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Jury selection begins today in the Danny Masterson trial, and we’re there for you

[Law & Crime’s Jesse Weber and a field correspondent]

Jury selection begins today in the trial of Danny Masterson. Wow, we can tell you that for some people, it’s been an incredible struggle and a harrowing journey to get to hear those words.

We know you’re seeing a number of “curtain raiser” articles from big media outlets, and they’re doing a good job laying out the basics and the background of this trial. But we hope you have had a chance to prepare in real depth with the series of articles we put together in the last week…

[Oct 5] Prosecution plans to call Lisa Marie Presley as witness at Danny Masterson rape trial
[Oct 7] Olmedo Rules: Details of the court’s decision on Scientology in Danny Masterson’s case
[Oct 9] How a major Scientology donor family is caught up in the Danny Masterson case

[Oct 10] The case against Danny Masterson: Details from the prosecution brief on the eve of trial

Yesterday, we dropped by the courthouse for a brief hearing conducted by Judge Charlaine Olmedo, but also so we could pick up this item…


This badge will assure us a seat in the media section throughout the trial, and we expect it to be packed with other reporters.

But not today.

Today, as jury selection begins, most of the courtroom will be needed for all of the potential jurors who will be squeezing into what is not a very big chamber. As a result, for the next few days as the potential jurors pack the room, only a single seat has been set aside for the media.

Today, that’s your proprietor.

Tomorrow too.

Isn’t that wild? Now, before you go congratulating us on somehow acing out the other ink-stained scribes, the truth is that so few reporters wanted to cover the jury selection process, we’re sharing the pool reporter duties with only one other journalist, who will be taking those duties on Thursday.

So apparently it’s less of a mark of distinction and more of a consolation prize.

But whatever! At least for the next couple of days the only reporter in the room will be there representing the Underground Bunker, and we’ll just hope something interesting breaks out.

Anyway, yesterday’s short hearing turned out to be really very interesting, so after it was done we ran back to our car (to make sure it was still there, for one) and then recorded a quick video for our supporters at Substack.


This morning, we’re making it available to everyone. We hope you find it useful.



Rumors of John Travolta’s exit from Scientology were greatly exaggerated

After the deaths of John Travolta’s wife Kelly Preston and Lisa Marie Presley’s son Ben Keough two years ago, we pointed out that John and Lisa Marie had been very close friends in the past.

Lisa Marie left Scientology in 2014. And we suggested that if the two old friends sought solace in each other, she might be able to help John finally get away from Scientology (something he has contemplated in the past.)

But we cautioned that we didn’t see any evidence that Travolta was moving away from Scientology, even though the tabloids, as the tabloids do, repeatedly pronounced that Travolta had ditched Scientology after Kelly’s death with no evidence whatsoever.

Well, John himself settled that question yesterday when, just like he did after the Haiti earthquake a decade ago, he posed in front of Scientology “Volunteer Ministers” loading a plane with material to help out with Hurricane Ian devastation.

Take note, tabloids, John’s still in the fold.



Technology Cocktail

“The processes of Dianetics, as one can see, stress bringing a preclear into present time. In the old days we did this by running engrams, running locks and unsticking the preclear in general from various incidents in the past. Now we approach the problem far more directly. The Opening Procedure of 8-C is putting the preclear into contact with what is present time. The Remedy of Havingness will actually give the preclear enough energy masses to permit his starved condition to let go of the energy masses he is holding to him. The energy masses he is holding to him are commonly engrams with significance and content which make him very unhappy, but not as unhappy as he thinks he would be if he no longer had this energy. The motto of an individual seems to be ‘Any energy, even with content as vicious as an engram, is better than little or no energy.'” — L. Ron Hubbard, 1972



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 as trial begins and Danny faces a potential sentence of 45 years to life in prison.


THE PODCAST: How many have you heard?

