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Judge Charlaine Olmedo on point: What was said in court about Danny Masterson’s subpoenas

[Danny Masterson and his legal team, Appelbaum and Mesereau, last September]

On August 9 we were on a family trip but we were able to appear at a court hearing in Los Angeles with a web link supplied by the court. We were there to watch our attorneys, Scott Pilutik and Graham Berry, ask Judge Charlaine Olmedo to quash a rather aggressive subpoena that Danny Masterson’s attorneys, Tom Mesereau and Sharon Appelbaum, had slapped us with some weeks earlier.

We reported the scene the next day in a story on August 10 as our subpoena, as well as those of numerous others served by Masterson in his criminal case, were knocked down by Judge Olmedo.

We did our best, while taking notes on our laptop while on vacation, to get down the most important things we heard on that web link, and we were naturally most interested in Scott’s argument and the judge’s ruling on it.

But several other things happened in that hearing that we were interested in getting down in more detail, and now we have a transcript of the hearing. We thought you’d also be interested in exactly how things went down that day.

Things started off with Judge Olmedo pointing out that the defense had, the Friday before, filed a “995” motion to dismiss. This is an attempt by Masterson to get the case thrown out of court based on a lack of evidence at the preliminary hearing, which took place from May 18-21.

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Judge Olmedo has already ruled that there was sufficient evidence submitted at that hearing (primarily the live testimony of the three alleged rape victims) and she ruled that Masterson should be bound over to stand trial, which she initially scheduled for November.

But she pointed out that with a 995 motion to dismiss, another judge will have to hear it, since it involves attempting to overturn a ruling Olmedo has already made. She said the motion will be heard by Judge Ronald Coen in Department 101, and she asked the attorneys to work out a date. After conferring briefly, Mesereau suggested November 10, and said it would likely last a couple of hours. Judge Olmedo accepted the date, and noted that Masterson won’t have to be there.

She also set that hearing as “zero of 90,” meaning that the trial date has now been moved back from November to February. (Berry told us he thinks May is more likely.)

Judge Olmedo then turned to the subpoenas, and announced that she would be handling ours first. She then had Pilutik give his arguments in support of the motion he had filed, and then also heard from Appelbaum for the defense. But throughout Appelbaum’s answer, and throughout the hearing, Olmedo stepped in to ask questions.

We thought this sequence was fun.

Judge Olmedo: The Court has some concerns, and I think I expressed this at the discovery hearing. You have an item here. Let’s look at item number 15 in the subpoena to Mr. Ortega where you request all communications in your possession, custody, or control between you and the Masterson accusers. And item 16, all communications in your possession, custody, or control between you and the attorneys representing the Masterson accusers.

Appelbaum: That’s under 15, your honor.

Judge Olmedo: Fifteen and 16. So there is no limitation of scope. There is no limitation of time. So let’s say Mr. Ortega communicated with one of the victims via email and said happy birthday, how would you be entitled to that?

A little later, attorney Kelli Sager argued against the subpoena that had been served on the production companies that made A&E’s Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath, and she made a similar point about how outrageously broad the requests for documents were.

Sager: There is not a single case I’m aware of, even pre-Delaney but certainly not post-Delaney, where the court has allowed the kind of subpoena the defendants are offering here where they basically say to a production company, to journalists, ‘Give us everything you’ve got because we want to see if there is something that might be relevant in there.’ That simply has not been allowed.

After hearing arguments on the media subpoenas, Judge Olmedo turned to subpoenas that had been served on the LAPD and a retired LAPD detective, Kevin Becker. The city objected that the kinds of documents the defense was asking for are the kind of thing that would be received through different means and not through a subpoena: hearings on discovery and something called a Pitchess motion, both of which had already occurred in the case.

Then things got really interesting when Olmedo began to refer to things Masterson’s team had been asking for in the subpoenas on the LAPD and Becker.

