was on my way out back in 2017. His brother Korbin was the only politically liberal member I knew and was a student at UT at the time I was in. Korbin also started the new-ish Austin Delphi academy (New Leaf Academy) out on the northwest side of town.

Eric Toohey – Austin whale

In general, Austin Scientology royalty is the Tooheys, the Sieverts, the Springers, and the Sasses. They’re also all entangled by marriage and kids. As far as I know they are all still in, regardless of the weird family betrayals. I’m pretty sure that somewhere in the Springer/Sievert/Toohey/Sass family web is Lori Hodgson’s daughter via marriage. I only saw Lori’s daughter and her husband once though. Both had washed out of the Sea Org (from what I recall) but they still seemed respected at the org.

It was a bittersweet experience for me to see the Ideal Org finally open. I’ve been waiting a long time for this because I felt that once it opened, and the people I still cared about saw how utterly it failed, they might get a tiny spark of awakening.

Austin Scientologists always have had a glimmer of self-recognition as to how pathetic their org is, so I was ready for them to just finally get the org open and see for themselves that nothing will change. But it’s taken seven years since the day they said they “finished fundraising” to finally get here.

Thank you for those thoughts, Kat. We’re really glad you were there and could provide us this inside perspective.

And wow, to think that Miscavige actually made mention, multiple times, of the insanity that characterized the fundraising for his new temple to greed.

What a hula dance to crazy town.



Technology Cocktail

“When you see glee on some fellow on a post, realize it’s because he doesn’t understand what he’s doing. He’s ignorant about something and above that is confusion and above the confusion you see glee. People who make fun of a serious needful action or duty just don’t dig it, that’s all.” — 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

“One of the things that is going to happen in the next few months: You will probably see, increasingly, the word ‘Scientology’ occurring. And that is in order to give doctors of medicine and psychiatrists and psychologists an out. It is pretty hard, after a man has made a pronunciamento about which he knows nothing, to convince him that he ought to say something else about it now that he knows something about it, because he will lose face with the people he has said this to. So if we just give him another word for a similar package and we say ‘Now it’s Scientology, and Scientology embraces the Axioms,’ why, then, two things will happen: He can say, ‘Well, Dianetics was no good and Hubbard was really crazy when he threw that one. But Scientology — now, that’s different. scientifically done. It has a great many things to recommend it. Well organized, and it works! (Dianetics didn’t!)’ And as the students who are going to graduate out of Hubbard College will discover, their degrees are in Scientology, not in Dianetics. It says that they are professional Scientologists and that they are capable of understanding mental and physical stress and are eligible for further degree work in Scientology. So I hope these graduates will feel themselves capable of understanding physical and mental stress!” — L. Ron Hubbard, February 25, 1952


Avast, Ye Mateys

“In LA and now on Flag someone is justifying reserves and prices charged by saying ‘Ron needs it’ or ‘it goes to repay Ron.’ It isn’t true. I’ve received no 10 percents for ages. An audit of monies owed me by orgs showed about 13.5 million pounds some years ago. I long since forgave the 13.5 million. Other more recent sums aren’t included. It takes money to run things and keep the show on the road. A lot of money. Particularly in our expanding scene. It’s all for a worthwhile cause. The actual cost of L10ing someone and giving all grades is close to the price charged. A hundred million would be a low down payment for our org tech. So realise the value of what’s being bought and sold. What’s the value of health to a suffering man? What’s the value of immortality to an Earthbound eclipsed being? You’re right. It would be priceless. There isn’t that much money. It doesn’t go to me. So let’s keep the scene real in all selling and pricing. It’s for priceless results. For the pc. Not for me. I am in a relaxed frame of mind of owing no one anything and not being worried about what I’m owed. Let’s keep it cool. (And by the way did you know the psychoanalyst and psychiatrist charge ten times our total fees for delivering a long and agonizing death?)” — The Commodore, February 25, 1971


Overheard in the FreeZone

“When I extend my space I feel the presence of the local mountain spirits. I have seen many shift into various other practices and mix them in with Scientology without alignment to the axioms resulting in a somewhat goofy hodge podge. PDC tape 53 is one which I consider a fundamental for any researcher along with the Axioms (Both Scientology and Dianetic), Logics. Pre-Logics and the Data Series. Without those tools thoroughly studied one will wander in the dark overwhelmed by the myriads of apparent complexity that face aspiring students of the nature of existence.”



