Daily Notifications
Sign up for free emails to receive the feature story every morning in your inbox at


On trial: Scientology PI accused of assaulting woman he was hired to follow

[David Smith and Susanne Gold-Smith, and Yanti Greene]

TODAY AT SUBSTACK: If you’ve signed up for free emails at Substack, you will receive today’s feature story at your inbox: Five years after David Smith and his wife Susanne filed lawsuits against several private investigators, a trial is starting today on Long Island, and we will be there. This is the case that produced texts showing a Scientology PI was stalking Leah Remini and Jennifer Lopez. [What is this Substack thing, anyway?]


Technology Cocktail


“Why settle for ‘Quickie Grades’? You get no students that way and that’s the heavy org income. You get no expanding field. And you won’t ever get a cleared planet. We’ve learned all this the hard way. So let’s not let it go unheeded.” — 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

“Many an auditor falls for this because the PC wants to know how come he was on the planet Yuk-zuk in a railway conductor’s uniform, you see? What was he doing there? And that’s all very interesting and we can assuage his curiosity to some degree, but if we go in for just assuaging the curiosity of the thing — dramatizing watching TV or something like that, you see — we unfortunately get into the situation where we’re not following down an engramic chain. So here, you see, is another great liability in running engrams. We get so absorbed in dramatis personae and that sort of thing, that we actually aren’t running the chain of engrams at all, we are simply trying to find out. See, get that as a liability, because it is a liability. You actually can find out all about what this PC was doing on the planet Yuk-zuk. You could find out all about it. The only trouble is the basic on it was on the planet Pan-wan, which was a trillion years earlier. You see?” — L. Ron Hubbard, June 11, 1963


Avast, Ye Mateys

“No member of the Ships Company as per Flag Order is permitted to bring any pet aboard without permission. Gerry McLarty and Maria Bosselaar have brought aboard birds of the Psittacine family and Julie Blundell has a bird of unknown variety. These birds may endanger our free pratique at the next port entry. More particularly, Psittacine birds can develop psittacosis, an infectious virus disease, which can be transmitted to humans and so are a health hazard.” — Capt. Mary Sue Hubbard, June 11, 1969


Overheard in the FreeZone

“Much like you have had free reign to spread entheta about our org and our members, I should be allowed to have my voice, so please stop attempting to suppress me by saying ‘stop it’ and ‘stop spreading entheta.’ Per LRH, ethics exist to HELP orgs, not destroy them. Please see references above. Moreover, LRH says that we are protected from ethics because of our up-stats. The case should be closed there. Moreover, LRH didn’t want a dictatorship to exist. As long as Scientology is introduced into the world and we can HELP people, we should. If our org is gone, along goes with it the world’s only online course room for independent Scientologists, video production to increase awareness of LRH and his materials, quotes, the first Scientology games, and then some.”



