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When it was revealed that Scientology has the DA’s documents in the Masterson trial

[Scientology attorney Vicki Podberesky and Deputy DA Reinhold Mueller]

We’re still stunned at what happened yesterday morning at the Danny Masterson retrial in Los Angeles, and we’re still working to find out what the implications are going to be.

We know you haven’t heard a word about this in the mainstream media, perhaps in part because there were only three people sitting on press row yesterday and there’s been very little coverage of the day to day doings of the trial except for in places like this one.

But we wanted to go back to that moment in the morning with what was said by Deputy DA Reinhold Mueller and how he revealed that attorneys for the Church of Scientology somehow have copies of the redacted police reports, emails, texts and photos that the DA’s office had turned over to the defense in a serious criminal case…

Deputy DA Reinhold Mueller: So the People became aware of an issue, mostly last night, but there was an email that was sent from Vicki Podberesky on May 2nd of 2023 to our Assistant District Attorney, James Garrison, as well as the — our bureau director, Larry Droeger. And the subject is listed as “False reports of stalking and harassment by the Church of Scientology.”


In this email, Ms. Podberesky indicates, she writes that “during the Masterson retrial, DDA Mueller asked a series of questions to one of the complaining women, [Jane Doe 3], that was intended to elicit an answer that he knew to be false that the complaining witnesses have filed dozens of police reports alleging that the church has stalked and harassed them.”

That, last week Ms. Podberesky had met with [LAPD] Chief Michael Moore and filed on behalf of her client, the Church of Scientology, a series of complaints with the LAPD, specifically addressing the fact that Det. Vargas, the investigating officer, has “left open numerous unsubstantiated and false reports by the Masterson complaining witnesses in which they allege the church has harassed them.”

It indicates that “not one of the reports filed has been found to be true, that DDA Mueller is in possession of the results of these investigations and is fully aware that there is absolutely no merit to the allegations.”

Judge Charlaine Olmedo: All right. I’m going to stop you there. I don’t need you to read into the record the letter. The question is what do you want, what action are you requesting from the court?

Mueller: So along with this email, there were, there was hyperlinks to certain attachments and there was a share file, 12 files. We looked at those last night. It was the first time we were able to get in to see them. When you go into the attachments — and these are files to Chief Michael Moore.

I don’t want to say all of our discovery but, essentially, a very large quantity of the People’s discovery in this criminal case was attached to those files. It’s our redacted discovery.

It’s emails between law enforcement and our victims in the course of the investigation. It’s text messages that we had redacted and turned over to the defense between law enforcement and the complaining victims. It’s our police reports. It’s emails. It’s photos. We weren’t able to get through all of the attachments because there was just so much last night. But it’s extremely troubling that all of our redacted discovery that we had turned over to the defense is now in the hands of, apparently, the lawyers for the church.

Judge Olmedo: Stop. Are you sharing discovery with Scientology?

Defense attorney Philip Cohen: No.

Judge Olmedo: Then how would they ostensibly get that?

Cohen: I have no idea.

Judge Olmedo: All right. At this point, the Court will issue an order to show cause that we will do at the end of the trial to figure out how discovery in a criminal case would get into hands of non-parties.

Mueller: One last point. The investigating officers had spoken to Ms. Anson and I yesterday, that being Vargas and Myape [Reyes]. They both advised us they apparently had complaints filed coming from the lawyers for the Church addressed to Chief Moore for an investigation to be opened on them.


And this was all from, I think, the reports are all dated April 24th of 2023, while this trial was ongoing. Detective Myape had expressed some concern with regard to testifying.

Judge Olmedo: Are you referring this to law enforcement for further investigation?

Mueller: Yes.

Mueller: Based on this email, I did inquire of Det. Vargas whether he was aware of any reports of harassment that he had determined to be false, and there are no such reports that exist.

Um, wow. We are still shocked to see this on-the-record disclosure from the DA’s office. We want to point out a couple of things in addition to what was said in court:

Mueller indicates that Vicki Podberesky sent her email to Chief Moore on May 2 in her role representing the Church of Scientology.

We know for a fact that several days later, she complained to ABC Channel 7 for airing a segment about trial which referred to her as a Scientology attorney. She didn’t represent the church, she told ABC-7, which was clearly a lie.

But Podberesky may be on the hot seat herself: Did she know that her email contained a link to the discovery material, which not only revealed that Scientology has its hands on that material, but also burning the Masterson defense team, which appears to be the source of it?

Also, after discussing the order to show cause, Judge Olmedo later discussed holding an evidentiary hearing after the trial is concluded — and the end of trial is rapidly approaching.

We can hardly wait for court to start this morning. As usual, keep your eyes on your inboxes for our reports!



