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Mark Bunker doesn’t get a second term, but he won’t stop exposing Scientology

In 2020, Mark Bunker was in a five-way race for a seat on Clearwater, Florida’s city council, and he received a plurality of 6,170 votes and a stunning victory.

Four years later, running for re-election, Bunker increased his number of votes to 8,682. But this time he was in a three-way race, and one of his competitors was a firefighter, Ryan Cotton, who had been endorsed by several Republican figures in this nonpartisan election. And that helped in a primary election that had Donald Trump on the ballot but not Joe Biden. Cotton edged Bunker out with 9,351 votes.

We called Bunker up last night after we saw the returns, and he sounded like his usual upbeat self. We asked him if he might give us some thoughts about the election and his path forward, and so he sat down and put together this statement for us.

While I was hoping to have a second term, I was aware it was going to be a very rough battle with both Scientology and the establishment trying to get rid of me. In some ways it is remarkable that I fell short by just 669 votes. Over the course of these four years, I am proud that members of the community recognized I was working on their behalf on more than just Scientology, and they showed their support for me in many ways, not least in the way they helped me in this run for reelection.


The firefighters, the police FOP, members of neighborhoods I worked to improve, the volunteers at the Bread and Roses women’s clinic who appreciated my efforts to bring them a buffer zone to give them more safety from protestors, and all of you from around the world who cheered me on and those in the U.S. who were kind enough to donate to my campaign. In many ways I feel like George Bailey from It’s a Wonderful Life, realizing how lucky I was to have all of these people in my life.

I won’t stop trying to make a difference on Scientology, and there are issues I still plan to fight for here in Clearwater. The first thing I asked for when elected was to change the code to allow ADU’s like tiny homes, granny flats and garage apartments. It took four years to do it, but we just enacted those changes. Now that I am out of office I no longer would have a conflict as I try to bring this Detroit program to Clearwater. I’ve lined up people who are interested in being part of this and I’ll try to get this accomplished.

So thank you to everyone who made this opportunity possible. On Monday, the mayor was under the weather, which allowed me to chair the meeting. At the end of the night, I used my closing comments to thank everyone, knowing it could be my one chance.

So Citizen Bunker appreciates you all. I thank my campaign manager Scott Thomas who worked hard to get me reelected, Aaron Smith-Levin for raising an astonishing $55,000 dollars for the race, and all the volunteers who worked hard for me during this campaign.

I also have to acknowledge Tony for all work he has done to cover Scientology through the decades, as well as point out how lucky Clearwater is to have the amazing reporters who have covered Scientology for the Tampa Bay Times, including Joe Childs, Tom Tobin, and Tracey McManus. I am perhaps the only councilmember to keep their photos framed in my office. Tracey has been great. She is always fair and does a remarkable job breaking stories.

So, one chapter done and another started. I ain’t finished yet.

— Mark Bunker


Technology Cocktail

“Literally millions of complications can stem from the simple fact that a preclear records experiences in mental image pictures and that these thereafter can affect HIS
BODY adversely. Once one really understands that mental image pictures are all there is in the preclear’s ‘mind’ one has understood the total of aberration. There is NOT something else there. No ‘id,’ no ‘ego.’ There are only mental image pictures.” — 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


“Some fellow by the name of Snitz, or Smutty, or something out in some state or another has written a book called, ‘What Happened To The Tens of Thousands.’ I’ve never read this book, but I think this is probably a very interesting piece of slander if I know anything else of this young commie. But, I didn’t say he was a commie, he said so. He said he left the party a long time ago, though, last October….What happened to the tens of thousands, he wants to know. What happened to the tens of thousands of people who were in there in Dianetics. Well I can tell you what happened to the tens of thousands of people, is Hubbard didn’t hypnotize them. He told them the truth….Everybody knew everything was being run at sixes and sevens. This wouldn’t be news to anybody. It wouldn’t have anything to do with whether or not there was horrible scandal, or upset, or good jobs of processing or bad jobs of processing. Just nobody started out to make a large cult composed of numerous people. Somebody set out to inform people of everything he knew that was true. And of course it didn’t make a population heavy game. And then a few of us kept on going because we weren’t satisfied that all the answers were in sight. We weren’t satisfied that we knew all the procedures which could be best employed. And we have actually invented a bunch of brand new games on top of games, in some cases. But we’re not aware of these, we’ve just learned how to teach somebody, seven years after Dianetics. What happened to the tens of thousands? They weren’t hypnotized. If those had been tens of thousands of people in psychology they would not now we a hundred million. This is for sure. When you start out to set people free then you have to inform them.” — L. Ron Hubbard, March 20, 1957


