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L. Ron Hubbard’s tallest tale? When Scientology’s founder first struck gold

TODAY AT SUBSTACK: If you’ve signed up for free emails at Substack, you will receive today’s feature story at your inbox: Before he began selling tall tales to the pulps for a living, Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard told maybe his tallest tale ever to a gullible Washington DC reporter who took it as fact. Is there a better indicator of how Hubbard would later go on to fool so many in the future? [What is this Substack thing, anyway?]



Technology Cocktail

“Scientology is a precision subject. It has axioms. Like geometry. Two equilateral triangles aren’t similar because Euclid said so. They’re similar because they are. If you don’t believe it, look at them. There isn’t a single datum in Scientology that can’t be proven as precisely as teacups are teacups and not saucepans.” — L. Ron Hubbard, 1966



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

A special story I wrote was taken to the NY Times Reporter and she was very pleased. It was about the Marines and Corfu. Remember? We have to get the 19 crew members who wrote affidavits in this up to the US Embassy to get them notarized. They go to the US Congress and assist in the Life suit. (We have to get Life sued fast. The Sat Eve Post has gone out of business and Time-Life is fading. Like the Daily Mail, newspapers who attack us fail, strange coincidence.)” — L. Ron Hubbard, May 13, 1969


Avast, Ye Mateys

“GROUP CONFESSION is group confession. It is done with the whole group present. It is not done divisionally and it is not done by unit. Try this and you’ll see it work. This is a team and not individuated.” — Lt. Cmdr. Diana Hubbard, CS 1, May 13, 1969


Overheard in the FreeZone

“I have seen the dark energy and dark matter. I have seen the other side of this universe, my hearing ability was magnified just before this happened. A thetan is capable of doing anything and can exist in the absence of MEST or in the dark form of it or in between. I am not sure if dark is the right word to use, however, this is magical indeed. Thank you Master LRH for your return. I wish I can express my gratitude for you in all the world alphabets, master, as you are the alpha (α) and omega (Ω).”



Past is Prologue

1995: Grady Ward reported this week a call to his publisher, Austin Code Works, by a man identifying himself as Eugene Ingram, a well-known Scientology PI. “He spoke for ten minutes, did not identify his employer (duh!), and made statements like: ‘Grady is the president of ACW, isn’t he?’ [No] ‘Did you know the FBI investigated Grady for his involvement with the NuPrometheus League [a group claiming responsibility for stealing and distributing Apple Computer Macintosh ROM code in June, 1989].’ ‘The FBI knew he did it because Grady was the only one fired [a provable lie!] from Apple in 1989.’ Ingram then begin to pump for financial information, such as ‘Does he make more than $10,000 in royalties [per annum, presumably] from MobyCrypto? Moby Lexicons? No? How about $5,000?'”


Random Howdy

“The world is disconnected because of technology, it turns people into zombies. A handful of corporations control all the the media, the arts, and what passes for popular culture these days. What happened to rock’n’roll? It’s been replaced by no talent moop thugs who can’t play an instrument and can’t write lyrics above the 4th grade. There is no more rebellion. They’ve won. It’s ‘Tittytainment’ from here on out. Detroit has gone bankrupt and the corporations are going to run the city. Didn’t they make a movie about that 20 years ago?”


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 31, 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.
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, on hold until appeal over new judge heard.
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] Not surprisingly, Scientology opposes an appeal in the Baxter trafficking case
[TWO years ago] ‘Top Gun: Maverick’: The only movie review you need if you’re being honest about Tom Cruise
[THREE years ago] Tom Cruise said he needed only an hour to sell Scientology: What would he do in that hour?
[FOUR years ago] Scientology trying to sell Irish reporters on the idea that interest is booming there
[FIVE years ago] Scientology admits it’s selling ‘magic’ at its Florida spiritual mecca
[SIX years ago] We have the detailed specs for your dream job: Public Relations officer in Scientology
[SEVEN years ago] Scientology’s casting calls get nuttier all the time. Who would you hire to fill them?
[EIGHT years ago] Document leak: How Scientology freaked out over losing Lori Hodgson and her mom
[NINE years ago] Hand out L. Ron Hubbard literature and score a date with a Scientology sweetheart!
[TEN years ago] DOX: The appeal to restore the class-action lawsuit against Scientology’s rehab network
[ELEVEN years ago] Will Scientology’s Motion Demolish the Garcias’ Federal Fraud 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 2,899 days.
Valerie Haney has not seen her mother Lynne in 3,394 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,909 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 3,459 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 2,449 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 2,330 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 5,634 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 3,505 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 5,057 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 4,398 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,965 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 8,884 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 5,052 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 4,633 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,894 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,930 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 3,646 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 3,210 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 1,525 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 2,700 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 7,251 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 4,382 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 4,720 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 9,573 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 4,694 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 3,050 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 7,353 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 3,459 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 3,857 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 3,733 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 3,298 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 3,811 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 4,065 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 15,173 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on May 13, 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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