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The bizarre Scientology ideas about death being dredged up in a heartbreaking lawsuit

[Broeker at the Hollywood Palladium]

TODAY AT SUBSTACK: If you’ve signed up for free emails at Substack, you will receive today’s feature story at your inbox: Scientology denies what a lawsuit alleges in the death of Whitney Mills: That she had been encouraged by Scientologists to “drop her body” rather than get mental health care. Today we’re spelling out the record on what Scientology and its founder had said about that concept. [What is this Substack thing, anyway?]


Technology Cocktail


“Man’s mortality, his ‘one life’ fixation, all stem from his efforts to check himself, obliterate his memory in a fruitless effort to change his conduct and his self-destructive habits and impulses and losses of skills and abilities. As this rationale proves out completely in processing and fits all cases observed, we have for the first time proof of his actual nature. As only around 20% are insane, and as those who previously worked in the mental field were themselves mainly insane, Man as a whole has been assigned an evil repute. Govemments, where such personalities exist, listen to the opinion of the insane and apply the characteristic of 20% to the entire hundred percent. This gives an 80% wrong diagnosis. Which is why mental science itself was destructive when used by states.” — 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

“It’s a long story. But in 1950, a fellow name of Palmer walked into the Explorers Club just as I was leaving the mail room, and Palmer says to me, ‘Hey, Ron, you want an expedition?’ And I said, ‘Well, sure.’ ‘Well, he says, ‘there’s a whole bunch of Greek and Roman statuary that was being brought from Athens to Rome, and the ship went aground on the north side of the Dodecanese.’ And he says, ‘Been there ever since. And they’ve just located it at about thirty fathoms of water’….And I’ve just been sort of working on this in my spare time and getting it together. Nothing very dramatic in the way of progress….And just today, why, their delay was explained. They had already put it before the Flag Committee and the board of directors and that sort of thing. So the expedition, as of that action, became an official scientific expedition: ocean archaeological survey with the purpose of discovering various periods of marine history in the past, as possibly represented on the floors of sunken harbors long since passed from the view of man where there are, of course, still ships. And I don’t guarantee that we won’t stop by on some of the stuff sunk during World War II and pick up a few tommy guns.” — L. Ron Hubbard, June 22, 1961


Avast, Ye Mateys

“FLAG RUMOURS: You should write all your friends to correct field impression of Flag with brutal ethics and cat-o-nine. I worked out what really happened. In Melilla in the Spring of ’68 we had a flood of raw, relatively untrained, unaudited people arrive. We also had five people who were very heavy handed and suppressive, since blown or dismissed (Berez was booted out of the SO for drug use and is in jail for drug running and possibly Taunton). The ship during the VIII Class was (a) poorly manned (b) had SPs aboard and (c) had very few trained Scientologists and (d) was under heavy enemy attack (the Greek affair with bird dogs aboard). (The UK ban.) What happened was, we trained and processed up the crew, we opened the gate on the SPs and dumped them, we made quite a few auditors and beat the enemy attack with excellent PRO Area Control and the ‘dead agent’ caper, meaning getting documentary proof that what was said of us was lies and getting the agents booted out of the country.” — The Commodore, June 22, 1970


Overheard in the FreeZone

“I don’t think that Ron was or is perfect. I doubt that even the Tech itself is perfect, otherwise there would be no room for improvement. But the things that LRH discovered and created are so breathtakingly amazing that it is unfair to criticize him, his writing style, or his work without keeping the reality of his accomplishments in perspective. To do so would amount to a false report because it would be an incomplete report. As I once mentioned on one of the other blogs, it is fairly well documented Sir Isaac Newton behaved ‘strangely’ at times and once had what we would call a psychotic break……so now what? Are we supposed to abolish the laws of physics and declare calculus to be bullshit? In my reality Ron’s discoveries are at least as stellar as Newton’s and he deserves comparable respect and consideration.”



