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Danny Masterson’s rape prosecutors tell Calif. Supremes why his Scientology argument is weak

[Danny Masterson and his criminal prosecutor, Deputy DA Reinhold Mueller]

On April 3, we told you about the petition that Danny Masterson’s legal team had made to the California Supreme Court, hoping to find a way to stop (or at least delay) his criminal rape trial, which is scheduled for August 29. (He’s accused of forcibly raping three women, and faces 45 years to life if he’s convicted. He has maintained his innocence.)

Danny’s petition, written by his attorney Philip Cohen, echoed what the Church of Scientology itself had complained about at a February court hearing: Scientology and Danny are upset that Judge Charlaine Olmedo allowed testimony about Scientology’s policies against reporting fellow Scientologists to the police when she decided last year to schedule the trial.

In the petition to the state supreme court, Cohen argued that Danny’s religious rights were being trampled because Judge Olmedo had interpreted Scientology scriptures when she decided Danny should stand trial.

[Judge Olmedo] read and interpreted the scripture and concluded that Scientology flatly prohibits one Scientologist from reporting another to the police. Based on her own reading and religious determination, the magistrate concluded that Scientology doctrine absolutely bars practicing Scientologists from reporting crimes to the police, and therefore provided a sufficient explanation for three critical categories of impeachment: long delays in reporting the allegations, inconsistent statements, and conduct after the alleged crimes. The magistrate then expressly relied upon this conclusion to hold Petitioner to answer.

In other words, the magistrate decided that Scientology doctrine – as determined by the magistrate herself – provided a sufficient basis to disregard facts that otherwise would have raised serious doubts about the sufficiency of evidence. Because there was no corroborating evidence and the case rested entirely on the reliability of the Jane Does, the magistrate’s holding order effectively hinged on her conclusions about what moral and ethical behavior the Church’s doctrine requires of its members.


(Emphasis in the original.)

The state supreme court then asked Danny’s prosecutors — the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office — to provide an answer to this argument, and they submitted it yesterday. We have it for you to look at.

In the courtroom, Masterson is being prosecuted by Deputy DA Reinhold Mueller. But this answer was signed by another couple of Deputy DAs, Tracey Whitney and Elizabeth Marks. In a very easy to read document, they explain that Judge Olmedo made it clear that she was allowing both sides at last year’s preliminary hearing to introduce Scientology “scriptures” as long as it went to the limited purpose of helping to understand the state of mind of the three victims and why they hadn’t come forward sooner. (All three were Scientologists at the time of the incidents, which took place between 2001 and 2003.)

It was the defense, after all, that first brought up the book “Introduction to Scientology Ethics” and used it to question one of the victims.

The defense, not the prosecution, presented a Scientology Ethics Book to one of the victims during cross-examination. Only then did these now-disputed texts (the Ethics Book and written Ethics Policies) come into evidence. This was neither a violation of the ecclesiastical abstention doctrine nor an infringement on Petitioner’s freedom of exercise of religion. It was entirely appropriate for the magistrate to consider this evidence for the limited express purpose that it did. Thus, this Court should deny review.

After making that point, the Deputy DAs go into a lengthy description of exactly how the preliminary hearing went down, pointing out the moments when Judge Olmedo kept that testimony narrowly focused, and admonishing both sides for trying to go to deeply into Scientology principles.

The result is that you can see how Judge Olmedo actually did keep both sides on track, and didn’t allow Scientology to become a defendant in the case. Take a look at the document and let us know what you think.

The odds are still against Masterson that the state supreme court will respond to his petition by granting review of the case, but he gets a chance to reply to this answer in a few days.


People v. Masterson 05/03/2… by Tony Ortega


Out of town attorneys admitted in Baxter trafficking case


In another legal development, all seven of the out-of-town attorneys who applied to the Tampa federal court where the new labor trafficking case was filed have been accepted.

Zahra R. Dean, Neil L. Glazer (pictured), Elias A. Kohn, Joseph C. Kohn, Aarthi Manohar, Elizabeth F. Quinby, and Shana M. Solomon all got the OK in Judge Thomas Barber’s court when their motions were approved by the court’s magistrate judge, Julie S. Sneed.

And all seven were approved before Scientology has even had a chance to respond to the lawsuit.


Valerie Haney gets a new judge

And one more legal update today, and it’s a bit of a surprise: The court record indicates that Valerie Haney has a new judge.

The former Sea Org employee, who now works as an assistant to Leah Remini, filed her lawsuit against the Church of Scientology in 2019, but it was derailed when Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Richard J. Burdge Jr. granted Scientology’s motion to deny Valerie right to trial in favor of its own internal brand of “religious arbitration.”

Our legal experts were not very impressed by Judge Burdge’s seeming lack of interest in the case when he granted the motion, and the judge has denied two of Valerie’s motions for reconsideration since then. At this point, her case is in limbo unless and until she goes through an “arbitration” with the church.

