Daily Notifications
Sign up for free emails to receive the feature story every morning in your inbox at


Olmedo rules: Read the decision to deny Danny Masterson’s latest trial delay attempt

[Judge Charlaine Olmedo and Danny Masterson]

On August 12 Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Charlaine Olmedo shot down Danny Masterson’s most creative attempt to delay his rape trial.

We told you about it a few days later, and recounted the rather strange steps that had led up to that Friday hearing. Masterson’s attorney Shawn Holley (an original O.J. Simpson “Dream Team” member) was trying to convince Judge Olmedo to delay the trial from October 11 to late in January because she was also handling a super-secret arbitration of Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Trevor Bauer.

Masterson, the That ’70s Show actor and Scientology celebrity, is facing charges that he forcibly raped three women, all Scientologists at the time, between 2001 and 2003. He’s been charged under California’s strict “One Strike” law, and if he’s convicted of all three rapes he faces 45 years to life in prison.

We first broke the news in March 2017 that the LAPD was investigating Masterson, and he was charged by the DA’s office in June 2020. Since then he has filed a myriad of motions and petitions in order to try and get the case derailed or delayed. On June 30 Judge Olmedo denied the last of his motions to dismiss, but then on July 26 and 28 Shawn Holley filed a letter and a motion asking for the continuance.

We found out from a couple of court records that it was the Bauer arbitration that Holley was citing as the reason for the delay, and we publicized it on August 4. That evening, one of Masterson’s accusers, who goes by the name Jane Doe 1, put out a rare public statement, saying that a criminal rape trial with a potential life sentence shouldn’t be put on hold in favor of a baseball player’s labor dispute.


Judge Olmedo agreed and denied Masterson’s request for a continuance. Now, we have her actual written order, and we thought you’d want to see some excerpts from it.

Once again, Judge Olmedo is not kidding around. Her ruling suggests that nothing is going to keep her from beginning Masterson’s trial on October 11.

We thought we’d pull out some key quotes from Olmedo’s decision for your delectation.

— “Criminal cases shall be set for trial, heard and determined as soon as possible. There is no such competing right to a speedy arbitration. Indeed, where a timing conflict exists, arbitrations have never been judicially or legislatively prioritized over criminal matters…”

— “Criminal jury trials generally and jury trials specifically for sex crimes have statutory calendaring priority above all other matters. Criminal jury trials involving sex crimes are prioritized above all other legal matters.”

— “Defendant is not entitled to the presence of both attorneys at all hearing dates. Defendant has privately retained two counsel to represent him in the above-captioned case. However, defendant does not have a right to both counsel present at all times or for all trial matters. Indeed, in more complex cases than the case at hand, such as capital cases, the California Supreme Court has repeatedly held that so long as at least one of the two defense counsel are present, a capital defendant is not entitled to the presence of both appointed counsel at all times.”

Judge Olmedo pointed out that this is the ninth request for continuance that the defense has made in the case.

— “This case is not complex. Because over two years have passed since the filing of criminal charges, both parties have had more than sufficient time to prepare for jury trial. By the time jury trial commences on October 11, 2022, the defense will have had almost two and a half years to prepare for a jury trial. Counsel Holley and Cohen have been personally representing defendant since November 2021 — eleven months prior to the commencement of the current trial date. This too, is more than a sufficient period of time to prepare for jury trial in the instant matter.”

— “On May 31, 2022, counsel represented to the Court that she would be taking over as lead trial counsel. However, to be clear, counsel was already representing defendant prior to the May 2022 date. Furthermore, counsel will have represented defendant in this matter for eleven months which is more than sufficient time to prepare for a jury trial of this nature. This court has already considered counsel Holley’s and Cohen’s changed status as ‘lead’ trial counsel when granting the previous defense requested continuance of the jury trial from August 29, 2022 to October 11, 2022 — a date agreed upon by all. A second requested continuance for the same reason will not be granted again.”

— “It is interesting to note that while the defense has previously moved this court to dismiss count one for the delay in bringing this matter to trial and, among other considerations, has argued the negative impact that time delays have had on witnesses’ memories, the defense has also repeatedly and continuously sought further delay of the trial date.”

