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PODCAST: Looking back at the first week of testimony in the Danny Masterson trial

[Judge Charlaine Olmedo and defendant Danny Masterson]

This first week of testimony at the Danny Masterson trial in Los Angeles has been intense, brutal, surprising, and exhausting. And we appreciate the encouraging words we’ve heard from so many of you about our approach to covering the trial.

We knew going into this thing that there would be two major realities we’d be dealing with. On the one hand, we knew there would be major media interest in the trial and that we’d be in the courtroom with a large number of other journalists. And second, that Judge Charlaine Olmedo had banned cameras from the courtroom. The camera ban was certainly going to help us, but how to differentiate the Bunker from the other reporters, who we knew were going to be doing some very good pieces on this story?

We figured the best way to carve out a niche was just to give you the feeling of being in the court with us, and that meant to capture as much as we could of what was being said and then getting it out to you almost as it was happening. So we struck on the idea of rapid reports published at every break in the trial. (And it’s not a new idea, it’s something we’ve done at other court cases we’ve covered going back a decade.)

So again, we appreciate the reactions we’ve been getting to those rapid reports, and to our end of the day video. Yesterday’s was really a doozy as we described two bombshells that went off in the shortened Friday session. That video went out to subscribers yesterday afternoon, and we’re including it for everyone (and at YouTube) this morning, and we’ve embedded it below.

And also, last night we sat down with Jeffrey Augustine to review some of the highlights the two of us observed in the courtroom this week. Substack won’t let us embed it here, but it went out on email this morning, and you can go to it directly with this link.


As always, we’re looking forward to seeing your thoughts on the trial as well. So please give us some of your thoughts about moments in testimony, or coverage of the case, or anything else that struck you this week.



Technology Cocktail

“EnMEST and entheta are effective on a group in the ratio that they are given altitude by a group. Hence, the aberrations of the leader of a group may be reflected all through the group. The aberrations of a least member of the group will have no effect at all upon the group.” — L. Ron Hubbard, 1951


Jon Atack and Karen de la Carriere





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 [17] Bruce Hines on MSH

— 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 [8] Oct 17: Day Four [9] Oct 18: Day Five [10] Oct 19: Day Six [11] Special interview with Chris Shelton, Oct 19 [12] Oct 20: Day Seven [13] Oct 21: Day Eight

— The Underground Bunker Podcast on YouTube

[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



Source Code

“You want to know what is wrong with the fellow? Let’s say that when he is very young somebody decides to take his tonsils out….Later on he meets some doctor who says, ‘Well, the reason you have ulcers is because … ?’ Actually, it was because one of the doctors during the tonsillectomy — this fellow’s earlier colleague — had an elbow in the patient’s stomach. I think doctors knew this all the time, by the way. I am sure they had this all worked out. The doctor leans his elbow on this young would-be writer’s stomach, and he grinds this elbow down while he is holding the patient. Later on the fellow has to be operated on for ulcers. You can make more money this way and send your children to better colleges.” — L. Ron Hubbard, October 22, 1951


Avast, Ye Mateys

“Sea Org members are highly acceptable to one another. Where evidence seems to be to the contrary it is an urgency to uphold the standards of the group which after all has a very arduous and important job to do.” — The Commodore, October 22, 1970


Overheard in the FreeZone

“Ron’s invention of auditing: quite probably the single greatest advance in the history of mankind. And it works because life comes before, and is senior to, the physical universe; auditing confirms this. Life errs when thinking the physical universe has domain over it. Auditing undoes this fallacy.”



Past is Prologue

1999: Bob Minton reported that the newly formed Lisa McPherson foundation is being blocked from renting office space in Clearwater, Florida. “We were informed this morning that MKV Realty, which owns the Sun Trust Building at 601 Cleveland Street, has refused to rent the space we intended to occupy to either the Lisa Foundation or me. The buck has been passed up to a gentleman named ‘Rusty’ who has yet to return my call. Ken Dandar will also speak to Rusty when Rusty is available.”


Random Howdy

“So when your certificates get canceled, whose job is it to track down all those engrams and body thetans and tell them they need to re-implant and re-attach themselves?”


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

Criminal prosecutions:
Danny Masterson charged for raping three women: Trial began October 11 in Los Angeles.
‘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] Could a Scientologist be the next governor of Nevada?
[TWO years ago] Could Marsy’s Law foil Scientology’s attempt to force rape victims into ‘arbitration’?
[FOUR years ago] A call to arms for Scientology voters: ‘Religious freedom’ vs. the evil psychs!
[FIVE years ago] Wally Hanks, Scientology ranch terror recently portrayed on ‘Leah Remini,’ dies at 70
[SIX years ago] Who was responsible when Scientology finally paid Lawrence Wollersheim a lot of thin dimes?
[SEVEN years ago] A Scientology childhood: What it’s like to grow up under the Hubbard spell
[EIGHT years ago] Tom Cruise and his Freedom Medal of Valor: Where’s the tabloid press?
[NINE years ago] Scientology Has No City Permit for IAS Gala or Other Events: Is It Keeping The Party Private?
[TEN years ago] Scientology’s Sea Org Application: What Are Your Crimes?
[ELEVEN years ago] Scientology Transfusion: Commenters of the Week!


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 2,825 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,330 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,880 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,870 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,761 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 5,066 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 2,936 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 2,041 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,514 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,830 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,396 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 8,315 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,483 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 4,063 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,325 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,361 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 3,076 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,641 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 956 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 2,131 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,682 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,813 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 4,151 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 9,006 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 4,125 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,481 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,784 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,890 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 3,288 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 3,164 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,747 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 3,242 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,496 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,605 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on October 22, 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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