However, we noticed this week a surprise in her court file. On April 29, Valerie’s case was transferred by the court from Judge Burdge to Judge Gail Killefer, who was appointed to the Superior Court by then-Governor Jerry Brown in 2019.

We’ve seen this before: If you remember Laura DeCrescenzo’s lawsuit went through several judges over its history after her original judge retired during the case.

Did Judge Burdge retire or something? We don’t know yet. We’ve made some inquiries. We’ll let you know what we find out.



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Source Code

“Every physicist, every single physicist, including Newton, and all the rest of the boys, have fallen flat on their faces by not establishing the basic conditions of what they were dealing with. They have started from an unreasonable assumption. They’ve assumed that somebody knew what space was, and have gone on from there. And they’ve decided that somebody knew what a static was, and they’ve gone on from there. And of course they’d wind us up in trouble sooner or later with a thing like an atom bomb. Naturally, they’d wind us up in trouble because they didn’t know where they were proceeding. This is not an indictment, you understand, of science at large. It’s just hoping it will perish soon. Because if this is the scientific method, to start with unreasonable assumptions and never discover what your definitions are before you proceed into a problem, then we want nothing to do with a scientific method. And you actually are then not following the scientific method, because that is the scientific method. You’re really not dealing, then, in the field of science if the field of science is what we have had in psychology and physics. Because then we are not dealing with this. Because we do this, and there are a new set of principles established here. And the only thing you could call them, I guess, would be a Scientological method, as unhandy as Scientology becomes when you start to add suffixes to it.” — L. Ron Hubbard, May 4, 1954


Avast, Ye Mateys

“HARD WORK: Diana, in readying up the CS-6 post so she could leave, worked 72 hours straight through and then boarded the plane. It is not fully known that, with Franchise and Celebrity Centres, Diana handles many more orgs herself than the whole FB. Blackburn Smith is standing in as her deputy during her three week absence. Due to the jumbled state my photo gear was allowed to get into I couldn’t find a camera to give her but fixed it so she could buy one and thus bring back pictures of her travels. I think this is her first vacation in four years in the SO.” — The Commodore, May 4, 1971


Overheard in the FreeZone

“Weird little wins with new found abilities. Today I wondered what it felt like to be a cloud, so I did.”



Past is Prologue

1996: Tony McClelland encountered unusual opposition to a recent picket in Sydney, not from the cult, but from police officers. “Last night the CofS held an official opening of a volcano in George Street, in the centre of Sydney. The volcano is huge and the CofS refers to it as Sydney’s new landmark. Police estimates of the crowd in the street were 5,000, however, I estimate little more than 1,000. I was the sole demonstrator and I carried a sandwich board reading SCIENTOLOGY A CONFIDENCE TRICK? I handed out 200 leaflets until I was forcefully arrested and taken to George Street Police station. When I was released and advised the Police that I was returning to continue my demonstration they confiscated my sandwich board. The police claimed that they had received a very large number of complaints about my presence. On the way home I was followed by a uniformed and badged CofS security guard.”


Random Howdy

“People keep calling for the government to do something about Scientology. I just hope none of those people are the same people calling for a lot less government, because that would be kind of hypocritical, don’t you think? And I’ll leave it at that.”


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:
Baxter, Baxter, and Paris v. Scientology, alleging labor trafficking: Complaint filed April 28 in Tampa federal court.
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 December 6.
Author Steve Cannane defamation trial: New trial ordered after appeals court overturned prior 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] Scientology is back! Fundraising back on to turn the entire country ‘Ideal,’ praise Xenu!
[TWO years ago] Danny Masterson: Drop me from Scientology lawsuit if the ‘Jane Does’ won’t name themselves
[THREE years ago] Scientology measles ship back in Curaçao, which talks tough about quarantine
[FOUR years ago] Federal judge smacks down Scientology’s shameless attempt to delay forced-abortion case
[FIVE years ago] Forced abortions, beatings, and sleep deprivation: The FBI on Scientology’s Sea Org
[SIX years ago] Scientology confirms it won’t oppose Monique Rathbun’s plans to ditch lawsuit
[SEVEN years ago] More from a secretly-recorded executive griping about Scientology’s sad state of affairs
[EIGHT years ago] Sunday Funnies: Scientology says, May the Fourth be with you
[NINE years ago] SCIENTOLOGY TO CALIFORNIA SUPREMES: State’s Priest-Penitent Law is Unconstitutional
[TEN years ago] Amanda Palmer Loved Kate Bornstein’s Memoir So Much, She Crashed the Book Party


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 2,654 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,159 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,709 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,699 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,590 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 4,896 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 2,765 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 3,539 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 1,870 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,343 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,659 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,225 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 8,144 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,312 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 3,892 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,154 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,190 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 2,905 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,430 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 785 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 1,960 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,511 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,660 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 3,980 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 8,835 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 3,954 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,310 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,613 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,719 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 3,117 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 2,993 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,576 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 3,071 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,325 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,434 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on May 4, 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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