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Danny Masterson arraigned on rape charges, enters a not guilty plea

[Masterson at his Sept 18 initial court appearance.]

UPDATE: We were listening in this morning as Tom Mesereau entered a not guilty plea on behalf of his client Danny Masterson as the That ’70s Show actor was arraigned at Los Angeles Superior Court. The case was then assigned to Judge Charlaine Olmedo to schedule a preliminary hearing in upcoming months.

As of this morning’s posting time, two hearings regarding Scientology celebrity Danny Masterson are both scheduled to happen at the same time at Los Angeles Superior Court — one in the criminal court building, and another in civil court — and for the first time, we can listen in remotely.

Because of the Covid pandemic we’ve had a challenging time covering the rape case against Masterson and the civil lawsuit filed by his accusers. Our man on the scene, Jeffrey Augustine, has been prevented from attending some matters as the court asks people to stay home with the virus still so prevalent.

Last year, we requested remote access to an important hearing in the civil lawsuit and the court agreed — and charged us $96 for the privilege. We paid it, but then they changed their minds and refused us access to subsequent hearings. We were told repeatedly by court officials that they were working on new technology to make access more easy for reporters and others interested in what was going on.

(By contrast, we were given a link to listen in remotely for no cost last year to Steve Cannane’s libel trial going on in Sydney, Australia. It was clear as a bell and hassle-free.)


Last week, LA Superior Court announced that they finally had things worked out and now anyone is supposed to be able to listen in to any proceeding going on at its courthouses. But it’s not without red tape, and we are bracing ourselves that it does not roll out smoothly.

Especially with two hearings going on at the same time.

At the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center at 8:30 am Los Angeles Time, Masterson is once again scheduled to be arraigned on three counts of forcible rape which has him facing 45 years to life in prison. He was actually charged on June 16, but various delays have pushed his arraignment back numerous times. He is not expected to be in the courtroom, but he’ll be represented by his defense attorneys Tom Mesereau and Sharon Appelbaum. They are expected to enter a plea of not guilty for Masterson, but we’re prepared for a number of different things that may come up — Mesereau may find yet another reason for a delay, Masterson’s freedoms may be curtailed as part of his plea, and other considerations may come up. We’ll do our best to keep up on it.

At the same time, at the Stanley Mosk Courthouse, Masterson’s rape accusers have asked for an emergency hearing in the harassment lawsuit they filed against Masterson, the Church of Scientology, and its leader David Miscavige (see yesterday’s story on their motion). They want the lawsuit put on hold as the criminal case moves forward, arguing that the decision on the civil side to force them into “religious arbitration,” and with Masterson himself potentially participating, could violate their rights and compromise the criminal case. Scientology’s attorneys don’t want the lawsuit paused, and so we may see them get into some interesting antics in front of Judge Steven Kleifield.

We’ll do our best to get signed into both hearings and report what’s going on, and we have some other observers also signed up to listen in. It may be a frenetic day.


Source Code

“Let’s go back to this problem and see if there isn’t a little bit more to be known then about an individual who will not exteriorize. We’ve got the DEI cycle — desire, enforce, inhibit. At first he desired to mobilize MEST, and then MEST began to enforce its mobilization upon him, and then he started to inhibit it. We will find this for instance between a man and a woman who are ill-matched sexually. We will find a woman who is tremendously demanding sexually, may at first attract some fellow who is fairly normal, and there will be a period there when he is perfectly willing to satisfy her. This passes rapidly into a period of where he begins to believe it is being enforced upon him, and this will pass rapidly into his refusal. And so you’ve got desire, enforce, inhibit. And he will not only inhibit his sexual outflow toward her, he will simply start inhibiting it toward all women. He does it by classes, non-specific. And so we find him then becoming sexually impotent in ratio to the amount of sexual performance which has been demanded of him. Rather sad thing, isn’t it?” — L. Ron Hubbard, January 20, 1954


Avast, Ye Mateys

“Div IV did not put any rat guards on our lines and now a rat has been seen aboard. What does it matter to make up super duper rat guards if you don’t use them!!” — Capt. Mary Sue Hubbard, January 20, 1970



Overheard in the FreeZone

“Finally I am here! It’s a great feeling, being verified and acknowledged as Clear. God knows how long and how many sleepless nights I’ve suffered from the uncertainty and invalidations of it. Words cannot describe the millions of things going through my mind right now. I’m just grateful that I’m where I am right now. The future is brighter than ever!”


