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The prosecution’s argument that won the day for a retrial of Danny Masterson

[Deputy DAs Ariel Anson and Reinhold Mueller. Photo by Meghann Cuniff]

On Tuesday, we were back in court to find out if Scientology celebrity and accused serial rapist Danny Masterson would get a retrial after his first trial ended on November 30 with a hung jury.

Going into the hearing, we had obtained the defense’s motion to dismiss the charges, and we told you that it largely rested on defense attorney Philip Cohen’s interest in our interview with the first trial’s jury foreman.

In the court hearing Tuesday, it was revealed that the DA’s side had filed its response only the day before, and so we hadn’t had an opportunity to see it.

Deputy DA Reinhold Mueller did cite his response in court as he explained that the DA’s office has decided to retry Masterson.

We thought you’d be interested in some of the specific things Mueller included in his written response, which give us some idea of how he’s going to do things differently in the retrial.


Specifically, he talks about how he believes the first jury had not considered crucial information about Scientology and testimony by the DA’s expert, Dr. Mindy Mechanic. And Mueller also indicates that the prosecution intends to call some new expert witnesses, as well as a new fresh-complaint witness who can testify to what Jane Doe 3 said after her attack.

We have some extensive quotes for you that we thought you would find interesting.

The document opens with an explanation of why dismissing charges against him now would not be in the interests of justice.

Dismissal of the charges against defendant Daniel Masterson following a hung jury is not in the “furtherance of justice” as required by Penal Code section 1385. Particularly, where there is sufficient evidence for a jury to reach a guilty verdict. The considerations for dismissal as first set forth in People v. Superior Court (Howard) weigh in favor of a retrial and not in favor of a dismissal. First, the defendant is charged with forcible rape committed against three women on separate occasions. Arguably, there are few charges more serious and violent. Second, this was the first trial and this case has not been previously dismissed. That is, a second trial does not amount to harassment of the defendant. Third, the People intend to introduce additional evidence at the retrial against the defendant. Fourth, the jury foreperson admittedly revealed that the majority of jurors “did not consider” a significant amount of the evidence presented during the trial, including the influence of Scientology on the victims, the testimony of the fresh-complaint and prior consistent statement witnesses, as well as the testimony of the People’s expert, Mindy Mechanic, Ph.D.

Mueller then explains that the penal code lists several factors to be considered before dismissing a case.

None of these factors favor the defense. First, as mentioned above, there is sufficient evidence to support a guilty verdict. Second, arguably,, there are few crimes more serious and violent than the forcible rape of a person, not to mention three women. Third, the defendant has not been incarcerated awaiting trial. Fourth, this was the first trial, the case has not been previously dismissed and refiled, and all the continuances were at the request of the defense. That is, retrial in this case does not amount to harassment of the defendant or impose unreasonable burdens but furthers society’s interest in obtaining a just judgment. Lastly, there is additional evidence the People seek to introduce at the retrial of the defendant. At the retrial, the People will seek to introduce additional expert testimony on the “Neurobiology of Trauma,” “Memory for Traumatic Events,” and “Alcohol and Memory.” The additional testimony will assist the jury on retrial to understand common responses to perceived threats in the context of a traumatic event; that trauma survivors may experience gaps in their memories, yet also possess vivid, unforgettable, distressing memories of the event; and the prominent effects of alcohol on memory functioning. Finally, the investigation is ongoing and there is at least one additional potential witness that the People intend to locate and interview regarding any observations of an/or materially relevant statements made by [Jane Doe 3] in the course of her relationship with the defendant.

And Mueller said he was basing his assessment of the jury on the time he spent in the jury room after the mistrial was declared, not on the interview we did of the foreman later.

