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Judge Olmedo begins quizzing prospective jurors in the Danny Masterson retrial

It’s Day Three of the Danny Masterson retrial in Los Angeles, and jury selection is going to start getting a lot more involved. In the first two days, Judge Charlaine Olmedo had four sets of prospective jurors fill out questionnaires. Today, she’ll begin quizzing them individually about their answers.

But the first two days were also much more eventful than we were expecting as we were in the courtroom for a number of interesting revelations.

On Day One, we were surprised to see that high-profile attorney Shawn Holley was back on the defense team after she missed the entire first trial. Yesterday, we learned that in fact she has replaced Karen Goldstein, who will not be returning, and we suspect that Holley may now be the lead attorney, with Philip Cohen in second position, and Judge Olmedo has given them until tomorrow to clear that up for her.

Holley was a member of the original OJ Simpson defense “dream team,” and she’s handled a number of celebrity clients, including Kanye West and Lindsay Lohan. We imagine that Masterson is paying a pretty penny to have her take over for Cohen, if that’s what’s going on.


But the real surprise on Day One was that the defense has put its own Scientology expert on its witness list, and it is none other than the stepfather to the prosecution’s Scientology expert, Claire Headley. Is putting OT 8 Scientologist Hugh Martin Whitt on the defense list just a stunt intended to intimidate Claire, or does the defense really intend to call him? Last time, the expert witness for the prosecution was called late in the case, so we may not know how this plays out for several more weeks.

Yesterday, there was another bombshell when we realized that Shawn Holley, at a sidebar, was talking about a subpoena related to the grand jury investigation of Masterson and Scientology.

We first reported on this grand jury back in September 2022, just weeks before the first trial, when Deputy DA Reinhold Mueller entered testimony by entertainment attorney Marty Singer that was from the grand jury probe. And based on that testimony, we could see that the grand jury was looking into a 2004 agreement that Jane Doe 1 says she was coerced into signing with Masterson with the help of Singer, who was Masterson’s attorney. The agreement would require Jane Doe 1 never to speak about her rape allegations again, while Masterson signed the document with the alias “David Duncan.”

Also, we were stunned to learn from Mueller at that time that the grand jury had been looking into Masterson and Scientology since 2018.

At the sidebar yesterday, we couldn’t help hearing Shawn Holley reference material they had received regarding the grand jury probe and Scientology. Then, back on the record, Judge Olmedo explained that the defense wanted the actual subpoena that had been filed which produced that material, but she said she didn’t think the defense was entitled to it. Then, she asked Mueller if the investigation they were referring to was still ongoing, and he said that it was.

We immediately realized what we had just witnessed: Evidence that the grand jury that has been looking into Scientology since 2018 is still investigating the matter. Wow.

Later, Shawn Holley asked to go back into chambers with Judge Olmedo with the other attorneys, and when they re-emerged, Judge Olmedo admonished your proprietor about reporting what was said in sidebar, that we should not publish such things in the future, even if voices carry. We have been duly notified and will comply with her admonition.

But in this case, we really couldn’t help hearing what Holley said. She has a very resonant voice and the courtroom was otherwise completely empty. We were the only reporter in the room, and there was no one else in the gallery.

Well, what an eventful couple of days. And today will be a lot of hard work as we do our best to keep notes on Judge Olmedo’s interactions with prospective jurors. As always, keep an eye on your inbox as our reports are sent out at the breaks!


