Monique Rathbun’s harassment lawsuit against Scientology and its leader, David Miscavige, resumes today in the Comal County courthouse in New Braunfels, Texas, and we should be getting dispatches from both Mike Bennitt and Derek Bloch.
Judge Dib Waldrip will continue to consider Monique’s request for a continuance — a delay in the case — so she can depose Miscavige, who has asked to be let out of the suit because he says the court has no jurisdiction over him. And that means both sides will continue to argue whether Miscavige was the kind of hands-on leader who would have obsessed over every aspect of the years of surveillance and harassment Monique and her husband Mark “Marty” Rathbun experienced (Monique’s version of events) or Miscavige’s version, that he’s the spiritual leader of a thriving church and had nothing to do with the surveillance that was being run by one of Scientology’s entities he has little do with.
Continue reading Monique Rathbun back in court today: Read her response to Scientology’s anti-SLAPP motion
If you’ve been following our coverage of Luis and Rocio Garcia’s federal fraud lawsuit against the Church of Scientology, you know the suit recently hit a strange snag.
Ten months after the lawsuit was filed in January, Scientology suddenly announced that the Garcias had chosen the wrong venue for their complaint, because several of the defendants — Scientology entities which are trusts — have their trustees in California, where the Garcias live. Under a basic legal concept known as “diversity jurisdiction,” those California trustees make a Florida federal court the wrong place for the Garcias to file.
But the Garcias complained that Scientology had sand-bagged them by waiting so long to bring this problem up, and they also complained that Scientology’s information about the trusts and trustees was incomplete and confusing. And now, Judge Whittemore has agreed, and is giving the Garcias the right to gather information about Scientology’s secretive entities.
Continue reading Judge Whittemore grants Luis Garcia discovery of Scientology’s murky trusts in fraud lawsuit
We couldn’t leave the Bunker today for the big hearing in New Braunfels, Texas, but our man Mike Bennitt is on the scene, and we expect to get numerous dispatches from him, as well as video.
On the docket today are two big issues in Monique Rathbun’s harassment lawsuit against Scientology leader David Miscavige. Issue one: Miscavige wants out of the lawsuit, arguing that this Texas court has no jurisdiction over him. Issue two: Scientology has filed an anti-SLAPP motion, arguing that Monique Rathbun’s action is a cynical one intended to stifle Scientology’s free speech rights.
For both issues, Monique’s attorneys have filed motions for continuances, hoping to delay both matters. Monique’s attorney Ray Jeffrey will be making the argument this morning that these matters cannot be settled, and should be delayed, until Miscavige himself can be deposed under oath.
Continue reading TEXAS SKIRMISH: Mike Bennitt is on the scene as Monique Rathbun’s lawsuit is back in court
Claire Headley is taking us on our journey to train as Scientologists. She and her husband Marc were Sea Org workers who escaped from Scientology’s International Base in 2005. She spent years working with Scientology’s “tech,” and was trusted to oversee the auditing of Tom Cruise. Go here to see the first part in this series.
And now, it’s time for the big reveal. We have a lot of ground to cover. Thankfully we have Claire and Bruce Hines to help us understand this stuff.
So after several years of devotion and a couple of hundred thousand dollars in fees (not to mention additional donations and other costs), it’s finally time for us on our trip up the “Bridge to Total Freedom” to see what’s kept in that locked briefcase they open up for you on Operating Thetan Level III. What you’re shown is some handwritten pages which L. Ron Hubbard scribbled in 1968.
Continue reading The big reveal: What you actually learn on Scientology’s Operating Thetan Level Three
Laura DeCrescenzo (center) with Marc and Claire Headley as word emerged that Scientology’s motion for summary judgment had been defeated
The Church of Scientology has already demonstrated that it will go to extraordinary lengths to fight and derail the lawsuit filed in 2009 by former Sea Org member Laura DeCrescenzo.
Just to contest an order to turn over evidence in the lawsuit, for example, Scientology filed multiple appeals — even petitioning the U.S. Supreme Court — but was ultimately forced to fork over the 18,000 pages of documentation which bolstered Laura’s case that she was manipulated as a child worker of the church, including being compelled to have an abortion at 17.
Continue reading Scientology asks for psychiatric examination of Laura DeCrescenzo in forced-abortion lawsuit
Now that Scientology has re-jiggered its Bridge to Total Freedom, by golly, there’s no holding it back. And next stop on its crusade to take over the world is a new “Ideal Org” in Taiwan.
Our tipsters came through again this week with a great collection of new Scientology mailers and fliers from around the world.
At Saturday’s grand opening in Kaohsiung, Taiwan it looks like a fine time was had by all. We’re still waiting to hear if Scientology honcho David Miscavige made the scene.
In this photo, a local dignitary appears to be on screen leading the festivities…
Continue reading Sunday Funnies: Scientology Gets Ideal in Taiwan
Yesterday, Lori Hodgson was seen on Inside Edition making a surprise visit to her son, Jeremy Leake, in Austin.
This isn’t the first time Lori has attempted to see her son in Texas after Jeremy and his sister Jessica both “disconnected” from their mother following her defection from the Church of Scientology.
In May, she also traveled from California to Jeremy’s workplace to confront him, as we reported then. This time, she brought along a camera crew and flagged down her son in the parking lot of the motorcycle shop where Jeremy works, Woods Fun Center.
According to the television program, the cameras held back as mother and son had a lengthy conversation…
Continue reading Lori Hodgson and her son Jeremy: What you didn’t hear on Inside Edition
Jefferson Hawkins was once the top marketing executive for the Church of Scientology and helped it reach its greatest extent with the famous “volcano” TV ads in the 1980s. He’s told his tale of getting into and out of the church with his excellent books Counterfeit Dreams and Leaving Scientology, and he’s helping us understand the upside-down world of Scientology “ethics.”
Where are you taking us this week, Jeff?
JEFFERSON: Last week, we looked at the first half of Chapter 7, all about the Suppressive Person. This week, we’re taking a look at the second part of that chapter, Potential Trouble Source, or PTS.
THE BUNKER: Walk us through the concept of PTS and why it was first devised.
Continue reading How Does Scientology Take Over a Mind? Jefferson Hawkins Tells Us About “PTS”
We have a stunning announcement to make. Silvertail Books is bringing back into print the book which revealed for the first time the true life story of L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology.
Bare-faced Messiah: The True Story of L. Ron Hubbard by Russell Miller was first published in 1987, after a long legal battle between its original publisher, Michael Joseph, and the Church of Scientology. The book’s original US publisher, Henry Holt, became mired in legal problems after a series of lawsuits in the American courts, and the book was never properly published here.
Continue reading RUSSELL MILLER’S BARE-FACED MESSIAH, BACK IN PRINT IN FEBRUARY!
A week from today, on December 11, the next dramatic chapter in Monique Rathbun’s lawsuit against Scientology and its leader, David Miscavige, will take place in the Comal County courthouse in New Braunfels, Texas.
In August, Monique filed the lawsuit, accusing Miscavige of orchestrating a years-long retaliation campaign against her husband, Mark “Marty” Rathbun, that had the effect of subjecting her to harassment, surveillance, and distasteful pranks. Miscavige argued back in something called a “special appearance” that he has nothing to do with the state of Texas and should be let out of the lawsuit. That jurisdictional question has been scheduled to be heard on December 11.
Continue reading TEXAS SHOWDOWN: Can Monique Rathbun Get an Order to Depose Scientology Leader David Miscavige?