Past is Prologue

2002: Former Scientologist Caroline Letkeman reported that she received her Suppressive Person declare from Scientology. “5 February 2002. Caroline Letkeman, of Chilliwack, British Columbia, is hereby declared a Suppressive Person. Caroline Letkeman, in November 2001, formally resigned from the Church of Scientology by means of a public declaration. In addition to this, she demanded full refund of all funds donated to the Church. In the year 2000, Caroline wrote an essay against Scientology which contained defamatory statements and black propaganda; this was written for a known suppressive group and was published through a broad communication medium. Attempts have been made by Church staff to assist Caroline to come to her senses, however, she refused these efforts to help her and has continued to commit suppressive acts. Caroline has committed the following suppressive acts: VIOLATION OR NEGLECT OF ANY OF THE TEN POINTS OF KEEPING SCIENTOLOGY WORKING. PUBLIC DISAVOWAL OF SCIENTOLOGY OR SCIENTOLOGISTS IN GOOD STANDING WITH SCIENTOLOGY ORGANIZATIONS. PUBLIC STATEMENTS AGAINST SCIENTOLOGY OR SCIENTOLOGISTS BUT NOT TO COMMITTEES OF EVIDENCE DULY CONVENED. DEMANDING THE RETURN OF ANY OR ALL FEES PAID FOR STANDARD TRAINING OR PROCESSING ACTUALLY RECEIVED OR RECEIVED IN PART AND STILL AVAILABLE BUT UNDELIVERED ONLY BECAUSE OF DEPARTURE OF THE PERSON DEMANDING. It is hoped that Caroline comes to her senses and recants.”


Random Howdy

“When you tell vaLLarrr that LRH had no degrees or academic training, s/he replies that science hasn’t caught up to LRH yet and that Newton was insane and Einstein was a high school dropout. Rathbun was doing the same thing when he was trying to compare the quantum theory that nothing really exists unless you’re looking at it with Hubbard’s bullshit about subjective reality.”


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] PODCAST: Karen Pressley on Scientology’s radicalizing of Tom Cruise
[TWO years ago] Latest Capitol rioters arrested: Florida TV chef and poker player — and OT Scientologists
[THREE years ago] Scientology celeb family the Mastersons selling houses: Getting out of Dodge?
[FOUR years ago] Is David Miscavige winning? Scientology seems to be on a roll, but is the law about to step in?
[FIVE years ago] No, the National Enquirer has not ‘found’ Scientology’s Shelly Miscavige
[SIX years ago] Orlando, you’re next! Scientology makes an ‘Ideal’ move on the magic kingdom
[SEVEN years ago] More federal charges for Scientology family that sold rhino horn products
[EIGHT years ago] Laura DeCrescenzo, on eve of crucial hearing, explains Scientology for new judge[NINE years ago] Now it’s Scientology UK that opens its books, and we have the numbers
[TEN years ago] Telepathic space-age exorcism — Let’s do Scientology’s New Operating Thetan Level Six!
[ELEVEN years ago] Anne Archer, Terry Jastrow, and…Could It Be…Tommy Davis, At Film Reception Tonight?


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 2,821 days.
Valerie Haney has not seen her mother Lynne in 3,316 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,831 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 3,381 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 2,371 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 2,252 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 5,556 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 3,427 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,979 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 4,320 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,887 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 8,806 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,974 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 4,555 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,816 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,852 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 3,568 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 3,132 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 1,447 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 2,622 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 7,173 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 4,304 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 4,642 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 9,497 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 4,615 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,972 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 7,275 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 3,381 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 3,779 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 3,655 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 3,220 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 3,733 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,987 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 15,096 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on February 25, 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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