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Former Scientology private eye wants to haul us into court in rape lawsuit

[Can Yanti Michael Greene convince Judge Francis Ricigliano to subpoena us?]

On the morning of Monday, March 27 we left our underground bunker and schlepped out to Nassau County again for another hearing in the saga involving a private investigator who at one time was stalking Leah Remini and Jennifer Lopez — and also your proprietor — on behalf of the Church of Scientology.

His name is Yanti Michael Greene, or at least it was, until he changed it legally in the middle of litigation to “Michael Moretti Ford Cruz” without informing the people who were suing him or the judge where the lawsuit was taking place. That judge, Sharon Gianelli, eventually found Greene guilty of criminal and civil contempt after he was caught trying to hide incriminating video footage from the court.

That footage, according to an expert, is convincing proof that Greene raped a semi-conscious woman, Susanne Gold-Smith, in the back seat of his SUV early in the morning hours of May 17, 2018. However, Greene, a retired NYPD detective, has never been charged with a crime for the alleged rape, and he has maintained the rather ludicrous claim that he was raped by Gold-Smith in the encounter.

We were back in court on March 27 because Susanne Gold-Smith and her husband, David Smith, were awarded more than $300,000 in the contempt order against Greene, and they’ve been trying to collect it. They deposed the former NYPD detective about his sources of income, and are asking the court to garnish his wages.


It’s a complex case with multiple lawsuits and countless motions and orders, and it didn’t help that the judge handling the hearing that morning, Judge Francis Ricigliano, had never handled any of it before. So we sat for some time as Judge Ricigliano tried to make sense of all the file numbers and how they related to each other, and which parties were present and which weren’t.

Greene was present and was representing himself, pro se. And he was surprised to learn that this did not mean that his personal company, the Moretti Group, was properly represented and was, as a result, not present.

“I wasn’t aware I couldn’t represent it,” Greene said, sounding at a loss and realizing that his company was in a position to be saddled with a default judgment for not showing up.

Leading up to the hearing, Greene had posted some fairly astounding documents with wild claims, as we’ve reported previously. Gold-Smith’s attorney, Daniel Szalkiewicz, referred to it as “cockamamie” material in his response, and Judge Ricigliano, unfamiliar with the case, asked Szalkiewicz about it.

Cockamamie — is that a legal term?” he asked.

“Unfortunately in this case it is, your honor,” Szalkiewicz answered.

Judge Ricigliano admitted that he hadn’t actually read any of the pleadings, and that he would need to do so before rendering a ruling at some point. In the meantime, he asked the parties to sign up for dates to hold depositions, and a sheet was passed around. At some point, Szalkiewicz voiced an objection to the court, saying that Greene had not only signed up himself for a deposition but had added a couple of names of people who were not parties to the litigation.

Greene said he wanted the non-parties deposed, and he was told that would occur only under a separate authority. He could submit those names, but the court would have to approve them.

After getting the parties signed up, Judge Ricigliano scheduled a hearing for late June, by which time the depositions should be finished and they could move closer to trial.

“Does that make sense, or is it cockamamie?” the judge asked, with a smile.

Anyway, in the weeks since then, as we’ve waited to hear if the court has come to a ruling, we learned that Greene submitted not just two additional names of non-parties he’d like to get deposed, but a total of twelve people he wants the court to subpoena.

Three of those names we thought you’d be interested to see. Here they are, with descriptions by Greene, from the letter he wrote the court last week…

TONY ORTEGA: Former Editor of The Village Voice. Plaintiffs paid Tony to create, print and post online, globally false (defaming) and or negative stories about me with regard to this litigation.

JEFFREY AUGUSTINE: A private investigator and self proclaimed “journalist”, Plaintiffs pay him (to this day) to create, print and post online, globally false (defaming) and or negative stories about me with regard to this litigation.


KAREN DE LA CARRIERE: Married to Jeffery Augustine, and paid by Plaintiffs, she illegally took a photograph of me inside the Courtroom during a hearing then posted it online via her husband attached to yet another defaming online, global, “news article”.

Jeffrey and your proprietor have both written about this case at our respective websites. And no, this reporter has not taken a penny from anyone involved in the case. Jeffrey tells us that’s the same case with him. And Karen, we understand, has not been in New York since the 1990s. So we have no idea why Greene thinks she was skulking around the courthouse taking photos of him.

This is the second time we’ve seen Greene refer to a photo of him he claims was taken at court, but we haven’t seen such a photo.

Well, we’re told the court is not very likely to haul us into court simply because Greene wants it to. But it’s the thought that counts, we suppose.


Technology Cocktail

“Scientology is a precise commodity, something like engineering. A pc is a precise thing, part animal, part pictures and part God. We want the ability to handle things and the God, and the less unthinking responses in the pc the better off he will be. Therefore a PC WHO ISN’T COGNITING regularly is being processed beyond his ability to do and it is necessary to drop back downscale to find something he CAN DO.” — L. Ron Hubbard, 1957



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?

