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Calif. supremes want reply from DA to Danny Masterson’s bid for review in rape case

[Danny Masterson and prosecutor Reinhold Mueller]

For several days we’ve been telling you that we’re waiting to see what the California Supreme Court is going to do on three questions before it.

We’re still waiting, but yesterday there was an interesting new wrinkle to one of those questions: The court has asked for more information on Danny Masterson’s bid for review in his criminal rape case.

To refresh your memory, Danny is facing a possible sentence of 45 years to life in prison if he’s convicted of forcible rape against three women in incidents that occurred between 2001 and 2003. Masterson is a Scientology celebrity, and the three women were Scientologists at the time of the incidents but no longer.

Judge Charlaine Olmedo has scheduled the trial to begin on August 29 in Los Angeles and to last four weeks. Last year Masterson’s defense team filed a “995” motion to dismiss the case based on the idea that Judge Olmedo erred when she ruled at the end of a four-day preliminary hearing last May that there was enough evidence to bind Masterson over for trial based on testimony of the three alleged victims.

That 995 motion was denied on February 8 by Judge Ronald S. Coen, and then the Masterson team petitioned a state appeals court, asking for it to review the matter based on the idea that Judge Olmedo had improperly “interpreted” Scientology doctrine as part of her ruling to hold a trial.


The appeals court denied that petition straight away, issuing only a brief statement: “The court has read and considered the petition for a writ of mandate filed on February 22, 2022. The petition is denied.”

At that point, Masterson’s team then petitioned the state supreme court, and we wondered if it too would deny his request out of hand.

Instead, yesterday the court asked the “real party in interest” — in other words, prosecutor Deputy DA Reinhold Mueller — to file an answer to the issues that Masterson is raising.

Is this the court simply checking boxes, or is it a real sign that the state’s highest court is taking more seriously Danny’s request than the appeals court did?

Mueller has until May 4 to send in his answer, and then Danny will have an additional ten days to respond.



Bonus items from our tipsters

Meanwhile, what you’re missing on Scientology TV!





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Source Code

“Don’t, by the way, think I’m utterly mad when I talk about this, because I am afraid that the very, very best and most conservative churches of the land would rather be found dead than to disagree with me on the fact that man does have a soul. And the quest of an auditor, in working with a preclear, is to discover and rehabilitate that soul and actually help the individual to find out where heaven is. If we use those terms, of course, it becomes very comprehensible, in a past frame of reference. But heaven isn’t what you think it is, and hell is right here….But isn’t it strange that whenever I talk to somebody about this, they are much more willing to accept this concept than they were willing to accept such things as prenatal engrams and so forth. The most violent reactions I get from people, ordinarily, ‘You mean I HAVE lived before and I WILL live again?’ And you say…’Yeah, and the race has lived for an awful long time, and you could probably do so-and-so and so-and-so, and step out of your body and soar off to Venus if you wanted to.’ Used to be I’d say to somebody…’There’s such things as prenatal engrams and a child records when it’s in its mother and so forth.’ And they’d say, ‘Yak yak yak yak yak yak yak yak.’ No agreement on the line. But people are agreeing with me on THIS in the most unexpected quarters, unexpected quarters. Most people are atheists because they know that the way it was drawn up and presented to them wasn’t the way it is. That’s why they’re atheists. So don’t have any great fear about this theta track and theta beingness, or even in relaying it to people, because you’re in for some surprises. They’ll sit there and they’ll say, ‘Is that so! Tell me more.’” — L. Ron Hubbard, April 15, 1952


Avast, Ye Mateys

“CORFU: It may be of interest that ‘Major’ Forte the British Consul in Corfu who messed the area up with lies is about to be sued by us in Corfu for libel and slander proven by his own testimony.” — The Commodore, April 15, 1971



Overheard in the FreeZone

“There appears to be one other state of being above OT that can be theoretically stated to be a True Static. So stay the course as things are about to change for the better. All of the hopes and dreams that we have worked so hard for are not only about to be realized — but surpassed.”


