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What the jurors didn’t hear: How Scientology keeps crimes under wraps

[Scientology’s Hollywood Celebrity Centre]

Our frequent contributor Sunny Pereira, a former Scientology Sea Org official at the Hollywood Celebrity Centre, came to the Danny Masterson trial on the last day of testimony. She was there as an advocate for her friend, Rachel Smith, who was the final witness to testify in the trial. We asked her for some thoughts on the trial, and this is what she sent us.

What a great idea it is, to hide behind the banner of “Religious Freedom” in a country founded on that very thing. What an absolutely perfect setup it is.

Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard decided to try “the religious angle” in 1953, and avoided taxes until the government took away Scientology’s church status in 1967. David Miscavige’s victory over the IRS in 1993 to get it back was the highlight of his career. And as Lawrence Wright said in Going Clear, it meant that Scientology was “protected,” to the detriment of the people in it.

The basic policies of Scientology, as written by Hubbard, do not allow a person to report crimes to the police or any other “civil authority.” Scientologists are expected to report these matters internally. There are various positions, or “posts” where these complaints are heard. They are “Chaplain” and “Ethics Officer.” The people in these positions are trained to keep matters inside the organization.

Meanwhile, Scientology is obsessed with record-keeping. But since the IRS exemption in 1993, Scientology has been careful about the records it keeps of wrongdoing. Not using the word “rape” in an interrogation, for example.


For this reason, bringing in the law, no matter how much you try, can be incredibly difficult.

Even as a young child in Scientology, we knew what to say to Child Protective Services so they would see and think that we were well cared for. The same applies to anyone who is reported for committing a crime. They can hang around the fringes of Scientology as “members,” but they can’t really participate much in any of the services. Scientology won’t let them loose, but also will not turn them in. With my own eyes and experience, I have seen many of these situations in my decades in Scientology.

And here we are with the Danny Masterson case. So how does it fit in?

Well, two ways.

First, Scientology will not offer up any information or help with any investigation into a member. They may pretend to cooperate, but any possible documents “go missing” or the people who might have been witnesses are “no longer around.”

From the information that we have, at least two of these three victims reported their alleged rapes to a member of Scientology, specifically at the Celebrity Centre. I was not personally involved in these cases, but having worked at Celebrity Centre for nearly a decade, I can say I’m familiar with how these things are dealt with.

Of course all the information is taken down, and the women would be subjected to different types of interrogations to determine “what they had done to pull it in.”

It could have been that Masterson also had things addressed with Scientology, and in their minds, when it was addressed decades ago, he was fixed and is no longer this horrible person. Scientology truly believes it can fully change a person’s behavior.

But at the same time, the last thing Scientology wants is one of its prominent members to be convicted of rape. So they hope that this criminal case will go away.

It saddened me to see early on in the trial that much of Scientology’s involvement was deemed inadmissible. And yet this case not only rides on the actions of Masterson, but also the subsequent actions of Scientology in covering it up.

The information allowed to be presented to the jury can never be anything close to an actual account of event. So many admonitions from the judge. And yet there is no full picture of what happened and why, without Scientology.

A divided jury, with not enough information to piece together what is going on. It’s so frustrating.

I am saddened that these ladies may not get justice. They have been brave and strong through all of this and I wish them the best, and they have much support from the community in this difficult time.

And I hope someday Scientology somehow gets the proper justice for its flawed system that covers up criminal behavior. .


Will there ever be a chance for protection of children and victims of crimes within a religious group in the United States?

— Sunny Pereira


Saturday’s special update: Helping out those in need

While we’re still trying to assess what happened with the jury at the Danny Masterson trial, we turned our attention to a couple of former Scientologists who are struggling and could use your help. We emailed our end-of-the-day video to our subscribers here at Substack yesterday, but this morning we’re releasing it to everyone. And here’s also the version at our YouTube channel.



