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Best of the Underground Bunker 1995-2017

We’ve put together a list of our favorite stories that we did in previous years. Some of the stories were scoops, others were investigative features, and some of them we just really enjoyed writing. We’ve picked out stories we covered here at the Undergound Bunker (2012-2017), The Village Voice (2008-2012), New Times Los Angeles (1999-2002) and the Phoenix New Times (1995-1999).

 
Best of the Bunker, 2017

 

 
20. ‘God of Pop’ Kuba Ka on meeting Scientology’s David Miscavige: ‘Like an emperor or the Pope’

We could hardly believe our luck when Scientology celebrity Kuba Ka, the “God of Pop,” announced in March that he was leaving the church and his friend and adviser, actress Vikki Lizzi, told us that Kuba planned to sue. Oh, if only. The next day, we published our story about the two-hour Skype interview we did with Kuba and his mother and their entourage. After that conversation, we came away liking Kuba Ka — or rather, Jakub Stepniak, the man behind the god — more than we expected to. Sadly, not long after that interview Stepniak “retired” his pop persona, and Kuba Ka vanished into thin air.

 

 
19. Before Scientology’s Xenu was a genocidal galactic overlord, he was a … mountain?

In April we had a fun little treat that had confounded our experts — a tipster pointed out to us that L. Ron Hubbard referred to a “Mount Xenu” in an obscure lecture he recorded in 1958, some ten years before Hubbard would use the name “Xenu” in his infamous “OT III” handwritten notes. None of our experts had noticed it before, but Jon Atack pointed out that it was indeed an indication that Hubbard was simply dreaming up nonsense from a limited storehouse of ideas and notions.

 

 
18. Lawrence Wright goes to Nazareth: how Reza Aslan drove us into the arms of L. Ron Hubbard

Delayed a year by the presidential election, Reza Aslan’s “Believer” CNN series finally aired in 2017, and its March 26 episode about indie Scientology was as annoying as we assumed it would be. Aslan started out his show saying that Scientology “gets a bad rap,” which was pretty terribly timed after the success of Leah Remini’s first season, and then he proceeded to make all sorts of ridiculous claims about how indie Scientology might become a major world religion — without telling viewers that the two groups he interviewed had a total of about 60 and 20 members. It was a dishonest show which, like his other episodes, really only had one goal — to aggrandize Aslan himself. On the other hand, Aslan’s bad television did motivate us to write something fun about Lawrence Wright, Aslan, and L. Ron Hubbard, and Observer gave us one of our favorite illustrations of the year to adorn it, referring to Aslan’s subtle slam that if Larry had been around in Biblical times, he would have prevented Christianity from happening by grilling Jesus. And we absolutely loved Larry’s reaction, at Twitter: “A lot of what Jesus told me was off the record.”

 

 
17. Yes, L. Ron Hubbard wrote even more about children and sex, and we need to talk about it

In the mid 1980s, while he was in total seclusion hiding not only from process servers and government investigators but also from his own family and the rest of his Scientology movement, L. Ron Hubbard spent his time writing a million-word long science fiction story that the church put out as a ten-volume series. We chose one chapter from the ninth volume of the “Mission Earth” series, Villainy Victorious, to illustrate its truly sick take on sex and young boys. And we asked our readers to decide — what did it mean that near the end of his life, Hubbard was imagining this stuff?

 

 
16. Never before seen: A woman moments after achieving superhuman Scientology powers

In October, we provided an excerpt from a 1989 home video made aboard Scientology’s private cruise ship, the Freewinds. This rare footage featured the remarkable OT 8 graduation speech of a woman named Margie Zacks, a Scientologist reaching the pinnacle of achievement after years of studying L. Ron Hubbard’s “technology.” But for many of us, seeing her talk about how she got there was simply sad.

 

 
15. Is Scientology’s notorious prison detail — the ‘RPF’ — a thing of the past?

On October 4, we asked a question that caused a stir: Is Scientology’s “RPF” a thing of the past? Punishing Sea Org members with the “Rehabilitation Project Force” is legendary, and we’ve talked to people who were stuck for years on the prison-like detail. But recent defectors told us that over the past several years, Scientology leader David Miscavige systematically disbanded the RPF in places around the world, complaining that it carried too many Hubbard-era rules and regulations. Sea Org members are still being punished, we’re told, but no longer with trappings of the RPF — and we credited activists like Mike Rinder for exposing the RPF’s legacy of mistreatment.

