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Danny Masterson asks for more time to answer lawsuit — while he’s skiing in Park City

We told you earlier that Scientologist actor Danny Masterson was served notice of a lawsuit when it was handed to his wife, actress Bijou Phillips, at their Santa Ynez, California home on November 19.

A new court document filed by Masterson’s attorney, Andrew Brettler, indicates that on December 2 Brettler acknowledged receiving notice of the lawsuit with the attorneys for the plaintiffs, four women who allege that they were raped by Masterson in incidents between 2001 and 2004, and then more recently were harassed by the Church of Scientology and its leader David Miscavige when they came forward with their allegations to the Los Angeles Police Department. (Also suing is rocker Cedric Bixler-Zavala, who is married to one of the women, Chrissie Carnell Bixler, alleging that he too was harmed by the harassment since Chrissie came forward.)

We already know that the Scientology entities named in the suit have refused to acknowledge service, calling the attempts to serve them “fraudulent” and asking for sanctions. They have also put the plaintiffs on notice that they intend to file motions trying to force some of them into “religious arbitration” based on contracts they signed while they were church members.

Masterson, however, hasn’t indicated how he’s going to respond to the lawsuit. And now his attorney has filed for an automatic 30-day extension, putting off the due date for his response to February 3.


The timing is a little curious, however. About the same time his attorney was telling the court that Masterson needed more time to answer the lawsuit, the actor himself had posted a photo at his Instagram account showing him skiing in Park City, Utah, where he has a house.

“There’s no place like home,” he captioned it.

We’re sure he’s making good use of the time and is jotting down notes for his court response between ski runs at the chalet.


Continuing our year in review: The stories of August 2019

August started with a strange story out of Texas, where Lori Hodgson’s disconnected daughter Jessica was suing her homeowners association after building a large red schoolhouse in her backyard, apparently against property rules and without seeking permission. Scientologists, always so dismissive of like, laws and stuff.

Chris Owen had another detailed deep dive, this time into Scientology’s unsuccessful attempt to take over the UK’s National Association of Mental Health.

Copenhagen once again provided another wonderful video proving that Scientology is the coolest religion on earth.

We reviewed the cases of a couple of Scientologists who have been sentenced to prison, one for shooting at police. Yikes.

On August 9 we revealed something pretty special, a secretly-recorded tape of Tom Cruise in 2006 talking on a conference call to his new employees at a movie studio he’d purchased. It was at a crucial time, too, after he’d hurt his career by flying his Scientology flag in 2005.

Rod Keller kept us up on how Scientology has been trying to make inroads with the Trump administration.

We heard from a woman trying to deal with her brother’s dedication to Scientology, and how it was affecting his parenting.

Victoria Locke gave us some incredible details of her story of being sexually abused at 12 years old in Scientology, and the church forcing her to apologize to her abuser.


On August 14, the bombshell we’d been waiting for: News that a lawsuit had been filed by four women against Scientologist actor Danny Masterson, and against the Church of Scientology for harassing them, they say, after they came forward with allegations that Masterson had raped them. Go through the lawsuit yourself for all the details.

The next day, Leah Remini broke the news that she would end her A&E series Scientology and the Aftermath with a two-hour special, and that it would feature the allegations against Masterson.

Even when Scientology is posting happy photos for public relations, it can reveal details about the way it uses employees like indentured servants, and in this case gave a disconnected father an update about his son.

Professional ham hock Grant Cardone pulled in a big crowd at the Hollywood Celebrity Centre, and it made us wonder why Scientology didn’t think of this before.

Nick Lister reappeared, and we found out that he managed to procure his folders from Scientology, which could be a goldmine for attorneys suing the church.

Leah and Mike’s final ‘Aftermath’ episode was an emotional rollercoaster with reports from former Scientologists like Serge Gil and Chrissie Carnell Bixler talking about the abuse they endured while they were in the church. We asked readers for their thoughts on which stories impacted them the most.

A LOOK BACK AT AUGUST 2018: David Miscavige’s “transparency medal” blew up into a major press story in Colombia as senators there call for an investigation. R.M. Seibert delivered again with a government document showing the US was fully aware of Scientology’s essential scam 50 years ago. Scientology scrambled to throw money at Efrem Logreira after realizing how much trouble it was in. The mid-year Maiden Voyage whales surfaced. Sea Org was now expected to salute donors. Scientology had to remove a kiosk from an LAPD station.

