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Priscilla Presley hangs out with Scientology celeb and longtime friend Gottfried Helnwein

Lisa Marie Presley was very adamant about it: She told us that after her disastrous trip to the Flag Land Base in October 2014, not only did she no longer consider herself a Scientologist, but she told her mother Priscilla and her daughter Riley Keough that they were coming out of the church with her.

She told us this multiple times in lengthy conversations we had with her in 2015 about Scientology, about David Miscavige, and about Michael Jackson. There was no question about it, at least when we spoke in 2015: She was out, and she said she had pulled out her mother and daughter with her.

Mike Rinder also spoke to Lisa after her calamitous Florida trip in 2014, and after she and Riley had returned to a rental house in Nashville. In a phone call, Rinder told us, Lisa handed the phone to Riley, who told him, “You’ve got to take these motherfuckers down,” in reference to Scientology.

In the years since then, however, we have wondered about whether Priscilla and Riley stayed out of Scientology. We saw Riley, for example, posting photos with Scientology friends on social media. And Priscilla, through a representative talking to People, denied in 2017 that she’d left the church.

Recently, we wrote for The Daily Beast about some legal problems Priscilla is having as she’s being sued by Priscilla Presley, the company.


And now, Peter Reichelt, who wrote something for us not too long ago about Austrian artist and longtime Scientologist Gottfried Helnwein, wanted to make sure that we’d seen the news that Priscilla recently showed up at a showing of Helnwein’s works at the Albertina Museum in Vienna, which was widely reported there.

“Priscilla is for sure still a celebrity in Scientology. There is no way that Helnwein would be allowed to meet a Suppressive Person, if Priscilla were one,” Peter tells us, referring to the enemy label, “Suppressive Person” that Scientology aims at defectors.

Peter pointed out that Priscilla and Helnwein go way back, and she has been a visitor to his castle in Ireland for years. Helnwein is very prickly about his involvement in Scientology, and has even sued over claims that he’s a Scientologist. But there’s simply no doubt that he’s a dedicated member going back decades.

On February 7, Priscilla, accompanied by Vienna entrepreneur Richard Lugner, visited the Helnwein exhibit at the Albertina.

And there’s no doubt they are longtime friends. Peter reminded us that Priscilla and Lisa Marie made news when they celebrated the 2007 New Year at Helnwein’s castle in Kilasheen, County Tipperary.

What do you think? Is Priscilla’s very visible visit with Helnwein in Vienna, and a reunion with such an old Scientologist friend, evidence that she’s back in Scientology, despite her daughter Lisa’s attempt to pull her out ten years ago?


Technology Cocktail

“Anyone forced into a dangerous environment tends to either go fully into PT or retreat from PT. The only ones who suffer from it afterwards are those who don’t move on up the track as life goes on but stay there, retreated from a long gone present time or stuck in a moment of the past. This is done, of course, because of pictures mocked up obsessively under the threat of unmock.” — 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

“A radio ad in the Los Angeles area in l950 was pulling in 125 new people a night. They came in, they were given cards, they were given a very bright lecture, they were very interested, they were given these cards to fill out as to whether or not they wanted training and processing, and what was their home address and phone number. The cards were handed out to them. The organization left them on the chairs, they fell off the chairs and on the floor, and eventually an old showman, the janitor, sort of got the idea maybe he shouldn’t be burning up all this trash and started turning them into me directly…That was the operating line of PE, l950. The organization was making a fortune, until it all just went bong bang crash thud bong on just too much Dev-T, out-ethics, dishonesty, various things. Somebody decided he’d like to cut himself a whole piece of the organization, things of this character. But the organization could be put back together again to run at that high rate of speed anytime, any minute. We have found out it doesn’t matter what the papers say, it doesn’t matter what Time Magazine says, it doesn’t matter what the psychiatrists say, the word of mouth in the streets, it doesn’t matter one bit at all. It doesn’t matter how many football matches, it doesn’t matter how many this, how many that and so forth. An effective, efficient organization which is viably running and so forth, makes a mint.” — L. Ron Hubbard, March 1, 1972



Avast, Ye Mateys

“We sail at 1700 today. Have all readiness reports in by 1500 and all bills paid please. Cond I will take her out of harbour and Condition VI with A2 up first will handle at sea. A VIP reception will be given in the next port on the 3rd of March. The ship will be cleaned, scrubbed and painted up for this event.” — Capt W.B. Robertson, Flag Ship Org, March 1, 1971


Overheard in the FreeZone

“LRH admits in the OT2 materials that Clear is unstable. I have also noticed heavy deterioration in people who just scratch the surface of OT3/NOTs and stop for whatever reason. A lot of Clears + OTs have left the body but none seem to have returned with good recall, LRH included. I see living on this planet as a continual pulling down of the individual making regular auditing a necessity just to stay level.”


