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Pearl Harbor Day 2015 — Mark your calendar for a day that will live in Scientology infamy

Laura_DeCrescenzoFinally, we have a new trial date in Laura DeCrescenzo’s forced abortion lawsuit against the Church of Scientology. Filed in 2009, the lawsuit has had a very complex history as the church challenged it on statute of limitation grounds, resulting in the suit’s dismissal. But an appeals court revived it, Laura then fought all the way to the US Supreme Court to get key records of her own confessional auditing sessions, and then she survived Scientology’s motion for summary judgment — a dramatic day in court we were present for.

Through all of that legal wrangling, Laura has simply been trying to get to a trial so she can tell her story to a jury — that as a member of Scientology’s Sea Org, she was mistreated and enslaved as a young child, and then, at 17, was forced to have an abortion so she could continue to work extremely long hours. She finally faked a suicide attempt by gulping some bleach in order to get away from the Sea Org in 2004.

After she defeated the motion for summary judgment, Judge Ronald Sohigian retired, and the case was reassigned three times before landing in the court of Judge Rolf Michael Treu. And now, Judge Treu has announced a trial date: December 7, 2015.

And as disappointing as that long wait is, there’s worse news. Judge Treu has agreed to Scientology’s scheme for bifurcating the case into two separate trials. The first, scheduled for ten days, will be without a jury, and will only deal with the statute of limitation issues.

Laura left the Sea Org in 2004, and Scientology argues that she had to bring a lawsuit within four years, in 2008. But Laura’s legal team argues that Scientology did everything it could to keep Laura in the church and a compliant member after leaving the Sea Org, and it wasn’t until several years later she finally realized how badly she’d been mistreated. Because she was under the church’s influence, the clock shouldn’t start on her four years to file a lawsuit until she left Scientology itself, in 2008. Almost immediately after that, she contacted an attorney and filed her lawsuit as quickly as she could, in 2009.

So Judge Treu will have to made a decision on this matter before Laura can get to a second trial and a jury. That’s all she’s ever wanted, for a jury to hear about what it’s like to work as a child in Scientology’s hardcore Sea Org — a situation that still exists today.

 
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Mike Rinder debunks Scientology’s “expansion”

Former Scientology spokesman Mike Rinder did us all a huge service yesterday at his blog. He thoroughly debunked the Church of Scientology’s number one public relations strategy — to claim that the church is undergoing “unprecedented expansion” because it’s opened some new “Ideal Orgs.”

Ideal Orgs are fancy new churches, but they tend to replace less ornate facilities resulting in no net growth. We had assumed this was the case, but Rinder obtained lists of church addresses around the world in order to show, definitively, that under David Miscavige Scientology may be purchasing and renovating real estate, but it’s not growing in overall size.

Rinder based his analysis on three sets of data: An official Scientology list of churches and other unit addresses for 1976, another one from 1992, and the current list which can be found at Scientology’s website. That broke down the church’s history into three even blocks.

Then, Rinder simply counted how many churches were created in each era.

UNITED STATES
1954-1976: 25 created
1976-1992: 26 created
1992-2014: 3 created, 2 closed

CANADA
1954-1976: 4
1976-1992: 4
1992-2014: 1

EUROPE
1954-1976: 11
1976-1992: 28
1992-2014: 4 created, 1 closed

ITALY
1954-1976: 0
1976-1992: 8
1992-2014: 1 created, 1 closed

UK
1954-1976: 6
1976-1992: 4
1992-2014: 2 closed

SOUTH AFRICA
1954-1976: 6
1976-1992: 2
1992-2014: 0

ANZO
1954-1976: 5
1976-1992: 4
1992-2014: 1

LATIN AMERICA
1954-1976: 0
1976-1992: 9
1992-2014: 1

By this reckoning, the entire number of new net Scientology facilities added in the third period, under the control of David Miscavige, was only five, over a period of 22 years.

As Rinder points out, this should give media outlets some pause before uncritically accepting Scientology’s claims that it is expanding because it has added new buildings. Those buildings are only replacing previous facilities, and the actual net growth is quite small. (And evidence suggests that the number of people in the organization is going down rapidly.)

“I hope that in future, media will be interested enough to do a bit of research and perhaps even look at these facts,” Rinder says.

 
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Interviewed from Odessa

Well this is a first. Podcaster Scott of the Truth Sentinel, from a hotel room in Odessa, Ukraine, interviewed your proprietor about Scientology. Our portion starts about 18 minutes in.

 

 
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Jeff Augustine on Scientology’s claims of bigotry

Jeffrey Augustine and Karen de la Carriere take a look at the way Scientology smears its critics…

 

 
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Posted by Tony Ortega on November 20, 2014 at 07:00

E-mail your tips and story ideas to tonyo94@gmail.com 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.

Learn about Scientology with our numerous series with experts…

BLOGGING DIANETICS (We read Scientology’s founding text) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25

UP THE BRIDGE (Claire Headley and Bruce Hines train us as Scientologists) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48

GETTING OUR ETHICS IN (Jefferson Hawkins explains Scientology’s system of justice) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14

SCIENTOLOGY MYTHBUSTING (Historian Jon Atack discusses key Scientology concepts) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49

PZ Myers reads L. Ron Hubbard’s “A History of Man” | Scientology’s Master Spies | Scientology’s Private Dancer
The Underground Bunker’s Official Theme Song | The Underground Bunker FAQ

 

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