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Scientology attorneys ask Garcia judge — Keep Mike Rinder away from us!

Mike_Rinder3We mentioned the other day that Scientology had brought in a ringer for the depositions it plans to take in the next phase of the federal fraud lawsuit brought by former church members Luis and Rocio Garcia. We said that the Garcias, as well as former Scientologists Mike Rinder and Christie Collbran and others expect to be deposed by Scientology’s special attorney, Bert Deixler.

On the other side, the Garcias will be focusing on one deposition in particular. They’re planning on questioning Scientology’s “International Justice Chief,” Mike Ellis.

Ellis submitted a declaration in the lawsuit that was taken apart in a response by Rinder — and we expect that the Garcia team is looking forward to asking Ellis about Rinder’s criticisms of Scientology’s internal “justice” procedures.

Apparently, Scientology is a little nervous about that. Because the church has now filed a motion for a protective order, asking that when Mike Ellis is questioned, Mike Rinder should not be in the room.

Rinder has been serving as a consultant to the Garcia legal team, and we suspect he might have been pretty useful as Ellis is being questioned. But Scientology is arguing that Rinder is a fact witness and so he can’t serve both roles.

We’ll be interested to see if Judge James D. Whittemore agrees, or allows Rinder to attend the deposition.

Here’s the motion…

 

Garcia v. Scientology: Protective Order regarding Mike Rinder by Tony Ortega

 
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‘Going Clear’ dates at Sundance

We already announced that we plan on being at the premiere showing of Alex Gibney’s HBO-produced film about Scientology, Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief, which will take place at 2:30 pm on Sunday, January 25 at the Sundance Film Festival in Park City, Utah.

We now have the rest of the film’s schedule at the festival and a few more details. Here are the showings.

Sunday, January 25, 2:30 pm, The MARC, Park City

Monday, January 26, 9:30 pm, Redstone Cinema 1, Park City

Saturday, January 31, 6 pm, Temple Theatre, Park City

Sunday, Febraury 1, 6:30 pm, Rose Wagner Performing Arts Center, Salt Lake City

And here’s the film’s description, submitted by the producers:

Following Mea Maxima Culpa, his investigation into the Catholic Church, Academy Award-winner Alex Gibney turns his gaze to Scientology in Going Clear, based on the book of the same name by Pulitzer Prize-winning author Lawrence Wright.

Gibney profiles eight former members of the Church of Scientology, whose most prominent adherents include A-list Hollywood celebrities, shining a light on how the church cultivates true believers, including their experiences and what they are willing to do in the name of religion. The film covers a broad range of material from the church’s origins—punctuated by an intimate portrait of founder L. Ron Hubbard—to present-day practices and alleged abuses as reported in the media.

A true master of his craft, Gibney returns to the Sundance Film Festival for the tenth time with a film that no one is going to want to miss. Fearless and fascinating, this latest cinematic opus from the man Esquire dubbed “the most important documentarian of our time” is a powerful exploration of the psychological impact of blind faith—what Lawrence Wright calls the “prison of belief.”

And the film’s credits…

Director: Alex Gibney
Editor: Andy Grieve
Producers: Alex Gibney, Lawrence Wright, Kristen Vaurio
Cinematographer: Sam Painter
Composer: Will Bates

 
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Russia tries yet another gambit to stymie Scientology

Our man in Paris, British journalist Jonny Jacobsen, has been keeping an eye on Scientology’s odd fortunes in Russia. So when we heard there was a new development there, we asked him to put it in perspective for us…

Let me see if I’ve got this straight.

A Russian court hearing a case in which the justice ministry is trying to shut down the Church of Scientology in Moscow has adjourned proceedings to call in a religious expert.

For the ministry, a big part of the problem with the Church of Scientology appears to be that “Scientology” is a trademark registered in the United States.

Sure enough, the trademark belongs to the Religious Technology Center and Bunker regulars will recall that the RTC is the real seat of power in Scientology. Its chairman of the board is David Miscavige, who is known to “COB” to church members.

The city court hearing the case decided on Monday to put Scientology Moscow under scrutiny pending a report by a religious expert, the Russian Legal Information Centre (RAPSI) reported. A court spokesman told the agency that this would take at least a month to deliver.

For years now, the ministry has been refusing to register Scientology’s Moscow branch as a religion on the grounds that its statutes do not comply with the federal law on freedom of faith. And for years now, Scientology Moscow has been fighting to get that decision reversed.

So this latest move from the ministry just ups the ante in a legal battle that has been running — on one front or another — for two decades.

Don’t forget that Russia has already lost three times in the European Court of Human Rights for blocking different Scientology branches from registering — or re-registering — as religious groups.

The first of those losses, back in 2007, concerned its treatment of — you guessed it — the Church of Scientology Moscow. And according to the ECHR ruling in that case, it started way back in 1994.

We covered the most recent ECHR ruling against Russia here at the Bunker back in October, when Russia was condemned for its treatment of Scientology’s St. Petersburg branch.

That the ministry is making a fuss over the trademark issue is not such a surprise. It reflects the same paranoid mentality behind a recent law there cracking down on any non-governmental organization funded from abroad.

The law, which effectively reclassifies such groups as agents of a foreign power, has been denounced by international campaigners as a crackdown on independently minded rights groups.

It perfectly characterises the increasingly authoritarian style of Putin-era Russia.

Only yesterday, after all, Human Rights Watch reported on the growing levels of anti-gay violence in Russia in the wake of a law effectively discriminating against the LGBT community.

For anyone interested, I pulled the dust covers off Infinite Complacency last month to take a closer look at all three ECHR rulings condemning Russia’s treatment of Scientology.

Long story short? For once, Scientology occupies the moral high ground.

— Jonny Jacobsen

 
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Posted by Tony Ortega on December 16, 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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