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GARCIA FRAUD CASE ENDED AS JUDGE GRANTS SCIENTOLOGY ARBITRATION MOTION

Judge James D. Whittemore

Judge James D. Whittemore

Federal Judge James D. Whittemore ended the Luis and Rocio Garcia fraud lawsuit against the Church of Scientology today by finding that Scientology can enforce contracts signed by the Garcias which require them to take their disputes to the church’s internal arbitration.

Whittemore made that decision while acknowledging that never, in the more than 60-year history of Scientology, had there ever been an arbitration, and that testimony indicated that there were no actual procedures set up for handling such a procedure.

Once again, Scientology’s powerful First Amendment protections as a “church” came into play as Whittemore said his hands were tied as far as considering the Garcias’ contention that they could never get a fair arbitration from Scientology, which requires that such a dispute be heard by a three-person panel made up of Scientologists in good standing.

By Scientology policy and longstanding culture, such panelists could never fairly arbitrate a matter brought by two “Suppressive Persons” as the Garcias are — Scientology jargon for anyone who has left or been expelled.

“As compelling as Plaintiffs’ argument might otherwise be, the First Amendment prohibits consideration of this contention, since it necessarily would require an analysis and interpretation of Scientology doctrine. That would constitute a prohibited intrusion into religious doctrine, discipline, faith, and ecclesiastical rule, custom, or law by the court.”

So, even though Scientology’s arbitration rules are probably a sham (as former top executives had testified), and are unlikely to be fair for two former “SP’s,” Scientology’s protections of the First Amendment once again prove too much for the US civil courts or law enforcement — a key concept in the movie Going Clear, which happens to be opening in theaters today.

Luis and Rocio Garcia are residents of Irvine, California who had been loyal, longtime Scientologists and had donated large amounts to Scientology leader David Miscavige’s various initiatives. They filed suit in January 2013 over the way they had been pressured to give hundreds of thousands of dollars to the “Super Power” building fund, for example, and say they were lied to about how the money would be spent. From the beginning, they said the lawsuit was about fraud, not a religious dispute. But Scientology produced dozens of “enrollment agreements” that the Garcias had signed over their career as Scientologists which contained clauses about taking disputes to the church’s internal arbitration. Scientology filed a motion saying that the Garcias should be compelled to honor those contracts and end the civil lawsuit. The Garcias had argued that the arbitration clause was a sham, and that they should not be held to the language of the contracts. Whittemore found for Scientology.

We are looking forward to attorneys letting us know their thoughts on Whittemore’s order, and we’ll be calling around for reactions from various quarters. But for now, here’s the order…

Garcia v. Scientology: Order to compel Arbitration by Tony Ortega

 
——————–

Posted by Tony Ortega on March 13, 2015 at 16:30

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 cover to cover with the help of LA attorney and former church member Vance Woodward

UP THE BRIDGE: Claire Headley and Bruce Hines train us as Scientologists

GETTING OUR ETHICS IN: Jefferson Hawkins explains Scientology’s system of justice

SCIENTOLOGY MYTHBUSTING: Historian Jon Atack discusses key Scientology concepts

PZ Myers reads L. Ron Hubbard’s “A History of Man” | Scientology’s Master Spies | Scientology’s Private Dancer
The mystery of the richest Scientologist and his wayward sons | Scientology’s shocking mistreatment of the mentally ill
The Underground Bunker’s Official Theme Song | The Underground Bunker FAQ

 

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  • Scientology Is A Dead-End Road

    On Hubbard’s birthday and Friday the 13th, too.
    TOO, TOO much.
    We should go back to the 19th century system of “Wanted Dead or Alive” with a large reward posted.
    The evil ones may be running this planet now, but not for much longer. Their numbers are up.

    • i-Betty

      “Generality infested shills” is a Mark line if ever I read one and “A good source of permanent liver damage” gave me my best laugh of the night!

    • EnthralledObserver

      I don’t know… room for improvement – I’m holding out for the new ‘Ideal Theta Charms’… you have to pay more for your box, but the guy next to you has paid for it already and believes it to be his.

      • *chuckle*

      • EnthralledObserver

        Oh, and I forgot to add… you will have to wait nearly 20 years for it, and NO refunds!

      • Mymy88

        Frosted Lucky Charms are magically suspicious lol.

  • Liam

    (Off topic)

    For the math geeks, tomorrow is Pi day: 3.14.15.9:26:53:59

    A one time occurrence!

    • EnthralledObserver

      And I was here for it – a story for the Grandkids! 🙂

    • Spackle Motion
    • Walter Mitty

      Upvote for maths!

      • Liam

        I was physics, but maths were closely related:)

        • Walter Mitty

          The answer to life the universe and everything is 42. (Douglas Adams)
          Scientology is expanding 47 times! (David Miscavige)
          Summary:

          That is the proof that Scientology is bigger than life and the universe – or that Miscavige is a liar. (QED)

          • Liam

            Answer: 42

            “But what was the question?”

            • Walter Mitty

              The mice knows the question (refresh) (makes only sense in the TV series.)

            • Liam

              Love it:)

      • HillieOnTheBeach

        Anyone looking for certainty in life should worship math.

        • Liam

          Who is worshipping math

          • HillieOnTheBeach

            I’m not going to get in a pedantic debate with you, but if you ever intended to win a pool game, you were doing math trying. I’m sorry to be the one to tell you.

            • Liam

              Oh, I get it. Nevermind, we agree. I always assume people are being sarcastic.

            • HillieOnTheBeach

              Yeah, I sometimes need to give the sarcasmometer a couple of whacks too 🙂

            • Liam

              Despite my speciality in physics, I’m not bad at pool. Or darts:) Hopefully all the bunkerites can get together after the collapse of the cult for some fun bar games!

            • Ardent

              He he. Yeah. The Interwebs can cause enturbulation at the funniest times.

    • Mmmm. Pi(e).

      • Liam

        lol!

    • Unex Skcus

      In my Oz timezone, I’m only ~110 minutes away. I promise to celebrate with… beer on the side.

      • Ardent

        Homesick. Me want pie. Tandoori Chicken Pie. (sigh)

    • HillieOnTheBeach

      What a life!

    • romanesco

      In each time zone.

      • Sergeant Pepper

        Every century.

        • Liam

          True dat

        • Eclipse-girl

          I highly doubt i will see the next one.

          • Sergeant Pepper

            Good point. I missed the last one, seem unlikely to be here for the next, and am stuck in EDT. I guess it is a one time occurrence.

            • Liam

              I suppose, since recently there were multiple images of a supernova delivered to telescopes separated in time based on gravity lensing, there may be limitless occurrences of March 13. It all depends on your point of view:)

            • Ardent

              Isn’t it fascinating. Lensing alone means that we have to really question the view we get of the universe. I love that kind of thing. I am also writing this because I am in denial about the Garcia lawsuit, and science helps me.

            • Liam

              You made me laugh, thanks Ardent:) I’m with you

            • Ardent

              Yes. And: “When in danger or in doubt, run in circles, scream and shout”. That’s another coping mechanism I got from a writer whose name eludes me, but he wrote very funny science fiction. He was a Brit. Ah! Eric Frank Russell. Fun stuff.

            • Sergeant Pepper

              Arrrgh, I used up my brain on Whittemore’s order, I am defenseless against you and Eclipse-girl.

              Would ya’ll like some tea?

    • And I’m Cute, Too

      Yoinks!

    • Just missed being Pi day Friday by one lousy day.

    • Sergeant Pepper

      Found my pi day at pi digit 169,332. Lowest number wins, no cheating, this is the bunker.
      http://mypiday.com/results/?date=4-29-56&ck=cd654b29

      • MadMaxi

        188,243 you win so far

      • Lurkness

        21,730

  • nukethevolcano

    Wow, making people sign things really pays off sometimes.

  • Michael Leonard Tilse

    One dim ray of hope seems to be coming through for me. This decision seems destined to fuel an outrage against Fraudsters and Con-men masking their predations as protected expressions of religion under the first amendment.

    Coming as it has on the eve of the public being educated by “Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief” it may amplify what is becoming a tidal wave of opprobrium.

    Traditional religious con-men and hucksters stealing their congregations blind should note: The backlash against Scientology is going to sweep you up as well.

    It could well set the stage for a real constitutional show down that not only eventually takes down Scientology but every other shady enterprise protecting their scam with robes and fishes.

    Shutting that door forever (or at least a few generations) might be worth temporary upset in favor of the galvanizing effect it has toward eventual justice.

    • Sarah James

      I’m counting on far reaching outrage.
      Now I am going to youtube and finding your parody of Tom Cruise. I need a good laugh!

    • dchoiceisalwaysrs

      I share that hope with you Michael. Scientology has committed another fraud using the Chartible

  • MaxSpaceman
    • Walter Mitty

      Where is Shelley? (refresh)

      • Warhol would be proud . . . excellent!

    • villagedianne

      I love how Angry Gay Pope has a picture credit of his Twin Peaks photo in the article, under the name Angry Gay Pope.

      • Donna Cline Sargent

        I know! very cool,I wonder if he knows.

        • Spackle Motion

          He knows.

  • Larry

    In terms of internet-ethics, I have a question: Is one permitted to cross post a post posted on another forum, even if that cross poster was the poster him (or her) self?

    Ok, so I jest, even in the bummer of the moment. And why? Well, reading my ‘re-post’ will help explain. lol.

    ———————————–

    Truth be known, if all Ex-Scientologists around the world had to choose
    between ‘accepting’ the Garcia decision… or ‘keeping’ Going Clear (the
    documentary) alive and well on HBO, this March 29th in the USA……
    the most thoughtful amongst all, would accept the Garcia decision (and
    celebrate Alex Gibneys scientology grenade) hands down. (pardoning the
    twisted pun).

    And why?

    The Garcia decision (while momentarily disappointing) pales in comparison to what Mr. Gibneys expose’ is about to unleash on
    Scientology Inc., all over and all around the world. Not to mention the
    effect that ‘Going Clear, the Prison of Belief, Part Two’, will unleash
    on the ‘lurid loving details of the public’ (tentatively scheduled for
    release, in 2016).

    Remove Scientology’s (fraudulently-gotten) tax-exemption in the USA
    & the Garcia decision will become a mere-footnote in the twisted
    history of Scientology’s judicial theatrics, throughout the civilized
    world (the purpose of a lawsuit…..etc…). With such removal being far from
    what it once was firmly considered, i.e. being unthinkable.

    The Garcia case judge was indeed bound by his commitment to honor the
    law as it was dubiously written. Which point will be moot in the days to
    come.

    Stay tuned my friends, stay tuned.

  • Lady Squash

    Sorry to the Garcias. That sucks. First, the Church defraud’s them. Then our legal system can’t do anything to make it right. Sad state of affairs.

  • nottrue
    • Rita Gregory

      Wooooooo Hooooooo! Now this is some good news!

  • Sergeant Pepper

    What a swamp is the intersection of church and state. The government threatens non-profit religious institutions like Little Sisters of the Poor with massive fines unless they do what they believe is sinful – facilitating the use of contraception, but will not contest deliberate fraud and deceit by a “church”. I can’t fathom it.

  • Chee Chalker

    Hats off to the Garcias…they were brave to take on the evil cabal /legal behemoth that is the Co$. Not an easy task as we have learned. They are brave, gracious people who wanted to help others. They are the true warriors. And they don’t need giant gaudy statues or a creepy man with long blond hair dressed in a knight’s costume to tell them that.

    • edge

      I have long been of the belief that their case forced Miscavige’s hand in opening Super Power, as it had legal eagles asking just how much had been raised for a project that was over a decade in construction, and one that, from all appearances, was finished but was still raising funds. There is no question that an unfinished SP building was a fundraising gold mine for the CoS. The opening of the SP building was haphazard to say the least, with flyers going out for confirmations with no firm date as recently as weeks up to the actual opening.. Since then, the Church has had to move to other boondogles and pitches to get money saying “no, THIS building will clear the planet. For real.” This includes stuff like KCET and “org alliances” where whales not even in the target city are hit up for donations. So yeah, it sucks the Garcias couldn’t win their money back and force the church to actually live up to the terms of the IRS agreement, but they did force Miscavige to do things I don’t think he wanted to do. For that, I give thanks.

      • Chee Chalker

        Yes, very too points. I agree with you 100%. Think of the money the Garcias kept out of DM’s greedy little hands by forcing the SP buildibg to open ‘early’

      • consigli3r3

        Is the Federal Supreme Court appeal an option? It would get tons of coverage worldwide.

  • scottmercer

    In the Cinerama Dome about to watcg
    H Going Clear!

    • Liam

      So jealous! Enjoy!

      • Super Power Wogsy

        Back to the jealousy box we go….

        • Spackle Motion

          I saw it today too but I know that the live blog happening on this blog for 3/29 will make up for those that can’t see it this week.

        • This is a blip on the scope. The real blast comes the Monday after the HBO premiere!

          • Spackle Motion

            Agreed. Today is just a preview of good times ahead.

    • It’s excellent. Really well made and quite an emotional and reasonable punch.

    • scottmercer

      It was fantastic. I’ll cogitate on it overnight and work on a review tomorrow. Will post a link here at The Bunker after I’m done.

  • Walter Mitty

    This is a cat – astrophic decision. (refresh)

    • Dale A.

      Owl ancestor.

    • Sergeant Pepper

      That’s how my cat looked after the Oxford Capacity test. She goes to the vet willingly now.

    • Liam

      This brings me joy

  • Well, I was all high on a great day with Bunkeroos and Going Clear. My respect to the Garcias. I hope they prevail in arbitration, which, I expect might go surprisingly their way (cough) PR disaster (cough). I’ll offer up a review after I settle down a bit.

    • Super Power Wogsy

      Enjoy your high! looking forward to your review.

    • Ella Raitch

      Yes please

    • Free Minds, Free Hearts

      Me too Artoo!!!

      • I know, we were just talking about the Garcia case! Anyway, you are a delightful, compassionate human being and we thank you for the excellent company and arranging the tickets!

        • Free Minds, Free Hearts

          How sweet. I really truly enjoyed every minute of our hanging out.

          • Ardent

            Wish I could have joined you folks. Instead I am looking at the twirling umbrella of doom on my iMac. I think I might just leave it alone all night while I vent frustration in my sleep. The Garcias must be livid, depressed and planning another way of getting their money back.
            ‘Arbitration’ in a pig’s ear! Fucking lying cult bastardry.

            • Free Minds, Free Hearts

              Me too Ardent.

    • Michael Leonard Tilse

      I pray to Xenu that the only Scientologists in good standing that Scientology can find to arbitrate are under-the-radar whales they cannot afford to alienate and the Garcia’s are given more than they are asking.

      • Ardent

        I suggest one of our great shoopers make a GIF of Nicholson’s “you can’t handle the truth!” which would then cut to Miscavige standing at his podium with that shit-eating grin on his face. Just a thought. I am not set up to make a thing like that.

      • Rita Gregory

        Miscavige’s last act as COB, (before fleeing with the cash) will be to declare all Scientologist’s as not in good standing.

    • MaxSpaceman

      your PTS Tech w/ scaf was the epitome of covert. 🙂

      You ‘n Todd n’ Free Minds. Los Tres Bunkeroos ~

      • Free Minds, Free Hearts

        And Butch Pansy was there too! (He took the scarf tech picture…)

  • Mighty Korgo of Teegeeack

    I hate being philosophical at times like this. I would rather be cheering.

    Through Scientology’s entire history they have won legal battles and lost legal battles. It hasn’t been easy for the legal system to deal with the Mafia and the Hell’s Angels either.

    I can still be happy. Public perception of Scientology will be moulded far more by the documentary that involves their two poster boys than by a judge’s opinion on what constitutes freedom of religion.

  • Ardent

    Mighty Korgo, you refer to being philosophical. I would agree, except I just chewed through a solid plastic table-top in my studio and am considering a telephone pole as a chaser. This is one pissed-off Ardent.

  • And I’m Cute, Too

    Well, I put off reading this bad news for as long as I could manage. What a yuck result for the Garcias. So discouraging to hear that their courage and perseverance has been “rewarded” like this. I can only hope this result will highlight what the movie shows: how insidious the Cult is.

    Down with the Insidious Cult.

  • susyqobserver

    Poor decision. Appeal it. Start a gofund me legal fund campaign and promote it around time of Going Clear HBO release.

    • Sookie Sookie

      Hmm, the Garcias were millionaires in 2004, and I haven’t heard that they’re busted these days. I would be more inclined to donate to Pete Griffiths and others that are being taken to court *by* $cientology first.

      • Ardent

        I agree Sookie, but if the Garcias can afford it, I encourage an appeal.

        • Sookie Sookie

          Ditto. I’d like to see anything that siphons off $ci’s resources AND possibly results in a ruling that will bring it down.

        • Zana

          But they signed 40 contracts that said they were “bound by church Arbitration.” Is there any legal way around that?

          • EnthralledObserver

            Just thinking aloud – if the US law doesn’t apply to religions and their doctrine – i.e they cannot legally make a judgement about it either way – they WHY would religious contracts be in any way binding in the US law system? Why do they get to use it (when it suits them), when they refuse to submit themselves to it?

      • susyqobserver

        Oh sorry. I did not know the full extent of the Garcias’ wealth. Pardon me. I should not have made the comment without the full facts. Still, I would appeal.

      • susyqobserver

        You are right sookie. I am wrong. Pardon me. I shouldn’t have commented on something I know so little about. My mistake. It seems to me that this tony ortega forum is an exclusive club. Outsiders like myself are not really welcome here, right?! when I first started commenting a couple weeks ago several paranoid came out in force accusing me of being a spy complete with a barrage of snarky comments.

        Then, I was put down for my opinion. The “hmm” seems condescending and rude, Sook. If I want to edit my post I will do it. End of story. This citizen observer is considering being done with this site. I started commenting because I oppose institutions taking advantage of the vulnerable. Being a never in, I am experiencing no welcome mat. I guess my opinion is not worthy.

        • Sookie Sookie

          I can see that you’re really upset and that was definitely not my intention so I’ll try to explain.

          It’s not at all an exclusive club. All kinds of people comment here, and people disagree all the time.

          I wasn’t someone who thought you were a spy when you first posted here. I was actually trying to give you advice to help you fit in, by telling you how people generally react to people that upvote their own posts. I even waited til people were on a new article, to limit the public exposure of any discussion we had – I wasn’t trying to embarrass you or call you out in front of others. By all means, upvote yourself if you want to.

          You misread my tone on this post, and I’m sorry about that. I started with “hmm” because I was hoping people would *think* before they jumped on the idea of collecting $ for people who didn’t need it as badly as someone like Pete Griffiths, who works really hard against this cult and doesn’t even have the coin to defend himself when they attack him in court. I wasn’t being condescending. If you can’t stand people disagreeing with you, you probably won’t enjoy commenting here. But I meant no condescension.

          Of course you’re allowed to edit your posts! Most of us do it a lot, b/c we mistyped, or thought of something new right after we hit “post” or didn’t like how our comment came across once we read it back, or whatever. But (once again, this is internet-wide, not exclusive to this blog) it’s considered rude and sneaky to edit your post so that replies no longer make sense, without putting a note in your reply that it’s been edited. (e.g. “edited to strike the suggestion of a gofundme campaign.”) Just in the past couple of days it’s been brought up again and again that trolls often edit their posts so the replies downthread no longer make any sense.

          So edit all you want, but people will certainly let others know what you originally said if it makes their replies look superfluous, and if they catch it.

          I hope this clarifies my intentions. I wish you well.

      • susyqobserver

        Watch this funny video from comedian Tom Mabe. Re: editing comments. https://youtu.be/dwAhaB2dujA

  • i-Betty
  • consigli3r3

    I think finding for Scientology will fuel more disrespect and disregard for the church in light of the current event tides against such church. This loss may still be a win in the court of public opinion.

    • Ardent

      Hmm. They might just actually do something shocking like actually refund the money, just to show that they are not swindlers, liars, cheats and assholes. BUT that would set a precedent Dave and his other creepaziod pals would hate to see set. So, we’ll have to see. If Marty and Monique get shafted, then I’ll really suspect bribery, collusion, etc., ad.nauseum.

    • MadMaxi

      If the news media can connect the dots, and actually cover the details drawn from the depositions and the judges own statements along with the many court docs of abuses. If The People can rattle cages and voice dismay at the gov’ts lack of action- One can hope the FBI, IRS, ICE will be daring enough to actually pursue criminal charges.

    • Zana

      I agree.

  • Movie Review: “Going Clear: Scientology & the Prison of Belief”

    I, JennyAtLAX, declare and state as follows:

    I have known Mr. David Miscavige, the leader of Scientology Inc. (“SI”), Chairman of the Board (“COB”) of Religious Technology Center (“RTC”) for over 25 years.

    I must correct a previous declaration made in 2009 by stating that, without a doubt, I have experienced and witnessed atrocities between SI and COB toward others.

    After watching the Alex Gibney/HBO Films Documentary, Going Clear: Scientology & the Prison of Belief, I am beside myself with the guilt and shame of ever having had anything to do with SI and COB. This “religion” is much more than a cult; it is an evil control-mechanism. