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The Shaun Fabos Factor: What happens when a Scientologist is called to testify

[Shaun Fabos and his parents, The Fabos Factor!]

We have been told that Deputy DA Reinhold Mueller would rather not call witnesses in the Danny Masterson trial that he thinks may lie on the stand. But with Scientologist Shaun Fabos, Mueller may have figured he had a good way of making sure the witness stuck to the facts.

You see, the situation was this: In 2003 Jane Doe 1 alleges that she was raped by Masterson at his Hollywood Hills home, but then later that same day she flew with her family for a 7 to 10 day vacation in Clearwater, Florida. Along for the trip was Jane Doe 1’s younger cousin, Rachel D.

Jane Doe 1 let Rachel know that “something bad happened” to her before the trip, but she held back some details. Then, when Jane Doe 1 returned to Los Angeles after the trip, the first person she really told about the details of the attack was her good friend, a fellow Scientologist named Shaun Fabos, who also happened to work as her mother’s assistant.

Now we’ve learned that in 2017, when the LAPD revived its investigation of her claims, it asked Jane Doe 1 (who was then no longer a Scientologist) to make recorded phone calls with various people without telling them that they were being recorded. Again, this was the LAPD’s instruction, and a pretty standard police technique.

So in 2017, Jane Doe 1 phoned up Shaun Fabos, who she hadn’t talked to in years, and while she was secretly taping him, asked him if he remembered what she told him in 2003 after she’d got back from Florida.


Yesterday, Shaun Fabos was called to the witness stand, and because of that 2017 recording he was pretty stuck. He’s still a Scientologist, he indicated, but here they had him on tape essentially corroborating that in 2003 Jane Doe 1 had told him some of the details of the Masterson attack. (That, for example, he’d given her a single drink, she’d felt suspiciously intoxicated by it, he’d tossed her in the jacuzzi, and she ended up waking up in his bed.)

Right from the start of his testimony, it was obvious that Fabos was not exactly thrilled that he’d been taped in 2017, and he was having a hard time remembering what he’d said in it. Deputy DA Reinhold Mueller repeatedly had to show him the transcript of the 2017 call to refresh his memory about what he said.

We can imagine that this was a very difficult spot for a Scientologist to be in. He was being asked to repeat things which tended to corroborate Jane Doe 1’s story, and which added credence to the idea that she’d been raped by a Scientologist celebrity.

But then, it became obvious that things were going to get a lot weirder. Fabos wanted Mueller to believe that last Thursday, while he was sitting in the hallway at the courthouse waiting to testify, he had been approached by a private investigator working for the Masterson defense, and she asked him if he had been on that trip to Florida.

Now, Fabos told Mueller, he remembered for the first time in the last 19 years that he was on that 2003 trip with Jane Doe 1 and her family, and so he could testify that he did not see the bruising she was talking about.

It was pretty obvious that Mueller was not very happy, either with the fact that Masterson’s private eye had approached his witness in the hallway at the courtroom, or that Fabos was now saying something he not only had never claimed before, but that he admitted he’d never even remembered before Thursday.

He was followed on the witness stand by Jane Doe 1’s cousin, Rachel, who said of course Fabos was not on the trip, (she said he had gone on a few family vacations, but not that one), but even a few moments thinking about it should suggest to anyone that Shaun’s sudden new memory is ludicrous.

Remember, it has been Jane Doe 1’s testimony, for years, that after she came back from Florida, she got together with her good friend Shaun Fabos and told him about what had happened with Masterson, and that Fabos had become so angry he said he was going to kill Danny. (She then calmed him down.)

How is it even in the realm of possibility that it would have slipped Jane Doe 1’s mind that she didn’t need to wait to return from Florida to tell Fabos that story since he was there with her all the time?

No, a different interpretation suggests itself. In 2017, Fabos was recorded by Jane Doe 1 and corroborated part of her story. He then learned that he was part of a police investigation and that it would have put him in the crosshairs of the Scientology organization.

What’s happened since 2017? As we pointed out a few weeks ago, Shaun’s parents suddenly went on a huge donation spree.

In 2017, Shaun’s father Steve Fabos and his wife Peggy Oppenheim-Fabos, who are often referred to as “The Fabos Factor” in fundraising flyers, were recognized as donors to the International Association of Scientologists who have reached the status of “Gold Meritorious With Honors,” which means they had reached a cumulative total of $1.5 million in donations.

Earlier this year, they reached “Patron Laureate,” or $10 million in giving, putting them in relatively rare company.

That’s $7.5 million they’ve given the church just since it became known that their son was caught up in a police investigation of one of Scientology’s celebrities.


And while his father was pumping that kind of money into Scientology, what did Shaun Fabos testify to yesterday?

Mueller: Were you a member of Scientology in 2003?
Fabos: I grew up in it, is the best way to explain it.
Mueller: Are you still a member?
Fabos: I am now.
Mueller: In fact over the last few years you became more involved?
Fabos: That’s when I really became a Scientologist, in the last few years.

You don’t say.

Well, like we said, Mueller might have thought he could have safely put a Scientologist on the stand as long as he was in possession of a transcribed 2017 phone conversation he could rely on to keep the witness on track.

So much for that plan.

