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Aftermath Foundation billboard pulled down, and ClearChannel isn’t saying why

[Phil Jones and his newest billboard on Monday morning.]

When we spoke to Phil Jones last night, he had just arrived back home in Canada after his flight from Los Angeles, and he sounded tired and a bit bewildered by what he’d been through over the last few days.

“It’s been crazy. And I’m in my 70s. This would be difficult if I was in my 20s,” he said with a laugh.

We asked him to recount what he’d been through after announcing his triumph Monday morning here at the Underground Bunker of his new billboard outside Scientology headquarters, and then learning that it had been taken down only a couple of days later.

“Where we put up that billboard, I could look up and see my daughter’s window. At least, where she told me she was living the last time I talked to her,” he said, referring to his daughter Emily Jones, who remains in Scientology’s Sea Org and hasn’t spoken to her parents in years. “You have to understand, part of why I’m doing this is personal.”

Start at the beginning, we asked him.


Phil reminded us that at the end of 2023 he and his wife Willie had taken a trip to Florida, and they had been invited to a New Year’s Eve party at the home of Mike Rinder. It was at that party, he says, that Aftermath Foundation board member Claire Headley asked him about doing a billboard for the foundation.

Phil and Willie had put up three previous billboards asking Scientology Sea Org members to call their families, so he was very familiar with the process.

“I knew how to do it. We just went through the same steps like we did with the other ones,” he says. “I put together a bunch of different messages, and sent them over to Kernan Coleman (the graphic artist), and then narrowed it down. We ended up with three or four different designs before we ended up with the last one.”

And they had found a great location, visible from Scientology’s Big Blue headquarters in Los Angeles, so Sea Org members couldn’t miss it.

Phil flew into Los Angeles on Sunday night, determined to be there when the billboard was installed Monday morning.

“I wanted to make sure there wouldn’t be any Scientology interference.”

His flight was delayed, so he didn’t get into his hotel room until 2:30 in the morning, and he had to be at the billboard site at 4 am. They had signed a one-year contract with ClearChannel, which had given them a window of 4 am to 8 am for the installation. He met Rachael Hastings there, who began filming.

“The installers arrived at 10 minutes to 8, and we had been sitting there for hours,” Phil says. “Scientology security knew we were there right away. Every 20 minutes one of their bicycle guards came by to check us out.”

But when the installers arrived and put up the billboard, the Scientology security guards didn’t try to interfere.

“They had it up in 20 minutes. They were really fast,” Phil says.

Phil spoke to his rep at ClearChannel, to thank him.

“He said, you know the whole office really likes it, they’re really behind you guys.”

But later, after Scientology had put up a cherry picker to block the billboard, Phil says the rep asked him to get on the phone with his manager, who suddenly didn’t sound so supportive.

“She said they are not controversial, they are not a news organization,” Phil says. “They offered to up a billboard for us in another location.”


Phil said he’d look at the new locations, and spent some time driving around to look at them. But they weren’t anywhere near where Scientology Sea Org members might see them.

“I went out and spent hours driving and looking at these locations. None of them worked. But I just told them I had forwarded all the information to the board. They were really pressuring me at that point.”

Scientology, meanwhile, had moved a scissor lift to block the view of the billboard, and Phil says the ClearChannel rep told him there was nothing they could do about it except to move the billboard somewhere else.

On Wednesday, the Aftermath Board had its attorney, Ray Jeffrey, send ClearChannel a letter that said there was nothing controversial about the billboard, that the board had spent months fundraising for it, and asking ClearChannel to submit in writing the reasons for moving it.

“We didn’t get any response,” says board member Claire Headley.

And then, by Thursday morning, the billboard was gone.

When we spoke to Claire last night by phone, she said it still wasn’t apparent who had actually taken the billboard down, and ClearChannel wasn’t answering any of the board’s messages.

“It’s been complete radio silence,” she said.