— About the trial’s length: “The instant case has a time estimate of approximately four weeks. With the commencement of trial on October 11, 2022, even with dark trial days to accommodate the previously identified arbitration dates, at the latest, the trial in this matter should conclude by November 18, 2022.” (A verdict by Thanksgiving? Wow.)

If Holley really can’t make it to court because of her obligations to Bauer, Cohen will have to handle things on his own…

— “On those few dates that counsel, Ms. Holley, may not be available due to the arbitration matter and when the court is in session in the jury trial, Mr. Cohen will be present and can continue to represent defendant in this jury trial. Thus, Ms. Holley’s scheduling conflict to handle matters related to the arbitration, should she choose to do so, does not establish good cause justifying a continuance of the previously scheduled jury trial date.”

Summing up:


— “A private arbitration does not take priority over a pending criminal jury trial. This is especially true both in light of the charges pending in the criminal case as well as the age of the criminal case and the dates of the alleged forcible rapes. A continuance of the jury trial date in the above-captions case, based upon the reasons provided to this court, is not in the interests of justice. Jury trial in the above-caption case remains set for October 11, 2022. All counsel are ordered to prepare for the commencement of the jury trial on October 11 2022, and defendant Masterson is ordered to personally appear in court for all jury trial related proceedings commencing on October 11, 2022. Accordingly, the defense motion to continue the jury trial in the above-captioned case is denied.”

This judge just isn’t messing around.


NY Mag digs into Scientology’s use of “religious visas”

In 2016, we pointed out that for years researchers like Jeff Jacobsen had raised questions about Scientology’s use of foreign laborers in its “Sea Org,” and that the first things Scientology did was take passports away from those workers. But how big was the problem?

Fortunately for us, researcher R.M. Seibert had dug into the question and came up with some amazing releases of government data, which we published at the Bunker. It turned out that Scientology was bringing thousands of workers into the country on “R-1” religious visas, even though those foreigners were doing menial labor, not “religious” work.

And now, New York magazine writer Kevin Dugan has built on Seibert’s numbers with a well-reported and well-written piece about Scientology’s misuse of religious visas.

Among the people who appear in the piece are Katrina Reyes, Serge Gil, and Péter Bonyai. And we’re very glad to see R.M. Seibert get a nod for her work digging into the government’s numbers.

Now, will the government actually do anything about Scientology exploiting foreign labor this way? Well, sadly, we will point out that Mike Rinder is quoted in our piece in 2016, and Dugan’s story today, and his complaints about government knowing about the situation (and not lifting a finger) really haven’t changed.


Technology Cocktail

“A girl crippled by polio was able to throw away her crutches after my first session. And would have become entirely well except that she recalled seeing and hearing Lincoln give his Gettysburg address. Her mother condemned her for such nonsense. The girl’s lameness was confirmed and perpetuated by this and by a psychotic father who raved at me for daring to suggest such things. I didn’t suggest anything. In auditing the girl she suddenly came up with being at Gettysburg listening to Lincoln. Seems a bit cruel to condemn a young girl to a lifetime of lameness just to satisfy a fixed idea. The weird idea is that one only lives but once.” — L. Ron Hubbard, 1969



Now available: Bonus for our supporters

Episode 11 of the Underground Bunker podcast has been sent out to paid subscribers, and Michelle “Emma” Ryan charmed us with her stories of running ESMB, the forum that provided such a great landing place for people fleeing Scientology, 2007-2019. Meanwhile, we’ve made episodes 1 through 10 available to everyone, with such guests as Jefferson Hawkins, Patty Moher, Geoff Levin, Pete Griffiths, Sunny Pereira, Bruce Hines, Jeffrey Augustine, and Claire Headley. Go here to get the episodes!