A LOOK BACK AT AUGUST 2017: Carol Nyburg told us about her part in an unaired TV series. Leah’s second season started off with a bombshell about child molestation. Michael Peña’s wife Brie Shaffer backed her former employer, Danny Masterson. Pastor Willy Rice got the Scientology smear treatment. We made the full 2009-2010 FBI file about Scientology trafficking public (and on the same day we took in the solar eclipse with Jefferson Hawkins). We attended a San Antonio court hearing about Marty Rathbun.

A LOOK BACK AT AUGUST 2016: Scientology didn’t make us feel very welcome at its Harlem grand opening. Life in retirement looks pretty good for Scientology’s notorious dirty trickster, Eugene Ingram. In the presidential campaign, a lot of comparisons between Donald Trump and L. Ron Hubbard were being made, but we pointed out that it was the Clinton White House that had serious Scientology baggage.

A LOOK BACK AT AUGUST 2015: Steve Fishman, of the famous Fishman Papers, is doing serious time for a bizarre crime. Tom Cruise gave a speech in Spanish, and turned up at a Scientology org in Colombia. And Paulette Cooper had an amazing encounter in Europe.

A LOOK BACK AT AUGUST 2014: We remembered Denise Brennan on the occasion of her passing. Mary Sue Hubbard’s house finally went up for sale, as we had predicted. And Kim Poff and Michael DeLong filed lawsuits over the troubling behavior of Oklahoma state officials who were too afraid to take on Scientology.

A LOOK BACK AT AUGUST 2013: Leah Remini filed a missing-person report on Shelly Miscavige, PZ Myers read A History of Man with us, Gerry Armstrong helped us tell his tale, and Monique Rathbun filed her harassment lawsuit.


Five of our favorites from the most-upvoted comments of August 2019

August 9: Mat Pesch
I wonder if Tom Cruise will ever realize how even his most intimate and important relationships were controlled, manipulated and destroyed by David Miscavige. Hubbard and Miscavige have one thing in common, their ability to manipulate others for their own benefit and head trip. Miscavige understands Tom’s buttons and uses them. Miscavige has no respect for Tom as evidenced by Miscavige reading out loud, to others, the write ups from Tom’s counseling so as to laugh at and mock him. You can make a long list of the “friends” that Miscavige had over the years and you will find that he did everything possible to COMPLETELY destroy each of them.

August 13: Graham
Thinking of all the high profile female Scientologists and apologists for Scientology; Jenna Elfman, the Yingling woman, Mrs Cardone, Joy Villa, Kirstie Alley, Nancy Cartwright, Greta Van Susteren, Erika Christensen, Elisabeth Moss, Laura Prepon, Juliette Lewis, Marisol Nichols, Trish Duggan, Anne Archer, Kelly Preston et al. I wonder how many of them, if raped, would be content to ask forgiveness of their rapist, hand them a copy of the Way to Happiness and consider the matter closed? What do these fine women think of today’s story I wonder?

August 14: Kyle Odom
The D.A. should be ashamed when women have to pursue a civil case after waiting YEARS to have a rape case brought to trial.

August 15: Ever met an SP?
I reckon this is a good way [for Aftermath] to go out. A&E may have felt that the programme in its current form had run its course, in which case naturally it would want to conclude it and move on with other projects, but finishing off with a two-hour special is a great way not only to give it what we can hope will be a satisfying conclusion but also make it obvious that the end of the show had nothing to do with the CoS and its pathetic sabre-rattling and protests.

August 19: Mark Foster
Dear Charley Updegrove, I am sorry for the utterly stupid, banal evil that has sunk its fangs into your son, and for his inablity to see his church for what it is: an international slaver corporation. Wishing you peace…and wishing for your son’s exit from the cult and reconnection with you. Also grateful for the Underground Bunker station on the scientology underground railroad. And Captain RICO sauve, I continue to wish that you live in increasingly interesting times


Ron the Photographer: Scientology as Hubbard wanted it promoted


Among the things that Scientologists are expected to accept is that founder L. Ron Hubbard was unsurpassed as a genius photographer. But Mike Rinder, over at his blog, had some fun pointing out how goofy Ron’s photo compositions actually were, especially in a series he made that was intended to explain Scientology to the masses. On Saturdays we’re going through them as a public service. How did Hubbard believe the public should see Scientology?



