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Yet another celebrity ‘first’ spotted in Scientology event press releases

[David Miscavige presides over the 2023 LRH Birthday Event]

Ever since we spotted Elisabeth Moss in Scientology’s press release for the 2024 L. Ron Hubbard Birthday Event, we’ve been searching through others to see what we could find.

In our last story, we told you that Scientology leader David Miscavige had restored the big international events to their original locations over the past four months, with the IAS gala in England, the New Year’s Event in Los Angeles, and the LRH Birthday Event in Clearwater, Florida.

Looking at those press releases we could see that the IAS party had attracted Tom Cruise, Jenna and Bodhi Elfman, and Nancy Cartwright.

The New Year’s party had attracted Erika Christensen and possibly Juliette Lewis.

The LRH Birthday Event had featured John Travolta and a very pregnant Elisabeth Moss.


It was our first ever spotting of Moss at an event, and the same for Juliette Lewis, if that was her.

Now, before Miscavige restored these events to their usual venues, he had held a couple of LRH Birthday Events (in 2022 and 2023) in the auditorium of the Fort Harrison Hotel in Clearwater.

We were curious who might have showed up at those events, and we found yet another fairly major celebrity we had never seen at any other event in the past.

First, let’s look at the 2022 Birthday Event, which featured a few familiar faces.

Nancy Cartwright (the voice of Bart Simpson), Trish Duggan (the world’s richest Scientologist), actress Marisol Nichols, actor Michael Roberts, and opera singer James Barbour.

OK, not a bad turnout for a pandemic year.

But now, let’s take a look at what we found for LRH Birthday 2023, when we blew up some photos in the Scientology press release.

First, here was the usual gang: Dharma and Greg actress Jenna Elfman and her husband Bodhi, and a blurry John Travolta.

But then, from another angle, behind big donor Tom Cummins, for the first time at any event we spotted actor Michael Peña.

The Ant-Man and End of Watch actor has been a Scientologist since about 2002 when he saw a television interview of Jenna Elfman talking about Scientology, and he went Clear in 2016. In 2018, he and his wife Brie Shaffer bought a house in Clearwater and moved there. So it was only a short trip to the Birthday Event for the actor.

Shaffer was Danny Masterson’s assistant, and she was named as a witness (but not called) by both the prosecution and the defense in Masterson’s first criminal trial.


This LRH Birthday Event occurred on March 18, 2023, which was after that first trial ended in a hung jury, but before the second trial started in April, resulting in Masterson’s conviction in May.

We’ve been very curious about Peña’s level of involvement, and whether we would ever spot him at an event. And now we have, at last year’s LRH birthday party.


Technology Cocktail

“It is significant that hundreds of aerospace technicians, working with satellites and rocketry, broadly used Scientology first. At the same time parliaments in some socially backward countries were busy passing laws against Scientology to protect their psychiatrists whose medieval approach was to seize people without any process of law and castrate them and saw out brains as a “cure” for mental illness. In a world where governments are fighting to dominate men’s minds, mental technology is needed to protect the individual and to prevent the enslavement of all.” — 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 [55] Mark Bunker [56] Trish and Liz Conley [57] Trish Conley [58] Alex Barnes-Ross [59] Alex Barnes-Ross [60] Alex Barnes-Ross [61] Alex Barnes-Ross [62] Alex Barnes-Ross [63] Alex Barnes-Ross [64] Tory Christman [65] Tammy Synovec [66] Dennis Erlich [67] Alex Barnes-Ross [68] Valerie Ross [69] Kat in Austin [70] Mark Bunker [71] Phil Jones


