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Val Ross: After the FBI raid, what it was like to return to work there — as a Scientology spy

I am certain I am not the only one who woke up with this feeling, that Scientology had co-opted my soul, that I was not a good person, and that everything bad that was happening in my life was something I deserved to have happen.

It’s odd that Scientology can take your mind, twist it to make you agree that it’s a good idea do bad things to other people then make you feel you deserve anything bad that happens to you because of the bad things you did at their command. I try to wrap my brain around how I justified my actions but I guess I did so by allowing myself to be beat up both mentally and physically by my husband and terrorized by Scientology at the same time. And even while realizing that Scientology had co-opted my soul, I was radicalized enough to be willing to take a bullet for them.

Anyone who has been in an abusive relationship understands that more time is spent avoiding the blows than getting hit. And the mental abuse is much worse than the physical abuse. Those mental scars, the ones no one can see, are the ones I have to deal with for life.

On the morning of July 10, 1977, two days after the FBI had raided Scientology’s buildings in Los Angeles and Washington DC, I dressed and headed back to work at the agency.


I was petrified. I was pretty sure I would walk in the door and have someone with cuffs waiting for me there. I was positive that when I walked out the door that morning, it would be the last time I would see the light of day. I had written a letter that I had hidden in my bag. It was stamped and addressed to my parents. I intended to give that letter to whoever arrested me for mailing, never doubting that they would have read it first. I knew I deserved that and was ready to accept my fate. In that letter, I told my parents the truth.

I walked in the door, and… It was business as usual. Only it wasn’t. Because, there were no documents for me to steal. The only thing the GO required me to do now was listen and see what was being said about Scientology. I burned the emergency letter I had written to my parents that night, and continued to go to work as usual.

July 10 to October 28, 1977 were some of the best days of my work life there. I had some stress-free hours. I wasn’t hiding anything from anyone. No outside forces expected me to do anything.

Not one word was whispered about the raid in the FBI offices within my earshot. It may have been talked about behind closed doors, but not a single thing was said where I could hear it. In that office, it was as though it had never happened. And I was certainly not looked upon as a suspect. No one acted any differently than they had when I left Thursday afternoon and I was treated exactly the same.

My off-work life, which I still considered my real job, had evolved into chaos. It was chaos in the basement at the Manor, but also elsewhere. The rumors were rampant: Were they going to indict? Did they have a leg to stand on?

Because I was pregnant and still with the FBI, I was amazingly invisible at the Manor. I heard a few of the conversations I probably shouldn’t have heard at that point. Most of them were just scraps of conversation, but words like “Special Counsel” and “indictment” became more common by the day.

Diana Hubbard was gone. Overnight she had disappeared. I was told that she was in the studio recording an album with Stanley Clarke and Chick Corea. She actually did record an album, Life Times, which was released in 1979, produced by Jimmie Spheeris and featuring Chick and Stanley.

I happened to walk by Mary Sue’s open doors one night and heard her whispering urgently into the phone holding back tears to someone I guessed was Ron (I never did get confirmation if that was true) asking him “what about you, are you going to be OK?” “No, I’ve hidden it, no she’s not here.” I felt guilty enough at that point to walk quietly to her office and close the door. She looked up at me as I closed the door and kind of gave me a deer-in-the-headlights look.

About two weeks after the raid, there was a huge celebration at the Manor when the government was ordered to return all the documents they had taken, and all of a sudden, we were supposed to tell everyone about the raid and how we had won against the bullies. We no longer had to go take newspapers off stands, we were supposed to show everyone we knew what bullies the government was. Even then some of this was suppressed. The first time I saw an actual photo of the agents breaking down the door was March 19, 2024.

When the court then rescinded the order relinquishing the documents in August, calls to raid newspaper stands once again became common and I did my early morning runs before heading to work at the FBI.

One morning in mid-September, I was on my way to the office. I was exhausted from early morning paper runs, trying to get through the day. and not watching where I was
walking, and I slipped on some oil on the sidewalk in downtown LA.

Those days, a pregnant girl in LA was kind of an anomaly. I was 5-10 and by mid-September, I weighed 145 lbs. I finally had enough of a baby belly at 7 1/2 months along that people were cautiously asking me if I was pregnant. When I fell, I went down hard. I was immediately surrounded by dozens of people trying to help me up. “Are you OK?” “What can we do?” “Do you need a doctor?”

I didn’t mention in my last story, but when Mark hit me, I didn’t make any noise, I didn’t want to give the baby an engram. Now here I am in the middle of a street in downtown LA trying to not give my baby an engram and keep silent, and dozens of people are saying all sorts of nice things to me. I had become so accustomed to rudeness, accusations, and unkindness that my exhausted brain had no frame of reference to react to helpful strangers. I started to cry.