What impression was left with the jury? It’s hard for us to tell. Fabos’s sudden revelation, sparked by a defense private eye, seemed pretty ridiculous on its face to us, and Rachel D.’s subsequent testimony sure appeared to deflate it. But one never knows, one never knows.

Today, Jane Doe 3 will continue her testimony and will likely begin cross-examination.

Marty Singer’s testimony is being rescheduled.

And one more tidbit from court yesterday: Rizza Islam did show up for his first day of trial on the same ninth floor at the courthouse, but it was then rescheduled for March 1, 2023. Yes, another delay.


We can hardly wait to see what surprises await us at the Clara Shortridge Foltz Criminal Justice Center today.

Now, here’s yesterday’s video report we recorded outside the courtroom.



Technology Cocktail

“A baby lies in his crib and is unhappy about something the mother has done. ‘I’ll get even with her,’ he postulates. ‘I’ll not drink my milk. I’ll be sick.’ Twenty years and many postulates later his wife asks, ‘Now dear, don’t you think it’s time you had a glass of milk?’ ‘No!’ he answers. ‘Milk makes me sick! I have an allergy to milk.’ And so he has; it began with that basic postulate back in the crib.” — L. Ron Hubbard, 1951



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 [13] First week in review, with Jeffrey Augustine [14] Oct 24: Day Nine

— 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 [13] Jesse Prince


Source Code

“You know, a fellow’s walking down the street and a thought flashes through his mind that maybe some of his behavior is not entirely masculine, maybe it is slightly effeminate. In other words, the datum is there ‘Maybe I’m a girl.’ Well, it’s, you see, it’s very nebulous. You know, maybe he’s just playing a game with himself of worry, something. We come along, we pat him on the shoulder, he tells us what he’s worried about. We don’t even have to tell him ‘You’re not a girl,’ see? I mean, he just tells us what he was worried about, he — boom! See, it’s gone that quick.” — L. Ron Hubbard, October 25, 1956



Avast, Ye Mateys

“In the exact place Christopher Columbus, returning from his first voyage, got blown off that bay just like we did. He had anchored and half the crew went ashore to give thanks in a church-hermitage at that place and were seized by the islanders. Columbus, still aboard the Nina, his smallest ship, lost both his anchors and with only 3 sailors and some ships boys had to get out of there as a gale struck. He came up to where we are now, rode out the gale, went back, PRed his crew out of the goal, recovered an anchor and sailed on to Lisbon and into history.” — The Commodore, October 25, 1970


Overheard in the FreeZone

“I have been busy researching and bringing to light various factors that are working to control this planet right now. I have done some why finding and, using the data series and basic Scientology principles, discovered and now making known what is currently happening on this tiny ball of dirt in the cosmos. LRH was right when he said this was a prison planet and the ‘powers that be’ (off world) are determined to keep it that way. This is what is behind all this draconian lock downs. COVID-19 is an altered importance out of all proportion to its effects. In addition if one is high on the Tone Scale and one does not RESIST it yet IF catches it, it is mild. Much like a common cold. But shove people own into FEAR and repeatedly say how contagious and dangerous it is and you will get compliance. Now I cannot express that directly as of course it would not be believed and I would be considered a nut job. However I can expose the effects that are being created and point out the outpoints. And that is what I am doing publicly.”


Past is Prologue

1995: Dennis Erlich reports on the latest harassment from the cult. “I was just informed that overnight someone threw acid on my parent’s brand new car which was parked in front of Priscilla and Ed Coates’ house where I am staying as a guest. The paint job on the car (which has less than 3,000 miles on it) has been ruined.”



Random Howdy

“I’ll have you know I read each and every comment very carefully and that there are a myriad of reasons for why I may upvote them…or not.”


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] Religion professor complains that no one wants to hear the good news about Scientology
[TWO years ago] Leaked from Scientology social media: Incredible beings joining the winning team!
[THREE years ago] We have a Scientology document (we think) Priscilla Presley doesn’t want us to show you
[FOUR years ago] A Scientology ‘Fair Game’ tactic from way back: Sexually degrading harassment
[FIVE years ago] Jon Atack: Scientology’s ‘past lives’ don’t pass the giggle test
[SIX years ago] Until the spaceships arrive, Scientologists measure cosmic success in framed glory
[SEVEN years ago] Jon Atack: Scientology’s ‘past lives’ don’t pass the giggle test
[EIGHT years ago] Jon Atack: Scientology and hypnotism — even some ex-members can’t admit its central role
[NINE years ago] Scientology Moves to Dismiss Garcia Fraud Lawsuit On a Question of Jurisdiction
[TEN years ago] Tom Cruise Sues, UK Scientologists Sue, Narconon Is Sued: It’s a Legal Free-For-All!!
[ELEVEN years ago] Scientology Responds in Typical Fashion to South Park Investigation Documents


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 2,828 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,333 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,883 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,873 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,764 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 5,069 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 2,939 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 2,044 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,517 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,833 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,399 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 8,318 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,486 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 4,066 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,328 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,364 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 3,079 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,644 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 959 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 2,134 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,685 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,816 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 4,154 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 9,009 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 4,128 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,484 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,787 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,893 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 3,291 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 3,167 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,750 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 3,245 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,499 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,608 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on October 25, 2022 at 09:00

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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