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How the Scientology drama in Danny Masterson’s prelim appeared to a former Sea Org official

[Attorneys Sharon Appelbaum and Tom Mesereau with Danny Masterson during his Sept 18 appearance]

We asked Chris Shelton to look at the Scientology highlights we pulled out of Danny Masterson’s preliminary hearing. We wondered how these concepts being raised in a criminal rape proceeding might look to someone who was actually a former Sea Org official. Here’s what he sent us.

Like all of you, I was following what was happening in Danny Masterson’s preliminary hearing very closely here at the Underground Bunker and I was energized every time some mention of the Church’s involvement in the case came up. There were a number of revelations, including detailed accounts of abusive behavior on the part of many of the Sea Org members these women had the unfortunate experience of dealing with, and each account validated every single thing that us critics have been shouting from the rooftops for years, trying to get the world to listen. The raw truth of what these women testified to was undeniable. Masterson’s horrible alleged past behavior and his current cockiness in court only served to reinforce that.

There were many specific points worth commenting on from the hearing but I’ll only write a few here for the sake of time and brevity.

First, the fact that so many of the people involved in this case on Masterson’s side were born and raised in Scientology is important. In academia and psychology, only very recently are the unique struggles of second generation cult members being studied and understood. Personally, I believe this has everything to do with why such a strong snitch-and-ditch culture can exist among the celebrities involved in and around Masterson. These are people who not only bond on basic Scientology views but in many cases grew up around each other, spent birthdays and holidays together and, of course, see the Church as not just another organization but as one of the most important things in their lives. The Scientology celebs around Masterson aren’t just friends – they are like an extended family and they all act to keep one another “on the straight and narrow” when it comes to complying with Church dogma and rules. The Church’s representatives hover over every aspect of their existence, so it is only natural for these celebs to look to the Church to tell them what to do and how to act. This is certainly no excuse for any of Masterson’s behavior or even an attempt to explain it. What I’m talking about here is how Masterson has so many Scientologist supporters and enablers who stand by him despite the clear-cut evidence and testimony of his guilt. It’s not just fear of the church that keeps them in line. There are strong cultural bonds in place with this group that would take years of therapy to deconstruct.

However, that doesn’t change the fact the Church obviously enjoys throwing its weight around to intimidate members and keep them in line, as was done with each of Masterson’s victims. We can see from Jane Doe 1, for example, that social blackmail was the first go-to in order to get her compliance to sign an NDA and give up her rights to justice. The Church simply does not care whose rights have to be trampled so long as the precious public image of the church is not tarnished.


It’s also worth commenting on, by the way, that the Sea Org members who do this work (such as Julian Swartz – a man I knew and worked with) are utterly clueless as to just how tarnished and toxic Scientology is in the real world. They are oblivious to what people really think. They not only have no idea, they have a carefully constructed false image of Scientology’s expansion which David Miscavige carefully works to preserve at his annual events. Where we can objectively see they are acting like complete morons trying to “preserve the image of the church,” from their point of view they are engaged in a holy crusade and the very future of all of Mankind is at stake. To the Sea Org way of thinking, if Jane Doe were to make a police report and charge Masterson with the crime of rape, they believe that would get in the way of “clearing the planet” and therefore it is out-ethics. That’s how their thinking works. If it’s bad for Scientology – it’s bad, period. Everything else is negotiable but the sanctity and preservation of Scientology is never up for debate. So in their minds, Jane Doe is just some hysterical woman who is making far-fetched claims against an “upstat” Scientology celebrity. There’s no question in such a circumstance who they are going to choose to believe – not her.

This is so heavily enforced that Julian wouldn’t even allow Jane Doe to say the word “rape” out loud. “We don’t say that word here,” he reportedly told her. Can you find a more blatant example of censorship and loading the language? He simply excises that word from the vocabulary and therefore, the act itself ceases to exist in their minds. I can’t think of a more simple and precise example of just one of the thousands of ways that Scientology subtly and not-so-subtly forces you to change how you think.