 

 
14. DOX: The full FBI file from its 2009-2010 human trafficking investigation of Scientology

In 2011, Lawrence Wright broke the news in his New Yorker story about Paul Haggis that the FBI had investigated the Church of Scientology for human trafficking of its Sea Org workers. The church denied it. We never doubted for a moment that it was true because we spoke with numerous former Sea Org officials who had taken part in the investigation. But it was nice, finally, to get the evidence itself — in August, for the first time, we made the entire FBI file public, proving that indeed, the law enforcement agency gathered reams of evidence about the mistreatment of Scientologists at its secretive bases in California and Florida.

 

 
13. When a Scientology ‘body-router’ turns out to be the father you haven’t seen in 7 years

In May, we had a sad and surprising story. Earlier, we had posted some photos taken by a contributor outside the new Valley Org in Los Angeles which showed Scientology workers parking cars. One of them, however, turned out to be Irving Sorrentini, the father who had disconnected from his daughter, Jamie Sorrentini Lugli, someone well known to Bunker readers. She hadn’t seen her father in seven years, since he “disconnected” from her because she had left the church. Seeing her father was a punch to the gut. “Honestly, my heart is breaking. I feel like there’s no hope now. His eyes look so sad in that picture. That’s not the guy he was,” she told us.

 

 
12. Days before jumping to his death, actor Brad Bufanda credited Scientology with saving his life

Thanks to Angelo Pagan coming forward and giving us an interview, we got insights into the life of Brad Bufanda that the rest of the media overlooked. In the months before the Veronica Mars actor killed himself, he was telling friends of his commitment to Scientology, but he was also under heavy pressure because he refused church instructions to quit a movie because Pagan was also in it. His death shocked people who knew him well and who told us he had everything to live for.

 

 
11. Memories of a Scientology warrior: Marty Rathbun’s curious career as church rebel

In March, we uncorked a lengthy piece we’d put a lot of work into. We put together what we felt was a fair look at Marty Rathbun’s full trajectory, tracing the way his influential blog had changed over the years 2009-2016. Seen from that perspective, it made his evolution, from Scientology rebel to Scientology attack dog, all the more mysterious. This has now become one of the stories we direct people to most often as we are asked, constantly, what the hell happened to Marty Rathbun?

 

 
10. ‘Leah Remini’ show prompting more ‘ranch kids’ to come forward with agonizing family drama

One of the great results of Leah Remini’s TV series is that it has motivated so many more people to come forward with their stories of escaping Scientology — like Clarissa Adams, who talked to us about how Scientology had ripped her family apart. We were especially stunned when she told us about how her mother had reacted when Clarissa quit the Sea Org at 20: “Her response was, ‘Then why did you pick this body? Why did you pick this family?’ She never asked what I was going to do or where I would go. In fact, she didn’t bring it up again at all” But Clarissa still remembered it as the best day of her life. “I have never felt the same sense of freedom as I did that day. I had no idea what my future held, but I had a couple of hundred bucks to my name and I was no longer a part of the Sea Org. It was a beautiful moment.”

 

 
9. Scientology’s ultimate prize: For the first time online, the current ‘OT 8’ materials laid bare

Inspired by what Leah Remini had put on the air about the secrets of Scientology OT 8, in September we decided it was time to put the actual materials of New OT 8 online for the first time. (What Wikileaks had put online a decade earlier doesn’t reflect what former Scientologists told us they had experienced on that ultimate OT level.) So there it is, for you to see for yourself, what it can cost a Scientologist half a million to two million dollars to see. And it’s as underwhelming as you’d expect.

 

 
8. Coming to grips with Scientology’s most vile secret, which was hiding in plain sight

It still stuns us that a passage by L. Ron Hubbard endorsing pedophilia can be found in his most important book, Dianetics, and went unscrutinized for decades. Once again, we brought attention to it and Hubbard’s assertion that a 7-year-old girl should not “shudder” at an adult man’s kiss, “even a passionate one” — and this time, the Church of Scientology itself responded, through an official social media account, saying that the word “passionate” had no sexual connotation. Oh really? In that same book, Dianetics, Hubbard said this about the experience of a fetus in the womb: “Papa becomes passionate and baby has the sensation of being put into a running washing machine.” We’re pretty sure he wasn’t talking about knitting.

 

 
7. For the first time: The FBI file of Gabe Cazares, the Clearwater mayor targeted by Scientology

Thanks to the industrious R.M. Seibert, we got our hands on the FBI file of former Clearwater mayor and Congressional candidate Gabe Cazares. Here for the first time were new details on the hit-and-run plot Scientology tried to use to destroy his career in 1976, as well as some insight into why no one ever went to prison for it. This is the kind of material that current Clearwater residents and their leaders really ought to make themselves very familiar with.