Past is Prologue

2000: The Riverside Press-Enterprise reported in three articles that a woman at Scientology’s Gold Base near Hemet, California was killed by electrocution in a utility pit. “A Church of Scientology member was electrocuted in a bizarre accident Sunday morning in an underground vault at the church’s film studio north of San Jacinto, authorities said. She was a woman in her 20s who had been a church member for 2 1/2 years, said Riverside County sheriff’s spokeswoman Lisa McConnell. The girl was a production company crew member at Golden Era Studios, which produces promotional and training films for the church. Firefighters were called to the scene about 10:15 a.m., said Riverside County fire Capt. Tim Chavez. The call first came out as a traffic collision, then as a structure fire. ‘When we arrived we found a woman electrocuted in a below-ground level vault, obviously dead,’ Chavez said, adding she was badly burned. She apparently died instantly after contacting a 7,200-volt wire connecting two transformers in the 10-foot by 10-foot by 8-foot vault, the Sheriff’s Department reported. ‘The individual was very badly burned and visual identification was impossible,’ said Senior Deputy Robert Moquin. The general manager, Ken Hoden, said the woman, interested in helping animals, was concerned about the death of a squirrel in the vault a few weeks earlier, went to investigate and, apparently, fell on the wires. Scientology’s skeptics raised questions about the death. ‘You wouldn’t be allowed to be wandering around out there,’ said Stacy Brooks, who described herself as having been a Scientologist for 15 years, including some time at Golden Era, before leaving in 1989. Brooks is president of the Lisa McPherson Trust, a Scientology watchdog group. ‘These people watch every minute. It’s just not feasible knowing how things worked out there that she was just wandering around taking care of baby squirrels,’ Brooks said.” A woman killed on the Church of Scientology’s film studio grounds near San Jacinto is 20-year-old Hemet resident Stacey Myer, according to the county coroner. ‘Her autopsy was performed today,’ Feinstein-Portales said Tuesday. ‘Right now the cause of death is still pending, however, there is nothing to indicate she died at the hands of another.’ The cause of Myer’s death will not be confirmed until toxicology reports are received, which could take about eight weeks, Feinstein-Portales said. The young woman’s body was badly burned in the accident. The state is also investigating a number of safety issues, including whether employees at Golden Era were properly trained and if warnings were posted about high voltage. The state Division of Occupational Safety and Health spokesman, Dean Fryer, said the agency expects the investigation may be done within three months.”


Random Howdy

“The putrefaction shakedown is a more accurate name for 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 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] Read Scientology spokesman Ben Shaw’s latest freakout over the Tampa Bay Times
[TWO years ago] Scientology fundraising is soaring to new heights! Scientology says so!
[THREE years ago] Scientology miracles from its 1980s heyday: How do they compare to today?
[FOUR years ago] Scientology donor’s financial firm hit with new charges of securities violations
[FIVE years ago] How Scientology is likely going to come back at the explosive new lawsuits
[SIX years ago] Why we think nutty Las Vegas councilwoman Michele Fiore might be a Scientologist
[EIGHT years ago] CLEARWATER DONE DEAL — Couple seeks big crowd for Scientology ‘disconnection’ billboard
[NINE years ago] LIVE-BLOGGING: The Toronto conference on Scientology kicks off and we’re on the scene
[TEN years ago] Sunday Funnies: The desperation in Scientology fliers is getting worse. Much worse.
[ELEVEN years ago] Meet the Man Behind WWP, the Web Home of Anonymous and Project Chanology


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 2,939 days.
Valerie Haney has not seen her mother Lynne in 3,434 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,949 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 3,499 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 2,489 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 2,370 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 5,674 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 3,545 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 5,097 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 4,438 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 13,005 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 8,924 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 5,092 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 4,673 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,934 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,970 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 3,686 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 3,250 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 1,565 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 2,740 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 7,291 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 4,422 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 4,760 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 9,613 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 4,734 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 3,090 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 7,393 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 3,499 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 3,897 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 3,773 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 3,338 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 3,851 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 4,105 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 15,213 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on June 22, 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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