Judge Olmedo: I need you to illuminate for the Court the relevance Shelly Miscavige, David Miscavige, and Scientology and any of its executive officers, members, or whatnot based upon such open-ended items being requested. Because basically it seems to this Court, notwithstanding this specific case of rape allegations occurring in 2001, 2003 by three specific women, what the defense seems to be doing is trying to obtain discovery of anything in LAPD files that relate to Scientology, the Church of Scientology, David Miscavige, or Shelly Miscavige…Please explain to this Court how anything related to Shelly Miscavige, David Miscavige, Leah Remini, Michael Rinder and anything about the Church of Scientology in possession of the LAPD is otherwise discoverable to you in this case?

As for the defense’s focus on Remini in particular, Judge Olmedo is aware that Masterson is attempting to make the case about her as much as he can.

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Judge Olmedo: My understanding of the relevance to the defense regarding Ms. Remini is that it’s the defense position that because she is an anti-Scientologist, that she has either coerced or persuaded the witnesses to come forward, the victims to come forward, or instigated the investigation in 2016 and facilitated in some way with that moving forward. Is that a correct statement?

Appelbaum: I wouldn’t say, your honor, ‘coerced’ is a word we have used or would use in this case.

Judge Olmedo: Persuaded?

Appelbaum: Perhaps persuaded as well.

Judge Olmedo: So my question is, obviously at some point Ms. Remini was a Scientologist in good standing. Do you know when she left Scientology?

Appelbaum: I personally do not, your honor.

Judge Olmedo: OK. In 2001 and 2003, let’s say, through 2005, was she still a Scientologist in good standing?

Appelbaum: I would not know the answer to that, your honor. I apologize.

Judge Olmedo: OK. Well at some point she left the Church of Scientology. Presumably I believe that was some time after Tom Cruise’s wedding to Katie Holmes. Do you know when that wedding took place?

Appelbaum: I don’t, your honor.

Judge Olmedo: People, can you get the answer for the court?

Prosecutor Reinhold Mueller: I do know that Ms. Remini was a Scientologist in good standing as of 2004.

Judge Olmedo: OK. Can you obtain either, via Google right now, when the Tom Cruise wedding took place? Because I believe she attended that wedding. She would have to still be a Scientologist in good standing on that date.

Mueller: Yes.

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Judge Olmedo: OK. With that said, while they look up the answer for the people, is your argument concerning the relevancy of Michael Rinder the same thing?

Appelbaum: Yes, your honor.

Judge Olmedo: Can you please address for the court how you believe you’re entitled to anything in the LAPD’s files as it relates to Shelly Miscavige, David Miscavige, or Scientology generally?

Appelbaum: My understanding, your honor, is David Miscavige is the, is a defendant in the civil case and allegations against him were made similar to those against Mr. Masterson in terms of stalking, harassment, and other information as well. My also understanding is that Mr. Miscavige is the highest ranking member of the Church of Scientology and would be an authority on doctrine, and as your honor notes the subpoenas were issued after…

Judge Olmedo: I’m sorry, so he may be the highest authority of Scientology doctrine. How does that make accessible to the defense anything in LAPD files related to David Miscavige?

Appelbaum: The subpoenas, your honor, were issued after the preliminary hearing in this matter when the court made the determination about Church of Scientology doctrine.

Judge Olmedo: You may call him as an expert. That may be. If you want to do that in our trial, you can certainly do that. But how does that make anything in LAPD files, which presumably related to criminal investigations because that’s what LAPD does, how is that in any way relevant to the charges here?…LAPD investigates cases.

Appelbaum: Yes, your honor.

Judge Olmedo: They investigate criminal complaints. They are either proactive sometimes or reactive sometimes, but they are conducting criminal investigations. Is it your contention that any LAPD investigation, criminal investigation, relating to David Miscavige or Shelly Miscavige or the Church of Scientology that may be unrelated to this case is somehow discoverable to you regardless?

Appelbaum: No, your honor. I believe that specifically when we were discussing when it’s mentioned in here that some of this is based on Kevin Becker’s involvement in those matters and not specifically just those individuals.

Judge Olmedo: And Kevin Becker was not an investigator on this case. I know you said he got involved in some of it. But again, OK, you’ve said that David Miscavige may be the highest authority as it relates to Scientology doctrine. How about Shelly Miscavige? How is that relevant?

