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Danny Masterson done with appeals before Oct 11 trial? Can Scientology allow it to happen?

[Danny Masterson and el jefe, David Miscavige]

We have some updates on some of the legal cases we’ve been watching, and thought we’d collect them in a single piece. First, we are kind of surprised to find that Danny Masterson is apparently not trying to appeal his most recent defeat in his criminal rape case.

If you’ve been following our coverage you know that since he was charged in June 2020, Masterson and his attorneys have been trying every possible angle to slow up the case, with multiple appeals and even some downright unusual moves.

Initially, that effort did delay things (as did the pandemic), but once the matter ended up in the courtroom of Judge Charlaine Olmedo, she’s really held both sides to a strict schedule, with the aim of starting a criminal trial on October 11. (Masterson is facing three counts of forcible rape, and if he’s convicted of all three, he’s looking at 45 years to life in prison.)

Most recently, Masterson’s team filed a couple of motions that were meant to derail the case. They asked for count one — the allegations of a woman going by the name Jane Doe 1 — to be dismissed because of prosecutorial delay. They also asked for the remaining two counts to be severed into separate trials.

Judge Olmedo dismissed that second motion in May, and then asked for more briefing before denying the motion to dismiss Jane Doe 1 on June 30. We got a copy of the transcript from that day, and went into some detail about it earlier.


Who could blame Judge Olmedo, after all that’s gone on in this case, when she said at the June 30 hearing that she expected her ruling denying Danny’s latest motion to face yet another petition for appeal, saying at one point, “if there is a reviewing court down the road — and I’m not trying to foreshadow anything…”

Like Judge Olmedo, we’ve been expecting that petition to come. So we’ve been watching the dockets at various courthouses since then, waiting for some sign that the Masterson team had filed something somewhere asking for a review of Judge Olmedo’s ruling, and assuming it would come within two weeks of the June 30 decision. On Friday, after seeing nothing, we called up the court and the clerk also indicated that he saw no sign of an appeal.

Is Danny now resigned to preparing for an October 11 trial? Or is another move coming? In May he fired his attorneys Tom Mesereau and Sharon Appelbaum, but that only bought him a six-week delay. Can he get another delay if he now fires Philip Cohen and Shawn Holley? And if they don’t leave, is Shawn Holley really prepared to become the very visible trial counsel for an accused violent, serial rapist right when the series she is co-producing with Kerry Washington and Larry Wilmore, “Reasonable Doubt,” is premiering on Hulu just two weeks before the trial starts? And can David Miscavige really allow a trial to happen that will be soaked through with allegations of Scientology meddling and interference?

If Danny’s done with appeals, his list of options to get out of the trial is growing shorter every day.

Another tidbit about Masterson’s October 11 trial: Earlier we told you that a strange scheduling conflict was really putting us into a quandary: Both the Masterson criminal trial in Los Angeles, and Paul Haggis’s civil trial in New York, are scheduled to start the same day.

Since then there’s been a new development. Haleigh Breest, the woman suing Haggis, has asked the court, with Haggis’s consent, to move the trial start up to October 3. In a letter to the court, Breest’s attorneys explain that they are requesting the change to accommodate an expert they are asking to testify, who can’t make the later date.

We’re still waiting to see if the court approves this request, which would at least help the scheduling crunch a little.

Meanwhile, in the civil lawsuit Bixler v. Scientology, filed by Danny Masterson’s accusers, the US Supreme Court set a date of August 22 for the Bixler plaintiffs to respond to Scientology’s petition. Scientology is asking the court to review a stunning January ruling that struck down its “religious arbitration” derailing of the lawsuit. The ruling, from a California appeals court, restored the lawsuit, and Scientology complains that the decision was a shocking violation of the church’s religious freedom.

Odds are long that the Supreme Court will want to get involved, but if the Bixler side wants to respond, they have until that date, August 22.

And finally, Scientology’s “International Justice Chief” Mike Ellis is apparently taking his sweet time responding to Valerie Haney’s nomination of Elisabeth Moss as an arbitrator in her derailed lawsuit.

After trying and failing to get the motion that forced her lawsuit into religious arbitration overturned, Valerie was faced with little choice but to write personally to Ellis on July 1, asking Scientology to begin the arbitration process. And when she was asked to nominate a Scientologist in good standing to be an arbitrator (one of three for the panel), she named Moss.

It was a cheeky move and an excellent form of protest. But we’re kind of surprised that it’s taken this long for Ellis to respond. (We assume he’s just going to say Moss is unavailable, and will ask Valerie to suggest another name.)

Since this will be only the second religious arbitration in the 70-year history of Scientology, what’s taking Ellis so long? It’s not like he’s busy or something.



Bonus items from our tipsters

Mark your calendars!



Now available: Bonus for our supporters

Episode 5 of the Underground Bunker podcast has been sent out to paid subscribers, and it’s a conversation with Sunny Pereira dishing secrets of Scientology’s Hollywood Celebrity Centre. Meanwhile, we’ve made episodes 1 through 4 available to everyone, with Bruce Hines on the crazy life in the Sea Org, Jeffrey Augustine on recent Scientology court cases, Claire Headley exposing Tom Cruise, and Marc Headley on what it must be like for David Miscavige living in Clearwater, Florida. Go here to get the episodes!