They helped me get up. I wasn’t hurt. Well I did have a bruise on my butt, but when didn’t I have a dozen or so bruises on my body? One guy who worked in the office came by just as they were helping me up and he insisted on walking me into the office. He too kept asking me if I needed to call a doctor. I finally convinced everyone in the office that labor wasn’t imminent and that I was OK to sit at my desk and work.

Now here’s reality. For the whole time I worked at the FBI I was a plant. I was a spy. I was the bad guy. But they were always nice, friendly and genuinely happy to have me around. On my last day, October 28, 1977, they threw me a surprise going away party and baby shower. These people I was spying on did that for me. It was the only baby shower I got for either of my pregnancies. It was also the only time during those years that I was praised for my work ethic and thanked for the job I did. I thanked them kindly, even cried, but I was so embarrassed in that moment to be who I was. I did not deserve what they did for me.

During that time, Mark was being himself. But he had some distractions as well. I would spend as many evenings as I could at the Manor to avoid him. His twin sisters were at Delphi (or “some summer school thing in Oregon” as I described it to my parents) and his mother and two of his brothers were in town. His favorite diss became “fat ugly pig.” I’m fairly certain this is when he started having affairs.

The drought of ‘76-77 was in full swing. My car had no air conditioning and I had to choose between leaving the windows up to not breathe the inverted smog on the way home or rolling them down and hope I got going fast enough in rush hour to get a little breeze. 1977 was a November December January cycle for El Niño and the Santa Anas were bad that year, so there was no relief in sight. I’d come home from work and take off all my clothes and lay under the window air conditioner for long enough to get my body temperature down, then dress quickly so Mark didn’t have to be disgusted by my fat body….i was still below 150 lbs. at 5’10” at that point.

On October 29, 1977, the day my mom came into town, Mary Sue officially gave me maternity leave. I didn’t have to “write up my hat” because I was working for the FBI and that was over. My baby was due “any day now,” so I got to spend the time with my mother before the baby came. No early morning runs to the news stand, nothing.

Those were great times because Mark didn’t dare touch me while my mother was staying with us. Although “any day now” turned into three weeks past due, then the end of November, and it was actually quite nice to live like a human being for a few weeks.

My mom flew out the day I went into labor. You’ve read the story of how the baby was born the day after my mom left and the silent birth and all.

The day after my daughter was born, I cooked Thanksgiving dinner. Then I actually got to spend a couple of days with her.

I sort of understand why Scientology is so adamant about not allowing people to have children. If a person has any sense of morality and responsibility, when they become a parent, their whole worldview changes. That little person to take care of is a huge deal. Despite Hubbard’s teachings that children are adults in little bodies, it is obvious when you have that helpless child in your arms that they need your care and attention. Hubbard never did convince me that my children could make decisions on their own as toddlers, or even teenagers.

The Friday after Thanksgiving, Mark totaled my car. He didn’t get in ethics trouble. The guy driving the other vehicle wasn’t supposed to be driving, he had just had surgery and he ran a red light. He paid us $10,000 to settle out of court. We became the proud (well Mark was proud, I was embarrassed) owners of a dark blue 1978 Peugeot 504SL which, with taxes and tags left us about $1,500 of the settlement. That money immediately went to pay for courses for Mark in Scientology, so I guess overall a brand new car was a better buy than what we spent the rest of the money on.

Monday I went back on post. But I was not in Sea Org. My boss was a mother who understood. I got to keep her with me. We set up a new front for me. I was driving Mark’s mom’s car for a few months while we worked through the details of our new car.

My parents had bought me a blue Selectric typewriter as a gift and my mom was there when it arrived while we were waiting for the baby to be born. I advertised in papers and took in typing during the day, I actually made really good money at it. At night, I became the GO celebrity liaison. That was some of the most fun I had in my entire Scientology tenure.

It’s odd writing about this. I have to fight myself because we were drilled so hard that it was traitorous to speak out and heroic to keep silent. That is the reason Scientology has gotten away with so much for so long. The threats and the shame are big motivators to keep silent. It’s past time to break that pattern.

— Valerie Ross



Technology Cocktail

“A Dianetic auditor who sees someone sick and who doesn’t get him treatment and then audit him is just not humane. Woman going to have a baby—get out the meter and audit her into shape for it. When she’s had it, run out the delivery. Fellow burns his hand, break out the meter. Dianetics is the answer to human suffering. USE it.” — 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

“It’s an interesting thing that there exists on Earth a cult which believes a hundred percent that it has the only god there is in this universe. And this is quite an interesting thing. See, this is terribly interesting. Anybody who says he has a total monopoly on all there is of something, which you can’t weigh, see or measure, is suspect. Christianity’s gain in the world and its departure from its own announced principles were in the main in the direction of control…It is not even a major group today in European and American spheres of influence. It keeps telling you that it is, but it isn’t. The majority of the white races today are not members of the Christian church. And there are about ten times as many Buddhists. Oh I don’t know, two hundred times as many Buddhists or something. Rather overwhelmingly big. But that was an effort to control. And an interesting effort to control, because when it failed in its own basic tenets it then departed from its basics. And our quarrel with it is, that in practice it isn’t what it says it is. That’s our only quarrel with it. It is something that tries to appear one way when it is something else.” — L. Ron Hubbard, March 28, 1957