Where culture and education don’t do the trick, straight up authoritarianism will and that is why the hammer over every single Scientologists’ head is the threat of being expelled. Never is that made more plain than when someone is in the kind of ethics trouble that each of Masterson’s victims found themselves in, sitting across from a very stern looking Ethics Officer, President’s Office staff or even RTC Representative who makes it crystal clear that they have no time for any of their bullshit. I have sat in that hot seat myself, facing down a possible Declare Order that would mean the literal end of every one of your friendships and for these women, the Church also threatened their familial and professional connections. Getting fired and losing everything for the “crime” of being raped is absolutely insane, yet that was the exact future dictated to each of these victims. Cooperate or your life is basically over. There are very few people who have the force of will to be able to stand up to that kind of abuse.

We even see the power of the delusion with one of Scientology’s long-term, key attorneys, Kendrick Moxon. We have information indicating his daughter committed suicide yet I doubt he believes that. He can’t let himself believe Scientology could ever be the cause of something so horrible, nor would he want to ever think something like that. Instead he can cling as though to a life raft to the delusion that Scientology is the most important thing in the universe, so important that to preserve it, he has to do things like blackmail a rape victim. So long as he, like Julian Swartz or Chris Skoggins or Bijou Phillips or any of the others we’ve heard been part of this, “knows” that what they are doing is the “greatest good for the greatest number of dynamics” they will be willing to shudder any number of crime victims into silence, censor and shun however many thousands of recalcitrants and do “whatever it takes” to get the job done. From their perspective, non-Scientologists aren’t important and really, aren’t even human. They are “humanoids” or “wogs,” two words Hubbard often used to describe them.

That is an extremist mindset and that is the fanaticism of the Sea Org. I should know, I was part of it for 17 years. Radicalizing someone in such an extremist head space is almost child’s play, something so simple that even David Miscavige can manage to do it. That is the group that is arrayed against these victims and it’s why it has taken so many years for these cases to even see the light of day. It has been the hard working Sea Org members who have worked tirelessly to advance Scientology’s cause by covering up or destroying evidence, lying to law enforcement officials and the press, and further victimizing the women involved until they shut them up completely. Every one of those things were a “product” that was produced by a Sea Org member, who then counted their product as a statistic on a piece of paper, moved on and then did that same kind of thing to someone else, someone we don’t even know right now. Probably a whole bunch of someones who are watching this case very closely and wondering if someday, they too might get their day in court. If these women win, then maybe that just might be the impetus we need to start a whole wave of such cases. And wouldn’t that be something?

— Chris Shelton


Bonus items from our tipsters

This barge isn’t going anywhere, but you can still go there and empty out your wallet!




Source Code

“This is probably how the ancient magician enchanted things. Possibly princes have turned into deer in the forest. If you took a period in the magic universe when thetans were still capable of mocking up their own bodies, and you pulled some shocking stunt on the person and sandwiched them in that ‘You are now a deer,’ why, he’d cease to mock up the prince and start mocking up a deer, don’t you see? And he would be an enchanted deer. That would be how enchantments were accomplished. I mean, the mechanism of enchantment is no cruder than that.” — L. Ron Hubbard, May 24, 1962


Avast, Ye Mateys

“FISH AND SAUSAGES: There’s a native street off the main drag where fresh grilled fish, and a kind of hot dog and other bits cost about 10 cents apiece or less. Cokes can be gotten nearby. Don’t shoot the prices up. Interesting area.” — The Commodore, May 24, 1970


Overheard in the FreeZone

“What the hell is this MEST universe composed of, anyway? I watch the History Channel, H2 specifically, a lot and they’ve said things which made me wonder. Even astronauts experimented and found out if they go up in space time slows down and they age less faster, but this makes sense since they are a lot further away from the gravity of this solar system, or planet, and also there are less particles in that manner traveling through space, as such, which is all that’s causing ‘time’ anyway. After listening to the old man I am totally left speechless, which is an understatement of his abilities and I’m positive there is no other being which is as elevated as him at least as far as inventing the tech goes, and my reality is that he invented it long ago in outer space because I also had a clear memory flash in my mind of a woman auditing me with an E-Meter in outer space, which looked exactly like the ones used in Scientology 8 or 9 years before I found it. I’m sure he is gone throughout the universe bringing the tech to as many beings as he can, and this is what he’s continuing to do – freeing beings is one of his most favorite games. In my reality he only came to us 2,500 years ago as Buddha because the planet was so primitive still that that’s all that would’ve been accepted or real to them, or able for them to preserve. He says on the PDC or First American ACC that the only difference between us and him is that he never agreed to be a slave – sorry – but that’s all that it is! This makes sense because if one gives in to excruciating pain, they can then become enslaved and entrapped.”