Source Code

“You don’t have to know anything about electronics. You don’t have to be able to do one of these things, or make one, you just have to be able to run one….A retractor beam is used somewhat on the order that you bulldog a calf or rope a steer, or something of the sort. It’s to grab hold of something and hold it and pull it in….Why do men stay on Earth? Have you ever had a pc that gave you the idea that he was held down and was going to take root and grow? Have you ever had the idea that you’re sort of anchored in one spot? Did you ever feel heavy? Did you ever get up in the morning and feel tired? You get out of bed, you’re feeling all right, but the second you stand up you feel kind of tired. All you’re doing is kicking in one of these darn retractor somatics.” — L. Ron Hubbard, July 24, 1952



Avast, Ye Mateys

“I think you’ll find the water tastes better. The contaminated water (defiled by a decayed hose being used to take it aboard probably) has been taken out of No. 4 tanks and pumped into Deep Tank forward. Clean water is reported as now in the lines.” — The Commodore, July 24, 1970


Overheard in the FreeZone

“Chris Shelton mainly has a voice because some higher profile ‘experts’ are supporting him. These guys have ‘important insider’ information on what happens only when the tech is squirreled and abused. Do they ever report all the successes? The one true expert on Scientology is LRH. He is the one to study and listen to.”


Past is Prologue

2000: From Jeff Jacobsen: “Tonight Bob Minton, Mark Bunker, Duncan Pierce, Grady Ward, Gerry Armstrong and I picketed in front of the Ft. Harrison Hotel from about 9 to 10pm. A woman came and said to each of us ‘you picked a bad night, there are hundreds of us coming! You should leave now!’ 60-100 Scientologists converged on us, waving small US flags for some reason. They immediately began shouting and screaming at us and getting in our faces. They continued this the whole hour. A small boy, maybe 9, kept his flag in front of my camera for 10 minutes straight, so I finally asked an officer if something could be done about that. She said no, but at least the kid got scared and quit. There were times I was deliberately bumped into and pushed, but nothing too bad. The cops seemed completely bewildered as to what to do, and actually parked a paddy wagon in front of Flag and opened the back door. The cops took Dennis Clarke aside finally and told him to go home They also pulled another woman out who had been literally screaming in Gerry’s ear. She was given a warning. People were slapping Dennis Clarke on the back as he left, a job well done. The little kids that they bring are learning this hate and will no doubt continue it to the next generation.”


Random Howdy


“Just like with Esmeralda the Gypsy fortune teller proclaiming that her powers won’t work if non-believers are present, the same cautions exist within Scientology, as well as the rule that demonstrating OT powers to those on a lower gradient is an out-tech high crime. Ron knew the tricks on the spiritual bunco trade.”


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

Criminal prosecutions:
Danny Masterson charged for raping three women: Trial scheduled for October 11, pretrial conference August 17.
‘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: Readiness hearing scheduled for August 22 in Los Angeles
David Gentile, GPB Capital, fraud: Next pretrial conference set for September 19.
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, Scientology moving to compel arbitration.
Valerie Haney v. Scientology: Forced to ‘religious arbitration.’ Selection of arbitrators underway. Next court hearing: February 2, 2023.
Chrissie Bixler et al. v. Scientology and Danny Masterson: Appellate court removes requirement of arbitration on January 19, case remanded back to Superior Court. Stay in place, next status hearing October 25. Scientology petitioning US Supreme Court over appellate ruling.
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 known for stalking people years after their involvement. Here’s how they do it.
[TWO years ago] Weeks after the protests, Scientology in LA remains boarded up and abandoned. What gives?
[THREE years ago] Inside Scientology’s emergency San Fernando Valley confab, planning for US takeover
[FOUR years ago] Scientology used an ice cream ‘date’ to run up $20,000 on senior’s credit cards
[SIX years ago] A billboard sprouts in Florida, and other Scientology chaos in our social media review
[SEVEN years ago] Long before Xenu: Scientology’s actual origin story, as told by a former member
[EIGHT years ago] A lawsuit over counseling credentials now aims at the essence of Scientology
[NINE years ago] Scientology Continues to ‘Handle’ the ‘Black PR’ of Leah Remini’s Defection
[TEN years ago] Scientology Wins Appeal In Lawsuit Alleging Forced Labor and Forced Abortions


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 2,735 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,240 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,790 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,780 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,671 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 4,976 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 2,846 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 3,620 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 1,951 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,424 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,740 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,306 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 8,225 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,393 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 3,973 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,235 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,271 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 2,986 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,511 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 866 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 2,041 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,592 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,741 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 4,061 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 8,916 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 4,035 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,391 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,694 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,800 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 3,198 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 3,074 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,657 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 3,152 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,406 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,515 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on July 24, 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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