— The Underground Bunker Podcast

[1] Marc Headley [2] Claire Headley [3] Jeffrey Augustine [4] Bruce Hines [5] Sunny Pereira [6] Pete Griffiths [7] Geoff Levin [8] Patty Moher [9] Marc Headley [10] Jefferson Hawkins [11] Michelle ‘Emma’ Ryan [12] Paulette Cooper [13] Jesse Prince [14] Mark Bunker [15] Jon Atack [16] Mirriam Francis

— SPECIAL: The best TV show on Scientology you never got to see


[1] Phil Jones [2] Derek Bloch [3] Carol Nyburg [4] Katrina Reyes [5] Jamie DeWolf

— SPECIAL: Your Proprietor’s updates

[1] Sep 21 [2] Sep 28 [3] Oct 4 [4] Oct 10

— The Underground Bunker Podcast on YouTube

[1] Marc Headley [2] Claire Headley [3] Jeffrey Augustine


Source Code

“Now, ‘When did the PC’s physical body change characteristics?’ Getting this out of women, you will have to take the E-Meter and beat them over the head. A woman at 110 will never admit that her body changed anything from that of a beautiful 16-year-old girl, or something like that, you know? It’s just things they won’t talk about, so you have to pull that the hard way. Go ahead and grab it.” — L. Ron Hubbard, October 11, 1961


Avast, Ye Mateys

“On Flag we have a maxim that we get it in on Flag before we yell at the deficiencies of others elsewhere. The housewife can’t clean up her neighbors if she can’t scrub her own kitchen. So, Steward’s Dorm, let’s see you set an example on your own home and then export it to the ship. Ernie and Annabelle made a good start on their yesterday. Others there give a hand.” — The Commodore, October 11, 1970



Overheard in the FreeZone

“I badly broke my right arm in 1997, and the doctors told me it was too big a gap to heal, and I would need a false arm. Anyway they put me in plaster for seven weeks just in case it would heal by a miracle. I had touch assists for several weeks, and when I went back to the hospital, the doctor was amazed to see bone was growing across the gap. My arm was saved!”


Past is Prologue

1996: Scientology purchased an ad in Thursday’s New York Times, comparing the current situation in Germany with Nazi Germany and the holocaust. German and U.S. officials and Jewish leaders all condemned the ad. From Reuters: “The advertisement, headlined ‘Practicing Religious Intolerance’ and ‘Germany Then and Now’ above the eagle and swastika insignia of Hitler’s Third Reich, described Germany as the only country in the world that systematically discriminates against Scientologists. In recent months, German officials have said Scientology should be banned or at least placed under covert surveillance. Scientology is not considered a religion in Germany and the government says it exploits the gullible for profit. ‘You may wonder why German officials discriminate against Scientologists,’ the advertisement said. ‘There is no legitimate reason but then there was none that justified the persecution of the Jewish people either.'”


Random Howdy

“Man-animals, come out of your caves. The Psychlos have deserted the planet. We have won!”


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


Criminal prosecutions:
Danny Masterson charged for raping three women: Jury selection scheduled to begin 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 scheduled to be sentenced on Oct 28.
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. Hearing scheduled November 17 to argue the arbitration motions.
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.
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.



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] The country’s 6th largest school district is helping a Scientology front group reach kids
[TWO years ago] Danny Masterson asks to halt civil lawsuit while criminal case is ongoing, as expected
[THREE years ago] Scientologist on Clearwater downtown board does a classic ‘dead agenting’ of Mark Bunker
[FOUR years ago] Dave Richards, 1948-2018, ran the Founding Church of Scientology in DC
[FIVE years ago] Tara and Nathan — subjects of last night’s ‘Leah Remini’ — respond to Scientology’s smears
[SIX years ago] Louis Theroux’s movie comes to Oregon, and Jefferson Hawkins is there to talk Scientology
[SEVEN years ago] L. Ron Hubbard’s regressive homophobia: Can Scientology’s celebrities handle the truth?
[EIGHT years ago] Scientology’s ‘International Justice Chief’ surfaces for the Garcia lawsuit
[TEN years ago] L. Ron Hubbard Explains Your Life “Before Earth”
[ELEVEN years ago] Scientology and Disconnection: “No One’s Going to Take My Eternity Away”


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 2,814 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,319 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,869 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,859 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,750 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 5,055 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 2,925 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 2,030 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,503 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,819 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,385 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 8,304 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,472 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 4,052 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,314 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,350 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 3,065 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,630 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 945 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 2,120 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,671 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,802 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 4,140 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 8,995 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 4,114 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,470 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,773 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,879 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 3,277 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 3,153 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,736 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 3,231 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,485 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,594 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on October 11, 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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