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Closing arguments today at the Danny Masterson retrial: We’re ready for fireworks

[Is it going to be a split-squad performance by Anson and Mueller today?]

Judge Charlaine Olmedo gave both sides in the Danny Masterson retrial the day off yesterday to prepare their closing arguments as this proceeding has sped to a conclusion more quickly than the first trial last fall.

Last time, Judge Olmedo read instructions to the jury on a Monday afternoon, November 14, and closing arguments began the next day. They were finished by the end of that Tuesday, and the jury had the case just a few minutes before they left that afternoon.

This suggests that, barring some drama from the attorneys this morning, Judge Olmedo will begin with jury instructions before letting the attorneys begin their closing arguments. Will they get everything done by the end of the day? Last week, they were saying that they hoped they might. But we suppose those arguments may go into tomorrow morning before the jury gets the case.

Last time, Deputy DA Reinhold Mueller began with the government’s statement, followed by Philip Cohen with the defense closing argument, and then Mueller came on again for the final word for the People.

This time, we think the prosecution’s two portions might be split between Mueller and Deputy DA Ariel Anson, but we don’t know which portion will be handled by which. We are very much interested to see Anson deliver part of the closing. We think she was really terrific questioning witnesses in the retrial as her role became much more visible this time.


As for Cohen, we expect that we’ll get the focus on “proof beyond a reasonable doubt” that will make it seem like the DA’s burden is so extreme, no one can ever be convicted of anything anywhere.

And as for the case details, we are especially interested to see how Cohen is going to handle Det. Esther Myape (Reyes) in his closing argument.

On direct examination, Deputy DA Mueller asked Det. Reyes if she believed the witnesses speaking with each other had contaminated the case.

She said no.

This was a stunning moment not only because she wasn’t asked that in the first trial, but also because Cohen has built much of the defense on the notion that the case was contaminated, and primarily because the Jane Does ignored Det. Reyes’ admonitions not to speak with each other.

The Jane Does explained in testimony that they spoke to each other because they had no choice: The LAPD (and Reyes specifically) was mishandling the investigation and they had no one else to turn to.

And so it’s all the more surprising that Det. Reyes, who has been criticized so heavily in this trial, stood up for the Jane Does and said that even though the women talked to each other, they didn’t contaminate the case.

Is Cohen going to argue today that the case was contaminated, even after Det. Reyes said it’s not true?

As always, we’ll have reports coming out at the breaks, so watch your inboxes!


Technology Cocktail

“The solids and the solidity that you are willing to confront have an awful lot to do with your ability to hold still or hold things still, and your ability to hold things still has a lot to do with your ability to keep things from going away.” — 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 found out that it makes it tremendously easier to run the bank and that on a very few PCs you will be unable to run the bank unless you get an early engramic incident out of the road. And I also found out that if you can run the overt engram that relates to these GPMs just as an engram, that a fantastic amount of charge will come off the implants themselves, naturally, and therefore they run like-very much like hot butter. I had a little bulletin for you. Found a datum here you might be interested in. That particular outfit was down toward the center of this particular galaxy and was founded at 52 trillion, 863 billion, 10 million, 654 thousand, 79 years (52,863,010,654,079), and I can’t give you a much closer than that, because when place get founded is, more or less becomes part of their lies. But it was founded at that time, and it was destroyed on the date 38 trillion, 932 billion, 690 million, 862 thousand, 933 years ago (38,932,690,862,933), by the 79th wing of the 43rd battle squadron of the galactic fleet. It was not the, part of the galaxy. It was a wildcat activity sitting there. They used to drag Magellanic Clouds out of the center hub of the galaxy, let them follow the lines of force and just let them come over a system. Then when they got around to it, they’d send planes in with speakers, and so forth, and give the place the business. But the place very often was totally caved in for thousands of years by these Magellanic radioactive clouds which would just engulf the particular system. You got the idea? I just give you that in brief, just as a matter of interest, because these dates we’re getting are accurate. I have now compared them up the track and squared them around. These are the dates.” — L. Ron Hubbard, May 16, 1963


Avast, Ye Mateys

“Logic (The Data Series) is written up to Data – 4 now. Occurred to me what if CIA’s multi-billion facts in computers were properly analyzed, WOW, what a different answer they’d get! I realized that as it is ‘analyzed’ they can only decide to go to war with everybody! And do. I can see a conference now at ‘high level.’ ‘What’s the situation on Hamfatia?’ ‘Threatening.’ ‘What’s the situation on Sphagettiville?’ ‘Threatening.’ ‘What’s the situation on the world?’ ‘Threatening.’ ‘Then it’s all threatening?’ ‘Yes.’ ‘Good hit the war button!’ They didn’t notice the ‘Threatening’ button had gotten leaned on by the cleaning lady’s mop the night before. And that’s the way the world went. Point is, if one can’t analyze data he winds up hating everybody — as it’s just one big generality. We’re into real 3rd dynamic tech!” — The Commodore, May 16, 1970


Overheard in the FreeZone

“The R2-45 process is valid (as far as I understand) in the Sea Org. Governments have not forbidden it, why? Because life has the right to kill its enemies. Governments do that all the time. The peace you enjoy in society is due in part thanks to the people in governments who kill subversives, silently and without sorrow.”


Past is Prologue

1996: Mark Ebner, who briefly joined Scientology and wrote an article in Spy magazine about his experience, posted a brief description of the response following the article. “I have saved the threatening letters from Scieno lawyers that arrived prior to the publication of my Spy expose. Claiming to be me, they also called the magazine’s printer in Kentucky trying to get advance copies. My credit card was fucked with in a big way.”



Random Howdy

“I’m on drugs.”


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] A Scientology celebrity emailed us the other day. And it started an exchange.
[TWO years ago] Inside a PR mutiny: How Scientology’s war on Prozac backfired in spectacular fashion
[THREE years ago] He was the drummer in a rock ‘n’ roll band: Eddie Stratton’s Scientology story
[FOUR years ago] Beyond the quarantine: Signs that Scientology is getting involved in anti-vaxx panic
[FIVE years ago] Scientology’s smear campaign against Mike Rinder takes a more disturbing turn than usual
[SIX years ago] As Leah Remini’s next season approaches, Scientology posts more videos saying she’s rude
[SEVEN years ago] Did L. Ron Hubbard believe his own rap? Here’s what he admitted about Scientology in 1952
[EIGHT years ago] Jon Atack: When the militant Scientologist falters, you find a cowering 12-year-old inside
[NINE years ago] Hiding L. Ron Hubbard’s control of Scientology in the 1980s
[TEN years ago] Babylon Surmising: Dianetics Rights an Ancient Wrong
[ELEVEN years ago] Scientology, ‘Disconnection,’ and Homophobia: Derek Bloch’s Story


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 3,031 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,536 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 3,086 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 2,076 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,967 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 5,271 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 3,142 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 2,247 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,694 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 4,036 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,602 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 8,521 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,689 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 4,270 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,531 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,567 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 3,283 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,847 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 1,162 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 2,337 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,888 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 4,019 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 4,357 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 9,212 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 4,331 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,687 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,990 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 3,096 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 3,494 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 3,370 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,953 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 3,448 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,702 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,811 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on May 16, 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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