After we spoke to Claire last night, the board issued a statement, which we’re posting here in full…

In November 2023, The Aftermath Foundation devised a new strategy to reach the estimated 4,000 Scientologists who suffer indentured servitude by virtue of their service in Scientology’s Sea Organization. These members work 16 (or more) hours daily, seven days a week. They have no guarantee of either medical or dental care. They are isolated from the outside world and cut off from their family members and former friends. Scientology controls what they see and hear. They have no access to information readily available to others on the internet or TV. They are denied basic resources and freedoms that most Americans take for granted.

As a result of extreme isolation and control, these people are trapped in a slave-like existence. The Aftermath Foundation exists to help them escape and start new lives.

In December 2023, we approached former Scientologist Phil Jones because of his successful 2016 Call Me billboard campaign that exposed Scientology’s destructive practice of “disconnection”, which tears families apart. Disconnection is the forced separation of a current Scientologist from anyone (including immediate family) who has been declared an enemy of Scientology.

Phil and his wife, Willie, suffered through disconnection when their adult children, Mike and Emily Jones, refused to communicate with them in any way after being ordered to cut off all contact by Scientology. Phil Jones joined the board of The Aftermath Foundation in March 2024.


We located the perfect billboard site close to and visible from Scientology’s buildings in Los Angeles and signed a one-year contract with Clear Channel Outdoor, including the First Right of Refusal at the end of the contract term. We developed a simple billboard design with our message and established a toll-free 24/7 helpline: 888-FREE-002.

The billboard was installed on March 11, 2024 at 9:00 AM.

Initially, Clear Channel Outdoor was very supportive of our campaign. The manager told us that their office staff thought we were doing a great thing.

By 10:00 AM, Scientology had erected a cherry picker in front of the billboard, intending to block our toll-free helpline from the view of their members. By that afternoon, they had also erected a scissor lift.

The next day, March 12, we were contacted by our Clear Channel Outdoor account representative, who told us they were under extreme pressure to remove the billboard and relocate it because Scientology claimed the message was “controversial”.

Today, Clear Channel Outdoor removed the billboard. We learned of this news when a supporter sent us a photo; we did not receive a notification from Clear Channel Outdoor in advance.

Scientology claims on its website that members are “free to leave” if they choose. Their extreme reaction to this simple billboard tells a different story.

If people are free to leave, why are they worried about a phone number that gives those wanting to leave a place to reach out to? Scientology has proven once again that they’re not the freedom of speech-loving humanitarians that they claim to be, but are instead a high-control organization that seeks to bully anyone it fears will expose its abuses. Scientology has proven that they are scared this message will be seen — because they know, just as we do, that it will be effective in helping the indentured servants escape its draconian control.

There is no better measure of the vital importance of this campaign than the drastic, over-the-top, and frantic efforts by Scientology to try to stop it.

While Clear Channel Outdoor may have folded in the face of Scientology’s bullying, we certainly will not.

We will redouble our efforts to release the four thousand slaves of Scientology’s mind control and already have alternate plans in the works to get our message heard by them.

We deeply appreciate the many people who have supported this effort.

Our phone contacts have tripled in the last three days. If you want to see more actions taken along this line, you can support our efforts by making a tax-deductible donation here.


Phil Jones may have sounded fatigued last night, but he also sounded determined.

“I don’t know where ClearChannel stands on this, and I don’t know where this is going to go from here,” he said. But he wasn’t going to give up, and he was already seeing a silver lining to what had happened.

“The billboard being taken down, that seems to have gotten it even more attention,” he said hopefully.


Technology Cocktail

“The skill of the Dianetic Auditor is no small thing. It is worth attaining as itself. I myself, when called on to handle the ailing, pick up my meter and go to work and in an hour or two have a miraculous recovery. When I don’t, which is seldom, I get the pc examined clinically and find he or she has a broken skull or back or a gallstone or some remediable thing. After this is fixed up, I once more audit them and they finally emerge as bright, well human beings. And I do not use in all this anything that is not contained in the Dianetics course. My percentage is 100 percent. And so can yours be.” — L. Ron Hubbard, 1969