Past is Prologue

1997: Jeff Jacobsen reported having lunch with two Scientologists this week, who tried to persuade him to take down the Lisa McPherson web page and to stop the upcoming picket in Clearwater to protest her death. “To sum up, it seemed that they basically wanted a few things from me; 1) don’t mention the OT stuff next time I’m interviewed, 2) tone down my web page, 3) dump the Lisa McPherson page, and 4) stop organizing pickets of the church. #4 was the most interesting to me. They tried to imply that my calls to picket are dangerous because unstable people might join the picket and shoot someone or do something harmful. Their proof of this theory was a big stack of a.r.s. posts from names I don’t recall saying things like ‘bring a gun to your local picket and shoot up the place’, and ‘henri’s’ post stating ‘bomb your local Church of Scientology.’ I protested that there could be nuts on both sides and that us picketers are in just as much danger from crazy people as the Scientologists. I also reminded them that my demonstration page has always promoted a peaceful, non-violent picket, and I even quote Gandhi and Vaclav Havel. But they didn’t seem moved by these arguments.”


Random Howdy

“Clear Cognition: You mocked up your reactive mind. OT8 Cognition: You mocked up the Space Opera, your past lives and your BT infestation. The trigger for the OT8 cognition is the line ‘the Pilot says: I’m mocking this up.’ The desired End Phenomena is ‘Now that I know what I am not, I am ready to find out what I am’.”



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

Criminal prosecutions:
Danny Masterson charged for raping three women: Masterson’s demurrer denied Oct 19, arraignment delayed to Jan 20.
Jay and Jeff Spina, Medicare fraud: Jay’s sentencing delayed to March 2.
Hanan and Rizza Islam and other family members, Medi-Cal fraud: Trial scheduled for May 20 in Los Angeles

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 writ of mandate denied Oct 22 by Cal 2nd Appellate District. Petition for review by state supreme court denied Dec 11.
Chrissie Bixler et al. v. Scientology and Danny Masterson: Dec 30, Judge Kleifield granted Scientology’s motions to compel arbitration; Jan 29, Masterson’s request to stay discovery pending the criminal case
Matt and Kathy Feschbach tax debt: Eleventh Circuit ruled on Sept 9 that Feshbachs can’t discharge IRS debt in bankruptcy. Dec 17: Feshbachs sign court judgment obliging them to pay entire $3.674 million tax debt, plus interest from Nov 19.
Brian Statler Sr v. City of Inglewood: Second amended complaint filed, trial set for Nov 9, 2021.

Concluded litigation:
Author Steve Cannane defamation trial: Trial concluded, Cannane victorious, awarded court costs.
Dennis Nobbe, Medicare fraud, PPP loan fraud: Charged July 29. Bond revoked Sep 14. Nobbe dead, Sep 14.
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.


SCIENTOLOGY BLACK OPS: Tom Cruise and dirty tricks

The Australian Seven News network cancelled a 10-part investigation of Scientology and its history of dirty tricks. Read the transcripts of the episodes and judge for yourself why Tom Cruise and Tommy Davis might not have wanted viewers to see this hard-hitting series by journalist Bryan Seymour.


After the success of their double-Emmy-winning, three-season A&E series ‘Scientology and the Aftermath,’ Leah Remini and Mike Rinder continue the conversation on their podcast, ‘Scientology: Fair Game.’ We’ve created a landing page where you can hear all of the episodes so far.


An episode-by-episode guide to Leah Remini’s three-season, double-Emmy winning series that changed everything for Scientology watching. Originally aired from 2016 to 2019 on the A&E network, and now on Netflix.


Find your favorite Hubbardite celeb at this index page — or suggest someone to add to the list!

Other links: Scientology’s Ideal Orgs, from one end of the planet to the other. 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 a weekly series. How many have you read?



[ONE year ago] Scientology staffers react to Xenu, and hit up the ‘Reckless Ben’ team to work for eternity
[TWO years ago] Scientology uses celebrities and police as props — military veterans, it’s your turn!
[THREE years ago] Garcias decry Scientology kangaroo ‘arbitration’ and ask judge to reinstate fraud lawsuit
[FOUR years ago] What Scientology can tell us about a 20th of January like no other
[FIVE years ago] The Church of Scientology of Latter-Day Dolts: Video evidence of the fall
[SIX years ago] Scientology’s first ‘Clear’: L. Ron Hubbard intended to return as his daughter Diana’s son
[SEVEN years ago] Tales from Scientology’s Hollywood Celebrity Centre: A new film, and a new death
[EIGHT years ago] Sunday Funnies: Scientology Says It Bought a SUPER BOWL Ad!
[NINE years ago] Scientology on the High Seas: The Littlest Sailors!


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 2,187 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,691 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,211 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,231 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,122 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 4,429 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 2,297 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 3,071 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 3,875 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,191 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 11,757 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,676 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 3,844 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 3,425 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,686 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 2,724 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 2,437 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,962 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 317 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 1,492 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,043 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,192 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 3,512 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 8,367 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 3,486 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,842 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,145 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,251 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,653 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 2,525 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,108 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 2,603 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,857 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,966 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on January 20, 2021 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, 1995-2020 Just starting out here? We’ve picked out the most important stories we’ve covered here at the Underground Bunker (2012-2020), 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, 15 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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