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EXCLUSIVE: Scientology interrogated Danny Masterson and accuser, didn’t notify LAPD

[The LAPD gets a check from Greg LaClaire in 2004. Photo: Getty Images]

The Underground Bunker has learned the identity of the Church of Scientology official who interrogated actor Danny Masterson and one of the four women accusing him of rape, shortly after the incident happened on April 25, 2003.

That official is a well known auditor at Scientology’s Hollywood Celebrity Centre by the name of Angie LaClaire.

It is unclear at this point whether the church has made LaClaire available for questioning by the LAPD in the investigation of Masterson which began about a year ago.

But multiple sources familiar with that investigation tell us that although Angie LaClaire interrogated her fellow Scientologists over accusations of a felony rape in 2003, the church didn’t pass on that information to the police.

Meanwhile, each year since 1995, the LAPD has received a large check from the Church of Scientology at an annual holiday party. And since at least 2004, the person handing over that check in a public relations setup for cameras is a Celebrity Centre official named Greg LaClaire.


He is Angie LaClaire’s husband.


[Angie LaClaire]

On March 11, we wrote a detailed story about one of Masterson’s accusers, whom we’re referring to as “Victim B.” She reported her allegations to the LAPD in a timely fashion, on June 6, 2004, despite pressure from the Church of Scientology not to do so. (By policy, Scientologists are under strict orders never to sue another Scientologist or report them to police.)

By July 2004, however, according to a close family friend, the LAPD told Victim B that they had been “bombarded” by an attorney representing Masterson, and the church had sent numerous affidavits by witnesses to contradict Victim B and support Masterson. Unless another victim came forward, Victim B was told, the investigation was being closed.

The Huffington Post’s Yashar Ali recently reported the same thing, based on his law enforcement sources. And he also recently made public a recording of Masterson’s publicist, Jenni Weinman, admitting that she had driven Victim B to the party at Masterson’s house on the night of April 24, 2003.

According to a police report, later that night at about 3 am on April 25, Victim B had fallen unconscious but then came to and found Masterson raping her. “SUSP (acquaintance) sexually assaulted the victim while she was passed out. The victim woke up while the suspect was having sex with her and struggled with him. The suspect choked the victim until she passed out,” the police report says.

In our March 11 story, we reported that Victim B was “handled” by the Church of Scientology by forcing her to go through months of counseling — known as auditing — at the Advanced Org of Los Angeles (AOLA) to search for acts of wrongdoing in her past lives that would explain why she had been victimized in her current life. The family friend told us that Victim B spent tens of thousands of dollars on that counseling.

But then, on December 26, 2003, Victim B was given something called a “non-enturbulation order,” informing her that she was on the verge of being declared a “suppressive person,” Scientology’s version of excommunication. She was then ordered to report to the Hollywood Celebrity Centre for an interrogation known as a “security check.”

Such interrogations occur while the subject is holding on to the sensors of an “E-meter,” a simple device that reacts to tiny fluctuations in electrical current in the skin. Scientologists are conditioned to believe that the device can infallibly read their minds and can tell when they are holding back information (known as “withholds”), and so E-meters are very effective interrogation tools — Scientologists believe they cannot hide anything under such questioning.

We have now learned that it was Angie LaClaire who interrogated Victim B at the Celebrity Centre, and that LaClaire also interrogated Danny Masterson under similar conditions.

What followed those interrogations was a bizarre scene set up by the church, when it insisted on putting Masterson and his accuser in the same room. Victim B was accompanied by three church officials, and then Masterson was brought in and told to listen carefully to her version of events because, he was told, he wasn’t properly “confronting” what he was accused of.

Twice, Masterson interrupted Victim B’s account to make jokes, and the officials reacted angrily, cutting the meeting short.

After that disastrous meeting, Victim B went to the LAPD on June 6, 2004, against the advice of the church.

Angie LaClaire’s name is familiar to us because she’s the daughter of Merrell Vannier, the former Scientology spy whose 2015 book we had serious issues with, and who runs an independent Scientology movement. In his book, Vannier relates that his daughter “disconnected” from him when he left the church in 2012, and he hasn’t heard from her since.

On Friday, the Daily Beast’s Marlow Stern reported that in 1995, the Church of Scientology became a fundraising partner with the LAPD’s Police Activities League, and he featured a photograph from 2013 showing Greg LaClaire handing over a check for $20,000…


[LaClaire in 2013, photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images]

In the photo at the top of the page, you can see Greg LaClaire doing the same thing nine years earlier, in 2004, the year Victim B reported her allegations to the LAPD, which then closed the case after being bombarded by the church and Masterson’s attorney.