 

 
6. Families of rescued patients are sharply divided on Scientologist-run Tennessee hellhole

In May we posted a story that has proved to be one we may have sent out as much as any other this year as we’ve tried to set the record straight on what was easily the most confusing reporting done on Scientology in a long, long time. It involved a facility in Tennessee that we’ve been watching for years, run by a Scientologist named Marc Vallieres, and which had a troubling past as a place where the church, we believed, sent members who had gone “Type III” — were in mental distress — for a medieval treatment known as the “Introspection Rundown.” Now, in 2017, that facility was shut down when sheriff’s deputies discovered a couple of patients being held there in cabins that were padlocked from the outside. But the press handling of the story was terribly mangled, in part because of a confusing statement put out by the local sheriff, and cries of “fake news” were heard across the land. The Underground Bunker was the only news organization that spoke to the families of the two victims and got the full story of what actually happened.

 

 
5. How Humira, the world’s best selling drug, is helping to finance Scientology into the future

In July we revealed that Jeffrey Augustine had found a document which showed that in the last week of 2015, Bob and Trish Duggan, the world’s richest Scientologists, socked away a million shares of stock from the pharmaceutical firm AbbVie in a foundation under their names. AbbVie is the maker of Humira, the rheumatoid arthritis treatment that is the biggest-selling drug in the world, and its stock was trading for just under $60 a share at that time — so the stock the Duggans set aside was worth about $60 million. (AbbVie also makes depakote, a drug for treating a bipolar diagnosis. So yes, AbbVie makes “psych” drugs.) According to the tax filing made by the Duggan Foundation, that AbbVie stock was expected to bring in revenue of about $3 million a year, and the foundation was very up front that it would only disburse that income in the way of charitable grants to the Church of Scientology or its various charitable entities. So, the upshot: Bob and Trish had socked away a big chunk of money so the Church of Scientology will reliably get a few million bucks a year into perpetuity. Later in the year, we got confirmation that Bob and Trish were splitting up, and we also got word that Bob has a new science-y girlfriend and may be stepping away from the church, so in that light we’re thinking that this gift of Humira-related revenue to Scientology may be Bob’s “leave me alone” money.

 

 
4. Scientology’s disgusting secret: Young teens used to interrogate adults about their sex lives

In January we posted our first big feature of the year, about Serge Gil, who appeared on ABC’s 20/20. But that television program really sort of missed the point. ABC’s Dan Harris asked Serge about sexual questions he was asked, but all Scientologists go through that. What made Serge’s story unique isn’t the questions he was asked, but what questions he was forced to ask others. We went into depth about Serge who, as a 14-year-old auditor, was tasked with interrogating older men about their sexual habits. Sometimes, he told us, that meant having to hear about the fantasies an older man was having about him. And always Serge would be forced to push for more and more detail. Talking to other former church members, we learned that this is actually a pretty common thing in Scientology, and is most likely still happening.

 

 
3. When love triumphs over Scientology: A fairy tale of New York for the holidays

After we had brought up the subject of how escaping Scientology Sea Org workers are often talked into coming back to “route out” properly in an Orwellian process that is hard to understand from the outside, we heard from a man named Chris Tringali who wanted us to know about what he and his wife Nancy had been through. The more we questioned him about his situation, the more stunned we were by what this couple had been through and had stayed together through all of it. We were pleased to present their saga as a heartwarming tale of love for the holidays.

 

 
2. Scientology’s Celebrity Whisperer: An inside account of life in the fame-obsessed church

In February we uncorked one of our longest features of the year, our look at the “celebrity whisperer,” Quailynn McDaniel, who, with her husband Paul, was trusted for years by Scientology to pamper and cater to its famous celebrities, in particular the Elfmans, Jenna and Bodhi. But when the church asked Quailynn, while she was isolated on the Freewinds, to steal from her husband’s 401K in order to donate more, she walked away from the church and all of its perks. It was especially interesting to publish the harsh disconnection letter that Bodhi sent Paul simply because he’d “liked” something Leah Remini had posted on Facebook. What a saga!

