And the award for Slimiest Cult goes to…Scientology!

I’d forgotten who Danny Masterson was, so I had to look him up. He played Steven on That 70’s Show, a character I disliked, and he went on to play in some movies I’ve never seen and a Netflix Original that I never watched. So kind of a C-level semi-celebrity.

But now I’ve learned that he’s accused of being a rather nasty rapist, one that the LA police department has been dragging its heels over bringing to justice. Oh. And one other thing: he’s a Scientologist, and Leah Remini is going to expose him next month (warning: that link contains explicit descriptions of multiple cases of rape), possibly to shame the LAPD into getting off their collective butts. It seems the police are afraid of the Church of Scientology.

Leah’s second season began airing in August 2017, but in November 2017 we revealed that the DA’s office had asked her not to broadcast the Masterson episode while they were still considering whether to charge the actor. Now, more than a year since then, A&E has decided that DA Jackie Lacey has had enough time to make up her mind about charges, and will air the episode.

And what is taking Lacey so long to decide? One of Masterson’s accusers tells us that a member of the DA’s office admitted to her several months ago that Scientology’s involvement in the matter was the reason for the delay. “When I asked him what was taking so long, he said, ‘Scientology. Without going into it, that’s the only way to summarize it.’”

Scientology, for example, discouraged at least two of the women from reporting their allegations to the police. It put one of them through bizarre therapy costing about $15,000 so she could discover what nefarious acts she had committed in past lives to deserve being victimized in this one. And it coordinated an effort to sabotage the case of the one woman who did report her rape to the police initially, in 2004, a case that the LAPD mysteriously later misplaced.

Yuck. That’s a cult with no redeeming qualities at all.


  1. says

    There are plenty of disgusting youtube videos of the LA police blatantly siding with Scientology over protests and public land use.

  2. hemidactylus says

    Wow! Remini is definitely on the warpath with that show. I found the episode very interesting where she interviewed former Nation of Islam members about Scientology’s outreach into black communities and it’s odd connections achieved with NoI which is bizarre in worldview already. Weird juxtaposition of narratives there.

    I wonder if Keith Henson’s run-ins with Scientology are on Remini’s radar yet.

  3. says

    I stopped watching when I heard the allegations against him but The Ranch is shockingly competent (yes I know not a ringing endorsement) for a Netflix show starring and made by Aston Kutcher. Why are actors so susceptible to cults?

  4. Robert Serrano says

    I don’t know if celebrities, in general, are particularly susceptible to cults, though. Scientology is designed to target them at general weak points that seem to be more exaggerated in at least some celebrities. But remember that Scientology has members from all walks of life, many of whom can barely afford to be members.

  5. zenlike says

    @ Mike Smith,

    In this case, it appears Masterson literally grew up in the Scientology cult, so it is not something he chose to join later in life.

  6. numerobis says

    Akira: that murder is a teen trying to save his mother from literal torture. I hope he wins his case.

  7. says

    Scientology is not a cult. It is a criminal conspiracy or an extortion racket, but it was never a cult. For it to be a cult, there must be some presumption that its founders and leaders had some religious beliefs behind their actions. We all know that L. Ron Hubbard and his associates never believed one word of the garbage they spewed. Scientology was designed to extricate money from stupid people, period.

  8. KG says

    We all know that L. Ron Hubbard and his associates never believed one word of the garbage they spewed. – Green Eagle

    Actually, I think he eventually managed to fool himself. Read Russell Miller’s biography, Bare-Faced Messiah, available free online.

  9. KG says

    I’m disappointed no-one from the Moonies or NXIVM has turned up to dispute the title of “slimiest cult”!

  10. says

    I have heard little of the murder in Australia other than that the teen was trying to see his mother who was in a supposed counseling session at their multi-million dollar headquarters. Scientology was popular in Australia but its influence has thankfully waned. They now have to bring people in from Taiwan to keep the organisation afloat. I met one of its mouthpieces at a conference a few years back. Much of the conference was about aid organisations and their response to the 2014 Indian ocean Tsunami. The aid organisations showed an impressive, experienced and well organised response to the disaster. My initial impression of the Scientology guru as a sleazeball was confirmed when he described their contribution giving massages to aid workers and victims. I could think of much better uses for the vital resources consumed supporting that undercover recruiting project.

  11. hemidactylus says

    One of my friends got a gig starring in a movie loosely based on the life of LRH. It was banned according to IMBD

    He told me stories of being hounded by PIs.

    Ironically at the time I was reading books by and about Richard Semon who came up with the mnemic notion of engrams as an organic memory concept influential on Jung. I’ve forgotten more about LRH sources than most Scientology prospects will ever know. Ummm yeah!

    The movie A Dangerous Method was quite salacious concerning the steamy affair between Jung and Spielrein, but it also shows his use of the psychogalvanometer which at the time, coupled with word association, was more cutting edge. Now we have fMRI brain porn. Emeters are archaic. What do they register really. Jungian complexes? He has priority then.

    What if Jung ever hooked up with fellow Nietzschean Rand:

    That would be a steamy affair. His archetypal constructs coupled with her tabula rasa. As Paula Abdul once opined opposites attract.

  12. unclefrogy says

    you that sounds like scientology was patterned after the roman church the police seem to be treating it in a very similar way.
    uncle frogy

  13. methuseus says

    That’s a cult with no redeeming qualities at all.

    It sure seems to be a redeeming quality for Masterson and anyone else that has gotten away with stuff like this. Granted, that’s not a redeeming quality for society at large, but it is for a subset of adherents.
    @Green Eagle #9:

    We all know that L. Ron Hubbard and his associates never believed one word of the garbage they spewed. Scientology was designed to extricate money from stupid people, period.

    LRH actually did believe a decent portion of what he spewed, though what he believed may not have been exactly what he spewed, he did believe at least some of it. He was very honest in that he believed giving people “higher level” info before he believed they were ready was dangerous. He also used Scientology to further his own interests, however, so I’m not being an apologetic for him. Also, Scientology got loads worse after he died, not that it was great while he was alive either, though. He was a kook that believed everyone was out to get him. That’s where the Scientology penchant for getting PIs investigating everything comes from. He saw so many conspiracies that weren’t there and only invented in his mind.
    LRH was a bad person in many ways, but he was also flawed and messed up, like many cult leaders. No, I’m not trying to say cult leaders need our sympathy, just that there’s something more than greed to ones like LRH. Now Miscavige, I don’t know that I believe he’s a true believer in any of it like LRH was, so that’s why Scientology has gotten so much worse. And it wasn’t good to begin with. He’s the cult leader who cares about power and money, but doesn’t believe in the schtick one bit.

  14. brucegee1962 says

    @9 I like the definition (which I think I first saw in the comments here at FTB) that the difference between a cult and a religion is that, in a cult, there is a person at the top who knows it’s all bs. And in a religion, that person is dead.

  15. DrewN says

    What do you expect from a group that literally operates a prison camp? Gold Base’s CST (Church of Spiritual Technology). That’s where the current cult leader’s wife Shelly Miscavige has been held against her will for the past 6-7 years or so (along with anyone else who annoys the higher ups in the ‘church’)

  16. robert79 says

    @5 “I don’t know if celebrities, in general, are particularly susceptible to cults”

    I suspect that cults are susceptible to celebrities. Celebrities are no more or less prone to believing bullshit than the rest of us, but being celebrities, they are prime targets for a cult wanting more media coverage, so the celebs get more bullshit piled up on them until they succumb.