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Judge Olmedo: Opening statements in Danny Masterson trial may come Tuesday

[Judge Charlaine Olmedo and defendant Danny Masterson]

Thursday was another day of moving large numbers of potential jurors through the courtroom in the Danny Masterson trial, but Judge Charlaine Olmedo seems confident that she’s on a rapid schedule to seat a jury, perhaps as soon as late Monday afternoon.

She’s brought in three groups of 75 people, had them fill out questionnaires, and on Thursday afternoon began the vetting process with the second group. The third group comes back Monday morning for its initial vetting, and then all three groups will come together Monday afternoon for voir dire, the opportunity for the attorneys to ask them questions. Somehow, Judge Olmedo plans to whittle down from about 200 remaining people to only about 18 or 19 (12 jurors plus alternates) that afternoon.

She said yesterday that she thinks opening statements could begin on Tuesday, and the first witness may begin testifying on Wednesday.

We expect that interest from the media will skyrocket at that point. Yesterday, again, there were only a very few of us reporters in the courtroom. Thankfully, this time the pool reporter duties were handled by another journalist.


She was sitting on our right at the back of the courtroom, and on our left was Danny Masterson’s brother, actor Jordan Masterson.

Also in the gallery was a tall man in a sharp suit who appeared to be a young lawyer. He has turned up each day early enough to snag the single seat for the public. Curious about him, our colleague today asked him if he was with a firm involved in the civil lawsuit that is running parallel to this one. He said no. She then asked him if he was there working for Scientology, and he refused to answer.

You don’t say.

At the afternoon break, with things all but wrapped up in the courtroom, we went outside the courthouse to record our video that went out to subscribers. Yes, we know there was some wind noise, some traffic noise, and we’re holding the camera and it’s a bit shaky. But we’re literally coming right out of the courtroom and sitting on a chair in a grass field, and we figure that lends it some authenticity. This is as close as we can get to having you at the courthouse with us.

Today the court is dark and we’ll be enjoying a little free time. But we have something really great planned for the weekend, so don’t go anywhere. Here’s yesterday afternoon’s video…



Scientology ad featuring David Miscavige airing in Los Angeles

Scientology has recycled some footage of church leader David Miscavige that was shot for the 2018 premiere of its TV channel as part of its panicky campaign to deal with both LA mayoral candidates denouncing Scientology as a key part of the campaign.

We’ve been hearing from readers in LA who are stunned to see Miscavige on their television sets. What they’re seeing is a slick ad thrown together quickly with a lot of odds and ends that have been sitting around for a while.

The result is an ad intended to counter the sudden storm of bad publicity hitting the church, with Danny Masterson’s trial underway in Los Angeles, Mike Rinder doing publicity rounds for his book, and Rick Caruso and Karen Bass trying to outdo each other as denouncers of Scientology in Los Angeles.

That’s a lot of entheta to deal with at one time.


Let us know if you’ve seen the ad.



Once again, Judge Barber tells Scientology to sit down

We told you recently that Scientology had ignored Judge Thomas Barber’s order that he didn’t want any more documents from the church as he mulls over their motions to compel arbitration in the trafficking lawsuit filed by three former Sea Org workers.

But Scientology heavily papered the court anyway, crying foul over some declarations that were filed by the plaintiffs and by Mike Rinder.

The lawsuit was filed by Valeska Paris and Gawain and Laura Baxter, and alleges that they were treated horrifically by Scientology. The church countered the lawsuit by filing motions to compel arbitration, saying that contracts the plaintiffs signed in Scientology obliged them not to sue in court and to ask for “religious arbitration.”

They responded with the declarations, which claim that the contracts were signed under duress, adding a declaration by a trafficking expert and one by Mike Rinder.

This seemed to seriously trigger Scientology (or leader David Miscavige), and despite Judge Barber’s admonition that he didn’t want any more briefing on the arbitration question, Scientology’s attorneys filed motions to strike the declarations.

Well, once again, Judge Barber has told Scientology to settle down and sit tight.

The motions to strike are denied…If warranted, the Court may further address any objections to the affidavits in the process of ruling on the pending motions, or it may simply disregard any improper testimony or evidence when issuing its rulings. Signed by Judge Thomas P. Barber

Yeah, in other words, Judge Barber can evaluate the usefulness of the declarations on his own and doesn’t need some hyperventilating documents from Miscavige. Sheesh.


And again, we’ll point out that Judge Barber may be leaning Scientology’s way, because there’s a heavy precedent in his court, a previous case that Scientology was able to derail with the same kind of arbitration motions.

Still, it’s fun to see Miscavige’s screechy ranting get kicked out of court.