Avast, Ye Mateys

“NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER NEVER go near a British Consul in any port we are in for passport renewal or any other reason. Send the person to another port we don’t use. The Corfu trouble has been traced by our Missionaires to FORTE the Corfu British Consul who told the most vile and fantastic lies about us such as the H&W men were now in an insane asylum in Athens! That we poisoned wells and did black magic. We are suing him there and also will kick it back to England. The whole Corfu incident was censored out of Greek press and has not hit International Press. So no ports know of it. Which is okay. But let that be a lesson to us about British Consuls. So that’s how they lost their empire! 3rd Party specialists. By the way they supply arms to both sides of the Biafra conflict and both sides in the Israel-Jordan Suez war! Also, by the way, an official protest was made by the Panama Consul General in Athens to the Greek govt. And so Panama is on our side. Also the Nomarch is being removed in Corfu. Hah! But the people there are terrified of arrest so we’re pulling our Mission out. We won after all.” — The Commodore, March 28, 1969


Overheard in the FreeZone


“The many communications regarding Scientology on electronic media that rely on reporting the effects of ‘bad tech/policy’ practiced upon others as their only source of discussion upon Scientology or Dianetics is counterproductive in my opinion, and eventually follows the same path as suppression and insanity, a constant willingness and desire to destroy. Justice has been sadly lacking in application within the Scientology organisation and always has been since LRH disappeared and even he was subject to the extent it was lacking. The ethics guidelines in KSW1 fell on death ears for the most part. The exposing of the abuses and alterations and by whom must continue concerning Scientology, but there is another side which remains mostly hidden or open to instant ridicule upon social media and that is the positives of applying the correct technology. Never has there been truer words than, ‘make the tech your own.’”


Past is Prologue

1999: The Ottawa Citizen published an article about Scientology celebrity Jenna Elfman. “‘The most obnoxious, proselytizing Scientologist in Hollywood’ was how Movieline magazine recently described her. Asked about it, Elfman doesn’t rise to the bait. ‘I mention Scientology a lot,’ she says matter-of-factly. ‘But I never spoke to that magazine or the person who wrote that article. I never proselytized to them, so I thought the article was pretty funny.'”


Random Howdy

“I laugh when Scientologists state that Scientology has nothing to do with faith or belief, and that it doesn’t involve a belief in the supernatural or paranormal. Yeah, spirits, reincarnation, telekinesis, astral projection, demons (body thetans) have nothing to do with anything like that!”


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 May 17, 2024.
David Gentile, GPB Capital, fraud.

Civil litigation:
Leah Remini v. Scientology, alleging ‘Fair Game’ harassment and defamation: Some defamation claims were removed by Judge Hammock. Leah seeking to amend her complaint.
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 May 29.
Jane Doe 1 v. Scientology, David Miscavige, and Gavin Potter: Case unsealed and second amended complaint filed. Scientology moves for religious arbitration, hearing on April 16.
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] Here’s the prosecution’s witness list for the Danny Masterson retrial
[TWO years ago] No, Will Smith was not high on Scientology when he slugged Chris Rock at the Oscars
[THREE years ago] Scientology social media: The gang’s all here, let’s clear the planet!
[FOUR years ago] This is Scientology’s plan for bringing good ‘hygiene’ to your door
[FIVE years ago] Scientology’s Narconon drug rehab expansion plans DENIED in Maryland and Michigan
[SIX years ago] Scientology TV was launched with a massive ad campaign — is it working?
[SEVEN years ago] Lawrence Wright goes to Nazareth; or, how Reza Aslan drove us into the arms of L. Ron Hubbard
[EIGHT years ago] Scientology at Comic Con: An attempt at a minor intervention, as told by Phil Jones
[NINE years ago] On the eve of ‘Going Clear’, Leah Remini says she’s grateful to the people behind it
[TEN years ago] Ted Babbitt’s gambit: Recasting the Garcia federal fraud lawsuit against Scientology
[ELEVEN years ago] In Dianetics, the Uterus is a Frightening Place — ALSO: Nation of Islam Boosting Involvement?


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 2,853 days.
Valerie Haney has not seen her mother Lynne in 3,348 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,863 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 3,413 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 2,403 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 2,284 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 5,588 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 3,459 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 5,011 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 4,352 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,919 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 8,838 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 5,006 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 4,587 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,848 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,884 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 3,600 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 3,164 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 1,479 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 2,654 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 7,205 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 4,336 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 4,674 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 9,527 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 4,648 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 3,004 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 7,307 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 3,413 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 3,811 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 3,687 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 3,252 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 3,765 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 4,019 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 15,128 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on March 28, 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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