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Danny Masterson’s odds? Juries really don’t like Scientology, Wise Beard Man reminds us

[On Cleveland Street yesterday]

So now it can be told. While we were preparing for our quick trip to LA to cover Danny Masterson’s criminal arraignment, we heard from a French television network that wondered if we might be able to help them with a segment on Scientology they were preparing.

They could interview us in New York, but they said it would be even better if we could join their correspondent in Clearwater, Florida. And it turned out we were able to switch up our flights a bit so a quick detour to Clearwater would only add a day to our trip.

Once we arrived, we were thrilled to find out that they wanted to scout out the beach, which we had just featured here because of a David Miscavige sighting. After taking a photo there, we then gave them the actual interview right on Cleveland Street outside Clay Irwin’s former bar, the Lucky Anchor.

We then met with City Councilman Mark Bunker for lunch, and he gave a great interview to the French crew.

Afterward we were chatting about the latest Scientology news, and Wise Beard Man made an observation that we told him we wanted to share with you all.

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It was this: Danny Masterson may appear cocky and says he feels “fantastic” about his chances at trial, but in Bunker’s experience, juries really, really don’t like Scientology.

He gave us a couple of examples from his own experience. When he was with the Lisa McPherson Trust some twenty years ago during his first stay in Clearwater, he attended the trial of Jesse Prince on marijuana possession. It was in May 2001, and it became so obvious that Prince had been set up by Scientology private investigators the jury deadlocked 5-1 for acquittal and the judge declared a mistrial.

Bunker said that although there was evidence that Jesse had possessed the marijuana, the jury was so disgusted by Scientology’s involvement there was no way they were going to convict him.

And Bunker himself was on trial in Chicago in 2001 when he tried to film a video and was arrested by a couple of off-duty policemen. After a short trial presented evidence that Bunker was the target of a Scientology operation, the jury was only out 25 minutes before acquitting him. Again, Bunker says, the jury was repulsed by Scientology’s actions.

“Juries don’t like Scientology,” he said. And he pointed out that the result is very different when a judge keeps the jury from hearing about Scientology’s involvement, which has happened in some cases.

But in Masterson’s case, Judge Charlaine Olmedo allowed questions about Scientology, its policies, and its effect on Masterson’s victims to be a part of the testimony in the preliminary hearing. Olmedo will also preside over Masterson’s trial (tentatively scheduled for November, but we have reason to believe it will end up getting delayed to something like January) and she’s already let the Scientology cat out of the bag.

At trial, even more witnesses will be called and documents will be entered that will demonstrate Scientology’s involvement in the case. And Bunker tells us that doesn’t bode well for Masterson.

After that enlightening conversation, we showed the French crew the small parcel of land behind the Fort Harrison Hotel that Scientology leader David Miscavige covets, and which has been central to so much conflict between the church and the city. “That’s it?” they asked us. And we explained why the small plot of land, bordering the Oak Cove resort and the bungalows of the Fort Harrison Hotel, is such a crucial location to Miscavige.

The French crew thanked us for the help, and we went back to our hotel to rest a little before our dinner with another Florida resident that makes himself pretty well known around this website.

 

 
We had a lot of fun discussing the latest Scientology news with Mike Rinder while chowing down on some seriously good Chinese delicacies.

OK, back to New York. While we were away some killer new documents came in, and we have a lot of catching up to do!

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Amicus brief submitted to Supreme Court for Valerie Haney

UNLV law school Professor Leslie C. Griffin, the same constitutional scholar who led a group of professors who submitted a “friend of the court” brief on behalf of Danny Masterson’s accusers in their appellate petition for relief, has now submitted a similar brief with many of the same professors to the US Supreme Court on behalf of Valerie Haney.

Like Masterson’s accusers, Haney is being told that she can’t sue Scientology even though the harassment she alleges occurred after she left the church and left its employ. Service contracts she signed instead obligate her to take her claims to Scientology’s internal arbitration scheme, which isn’t independent. This amounts to forcing an American to take part in a religious ritual of a church they no longer belong to, which appears to be a violation of their First Amendment religious rights, Griffin argues.

If Valerie Haney is subjected to religious arbitration by her former religion, her Free Exercise right to leave a religion is undermined. The Establishment Clause is also violated whenever the courts subject free individuals to religious law instead of to the laws of the states, which are supposed to protect them against harm.

This Court must stand with the courts that learned the lesson that organizations, regardless of religious affiliation, should be punished, not rewarded, for their torts, and rewarded only when they act in the best interests of the individuals they serve, and consistent with the laws of the United States.

Here’s the full document.

