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How will today’s opening statements in the Danny Masterson retrial differ?

[Defense attorney Philip Cohen and Deputy DA Reinhold Mueller]

After an eventful week covering jury selection at the Danny Masterson retrial in Los Angeles, the main event gets underway with opening statements scheduled to begin this morning.

We’ll be in place to bring you our lengthy reports on what’s said in court at the breaks, and we’ll be curious to see how things might differ than the first trial.

Looking through our notes from the last time, this is how things went down that first day of testimony in the trial…

Deputy DA Reinhold Mueller went first, for the prosecution. He explained that this was a rare chance for him to lay out the case in a logical, chronological order, which he doesn’t get to do with the testimony of individual witnesses.


He explained that there were three victims alleging that the had been forcibly raped by Masterson, and he showed pictures of them to the jury on a monitor. (The jury would hear partial names of these three women, but we stick to Jane Does 1 through 3.)

He then began telling each of the three womens’ stories, including their backgrounds in Scientology and details about each of the assaults.

He said they’d hear from an expert who would explain how difficult it is to process something like being attacked by someone you know. Then he concluded by saying that the jury would hear that these women “did certain things and didn’t do certain things because of their church, the Church of Scientology.”

When Mueller finished, there were still about fifteen minutes before the lunch break, and defense attorney Philip Cohen said he didn’t want to wait.

He then launched almost immediately into one of the main themes of the defense in the first trial: That the three women had supposedly compromised the case by continuing to speak with each other after the LAPD had told them not to.

After the lunch break, Cohen said that the information about Scientology was a red herring, and that what really mattered were what he claimed were inconsistencies in the testimony by the three women.

By the time Cohen was done, there was still time to bring on the first witness, Jane Doe 1, before the afternoon break. She then resumed direct testimony, and Cohen made his first call for a mistrial.

So that gives us perhaps some idea of how things will go today. Will Mueller change up the way he presents the three cases? Will Cohen still focus on what he claims is contamination, or will he now be forced to speak more about Scientology? And will it be Jane Doe 1 who is the first witness this time?

Our pool reporter duties are now done with the conclusion of jury selection. So now we’re on the scene for you, our readers at Substack. And we’ll be sending out reports at the breaks, so keep an eye on your inboxes.


Technology Cocktail

“It is now possible to train a person to create the state in others with a few months of work at the Academy. And it is possible to bring about the state of Clear in from 30 to 275 hours of professional auditing at the Hubbard Guidance Center. So an eight-year bridge-building program draws to a close and I find myself engaged in communicating the data and researching toward an even higher state, one not even embraced by earlier literature — ‘Operating Thetan.'” — 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

“The first time you ask your preclear, ‘Now let’s go out across the country until we find a sawmill running. All right, now step into the buzz saw.’ He’s going to say gulp. It’s going to astonish him. But you’d be surprised what happens to him when he finds out he can do just that. He’s going to realize all of a sudden that there he is. He can be anything. Well, if he can be anything then he can have an unlimited number of viewpoints. If he can have an unlimited number of viewpoints, then he can know anything, can’t he? Well, if it’s written down, he can certainly be in the middle of a book at the library and read it. Well, that’s very easy. Or if somebody knows it at that time, he can go pick that somebody’s brains. That’s right. Read somebody’s mind.” — L. Ron Hubbard, April 24, 1953


Avast, Ye Mateys

“It is NOT hygienic to leave damp towels flung DOWN on bunks when they should be hung UP to air; it is NOT hygienic to have dirty sheets left on unoccupied bunks. It is NOT good to have those areas emmesty and NOT squared up and looking decent and clean. Therefore, all occupants of men’s and women’s dorms may expect a thorough inspection tomorrow forenoon, Saturday.” — W/O Bob Prior, April 24, 1970


Overheard in the FreeZone

To knowingly reg for money when you are not qualified to properly deliver materials is fraud, plain and simple. I am asking for $5,000 for the L11 I thought I was purchasing from someone I thought was qualified but is not. Just the fact that he is so controversial says something. The controversy was all before me. I trusted someone who is untrustworthy and now he laughs at me. What does that say? We are talking ethics here. Don’t sell things you can’t deliver. I don’t care how cheap, that’s not the point this is spiritually altering material. It doesn’t belong in the hands of people untrained to deliver. It’s not an argument of cost or ‘oh he gives good deals.’ The fact that he did wheel and deal so easily made me suspicious because an auditor should know their worth. I should have made a better decision based on that red flag. I accept that I continued with him on the L but I assumed he was qualified. If I am representing Spiritual material I wouldn’t rob you. Know what you are buying, look at certifications, research everything you can before laying down money because in the end just like with me. They laugh at you and create lies and justifications of their thievery. That’s what thieves do. Who in their right mind delights in playing detrimental games with people?”


Past is Prologue

1995: Mojo Nixon has included a song ridiculing L. Ron Hubbard on his latest album, Whereabouts Unknown, on the Ripe & Ready label.



Random Howdy

“You can’t even receive auditing if you’re engaged in other ‘spiritual’ practices like meditation. The whole ‘other religions are OK with us’ is demonstrably false.”


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’s saddest celebrity, Eddie Deezen, committed after latest arrest
[TWO years ago] The Top 25 People Enabling Scientology, No. 1: The Feds
[THREE years ago] Raising money in the time of the virus: Scientology will always find a way!
[FOUR years ago] It’s an anniversary of shame for Scientology: Will they go for a repeat?
[FIVE years ago] Scientologist pair running for office double down on their denials
[SIX years ago] Nan McLean in 1973: Rare Scientology documentary goes online, and it rocks
[SEVEN years ago] Texas Supreme Court asks for Monique Rathbun’s response to Scientology’s petition
[EIGHT years ago] Scientology opens a new ‘Ideal Org’ in Basel this weekend — nearly a year after its last one
[NINE years ago] Scientology’s drug rehab hit with another lawsuit; Laura D asked to turn over computer
[TEN years ago] Claire Headley Tells Us How to Keep Scientology Working
[ELEVEN years ago] Charges Dropped Against Scientology Executive Jan Eastgate


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 3,009 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,514 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 3,064 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 2,054 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,945 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 5,249 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 3,120 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 2,225 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,672 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 4,014 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,580 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 8,499 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,667 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 4,248 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,509 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,545 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 3,261 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,825 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 1,140 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 2,315 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,866 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,997 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 4,335 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 9,190 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 4,309 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,665 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,968 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 3,074 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 3,472 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 3,348 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,931 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 3,426 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,680 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,789 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on April 24, 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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