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Danny Masterson’s attempt to get out of rape accusers’ lawsuit to be heard today

[UPDATE: Masterson’s demurrer was denied, as was Scientology’s, and the lawsuit passes an early hurdle. But with some caveats. More tomorrow.]

It’s another big day for Danny Masterson at Los Angeles Superior Court today, and we hope to bring you an eyewitness account from the hearing as soon as it’s possible.

Today Judge Steven Kleifield is scheduled to rule on Masterson’s “demurrer” which the actor filed in an attempt to get himself dropped from the civil lawsuit which was filed by four of his rape accusers. The Church of Scientology also has a demurrer on the table, which could get plaintiff Bobette Riales removed from the case. But first, the hearing will open with a case management conference that could end up stealing the show today.

Riales, Chrissie Carnell Bixler, her husband rocker Cedric Bixler-Zavala, and two women going by the names Jane Doe #1 and Jane Doe #2 filed their lawsuit against Masterson, the church, and its leader David Miscavige in August 2019 and an amended complaint in February. The lawsuit alleges that since the women came forward to the LAPD in 2016 with rape allegations against the Scientologist actor they have been subjected to an ongoing campaign of harassment by Scientology that has included the death of two dogs, the poisoning of another, and an arson attack on Riales’s Indiana house.


Scientology and Masterson have denied the allegations and have called the lawsuit a publicity stunt. In June, Masterson was charged criminally with raping three of the plaintiffs — Carnell Bixler, and the two Jane Does — and his arraignment has been scheduled for October 19. (In the criminal case he has also filed a demurrer, asking the charges to be dropped.)

Scientology’s strategy in the civil lawsuit has been to file motions to compel the four of the five plaintiffs who are all former Scientologists (all except Riales) to submit to the church’s “religious arbitration,” and those motions will be heard on October 26. Scientology is arguing in those motions that the former Scientologists signed contracts that obliged them to take their grievances to the church’s internal justice system and not to sue. But those plaintiffs didn’t sign contracts with Masterson, and so that’s why he’s taken another tack and filed the demurrer. Such a filing doesn’t argue the facts of the case but instead targets the legal justification for it.

In his demurrer, Masterson argues that the lawsuit not only is a media stunt, but that it doesn’t actually accuse him of personally taking part in any harassment of the plaintiffs. He’s also asked that the two Jane Does be publicly identified. Scientology has filed a similar demurrer in regards to Riales because she was never a Scientologist.

Before the demurrers are heard, a case management conference is first on the schedule, and we suspect that it will take up the biggest issue currently facing this lawsuit: Will Danny’s criminal case put this civil lawsuit on ice? At some point a stay is going to be issued here as the criminal case takes precedence. With the way Judge Kleifield has been postponing things recently, we can’t help wondering if he’s been anticipating Masterson asking for a stay so he can ignore this case for the next couple of years while Danny’s criminal prosecution progresses.

We’ll be interested to see if a stay is issued, or if not how Judge Kleifield will rule on the demurrers. Will Danny get himself out of this case? We’ll get reports from the hearing for you as soon as we can.


Gay Ribisi is selling everything

It’s like déjà vu all over again. Back in 2014, one of our most popular stories was about our friend and fellow journalist Mark Ebner happening to run across a pile of Scientology mementos and plaques discarded in a pile on Wilshire Boulevard.

It turned out to be keepsakes of the Scientology career of Gay Ribisi, matriarch of a powerful Scientology family that includes such luminaries as her son, actor Giovanni Ribisi, and his twin sister Marissa, who was married to musician Beck at the time.

One of the plaques sitting in the trash pile, for example, commemorated Gay being named “Patron with Honors,” which she would receive after giving $100,000 in donations to Scientology’s membership organization, the IAS.

What were Gay’s treasured Scientology relics doing on a rubbish pile? We never got a satisfactory answer to that, as Gay never took up Ebner on his offer to return them to her.

And now, it’s Ebner again who has tipped us to a stunning estate sale going on in Los Angeles. And this time, it’s like Gay Ribisi is selling everything.

An ardent photographer, Gay is selling her expensive cameras and other equipment. And she’s selling portraits like this one of her famous son…



This looks like a couple of paintings of Jason Lee…


And there’s also a series of fancy underwater photos that Gay exhibited in 2004 (you can see in the photo above Vonni and Danny Masterson with her at the show’s opening)…


And a lot of other stuff, including furniture, coins, and jewelry.

We’re asking our sources to find out what they can. Is Gay all right? She’s a longtime Hollywood manager who used to handle her son, and today her clients include fellow Scientologist Elisabeth Moss. With Moss’s recent successes, shouldn’t Gay be rolling in dough?

Does Vonni know his mother is liquidating? What’s the deal?



Leah Remini podcast: Mark Vicente

Leah Remini and Mike Rinder provide a real treat this week for you viewers who have been watching the HBO series about Nxivm, “The Vow.” Mark Vicente is not only a key figure in the series, he was also a key witness in the federal trial that Dianne Lipson covered for us last year.

