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What awaits you at the end of Scientology’s long, arduous journey

TODAY AT SUBSTACK: If you’ve signed up for free emails at Substack, you will receive today’s feature story at your inbox: Last time, Val Ross told us about spying at the FBI after its raid on Scientology in 1977. She’s working on a subsequent installment, but in the meantime sent us this look at what she’s going through right now, with lessons for what the church does with its older adherents. [What is this Substack thing, anyway?]


Technology Cocktail

“The most awful thing I think that can happen to a Class VIII Case Supervisor is to have to try to do his job with no competent Review Auditor. The lack of a Review Auditor ends the trail. If the HGC squirrels and then Review goofs up too and there’s no good auditor in Review to catch that, an VIII Case Supervisor feels licked.

Therefore the proper procedure is to take up the case with himself as auditor, straighten it out. And demand someone is sent to an VIII Course to be trained.” — 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

“There are three classes of universes. There’s your universe and that class of universe known as the other fellow’s universe and the physical universe — universes of the type of the physical universe. Now, these in essence are three types of universe. Now, there’s a law back of all this, and that is to say that a universe is subject to the postulates of the god of that universe. Let’s take the physical universe. Everybody agrees that there’s a God someplace and that the physical universe obeys His law, so forth. It’s an interesting aberration in itself. Now, it’s a little more important, however, when we apply it to Mama. Mama is the god of Mama’s universe. Everybody concedes this. Maybe she isn’t in her own mind but everybody concedes that she is.” — L. Ron Hubbard, April 12, 1954


Avast, Ye Mateys

“PENALTIES: Those absent from drills — no next meal. Those absent from study — 10 s per offense logged by supervisors and deducted from allowance and paid by Purser to 2 Div for facilities fund. False report — one week’s allowance. Outness or irresponsibility in admin or on post or watch — 3 days pay. REWARDS: When the ship is out of Non Existence and up to Emergency a reward schedule will be posted. MUSIC: No music while the ship is below Emergency.” — April 12, 1969


Overheard in the FreeZone

“My Christian friends want me to stop studying Scientology. I think it’s a loyalty thing. I have to choose between Christ and L. Ron Hubbard, apparently.”



Past is Prologue

2000: The St. Petersburg Times published a column by Mary Jo Melone on the criminal and civil cases being heard in the Tampa area. “Do you think it’s possible that those Scientologists, those believers in e-meters and psychological audits and goose-stepping group-think, are transmitting weird radio signals that have addled some of the best minds in Pinellas County? How else to explain the mental nose dives of the medical examiner and the chief circuit judge when they were confronted with the story of the slow, miserable death in 1995 of Scientologist Lisa McPherson at the Fort Harrison Hotel? Last week, Judge Susan Schaeffer, who is presiding over the criminal case, dropped hints heavy as bricks that she may throw out the criminal charges against the church, for negligence and practicing medicine without a license. She even said she ‘felt sad’ that members of the so-called church had to see pickets in Clearwater protesting McPherson’s death. Did Schaeffer have any concern for the feelings, confused, depressed and psychotic though they may have been, once possessed by Lisa McPherson? Apparently not. She even said McPherson went to the hotel, after a car accident and a bizarre episode in which she took off her clothes, quite willingly. Schaeffer said she was troubled by the state attorney’s decision to prosecute the church, and not individuals, because this could be taken as an infringement on the right to practice religion. If what they do at Scientology headquarters in Clearwater is a religion, then I’m a planet. Saturn, say, rings and all. Hillsborough Circuit Judge James Moody has the civil case, a wrongful death suit filed by McPherson’s estate. On Friday, church lawyers asked him to throw out the suit, based on some of the nonsense Judge Schaeffer had swallowed. They again said Lisa McPherson was not out of her mind and made a free and independent decision after her car wreck to go to the hotel. Moody refused. He said whether McPherson had acted freely was in dispute. The judge also said he would do everything possible to keep religion out of the case. Is it the differences between two judges and their personalities? Or are the politics of placating Scientology in play? Clearwater’s city manager, Mike Roberto, spends half his time making nice with the e-meter crowd. Worry that some of the best minds in Pinellas County have been cowed by Scientology.”


Random Howdy

“Believe it or not, ‘Wichita Lineman’ is one of my all time favorite songs. I’m usually in tears by the end of it.”


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 quietly acquires $13.5 million converted church near Big Blue: But why?
[TWO years ago] Scientology holds its ‘Writers of the Future’ awards back on schedule, same garish display
[THREE years ago] Scientology answers Danny Masterson accusers at California Supreme Court, and it’s ugly
[FOUR years ago] Scientology continues to see the pandemic as a public relations opportunity
[FIVE years ago] Scientology deception and financial fraud spelled out in incredible legal letter
[SIX years ago] Why Scientology has no business pontificating on mental health — a discussion
[SEVEN years ago] Need a boost to your superpowers? Scientology has a (pricey) solution for that!
[EIGHT years ago] Astra Woodcraft, ex-Scientology kid, wants you to read a short essay
[NINE years ago] How Scientology broke up Tom Cruise and Mimi Rogers: The story you haven’t heard
[TEN years ago] Why is Scientology’s cruise ship caught up in a lawsuit about human slavery?
[ELEVEN years ago] Scientology’s Lavish Annual Party for Pampered Sci-Fi Writers, This Sunday!


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 2,868 days.
Valerie Haney has not seen her mother Lynne in 3,363 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,878 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 3,428 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 2,418 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 2,299 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 5,603 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 3,474 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 5,026 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 4,367 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,934 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 8,853 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 5,021 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 4,602 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,863 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,899 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 3,615 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 3,179 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 1,494 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 2,669 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 7,220 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 4,351 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 4,689 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 9,542 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 4,663 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 3,019 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 7,322 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 3,428 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 3,826 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 3,702 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 3,267 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 3,780 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 4,034 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 15,143 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on April 12, 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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