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Closing arguments today at the Danny Masterson trial: Come along for the ride

[Defense attorney Philip Cohen and Deputy DA Reinhold Mueller]

Well, it’s all come down to this: Five years after we first learned that Danny Masterson was under investigation by the LAPD, more than two years after he was charged by the DA’s office, and after four weeks of testimony from his alleged victims, today we’re going to see closing arguments from Deputy DA Reinhold Mueller and defense attorney Philip Cohen in the Danny Masterson trial.

We’ve heard from readers how much they appreciate our detailed reports from the courtroom, and you can expect several more of them from us today. Judge Charlaine Olmedo said yesterday that she expects closing arguments to take the full day and could even go into tomorrow. But she’s definitely on a schedule that we all hope will get us a verdict in this case by Wednesday afternoon or Thursday so we can avoid going into the Thanksgiving week (Friday the court is dark).

And in the meantime, we’ve also been dealing with Scientology matters that have come up outside the courtroom. Namely, that Leah Remini reacted to new corruption revelations about the LAPD’s longtime well-known Scientology shill — former Hollywood Division commander Capt. Cory Palka — by putting out a tweetstorm about Scientology, the LAPD, and the vanished Shelly Miscavige that has taken on a life of its own.

That was the subject of the podcast episode she did with us yesterday, and we hope you get a chance to listen to it if you haven’t already.

And now, we have another development about Leah’s tweetstorm to tell you about: It was brought to our attention yesterday that Scientology is seriously freaking out about it.


Scientology always maintains a contingent of social media accounts that keep up a steady attack on Leah and figures such as Mike Rinder and your proprietor. But that effort has gone into overdrive the last few days, with accounts that have obvious and not so obvious ties to the church stepping up their attacks on her.

And we’ve also learned that Scientology is reaching into its old bag of tricks: the disgraced journalist pretending he’s working on a story in order to spread paranoia.

More than a year ago, we heard from an old friend in Kansas City who told us that a reporter had reached out to him, asking about our tenure there. From 2003 to 2005 we enjoyed a great job as the managing editor of The Pitch, a fun and feisty alt-weekly newspaper in that fair town. We wrote about local politics and other matters, and never about Scientology: There just wasn’t enough Scientology in KC to pay attention to. We had a weekly column, and we got to know many interesting local folks there, including the acerbic and funny radio duo Lazlo and Slimfast at 96.5 The Buzz, who are still our friends today. (They had us on their podcast this week and it was a blast.)

We also got to know a local TV reporter who did some great investigative work. We hadn’t heard from him in quite a few years when he contacted us last year to let us know a reporter had reached out to him, asking about us.

Why would a reporter be looking up people we knew almost 20 years ago, and in a city where we didn’t write at all about Scientology, and why would that person not be calling us directly?

Yeah, we’ve been here before. It was a classic Scientology “noisy investigation,” and we soon started hearing from some others that this reporter was contacting them. We then learned that the person asking about us was a disgraced former National Enquirer reporter who had lost his job after a story of his had to be retracted and the newspaper had to pay a huge settlement when his story turned out to be defamatory and untrue.

It checked all the boxes. Scientology loves to hire former journalists who have lost their jobs in order to work their noisy investigations. The idea is to ask enough questions so the target and the people around them get worried that something is up. In many cases, it causes enough disruption to convince a news organization or television studio, for example, to stop looking into Scientology.

And the reason we’re bringing this up is that it reached us yesterday that the companies involved in Leah Remini’s ‘Aftermath’ television series have started getting calls from a reporter who says he doesn’t understand what her problem is with Scientology and that he’s working on a major story about it.

And that reporter? Yeah, it’s the same disgraced former National Enquirer hack who told people last year that he was working on a big takeout about us.

So, what can we conclude? That Scientology is seriously shitting its pants about Leah Remini’s viral tweets about its corrupt relationship with the Los Angeles Police Department.

And some reporter pretending that he’s working on a story to expose her isn’t going to slow her down one little bit.


That time we got pulled into a sidebar


Yesterday was a special day for us at the Danny Masterson trial. Imagine our surprise when Judge Olmedo asked us to come up and join Reinhold Mueller, Ariel Anson, Philip Cohen and Karen Goldstein at the bench. We talked about that and other results from the day in court yesterday in a video we put out in the afternoon. We’re releasing the short video to everyone this morning, and here’s also the version at our YouTube channel.