On November 30, 2022, the court found the jurors hopelessly deadlocked in this case and a mistrial was declared. Subsequently, counsel for the People and the defense had the opportunity to spend a few minutes and talk with the deliberating jurors in the jury room. There were questions asked regarding broad categories of evidence presented in the case. I inquired about their thoughts on the testimony of the fresh-complaint and prior consistent witnesses. The foreperson stated that they “did not consider it,” and considered only the statements of the victims themselves. I inquired about their thoughts of the testimony by the People’s expert, Mindy Mechanic, Ph.D. The foreperson stated that they “did not consider it, except for a couple of jurors or so,” and that, again, they considered only the statements of the victims themselves. Similarly, the Scientology evidence presented to show the then existing state-of-mind of the victims and their post-sexual assault reactions and behavior as well as its influence on their reporting of the crimes was not considered or was an “extremely minimal” part of the conversation at best.

This reveals that a large swath of the evidence presented at trial was essentially not considered by a majority of this jury. Dismissing the case under these circumstances is not in the furtherance of justice.

At the hearing, Cohen argued that Mueller was mischaracterizing the jury, saying that it had considered all the evidence when they were unable to come up with verdicts.

Judge Olmedo at one point admonished both sides that the opinions of the jurors from the first jury really didn’t matter much at this point. She based her opinion, she said, on the factors in the 1385 penal code, and her list sounded a lot like Mueller’s.

She dismissed Cohen’s motion, and then set dates for pretrial hearings, saying that jury selection for the new trial would begin on March 29.

That is coming up soon, so we’ll be interested to see if Masterson’s side comes up with any gambits to slow things down, which they tried to do numerous times last year.

After the hearing, a statement was released from Jane Doe 2, Jane Doe 3, Jane Doe 3’s husband, and Bobette Riales, who are all suing Masterson and the Church of Scientology in the separate civil lawsuit.


“We are pleased that Danny Masterson will not be permitted to simply escape criminal accountability. Despite suffering years of intimidation and harassment, we are completely committed to participating in the next criminal trial to the extent requested by prosecutors and again testifying about Mr. Masterson’s depraved actions.”


Technology Cocktail

“A preclear will occasionally repair and remedy havingness up to a point where the body disappears for him. He doesn’t quite know where to put the mass he has mocked up since he cannot find the body. This is particularly true of preclears who have a very low threshold on havingness. An auditor would be stupid indeed to simply plow along beyond that point where the preclear has already said that he couldn’t find any body to push any havingness into.” — L. Ron Hubbard, 1956



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

“I do not know if it can be established for sure what I say about the deteriorating size of a thetan is a curve, but I believe it to be, and that the composite track of 74 trillion years might be the banks of cells which you now have, which once ran bodies. And you might have a rather brief tenure on the track really. Because it would be almost impossible to separate these things. And that’s why you couldn’t give a damn whether you have a past life or not. It just doesn’t matter. The point is you’ve got a future one.” — L. Ron Hubbard, January 12, 1953


Avast, Ye Mateys

“A new CLASS VI (plus HDG) recruitment campaign is being telexed out to CLSs. We are offering a Petty Officer (Tech) rating to field VIs, VIIs, VIIIs, so they become fully contracted SO Members. They will be shipped direct to Flag where we will jump them through AB, Mission School, SS I, SS II, Class VIII, IX and X. These will be purely tech ratings…Target is to make every Scn org as big as SH was in 1967. So that’s where we’re going. The blocker is Tech Personnel and we’re hammering hard on that.” — The Commodore, January 12, 1971



Overheard in the FreeZone

“Clear isn’t what Hubbard cracked it up to be. The person has a win, feels great, attests to Clear, then this good feeling fades away with time. If the person doesn’t get into the next level then they will realise as time goes by that Clear is kinda shit and start spotting this borderline scam that Scientology is, then they will leave it. But if he goes onto the next level any problems or not feeling good the guy has can be blamed on the new level he is now doing. See how clever Hubbard is? Also any ‘Clear not feeling so goodness’ can be blamed on this vulnerable area they are in. ‘I knew I should have gone straight onto OT 1’ the scio thinks if they ignored the warning. It’s called the non-interference zone. So if the person starts thinking Clear is shit, well then that’s because they are in this vulnerable zone and quickly need to get onto their next level, not that the Clear state kinda doesn’t exist. Oh gosh it’s such a scam, but it also isn’t a scam, it’s a mixture of both. That’s why it’s such a controversial religion and is fascinating to study.”


