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Legal battle for the ages to unfold this morning at the Danny Masterson retrial

[You’ve been served, loudmouth]

OK, so it’s not the legal battle for the ages, but we are looking forward to this morning’s session at the Danny Masterson retrial when we will be dealing with our second subpoena in the case.

We were subpoenaed in 2021 by Masterson’s previous defense attorney, Tom Mesereau. And we were represented in court by the Underground Bunker’s attorney Scott Pilutik, who did a bang-up job and convinced Judge Charlaine Olmedo to quash Masterson’s attempt to get his hands on our records.

This time, Masterson’s current legal team, attorneys Philip Cohen and Shawn Holley, are trying to get us on the witness stand and so we have turned to Scott once again.

We thought you’d like to see the letter that he quickly put together for us last night. We think it’s a winner…



We hope that does the trick and keeps us out of the witness chair. (And we heard yesterday that this whole mess may be averted simply by the two parties stipulating to accept an article we wrote in 2021 in order to leave us out of it entirely.)

We do, however, want to address some strange attacks that came our way online yesterday.

It’s coming from the same parties who, for some reason, accused us of “secretly taping” Lisa Marie Presley in our 2015 interview of her that we published in January. We don’t know where this notion came from, but we don’t audiotape phone interviews, and we didn’t record our lengthy conversations with Presley.

She was well aware that we were taking notes during our phone calls, and she didn’t have any problem with it. (She was actually a longtime reader of the Underground Bunker and understood that she was talking to a reporter.) It’s our custom, during phone interviews, to take voluminous notes on a laptop, just like we do in court.

Now we’re being accused once again of “secretly taping” an interview subject, this time a trial witness for a 2021 article at the Underground Bunker, a strange echo of that previous accusation.

Again, we don’t tape phone interviews, and certainly not without the other person’s knowledge. We just type out notes. We type fairly fast, after all.

We really prefer not to address the online attacks aimed our way, and we’ll do our best to ignore them in the future.

As for this morning’s mother of all court battles, expect our usual lengthy reports to hit your inboxes later!



Technology Cocktail

“Way back on the track there is a thing called the Engram Police. It is quite amusing to get a thetan into some kind of condition where he can be policed—to be confined for thirty days in the space opera trap.” — 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

“All I’m trying to do here is show you that the most hidden factors of the mind were, of course, the things that aberrated the mind, because nobody has ever freed a mind before. So therefore, they must have been the most concealed or they would have gotten as-ised. Just as simple as that, see? Almost anybody could have come along and as-ised them if they hadn’t been very hidden. ” — L. Ron Hubbard, May 12, 1961


Avast, Ye Mateys

“RHODESIA: The anti-Scn bill in Rhodesia hit a heavy snag due to our attorney, the legal office of the government chopping down on their parliament saying its unconstitutional. The name of a notorious anti-govt psychiatrist appeared and got the govt legal dept antagonistic. Also, I had excellent PR in Rhodesia when I was there and they’re still trying to explain their actions. The Guardian Office Africa and all concerned did a fine job there. It’s all held off indefinitely.” — The Commodore, May 12, 1971


Overheard in the FreeZone

“Back in the day there were a couple of thousand OTs auditing on OT Solo NOTs. At that same time period the world was somewhat sane (definitely as compared to now) and Church management attributed that phenomenon to the number of Solo NOTs auditors auditing. So LRH called for more and wanted 10,000 solo auditors auditing. We happen to believe that Solo NOTs being delivered in volume would tip this planet back into the direction of sanity as the theta/entheta ratio would be building back in the direction of sanity by reason of the R6 Bank getting deleted in volume. We literally are the ONLY solution to the chaos that is happening in the world. Until we get the majority of the planet clear and the SPs rounded up and handled, this planet will continue to head in the direction of destruction. So we have to shake off whatever losses we’ve had and band together and get clearing fired up again. The Church is closed down for the most part and not delivering. We need to pick up the slack.”



Past is Prologue

1999: The Associated Press reported that Scientologists held a rally in Washington, DC this week, to protest at the meeting of the American Psychiatric Association. “About 1,000 protesters, dressed in black and many carrying black balloons, picketed a convention of psychiatrists Saturday to demand they stop prescribing mind-altering medications to young people. Such medicine leads to youth violence, said three protest leaders, actresses Kirstie Alley and Juliette Lewis and singer Lisa Marie Presley. ‘They’re making drug addicts out of our children,’ said Alley, best known for her roles on the TV shows ‘Cheers’ and ‘Veronica’s Closet.’ ‘It’s barbaric, and it’s being promoted by psychiatrists.’ The demonstration, organized by the Church of Scientology’s Citizens Commission on Human Rights, targeted the annual meeting of the American Psychiatric Association in downtown Washington. As they marched around the Washington Convention Center, the demonstrators chanted: ‘Don’t drug our kids. Don’t shock our kids. Just leave our kids alone.'”


Random Howdy

“I wouldn’t sweat it. I’ve been doing this since 2008 and I’ve given vaLLarrr and other Scientologists more than enough clues as to who my sister is that if they wanted to dox me and come after me they could have long ago. All they got left is squirrel cams, fat sleazy P.I’s and slime sites that no one reads except other Scientologists.”


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] Trafficking lawsuit: In Scientology, the tables turn quickly on abusers and the abused
[TWO years ago] Scientology’s Chicago Ideal Org says it’s next to open. Is Second City ready for its closeup?
[THREE years ago] Scientology’s $20 million hole in the ground: The secret vault to nowhere
[FOUR years ago] Scientology finds the dream solution to its recruiting woes — the QR Code!
[FIVE years ago] Scientology’s toxic policy of ‘disconnection’ — we check in with the people who endure it
[SIX years ago] One of Scientology’s most secretive temples is offering a rare look inside on Monday
[SEVEN years ago] Monique Rathbun formally ends her lawsuit in Texas; Ken Dandar wins again in Florida
[EIGHT years ago] AUDIO LEAK: Scientology leader David Miscavige ‘makes L. Ron Hubbard out to be an imbecile’
[NINE years ago] Scientology is determined to conquer this Internet thing
[TEN years ago] Scientology Sunday Funnies: Portland Is Now Cleared, On to the Rest of Earth! UPDATE: PHOTOSHOPPING?


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 3,027 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,532 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 3,082 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 2,072 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,963 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 5,267 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 3,138 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 2,243 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,690 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 4,032 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,598 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 8,517 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,685 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 4,266 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,527 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,563 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 3,279 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,843 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 1,158 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 2,333 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,884 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 4,015 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 4,353 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 9,208 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 4,327 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,683 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,986 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 3,092 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 3,490 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 3,366 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,949 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 3,444 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,698 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,807 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on May 12, 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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