 

 
1. LAPD probing Scientology and Danny Masterson for multiple rapes, cover-up

Without a doubt, March was our biggest month of the year for significant stories, and it started off with the year’s biggest bombshell: We revealed that Scientologist and That ’70s Show actor Danny Masterson was being investigated by the Los Angeles Police Department on accusations of rape by three different women, who were each Scientologists at the time of their alleged attacks. We referred to them as Victim A, who had written a scathing letter of complaint to LAPD Chief Charlie Beck, Victim B, who was made to do past-life auditing by the church as a bizarre kind of punishment for alleging that Masterson had raped her, and Victim C, who we interviewed, and who told us about the violent attack she went through. Since then, Yashar Ali at the Huffington Post revealed that a fourth victim had also come forward and was part of the investigation. He also reported that the District Attorney’s office had put the case on a “slow roll,” which explains why at the end of the year we were still waiting to see if charges were going to be filed.

 
Best of the Bunker, 2016

 
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20. Scientology’s 20 biggest celebrities in order of those most likely to defect

Sure, you get lists of Scientology celebrities all the time. But we put this one together after Jason Lee bolted from the church because we wanted to know, from our Hollywood Celebrity Centre source, who he thought might be the next to walk. This list kicked up a lot of disagreement, and that’s what it was designed to do.

 
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19. A Scientology spy comes forward — now he’s ready for war with David Miscavige

Skip Young had a small but significant place in Scientology history as a San Diego cop who provided a footnote to the Snow White Program. But we found out that today he’s been abandoned by his two daughters, who have “disconnected” from him in the Scientology way. From Scientology spy operative to grieving dad. His was one of the most unexpected stories we covered this year.

 
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18. How Liz Gale came to disconnect from her own mother, Scientology style

Mark Ebner had done an amazing job telling the story of Philip Gale, a young genius who had grown up in Scientology and then had thrown himself off a building on the MIT campus on L. Ron Hubbard’s birthday in 1998. But Philip’s younger sister, Liz Gale, had a journey out of Scientology that deserved a telling of its own.

 
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17. VIDEO: David Miscavige’s entire speech at Scientology’s Atlanta ‘Ideal Org’ opening

What a coup this was. If you know how hard it’s been just to get a decent photo of David Miscavige at his appearances opening new Scientology buildings, you know that our correspondents had finally squared the circle with this one. From a perch across the street, they managed to video the Scientology leader’s entire speech at the Atlanta ceremony in April. Sure, there’s traffic noise, but the quality of this video is really pretty good considering how difficult it was even to obtain it.

 
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16. What you didn’t see on ‘I Am Cait’: Kate Bornstein and Caitlyn Jenner at Scientology HQ

Kate Bornstein and Caitlyn Jenner, walking into the Los Angeles Org and asking to see Kate’s long-lost Sea Org daughter? And cameras weren’t rolling? We’re just fortunate that Kate told us all about it. What a scene.

 
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15. Appeals court strikes Scientology’s $1 million judgment against Ken Dandar

This may have been the biggest surprise of the year. Scientology appeared to have attorney Ken Dandar dead to rights after winning a ruinous $1 million judgment against him. How he got there was incredibly complex, but a retired judge seemed determine to make Dandar pay for suing Scientology. Ken was appealing, but they looked like long shots. How wrong we were.

 
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14. What’s the worst that can happen when you sue Scientology? Here’s one frightening example.

Karla Taylor believed that Scientology had misused the trademarks of her company, the National Association of Forensic Counselors, in order to hide the problems of its drug rehab network, Narconon. But after filing her lawsuit against 82 defendants, alleging a widespread conspiracy run by David Miscavige, she then found herself in the crosshairs. Eventually, a magistrate judge ordered Karla to turn over her private laptop to attorneys representing Narconon, which our legal observers told us was beyond the pale. What is it about Scientology and the courts?

 
Gene_Ingram4

 
13. For Scientology’s most infamous dirty trickster, retirement has a happy ending

If you study the dirty tricks played by Scientology on its perceived enemies, one name comes up as much as anyone’s: Eugene Ingram, disgraced former Los Angeles cop and chief private eye for Scientology in the 1980s and 1990s. What a treat it was, with the help of our researchers, to find Gene today, “el Jefe” of his own Mexican cantina.

 
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12. THE BILLBOARD IS UP: Scientology’s disconnection policy on view in Los Angeles

What a day this was in the Bunker, whose readers had helped raise the lion’s share of the money Phil and Willie Jones used to post their own billboard in Los Angeles bringing attention to Scientology’s policy of “Disconnection.” After, that is, two previous billboard companies had turned them down in the face of Scientology intimidation.