Source Code

“Oh, Scientology. Oh, oh, yes, Scientology, all right. That’s, that’s fine. Well, they’ll make you an Operating Thetan there, and you’ll be nine feet tall, and you’ll be able to beat up on the local government, and you’ll be able to throw your wife in the Pacific Ocean, you won’t have to bother with her anymore. And you’ll just be all-powerful and so forth. Well, it probably wouldn’t be very real to the individual, even if he believed it. I can assure you it’s going to take him several years to make it and by the time he makes it he won’t have any interest in throwing his wife in the local ocean or beating up the local council.” — L. Ron Hubbard, September 9, 1965


Avast, Ye Mateys

“Jerry McLarty went off post to Chief Engineer of Bolivar and is reported by the new chief to have left things in beautiful order — ‘a piece of cake.’ I was thinking maybe we should award this type of action. It is usually the reverse. Joe Blow leaves and the incomer spends the next few weeks just trying to find the comm basket under that mess. So a guy leaving a post in good order and running well with a grooved in relief deserves an inspection and a reward. Any suggestions of how to get such a thing in and what award should be given?” — The Commodore, September 9, 1970



Overheard in the FreeZone

“Squirrels and unethical people in the Freezone routinely use the ‘hidden data line’ argument to try to goad people of goodwill into giving them materials they will then use to spin people in or to deny their existence in order to falsely parade as an Authorities while being a complete ignoramus.”


Past is Prologue

1998: The St. Petersburg Times reported that Scientology is opening a new school in Clearwater, the Clearwater Academy. “A new private school using educational concepts promoted by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard is scheduled to open today downtown. Clearwater Academy International, at Drew Street and Myrtle Avenue, will have an enrollment of 120 students from pre-kindergarten through the 12th grade, said executive director Pam Chipman. A new $1.5-million facility now holds the combined enrollment and resources of three smaller schools that merged last year — A to Be School, Jefferson Academy and Renaissance Academy. About 150 people attended the event, including several top officials from the Church of Scientology, Clearwater’s Assistant City Manager Bob Keller, city Public Works Administrator Rich Baier and Nancy Cartwright. The annual tuition at Clearwater Academy is $7,800. School is in session year-round from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. each weekday, except for 6 weeks of off time sprinkled throughout each year.”


Random Howdy

“After my dad’s POS father had abandoned him and my grandma in a one-room shack in the Arizona desert, and my dad, grandma, and his two sisters ended up in Northern California, I guess my grandfather ended up being one of the biggest contractors in the Tempe/Phoenix area. When he died he was worth millions and my dad and his two sisters never saw a dime. His new wife was a Mormon and all the money went to her and the cult.”


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.
‘Lafayette Ronald Hubbard’ (a/k/a Justin Craig), aggravated assault, plus drug charges: Grand jury indictments include charges from an assault while in custody. Arraigned on August 29.
Jay and Jeff Spina, Medicare fraud: Jay sentenced to 9 years in prison. Jeff’s sentencing to be scheduled.
Rizza Islam, Medi-Cal fraud: Trial scheduled for October 24 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. Plaintiffs filed amended complaint on August 2.
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] Let’s help the new Scientology ‘Ideal Org’ in Austin get staffed up!
[TWO years ago] The Top 25 People Enabling Scientology, No. 15: Jeffrey Riffer
[THREE years ago] Thorn in Scientology’s side, Michelle ‘Emma’ Ryan, says ESMB will go still on Sep 30
[FOUR years ago] By any means necessary: Scientology’s bizarre war against psychiatry
[FIVE years ago] Supporting Leah Remini and her show — what’s the risk for viewers who expose Scientology?
[SIX years ago] Scientology’s ‘disconnection’ policy gets sacrificed on the Burning Man altar
[SEVEN years ago] David Miscavige: Scientology saved the universe from its ‘reverse point’ in 2006
[EIGHT years ago] Longtime Scientologist Jim Jackson remembers Lyman Spurlock, 1945-2014
[NINE years ago] Scientology and Nation Of Islam Education Hucksters Marching on Sacramento!
[TEN years ago] Voice Readers Raise Thousands For Couple That Refused to Spy for Scientology
[ELEVEN years ago] The Top 25 People Crippling Scientology, No. 10: Lisa McPherson


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 2,782 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,287 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,837 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,827 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,718 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 5,023 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 2,893 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 1,998 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,471 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,787 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,353 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 8,272 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,440 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 4,020 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,282 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,318 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 3,033 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,558 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 913 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 2,088 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,639 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,770 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 4,108 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 8,963 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 4,082 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,438 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,741 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,847 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 3,245 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 3,121 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,704 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 3,199 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,453 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,562 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on September 9, 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


Share Button
Print Friendly, PDF & Email