Past is Prologue

1998: Good Housekeeping magazine this week carries an interview with Scientologist Kirstie Alley. “Q: Do you feel your religion has helped you through these tumultuous times A: Absolutely. It’s helped me make decisions about the marriage. When you are a Scientologist you do courses that help you make good choices. Good–not crazy–emotional decisions. I feel like I’m not the easiest person in the world to be with. That’s a big understatement. Q: You’re not always available to everybody? A: No. I have these goals in life. I’m an optimist. That’s why Scientology is interesting to me. I believe it can help with literacy and with drug abuse. I think it can help in making people more educated, making them brighter, making their IQs higher. Making them more effective in life. So I want to promote this in big ways. It’s like that saying: You can give a guy a fish, and feed him for a day, or you can teach him how to fish and feed him for a lifetime. I believe in that philosophy, only grander! Q: And you want to build churches. A: I do. Missions. Not churches. Q: Scientology missions? A: Yes. I know what Scientology does. I know it can help anybody with any problem that they have. But if they don’t want to be Scientologists, that’s cool. In Wichita, KS, my hometown, I built a Scientology mission. Then next to it, I put a literacy center that uses L. Ron Hubbard’s technology. I get letters from guys 65 years old who can read for the first time in their lives. It breaks my heart.”


Random Howdy

“Burroughs thought that psychedelics could help him break his junk addiction, but he also thought the same thing about Scientology.”


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


Criminal prosecutions:
Danny Masterson charged for raping three women: Mistrial declared November 30. Status conference scheduled January 10, retrial scheduled March 27.
‘Lafayette Ronald Hubbard’ (a/k/a Justin Craig), aggravated assault, plus drug charges: Grand jury indictments include charges from an assault while in custody. Plea deadline scheduled for December 16.
Jay and Jeff Spina, Medicare fraud: Jay sentenced to 9 years in prison. Jeff scheduled to time served with three years supervised release, restitution of $9.7 million.
Rizza Islam, Medi-Cal fraud: Trial scheduled for March 1 in Los Angeles
David Gentile, GPB Capital, fraud: Next pretrial hearing December 9.
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 November 17 to argue the arbitration motions, awaiting ruling.
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 February 7.
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] VIDEO: An unprecedented glimpse inside Scientology’s royal family
[TWO years ago] Scientology’s anti-mask star Leigh Dundas may have overdone it at Capitol riot
[THREE years ago] Scientology honors its bodysnatchers with stars on its Xenu-rrific walk of fame
[FOUR years ago] David Miscavige in South Africa: The new ‘Advanced Org’ gets its castle
[FIVE years ago] When Scientology tried to convince the FBI that a college prof ran a cabal of critics
[SIX years ago] LAPD to Leah Remini on her records request about missing Scientology leader’s wife: ‘Go fish’
[SEVEN years ago] A great peek into how Scientology uses fronts to love-bomb a public official
[EIGHT years ago] Monday Funnies: More evidence that Scientology is gearing up for a really tough 2015
[NINE years ago] Gary Weber: Another former Scientology official talks about women forced to have abortions
[ELEVEN years ago] Scientology, Winning! We Hear from the Church’s #1 Student


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 2,907 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,412 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,962 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,952 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,843 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 5,148 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 3,018 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 2,123 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,596 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,912 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,478 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 8,397 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,565 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 4,146 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,407 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,443 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 3,158 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,723 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 1,038 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 2,213 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,764 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,895 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 4,233 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 9,088 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 4,207 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,563 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,866 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,972 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 3,370 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 3,246 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,829 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 3,324 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,578 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,687 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on January 12, 2023 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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