Technology Cocktail

“The analytical mind has many other powers. It can control the various fluid flows and growths of the body, apparently, since any clear can do startling things with his heartbeat, breathing, endocrine balance and other things if he wishes to take the trouble. The reactive mind pushes an engram against the analytical mind and forcefully throws the mechanisms out of action and also, in most cases, out of the control area of the analytical mind—and here we have psychosomatic illness, chronic overaction or underaction of glands, secretions and other fluids and overgrowth or undergrowth of the body itself.” — L. Ron Hubbard, 1950



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 on the Danny Masterson trial

[1] Sep 21 [2] Sep 28 [3] Oct 4 [4] Oct 10 [5] Oct 11: Day One [6] Oct 12: Day Two [7] Oct 13: Day Three

— The Underground Bunker Podcast on YouTube

[1] Marc Headley [2] Claire Headley [3] Jeffrey Augustine [4] Bruce Hines [5] Sunny Pereira


Source Code

“I don’t think God wants to communicate with anybody myself. I’m — some people I know, and so forth — I know some of the things I have to say, I don’t think he would want to communicate with me. I know an awful lot of people that, boy, he’d run if he thought he had to communicate with them.” — L. Ron Hubbard, October 14, 1953



Avast, Ye Mateys

“The vessel lying behind us is an oceanographic survey ship run by a US university. It has been located as the point spreading rumours about us in a limited fashion in the port. Another ship the blue 40 footer, is an American yacht with a journalist aboard bound for West West Africa. He picked up the rumors and exaggerated them. The things to remember are (a) stay with the shore story in casual conversation and (b) we actually are the proprietors of these ports. In other words keep consistent in what you say ashore, consistent with other crew members. Don’t dream up fancy tales. We’re the cowboys in the white hat, the good guys.” — The Commodore, October 14, 1970


Overheard in the FreeZone

“Lesbian Maoists are exporting war for China. (Instead of being put in FEMA camps, as recommended in Science of Survival.) George Soros funds the lesbian Maoists (BLM) burning the USA.”


Past is Prologue

1999: An affidavit filed in the Lisa McPherson civil case was posted to a.r.s this week. The declaration by Robert Vaughn Young supports Jesse Prince’s declaration that high level Scientology officials would have been informed about Lisa’s treatment, which led to her death in 1995. Some excerpts: “At issue in this case is the command structure of Scientology and the issue of who might have known what or issued orders regarding the incarceration of Lisa McPherson. The organization is seeking to keep the controversy isolated to the Clearwater organizations, but this is not how Scientology has ever operated. The current corporate structure of the Scientology organization was created (starting in 1981) to prevent the intrusion of the courts and the authorities, by throwing up what appeared to be distinct corporations. This structure came about after the FBI raid of Scientology in 1977, which produced considerable evidence that the organization had been burglarizing federal (and other) offices as well as conducting other illegal activities. For these activities Mary Sue Hubbard, the wife of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard and ten of her executive staff were jailed. Hubbard, himself, was named as an unindicted co-conspirator.”


Random Howdy

“So my mom being constipated and my dad poking me in the eye with his dick is the reason my life is shit? Thanks Ron, I knew it was their fault somehow, but I thought it had something to do with bad genes.”



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] Scientology and cryptocurrency: Has there ever been a better investment opportunity?
[TWO years ago] Sea Org stealth candidate Brittany Ruiz: This is Scientology, so of course it gets even worse
[THREE years ago] David Miscavige made the scene in England: But how about his best Scientology bud?
[FOUR years ago] Detroit going Ideal! Scientology throws its invite-only party in Motor City today
[FIVE years ago] Coming to grips with Scientology’s most vile secret, which was hiding in plain sight
[SIX years ago] Older than Pythagoras, and guaranteed to raise your IQ: What Scientology promised in 1954
[SEVEN years ago] ‘MY SCIENTOLOGY MOVIE’: Louis Theroux’s doc premieres tonight at the London Film Festival
[EIGHT years ago] Former Scientologist indicted in financial scheme that victimized other ex-church members
[NINE years ago] Scientology Payback: Revenge of the Videographers
[TEN years ago] Marty Rathbun Reveals New Details in Nazanin Boniadi Story, Other Bombshells in New Book
[ELEVEN years ago] Scientology Hates Clean Ice, Part 2: Another Target, and the Web as Weapon


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 2,817 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,322 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,872 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,862 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,753 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 5,058 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 2,928 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 2,033 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,506 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,822 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,388 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 8,307 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,475 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 4,055 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,317 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,353 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 3,068 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,633 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 948 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 2,123 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,674 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,805 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 4,143 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 8,998 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 4,117 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,473 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,776 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,882 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 3,280 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 3,156 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,739 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 3,234 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,488 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,597 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on October 14, 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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