Daily Notifications
Sign up for free emails to receive the feature story every morning in your inbox at


Jury selection in the Danny Masterson retrial: Today, the attorneys take over

[Defense attorney Shawn Holley and Deputy DA Reinhold Mueller]

It’s Day 4 at the Danny Masterson retrial in Los Angeles, and Judge Charlaine Olmedo has indicated that she’s hoping she can get a jury seated by the end of the day so we can take tomorrow off.

Yesterday, she pushed through the herculean feat of speaking individually to more than 200 prospective jurors in a session that lasted from 9 in the morning until after 4:30 pm. We did our best to provide notes on all of those conversations, with some exceptions.

Today, the attorneys take over as the process of voir dire continues and the prospective jurors are quizzed further about their knowledge of Scientology or their knowledge of this case in order to find 12 jurors and 8 alternates.

We’ve seen some really interesting responses to yesterday’s reports from readers. We agree that the number of jurors who had at least some knowledge of Scientology seems higher than last time, and of course a few had some fun things to say about it, based on what they’d seen on Leah Remini’s program or others.

But we also note how many referred to the celebrities, which shows you just how much this pays off for Scientology. Even though the actual number of celebrities in Scientology is fewer than people seem to think, it’s a notion that seems to be the number one thing the public has actually heard about it.


We also wanted to note that Masterson yet again was without a friend or family member with him. During jury selection, when seating is limited, he’s allowed to bring along one other person, and for the first trial he would bring one of his brothers or a friend. Then, when opening statements and testimony began, he had a much larger group with him.

This time, he’s arriving with only his legal team — attorneys Philip Cohen and Shawn Holley, a paralegal, and a jury consultant. On the prosecution side, Deputy DAs Reinhold Mueller and Ariel Anson also have a jury consultant sitting in.

This is the big day for those jury consultants. They’ve been working long hours to pore through the questionnaires submitted by the prospective jurors and the responses elicited by Judge Olmedo, and now they will be helping their attorneys figure out which jurors are more desirable for their side.

But what are they looking for? We’d love to hear from our legal experts in the comments section at the dot org site: Who’s the ideal juror for the defense? For the prosecution? And how will knowledge of Scientology come into play? Let us know what you think.

As usual, keep an eye on your inboxes as our reports from the courtroom will arrive at the breaks. We anticipate another full day, with four detailed dispatches and a video coming your way.


Technology Cocktail

“Fear of seeing is fear of mass. A pc can keep himself from seeing by destroying all mass. This is one way mockups fail to appear. He has an automaticity which destroys them before they visibly appear. Short duration mock-ups are similarly caused. A pc that can’t see is reacting from a failure (or failures) of having tried to destroy something. He then tries to destroy mock-ups. Failing this he tries to destroy self. This is a scale of survival.” — 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

“Well now look, Mary Sue has been working very, very hard to make an OT out of me and been working at it and working at it and she didn’t make the grade. I wanted to get OT today so I could give you some nice weather. And I just didn’t make it, I’m sorry. I only got thirteen banks back and got stuck, you know.” — L. Ron Hubbard, April 20, 1963



Avast, Ye Mateys

“PARTY: Barry, Cathy and Liz did a good job on the party. Decorations were by the Middies, Claire, Terri, Suzette, Ann and Janis. Barry gave out dancing prizes. For such courage above and beyond the line of duty, he was himself decorated. Well done to Div VI.” — The Commodore, April 20, 1970


Overheard in the FreeZone

“North Korean leader Kim Jong Un detonates hydrogen bombs near a dangerous volcano, dramatizing clearly OT section 3 scenarios that could affect directly China, South Korea, and Japan. Meanwhile independent Scientology PCs happily promote avoiding and discarding auditing on OT III because it is ‘unreal’: ‘I’m auditing the OT levels and I am very happy that my Case Supervisor skipped OT III at my request,’ one of these independent PCs offered as a success story. As an auditor trained in objective processing, I can say that avoiding one of the most important steps in the OT levels is going to create an inability and an unhandled void in the person’s case. And this in the face of a world where OT III scenarios are putting the world in danger. A quick solution could be warning ‘OT III is fantasy’ PCs that avoiding the step is going to put this society at risk and they, the PC, unable to handle this OT III society, OT III radiation on the planet and Kim Jong Un OT III dramatizations of global war and nuclear holocaust.”