Technology Cocktail

“Very often you start to audit a preclear and you find out that you are auditing a stomach out of his right arm or a head off his left foot. This is the interchange of facsimiles, and thetans do use facsimiles on others.” — 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 situation internationally, also, has improved enormously; I might make a little bulletin on that effect. The attack on Scientology in the United States has disintegrated into a rout for the government. They are now being attacked — not mildly put — by the United States Senate, and very shortly the House is going to open the ball on the FDA. Australia, their report from the inquiry has been delayed so long, the usual course of those reports and inquiries they have down there. They seem to do this quite routinely. In Victoria, they have inquiries, and then they forget about them. And the last three inquiries, as desperate as they were in progress and so forth, all wound up in no legislation. And so that one will undoubtedly dead-end too. Because its report isn’t even due in Parliament for months. And Parliament is recessing. And all of that kind of thing is happening. And if we can find Victoria, why we will set it to rights, one way or the other If we can find it. You know, you’re only dealing with a tiny little postage stamp on the face of the earth and what seems to be bowling everybody over, down in-in Australia is this fantastic news which keeps coming in to them from the United States, you see. Government runs up white flag, you see.” — L. Ron Hubbard, May 11, 1965


Avast, Ye Mateys

“Dir I&R and MAA are to conduct a full investigation of insecurity of materials of confidential materials on board. They are to steal any they can and lock them up. List to the D/CO. Beginning at 1200 hrs today. Offenders are to be listed and handled appropriately.” — A. Jessup, C/O FAO, May 11, 1971


Overheard in the FreeZone

“Capt. Bill Robertson describes the New Civilization Game and its goals. He describes the basic data behind its creation, what goals will be carried out by the general population, why some goals are ethics points to be carried out by Operating Thetans. In the tape, Capt. Robertson explains why some people keep voting for fascist and suppressive regimes and governments, and what the solution to this is. Want to know why your Democratic Scieno and ex-Scieno friends voted for the fascist Biden regime? They have assumed the suppressive valence of their SPs and that is why they keep voting for them! What to do with the Dem Scienos and ex-Scienos in your Facebook friend’s list that voted for Biden, voted for Obama or are going to vote for Michelle? Assign them a PTS condition and make them stop voting for the SPs. OTs can use remote command.”



Past is Prologue

1998: Downtown Clearwater, Florida is preparing for the construction of the Super Power building. City officials want Scientology to provide more parking spaces for the center. From the St. Petersburg Times: “The reaction in the community was a mixture of admiration for the project, angst about the air of permanence it will lend to a church that has often been at odds with the city, and questions about such key issues as parking and how much control city officials will have over the project. Despite its massive size — a 300,000-square-foot building and a 3,500-seat auditorium linked to the Fort Harrison Hotel — city commissioners probably will have no direct say over how the project is carried out. In a version of the church’s plans released last summer, the southeast corner of Franklin Street and S Garden Avenue was to be the site of a parking garage. However, the latest plans call for the auditorium at that site. The church has released no specific plans for a replacement parking site, but is seeking to amass more land along Franklin and Court streets. Asked whether the church planned to buy the block for parking, Scientology spokesman Brian Anderson said: ‘It’s always a possibility. It’s nothing set in concrete at this point.'”


Random Howdy

“The sixties counterculture turned a lot of people into Baba Dumbasses and Shirley MacLaines. People use to be a lot tougher and more levelheaded back in the day.”


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] Tom Cruise pal Simon Pegg set to make film with rising star Scientologist director
[TWO years ago] Don’t congratulate Tom Cruise until he gives back the award that really matters
[THREE years ago] Scientology ekes out small victories as the world goes to coronavirus hell
[FOUR years ago] Scientology’s mental whammy is like taking one too many pucks to the head
[FIVE years ago] Scientology’s bizarre international base and its near-prison life: A Marc Headley classic
[SIX years ago] On probation and his house of horrors shut down, Tennessee Scientologist talks up Mexico
[SEVEN years ago] ‘Freedom’ magazine is back after a six-month absence, and it arrived with a surprise!
[EIGHT years ago] As seen in the Daily Beast: ‘The Unbreakable Miss Lovely’ is on sale and ready to startle you
[NINE years ago] Sunday Funnies: What part of ‘rebel’ doesn’t Scientology understand?
[TEN years ago] Jon Atack Helps Us Remember Scientology’s “Religious Freedom Crusade”
[ELEVEN years ago] The Best Reasons Why You Should Doubt the Allegations in the John Travolta Sex-Assault Lawsuit


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 3,026 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,531 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 3,081 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 2,071 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,962 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 5,266 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 3,137 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 2,242 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,689 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 4,031 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,597 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 8,516 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,684 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 4,265 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,526 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,562 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 3,278 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,842 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 1,157 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 2,332 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,883 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 4,014 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 4,352 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 9,207 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 4,326 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,682 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,985 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 3,091 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 3,489 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 3,365 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,948 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 3,443 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,697 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,806 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on May 11, 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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