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Danny Masterson holds on to his passport as judge decides he’s no flight risk

[Masterson and Mesereau at a Sept 18 appearance]

[UPDATE: Judge Charlaine Olmedo denied the DA’s request to have Danny Masterson turn in his passport, saying that his $3.3 million bond is enough to ensure the he’ll show up in court. Next hearing set for April 20.]

Danny Masterson’s social media posts suggest that he’s back from Oregon and in Southern California now, which had us wondering if he would attend today’s hearing in his rape case at Los Angeles Superior Court.

A court spokesman told us yesterday that a waiver is still on file that would allow Danny to have his attorneys go in his stead, and that’s probably what is going to happen today. But they added that Danny could show up if he wanted to.

We can’t imagine that Danny would want to be present as his attorneys Tom Mesereau and Sharon Appelbaum battle with Deputy District Attorney Reinhold Mueller in the courtroom of Judge Charlaine Olmedo over such issues as whether or not Danny can hold on to his passport while he awaits trial. But whether the That ’70s Show actor is present or not, we’ll do our best to listen in through the court’s new audio channel.

Last time, when Danny was arraigned on January 20, we heard only part of the proceedings and nothing in Olmedo’s court, so we don’t know what we’ll get today. If we can hear anything, we’ll post updates in the comments section below. The court spokesperson, meanwhile, told us that a couple of media requests were denied and that cameras will not be in the courtroom today, which is surprising. We’ll see if that changes.

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We’ll remind you that this hearing is in regards to the three counts of forcible rape that Masterson is facing, accused of assaulting three different women who were all Scientologists at the time of the incidents, which occurred between 2001 and 2003. Masterson himself grew up in Scientology and remains one of its celebrities.

If convicted at trial, Masterson faces 45 years to life in prison because he’s been charged under California’s strict “One Strike” sexual assault law. In a previous hearing, Mesereau and Appelbaum argued that the incidents took place outside of the statute of limits, but Mueller successfully argued that because the charge of raping multiple women carries a potential life sentence, the statute of limitations doesn’t apply and he was free to bring the charges at any time.

The next major step in the case would be a preliminary hearing, which would take place later this year and would be the first opportunity for Masterson’s accusers to offer live testimony about what they went through. After today’s hearing we may get a date set for that prelim. We also expect the two sides to argue about how much evidence has been turned over in the case, and about the conditions that Masterson must abide by while he awaits trial.

(And please note, this criminal prosecution is entirely separate from the civil harassment lawsuit that Masterson’s accusers filed against him in August 2019 and that has been derailed by a ruling favoring Scientology’s ‘religious arbitration.’ Masterson is not being sued for raping the women, he and Scientology are being sued for allegedly harassing the women after they came forward with their allegations. The lawsuit is now before the California state supreme court and is not going well for Masterson’s alleged victims, but his criminal case is an entirely different matter.)

Things are scheduled to begin at 8:30 Los Angeles Time, which is 11:30 here in New York.

UPDATE: Here’s what happened in court today, based on what we could hear on the court’s (very poor quality) audio feed.

Masterson was not in the courtroom, but his attorneys Mesereau and Appelbaum were there, as was prosecutor Reinhold Mueller.

Judge Olmedo started out by giving a lecture about how there were empty seats in the courtroom, and everyone was being careful wearing masks and social distancing, so there was no excuse for media not to be in the courtroom, and she said she wouldn’t be using the audio feed in the future. She also said there had been some abuse of the audio feed, but she didn’t spell it out. (Someone had apparently recorded a previous hearing.)

Well that makes things tough for us here on the east coast, but whatever.

Three matters were handled in this hearing. First, Mesereau’s continuing objection to media coverage of the case, second, Mueller’s motion to have Masterson turn in his passport, and third, setting dates for future hearings.

Mesereau once again bellyached about how the case was being covered in the media, but Mueller denied that anything confidential had been leaked, and Judge Olmedo said she didn’t see how this was really very different than other high-profile Hollywood cases. She denied Mesereau’s request. So media will be allowed at hearings, but we’re not sure if that means cameras at future events.