 
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11. Is Scientology using Tommy Davis to get Aussie billionaire James Packer back in the fold?

Former Scientology spokesman Tommy Davis continues to be a favorite around here at the Bunker, and so we like to keep tabs on him. And did that pay off this year. Tommy has a cool new job in Hollywood, but our experts tell us he’s still likely to be trying to get James Packer back into the Scientology fold. We’re still looking for evidence of that.

 
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10. Scientology’s Space Man: The newest defector from church management opens up

Paul Burkhart was another key defection from Scientology’s upper ranks. He was in a unique position to watch what was happening at both Int Base and then at the Hollywood Guaranty Building in Los Angeles. And having left in August 2013, his information was years fresher than anything else we’d seen. And most shocking? His estimate, based on access he had to enrollment documents, that Scientology’s active membership worldwide has now fallen under 20,000.

 
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9. Some churches take care of the old — Scientology instead works them to death

The story of Claire Reppen was not an easy one to read. In her late 60s and suffering the effects of advanced cancer, she was still a Sea Org member and was expected to work like one. Her son provided for us a handwritten letter Claire wrote, asking for relief from her work, and her supervisors own complaint about her tendency to slack off. The details are gruesome, and point to a larger problem: Scientology has no idea what to do with the many older members it has now, except work them to death.

 
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8. Disconnection, neglect, and suicide: Scientology, it’s even worse than you think

More than a disconnection story, this is a saga about a Scientology family that is so disturbing, we can’t look at that photo, above, without feeling astonished that it exists. Share this story with your friends, and tell them that Scientology is always worse than you thought.

 
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7. CLAIM: Frail looking Shelly Miscavige spotted near Scientology compound in California

 
After years of writing about Shelly Miscavige, the wife that Scientology leader David Miscavige made disappear more than a decade ago, we were stunned to learn that there’s a good chance she’s been spotted — and exactly where we’d been telling readers to look for her. We’ve vetted the couple that reported these sightings, and we’re taking their claim seriously. And because of that, we’re more concerned than ever about the state that Shelly is in. Much more on this is coming soon.

 
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6. Lucia Ribisi ditches Scientology and says of famous dad Giovanni, he’s questioned it

We spent months checking our facts before revealing that Lucia Ribisi had talked publicly about ditching Scientology on a Los Angeles radio show, but under an assumed name. Her defection puts enormous pressure on her famous dad, Giovanni, who, she claims, has had his own doubts about the church. This is huge: The Ribisi clan is one of the most prominent in the church, and Giovanni’s divorced parents are among the most dedicated Scientologists still left in the organization.

 
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5. Tom Cruise penthouse in Scientology’s spiritual mecca? We have the plans

It’s so fun to beat the celebrity-obsessed bigs to a story like this. Tom Cruise is having a $3 million, double-level penthouse with a private, 9-car garage with car elevator built out in a former bank building smack in the middle of Scientology’s “Flag Land Base” in Clearwater, Florida. Mom lives nearby, and son Connor is also in town, so maybe it makes sense to Tom to have a place in Clearwater. But the location at the center of Scientology’s “spiritual mecca” also says a lot, doesn’t it?

 
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4. The fight over the secrets on a Scientology spy’s seized laptop that no one is talking about

Years of detailed information that spells out Scientology’s elaborate and possibly illegal spying operations is sitting in the evidence room of a Wisconsin town, and someone has gone to extraordinary lengths to get their hands on it. Can journalists get there first? We obtained a couple of court documents that spelled out this extraordinary situation, but then we made a call out to our fellow journalists — someone needs to get their hands on that crucial information before David Miscavige does.

 
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3. Scientology’s secret sites: The Bunker premieres drone footage never before seen of Int Base

We never knew him. We only know that he showed up out of nowhere and gave us the links to a set of the some of the most vivid footage we’ve ever seen. Our mystery man had flown a drone equipped with a 4K camera over Scientology’s super secret compounds in California and New Mexico, giving us unprecedented looks at them, with knockout clarity. Twin Peaks, where Shelly Miscavige is most likely being held? This footage not only shows you the compound, but we pinpointed the house where Shelly probably lives, and the building where she works. Other flyovers included Int Base where David Miscavige lives, the Creston ranch were L. Ron Hubbard died, the spaceship-looking vault site on the Northern California coast, and the famous Trementina base in New Mexico.

