Tony Ortega is a journalist who was formerly the editor of The Village Voice. He's written about Scientology since 1995, and in May 2015 released a book about Scientology's harassment of Paulette Cooper titled 'The Unbreakable Miss Lovely.' He continues to monitor breaking developments in the Scientology world from an undisclosed location in an underground bunker he shares with four cats and one of them wrinkly Shar Pei dogs. Despite his super-secret security protections, you can still reach him pretty easily by sending him a message at tonyo94 AT (Drop him a line if you'd like to get an e-mail whenever a new story is posted.) [Header image courtesy John Rickard]
Daily Notifications
Sign up for free emails to receive the feature story every morning in your inbox at


Monthly Archives

PODCAST: Jon Atack has some things to say about Mike Rinder’s new book on Scientology

 TODAY AT SUBSTACK: If you’ve signed up for free emails at Substack, you will receive today’s feature story at your inbox: Now that Mike Rinder’s book ‘A Billion Years’ is in bookstores, we turn to one of the OGs on the scene, Jon Atack, for his thoughts about the book and what surprises it had []


Jon Atack escaped Scientology, but then he got himself into much deeper trouble

 Not long after we started this website in 2012, we reached out to a person we had long admired who had written one of the greatest books about the history of Scientology. Jon Atack was one of those authors who had not only escaped Scientology to then write about it, but he had done so []

Jon Atack and Chris Shelton answer the question: Are cult members stupid?

 Jon Atack and Chris Shelton teamed up for a new video this week. Jon’s helper Spike Robinson describes what’s in []

Jon Atack: Is Scientology really a ‘church’?

 Perhaps no one understands the early history of Scientology like Jon Atack, author of one of the most famous books on the subject, 1990’s ‘A Piece of Blue Sky,’ which was more recently expanded and []

Jon Atack and Mike Rinder on Scientology’s wackiest book: ‘A History of Man’

 We’re very glad that Jon and Mike have taken on this awesome task, and you might also look at the fun we had when we read this most insane of Scientology textbooks with biologist PZ Myers in 2013. Now, here’s Jon’s introduction to today’s video, which is worth the price of admission all on its []

VIDEO: Jon Atack talks to Mike Rinder about his first months aboard Scientology’s ‘Apollo’

[Mike Rinder at 18, in Madeira]

I’ve spoken with more than a thousand Scientologists over the years, but Mike Rinder’s interview is the most vivid and appalling account of daily life aboard the ship run directly by []

Jon Atack quizzes Mike Rinder: Scientology’s former spy chief on L. Ron Hubbard’s paranoia

 Hey, this is fun. Jon Atack, the legendary author of ‘A Piece of Blue Sky’ and a major presence here at the Underground Bunker, has a conversation with former Scientology spokesman Mike Rinder about the formerly secret documents that underlie Scientology’s spying and dirty tricks []

Jon Atack: Seduction, recruitment, and Scientology’s hard sell

Our thanks to the readers who wished Jon Atack a happy birthday recently, because it inspired him to check in with us…

Thanks to all for the good wishes on my birthday! It was most gratifying to read so many kind []

From Jon Atack’s ‘Blue Sky’: Reorganizing Scientology as L. Ron Hubbard’s life waned

 One of the truly monumental books about Scientology, Jon Atack’s A Piece of Blue Sky: Scientology, Dianetics, and L. Ron Hubbard Exposed came out in 1990 and was nearly sued out of existence. We were fortunate to come across a copy in the 1990s as we were just beginning a career investigating Scientology stories. Today, []

Jon Atack: The biggest thing L. Ron Hubbard got wrong about Buddhism

 Jon Atack is the author of A Piece of Blue Sky, one of the very best books on L. Ron Hubbard and Scientology. For more than three years he’s been helping us sift through the legends, myths, and contested facts about Scientology that tend to get hashed and rehashed in books, articles, and especially on []