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Danny Masterson asks to halt civil lawsuit while criminal case is ongoing, as expected

On Thursday Danny Masterson filed a motion to stay a civil lawsuit brought against him in 2019 by Chrissie Carnell Bixler, her husband, and three other women. They’re suing Masterson, the Church of Scientology, and its leader David Miscavige for what they allege is a campaign of harassment since the women went to the LAPD with allegations that they had been raped by the That ’70s Show actor in incidents between 2001 and 2004.

It had been expected that Masterson would ask for the halt to the civil lawsuit because he’s facing a far more serious situation a few blocks away in another courtroom, where he’s been charged criminally with raping Carnell Bixler and two of the women who are suing him, and he’s looking at 45 years to life under California’s “One Strike Law.”

Masterson was criminally charged on June 16 and he’s scheduled to be arraigned and enter a plea on October 19 if his “demurrer” fails (and see yesterday’s story for some idea of why his demurrer is likely to fail). Masterson’s criminal defense attorney Tom Meserau has already told the court that Masterson will plead not guilty if the demurrer fails, and this time Masterson won’t have to be in the courtroom to enter that plea.

We knew it was only a matter of time before the civil lawsuit was shut down, but in the process we’ve learned about some things that were going on behind the scenes which have been spelled out in Masterson’s motion for a stay.


The documents, for example, reveal for the first time that Jane Doe #1, one of the four women suing Masterson, and who is also known as “Victim B” here at the Underground Bunker, notified Masterson on September 4 that her attorneys intended to take his deposition on October 2.

However, facing 45 years to life there was no way that Masterson could risk sitting for a deposition in the civil lawsuit and potentially testify to things that could then be used against him in the criminal case.

The only question is, why didn’t Masterson ask the court for the stay before he was scheduled to be deposed?

Instead, Masterson objected to being deposed (it didn’t happen) and he didn’t ask the judge for the stay until October 8. Why? Most likely because he wanted to see if Judge Steven Kleifield was going to sustain the demurrer he had filed in the civil case, which would have gotten him out of it entirely. (Yes, he filed demurrers in both the civil and criminal cases, which we pointed out probably cost him some serious coin.)

Judge Kleifield overruled Masterson’s demurrer in the civil case on Tuesday and then Masterson filed for the stay two days later. In his motion, he’s asking for Victim B to pay him a penalty of $9,150 in sanctions, and attorneys fees and costs, because he claims that he was forced to file for the stay as a result of her demand for information. He’s asking for a hearing on his motion in January, but we suspect that a stay will be taken up by Kleifield sooner than that.

Another interesting revelation in the motion filed by Masterson was that Victim B (Jane Doe #1) asked him to turn over any documents related to “Grand Jury proceedings” and also any information about other law enforcement agencies besides the LAPD and District Attorney’s office.

As far as we know, this is the first public reference in court documents to the possibility of a grand jury or to federal interest in the Masterson and Scientology affair.

Further complicating things, the motion Masterson filed also revealed that while he wants the civil lawsuit to be put on ice, the Church of Scientology doesn’t.

“Speaking for my clients, we will not stipulate to a stay of the action against us. We have no objection to the stay that Andrew has requested,” Scientology’s attorney William Forman indicated in an email, referring to Masterson’s attorney Andrew Brettler. (RTC’s attorney Matthew Hinks concurred.)

In other words, the Scientology entities being sued aren’t looking for the civil lawsuit to stop, but they don’t have a problem with Masterson asking for the stay.

Why doesn’t Scientology also want it halted? We’d point to the court calendar, which has a hearing scheduled for October 26. It’s on that date that Judge Kleifield is being asked to rule on Scientology’s motions to force Carnell Bixler, her husband rocker Cedric Bixler-Zavala, and the two Jane Does into “religious arbitration.”

Scientology has already been successful in two previous lawsuits forcing former Scientologists into its internal form of arbitration, and are no doubt anxious to see if they can do the same to Carnell Bixler and the other plaintiffs here.

So now we’ll wait to see what Judge Kleifield does about this. Will he grant Masterson’s request to freeze the lawsuit, will he do it for the entire lawsuit, and will he do it before he is scheduled to rule on the arbitration motions on October 26?


Here’s the motion that Masterson filed…

Bixler v. Scientology: Mast… by Tony Ortega



SCIENTOLOGY BLACK OPS: Tom Cruise and dirty tricks, the series axed by Seven News

In July the Australian Seven News network cancelled at the last minute a ten-part nightly news in-depth investigation of the Church of Scientology and its history of dirty tricks operations. All ten episodes have now been leaked to the Internet, and we’ve collected all ten links in one place. Judge for yourself why Tom Cruise and Tommy Davis might not have wanted viewers to see this hard-hitting series.


Source Code

“Now, ‘When did the PC’s physical body change characteristics?’ Getting this out of women, you will have to take the E-Meter and beat them over the head. A woman at 110 will never admit that her body changed anything from that of a beautiful 16-year-old girl, or something like that, you know? It’s just things they won’t talk about, so you have to pull that the hard way. Go ahead and grab it.” — L. Ron Hubbard, October 11, 1961



Overheard in the FreeZone

“I badly broke my right arm in 1997, and the doctors told me it was too big a gap to heal, and I would need a false arm. Anyway they put me in plaster for seven weeks just in case it would heal by a miracle. I had touch assists for several weeks, and when I went back to the hospital, the doctor was amazed to see bone was growing across the gap. My arm was saved!”


Past is Prologue

1996: David Alexander reported this week that Scientology has sent private investigators to his ex-wife following his submissions to a judge in Dallas. “A Private Investigator from the church who just arrived in Dallas from LA, said his name was Ted Banis (my spelling) called my ex-wife. He said ‘David is acting up again and making threats against the church. ‘Could I come over and get some information from you?’ Rose called the police and will make a report. But the Dallas Police came out and made an incident report. I pointed out the affidavits reporting what church PI’s have done in the past. I reported the guy’s name, Ted Banis. The policeman gave me a complaint number and his name to refer to for subsequent incidents. I will continue to report every move and every slander against me.”


Random Howdy

“Man-animals, come out of your caves. The Psychlos have deserted the planet. We have won!”


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 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!

[Catherine Bell, Chick Corea, and Nancy Cartwright]

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] Scientologist on Clearwater downtown board does a classic ‘dead agenting’ of Mark Bunker
[TWO years ago] Dave Richards, 1948-2018, ran the Founding Church of Scientology in DC
[THREE years ago] Tara and Nathan — subjects of last night’s ‘Leah Remini’ — respond to Scientology’s smears
[FOUR years ago] Louis Theroux’s movie comes to Oregon, and Jefferson Hawkins is there to talk Scientology
[FIVE years ago] L. Ron Hubbard’s regressive homophobia: Can Scientology’s celebrities handle the truth?
[SIX years ago] Scientology’s ‘International Justice Chief’ surfaces for the Garcia lawsuit
[EIGHT years ago] L. Ron Hubbard Explains Your Life “Before Earth”
[NINE years ago] Scientology and Disconnection: “No One’s Going to Take My Eternity Away”


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 2,086 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,590 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,110 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,130 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,021 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 4,328 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 2,196 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 2,970 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 3,774 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,090 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 11,656 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,575 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 3,743 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 3,324 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,585 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 2,623 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 2,336 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,861 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 1,391 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 5,951 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,091 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 3,411 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 8,266 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 3,385 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,741 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,044 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,150 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,552 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 2,424 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,007 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 2,502 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,756 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,865 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on October 11, 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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