Past is Prologue

2001: published an article and an interview with Keith Henson. “Just last month, the California Superior Court in Riverside County found Henson guilty of violating the state’s hate-crimes law. His demonstrations, the court ruled, interfered with Scientologists’ constitutional right to religious freedom. David Touretzky, a Carnegie Mellon computer scientist and fellow Scientology gadfly, says that Henson tends to incriminate himself in his encounters with Scientologists – often providing church officials with legal ammunition they later use against him. In a telephone interview from Canada – where he’s applying for political asylum – Henson explained why he played hooky from the hearing and what he hopes to achieve by moving his case forward from abroad. ‘I checked with Guidy Mamann, who is apparently a top immigration lawyer in Canada. We chatted for a while, and I filled out the paperwork. He fired up a Web browser, found some stories and said this was a viable case. So I blew off [the California court] and I’ve already paid [Mamann] a retainer to deal with this from up here. If the U.S. government decides that what I did was not within the framework of free speech, if the State Department supports the government of Riverside County in what I’m arguing is an abuse of human rights, then I ain’t going back. By treaty and custom, the Canadian [authorities] go to the State Department. They have to go in and investigate, and come up with the transcripts and motions and all of that. They need it in order to defend themselves, to prove that what went on was a fair and unbiased problem. I suspect that when they realize that there were severe violations of protocol they may march through Riverside County, Calif., and deal with [the church].'”



Random Howdy

“There are no shortage of folks here who enjoy a serious discourse, and there are those like myself who love satire, snark, and the absurd. That’s what makes this place so special. You need to be able to appreciate both to truly get the whole groovy effect of this place. And there’s a difference between respecting people and respecting their ‘beliefs’.”


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

Criminal prosecutions:
Danny Masterson charged for raping three women: Held to answer for trial, next arraignment set for June 7.
Jay and Jeff Spina, Medicare fraud: Jay sentenced to 9 years in prison. Jeff’s sentencing to be scheduled.
Hanan and Rizza Islam and other family members, Medi-Cal fraud: Pretrial conference August 21 in Los Angeles
David Gentile, GPB Capital, fraud: Next pretrial conference set for June 18.

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.


THE DANNY MASTERSON PRELIM: Our reports from Los Angeles

Our exhaustive reports from each day of testimony that led to Danny Masterson being bound over for trial to face charges that he raped three women, including dramatic references to Scientology, May 18-21, 2021 in the courtroom of Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Charlaine Olmedo: [Day 1: Jane Doe 1] [Day 2: Jane Doe 1 & Christina B.] [Day 3: Christina B. & Jane Doe 2] [Day 4: Arguments and the ruling] [Post-ruling: The Scientology highlights]


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 BLACK OPS: Tom Cruise and dirty tricks. 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] VIDEO: Proof Scientology still promotes Hubbard’s bizarre ideas about evolution
[TWO years ago] How Scientology created its own prison for children who chafed at lifetime service
[THREE years ago] When rabid Scientologists got into a fistfight with US marshals to protect L. Ron Hubbard
[FOUR years ago] Believe it or not, a second season of Reza Aslan’s ‘Believer’ is coming
[FIVE years ago] As Scientology sinks, does Tom Cruise really have to go down with the ship?
[SIX years ago] Paulette Cooper has a surprise for Scientology and the residents of a certain Florida town
[SEVEN years ago] When Scientologists sell each other Scientology: ‘I’m me for the first time in trillions of years’
[EIGHT years ago] A Sheriff’s Kind Words About Scientology’s Drug Rehab Has Victims’ Attorney Riled


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 2,310 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,815 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,335 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,355 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,246 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 4,553 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 2,421 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 3,195 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 1,525 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 3,999 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,315 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 11,881 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,800 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 3,968 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 3,549 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,810 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 2,848 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 2,561 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,086 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 441 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 1,616 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,167 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,316 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 3,636 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 8,491 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 3,610 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,966 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,269 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,375 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,777 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 2,649 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,232 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 2,727 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,981 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,090 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on May 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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