Source Code

“We pick up somebody. Let’s say he’s a Marine captain or something, and we’re auditing him. He’s been a Marine years ago. Obviously, this person is no mystic. This person is no spiritualist. He knows nothing about these things. Let’s audit him, and get through, and so forth. And we audit him for about five hours, and he’s making very slow progress. And he’s liable to ask you at the end of the five hours if you really think his guardian angel approves of the techniques you’re using. Don’t be too alarmed if you hear such a reaction, because there’s practically 100 percent of the populace, one time or another, have been mixed up with spirits, spiritualism, mysticism or any one of the allied lines by which man has sought truth and has gotten booby-trapped. This Marine, you find out, served a long hitch in Santo Domingo. And all the time he was in Santo Domingo he was talked to continually by a mamaloi. Otherwise, this boy’s been sane ever since. He receives all of his directions from a witch doctor, or a witch. Yeah, he’s been ordering troops around on the advice of a witch doctor for years. This is not uncommon. Because a thing is not spoken about is no reason it doesn’t exist or isn’t known. And that’s a good rule for you to go on.” — L. Ron Hubbard, March 31, 1954


Avast, Ye Mateys

“My thanks to S. Moreau, R. Savage, Gerry Armstrong, and H. Harrison for helping on a voluntary basis cleaning up Fwd Tween Decks and Storage and mest moving in Hold 1 last night. L.H. 2 has been cleaned and restowed. Anyone littering or enmesting the area of any hold space will be dealt with severely by Ethics. These spaces (as well as all ship spaces) must be kept neat, clean and secure.” — Capt W.B. Robertson D/Captain FSO, March 31, 1971



Overheard in the FreeZone

“There is a lot of work ahead. I don’t believe specialist auditors can do the job (they can help a lot of individuals, but there are too many for one or even ten thousand auditors). What is needed is that EVERY person in the world know how to deliver a session, and do so whenever someone near them needs one. Twill eventually get the job done.”


Past is Prologue

2002: Reuters reported that Scientology minister Reed Slatkin has agreed to plead guilty to investment fraud. “EarthLink co-founder Reed Slatkin, accused of defrauding investors out of nearly $600 million, has agreed to plead guilty to 15 federal charges, prosecutors said Tuesday. Slatkin, who was charged with 15 felony charges for allegedly orchestrating a massive Ponzi scheme in which he solicited more than $593 million from some 800 investors – including members of the Church of Scientology, where he is a minister – has reached a deal with prosecutors to plead guilty to all of the charges. Slatkin, 53, was charged with five counts of mail fraud, three counts of wire fraud, six counts of money laundering and one count of conspiracy to obstruct justice during an investigation being conducted by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission.”


Random Howdy

“Hubbard thought ‘1984’ was a How-To manual.”


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] Scientology propaganda is the best thing ever, and we are here for it
[TWO years ago] Hanan Islam, 62: Faced felony counts for insurance scam run out of Scientology clinic
[THREE years ago] The Top 25 People Enabling Scientology, No. 4: The LAPD
[FOUR years ago] Mark Bunker, now as city councilman, confronts issues with Scientology on day one
[FIVE years ago] Scientology is putting Ideal Orgs in every country where it operates — except one
[SIX years ago] A Scientologist is running for lieutenant governor in Nevada — and it’s who you probably suspect
[SEVEN years ago] Jonny Jacobsen: The tweets about Scientology that got a comedian in hot water
[EIGHT years ago] Reason Rally 2016 in Washington DC: The Underground Bunker wants to see you there!
[NINE years ago] Can you help French prosecutors find these witnesses to the death of a Scientologist?
[TEN years ago] Paris elects its first female mayor — and you have to see her record on Scientology!
[ELEVEN years ago] Easter Sunday Funnies — Also: Our SMERSH Madness Championship!


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 2,856 days.
Valerie Haney has not seen her mother Lynne in 3,351 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,866 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 3,416 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 2,406 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 2,287 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 5,591 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 3,462 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 5,014 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 4,355 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,922 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 8,841 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 5,009 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 4,590 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,851 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,887 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 3,603 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 3,167 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 1,482 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 2,657 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 7,208 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 4,339 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 4,677 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 9,530 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 4,651 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 3,007 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 7,310 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 3,416 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 3,814 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 3,690 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 3,255 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 3,768 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 4,022 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 15,131 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on March 31, 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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