Appelbaum: I believe, your honor, that the theory we had on that is that her involvement with Kevin Becker was a matter that we’d be able to impeach Mr. Becker on potentially.

Judge Olmedo: So you want impeachment evidence of your impeachment witness?

A little later, Judge Olmedo did get her answer about Tom Cruise’s wedding.

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Judge Olmedo: All right. When was the date of Tom Cruise’s wedding

Mueller: November 18, 2006

Judge Olmedo: OK.

Mueller: And we have some reporting that Ms. Remini actually left the Church of Scientology in 2013.

Judge Olmedo: At the very least up through November of 2006, she was a Scientologist in good standing and presumable maybe even up to 2013.

Why all these questions about the date that Remini left Scientology? Because the fact that she was still in the church around the time of the rape allegations (2001 to 2003) and when Jane Doe #1 initially went to the LAPD (2004) undercuts the defense theory that this entire case is a put-up job by Remini after her defection.

It’s really only an interesting aside. But some of our sources point out that whatever the reason, David and Shelly Miscavige and Tom Cruise being mentioned in a criminal court proceeding, for whatever reason, would be considered a huge public relations disaster by the church itself.

Then, a little later, things got weirder. Mesereau, who had kept quiet nearly the entire hearing, suddenly spoke up.

Mesereau: Your honor, last week we, the defense, received some emails from Mr. Mueller, and Mr. Mueller purported to speak on behalf of third parties who had been subpoenaed to appear personally including Ms. Remini. Mr. Mueller wanted to know if we agree they don’t have to appear. And the answer is no. And then Mr. Mueller wanted to know would we agree to put them on call, and the answer was no. Then Mr. Mueller sent us, Ms. Appelbaum and myself, an email from Ms. Remini’s private attorney. And basically what the email was suggesting was that she doesn’t intend to appear and he suggested we contact her attorney. And Mr. Mueller said apparently — correct me if I’m wrong, Mr. Mueller — she doesn’t feel well, that kind of thing. It was a medical problem. I contacted the attorney for Ms. Remini. He was very professional on the phone. He said he had had discussions with Mr. Mueller and they concluded that Mr. Mueller could represent their interests, and I told them there were problems with that, particularly Mr. Mueller on behalf of the District Attorney’s Office telling third parties don’t produce documents to the defense, which, from my point of view…

Judge Olmedo: I’m sorry, is there evidence that Mr. Mueller said to Ms. Remini not to produce documents to the defense?

Mesereau: No. I mean, there is evidence that he tried to ask — well, no. The lawyer said he had talked with Mr. Mueller, they had agreed that Mr. Mueller could speak for them. That’s what he told me, words to that effect.

Judge Olmedo: That’s, that is a big jump to say you have a problem because Mr. Mueller told Ms. Remini she didn’t have to produce documents for the defense. If there is evidence of that, please bring it to the court’s attention.

Mesereau: Well, if he is representing Ms. Remini as her lawyer in this proceeding and she is not producing documents, that suggests to me that her lawyer is advising her not to produce documents and suggesting to the court that she should not have to produce documents.

Judge Olmedo: Isn’t that the whole purpose of a motion to quash?

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Mesereau: Well, we’re talking about personal appearance as well. What this lawyer told me was Mrs. Remini doesn’t feel well and is not going to attend, and I said, “This is rather curious, sir.” I said, “Mr. Mueller first asked us would we waive their presence. We say no. Then he asks us can they be on call. We say no.” Now, suddenly she comes up with a supposed medical issue without any proof that it even exists, and he said to me that “She can be avilable by Zoom, but she is not going to appear. You can take it up with the court.” From our point of view, there has been a direct refusal to honor a subpoena for a personal appearance. What troubles us particularly, not only does the broad issue of a District Attorney’s Office, the prosecutors in this case, representing third parties and coming to court and trying to stop third parties from producing evidence to the defense, but the idea that Mr. Mueller would be speaking for her on her behalf, as we speak now, knowing full well that she has refused to personally appear even though she was served is extremely troubling and I think sets up a conflict of interest on behalf of the prosecuting office, the LA District Attorney’s Office.