 
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2. How Lisa Marie Presley became Scientology leader David Miscavige’s worst nightmare

This was a two-part series in April that had taken us more than a year to put together, and coincided with the publication of Ron Miscavige’s memoir, Ruthless. Ron’s escape from Int Base and his memoir were part of an ongoing destruction of his family, orchestrated by his son, David, Scientology’s iron-fisted ruler. But what no one knew until we revealed it was that one person who was intimately involved with the Miscavige family saga was Lisa Marie Presley. She became so incensed with how Ron was being treated by his own children, she went to the Flag Land Base in Clearwater in October 2014 to have a showdown with David Miscavige. He sent his sisters in his stead to scream at Lisa Marie in what has to be the single weirdest scene we’ve written about in several years.

 
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1. Spying, intimidation, and ruin: Two lives caught up in Scientology’s notorious ‘Fair Game’

We will probably fail at trying to impart how much this story meant to us. We knew, when Rob Ramsay first brought us his dead brother’s private papers, that we had a unique opportunity. Rob’s brother, Peter, had been a dedicated Scientologist, and he had also been a spy for the church who helped Scientology carry out its ‘Fair Game’ campaigns. And on one person in particular, a guy named Gregg Hagglund whose own history was odd and wonderful. Telling the tale of how the lives of these two men were intertwined because of Scientology’s vicious thirst for revenge was one of the most challenging and fulfilling experiences of our career.

 
 
Best of the Bunker, 2015

 
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1. Felony raps for Scientologists running L.A. rehab scam with corrupt educators

2. AUDIO LEAK: Hear a Scientologist being declared suppressive and facing the loss of her family

3. Jim Carrey’s Scientologist girlfriend on SRD when she killed herself: friends
Cat White’s ‘twin’ | Cat’s Hollywood clique | Scientology spied on Carrey | Cat White’s husband Mark Burton | Cat’s secret wake | The man who found Cat | Cat’s Ireland-Scientology connection

4. The shocking case of Scientology mistreatment of the mentally ill you haven’t heard

5. NY Times reports link between Scientology and hack of two who appeared in ‘Going Clear’

6. Scientology’s day care from Hell: The scandal the church managed to keep hidden, until now

7. Why Steve Fishman — of the notorious Fishman Papers — is today serving 21 years in prison

8. Hear the full police interview of Scientology spies and their stalking Ron Miscavige Sr

9. Ten year gone: Shelly Miscavige, the wife Scientology’s leader wants us to forget

10. The life and death of Scientology ‘Clear’ Lisa McPherson told in real time

11. The Leah Remini files: An exclusive look at the ‘KRs’ that inform her memoir

12. Another Scientology rehab death, and why this one is particularly bad for David Miscavige

13. Our guide to watching Alex Gibney’s HBO documentary ‘Going Clear’: Jason Beghe | Tom DeVocht | Sara Goldberg | Paul Haggis | Mark “Marty” Rathbun | Mike Rinder | Spanky Taylor | Hana Whitfield

14. How Scientology broke up Tom Cruise and Mimi Rogers: The story you haven’t heard

15. The story of Brian Sheen and his disconnected Scientology daughter you haven’t heard

16. Louis Theroux’s ‘My Scientology Movie’: A hilarious take on an unfunny bunch

17. New government release contains a surprise: L. Ron Hubbard flunked out of high school, too

18. John Coale, Greta Van Susteren, and the miracle of Scientology drug technology: A meditation

19. Listen to Jim Jones root for Scientology against Paulette Cooper in a 1978 Jonestown address

20. Reed Slatkin dies of heart attack: Scientologist served time as major Ponzi schemer

 
 
Best of the Bunker, 2014

 
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1. A perplexing tale about Bob Duggan, the richest Scientologist in the world

