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Danny Masterson fired from minor TV show, still no word from glacial D.A.’s office about rapes

Yashar Ali’s excellent reporting at the Huffington Post bore fruit today when it emerged that Netflix will be writing actor Danny Masterson’s character out of The Ranch, a comedy series he has starred in along with former That ’70s Show co-star Ashton Kutcher.

For several weeks, the HuffPo reporter had been putting pressure on Netflix to explain why, after firing Kevin Spacey from House of Cards so quickly after 30-year-old allegations of inappropriate behavior had surfaced, it had taken no action regarding Masterson, months after it was revealed that the Los Angeles Police Department was investigating Masterson on allegations of violent rape by what turned out to be four different women.

The final tipping point appears to have been Yashar’s revelation that over the weekend, a Netflix executive while at a youth soccer match admitted that the network just didn’t believe Masterson’s accusers, not realizing that he was talking to one of them, a woman we’re referring to as Victim B. (The Netflix executive’s wife then added to the embarrassment by writing a scathing email to Victim B’s husband from her official Disney company account. Whoops.) Yashar’s reporting resulted in a groundswell of support on social media, putting intense pressure on Netflix to do something.

“This didn’t happen just because I asked a question on a soccer field. Did you see what these women have done, speaking up on Twitter? Debra Messing, Rosie O’Donnell, Asia Argento, Kathy Griffin and so many others — they don’t even know who I am, but they believed me,” says Victim B. “And Leah Remini has believed in us from the beginning, which has given us hope.”


So now Netflix says Masterson’s character will be written out of the show, but new shows that have already been taped that feature him will be released, and Netflix didn’t mention Masterson’s status as a producer on the show. Meanwhile, Masterson himself put out a defiant statement…

I am obviously very disappointed in Netflix’s decision to write my character out of The Ranch. From day one, I have denied the outrageous allegations against me. Law enforcement investigated these claims more than 15 years ago and determined them to be without merit. I have never been charged with a crime, let alone convicted of one. In this country, you are presumed innocent until proven guilty. However, in the current climate, it seems as if you are presumed guilty the moment you are accused. I understand and look forward to clearing my name once and for all.

Well yes, about that, actually. Masterson does have a point — when is the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office going to make a decision on whether or not to press charges? Both Masterson and his accusers deserve to know something one way or the other, and it’s now more than a year since the LAPD began investigating.

“Even though Netflix has done the right thing, what really matters for me and the brave women who were also victimized by Danny is what the district attorney decides to do,” Victim B says.

As for Masterson denying “outrageous allegations,” if you know the history of this case, it isn’t really that simple.

According to a police report, at about 3 am on April 25, 2003, Victim B came to after falling unconscious while at a party at Masterson’s house. As she regained consciousness, she 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.

Three of Masterson’s accusers were, like Masterson, Scientologists at the time of their alleged rapes, and all report that they had been either unconscious or semi-conscious when they were attacked, and Victim C also described to us how violent her rape was.

In a 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. 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.

Victim B was interrogated at the same time that Danny Masterson was also being questioned — both of them by the same “auditor,” a woman named Angie LaClaire.

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.

In other words, the Church of Scientology credited Victim B’s account enough to back her up as she confronted Masterson with what she remembered of that night, even if the church did not have LaClaire report her findings to the LAPD.

Twice during Victim B’s account, Masterson interrupted her 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.

By July 2004, however, 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.

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.

Masterson’s defenders are quick to say that the allegations made by his four accusers are as much as 16 years old. What they are less apt to say is that Victim B went to the police, against the persuasive power of the Church of Scientology, and in a timely fashion.

So, while Danny Masterson’s character on The Ranch may be going away (and it’s “Jameson ‘Rooster’ Bennett,” by the way), it’s time that some decisions are made by Los Angeles prosecutors, one way or the other.


Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley has not seen his daughter Stephanie in 4,955 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 101 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 1,164 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 1,938 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 2,712 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 2,058 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 2,552 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 1,592 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 1,304 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 830 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 4,919 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 2,059 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 2,379 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 2,354 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 710 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 5,012 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 1,118 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 1,521 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 1,394 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 975 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 1,480 days.
Mary Jane Sterne has not seen her daughter Samantha in 1,724 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 12,833 days.


3D-UnbreakablePosted by Tony Ortega on December 6, 2017 at 12:00

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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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