Past is Prologue

1998: Scientologist George Chelekis was ordered to pay $600,000 to a reporter in a libel suit this week in Vancouver, British Columbia. From the Associated Press: “A Vancouver Sun business reporter won a $600,000 libel judgment over claims he had manufactured negative news about some companies to drive down the price of their shares. The judgment for David Baines, a prize-winning investigative reporter, was the second-largest libel award in Canadian history. In a ruling released Wednesday, the British Columbia Supreme Court said Florida journalist George Chelekis carried on a ‘campaign of vilification with the intention that Baines be left with no credibility.’ The suit against Chelekis and two publishers was filed by lawyers for Southam Inc., which owns the Sun, after a series of articles written by Chelekis were reprinted in the two newsletters and carried over the Internet. Chelekis accused Baines, whose articles have exposed mining company and Vancouver stock exchange abuses, of threatening his life and that of his secretary, as well as of making up unfavorable news about some companies.”


Random Howdy

“The only thing standing between Scientology being viewed in the same light as FLDS, Peoples Temple or Branch Davidians by the general public is Tom Cruise and the rest of the celebs.”


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

Criminal prosecutions:

Danny Masterson charged for raping three women: Next pretrial conference May 31. Trial scheduled for August 29.
‘Lafayette Ronald Hubbard’ (a/k/a Justin Craig), aggravated assault, plus drug charges: Last hearing was on January 18, referred to grand jury. Additional charges also referred to grand jury after January 5 assault while in jail.
Jay and Jeff Spina, Medicare fraud: Jay sentenced to 9 years in prison. Jeff’s sentencing to be scheduled.
Rizza Islam and other family members, Medi-Cal fraud: Pretrial conference May 20 in Los Angeles
David Gentile, GPB Capital, fraud: Next pretrial conference set for May 5.
Joseph ‘Ben’ Barton, Medicare fraud: Pleaded guilty, awaiting sentencing.
Yanti Mike Greene, Scientology private eye accused of contempt of court: Found guilty of criminal and civil contempt.

Civil litigation:
Luis and Rocio Garcia v. Scientology: Eleventh Circuit affirmed ruling granting Scientology’s motion for arbitration. Garcias considering next move.
Valerie Haney v. Scientology: Forced to ‘religious arbitration.’ Valerie’s motion for reconsideration denied on March 15.
Chrissie Bixler et al. v. Scientology and Danny Masterson: Appellate court removes requirement of arbitration on January 19, case remanded back to Superior Court. Next hearing scheduled for June 29.
Brian Statler Sr v. City of Inglewood: Third amended complaint filed, trial set for June 28.
Author Steve Cannane defamation trial: Trial concluded, Cannane victorious, awarded court costs. Appeal hearing held Aug 23-27. Awaiting a ruling.
Chiropractors Steve Peyroux and Brent Detelich, stem cell fraud: Lawsuit filed by the FTC and state of Georgia in August, now in discovery phase.



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.


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] Kirstie Alley’s daughter: ‘Everyone’ is ditching Los Angeles for Clearwater
[TWO years ago] ‘Rona blues: Court delays, Shelly on the menu, and more Scientology nonsense
[THREE years ago] L. Ron Hubbard: Scientology will thrive when medical doctors are reined in
[FOUR years ago] Scientology’s space opera ideas aren’t just for the upper levels, as one key early book shows
[FIVE years ago] Scientology is No. 1 with No. 2! Or, how the Church of David Miscavige stinks up Clearwater
[SIX years ago] Scientology rips apart families with its ‘disconnection’ policy — but why?
[SEVEN years ago] Another leak of outtakes from 1997’s ‘Secret Lives’ — Scientology’s finance ‘dictator’
[EIGHT years ago] Jefferson Hawkins helps us understand Scientology’s L Rundowns!
[NINE years ago] We Need Your Help, Scientology Watchers
[TEN years ago] Writers of the Future, Today! Scientology Gets Its Party On


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 2,635 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,140 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,660 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,680 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,571 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 4,878 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 2,746 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 3,520 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 1,851 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,324 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,640 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,206 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 8,125 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,293 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 3,873 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,135 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,171 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 2,886 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,411 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 766 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 1,941 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,492 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,641 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 3,961 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 8,816 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 3,935 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,291 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,594 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,700 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 3,098 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 2,974 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,557 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 3,052 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,306 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,415 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on April 15, 2022 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, 1995-2021 Just starting out here? We’ve picked out the most important stories we’ve covered here at the Underground Bunker (2012-2021), 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


Tony Ortega at The Daily Beast


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