2. Up the Bridge: We finally reach OT 8, but was its first version really a hoax?

3. Shock dox: Scientology’s book value for just two of its entities is $1.2 billion

4. Scientology’s disconnection policy foiled as Jeremy Powers reunites with his family

5. Rare tape reveals how L. Ron Hubbard really came up with Scientology’s space cooties

6. Monique Rathbun files for sanctions, submits Scientology leader’s foul-mouthed texts

7. Five things to watch for in today’s first Scientology wedding in the UK

8. ‘Bare-Faced Messiah’ back in print: Our interview with author Russell Miller

9. Jillian Schlesinger: How I got into Scientology and how I got out

10. We asked David Miscavige’s tailor for his exact height and here’s what he told us

11. Where is Scientology keeping Barbara Cordova Oliver?

12. Media advisory: Stop saying that Scientology is infested with big movie stars already

13. Denise Brennan, 1952-2014: A truthteller who exposed Scientology’s corporate shell game

14. Verdict: Scientology’s Quebec rehab facility violated human rights of David Love and two others

15. LAWSUIT: Oklahoma officials hid wrongdoing at Scientology drug rehab

16. The rising business star, his mother, and Scientology’s attempt to rip them apart

17. The Scientologist who wouldn’t fly: The rise and fall of insurance mogul Richie Acunto

18. Jamie DeWolf: I’ve found the last memoir of the son of Scientology’s founder

19. Scientology says it’s received $5.7 million from Google in advertising grants

20. L. Ron Hubbard explains to a friend the real reason he wrote ‘Dianetics’

 
 
Best of the Bunker, 2013

 

 
1. How Scientology coerced a child to have an abortion: The Laura DeCrescenzo files

2. Breaking the news that Leah Remini had left Scientology (July 8, 2013) And follow-up with Leah’s sister Nicole

3. Monique Rathbun files suit against Scientology over harassment

4. PZ Myers helps us plunder the riches of L. Ron Hubbard’s book of Scientology evolution!

5. LEAKED: Scripts spell out how Scientology directs the unsuspecting to its rehab network

6. The history of Scientology’s weird vaults — the bizarre ‘Battlefield Earth’ connection!

7. SCIENTOLOGY’S PRIVATE DANCER: A story of seduction, intervention, and betrayal

8. LIVE OVER CLEARWATER: Watching Scientology from an Eye in the Sky

9. Will Smith-backed school that used Scientology materials closes its doors

10. Did the Headleys and their lawsuit torpedo the FBI investigation of Scientology?

11. Leah Remini files missing-person report on Scientology leader’s wife

12. Blogging Dianetics: Vance Woodward helps us parse L. Ron Hubbard’s masterpiece (series)

13. Lawrence Wright’s Going Clear: We don’t think Scientology is going to like this book much

14. Document leak: Scientology sexual histories

15. Jenna Miscavige Hill on her uncle, Scientology’s leader: A bully too afraid to show his face

16. Today you begin your training as a Scientologist

17. Former Scientology enforcer Marty Rathbun examines his past as the church’s ‘warrior’

18. SCIENTOLOGISTS AT WAR, the Channel 4 documentary (and what was left out)

19. In his new book, is Neil Gaiman exorcising his Scientology past?

20. Mary Sue Hubbard’s last will fulfilled: Her dog bereft of life, it’s time to sell her house!

 
 
Best of the Bunker, 2012

 
MartyMeetsPaul

 
1. Scientology’s master spies

2. ‘Tom Cruise worships David Miscavige like a god’: A Scientology insider, John Brousseau, gives first full-length interview to the Voice (Part 1, Part 2)

3. Scientology abandoned by L. Ron Hubbard’s granddaughter and David Miscavige’s father

4. Scientology’s secret vaults: A rare interview With a former member of hush-hush ‘CST’

5. SCIENTOLOGY CRUMBLING: An entire church mission defects as David Miscavige faces leadership crisis

6. How Scientology spied on Tom Cruise

7. Scientology: Secrets of the Super Power Building (Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4)

8. Scientology’s homophobia: Even the church’s token gay guy was disgusted

9. Scientology’s Writers of the Future Contest: Troubling ties to abuse in the church

10. Kate Bornstein’s amazing voyage

11. Scientology, deep in the heart of Texas: The Voice at the Debbie Cook hearing

12. Death of a Scientologist: Why Annie Broeker, Famous in the Church, Had to Die in Secret

13. Scientology and the occult: Hugh Urban’s new exploration of L. Ron Hubbard and Aleister Crowley

14. VIDEO: Proof that L. Ron Hubbard was the most awesome human being ever

15. Scientology, ‘disconnection,’ and homophobia: Derek Bloch’s story

16. Why do Scientologists accept the Xenu story?

17. Scientology’s concentration camp for its executives: The prisoners, past and present

18. The Strange Death of Flo Barnett, Mother-in-Law to Scientology Leader David Miscavige

19. Scientology in turmoil: Debbie Cook’s email, annotated

20. Scientology Spokeswoman Who Disconnected From Her Father Criticizes Scientology Victim Who Didn’t

 
 
A Sample of earlier stories, 1995 – 2011

 
2011

 
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[Link] Scientology’s Cruise Ship as Prison: The Voice Interviews Valeska Paris