Mueller: Your honor…

Mesereau: What I’d like to confirm is, is he speaking for Ms. Remini now in this court? I believe he is.

Judge Olmedo: Well, he is the attorney representing the, Ms. Remini to the extent that the company, No Seriously Productions, has been served with a [subpoena]. That’s clear to the court.

Mesereau: She was personally served as well.

Judge Olmedo: Are you asking for a body attachment?

Mesereau: Yes, your honor.

Judge Olmedo: Is that what you’re asking for?

Mesereau: Yes.

Judge Olmedo: OK. We can take that up in just a minute. But Mr. Mueller doesn’t have to answer any of your questions. He may have to answer the court’s questions. He does not have to answer yours.

Mesereau: Yes, your honor.

Judge Olmedo: Mr. Mueller, did you wish to respond?

Mueller: I just take extreme offense to the, to these allegations and claims made by Mr. Mesereau, and they couldn’t be further from the truth. We, we did ask the defense whether some of these witnesses that were asked to appear in court might be placed on call or to be called off, given that we had these motions to quash being heard and pending the decision, the court’s decision and ruling. That was denied. So on that basis, we had contacted individuals to let them know that they need to be in court, and I did contact the, Ms. Remini’s attorney to convey that information to let her know that she does need to be in court. Her counsel had indicated to me, apparently after speaking to her, that she did have a medical condition that did not allow her to be in court for that hearing. When he indicated that to me, I sent an email to the defense to convey that information and that if they had any additional questions, they could reach out to the lawyer to get further explanation, and that was the extent of it. To take that and make these just gross allegations of some type of misconduct is just offensive, and I take exception to it.

Judge Olmedo: So what would be the purpose the defense wants Mr. Remini to be here in person when it relates to [a subpoena]? We’re not talking about a preliminary hearing or trial or any other evidentiary-taking process. We’re talking about someone bringing documents to court, ostensibly, for [a subpoena]. So I have yet to see, with 20 years on the bench, someone actually specifically request — it’s not uncommon for custodians of records to not appear in court on the dates that the subpoena states. And I have yet to see any counsel, defense related to police, people on defense counsel, medical records, any sort of thing, I have yet to see any person actually request that a custodian of records be, for all extent and purposes, arrested on a body attachment because they didn’t show up with documents precisely because it’s not an evidentiary hearing. So, can you please tell the court what it is I would want Ms. Remini’s presence to be here for other than to drop off documents which the court has yet to rule on whether or not they will even be required to be provided?

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Appelbaum: I’m sorry, there was no motion to quash for Ms. Remini personally, your honor. The only motion to quash that was filed on her behalf was the No Seriously Productions one.

Judge Olmedo: So what would be — the subpoena process is not to be used to harass people. Why would you need Ms. Remini here? Why do you need her here for this proceeding personally?

Appelbaum: Usually the subpoenas, your honor, dictated either attending the hearing or submitting the documents in advance or ni this case a motion to quash.

Judge Olmedo: OK. So nobody else submitted documents? Are you moving for body attachments on every other person here?

Appelbaum: No, your honor, but they filed motions to quash.

Judge Olmedo: Well, there is a motion to quash on behalf of No Seriously Productions.

Appelbaum: Correct, your honor. There was a personal, a subpoena for her personal communications, not those with No Seriously Productions.

Judge Olmedo: OK. Is there a different subpoena?

Appelbaum: There is two separate subpoenas. I don’t know if Mr. Mueller has it.

Mueller: I am not aware of a separate subpoena naming Ms. Remini. I’m just aware of the one that’s NSP, No Seriously Productions, that’s the only one I’m familiar with.

Appelbaum: There is a separate, the one that was Mr. Farr, right. That was someone who was associated with her company who received that subpoena.

Judge Olmedo: Can the court see that?

Appelbaum: Yes, your honor. I have a copy for Mr. Mueller as well.

Judge Olmedo: And the proof of personal service?

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Appelbaum: Yes, your honor. I will submit all of that. Your honor, would you like me to approach?

Judge Olmedo: Please.

Appelbaum: The second page is the proof of service.

