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Make room, Long Islanders: Scientology’s Gatsbys are moving in!

We want to thank all the readers who forwarded us the news out of Long Island this week after a business publication there broke the story that Scientology had plunked down $15.2 million for a 62,500-square-foot office building in Melville.

Some folks sounded a bit panicked. Why was Scientology buying property in Long Island? Was this some secret expansion? Should the people there be worried?

Breathe easy, Long Islanders. This is just another inglorious lurch forward for Scientology leader David Miscavige’s “Ideal Org” project, and one that has been coming a long time.

The few remaining Scientologists in this dwindling movement are under intense pressure to fork over huge amounts for Miscavige’s project, which replaces existing missions or churches with “Ideal Orgs.” It’s not actually expansion, it’s just blind ambition.

Just recently, Miscavige opened new Ideal Orgs in Austin, Mexico City, and Chicago that had been planned, built, and sat waiting for their openings for years. In the meantime, Miscavige amped up the pressure on places like Long Island, Battle Creek, Hawaii, and Albuquerque to get busy and hold fabulous fundraising parties.


We especially remember one that was held in Long Island a couple of years ago, when the folks there were encouraged to dress up for a Great Gatsby party. Remember?

Yeah, it looked like a gas.

And after years of fundraising, purchasing a building was going to happen sooner or later. But that doesn’t mean Long Island is going to have a new Ideal Org anytime soon. Something like 15 years passed between the purchase of buildings and Ideal Org openings in places like Chicago and Kansas City.

And even then, after some initial hoopla at a grand opening, Ideal Orgs then settle into inactivity.

The Chicago org, that was opened to so much frenetic folderol just two weeks ago? Our helper went by this week, and it’s already empty.

So please, Long Islanders, don’t panic. Scientology will eventually turn that empty office building in Melville into an empty Ideal Org, and the effect on your communities will be less than zero.


Technology Cocktail

“Dianetics is Dianetics and Scientology is Scientology. They are separate subjects. They have in common certain tools like the E-Meter, TRs and auditor presence. But there it ends. Dianetics addresses the body. Scientology addresses the thetan. While a thetan can produce illness, it is the body that is ill.” — 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

“With governments leaning all over Scientology and looking down our throats, for instance, the probability — Mary Sue was always curious. She always said, ‘The government wants something out of Scientology.’ She’s always saying this. ‘The government wants something. There’s some reason for this.’ And we finally found it. They want the E-Meter for front-line combat troops. I thought that was very interesting. Yeah, it’s pretty crazy, isn’t it? Typical. You see, they get so much infiltration — this is serious — they get so much infiltration in modern warfare of the type that is being fought, that they can’t tell friend from foe. So they’re going to equip front-line combat troops with portable lie detectors. And, of course, there’s only one portable lie detector in the world, the E-Meter. I knowed something was getting those chilluns, you see? But apparently they have some kind of an interest in it. And you would — a thief or a criminal never can ask you for something. They’ve got to steal it. And I wasn’t saying all the governments are thieves or criminals. Don’t get me wrong. I think there’s one or two that aren’t. I know this is about the wildest curve you ever heard of and it’s completely unbelievable. You can see a soldier walking around carrying an E-Meter. Before he shoots the guy, you see, he puts the electrodes in his hands, you know? Bunch of psychotics. I know, it doesn’t sound right. But it sounds just exactly what a government would do.” — L. Ron Hubbard, March 17, 1964



Avast, Ye Mateys

“Norman Starkey is welcomed to the post of Deputy CS-2. Student riots are really tearing the ground up. The Office in the Capitol is now acting to help the government. Things are cool on lines. ASHO is down again, measures are being taken. London has some out Ethics. DK needed help — they had 3 minor blows and a stat drop for 2 weeks — and are getting it. Their stats are now up again.” — The Commodore, March 17, 1970


Overheard in the FreeZone

“This whole planet belongs to Marcab. And they are not ‘evil.’ The games are not about good-vs-evil, but just about domination. Since various Invaders come from older universe to this one, and seeks to expand their space empires, the nearby space empires like Marcab are just defending themselves. Any intelligent and or spiritual beings are staying away from conflicts, they do not care who is in charge. I believe that Ron and Captain Bill have nothing to do with any conflicts, except that while alive they tried to ‘make themselves and other people free,’ and thus got removed and reimplanted and recycled back to weak human state. They may arise again, I hope so. If you wonder what this non-free planet has to do with any of this, it is that Marcab is implanting us and preparing us to become all space soldiers and fight against the next incoming Invader waves. Nice science fiction? Look better, watch for clues, some are too obvious.”


Past is Prologue

2002: The St. Petersburg Times reported that voters at the Scientology housing compound voted overwhelmingly for Frank Hibbard in the recent City Commission election. “Hibbard, a bank investment officer, unseated Hart by winning about 53 percent of the vote. Breaking it down, Hibbard received 610 more votes than Hart, according to the final results released Wednesday. Hibbard’s support was especially strong in suburban Countryside neighborhoods, which Hart won three years ago. But that was before Hart aggravated several well-known residents there who decided to stump doggedly for Hibbard. This time, Hibbard won roughly two thirds of the vote in Countryside, gaining 413 votes more than Hart’s total votes here. Hibbard’s strongest showing in any single precinct was in precinct 518, a Scientology stronghold where the church-owned Hacienda Gardens housing complex is located. Hibbard won 88 percent of the vote there, gaining 229 votes more than Hart’s tally. Three years ago, the precinct was a base of support for Hart. ‘I’m pleased at every vote we got regardless of where it was from,’ said Hibbard, a member of Calvary Baptist Church.”


Random Howdy


“Capt. Howdy swears by some Dr Pepper and Jim Beam Black at the end of another lackadaisical day.”


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] Mark Bunker: Scientology going nuts over upcoming Tampa Bay Times report
[TWO years ago] This is what it’s like to become a super being at Scientology’s Florida ‘mecca’
[THREE years ago] Scientology’s Brent Jones & ‘Real Water’ horror: kids needed liver transplants, attorney says
[FOUR years ago] Clearwater takes a stand against Scientology: MARK BUNKER WINS!
[FIVE years ago] Scientology pitches a fit about sensible mental health reform in wake of Parkland shooting
[SIX years ago] Scientology’s L. Ron Hubbard considered James Bond’s nemesis SMERSH his biggest enemy
[SEVEN years ago] A HowdyCon 2017 announcement: Special guests and performances!
[EIGHT years ago] Scientology’s ‘personality test’ taken apart like never before, and by a former member
[NINE years ago] More proof that Scientology used the ‘R2-45’ method to intimidate enemies
[TEN years ago] Here are the wealthy people keeping Scientology alive
[ELEVEN years ago] ABC finally takes on Scientology…with General Hospital


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 2,842 days.
Valerie Haney has not seen her mother Lynne in 3,337 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,852 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 3,402 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 2,392 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 2,273 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 5,577 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 3,448 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 5,000 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 4,341 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,908 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 8,827 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,995 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 4,576 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,837 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,873 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 3,589 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 3,153 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 1,468 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 2,643 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 7,194 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 4,325 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 4,663 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 9,518 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 4,636 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,993 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 7,296 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 3,402 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 3,800 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 3,676 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 3,241 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 3,754 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 4,008 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 15,117 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on March 17, 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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