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

[Tricia Vessey and Cillian Murphy in ‘On the Edge’ (2001)]

The fourth week of testimony at the Danny Masterson trial in Los Angeles was another abbreviated one, as the court is dark today for Veterans Day. But what a week of big stories.

We finally learned what it was that Lisa Marie Presley was being asked to testify about, and it amounted to nothing less than obstruction of justice by the Church of Scientology. But then, to our dismay, Judge Charlaine Olmedo ruled that such testimony wasn’t relevant to a prosecution of Danny Masterson, and that it more properly belonged in the civil lawsuit that Masterson’s accusers have filed against the church.

Meanwhile, Jane Doe 4 took the witness stand this week, and we had the opportunity to identify her (with her permission) as actress Tricia Vessey, and to record her compelling testimony about two sexual assaults she alleges that Masterson committed in 1996.

There were two motions for mistrials by defense attorney Philip Cohen this week, and another week of sartorial splendor on display.

Yesterday, Vessey finished up, another witness described being terrified of Scientology retaliation, and Judge Olmedo described a scenario that could get us closing arguments by Tuesday. We summarized the day for our subscribers, and now we’re releasing the video for everyone. (We’re embedding the YouTube version below.)


And once again, with the week done, we sat down with Jeffrey Augustine to talk with him about this week’s big developments, including the news from New York yesterday that Paul Haggis was found liable in the sexual assault lawsuit filed by former publicist Haleigh Breest, who was awarded $7.5 million in damages and with more to be determined on Monday.

Substack won’t let us embed the podcast 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

“In order to perceive this universe at all, somebody must have had to convince the individual that he had anchor points out there someplace. The thetan has to have anchor points in space which he uses to see anything; if a thetan can’t see anything it means that he doesn’t think he has any anchor points out there, or, if he has had anchor points, that he has now lost them. Thus rehabilitation of the visio depends upon wasting anchor points for a while: having other people take them away or break them” — L. Ron Hubbard, 1953



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 Danny faces a potential sentence of 45 years to life in prison. NOW WITH TRIAL INDEX.



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 [14] First week in review, with Jeffrey Augustine [15] Oct 24: Day Nine [16] Oct 25: Day Ten [17] Oct 27: Day Eleven [18] Oct 28: Day Twelve [19] Second week in review, with Jeffrey Augustine [20] Halloween special [21] Nov 2: Day Thirteen [22] Nov 3: Day Fourteen [23] Nov 4: Day Fifteen [24] Third week in review [25] Nov 5, Saturday special [26] Nov 6, Sunday special [27] Nov 7, Day Sixteen [28] Lisa Marie Presley breaking news [29] Nov 8, Day Seventeen [30] Nov 9, Day Eighteen [31] Nov 10, Day Nineteen


Source Code

“Actually, you can exteriorize a dog. You can process them. It’s very peculiar, but you can. They exteriorize as a mass. Did you ever run a preclear who exteriorized with a theta body? Hm? Well, you will someday. You will say, ‘Be three feet back of your head,’ and the fellow is there in a black shape with claws, or something of the sort. And then you have to exteriorize him from that black shape. Well, you’re already into the field of demonology when you say ‘Be three feet back of your head’ and you’ve got something which is a black energy mass which the individual conceives himself to be. You can’t see him. He’s invisible to you with your naked eye. But he’s not invisible to you with your theta vision. You can be 18 feet back of your head, leaning up against the molding strip, something like that; you say to this fellow, ‘Be three feet back of your head,’ and you’re looking at a demon….I’ve exteriorized a dog, much to his surprise. And pushed him back in again. Something on the basis of reaching in, grabbing hold of him as a theta body, pulling him out, and pushing him back in again. I’ve also exteriorized a coyote the same way. Coyote body lay there deader than a mackerel, while this process was going on. He’d been in full flight, and I reached from three feet back of his head and pulled him out of his body. All right. This may sound like a fairy tale to somebody who’s nailed down very solidly in Dianetics and is practicing man for the betterment of man. In Scientology we’re not very much interested in the betterment or the worsenment, and that is something which people have not yet completely isolated or noticed, and I haven’t mentioned very much in the field of Scientology. Get the idea? Scientology is an understanding of. That’s not necessarily a betterment of. You follow me?” — L. Ron Hubbard, November 11, 1954



Avast, Ye Mateys

“Nov 11 was Armistice Day, the end of World War I. Whistles blew and mobs screamed with joy because ‘the world had been safe for Democracy.’ Then Smersh really moved in, babied Bolshevik Socialist Russia, later spawned National Socialist (Nazi) Hitler. And a hundred million war dead later, the world is only safe for Smersh. Ah well, enough to make anyone cynical! But in all this time only ourselves has been burying Smersh top cats one by one. So there’s no need to be cynical. Get industrious. We’re winning whatever else is happening!” — The Commodore, November 11, 1971


Overheard in the FreeZone

“It is clear that the ‘experts’ and ‘insiders’ on the secrets of this planet don’t have a f***** clue of what the real traps are in the Matrix that makes this a prison planet. Only those doing the Scientology advanced levels would know the most invidious traps of the R6 implant and could do something about it. And of course, only they can control, manage and govern the implanted R6 population here. The idea that advanced level Scientologists manage the planet was LRH’s idea. Either they do that or this rock in space will keep on being a ‘caveman’s paradise’.”


Past is Prologue

1998: The State of Florida this week charged Scientology with crimes in connection with the death of Lisa McPherson, who did in their care in 1995. From the Associated Press: “The Church of Scientology was charged Friday in the 1995 death of a member whose family claimed the church held her against her will for 17 days. Prosecutor Bernie McCabe charged the church with abuse or neglect of a disabled adult and practicing medicine without a license, both felonies.”


Random Howdy


“Sunny is definitely Bunker Hall of Fame material after this. As long as she doesn’t get caught doing ‘roids or shooting an associate down the road from her house, she’s a first ballot shoo-in.”


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 March 1 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 at least through December 13.
Brian Statler Sr v. City of Inglewood: Case settled ahead of scheduled Dec 6 trial.
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] Is Danny Masterson adding an OJ Dream Team lawyer to his defense? Also: trial set for Aug 29
[TWO years ago] Scientology still driving away talented people and ripping apart their families
[THREE years ago] Scientology snags an elected official (and JAG!) for its Central Ohio ‘Ideal Org’ ceremony
[FOUR years ago] Michigan Catholic couple appears to open a Scientology drug rehab without a permit
[FIVE years ago] ‘Scientology is dying’: John Brousseau on the decline of Int Base and fate of Shelly Miscavige
[SIX years ago] Leonard Cohen: This awful year strikes again with the loss of a transcendent genius
[SEVEN years ago] Under oath, Narconon official lets slip that drug rehab organized just like Scientology
[EIGHT years ago] Kim Poff fired by Oklahoma agency after stories (including ours) described Scientology dispute
[TEN years ago] Scientology Sunday Funnies: Tom Cruise’s Son Connor Fights the North Koreans!


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 2,845 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,350 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,900 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,890 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,781 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 5,086 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 2,956 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 2,061 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,534 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,850 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,416 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 8,335 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,503 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 4,083 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,345 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,381 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 3,096 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,661 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 976 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 2,151 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,702 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,833 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 4,171 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 9,026 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 4,145 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,501 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,804 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,910 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 3,308 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 3,184 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,767 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 3,262 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,516 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,625 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on November 11, 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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