 
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Source Code

“We follow the rule — if it’s out out there it begun by being out on Flag. In getting it in on Flag we know how to get it in out there. That’s why management orgs must never be separate from a service org — separated, management goes unreal. You can’t say that about Flag. We really get our hands dirty. Unlike the housewife who criticizes the neighbors while her own living room is mountained with garbage, we clean it up at home first. Then we’re in a position to tell others how to do so. See, ma! Clean hands!” — L. Ron Hubbard, June 10, 1971

 
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Avast, Ye Mateys

“DRESS: Dear All, regarding our uniforms and dress — we looked a rather mottled lot on the dock yesterday and it was necessary to delay the Port Captain’s arrival to prevent him seeing us all in that state. Please remember we are an important ship round these ports so we must look that way. Please improve your dress and smarten up to fit. PORT: The Port Captain came aboard for drinks — he has invited Liz and I out for a meal and wants to return with his wife so she can see the ship. PRO in this port is cool.” — Lt. Barry Watson PO/Port Captain, June 10, 1970

 
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Overheard in the FreeZone

“I think it is time to review the several kinds of LRHs on Earth and in other planets that are able to make tech. There is the first ‘other LRH’ that Hubbard speaks of in a taped lecture of the ‘Time Track of Theta’ lectures. LRH explains that there is ‘another him’ (theta line) that is not in this planet and was publishing Book 1, ‘Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health’ at the same time as LRH. In conclusion, there is another LRH in another planet developing Scientology or Dianetics and this was described by LRH himself. Then we have another probable time line of LRH, described as a Brazilian Nazi drug dealer called Pedrito. I don’t think Pedrito might reincarnate and claim he is the original LRH we knew and make tech. The reference is also in the Time Track of Theta tapes. The next LRH after his body death would be Captain Bill Robertson’s Elron Elrey. The story goes that LRH dropped his body and assumed the identity of Galactic Patrol Commander for Sector 9, Elron Elrey. This Elron Elrey LRH would communicate with Capt. Bill and developed the Ron’s Org Tech. This tech does not replace Scientology tech but continues the research. I was told of a female LRH but I don’t know if she is a contemporary or a returney and I have no more data on that.”

 
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Past is Prologue

1997: Grady Ward reported that the Dead Agent attacks on him have continued, with an emailed pack to the entire school district his children attend. “As in the DA pack sent by the US Mails, this one accidentally gave away the source as ‘smtp.scientology.org’: ‘I am concerned about the Ward children who attend Pacific Union Elementary School. Their father, Grady Ward, posts profanity and pornography onto the Internet, which I have come across. I don’t normally get involved in such things. Except his children spend a lot of time with him, as their mother works. I am concerned that they are being exposed to this type of material. Enclosed are some examples of the type of material he puts onto the Internet.'”

 
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Random Howdy

“I think it was John Brousseau who said that he heard C.O.B. demean his father by calling him a ‘theetie-weetie thetan.’ LRH used the term in a lecture, I do believe.”

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

Criminal prosecutions:
Danny Masterson charged for raping three women: Next hearing set for August 9. Trial tentatively scheduled for early November.
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 to US Supreme Court submitted on May 26. Scientology has until June 25 to respond.
Chrissie Bixler et al. v. Scientology and Danny Masterson: California Supreme Court grants review on May 26, asks Second Appellate Division to direct Judge Steven Kleifield to show cause why he granted Scientology’s motion for arbitration.
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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THE PROSECUTION OF DANNY MASTERSON

We first broke the news of the LAPD’s investigation of Scientology celebrity Danny Masterson on rape allegations in 2017, and we’ve been covering the story every step of the way since then. At this page we’ve collected our most important links, including our four days in Los Angeles covering the preliminary hearing and its ruling, which has Danny facing trial and the potential sentence of 45 years to life in prison.

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 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?

 
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THE WHOLE TRACK

[ONE year ago] Singing for L. Ron Hubbard in the Sea Org: New videos about the Scientology experience
[TWO years ago] YouTube runs interference for Scientology and its Nation of Islam bigot problem
[THREE years ago] Scientology working its grift on a continent where it’s the last thing they need
[FOUR years ago] Who’s the most powerful elected Scientologist in the land? We have a candidate.
[FIVE years ago] Tonight, Cathy Schenkelberg takes her Scientology cans to the Hollywood Fringe
[SIX years ago] Garcias file notice of appeal with the Eleventh Circuit, take on two more specialist attorneys
[SEVEN years ago] About that ‘threesome’ with L. Ron Hubbard and the Heinleins
[EIGHT years ago] Scientology Goes After Critics With Legal Threat Letters Following Strange Infiltration
[NINE years ago] Scientology Book Bonanza! Jeff Hawkins Delivers, and More Reasons for Librarians to Hide

 
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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 2,327 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,832 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,352 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,372 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,263 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 4,570 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 2,438 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 3,212 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 1,542 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,016 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,332 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 11,898 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,817 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 3,985 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 3,566 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,827 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 2,865 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 2,578 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,103 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 458 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 1,633 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,184 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,333 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 3,653 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 8,508 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 3,627 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,983 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,286 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,392 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,794 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 2,666 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,249 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 2,744 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,998 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,107 days.

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Posted by Tony Ortega on June 10, 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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