Past is Prologue

1998: German TV producer Peter Reichelt posted details on his arrest by Scientologists outside Gold Base near Hemet, California. “On March 9, 1998 the journalist Ina Brockmann and I rented at around 11 am a helicopter to seek for the highly secret Scientology children/adult prisoner camp called ‘HAPPY VALLEY’. Near the entrance on the right side is a large watch-tower. The entrance gate looked very similar to the entrance gate of the NAZI concentration camp AUSCHWITZ. Dogs secured the place. Around the compound is a big fence. There is current traffic along the fence by motor cycles and jeeps, like the area in front of the former East German wall. We drove in the mountains by car to get to ‘Happy Valley’ on the road. Four cars followed us on our way to the prison camp. One mile before we reached the camp in the mountain desert, short after a curve, the public street was blocked by a yellow bulldozer, with a man in dark blue Scientology uniform sitting on. We tried to turn around to go back, but our way out was blocked by a white van and other cars. Several men, altogether around 8, left their cars walking and running to us and screaming ‘put your cameras down, you are arrested’. It was Ken HODEN, who arrested us, the General Manager of ‘Golden Era Productions’. They have been armed, one man had the whole time his hand on a gun. We knew, he would use it if we try to escape. I taped a lot with my Digital camera from inside our car and my cameraman from outside with his Betacam camera. The Sheriff and his deputy arrived with two cars to free us. After viewing the taped material the Sheriff arrested Ken Hoden and 3 other Scientologists for ‘false imprisonment’ charges. Right now we are right in the middle of the production stage of our 60 to 90 minutes TV documentation about ‘Scientology under the leadership of David Miscavige’ for German TV. We are interested in a co-production with an US Network like ABC, NBC or others for the US.”


Random Howdy

“Human nature isn’t that complex. If you strip away the unnatural veneer of civilization, what are you left with? Spend some time on the street and tell me human nature is complex. Human egotism is infinite is more like it.”



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 knows it can get your cash with a Great Gatsby party, New Yorkers!
[TWO years ago] MASTERSON DENIED: Court says his request for more time struck down, prelim still May 18
[THREE years ago] Tom Cruise on InTouch cover: Another completely oversold Scientology clip job
[FOUR years ago] Bull baiting and so much worse: Margery Wakefield on surviving Scientology
[FIVE years ago] Joy Villa’s Scientologist husband shamed into dropping elephant skin bags from luxury line
[SIX years ago] As Clearwater votes, here’s a reminder of how L. Ron Hubbard had Scientology invade Florida
[SEVEN years ago] Disconnection, Miscavige style: How Scientology’s most powerful family came apart
[EIGHT years ago] See the message a Scientologist sends to disconnect from a best friend, forever
[NINE years ago] Easter Sunday Funnies: David Miscavige has risen, & Scientology has more money than ever!
[TEN years ago] African Queen: The Man L. Ron Hubbard Thought He Was
[ELEVEN years ago] David Edgar Love: ‘I Think I Have Scientology By The Balls’


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 3,005 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,510 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 3,060 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 2,050 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,941 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 5,245 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 3,116 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 2,221 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,698 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 4,010 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,576 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 8,495 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,663 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 4,244 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,505 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,541 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 3,257 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,821 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 1,136 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 2,311 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,862 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,993 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 4,331 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 9,186 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 4,305 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,661 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,964 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 3,070 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 3,468 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 3,344 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,927 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 3,422 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,676 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,785 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on April 20, 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


Share Button
Print Friendly, PDF & Email