Leaked document of the day

From the FBI documents release comes this item.

A distraught father writes to the FBI about his daughter, who has not only joined Scientology but has already started to give out personal loans to other members.


July 20, 1981

Federal Bureau of Investigation
1100 Wilshire Blvd
Los Angeles, CA 90024


Re: Church of Scientology


Our 20 year old daughter [redacted] has become involved with the above organization over the past 6 to 8 months. Her mother, [redacted] of [redacted] and I are greatly concerned over this matter due to some recent circumstances and the reputation of this group. We are seeking information and for advice that might help us get her away from their clutches. Considering their “track record” in the Clearwater/St. Petersburg and West Palm Beach areas, we are just a little more than super suspicious of their motives.

The [redacted] family is hardly super affluent, but there are enough assets to make us a somewhat nice target, since both names are or were well known in engineering circles and in Who’s Who. We have taken steps to prevent any assets from getting into her hands or theirs for whatever reason, so now the concern is for her, considering the swill they are probably putting into her head.

Several incidents make us suspicious of their motives and methods, a story you might have heard before.

First — [redacted] has already (in April) made two “personal loans” to “church” members for a couple of absolutely ridiculous reasons. These two “loans” total somewhere in the $5,000 area! They were, needless to say, unsecured and there is not even a promisory note. She, naturally, has not been paid back, nor do we think she ever will be. To make the loans she got around the double signature provision with her mother at the bank.

Second — Her mother informs me that the documentation concerning the above transaction has turned up missing. Whether [redacted] entered and took them or whether they made a copy of [redacted] keys and entered is a question. Regardless, they are gone, and either way it shows the mind control they have over her.

Third — Her mother called me Sunday, July 19 at approximately 6:30 PM EDT and we had quite a lengthy discussion about our mutual problems. All during this conversation, we kept hearing “clicks” as one would hear when someone is picking up and replacing a phone receiver. Since her phone is unlisted, we should not be hearing such noises. The call was DD which leaves any operator out of it. The only conclusion we could draw is wire-tap.

Fourth — Immediately after my conversation with [redacted] mother, I called my mother, [redacted] and we also had a lengthy discussion. All during the conversation we both kept hearing periodic evenly spaced “bleeps” as if from a recording device. I have heard them before, but paid no attention until Mother confirmed what I was hearing. Again, I believe it is “tapped.”

Fifth — I then called [redacted] great-grandmother and had another lengthy discussion. No “clicks,” no “bleeps,” so I am sure it was not my phone. Perhaps they consider me unimportant since I am a taxi owner-driver.

Sixth — I called [redacted] back and the “clicks” were still there.

We are not inclined to be overly suspicious, but we have never had to deal with an organization such as this, and too many suspicious circumstances have occurred to let it pass.

One other incident — Sunday, July 12 [redacted] went to bed (she arises at 4 am) at 9 pm. At 9:30 she got a call from [redacted] asking to visit. After explaining to [redacted] that she was in bed, and [redacted] knew it, [redacted] said, “Oh, that means you don’t want to see me any more!” After a short discussion [redacted] repeated the statement. [Redacted] felt [redacted] was put up to it, another example of mind control over a child!

We rest our case is to date. If you do have an investigation going concerning these leeches, we will be most happy to cooperate in any way we can.

Meanwhile, do you have any information or advice which will help us with our immediate problem, that of getting her out? Anything your bureau can do will be greatly appreciated.

Thanking you,


Source Code

“The term thetan, of course, is one which is derived as a mathematical symbol, derived from that symbol, and is an effort to have a precise word, which will describe a precise thing: The unit of beingness, which is the individual. Theta is a Greek letter and you know mathematicians they can’t talk English, so they use Greek symbols and mathematicians long since have picked on theta as a symbol, which they commonly use and the Greeks used it to symbolize thought. And so we have theta, thought, mathematical symbol and then we just put ‘thetan’ on it, and we have something which could describe at once, but doesn’t describe really: the human soul, a ghost, a spirit, a saint, a god, an individual, a being. It’s one of these nice big ‘group’ words. Why? Because it is the word which describes the energy-space production unit which is the individual himself.” — L. Ron Hubbard, December 28, 1953


Overheard in the FreeZone

“You don’t need OT power to get sex, the body has more X-rated stuff in it than 50 universes put together over trillions of years of accumulation. Once the Black V starts to clear up, your dreams will be so XXX-rated it will make you blink.”