Past is Prologue

1996: David and Julie Mayo posted extensive accounts of the cult’s Fair Game policy against them in the last few years. David is being harassed for having founded a competing church to Scientology. “On August 4, 1994, Scientology(tm) utilized INTERPOL, the US DEA (Drug Enforcement Agency), and the DNCD (Dominicana Nacional Control de Drogas) to try to enforce Scientology’s(tm) religious beliefs on me, to persecute me and to get me jailed by false allegations to INTERPOL. INTERPOL had received and acted on a report that I was ‘practicing Scientology(tm) without a license’; that I had ‘destroyed Scientology(tm) property’; that I was ‘representing’ myself as a ‘Scientologist’. Ventura Bayonet, head of the Dominican Republic DNCD said that he decided to act as a result of a phone call from INTERPOL alleging that I had damaged ‘millions of dollars of Scientology(tm) property’. I was not representing myself as a Scientologist nor was I practicing Scientology(tm), with or without a license. I had not ‘damaged’ Scientology(tm) property. By 1992, all of the civil lawsuits brought against me by Scientology(tm) had been dismissed and in January 1993, the Central District of California had sanctioned RTC/Scientology(tm) plaintiffs 2.9 million dollars for abusive litigation against me. On August 4, 1994, our residence was surrounded by approximately 15 armed police, military and DNCD agents. I was not charged nor was I resented with any order but I was handcuffed. My home was searched for fire arms, drugs and money. No drugs or firearms were found. Nonetheless, I was taken to two police stations and eventually taken to Santo Domingo where I was put in prison with no charges, explanation or reason. I wasn’t allowed to make a phone call to anyone — not even to a lawyer, to my wife or to the American Embassy. That night, I was put in a small cell (about 12′ x 12′) stuffed with 10 – 12 other men overnight in abhorrent conditions — I had not been permitted food or water since the afternoon, there was no place to stretch out, the cell was filled with stench due to a blocked toilet and there were flies and mosquitoes. The next day I learned that it was INTERPOL that was investigating me at the request of Scientology(tm). I was released the next night, without being charged, but the incident was shockingly unexpected and intimidating. September 1994. A private investigator from Boca Raton, Florida, calling himself John Bertrant, called several of my clients, friends and supporters and gave them alarming news concerning ‘Mayo being in jail’. When was the last time they had seen Mayo? Had they given Mayo any money? One of my clients inquired for whom was John Bertrant working. Bertrant said he couldn’t say, but that it was a group and that he had done extensive contract work for the CIA and other government agencies. May 16, 1995, at the airport, Julie was stopped at passport control. She was detained for five hours during which time she was searched and questioned by several DNCD agents: Bautista, Medina, and Corcino. She was asked repeatedly as to where I was. They threatened to put her in jail while they continued the investigation, and wouldn’t allow her to make a phone call, even to the American Embassy. Medina finally admitted to her that they were put up to it by Scientology(tm). After five hours, she was released and told she could catch the next plane out. We haven’t been back home since, now over a year later. Most of the time we have stayed with friends who have been very charitable in letting us stay with them. I try not to think what has happened to our pets and the garden. I hope Chago was able to give them away to good homes. The food in the refrigerator is undoubtedly a bit moldy by now. I keep hearing stories that someone is telling our neighbors that David is in jail. We had a very good decision from the 9th Circuit Court of Appeal on April 11, 1996– the 2.9 million dollar sanction was affirmed and our counterclaims reinstated. But the CofS/RTC has requested for a rehearing en banc. In the meantime, the San Mateo case is scheduled to go to trial in a couple weeks.”


Random Howdy

“The fact that the mayor couldn’t revoke the license for the Scientologists to erect their circus tent in punishment for their egregious act I find outrageous. The U.S legal system is way too convoluted for my liking.”


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] Scientology success stories are the bomb: But which continent is most on fire right now?
[TWO years ago] Recent controversies & financial crimes of Scientology: Katherine Olson interview, Part 2
[THREE years ago] Scientology sends out a deluge of mailers as its newest Texas location prepares to open
[FOUR years ago] Scientologist attorney gets her first ‘head on a pike’ with OC health officer resignation
[FIVE years ago] Justin Bieber in the octagon? Why he couldn’t handle Tom Cruise’s Scientology powers
[SIX years ago] When Scientology keeps a mother from her child in the ER: Lori Hodgson’s story
[SEVEN years ago] Neil Gaiman’s sis begs her fellow Scientologists to donate to an already funded building
[EIGHT years ago] BILLBOARD 2.0 — Phil and Willie Jones set their sights on Scientology’s mecca in Florida
[NINE years ago] Augustine: How L. Ron Hubbard devised Scientology’s most diabolical legal mechanisms
[ELEVEN years ago] Precious Bodily Fluids: Scientology and the Purification Rundown


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 2,928 days.
Valerie Haney has not seen her mother Lynne in 3,423 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,938 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 3,488 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 2,478 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 2,359 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 5,663 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 3,534 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 5,086 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 4,427 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,994 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 8,913 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 5,081 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 4,662 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,923 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,959 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 3,675 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 3,239 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 1,554 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 2,729 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 7,280 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 4,411 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 4,749 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 9,602 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 4,723 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 3,079 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 7,382 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 3,488 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 3,886 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 3,762 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 3,327 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 3,840 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 4,094 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 15,202 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on June 11, 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


Share Button
Print Friendly, PDF & Email