Daily Notifications
Sign up for free emails to receive the feature story every morning in your inbox at


Scientology Asks for Protection in Texas; ALSO: Lawrence Wright a Finalist for Nat’l Book Award

Scientology doesn't want Monique Rathbun to share information with her husband Marty

Scientology doesn’t want Monique Rathbun to share information with her husband Marty

The next phase of Monique Rathbun’s harassment lawsuit against Scientology leader David Miscavige will involve some blockbuster depositions from the likes of actress Leah Remini and former church spokesman Tommy Davis, but for now the two sides are stuck on a question of confidentiality. And surprisingly, Scientology is trying to make an argument it just lost in the same case.

As we reported earlier, Judge Dib Waldrip moved the next hearing in the lawsuit to December 11, giving both sides more time to schedule depositions as they gather evidence to argue over jurisdictional issues. Miscavige has asked to be removed from the suit, saying that he has only a limited role in the church and has had nothing to do with activities in Texas. Monique’s side disagrees, and at the December 11 hearing, both sides will be presenting evidence that should make for another fascinating day in court.

In the meantime, the two sides were supposed to agree on a protective order, and Ray Jeffrey expected that they would settle on standard language used in Western Texas courts.

Under that form of protective order, when Scientology turns over a document, it could label it “confidential,” and then if Monique’s team objected to that, then the burden would be on Scientology to convince the court to put the document under seal. That’s the standard way it’s handled there, Jeffrey says.

Instead, Scientology filed a “motion in limine and for protective order” that Jeffrey says is much more restrictive. Specifically, they want only Monique and her attorneys to see any information turned over by the church — which would exclude her husband, Marty Rathbun. The church claims that Marty’s former employment with the church made him privy to confidential information, and so he should not be included in the handling of church documents, and they’re citing a Texas rule about attorneys and their obligations.

But Judge Dib Waldrip just got done rejecting that argument about Marty’s relationship to supposed confidential information when he struck down Scientology’s attempt to disqualify Jeffrey and Monique’s other attorneys, Marc Wiegand and Elliott Cappuccio. And also, Marty Rathbun is not an attorney.


This Friday, attorneys will be back in Waldrip’s court to argue over this mess, and they should be able to hash out some sort of protective order that works for both sides.

We’d love to know what Waldrip thinks of Scientology’s attempt to argue the same thing he just got done shooting down.


Going_ClearLawrence Wright’s a Finalist!

Lawrence Wright’s excellent history, Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief, has been selected as one of five finalists in the non-fiction category of the National Book Awards.

The other finalists are Jill Lepore for Book of Ages: The Life and Opinions of Jane Franklin (Knopf); Wendy Lower for Hitler’s Furies: German Women in the Nazi Killing Fields (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt); George Packer for The Unwinding: An Inner History of the New America (Farrar, Straus & Giroux); and Alan Taylor for The Internal Enemy: Slavery and War in Virginia, 1772-1832 (Norton).

We asked Wright for a word about making such a fine list of finalists, and he sent us this…

“I know this is an individual award, but it’s also a tribute to The New Yorker, which had the courage to publish the original story, and to Knopf, which stood up to immense legal pressure and published this book without compromise. The support and the resources of such stalwart institutions made this book possible.”

Winners will be announced at a gala on November 20 in New York City. The paperback version of Going Clear will be hitting bookshelves on November 5.


Tom_Cruise_ConnorTom Cruise Booed at Dodger Stadium

Last night, we retweeted Connor Cruise’s message that he was going with “pops” to see the Los Angeles Dodgers take on the St. Louis Cardinals in game four of the National League Championship Series. Later, one of our readers forwarded to us a tweet that Connor’s pop, actor Tom Cruise, had actually been booed at the game.

We were dubious of that notion — what if loving fans were just saying “Cruuuuuuuuuuuuise!”

But now, we’ve seen enough reporting to convince us that Cruise was booed lustily when he was shown sitting alone in his luxury box, and it was in stark contrast to the cheers when Bryan Cranston was revealed to be sitting down among the fans. Here’s a post from Bleacher Report which is pretty convincing that this was the case.

We’d love to hear from someone who was there — is Tom Cruise really that unpopular? Or was it the way he was shown, sitting alone? (At the time, Connor was out of the box.) We’d like to know.


Posted by Tony Ortega on October 16, 2013 at 14:50

E-mail your tips and story ideas to or follow us on Twitter. We post behind-the-scenes updates at our Facebook author page. Here at the Bunker we try to have a post up every morning at 7 AM Eastern (Noon GMT), and on some days we post an afternoon story at around 2 PM. After every new story we send out an alert to our e-mail list and our FB page.

If you’d like to help support The Underground Bunker, please e-mail our webmaster Scott Pilutik at


Share Button
Print Friendly, PDF & Email