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Closing arguments today at the Danny Masterson trial: Come along for the ride
Well, it’s all come down to this: Five years after we first learned that Danny Masterson was under investigation by the LAPD, more than two years after he was charged by the DA’s office, and after four weeks of testimony from his alleged victims, today we’re going to see closing arguments from Deputy DA Reinhold Mueller and defense attorney Philip Cohen in the Danny Masterson trial.
We’ve heard from readers how much they appreciate our detailed reports from the courtroom, and you can expect several more of them from us today. Judge Charlaine Olmedo said yesterday that she expects closing arguments to take the full day and could even go into tomorrow. But she’s definitely on a schedule that we all hope will get us a verdict in this case by Wednesday afternoon or Thursday so we can avoid going into the Thanksgiving week (Friday the court is dark).
And in the meantime, we’ve also been dealing with Scientology matters that have come up outside the courtroom. Namely, that Leah Remini reacted to new corruption revelations about the LAPD’s longtime well-known Scientology shill — former Hollywood Division commander Capt. Cory Palka — by putting out a tweetstorm about Scientology, the LAPD, and the vanished Shelly Miscavige that has taken on a life of its own.
That was the subject of the podcast episode she did with us yesterday, and we hope you get a chance to listen to it if you haven’t already.
And now, we have another development about Leah’s tweetstorm to tell you about: It was brought to our attention yesterday that Scientology is seriously freaking out about it.
Scientology always maintains a contingent of social media accounts that keep up a steady attack on Leah and figures such as Mike Rinder and your proprietor. But that effort has gone into overdrive the last few days, with accounts that have obvious and not so obvious ties to the church stepping up their attacks on her.
And we’ve also learned that Scientology is reaching into its old bag of tricks: the disgraced journalist pretending he’s working on a story in order to spread paranoia.
More than a year ago, we heard from an old friend in Kansas City who told us that a reporter had reached out to him, asking about our tenure there. From 2003 to 2005 we enjoyed a great job as the managing editor of The Pitch, a fun and feisty alt-weekly newspaper in that fair town. We wrote about local politics and other matters, and never about Scientology: There just wasn’t enough Scientology in KC to pay attention to. We had a weekly column, and we got to know many interesting local folks there, including the acerbic and funny radio duo Lazlo and Slimfast at 96.5 The Buzz, who are still our friends today. (They had us on their podcast this week and it was a blast.)
We also got to know a local TV reporter who did some great investigative work. We hadn’t heard from him in quite a few years when he contacted us last year to let us know a reporter had reached out to him, asking about us.
Why would a reporter be looking up people we knew almost 20 years ago, and in a city where we didn’t write at all about Scientology, and why would that person not be calling us directly?
Yeah, we’ve been here before. It was a classic Scientology “noisy investigation,” and we soon started hearing from some others that this reporter was contacting them. We then learned that the person asking about us was a disgraced former National Enquirer reporter who had lost his job after a story of his had to be retracted and the newspaper had to pay a huge settlement when his story turned out to be defamatory and untrue.
It checked all the boxes. Scientology loves to hire former journalists who have lost their jobs in order to work their noisy investigations. The idea is to ask enough questions so the target and the people around them get worried that something is up. In many cases, it causes enough disruption to convince a news organization or television studio, for example, to stop looking into Scientology.
And the reason we’re bringing this up is that it reached us yesterday that the companies involved in Leah Remini’s ‘Aftermath’ television series have started getting calls from a reporter who says he doesn’t understand what her problem is with Scientology and that he’s working on a major story about it.
And that reporter? Yeah, it’s the same disgraced former National Enquirer hack who told people last year that he was working on a big takeout about us.
So, what can we conclude? That Scientology is seriously shitting its pants about Leah Remini’s viral tweets about its corrupt relationship with the Los Angeles Police Department.
And some reporter pretending that he’s working on a story to expose her isn’t going to slow her down one little bit.
That time we got pulled into a sidebar
Yesterday was a special day for us at the Danny Masterson trial. Imagine our surprise when Judge Olmedo asked us to come up and join Reinhold Mueller, Ariel Anson, Philip Cohen and Karen Goldstein at the bench. We talked about that and other results from the day in court yesterday in a video we put out in the afternoon. We’re releasing the short video to everyone this morning, and here’s also the version at our YouTube channel.
Thank you for reading today’s story here at Substack. For the full picture of what’s happening today in the world of Scientology, please join the conversation at tonyortega.org, where we’ve been reporting daily on David Miscavige’s cabal since 2012. There you’ll find additional stories, and our popular regular daily features:
Source Code: Actual things founder L. Ron Hubbard said on this date in history
Avast, Ye Mateys: Snapshots from Scientology’s years at sea
Overheard in the Freezone: Indie Hubbardism, one thought at a time
Past is Prologue: From this week in history at alt.religion.scientology
Random Howdy: Your daily dose of the Captain
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