Avast, Ye Mateys

“For using incorrect ethics action, for damaging another and for failure to take any action to ensure MO or auditor action to correct, PAUL PRESTON is declared in a Condition of STUPID.” — Capt. Mary Sue Hubbard, March 20, 1971


Overheard in the FreeZone

“I doubt there is any Planetary Engram and now believe the K–T extinction — abbreviated Cretaceous–Tertiary extinction, also called K–Pg extinction or Cretaceous–Paleogene extinction — is factually the basis of his claim of a wall of fire, though I know there to be such a thing that is capable of producing perceived heat that can for-fact reduce a self to a blithering idiot. If we go off-world this gets wild but there is just no chance of inter-stellar travel by physical craft. The mind has no such limitations.”


Past is Prologue

1998: Neal Hamel reported on Eugene Ingram, who was used to harass picketers in Los Angeles during protests. “Ingram has been harassing the manager of the Days Inn Motel in Hollywood. The Days Inn was where the majority of picketers stayed during the picket. Ingram stated to the manager that he was a police officer. He told the manager that we had a bomb! He stole some communication I had given the manager under false pretenses. This was from the owner of the motel. Beginning yesterday Ingram has been regularly calling her and asking for details. Someone kept calling the manager last night until the early hours of the morning. About two weeks ago in the meeting with the manager and the motel owner, Ingram implied or told both of them that the picketers would be carrying a bomb. He also got a copy of one of my letters which had my name and phone number on it. Ingram did not recontact the motel manager until this Friday apparently while were picketing. He started asking lots of questions and told the manager that he was a policeman. The manager was wary because his story did not fit. Last night a person named Joanne who said she worked with Ingram, called several times after 10 pm asking for more information about motel guests. The manager refused to give any details of the guests. When Ingram called today she confronted him with his claim that he was a policeman. Ingram told the manager to not tell police that he had claimed that he was a police officer or, in the words of the manager, ‘it would blow the whole thing up’. However, despite Ingram’s veiled threats, the manager did tell the police that Ingram had claimed he was a police officer and they told her that if he showed up again to call the fraud division immediately.”



Random Howdy

“I’m surprised Gary Glitter didn’t become a Scientologist. It would have been the perfect cover for his degraded beingness.”


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 irked by evidence of his Florida ties, but judge doesn’t want to hear it
[TWO years ago] Ginger Sugerman: Her way out of Scientology was marred by trauma
[THREE years ago] What Scientology doesn’t tell you about its ‘Bridge’ of courses until it’s far too late
[FOUR years ago] Brian Statler’s daughter joins lawsuit over his police shooting death at Scientology church
[FIVE years ago] An eyewitness report from Scientology’s LRH Birthday Event Saturday in Los Angeles
[SIX years ago] Ginger Sugerman is facing enormous challenges — and here’s how you can help
[SEVEN years ago] Judge: Testimony about Scientology’s abuses so bad, it should get kicked out of the country
[EIGHT years ago] Got a war wound? Scientology can help you with that, and more in our social media review
[NINE years ago] ‘Going Clear’: Jason Beghe, the actor who left Scientology and made a stink about it
[TEN years ago] What will you do with your Scientology E-meter tchotchkes?
[ELEVEN years ago] Scientology Ordered to Turn Over Confidential Files in Forced-Abortion Lawsuit


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 2,845 days.
Valerie Haney has not seen her mother Lynne in 3,340 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,855 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 3,405 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 2,395 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 2,276 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 5,580 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 3,451 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 5,003 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 4,344 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,911 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 8,830 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,998 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 4,579 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,840 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,876 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 3,592 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 3,156 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 1,471 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 2,646 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 7,197 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 4,328 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 4,666 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 9,521 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 4,639 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,996 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 7,299 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 3,405 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 3,803 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 3,679 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 3,244 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 3,757 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 4,011 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 15,120 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on March 20, 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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