Judge Olmedo: Thank you. All right. What the court is going to do — if either side wishes to be heard afterwards or not. I do see proof of personal service. It does appear to be Ms. Remini personally. However, obviously, the court hasn’t reviewed the subpoena itself. There is no motion to quash the subpoena at this point. However, based upon the fact that the world is in a pandemic and the delta variant is raging out of control in California and elsewhere, the Court has implemented procedures to allow for appearances of attorneys and parties via Webex. So the court does not find necessarily unusual without more, an individual’s inclination to not attend court because of medical conditions that may be impacted by Covid or the delta variant specifically. The Court will issue and hold a body attachment at the defense request having seen personal service to Ms. Remini. We will set this for additional hearings either for the provision of the items requested or a motion to quash the subpoena on November 10th, the same date. And at that time Ms. Remini can either be present, move to quash either through her own attorney or the People may choose to file something on her behalf and we can litigate that further. So a body attachment will be issue and held until November 10th.

Mesereau: Thank you, your honor.

We trust that Leah’s attorney will answer the subpoena before November 10.

Judge Olmedo ended up giving a very comprehensive ruling that day as she knocked down every one of the subpoenas (except for the one Leah still needs to deal with).

We just wanted to pull out a few paragraphs from her summation.

Judge Olmedo: Looking at the subpoena to Tony Ortega, the [subpoena] is overly broad, stunningly so, despite the court’s warnings at the previous discovery hearing that similar language was overly broad and vague, and, therefore, discovery requests were previously denied.

On this basis alone, the court grants the motion to quash the [subpoena] for being overly broad. Assuming arguendo the [subpoena] is not overly broad, the Court conducts the analysis in Delaney.

Is Tony Ortega entitled to the protection of the California Shield Law and evidence code section 1070? The answer is yes. He gathers new, particularly news related to Scientology, and disseminates it on a public website. The fact the information is published on a website does not render it less valuable to public discourse or less protection under the shield law.

The gathering and dissemination of public information by a variety of means including the solicitation of submissions by confidential sources constitutes the gathering and dissemination of news as that phrase must be understood and applied under California’s Shield Law.

The open and deliberate publication on a news-oriented website of news gathered for that purpose by the site’s operators is conceptually indistinguishable from publishing a newspaper. The language of the California Shield Law extends to every publishing editor, reporter, or other person connected or employed by a newspaper, magazine, or other publication.

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The Court does want to note that it further appears to this court the [subpoenas] are a concerted effort to obtain discovery for the civil case via this criminal case discovery process and by doing so counsel is attempting to obtain items they would otherwise never be entitled to in a civil case. Furthermore, many of the items requested in the [subpoenas] are contrary to the court’s previous ruling and seem to be an attempt to circumvent the court’s prior court orders. That will be the ruling of the court. With that said, we are in recess.

 
Now that you’ve had an even better view of what happened that day, do you agree with us that these subpoenas seemed to serve the interests of the Church of Scientology (being sued in civil court) than the defense of Danny Masterson? Let us know what you think.

 
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Bonus items from our tipsters

Who else to turn to about public relations than Scientology?

 

 
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Source Code

“I thought of a difference between a Scientologist and the world at large on this particular planet. The people think that what we’re doing is unreal, but we know the substance of their unreality, which of course makes us top dog every time. We know the substance of their unreality. In other words, we know where their itsa line is out. See, they know what — they’re not identifying, see? Their itsas are just for the birds, you know? ‘Man is an animal. He is a biochemical protoplasm which goes no place. At death there is a cessation of cellular commotion.’ That’s a good itsa, isn’t it? That just immediately makes nothing out of everybody.” — L. Ron Hubbard, August 20, 1963

 

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Avast, Ye Mateys

“Musical Chairs in life is the mechanism below ARC Brks in Grade III! To unstabilize gives ARC Brks! Whole staff can be put into a sad effect! This is the mechanism govts use. It’s the basic tool of the socialist. If he can just unstabilize everyone he can kill them with degrade. It’s a basic tool of the insane to maintain their own stability by unstabilizing everyone else. There’s more to it, but it’s a major discovery that affects even the ARC Brk rud and affects the no case gain case. So that’s where I’ve been working lately in research and wow is it paying off!!! It began when I assumed that the musical chairs he get in orgs was a social aberration not an admin error. From there it’s been discovery all the way.” — The Commodore, August 20, 1971

