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Verdict watch: Will defense attorney Philip Cohen’s sartorial splendor be a factor?

Yesterday, our daily sartorial splendor alert indicated that defense attorney Philip Cohen had stepped up his game at the Danny Masterson retrial.

We marveled at the metallic deep purple three-piece suit he wore to court, with the matching purple-rimmed porkpie hat. He even got catcalls as he walked into court in the morning.

We noticed some of our readers saying they had wished they could get a visual, so when we noticed that he had posed outside the courtroom with his co-counsel, Shawn Holley, we thought you’d want to see it.



We have seen a lot of really remarkable and colorful outfits from Cohen, but this one appeared to be brand new and took things up a notch. And he wore it, interestingly enough, on a day when he knew he was not going to be saying a word to the jury.

He had completed the defense’s closing argument the day before, and he knew that he and Holley would not be able to speak as Deputy DA Reinhold Mueller finished up the government’s final rebuttal yesterday.

You tell us, was Cohen saving his most outlandish outfit as some sort of statement for the jury on a day he couldn’t speak to them?

We’re not sure what he thinks his getups might do for the defense of his client, but on a day when we’re likely to be sitting around the courtroom with nothing to do, we thought we’d toss this question out to our commenters.

Today is the second day of deliberations for this jury. They got the case just before 10 am yesterday, and went the rest of the day without asking a question. (The previous jury, in the first trial held in October and November, did have a question for Judge Olmedo on its first day of deliberations.) Is it a good sign that the jury made nary a peep yesterday? We don’t know.

Given the number of charges they’re considering (three counts of forcible rape against three different women), it might take some time for this jury to go through the evidence they’ve heard over the last three weeks. So maybe it’s asking a lot to get a verdict today.

But we’ll be in the courtroom in case they buzz the bailiff and have a question or a request for readback. So check your inboxes and we’ll send you word as soon as we hear something.


Technology Cocktail

“If everyone were now to concentrate only on how to get clear and forget all about how to stay clear, we’d be back in the soup in a century.” — 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


“Some time, by the way, when you haven’t anything else to do, read Gibbon’s ‘Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire.’ That’s quite a thing. I undertook that some years ago because I was having trouble sleeping. But I decided I would read it from one end of that many-volumed volumes to the other — read the whole thing. And it was quite an interesting exercise. I hope I never get so ambitious as to start reading the Encyclopaedia Britannica from one end to the other. But, I will say, I am running out of reading matter now that Ian Fleming has picked himself up another body. May have to do it.” — L. Ron Hubbard, May 18, 1965


Avast, Ye Mateys

“UPPER OT GRADES: By this time there must be about fifteen OT grades above Clear already developed. These exist in research form and have not been released. AOLA is begging for a new one, having delivered 500 OT VIIs. The danger is that an AO or org starts delivering to the same people and disconnects. Jbg broke itself doing this once. Affluent on selling illegal Power Processing, it suddenly used up all its CF. It had not fed in anyone at the bottom — no Testing or HAS or Dn or Lower Grades. It used up its CF hot prospects on Power and that was that. Jbg’s decline dates back to this period. It’s a way of disconnecting from the Public. AOs should be hammering SHs to get people through Solo R6EW and onto Clear and getting Clears onto lower OT grades.” — The Commodore, May 18, 1971


Overheard in the FreeZone

“The insanity that the modern western culture has forced upon me is vanished (e.g, radical feminist and social liberalism and political correctness). The new area of Scientology has taken it away and made it disappear. I feel great today, I feel human again, I feel new. I have my space again, my bigness is restored. Finally I can travel with confidence again, with personal culture and space. The damage a man can have in the east concerns some ‘radical religious Abrahamic fucked up view point.’ In the Neo west there other fucked up insanity (post moderation). Scientology saved me from both pig-fucked philosophies. This journey started with my auditor Bernie and today after I finished the Hubbard Certified new ERA Scientologist, I become free again.”


Past is Prologue

1998: Former Scientologist Michael Pattinson has filed suit against Scientology for misrepresentation which he says cost him years of his life and over $500,000. “At the time Mr. Pattinson joined the Scientology Organization it was represented to him that Scientology was a peaceful, law abiding, bona fide and legitimate religion, acting in compliance with all applicable laws, rules and regulations. Mr. Pattinson has recently discovered that these representations were false, and that the Church’s and corporations of Scientology perpetrated further fraud upon him by way of material non-disclosures and upon which he reasonably relied. Contrary to the pertinent representations, and consistent with the material non-disclosures, Mr. Pattinson has learned that the Scientology organization engaged in fraudulent conduct in order to procure its tax exempt status in the United States, and that it continues to breach and violate applicable tax laws, regulations, and rules, and the express terms of the IRS Exemption Letter, and Secret Closing Agreement, entered into in 1993. Beginning in or about the Fall of 1973, and continuing through to the present day, Plaintiff became involved with one or more of the Scientology entities. At that time, Plaintiff began taking courses in auditing through the Scientology organization at Rue de Londres, Paris, France, where Scientologist staffer, Colett Byasson, used Hubbard’s dissemination procedure on Plaintiff to ‘find his ruin,’ Defendants have consistently identified as his homosexual orientation, and to use that to induce Plaintiff to pay for Scientology services. The Scientology enterprise, through its agents, were expressly reassuring Plaintiff that Scientology was the total answer to all of Plaintiff’s personal problems that were ‘ruining’ his life, including his homosexuality which Plaintiff was having difficulty accepting, and through their representations and material non-disclosures, induced Plaintiff to utterly commit to the Scientology enterprise and the writings and teachings of Hubbard and his adherence as a real way out of his perceived suffering and a guaranteed ‘Bridge to Total Freedom’ and resulting immortality.”



Random Howdy

“All the e-meter is capable of is measuring galvanic skin response. It has as much scientific, technical value as X-Ray glasses and Sea Monkeys.”


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 homophobia: Checking in with Derek Bloch 10 years after we first met him
[TWO years ago] Jane Doe 1’s brutal testimony about alleged rape by Danny Masterson on Day 1 of prelim
[FOUR years ago] Graham Berry does it again: More Scientology financial fraud spelled out in legal demand
[FIVE years ago] Scientology’s founder in 1948: Dianetics was ‘unfrigidizing’ women into ‘nymphos’
[SIX years ago] To whet your appetite for season 2, A&E airing 2-hour ‘Leah Remini’ special on Memorial Day
[SEVEN years ago] Scientology responds to Garcia accusations; sexy Virginia congressional candidate visits an org
[EIGHT years ago] Just two blocks from Scientology’s LA headquarters, Paulette Cooper shone
[NINE years ago] Sunday Funnies: Scientology fundraising fliers try desperately to hide the truth
[TEN years ago] Jon Atack on the Hypnotic History of Scientology Auditing
[ELEVEN years ago] Scientology: Kiwi Reporter Puts Lisa Marie Presley On the Spot; Playboy Blows Tom Cruise
[TWELVE years ago] Scientology in Israel: All Holy Hell Breaking Loose?


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 3,033 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,538 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 3,088 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 2,078 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,969 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 5,273 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 3,144 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 2,249 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,696 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 4,038 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,604 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 8,523 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,691 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 4,272 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,533 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,569 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 3,285 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,849 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 1,164 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 2,339 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,890 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 4,021 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 4,359 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 9,214 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 4,333 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,689 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,992 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 3,098 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 3,496 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 3,372 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,955 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 3,450 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,704 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,813 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on May 18, 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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