Random Howdy

“I’m guessing Dan Sherman has a ‘Word of the Day’ thing he sends out on the telex doohickey.”


Scientology’s celebrities, ‘Ideal Orgs,’ and more!

[Erika Christensen, Ethan Suplee, and Juliette Lewis]

We’ve been building landing pages about David Miscavige’s favorite playthings, including celebrities and ‘Ideal Orgs,’ and we’re hoping you’ll join in and help us gather as much information as we can about them. Head on over and help us with links and photos and comments.

Scientology’s celebrities, from A to Z! Find your favorite Hubbardite celeb at this index page — or suggest someone to add to the list!

Scientology’s ‘Ideal Orgs,’ from one end of the planet to the other! Help us build up pages about each these worldwide locations!

Scientology’s sneaky front groups, spreading the good news about L. Ron Hubbard while pretending to benefit society!

Scientology Lit: Books reviewed or excerpted in our weekly series. How many have you read?



[ONE year ago] Best Scientology shoops in the Bunker this year, and let’s see your faves too
[TWO years ago] Joy Villa on the prospect of Trump going after Scientology’s tax-exempt status: ‘Nope’
[THREE years ago] After Steve Cannane’s big year writing about Scientology, we hit him up for a look back
[FOUR years ago] Confirmed: Narconon’s entire Northern California network splits with Scientology
[FIVE years ago] Scientology’s 2014 in review: New lawsuits and a house for sale in August!
[SIX years ago] Scientology’s 2013 in review: July fireworks, courtesy of an actress from Brooklyn
[SEVEN years ago] Belgium Prosecuting Scientology as a Criminal Organization
[EIGHT years ago] Scientology Story of the Year — The Vote Is In!


Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley (1952-2019) did not see his daughter Stephanie in his final 5,667 days.
Valerie Haney has not seen her mother Lynne in 1,801 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,305 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 1,825 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 845 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 736 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 4,043 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 1,911 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 2,685 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 3,459 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 2,805 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 11,371 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,290 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 3,458 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 3,039 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,300 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 2,338 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 2,051 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,576 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 1,103 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 5,666 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 2,806 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 3,126 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 7,982 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 3,101 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,456 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 5,759 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 1,865 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,267 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 2,139 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 1,722 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 2,217 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,471 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,580 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on December 28, 2019 at 07:00

E-mail tips to tonyo94 AT gmail DOT com or follow us on Twitter. We also post 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 new book with Paulette Cooper, Battlefield Scientology: Exposing L. Ron Hubbard’s dangerous ‘religion’ is now on sale at Amazon in paperback and Kindle formats. Our book about Paulette, 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, 1995-2018 Just starting out here? We’ve picked out the most important stories we’ve covered here at the Underground Bunker (2012-2018), The Village Voice (2008-2012), New Times Los Angeles (1999-2002) and the Phoenix New Times (1995-1999)

Other links: BLOGGING DIANETICS: Reading Scientology’s founding text cover to cover | 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 | Shelly Miscavige, 14 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 | The mystery of the richest Scientologist and his wayward sons | Scientology’s shocking mistreatment of the mentally ill | The Underground Bunker’s Official Theme Song | The Underground Bunker FAQ

Watch our short videos that explain Scientology’s controversies in three minutes or less…

Check your whale level at our dedicated page for status updates, or join us at the Underground Bunker’s Facebook discussion group for more frivolity.

Our non-Scientology stories: Robert Burnham Jr., the man who inscribed the universe | Notorious alt-right inspiration Kevin MacDonald and his theories about Jewish DNA | The selling of the “Phoenix Lights” | Astronomer Harlow Shapley‘s FBI file | Sex, spies, and local TV news | Battling Babe-Hounds: Ross Jeffries v. R. Don Steele


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