[Link] THE TOP 25 PEOPLE CRIPPLING SCIENTOLOGY
1. L. Ron Hubbard | 2. David Miscavige | 3. Marty Rathbun | 4. Tom Cruise | 5. Joe Childs and Tom Tobin | 6. Anonymous | 7. Mark Bunker | 8. Mike Rinder | 9. Jason Beghe | 10. Lisa McPherson | 11. Nick Xenophon | 12. Tommy Davis | 13. Janet Reitman | 14. Tory Christman | 15. Andreas Heldal-Lund | 16. Marc and Claire Headley | 17. Jefferson Hawkins | 18. Amy Scobee | 19. The Squirrel Busters | 20. Trey Parker and Matt Stone | 21. Kendrick Moxon | 22. Jamie DeWolf | 23. Ken Dandar | 24. Dave Touretzky | 25. Xenu

[Link] Scientology in The New Yorker: Lawrence Wright Buries L. Ron Hubbard For Good

[Link] Tommy Davis, Scientology Spokesman, Secretly Recorded Discussing ‘Disconnection’

[Link] Scientology’s Enemies List: Are You On It?
http://blogs.villagevoice.com/runninscared/2011/06/scientologys_en.php

[Link] Inside Scientology’s Labor Camp That Benefits Tom Cruise: The Photos

[Link] Daniel Montalvo Hits Scientology With Stunning Child Labor Lawsuits

[Link] ‘Inside Scientology’ Promises a Lot, And Delivers: David Miscavige Has Much to Worry About

[Link 1, Link 2, Link 3] Scientology Targeted South Park’s Parker and Stone in Investigation

[Link] Melissa Paris, Valeska’s Sister, And Her Own Ordeal in Scientology’s Cadet and Sea Orgs: Forced to Marry at 16

[Link] Scientology in Israel: Arson, Attempted Murder, Foreclosure, General Paranoia — And a Visit by the Voice!

[Link 1, Link 2] Scientology Hates Clean Ice: The “Fair Game” Operation That Should Turn Your Stomach

[Link] Scientology Never Forgets: A Telemarketing Holiday Miracle

[Link] Scientologists: How Many Of Them Are There, Anyway?

[Link] When Scientologists Attack! (First coverage of the Squirrel Busters in Texas)

[Link 1, Link 2] More Scientology Hip Hop, Yo: The Curious Career of Chill EB

[Link] Milton Katselas Pleads With Scientology After Grant Cardone’s Attack: A Church Jihad?

[Link] Scientology Cruise Ship as Hellhole: The Ramana Dienes-Browning Story

[Link] Scientology and the Nation of Islam: A Heartwarming Independence Weekend Parable

 
2010

 
CounterfeitDreamsCover

 
[Link] Another Ex-Scientologist Publishes Damning Tell-All (‘Counterfeit Dreams’ by Jefferson Hawkins)

[Link] Scientology “Dark Ops” Program Exposed, Says Former Top Official

[Link] Daniel Montalvo, 19, Leaves Scientology, Which Convinces LA Sheriff to Jail Him For It

[Link] Aaron Saxton, Scientology Enforcer, Stops By For a Chat

 
2009

 
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[Link] ‘Crash’ Director Paul Haggis Ditches Scientology

[Link] Tom Cruise Told Me to Talk to a Bottle’: Life at Scientology’s Secret Headquarters (Marc Headley’s book ‘Blown for Good’)

[Link] Scientology’s Leader a Sadistic Slapper, Say Top-Level Defectors: St. Pete Times

[Link] Scientology Gets Its Ass Kicked In the Desert

 
2008

 
lawrence_wollersheim

 
[Link] Scientology’s Crushing Defeat (The Larry Wollersheim story)

[Link] Scientology’s First Celebrity Defector Reveals Church Secrets

[Link] Jason Beghe Turned Away at NY Scientology Building

[Link] What to Get L. Ron Hubbard for his Birthday

[Link] Nightline Swings at Scientology, Misses

[Link] Isaac Hayes Was No Expert Scientologist

 
2001

 
Tory_Christman

 
[Link] Sympathy for the Devil (The Tory Christman story, written for New Times Los Angeles)

 
2000

 
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[Link] John Travolta won’t talk to The Finger (Written as “The Finger” for New Times Los Angeles)

 
1999

 
graham_berry

 
[Link] Double Crossed (The Graham Berry story)

[Link] Picket Fencing (The Jeff Jacobsen story)

 
1995

 
RickRossCover

 
[Link] Hush, Hush, Sweet Charlatans (The Rick Ross story)

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