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Danny Masterson retrial: No, the DA is not putting less focus on Scientology

[Danny Masterson and Deputy DA Reinhold Mueller]

We mentioned yesterday that we were in New York filming with a foreign news crew, and so we were not able to attend the pretrial hearing in Danny Masterson’s retrial that took place in a Los Angeles courtroom.

Several reporters we know did attend, and let us know that it was a brief affair, and the most important thing that came out of it was that after discussing the availability of witnesses, Judge Charlaine Olmedo moved the start of the retrial back a couple of weeks, to April 11.

But then, there was a little controversy that emerged. The Hollywood Reporter’s piece on the hearing carried a headline suggesting that the DA’s office indicated it would “put less focus on Scientology” in the second trial.

We weren’t the only ones raising an eyebrow over this notion. Yashar Ali, at Twitter, expressed outrage that Scientology would be downplayed.



We certainly understood Yashar’s point of view. We remembered that Deputy DA Reinhold Mueller had expressed his own concern, in a January 9 filing and at a January 10 hearing, that when he interviewed jurors after the November 30 mistrial, he learned that they had ignored much of the Scientology evidence in the first trial. And as far as we knew, based on our own sources, the DA’s office was more determined than ever to make sure a second jury understood how Scientology’s policies and reputation for retaliation had affected Masterson’s victims in the years after they were allegedly attacked.

The Hollywood Reporter story, however, seemed to be referring to that January 9 filing, and we examined it again, looking in vain for anything about the DA’s office lessening its focus on Scientology.

We also reached out to the writer, who indicated that there had been some miscommunication in the story’s editing process, and they were fixing the error. A correction soon appeared, and the headline was changed.

We also heard from Deputy DA Mueller himself, who responded to our inquiry by pointing out that the publication had posted its correction, so that’s reassuring.

We feel for the reporter, who we think was blameless, and we really don’t want them to come under criticism for the mistake. But the reason we are writing this story is simply to get out in front of a misconception in a major publication, the kind of thing that has a tendency to proliferate online.

No, Scientology will not get a break in the second trial. It can expect to be a major subject of testimony, just as it was in the first trial. And we can only hope that a second jury will pay better attention and try to understand how these women were cowed into silence by a totalitarian organization that is built on fear.


Technology Cocktail

“Actually, psychoanalysis is as easy to understand certainly as Japanese. Japanese is a baby talk — very, very hard to read, very, very easy to talk. If you can imagine a language which tells you which is the subject, which is the verb, which is the object, every time it speaks, you can imagine this baby-talk kind of a language. One that doesn’t have various classes or conjugations of verbs. A very faint kind of a language.” — 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

“[The] press and the public are interested in murder, assault, destruction, violence, sex and dishonesty in that order. Investigations which can uncover these factors in the activities of individuals of a group attacking Scientology are valuable in the degree that they contain a number of these factors. The more factors a case contains the more important the case is. The idea is that the press feeds on these factors and we feed them someone else’s. It will be found that our own Scientology groups contain so few of these they have to be invented about us. We need never invent them in the attacking group. They will be found to be there.” — L. Ron Hubbard, February 17, 1966


Avast, Ye Mateys

“The Flag Admin Org has a deficiency in LINE CONSCIOUSNESS. Because a line is invisible, one overlooks their presence. It’s public lines and routing lines are very poor. Lack of signs and advices and flash colors obscure lines. The staff member has to know where to route the particles and bodies and signs and flash marked paths and signs have to exist. An engineer flash marking pipes would understand this. I recommend the whole FAO get genned in by Dave Murphy on pipe flows as a starter. That makes the idea visible.” — The Commodore, February 17, 1971


Overheard in the FreeZone

“I am back home for a little while. The Covid was insignificant compared to the diagnosis of terminal mesothelioma. It almost certainly was caused by working with asbestos many years ago on the Apollo…It has saddened me too over the years to see long time Scientologists, LRH included, fall prey to ailments of the body. We quite simply do not have OTs at the level of disintegrating cancer. I shall however be looking at various approaches in the forthcoming months. I did get rather flattened recently with a pile of negative postulates that I have been peeling off.”


Past is Prologue


1999: Helsingborgs Dagblad reported this week that the Swedish government is proposing a change to the constitution so that Scientology’s secret NOTs materials will no longer be available from Parliament. “After fusses about the scientology bible the Department of Justice wants to change the Swedish principle of public access to official records and copyright. It will no longer become possible to act in order to ‘force publicity’ to works. A person gave this book to several Swedish authorities and The Swedish Parliament judged that the time-honoured Swedish principle of public access to official records would be valid also for this work. It became allowed for anyone to have access to it. This lead to protests from the U.S. who means that Sweden is breaking international agreements of copyright. In the memorandum from the Department is now suggested an additive to the law about secrecy and the copyright law. The significance is that authorities should not judge it as a public document if a work is given in which not have been published earlier and where the author has not given permission. A third demand is that it would be harmful for the author to get it published. Comparison is made to a journalists draft to an article or a writers manuscript – both can be harmed if someone illegally and too early ensure that the writings becomes public in a government.”


Random Howdy

“47x Shades of Cray: The Grant Cardone Story”


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

Criminal prosecutions:
Danny Masterson charged for raping three women: Mistrial declared November 30. Retrial scheduled, jury selection begins March 29. Next pretrial hearing: Feb 16.
‘Lafayette Ronald Hubbard’ (a/k/a Justin Craig), aggravated assault, plus drug charges: Grand jury indictments include charges from an assault while in custody. Next pretrial hearing Feb 13.
Rizza Islam, Medi-Cal fraud: Trial scheduled for March 1 in Los Angeles
David Gentile, GPB Capital, fraud: Next status conference Feb 13.

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: March 15, 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.
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] Shekter: The proposition that threatened to upend my Scientology billion-year commitment
[TWO years ago] The FBI wants a word with Leigh Dundas, Scientologist attorney and Capitol rioter
[THREE years ago] DRONE FLYOVER: Another look at Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard’s final hiding place
[FOUR years ago] Another Scientology monument to L. Ron Hubbard is going up in besieged Clearwater
[FIVE years ago] Scientology set to turn Silicon Valley ‘Ideal!’ Here’s our first look from the grand opening
[SIX years ago] Scientology’s next move in forced-abortion lawsuit: Deposing defectors
[SEVEN years ago] When will academics acknowledge that the Scientology ‘apostate’ theory is finished?
[EIGHT years ago] On the eve of the big Tampa hearing, the Garcias fire back at Scientology’s ‘bench memo’
[NINE years ago] NEW DATE: Celebration details of Los Angeles Scientology facilities leaked
[TEN years ago] Sunday Funnies: The Grant Cardone Is An Asshat Special Edition!
[ELEVEN years ago] Scientology on the High Seas: LRH on the “Wogworld!”


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 2,943 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,448 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,998 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,988 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,879 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 5,183 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 3,054 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 2,159 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,636 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,948 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,514 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 8,433 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,601 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 4,182 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,443 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,480 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 3,195 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,759 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 1,074 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 2,249 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,800 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,931 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 4,269 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 9,124 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 4,243 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,599 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,902 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 3,008 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 3,406 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 3,282 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,865 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 3,360 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,614 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,723 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on February 17, 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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