Technology Cocktail

“If you think for a moment that it is the purpose of Scientology to produce something intensely spectacular like a ghost that can move cigarette papers or mountains, you have definitely gotten the wrong idea. We are interested in well men, we are interested in people with well bodies who think straight and who co-operate on optimum solutions. We are not making magicians. There are a great many things which a thetan or the analytical mind can do, but all these, until you are certain of them, belong in the field of para-Scientology and are only interesting data. We have no interest in their truth or untruth. If you start filling your pc full of an education about the whole track and electronic incidents and other doubtful things, you are giving him more and more uncertainties and he’ll start on down tone scale.” — 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

“We have, in this universe, space has a peculiarity. And there are three kinds of space. Three kinds of space: there’s ‘was space,’ ‘is space’ and ‘will be space.’ There are three kinds of space. And how is this space formed? By postulating it exists….Somebody was serious. And I think the whole, the title of this whole play ‘MEST universe’ could be on that line: ‘Somebody Was Serious.’ And the title of Dianetics could be ‘One Was Stubborn.’ All right.” — L. Ron Hubbard, November 20, 1952


Avast, Ye Mateys

“Recent surveys have revealed that the great and glorious Welfare State period is about to come to a screeching halt. A world recession is already in progress. U.S. currency, the only international money, is rapidly devaluating and may become completely worthless in the very near future. Scandinavia, wehre Welfare Socialism was the order of the day for decades, is on the verge of a crash. Welfarism is the idea that the people can get something without exchanging anything. Over 50 percent of the U.S. population at this time is on a hand-out kick. The Great White Father in Washington is supposed to be able to endlessly spend money which it itself is not covered by production. This brings about money worthlessness because the money isn’t buying anything.” — The Commodore, November 20, 1971


Overheard in the FreeZone

“Knowing the truth about the body types and races means you can predict things. It’s a science subject which has been kept secret from us and which Scientology almost completely ignored until late in Hubbard’s career, when he fessed up and admitted that he needs to reincarnate into a genetically pure body in order to get anything done next life. For example I was listening to data about Bob Marley and I predicted he would have white heritage. I looked it up and he’s got a white dad.”


Past is Prologue

2000: this week voted Battlefield Earth the worst movie of the year. “Nothing this year has banded the staff closer together than the John Travolta sci-fi fiasco. Unanimously panned and despised, the half vanity project, half homage to Church of Scientology father L. Ron Hubbard has inspired much critical ass whipping — from the mildly amusing ‘deeply dumb’ to the historically significant ‘one of the worst movies ever made.’ But perhaps what’s more important is that the film, which cost $73 million to make, grossed only $21.5 million, which means that if we’re lucky, there probably won’t be a sequel in our lifetime. Or would it?”



Random Howdy

“I worked off and on in the restaurant/hotel industry for years. When the kitchen got slammed i.e busy, pretty soon tempers would flare and everybody would be cursing one another left and right (sometimes it turned to mild violence). Cooks attacking servers, they in turn attacking the busboys who would in turn attack the dishwashers. When it was over everybody would go to the bar, get loaded and try to have sex with each other forgetting the previous transgressions. Words spoken in the heat of the moment mean nothing.”


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] Jon Atack and Chris Shelton answer the question: Are cult members stupid?
[TWO years ago] This changes everything: Scientology ups its cool quotient in swanky London
[THREE years ago] Scientology leader David Miscavige: Screw your lawsuit, you didn’t serve me properly
[FOUR years ago] Someone doesn’t want you to see this rich Scientologist act like a rich Scientologist
[FIVE years ago] Charles Manson and Scientology: What the church doesn’t want you to know
[SIX years ago] Scientology is making this world ideal, one renovated building at a time
[SEVEN years ago] Five months later, Ponzi schemer and Scientologist Reed Slatkin is still dead
[EIGHT years ago] Pearl Harbor Day 2015 — Mark your calendar for a day that will live in Scientology infamy
[NINE years ago] Claire and Bruce Take Us Into the Bizarre World of Scientology’s Operating Thetan Two!
[TEN years ago] Fox 25 in Oklahoma City Keeps Up the Pressure on Scientology’s Drug Rehab Deaths
[ELEVEN years ago] Scientology, Indubitably: NYC Anons Make Their Fancy Raid on the 46th Street ‘Org’


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 2,854 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,359 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,909 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,899 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,790 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 5,095 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 2,965 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 2,070 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,543 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,859 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,425 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 8,344 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,512 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 4,092 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,354 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,390 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 3,105 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,670 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 985 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 2,160 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,711 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,842 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 4,180 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 9,035 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 4,154 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,510 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,813 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,919 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 3,317 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 3,193 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,776 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 3,271 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,525 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,634 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on November 20, 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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