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Day one at the Danny Masterson retrial was wild, what’s in store for day two?

[Attorney Shawn Holley and former Sea Org official Claire Headley]

We had wondered how the Danny Masterson retrial might be different than the first trial, which ended in a hung jury on November 30. And wow, on day one of the retrial yesterday, we really got some confirmation that the differences could be pretty stark.

In our detailed reports that went out at the breaks yesterday, we told you that one big surprise was that attorney Shawn Holley actually showed up for her client, Danny Masterson. She was missing throughout the first trial, when she was busy handling former Dodgers pitcher Trevor Bauer’s secret arbitration proceeding in DC.

Now, apparently, she has the time to join attorney Philip Cohen at the defense table. And how will it affect the defense? Will she be sharing cross-examination duties with Cohen?

Meanwhile, the other bombshell came at the end of the day, after we spoke up and asked Judge Charlaine Olmedo if the court would make available a copy of the defense witness list. She agreed, and when we saw it, we realized that Masterson’s defense is going to call its own Scientology expert witness to counter the prosecution’s expert, former Sea Org official Claire Headley.

But then, the other shoe dropped: We realized that Hugh Martin Whitt, the defense expert, is not only a Scientology OT 8, he is Claire’s stepfather. (We initially said he was her dad, and we’re glad we got to clear that up with Claire pretty quickly after we made the error.)


Cohen, remember, had argued for excluding any mention of Scientology from the trial at all. And now, instead, he’s turning it into a spectacle about Scientology with Claire and her stepdad as dueling experts. Wild.

We are sure you have many thoughts about this, and we want to hear them. Please join us in the comments section at the dot org site and let us know how you think the retrial is going to be affected by these big differences.

This morning, we’re back at jury selection as the pool reporter, and we’ll be sending out our notes to the reporters who emailed and asked to be put on our distribution list, and then posting the notes for the rest of the world here at the Substack. Either way, we’re sharing our notes with everyone we can, and we have heard a lot of great feedback from readers about the detail we’re putting out.

We don’t expect today to be as eventful, but who knows!


Technology Cocktail

“In clearing pcs it is necessary for the auditor to cause something. Abandon any idea of running significant objects ever. Always run non-significant objects. Free the needle before you run Step 6 when needle is stuck. Two-way Comm and Str Wire will do it. Totally clear up a field before running Step 6. A field is cleared by running repair of havingness on a terminal like the field. Don’t go running pcs on 6 who ‘think they see a mock-up’ or who ‘have an idea one is there’.” — L. Ron Hubbard, 1958



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

“I had an example of this. I had a couple of words on a line plot, when I was auditing, and they didn’t make much sense, and I let them go by! They didn’t make any sense to me and by George, we had a wrong item! And as soon as we got the thing straightened out and they did make sense, and so forth, they rocket read, and we went ahead beautifully. The point I’m stressing here is even though you have those forms, don’t try to gobbledygook it. Because gobbledygook won’t work. But sometimes it looks a little gobbledygooky, let’s get the idea of ‘to be Catholic.’ Let’s say that somebody had a goal like that. Got it down in the Vatican or somewhere, they got implanted, and ‘to be Catholic,’ you know. And you get down to the ‘-ness’ form of the goal. And you say, well that’s obviously the beingness of a Catholic. But by George, that doesn’t work! And you finally find out that it’s ‘Catholicness.’ Makes sense, doesn’t it? Catholicness. It isn’t an English word, but it’s a perfectly decent concept. It’s the ‘-ness’ ness of being a Catholic. See? And Catholicness, you’ll find out will fire right at that point, very nice.” — L. Ron Hubbard, April 18, 1963


Avast, Ye Mateys


“NAME CHANGE: The harbour recognized the ship but not the flag or name and were curious. So you better know why so you can explain it. The Hubbard Exploration Co Ltd was the original owner. It was a British Company. Because of currency restrictions the ships were sold to me, then to Operation and Transport Corporation of Panama, a Panama Company so the flag and name had to be changed. We run student cruises and came from Cadiz and will eventually be returning there. We cruise on the coasts of the Western Med.” — The Commodore, April 18, 1969


Overheard in the FreeZone

“OT 20 is superstatic rundown. It allows you to go outside source itself and re-enter the MEST universe at any other point in time. 900 years into the future the entire galaxy was taken over by the aliens that created mind control on this planet during this time period. Those aliens have been removed from the planet now and we can now start to repair the damage. The sleeper children were created by the dark forces 900 years in the future to try to prevent Scientology from being created. INT Management has been run by alien implanted entity manipulation. That is why we can’t get CoS repaired until we get the government out of CoS. The government is using CoS to extort money out of the public to line their own pockets. We advanced Scientology in the future to a point where we could go back into the static source where all things is created from and operate in any time period we choose. We came back to this period of time to remove the alien influence and stop the future chaos from happening. If you listen to The Time Track of Theta tapes you will learn a thetan can run more than one body. Not unusual to run 20 or more other Bodies.”


Past is Prologue

1996: David Mayo, author of Scientology’s NOTs levels, won his appeal in District Court this week. Judge A. Wallace Tashima also criticized Scientology heavily for its litigation tactics, intended to harass and destroy rather than win the case. The ruling quotes Judge Ideman, who has since recused himself, concerning the cult’s tactics. “This noncompliance has consisted of evasions, misrepresentations, broken promises and lies, but ultimately with refusal. As part of this scheme to not comply, the plaintiffs have undertaken a massive campaign of filing every conceivable motion (and some inconceivable) to disguise the true issue in these pretrial proceedings. Apparently viewing litigation as war, plaintiffs by this tactic have had the effect of massively increasing the costs to the other parties, and, for a while, to the Court. The appointment of the Special Master 4 years ago has considerably relieved the burden to this Court. The scope of plaintiff’s efforts have to be seen to be believed. (See Exhibit ‘A’, photo of clerk with filings, and Exhibit ‘B’, copy of clerk’s docket with 81 pages and 1,737 filings.) Yet it is all puffery — motions without merit or substance.'”


Random Howdy

“It would be fun if there were real monsters, but the only real monsters on this planet are us.”



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] How it went down: Transcript of Judge Olmedo denying Danny Masterson’s latest subpoenas
[TWO years ago] Scientology social media: Taking the planet higher than it’s ever been
[THREE years ago] Scientology denied: Watch Clearwater church members calling Mark Bunker a bigot
[FOUR years ago] When Scientology is caught spying, it always pretends it was the victim
[FIVE years ago] Spinning cars, self-healing cuts — more ‘OT’ ghost stories from Scientologists
[SIX years ago] DOX: Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard’s nutty scheme to strong-arm America’s psychologists
[SEVEN years ago] Louis Theroux’s ‘My Scientology Movie’ premieres at Tribeca: Our on-scene report
[EIGHT years ago] Scientology hit with another federal lawsuit over refunds — but with a twist
[NINE years ago] The rising business star, his mother, and Scientology’s attempt to rip them apart
[TEN years ago] Hysterical Hyper-Sight, and Other Lost Concepts of Dianetics
[ELEVEN years ago] One Year Ago Today: Did the Squirrel Busters Mark the Beginning of the End of Scientology?


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 3,003 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,508 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 3,058 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 2,048 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,939 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 5,243 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 3,114 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 2,219 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,696 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 4,008 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,574 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 8,493 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,661 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 4,242 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,503 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,539 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 3,255 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,819 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 1,134 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 2,309 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,860 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,991 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 4,329 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 9,184 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 4,303 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,659 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,962 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 3,068 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 3,466 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 3,342 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,925 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 3,420 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,674 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,783 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on April 18, 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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