Mike and Leah talk to Vicente about the parallels between Nxivm and Scientology, which became very clear in the HBO series. Another excellent podcast episode from this mighty duo, and we have it for you to listen to right here…



Source Code

“Little boy is a kick. My little girl requires interest to be kind of generated by the vicinity. You know? It’s got to be heavy matter and that sort of thing. She’d get interested. Yes, she’s very alert and very interested. But this little boy, her brother, is practically an Operating Thetan. And he is a fabulous little character — not just because he’s my son, of course — but he’s a fabulous character in that he’s always exteriorized. You walk past his room — his door is closed, you see — in the middle of the night and he’ll do a flip-flop on his bunk, bang! and he’ll be right up there scratching on the door saying, ‘Hey, say hello,’ you know, that sort of thing. You open the door and say, ‘Hello, Quentin,’ and he’s real happy.” — L. Ron Hubbard, October 6, 1954


Overheard in the FreeZone


“So, you are STILL ‘thinking’? Hahaha. Still creating your mind? Hahaha. I just finished OT IX. Lafayette’s Tech is super-laser-fast!! AND I am not ‘thinking it’. I KNOW IT. How about that?”


Past is Prologue

1995: Cynthia Kisser reports the Cult Awareness Network’s loss in a civil suit to Scientology lawyer Kendrick Moxon, representing Jason Scott, accusing CAN of kidnapping. “A jury verdict was delivered in U.S. District Court in Seattle, following a six-day trial. Scott was represented at trial by Kendrick Moxon, a minister with the Church of Scientology International, a long time adversary of CAN that had tried unsuccessfully to win dozens of lawsuits against CAN in the past. Moxon was an unindicted co-conspirator in the federal investigation of Scientology in the seventies that lead to the felony convictions of 11 of its high-ranking members, including Mary Sue Hubbard, the wife of Scientology founder the late L. Ron Hubbard.”


Random Howdy

“Man, my groovy shark vid got no votes, but my simple-minded off-the-cuff remark got top vote. You people are weird.”


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

Criminal prosecutions:
Danny Masterson charged for raping three women: Demurrer filed by Masterson, arraignment delayed to October 19.
Jay and Jeff Spina, Medicare fraud: Jay’s sentencing is set for October 29 in White Plains, NY. Jeffrey’s is set for October 24.
Hanan and Rizza Islam and other family members, Medi-Cal fraud: Next pretrial conference set for Jan 12 in Los Angeles
Dennis Nobbe, Medicare fraud, PPP loan fraud: Charged July 29. Bond revoked Sep 14. Nobbe dead, Sep 14.

Civil litigation:
Luis and Rocio Garcia v. Scientology: Oral arguments were heard on July 30 at the Eleventh Circuit
Valerie Haney v. Scientology: Forced to ‘religious arbitration.’ Petition for a writ of mandate filed with Cal 2nd Appellate District, Sept 10.
Chrissie Bixler et al. v. Scientology and Danny Masterson: Oct 5 (Serving Miscavige by publication), Oct 6 (CSI/RTC demurrer against Riales, Masterson demurrer), Oct 26 (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 tax debt: Eleventh Circuit ruled on Sept 9 that Feshbachs can’t discharge IRS debt in bankruptcy. Update required in federal lawsuit on Oct 19.
Brian Statler Sr v. City of Inglewood: Second amended complaint filed, trial set for Nov 9, 2021.
Author Steve Cannane defamation trial: Trial concluded, awaiting verdict.


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

[The Big Three: Tom Cruise, John Travolta, and Kirstie Alley]

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] For you doubters, here’s proof of Scientology miracles that demonstrate the power of ‘OT’!
[TWO years ago] In the Sea Org, under suspicion: ‘I accepted that I was, in Scientology terms, an ethics particle’
[THREE years ago] This new image of David Miscavige makes years of Scientology Watching all worth it
[FOUR years ago] Chris Shelton dives into Scientology culture with the Larisa Smith story, part two
[SIX years ago] A Bunker Exclusive: Jonny Jacobsen’s 2008 book introduction describing Scientology
[SEVEN years ago] Sunday Funnies: Scientology’s Shiny New Freedom Magazine!
[EIGHT years ago] Another Narconon Lawsuit, Oregon Dentist to Fight Order, and More Scientology Links
[NINE years ago] Scientology Raided, Smacked Down in Court, and Accused of Killing Trees


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 2,081 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,585 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,105 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,125 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,016 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 4,323 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 2,191 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 2,965 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 3,769 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,085 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 11,651 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,570 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 3,738 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 3,319 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,580 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 2,618 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 2,331 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,856 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 1,386 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 5,946 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,086 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 3,406 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 8,261 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 3,380 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,736 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,039 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,145 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,547 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 2,419 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,002 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 2,497 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,751 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,860 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on October 6, 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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