 
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Overheard in the FreeZone

“Every brand of Scientology has the same problem of impermanent gains because they do not recognize the effect that continually being surrounded by spirits with engrams will produce. You can get rid of many of your own engrams with Scientology or Dianetic processing, but you will never clear the thousands of beings who surround you every day. Getting rid of troublesome spirits is like dusting your house or washing your car. As soon as you finish cleaning things up, there is another group of spirits landing on you.”

 
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Past is Prologue

1998: The St. Petersburg Times reported that Scientology has purchased the Osceola Inn in downtown Clearwater. “The Church of Scientology has spent $3.2-million to purchase most of a city block across the street from its waterfront Sandcastle property, continuing its spate of downtown land buys over the last year. The property’s centerpiece is the former Osceola Inn, a vacant retirement center at 221 N Osceola Ave. The church will renovate it to accommodate parishioners who travel to Clearwater for Scientology counseling. Since June 1997, the church and companies that represent it in real estate transactions have purchased 12 properties in the downtown core for a total of $7.2-million. Church officials say they expect to attract thousands more Scientologists to Clearwater each year with the expansion. The Osceola Inn property and law office comprise three-quarters of the block bounded by Drew Street on the south, Osceola Avenue on the west, N Fort Harrison Avenue on the east and Jones Street on the north. The remaining portion of the block is a vacant used car lot owned by Ray Cassano, a prominent figure in local Scientology circles.”

 
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Random Howdy

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“You come on here with a bunch of fantastical yarns that sound like one big cliched Scientology horror story, offering no proof for any of it, and you expect something other than derision?”

 
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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 November 10. Trial tentatively scheduled for February.
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 25 in Los Angeles
David Gentile, GPB Capital, fraud: Next pretrial conference set for Sept 9.

Civil litigation:
Luis and Rocio Garcia v. Scientology: Oral arguments were heard on July 30, 2020 at the Eleventh Circuit
Valerie Haney v. Scientology: Forced to ‘religious arbitration.’ Petition to US Supreme Court submitted on May 26. Scientology responded on June 25.
Chrissie Bixler et al. v. Scientology and Danny Masterson: California Supreme Court granted review on May 26 and asked the Second Appellate Division to direct Judge Steven Kleifield to show cause why he granted Scientology’s motion for arbitration. Oral arguments scheduled for Oct 5.
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: Third 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 23. Appeal hearing scheduled for Aug 23-27.

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] Even Alaska — yes, Alaska — gave Scientology COVID-relief funds, for Xenu’s sake
[TWO years ago] Scientology finally solves its recruiting woes with professional ham hock Grant Cardone
[THREE years ago] While the Scientology scandal swirls in Colombia, a key figure relaxes in Florida
[FOUR years ago] How badly does Scientology need new staff? Miscavige is bringing back the ‘Universe Corps’
[FIVE years ago] Atack: Why those who try to save Scientology from itself are doomed to failure
[SIX years ago] Scientology superstar: What it’s like to be big in Taiwan
[SEVEN years ago] Narconon’s cancer spreads: New lawsuits and a court order for Scientology’s rehab network
[EIGHT years ago] Scientology Makes the Grade: Touching Walls to Total Freedom
[NINE years ago] Scientology’s Grip on the Mind: An Ex-Sea Org Member Explains It For Us
[TEN years ago] Scientology Deluge: 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 2,398 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,903 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,423 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,443 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,334 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 4,641 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 2,509 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 3,283 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 1,613 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,087 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,403 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 11,969 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,888 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,056 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 3,637 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,898 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 2,936 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 2,649 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,174 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 529 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 1,704 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,255 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,404 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 3,724 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 8,579 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 3,698 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,054 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,357 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,463 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,861 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 2,737 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,320 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 2,815 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,069 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,178 days.

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Posted by Tony Ortega on August 20, 2021 at 07:00

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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…

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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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