Technology Cocktail

“We are about to do a terrible thing to the general morale of psychotherapists in America. I have just gotten through a complete review of Freudian psychoanalysis, and I find out, Lord knows how he did it, that Sigmund Freud was hitting some very hot buttons. He was not hitting the button and he was not hitting buttons which had any therapy value with any technique he could possibly have invented. I don’t know how psychoanalysis has survived as long as it has, but the techniques with which he was fooling around and the computations on which he was working were so wide apart that it is a wonder that he didn’t produce complete raving insanity on the part of about 80 percent of his people. Any and every diagnostic conclusion drawn by Sigmund Freud can be found to have validity and can be processed in the preclear. This is not the fastest way to clear preclears, but it certainly is the fastest way to get into the sordid depths of the reactive mind and stir it around. Running reaching and suppression with all the Freudian diagnostic labels converted into Scientology finds us capable of resolving any problem in psychoanalysis.” — 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

“There’s another item that’s posted on the bulletin board, has to do with one R. — I think it is — R. M. Nixon. You notice that on the bulletin board? And John is attributing the fact that we clobbered Nixon to the fact that he’s clobbered. I don’t know to what point this extends, but it’s interesting that that is the first political figure in the United States that we really have clobbered. Of course, we hit him hard. Mary Sue isn’t here. Mary Sue isn’t here, so I can tell you that actually I hit him because he hit at Mary Sue. It’s almost that corny. But this fellow was using the United States Secret Service as a sort of a private Gestapo. And he’d been doing this all over Washington and so forth. So I just didn’t think it was good political, I didn’t think he had the right political color, somehow or another.” — L. Ron Hubbard, November 15, 1962


Avast, Ye Mateys


“BIRTH CONTROL PILLS — these apparently cause severe depression and severe damage to female sexual organs. It is of interest that these four things are the direct product and tools of the same people who for 20 years financed and pushed the attacks on Dianetics and Scientology. Thus we are looking at the current center of psychosis on the planet. The drug companies and their primary pushers — the psychiatrist and medicos. About half the ringleaders in attacks on us are disabled or dead. It’s like audint a planet already.” — The Commodore, November 15, 1970


Overheard in the FreeZone

“Do you think the Jews are the Marcabs? Cpt Bill and LRH for PR purposes could have used the word Marcab instead. I swear I read somewhere that LRH said the Marcabs were the Elohim or nephilim from the bible, and so they were like the jewish gods, and we all know gods is simply a primitive earthlings word for alien, so aliens were interbreeding or hanging out with the Israelis back then. Therefore these marcab gods have seeded a race here on Earth. And if these Marcabs have police states and controlled economies and suppressive economics planets then that would make sense with what we see here with lots of jews being top bankers and lawyers and apart of the suppressive New World Order economic system. Its all very interesting.”


Past is Prologue

1995: Karin Spaink reported on suits being filed in the Netherlands. “I heard rumours yesterday, but today the news was confirmed: Planet Internet, Holland’s biggest commercial provider (half owned by Dutch Telecom) is a party in the upcoming lawsuit. OF THEIR OWN FREE WILL – not because they received a writ of summons. Yesterday, a representative of Planet Internet phoned our lawyer Bakker Schut to ask whether it was possible that they be added to the writ of summons. Of course Bakker Schut was most amazed on hearing this question – usually, people want to avoid a lawsuit and do not seek one voluntarily – but his conclusion was that it is indeed possible.”


Random Howdy

“Those who still believe in the tech will say that they ‘know’ that it works from personal experience and that science hasn’t caught up to LRH yet. vaLLarrr used to ask us if we thought we loved our mothers or if we knew we loved our mothers in her attempts to defend the tech as being empirically provable. It’s all self delusional mind games they’re playing with 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 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] Scientology at a crossroads: When the ruthless upstarts pushed out the less compliant
[TWO years ago] Scientology has your certificate, pilgrim. Join these big beings around the world!
[THREE years ago] The new leaders of ‘Scientology’ tell us about their fight to free the world
[FOUR years ago] Eric Saldarriaga, private eye who took the fall for Scientology, 1973-2017
[FIVE years ago] Jared Fogle, former Subway huckster, turned to an indie Scientologist for failed ‘appeal’
[SIX years ago] In court today: Flop filmmakers who met in Scientology face 75 years for Ponzi scheme
[SEVEN years ago] Tom DeVocht: Watching David Miscavige watch Lisa McPherson and her faulty ‘needle’
[EIGHT years ago] Judge calls for February mini-trial in Garcia case, and we have text of the Lemberger lawsuit
[NINE years ago] Judge James Whittemore Reins In the Garcia v. Scientology Case
[TEN years ago] LA’s Sheriff Lee Baca Handing Out Scientology Booklets This Sunday?
[ELEVEN years ago] Scientology in Israel: Arson, Attempted Murder, Foreclosure, General Paranoia — And a Visit by the Voice!


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 2,849 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,354 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,904 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,894 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,785 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 5,090 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 2,960 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 2,065 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,538 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,854 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,420 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 8,339 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,507 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 4,087 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,349 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,385 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 3,100 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,665 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 980 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 2,155 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,706 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,837 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 4,175 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 9,030 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 4,149 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,505 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,808 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,914 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 3,312 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 3,188 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,771 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 3,266 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,520 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,629 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on November 15, 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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