Technology Cocktail

“My game in research is not at end by a long way. For instance in research for OT actions I wrote 15 things the US Govt should do five weeks ago. It has now done 6 of them. When they’ve done all 15 I know we’re sailing (for the 6 may have been my telepathy or coincidence). And organization know-how and expansion is a long way from ended. Map a comm center for the nearest ten stars for instance. We’ll be on deck to welcome the space ships when they get them!” — 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 remember training generals in Egypt. It was difficult. You say, ‘When fighting Numidians, you inevitably and invariably make very certain that your flanks are secure, because the Numidian — because of horses and that sort of thing — can very easily collapse your flanks. So one of the first things you do in fighting Numidians is make sure that both flanks are very secure. And the best way to do this is to put one flank against the seacoast. You see? And the other flank against a wadi. You see, that’s the best way to do that. No general you ever taught ever fought any Numidians on the seacoast. You see, you run into these small difficulties in training. That’s typical of Earth.” — L. Ron Hubbard, April 19, 1962


Avast, Ye Mateys

“The Ponies are to be made operational for use in All Hands Evolutions. Lafayettes are not to be used due to their long range per LRH order.” — Lt. Cmdr Diana Hubbard, CS-1, April 19, 1969


Overheard in the FreeZone

“Having an underground bunker in ‘Trementina’ is a good start for trouble between North Korea and the USA. It is said it has connection to Los Alamos and other USA underground bases.”


Past is Prologue

1997: Chris Owen summarized a number of articles from OSA’s staff newspaper, Winning! “The front page headline is ‘United States Government Singes Germany’ – ‘Human Rights Report tells the world about the overts of Germany’s politicians and sends the modern-day Nazis a message. In our last issue of Winning! we told you about the outrage that German suppressives are generating against their country – on an international scale. But if these wayward politicians thought the embarrassment they were suffering in recent months was uncomfortable, they must be writhing in agony now.’ It describes the State Department’s criticism of Germany for alleged discrimination against Scientologists, and devotes several paragraphs to the ‘discovery’ that the German government continues to pay a war pension to former Wehrmacht soldiers. This, Winning! says, ‘cuts to the heart of the German government’s claims that it has no ties to Nazism.’ [A] piece by OSA head Mike Rinder, headlined: ‘Ultimate Victory In Our Reach.’ It is a fairly standard piece on how Scientology is winning unprecedented victories and is advancing shoulder-toshoulder against suppressives worldwide. Rinder declares: ‘[W]e live on a planet besieged by suppression and out-ethics. In such a setting, it would be impossible for Scientology not to encounter opposition. Only the quiet, the ineffective and the insincere are ignored. Just as LRH says in HCOB SIGNS OF SUCCESS, when we are really succeeding, the squirrels start to scream. And that has never been more true.’ [A] brief story saying that the Hungarian government has recognised CCHR as being a legitimate conscientious alternative to military service. Now, according to Winning!, ‘another group of volunteers will be helping CCHR in its mission to rescue planet Earth from the psychs.'”



Random Howdy

“Denise is teaching the kids how the barter system works.”


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] Scientology features director’s mom as John Malkovich movie hits theaters
[TWO years ago] Fun new leak: The current Scientology staff application and contract
[THREE years ago] Scientology: Earth is a prison planet and the virus just another fake threat. So study LRH!
[FOUR years ago] COMING MAY 9: Silvertail Books publishes Chris Owen’s ‘Ron the War Hero’
[FIVE years ago] Scientology’s greatest lecture of all: It’s finally time we look closer at Xenu in all his glory
[SIX years ago] How a recanted John Travolta gay sex allegation led to a bizarre Michael Jackson scoop
[SEVEN years ago] Ron Miscavige’s book ‘Ruthless’ gets a UK publisher and it’s a familiar one
[EIGHT years ago] Another wacky Scientology testimonial video — and an Underground Bunker announcement!
[NINE years ago] Is Google aiding a Scientology front group that claims the Holocaust was caused by psychiatry?
[TEN years ago] Jason Barclay’s Sea Org Adventure: A Fresh Scientology Escapee Details Abuse


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 3,004 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,509 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 3,059 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 2,049 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,940 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 5,244 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 3,115 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 2,220 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,697 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 4,009 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,575 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 8,494 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,662 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 4,243 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,504 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,540 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 3,256 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,820 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 1,135 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 2,310 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,861 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,992 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 4,330 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 9,185 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 4,304 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,660 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,963 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 3,069 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 3,467 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 3,343 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,926 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 3,421 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,675 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,784 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on April 19, 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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