After the case was closed, in August 2004 a church attorney brought Victim B a hand-written letter of apology from the actor, and asked her to sign a non-disclosure agreement (NDA) with Masterson so she would never make her allegations public. Under pressure from the church, which again threatened to “declare” her unless she complied, she signed the agreement and was paid in the low six figures, our source told us.

Since then, the LAPD has lost all files from its 2004 investigation, according to reporting by Yashar Ali. Meanwhile, the close relationship between the LAPD and Scientology continues.

A few examples…


[LAPD Captain Arturo Sandoval speaks at the opening of Scientology’s new Hollywood studios, May 28, 2016]

[LAPD Lt. Andre Dawson speaks about human trafficking at Scientology’s LA org, 2014]

[A previous Celebrity Centre director, Karen Hollander, gets “organization of the year” from the LAPD in 1996]

And for good measure, here’s one more of Greg LaClaire giving a $20,000 check to the LAPD’s Police Activities League just last December…


“The Church of Scientology’s fundraising partnership with the LAPD’s Hollywood division through the PAL continues to this day. And one of the Scientology-affiliated celebrities who regularly participates in these PAL fundraising events is Danny Masterson,” Stern wrote.

When we first broke the news of the LAPD investigation in March, we reported that one of the victims had already complained to LAPD Chief Charlie Beck that the investigation seemed hopelessly compromised by the department’s relationship with Scientology, and that the detective assigned to the case, Esther Reyes, had failed to interview key witnesses and had given little guidance about recorded phone calls the department wanted the victims to make. After that complaint, the LAPD replaced Reyes with another detective.

In her complaint, Victim A wrote to the chief that Reyes had admitted that there were “leaks in the LAPD and that some LAPD officers are very friendly with the church of Scientology.”

In April, the LAPD forwarded the case to the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office, but after a year since the accusers first came forward and Victim B’s 2004 case was reopened (and a fourth victim, never a Scientologist, also came forward), the DA has not made a decision about whether to charge Masterson.

Former Scientology officials point out to us that the church is obsessive about keeping records, and that Angie LaClaire’s interrogations of Danny Masterson and his accuser would have been videotaped, and would still be on file at the Hollywood Celebrity Centre.

Our previous coverage of the Danny Masterson investigation:

Mar 3: LAPD probing Scientology and Danny Masterson for multiple rapes, cover-up
Mar 8: Danny Masterson: Victim C gets support from a veteran actress, but will LAPD answer the call?
Mar 11: Source: Scientology made Danny Masterson’s Victim B search past lives to explain being raped
Mar 13: Danny Masterson turns 41 today, and we have a gift from his cast and crew at ‘The Ranch’
May 9: Danny Masterson hires Michael Jackson criminal defense attorney Tom Mesereau in rape probe
Aug 17: Celebrity battle lines: Michael Peña’s wife asks Scientologists to ‘Stand with Daniel Masterson’
Nov 1: Hey, Netflix, why does Scientology actor Danny Masterson still have a job?
Nov 2: Read the threatening letter Danny Masterson’s attorney Marty Singer sent a victim’s husband
Nov. 3: EXCLUSIVE: DA’s office asked Leah Remini not to air episode about Danny Masterson


Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley has not seen his daughter Stephanie in 4,945 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 91 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 1,154 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 1,928 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 2,702 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 2,048 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 2,542 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 1,582 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 1,294 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 820 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 4,909 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 2,049 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 2,369 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 2,344 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 700 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 5,002 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 1,108 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 1,511 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 1,384 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 965 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 1,470 days.
Mary Jane Sterne has not seen her daughter Samantha in 1,714 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 12,823 days.


3D-UnbreakablePosted by Tony Ortega on November 26, 2017 at 07:00

E-mail tips and story ideas to tonyo94 AT gmail DOT com or follow us on Twitter. We post behind-the-scenes 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 book, 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, 1995-2016 Just starting out here? We’ve picked out the most important stories we’ve covered here at the Undergound Bunker (2012-2016), The Village Voice (2008-2012), New Times Los Angeles (1999-2002) and the Phoenix New Times (1995-1999)

Learn about Scientology with our numerous series with experts…

BLOGGING DIANETICS: We read Scientology’s founding text cover to cover with the help of L.A. attorney and former church member Vance Woodward
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

Other links: Shelly Miscavige, ten 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 | Scientology’s Private Dancer | The mystery of the richest Scientologist and his wayward sons | Scientology’s shocking mistreatment of the mentally ill | Scientology boasts about assistance from Google | The Underground Bunker’s Official Theme Song | The Underground Bunker FAQ

Our Guide to Alex Gibney’s film ‘Going Clear,’ and our pages about its principal figures…
Jason Beghe | Tom DeVocht | Sara Goldberg | Paul Haggis | Mark “Marty” Rathbun | Mike Rinder | Spanky Taylor | Hana Whitfield


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