Past is Prologue

2000: The Los Angeles Times reported that a government panel in France has decided that Scientology should be disbanded. “A blue-ribbon government panel studying what French officials define as ‘sects’ has concluded that the faith, founded by the late U.S. science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard, is a ‘vast enterprise of transnational character’ with its own private police force run clandestinely from the United States. ‘They have a clear strategy of infiltrating and of trying
to influence the state, and the will to do it,’ said Denis Barthelemy, a career magistrate serving as secretary-general of the panel, the Interministerial Mission on Combating Sects. ‘This goes beyond being an ordinary pressure group. For the internal security of the state, we are afraid.’ In the report to Prime Minister Lionel Jospin published this month, the panel contends that Scientology is, in fact, a moneymaking venture. The report goes to the extraordinary length of proposing the dissolution here of Scientology and another religious group, the Order of the Solar Temple, which lost 74 members to murder-suicides in France, Switzerland and Canada between 1994 and 1997. Some former Scientologists agree. ‘I was turned into a robot,’ said Mona Vasquez, a 40-year-old Frenchwoman who spent seven years in the organization. ‘They made me leave my studies, my boyfriend, my family.’ French authorities maintain that they are not attacking religious beliefs, which are protected by law, but illegal conduct. Leaders of France’s Scientologists indignantly deny the charges against them. They plan to issue a detailed rebuttal. ‘These are total hate campaigns,’ Gounord said. ‘We are people who obey the law.’ The French report makes special mention of Scientology’s Office of Special Affairs, which it labels a private police. Stacy Brooks, a former member now working with an anti-Scientology organization in Clearwater, Fla., described the OSA as a dirty-tricks squad that targets the church’s critics. ‘I know all about these people,’ Brooks said. ‘They tried to smear and harass me and my husband after I left in 1989.’ Karin Pouw, spokeswoman for the Church of Scientology International, called Brooks a ‘liar for hire.’ Pouw, a member of the OSA, said the office functions as a ‘public affairs office.'”



Random Howdy

“Crowley adherents take the man at his word just like you-know-who do. They don’t understand he was a showman B.S.-artist and it was all about the sex and drugs. They believe in ‘magick’.”


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 March 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] David Miscavige objects to being served, claims he does no business in Florida
[TWO years ago] Scientology asks California Supreme Court to review its defeat on ‘religious arbitration’
[THREE years ago] Hidden microphone: Scientology staffer shows how far they’ll go for $50
[FOUR years ago] Videos capture Scientology’s bizarre ideas about Clearwater election and Mark Bunker
[FIVE years ago] Adam Holland, Scientology whistle-blower who exposed Sea Org conditions, 1988-2019
[SIX years ago] Scientology bragging on how well its Super Bowl ad did is the best thing ever
[SEVEN years ago] 15 of the strangest things Scientology’s two supreme leaders ever uttered
[EIGHT years ago] What Scientology kids are really taught to believe about other religions and ‘God’
[NINE years ago] Sunday Funnies: Scientology going all-in with fundraising and fire fighters
[TEN years ago] Jon Atack: The harassment of independent Scientologists didn’t begin with David Miscavige
[ELEVEN years ago] SMERSH Madness: Sowing the Seeds of World Domination!


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 2,826 days.
Valerie Haney has not seen her mother Lynne in 3,321 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,836 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 3,386 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 2,376 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 2,257 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 5,561 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 3,432 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,984 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 4,325 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,892 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 8,811 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,979 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 4,560 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,821 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,857 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 3,573 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 3,137 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 1,452 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 2,627 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 7,178 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 4,309 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 4,647 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 9,502 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 4,620 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,977 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 7,280 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 3,386 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 3,784 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 3,660 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 3,225 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 3,738 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,992 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 15,101 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on March 1, 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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