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Mike Silverman: A popular figure in Scientology, an enigmatic figure after leaving

 TODAY AT SUBSTACK: If you’ve signed up for free emails at Substack, you will receive today’s feature story at your inbox: Ron Kasman has written for us about his journey into and out of Scientology, and his life as a comics creator. He was kind enough to send us this remembrance of his cousin, Mike []


Shelley Duvall’s fears about Scientology, and why she called us about it

[A great actress, Shelley Duvall, 1949-2024]

 TODAY AT SUBSTACK: If you’ve signed up for free emails at Substack, you will receive today’s feature story at your inbox: We were saddened to hear about the death of Shelley Duvall, the actress who left such a lasting impression with her performances in films like Nashville and The Shining. []

Mark ‘Warrior’ Plummer, Scientology critic and archivist, 1951-2024

One of the highlights of our 2015 book tour was a stop in Austin, Texas, when we finally got a chance to meet a legend, a former Scientologist who had made a name for himself amassing one of the most comprehensive collections of Scientology archival material []

Mick Wenlock, 1953-2023: A Scientology escapee who helped others recover their dignity

[Mick and Nancy at their wedding, 1978]

Mick Wenlock died last week at the age of 70. His name did not show up here at the Underground Bunker very often, but we had communicated with him years ago and we admired him for starting one of the early online meeting places for former Scientology Sea Org []

He helped launch Scientology’s cruise ship, and later was cast aside by the church

[Bill Straass]

Recently I got word that my good buddy Bill Straass had passed []

Sinéad O’Connor and Scientology: How she dodged a Thetan-tipped bullet

[O’Connor on The Graham Norton Show in February, 2012]

Sinéad O’Connor’s death at the age of 56 has produced an outpouring of tributes to her as a transformative artist and political figure, as well as moving portraits of her struggles with mental illness, something she was more open about than most. (See, for example, this superb []

Losing a friend they knew in Scientology: A tribute to a remarkable woman

In the realm of life, there are individuals who leave an indelible mark on the hearts and minds of those fortunate enough to cross their paths. Willie and I had the fortune to know one of those individuals. It was one of those rare positive things that came out of our stint in []

Jenny Burpee, former Scientology Sea Orger and Cat White friend who helped find her, dead at 39

 In September and October 2015, we found ourselves at the Underground Bunker scrambling to keep up with a major national story that we’d helped to break: Actor Jim Carrey’s girlfriend, Cathriona “Cat” White, had been found dead of an apparent suicide at 30. We were the first to add the detail that Cat, an immigrant []

Remembering Dan Sherman, Scientology’s bad biographer and worse speechwriter

 One thing that’s changed over our years of covering Scientology is that we used to get more videos from big events that featured David Miscavige giving []

REPORT: Scientology loses captain of its Florida ‘spiritual mecca,’ a fundraising marvel

A couple of our best sources reached out to us this week to let us know they’ve heard something interesting that is coming out of Scientology’s “spiritual mecca,” the Flag Land Base in Clearwater, []