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

“I said, ‘Go ahead and fly through the air,’ to a preclear once in a very careless moment. Preclear had said something about flying all to pieces, or going up in the air, and I said, ‘Well, go ahead and fly through the air.’ It was a bad thing for me to do, because I was disgusted. I was disgusted with the preclear, and I actually mirrored it. And the preclear took it as an auditing command and looked at me blankly and said, ‘How am I supposed to do that?’ Well, I could have said at that moment, ‘It’s a mis-command. I didn’t mean it.’ But I didn’t. I picked the preclear up and made him fly through the air. And I said, ‘See, you can do it.’” — L. Ron Hubbard, March 15, 1957


Avast, Ye Mateys

“SLIDE-TAPE SHOW: Geoff Barnes and Al Bornstein are highly commended for their excellent slide-tape show about Flag. As you read this it has already been exported to the various continents, having left the ship at 0600.” — The Commodore, March 15, 1971



Overheard in the FreeZone

“If people have thought that a few thousand hours was a long time to spend on NOTs then they are in for a shock when they start OT 9. I am guessing 20,000 hours for people in good shape.”


Past is Prologue

2000: De Morgen reported that a Belgian investigation has found indications of fraud in Scientology’s finances. “The controversial religious movement has also repeatedly violated the law on privacy. Scientology unlawfully keeps medical and personal information on its members on file. This information was confirmed by assistant district attorney Christophe Caliman of the financial section, who is coordinating the ongoing judicial investigation. The investigation was launched after a complaint in 1997 from an ex-member of Scientology, who had tried in vain to get a refund of 700,000 Belgian francs [approx. US$ 17,000], which she had paid for various courses. Last September searches were made at a total of 25 locations, by request of investigating judge Van Espen. Analysis of the huge amount of data is taking longer than expected due to a shortage of staff, and the investigation won’t be concluded for another year. There are already ‘very sound indications’ that Scientology committed tax fraud, amongst other means by writing phony invoices. Scientology companies sent each other invoices for services that were ‘more than likely’ never delivered. The bulk of the money was transferred to the American headquarters of the cult. The controversial movement kept files about its members that hadn’t been registered with the Commission for the Protection of Privacy, which is legally required. On top of that, there are indications of the unlawful practice of medicine.”


Random Howdy

“I (and my parents) got my high school teacher fired for trying to use EST to teach us algebra. This was after he threw me out of the class for pointing out to him that EST was a cult and what he was doing was illegal and against school policy. This was like ’73 or ’74.”



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] Scientology leader David Miscavige doing business in Florida: The evidence
[TWO years ago] Is Scientology so desperate for new suckers, it would hand out snacks on Sunset Blvd?
[THREE years ago] Scientology whistleblower Steve Fishman: Out of prison and getting younger every day
[FOUR years ago] Report: Scientology cancels LRH Birthday, but still spreads quackery about coronavirus
[FIVE years ago] Tom Cruise, John Travolta and some other rare celebs made Scientology event in Florida
[SIX years ago] What do you want to see in Leah Remini’s third season of ‘Scientology and the Aftermath’?
[SEVEN years ago] Sheriff’s deputy on what Scientology does behind its gates: “That’s not my business”
[EIGHT years ago] Scientology disconnection rips apart another family, this time affecting a familiar face
[NINE years ago] ‘Going Clear’ subject Tom DeVocht gets a lesson in Scientology’s social media surveillance
[TEN years ago] Ryan Hamilton files two new suits against Scientology’s drug rehab network — in California
[ELEVEN years ago] VIDEO: What Did You Lose in Scientology?


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 2,840 days.
Valerie Haney has not seen her mother Lynne in 3,335 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,850 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 3,400 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 2,390 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 2,271 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 5,575 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 3,446 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,998 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 4,339 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,906 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 8,825 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,993 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 4,574 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,835 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,871 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 3,587 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 3,151 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 1,466 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 2,641 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 7,192 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 4,323 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 4,661 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 9,516 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 4,634 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,991 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 7,294 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 3,400 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 3,798 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 3,674 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 3,239 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 3,752 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 4,006 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 15,115 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on March 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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