She then made a technical point about the passport request, saying that the conditions of Masterson’s $3.3 million bond had already been set. Mueller countered that it was in her discretion to have Danny turn it over. But she denied the request, saying that Danny’s $3.3 million bond would ensure that he comes to court.

And finally, they talked about future dates, setting April 20 for a discovery hearing, and then May 18 for the preliminary hearing, which Masterson will have to attend in person. Mueller estimated the preliminary hearing would last three to four days.

After how long it took Masterson to be arraigned, that’s a pretty quick schedule. Judge Olmedo isn’t going to let this case gather dust.

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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
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

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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
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 19, 2020: Records show that 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
Sept 30, 2020: Could Danny Masterson’s odd legal fight over his Hollywood house endanger his freedom?
Oct 11, 2020: Danny Masterson asks to halt civil lawsuit while criminal case is ongoing, as expected
Oct 12, 2020: Bijou Phillips on her husband Danny Masterson: A macho ‘Strong Island’ guy
Oct 16, 2020: Danny Masterson ‘accidentally’ outs Jane Doe accuser after judge told him not to
Nov 19, 2020: Danny Masterson takes another expensive and futile swipe at his criminal charges
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Dec 1, 2020: If the feds are sniffing around, they might look at Danny Masterson’s besties
Dec 4, 2020: WHOA! Scientology to Judge Kleifield: Wrecking human lives IS our ‘commerce’
Dec 18, 2020: Jane Doe #1’s own attorneys flubbed and ID’d her and her IP address in court documents
Dec 24, 2020: Letter shows Scientology gave Jane Doe #1 permission to sue Danny Masterson in 2004
Dec 31, 2020: MASTERSON ACCUSERS DENIED RIGHT TO TRIAL, FORCED TO ‘RELIGIOUS ARBITRATION’
Jan 2, 2021: Worst part in the Scientology ‘arbitration’ ruling? Danny Masterson can participate.
Feb 11, 2021: Gretchen Carlson slams Danny Masterson and Scientology ‘arbitration’ to Congress
Feb 24, 2021: MASTERSON ACCUSERS PETITION APPELLATE COURT: Seeking to overturn ‘arbitration’ ruling
Mar 9, 2021: PETITION DENIED: Danny Masterson accusers can’t skip Scientology arbitration, court says
Mar 23, 2021: Danny Masterson accusers take Scientology ‘arbitration’ to California Supreme Court

 
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Source Code

“We need, then, a peaceful planet. So I worked this out originally as…what became the name of the project: International City Project. Well, I…finally came to the conclusion that if all the capitals of the world were located inside one city that they were not likely to bomb each other out, that they, in effect, would be very careful of declaring war. They would be close cheek by jowl enough to discuss most of their problems…Now, you take every capital of the world and treat it accordingly and then treat it in such a way that transport within the capital is very fast and so that each and every section and center of the capital has some of its own atmosphere rather easily planned up, by the way. It isn’t just a sprawling mess…So Wendell Willkie came out with something he called One World, and practically everybody shot him down in his tracks. He was a pioneer in this particular field. But nevertheless this idea has become more and more popular and it’s actually sweeping in that direction. The first step would have to be you’d have to persuade all governments to turn over all atomic weapons, stocks, control of atomic manufacturers to the United Nations at once, you see. Second step is persuade the United Nations and all governments to select a site for and construct an International City, preferably in North Africa on the Mediterranean coast where land reclamation can expand its area and where its communication lines can be easily centered for Earth. Third step: Persuade all governments to remove their capitals to International City complete with heads of government, congresses and parliaments. Prohibit a secondary capital or even a communication relay center within the country itself.” — L. Ron Hubbard, March 24, 1964

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Avast, Ye Mateys

“TELEXES are meant to be answered the same day; when answered, they go to the ‘Telexes In’ basket in the Comm Bu. Deadline 2300 hrs. Even if they cannot be answered immediately, they should be returned to this basket, as these telexes go up to LRH for his viewing after 2300. These unanswered telexes will then be returned for answering.” — Org Off Bu IV, March 24, 1971

 
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Overheard in the FreeZone

“Many of us left ‘official’ Scientology beginning in the 1970s. As the Sea Org advanced, we retreated. In our view, we are the keepers of ‘true’ Scientology, who apply what we know of it with reason, not fanaticism. That includes Child Scientology, in which book Hubbard expresses and encourages some very kind sentiments towards children.”

