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The mostly forgotten ship that started one of the biggest Scientology legal cases of all time

TODAY AT SUBSTACK: If you’ve signed up for free emails at Substack, you will receive today’s feature story at your inbox: Less well known than its counterparts, the Scientology training ship the Bolivar was where everything began to go wrong with maybe the most well-known Scientologist who ever ended up suing L. Ron Hubbard’s outfit. [What is this Substack thing, anyway?]


Technology Cocktail


“A TA records MASS. Mental mass has a higher electrical resistance and so measures more ‘ohms’ of resistance, an electrical term for the trouble electricity has in passing through something. The more resistance the more units of resistance are recorded on the meter. The TA actually measures resistance. Thus, the end of an incident can be restimulated. If the beginning of it is never touched then one will just accumulate more and more mass.” — L. Ron Hubbard, 1970



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 lines of force in a galaxy. And these cookies had actually found how to detach matter along a line of force. And so they’d set a Magellanic Cloud loose along one of these lines of force and it would swing out of balance and move on out and engulf a system, and then swinging out further would engulf another system, and would spend an awful long time hanging around the system as it went by, you see? And frankly, these clouds would get to systems which they didn’t come near for maybe thousands and thousands of years. They didn’t direct these clouds intimately, they just set them loose and they would drift out through space. And these wise professors — I’ve never trusted a professor since — would sit around stroking their diplomas saying, ‘Well, this is the natural consequences of the disintegration of a galaxy. A certain period in the life of a galaxy, the Magellanic radioactive masses at the interior of the hub begin to disperse themselves out toward the rim. And this is known as the Keplin-Spreplin law and the Booplum-Booplin law, and the calculations are M to the gup-gup squared or the rippety-rip-bop to the tenth power.’” — L. Ron Hubbard, May 23, 1963


Avast, Ye Mateys

“Psychology and psychiatry have been traced as the direct authors of Fascism and today propound the Fascist message of violence and death across the world. This tangled web is being laid out like a carpet from documents being unearthed from the Nuremberg trials of war criminals and other sources. We always knew they were bad. We did not know Psychologists and Psychiatrists were the men behind Hitler and the gas chambers. By documents unearthed there is no difference whatever between psychiatric doctrine now being voiced in the East and West and Nazi doctrines so abhorred by all the world. ‘Racial Purity,’ ‘eradicated minorities,’ ‘genes,’ the lot. So it all begins to fit into a pattern. We had to be fought, for the appearance of real mental tech on the planet spelled the end of Fascist usage of false mental tech to politically dominate the world. Until we came along they were winning very nicely. So that’s one reason it’s so important to establish Scientology in Europe and England. And we’re making it.” — The Commodore, May 23, 1971


Overheard in the FreeZone

“LRH was a high volume thetan. My personal opinion was that he was probably controlling two bodies at once – Cecil Rhodes and Mark Twain. The similarities between Twain and Hubbard are rather amazing.”



Past is Prologue

1998: Scientologist and U.S. TV star Jenna Elfman was interviewed by Barbara Walters this week. “Elfman: What’s great about Scientology is, there’s you, right? And you’re always you. But as you go through life, you know, you have the betrayals and the losses and the things that start clouding up. And what Scientology does is it helps take away all that stuff so that you can just be you again, you know, and live as you with your viewpoints and stuff. Walters: What do you say to people who say it is a cult, it is a dangerous cult? Elfman: I usually laugh. Because I’ve seen so many people get off drugs, become literate, you know, finally for the first time, you know, rehabilitate their marriage or gain their self-esteem back. I mean, to me that makes me cry sometimes when I look at the successes and the beautiful things that happen to people. That’s why, that’s why I so know what it does for people, you know? People can say whatever they want because it is the most beautiful thing I’ve ever seen and it makes me happy.”


Random Howdy

“I love churches, cathedrals, mosques and I’ve visited more than few of them. I just don’t like what’s being taught in a lot of them.”


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] Straight Up and Vertical: When is this jury going to deliver a result?
[TWO years ago] How I know your Scientology files weren’t confidential: It was my job to dig through them
[THREE years ago] How Scientology can make a tragedy worse, and then even worse again
[FOUR years ago] AUDIO: Scientology recruiter says wrecked families small price for salvaged planet
[FIVE years ago] Scientology tries stealthy opening of new drug rehab in Canada and gets stuffed
[SIX years ago] Scientology asks court to freeze Laura D’s forced-abortion case for a long-shot appeal
[SEVEN years ago] When a Scientology ‘body-router’ turns out to be the father you haven’t seen in 7 years
[EIGHT years ago] Scientology’s newest attack on Ron Miscavige: Could his son David be any whinier?
[NINE years ago] Jon Atack: Stop making excuses for L. Ron Hubbard and the Snow White Program!
[TEN years ago] Richard Teague speaks out after his horrific ordeal at a Scientology rehab center
[ELEVEN years ago] A Womb With a View: More Dianetics Just-So Stories


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 2,909 days.
Valerie Haney has not seen her mother Lynne in 3,404 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,919 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 3,469 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 2,459 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 2,340 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 5,644 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 3,515 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 5,067 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 4,408 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,975 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 8,894 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 5,062 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 4,643 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,904 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,940 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 3,656 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 3,220 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 1,535 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 2,710 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 7,261 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 4,392 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 4,730 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 9,583 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 4,704 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 3,060 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 7,363 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 3,469 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 3,867 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 3,743 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 3,308 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 3,821 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 4,075 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 15,183 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on May 23, 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, 1995-2023 Just starting out here? We’ve picked out the most important stories we’ve covered here at the Underground Bunker (2012-2023), 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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