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Danny Masterson finds himself in a changed era, but his victims came forward before #MeToo

[Chrissie Carnell Bixler at the 2019 Denim Day rally in Los Angeles]

We wanted to make a simple point today before it gets lost in what appears to be an avalanche of news stories about Danny Masterson that are yet to come.

We gave an interview to Variety magazine the other day that credited us with breaking the news in March 2017 that Masterson was the target of an LAPD investigation. We were happy to provide some thoughts about what this might mean for the Church of Scientology, which is very much intertwined with the three cases of rape that the That ’70s Show actor has been charged with.

That interview was recorded and accurately reflected what we said, but some portions were cut for length, and we didn’t have a problem with that. But it looks like one thing we discussed was elided and ended up giving the wrong impression. We also noticed that in a New York Times interview with attorney Marci Hamilton, a similar point was raised, putting the Masterson victims in the context of the Me Too era.

Let us be very clear: Danny Masterson will go to court in a very changed environment in part thanks to the Me Too Movement that has produced a new era of justice for sexual assault victims. However, it’s important we think to note that Chrissie Carnell Bixler and the other two victims whose cases are being charged came forward in the fall of 2016, about a year before the #MeToo hashtag took off virally.

In 2016, it was another Twitter moment that helped bring about this remarkable journey to justice. That October, the hashtag #WhyWomenDontReport began trending, and Chrissie was inspired by it. She dared to say something about Masterson on Twitter, and it resulted in Masterson’s entertainment attorney, Marty Singer, sending a threatening letter to her husband, rocker Cedric Bixler-Zavala, on November 10, 2016.

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In fact, Chrissie and the other two women, whom we refer to as Victim B and Victim C (Jane Doe #1 and Jane Doe #2 in the civil lawsuit, respectively), have had to fight through a lot of adversity to get to this point. Not only intimidation attempts by the Church of Scientology and Danny Masterson’s attorneys, but also bungling from the LAPD itself.

When we first wrote about the Masterson investigation in 2017, it was partly because it was going so badly. If you recall, we quoted extensively from a letter that Chrissie had written to then LAPD Chief Charlie Beck about how inappropriately his detective, Esther Reyes, was handling the investigation, and that key witnesses were not being interviewed.

“Reyes totally out of the blue told me that at any time I can walk away from the case. She told me she would not be mad at me. No one would be mad at me. She would totally understand. It felt like she wanted me to walk away.”

After telling her it would be OK to walk away, now Det. Reyes told her that she had “ruined” the case with her recorded phone call to Masterson’s publicist.

“Last night’s phone call with her devastated me. I cannot believe an SVU detective would speak so unprofessionally and so cruelly to a sexual assault survivor. To coldly blame the victim for ruining the case. Knowing that would be a trigger for me as the church of Scientology blamed me for getting raped.”

Chrissie finished her letter with a plea for Beck to take the case more seriously.

“You have a serial rapist on your hands with god knows how many victims and how many future victims, and the church of Scientology has known about it, threatened us, silenced us, and covered it all up. I am begging the LAPD for a fair and honest investigation. I am begging you all to do the right thing. I am begging for your help.”

The LAPD then replaced Reyes with Det. Javier Vargas, who by all accounts has done a superb job working on the investigation. But then the victims had to contend with District Attorney Jackie Lacey taking more than three years to make up her mind about whether to file charges against Masterson. And throughout that period, the women contend in their civil lawsuit, they were being harassed by the Church of Scientology.

We don’t know how that lawsuit will turn out, and we don’t know what will happen in Danny Masterson’s criminal trial.

But we do know one thing: Danny Masterson would not be facing 45 years to life in prison today if these women had not fought through so much adversity to get to this day.

 
SOME OF OUR PAST REPORTING ON THE MASTERSON CASE

March 3, 2017: LAPD probing Scientology and Danny Masterson for multiple rapes, cover-up
March 8, 2017: Danny Masterson: Victim C gets support from a veteran actress

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March 11, 2017: Scientology made Danny Masterson’s Victim B search past lives to explain being raped
May 9, 2017: Masterson hires Michael Jackson criminal defense attorney Tom Mesereau in rape probe
Nov 2, 2017: Read the threatening letter Danny Masterson’s attorney Marty Singer sent a victim’s husband
Nov 26, 2017: EXCLUSIVE: Scientology interrogated Danny Masterson and accuser, didn’t notify LAPD
Feb 14, 2018: PROSECUTORS PREPARE CHARGES CARRYING LIFE SENTENCE FOR DANNY MASTERSON
Apr 27, 2018: Strange days for a woman accusing Danny Masterson of rape — and for her rocker husband
July 8, 2018: Masterson witness fears for safety as investigation drags on and on
Nov 30, 2018: LEAH REMINI: Los Angeles DA Jackie Lacey, do your job already
Aug 14, 2019: RAPE ACCUSERS SUE DANNY MASTERSON, CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY, AND ITS LEADER
Jan 22, 2020: Cedric Bixler-Zavala blames Scientology for poisoned dog he had to put down yesterday
Feb 3, 2020: Here’s Scientology actor Danny Masterson’s legal response to his rape accusers
Feb 10, 2020: Another dog poisoned: Bobette Riales says harassment worse since suing Scientology
Feb 26, 2020: SEVENTH victim comes forward to LAPD accusing Scientology actor Danny Masterson
Feb 29, 2020: Amended complaint filed against Danny Masterson with new stalking allegations
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March 14, 2020: Danny Masterson’s victims speak out in sworn documents in lawsuit against Scientology
May 4, 2020: Masterson: Drop me from Scientology lawsuit if the ‘Jane Does’ won’t name themselves
June 17, 2020: SCIENTOLOGY CELEB DANNY MASTERSON CHARGED ON MULTIPLE RAPE ALLEGATIONS
June 18, 2020: How will Scientology react to Danny Masterson being charged with rape?
June 19, 2020: Records show Danny Masterson is a woeful Scientologist — would he turn on the church?
June 23, 2020: The key thing about Danny Masterson’s ‘DJ Donkey Punch’ nick is why he stopped using it
June 24, 2020: Danny Masterson’s Scientology upbringing: An interview with his former stepdad, Joe Reaiche

 
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Source Code

“How would you like to go into the archives of some space opera society, all of which is delivered to your hand. And these, by the way, are quite interesting as archives. Operated one about 612 million years ago, something like that, which was quite interesting. Card-file systems were all stored in a basement. And I think the basement of that computer room was about the size of Chicago. And the machines which read that occupied an area — just the machines which read it — that’s, you know, the final results appeared on and so forth, looked like seven or eight Grand Central Stations. You know, just the banks of machines. And the reanalysis machines on that were all composed in a little hut that was about a thousand feet long by about four hundred feet wide. And everything was all done on automatic card shuttles, and pneumatic tubes and comparisons. And these IBM machines down here look something like a child’s hurdy-gurdy or something, compared to one of these other machines. These machines could get the finest, tiniest difference between a umph and a umph. And then they could get all things that had the tiniest association with umph and umph. You talk about your smallest and your largest magnitude of comparison — tremendous, see.” — L. Ron Hubbard, June 25, 1963

 
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Overheard in the FreeZone

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I think Auditors are very valuable and courageous, so no one has a right to fight any Auditor at this point. I also think that the world is in a dire spot. AI is moving in at incredible pace and together with it Automaticity. Supposedly we are fighting Automaticity with Analyticalness. This is what Philosophy does. Wisdom finds ways to handle situations in safe and swift ways. We have moved out from a Church which has lost its grip on that Wisdom. We are all courageous enough to do that. We should grant that beingness to each other and especially to the Auditors. The problem of the Freezone is a problem of Management.”

 
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Random Howdy

“I understand where you’re coming from, but the bottom line is that Scientology is a con, and conning people is illegal regardless of whether the victims are dupes and suckers.”

 
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Full Court Press: What we’re watching at the Underground Bunker

Criminal prosecutions:
Danny Masterson charged for raping three women: Arraignment scheduled for September 18.
Jay Spina, Medicare fraud: Sentencing is set for July 6 in White Plains, NY
Hanan and Rizza Islam and other family members, Medi-Cal fraud: Trial set for October 7 in Los Angeles

Civil litigation:
Luis and Rocio Garcia v. Scientology: Oral arguments set for July 30 at the Eleventh Circuit
Valerie Haney v. Scientology: Forced to ‘religious arbitration.’ Hearing on motion for reconsideration set for August 11
Chrissie Bixler et al. v. Scientology and Danny Masterson: July 8 (plaintiff attorneys pro hac vice), August 31-Sept 1 (CSI/RTC demurrer against Riales, Masterson demurrer), Oct 7-19 (motions to compel arbitration)
Jane Doe v. Scientology (in Miami): Jane Doe dismissed the lawsuit on May 15 after the Clearwater Police dropped their criminal investigation of her allegations.
Matt and Kathy Feschbach bankruptcy appeal: Oral arguments were heard on March 11 in Jacksonville
Brian Statler Sr v. City of Inglewood: Amended complaint filed.

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

[Jenna Elfman, Giovanni Ribisi, and Greta Van Susteren]

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?

 
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THE WHOLE TRACK

[ONE year ago] Scientology is desperate to get its clutches on your children. Here’s proof.
[TWO years ago] Did a little sunlight send Scientologists scattering for cover? An international update.
[THREE years ago] Claire Headley on growing up in Scientology, and other HowdyCon highlights
[FOUR years ago] Megan Shields, the physician Scientology used to vouch for its drug rehabs, dies of cancer
[FIVE years ago] MIKE RINDER AND REPORTER: MAN CONVICTED OF HACKING WAS WORKING FOR SCIENTOLOGY
[SIX years ago] Mike Rinder takes on Scientology’s uneven ‘Disconnection’ rules
[SEVEN years ago] SCIENTOLOGY ASKS U.S. SUPREME COURT FOR EMERGENCY STAY IN FORCED-ABORTION CASE
[NINE years ago] Scientology Implosion: Commenters of the Week!

 
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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 1,979 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,483 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,003 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,023 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 914 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 4,221 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 2,089 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 2,863 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 3,637 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 2,983 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 11,549 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,468 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 3,636 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 3,217 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,478 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 2,516 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 2,229 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,754 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 1,284 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 5,844 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 2,984 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 3,304 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 8,159 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 3,279 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,634 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 5,937 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,043 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,445 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 2,317 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 1,900 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 2,395 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,649 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,758 days.

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Posted by Tony Ortega on June 25, 2020 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, 1995-2019 Just starting out here? We’ve picked out the most important stories we’ve covered here at the Underground Bunker (2012-2019), 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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