 
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Past is Prologue

1997: From Michael Reuss about a picket in Boulder: “A German freelance film crew based out of Washington DC interviewed Larry and some of the Scientologists. The Germans are astounded at how little Scientology is understood in this country, and about how disinterested the American public is with fascist totalitarians. Several Scientologists said I was a dupe, groupie, cultie, and/or follower of Larry Wollersheim. One even repeated the peanut butter in the underwear story to me, claiming it was in Larry’s service records. That really made my day. And it gave me the perfect opportunity to tell him about Hubbard’s service records, the lying, the screwing off, the shelling of Mexican goats, the lying, being paid a VA disability for his entire post-Navy life, even after he’d claimed to have found all this healing technology.”

 
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Random Howdy

“I went to the Scientology rebuttal site for ‘Going Clear’ and it’s almost as long as the book! They start fairly low-keyed and then next thing I knew they were inferring that Dave Touretzky was trying to get people to bomb Scientology orgs. They can’t control the crazy for too long.”

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

Criminal prosecutions:
Danny Masterson charged for raping three women: Masterson arraigned Jan 20. Next conf to set prelim, March 24.
Jay and Jeff Spina, Medicare fraud: Jay’s sentencing delayed to April 13.
Hanan and Rizza Islam and other family members, Medi-Cal fraud: Trial scheduled for May 20 in Los Angeles
David Gentile, GPB Capital, fraud: Charged in Brooklyn federal court on Feb 4. Arraigned on Feb 9. Pretrial conference set for Apr 29.

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. June 7: Status conference.
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.
Author Steve Cannane defamation trial: Trial concluded, Cannane victorious, awarded court costs. Case appealed on Dec 24.

Concluded litigation:
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.

 
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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.

SCIENTOLOGY: FAIR GAME

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.

LEAH REMINI: SCIENTOLOGY AND THE AFTERMATH

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.

SCIENTOLOGY’S CELEBRITIES, from A to Z

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?

 
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THE WHOLE TRACK

[ONE year ago] Scientology leader David Miscavige calls the pandemic ‘planetary bullbait’ in epic briefing
[TWO years ago] TOM CRUISE THANKED BY DAUGHTER ISABELLA IN BIZARRE SCIENTOLOGY PROMO
[THREE years ago] Leah Remini talks ‘Aftermath,’ developing a new show, and more with Chris Shelton
[FOUR years ago] DREAM LAWSUIT: ‘God of Pop’ Kuba Ka vs the Church of Scientology. THANK XENU, IT’S ON!
[FIVE years ago] Chris Shelton: How Scientologists can use critical thinking to break free
[SIX years ago] ‘Going Clear’: Paul Haggis pens a description of the Scientology experience you won’t forget
[SEVEN years ago] Jillian Schlesinger says Scientology now ‘sneakier’ about forcing abortions
[EIGHT years ago] It’s Ron’s Birthday, And Your Present is More Scientology Stuff to Spend Money On!
[NINE years ago] Scientology 451: 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 2,250 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,754 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,274 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,294 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,185 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 4,492 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 2,360 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 3,134 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 1,464 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 3,938 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,254 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 11,820 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,739 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 3,907 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 3,488 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,749 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 2,787 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 2,500 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,025 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 380 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 1,555 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,106 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,255 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 3,575 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 8,430 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 3,549 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,905 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,208 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,314 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,716 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 2,588 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,171 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 2,666 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,920 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,029 days.

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Posted by Tony Ortega on March 24, 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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