[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

— The first Danny Masterson trial and beyond

[18] Trial special with Chris Shelton [19] Trial week one [20] Marc Headley on the spy in the hallway [21] Trial week two [22] Trial week three [23] Trial week four [24] Leah Remini on LAPD Corruption [25] Mike Rinder 2022 Thanksgiving Special [26] Jane Doe 4 (Tricia Vessey), Part One [27] Jane Doe 4 (Tricia Vessey), Part Two [28] Claire Headley on the trial [29] Tory Christman [30] Bruce Hines on spying [31] Karen de la Carriere [32] Ron Miscavige on Shelly Miscavige [33] Karen de la Carriere on the L’s [34] Mark Bunker on Miscavige hiding [35] Mark Plummer [36] Mark Ebner [37] Karen Pressley [38] Steve Cannane [39] Fredrick Brennan [40] Clarissa Adams [41] Louise Shekter [42] John Sweeney


Source Code

“Under this particular zone in Scientology right now, we have, oddly enough, culminated — and this is hard to believe, because it is such a wildly embracive figure — we have culminated in anything that was desirable in the fields of religion, mysticism, spiritualism, or mental sciences. Anything desirable in those particular fields have been discovered and culminated in the field of Scientology right now. That’s why I say it’s rather hard to believe, but you look at it, that’s true. So we do have valuable subject materials. Now, that job is complete. And so, number one of these, course management, as far as we’re concerned, on a Scientology course, that is complete. We’re even throwing away material now which would have been enough to have made a complete science and revolutionized middle Europe, you know, two hundred years ago.” — L. Ron Hubbard, April 10, 1959


Avast, Ye Mateys


“WOG WORLD: If you were puzzled about my ‘now in the WOG world’ jokes in yesterdays OOD — that was the way certain people were 3rd partying us. Making a horrible false impression between us and elsewhere. ‘Now in the Wog world — ” Or how great the beach is compared to the ship. At least we’re trying to get it to survive and that’s more than you can say for the ‘Wog World’.” — The Commodore, April 10, 1969


Overheard in the FreeZone

“Hubbardian Scientological-like tricks to trap, contain, and eliminate or ameliorate the developing infidel-illogicals of humanity while promoting an advancing ‘expanding’ HS-elite gradient of Theta Clears going forward has been part of Man’s social engineering constructivities since the Golden Dawn of Civilizations. We can do better. And I suspect Hubbard thought so too with a KSW: always, eternally and forevermore.”


Past is Prologue

2002: The Associated Press reported that Heber Jentzsch, the president of the Church of Scientology International, has been acquitted of conspiracy and fraud charges. “A Spanish court on Thursday acquitted the American leader of the Church of Scientology of conspiracy and other charges, ending a case that dated back to 1988. In December the Madrid Provincial Court had acquitted 15 members and employees of the Spanish branch of Scientology who had been charged along with church leader Rev. Heber Jentzsch. When Jentzsch did not appear for trial as it began in February, the court decided to try him separately. The court said in December there was no evidence to support prosecutors’ allegations that drug rehabilitation and other programs sponsored by the Church of Scientology in Spain amounted to illicit gatherings aimed at activities such as bilking people of money. In 1988 Jentzsch was arrested when he arrived in Madrid for a Scientology conference. He was held for 4 months before being released, but indicted in 1994.”


Random Howdy

“I wear shorts and combat boots to the beach. Who am I kidding, I never go to the beach even though I live right near it. It’s full of gangbangers, junkies, alkies and crackheads.”



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] Mark Bunker reminds us that there are actually Scientology physicians out there
[TWO years ago] Recent Scientology defector: ‘I did the Purif with SNL’s Chloe Fineman’
[THREE years ago] Eleventh Circuit will hear oral arguments in key Scientology ‘religious arbitration’ case
[FOUR years ago] LEAKED: Scientology’s secret playbook for world domination!
[FIVE years ago] Before Scientology was a ‘church,’ L. Ron Hubbard said religion controlled people with lies
[SIX years ago] Why Scientology’s Erika Christensen can play a Christian convert on the big screen
[SEVEN years ago] Spider-Man goes drug-free for Scientology, and more in our weekly social media review!
[EIGHT years ago] L. Ron Hubbard’s Navy record: Chris Owen critiques the ‘Business Insider’ story
[NINE years ago] Is a Scientology front group among those fighting a European effort against ‘sects’?
[TEN years ago] Brit Writer’s 27 Years in Scientology is Suddenly News in France — Our Man in Paris Explains Why
[ELEVEN years ago] Is Lisa Marie Presley Telling Off Scientology in a Song?


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 2,995 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,500 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 3,050 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 2,040 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,931 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 5,235 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 3,106 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 2,211 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,688 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 4,000 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,566 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 8,485 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,653 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 4,234 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,495 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,531 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 3,247 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,811 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 1,126 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 2,301 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,852 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,983 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 4,321 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 9,176 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 4,295 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,651 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,954 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 3,060 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 3,458 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 3,334 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,917 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 3,412 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,666 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,775 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on April 10, 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, 1995-2022 Just starting out here? We’ve picked out the most important stories we’ve covered here at the Underground Bunker (2012-2022), 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


Tony Ortega at Rolling Stone


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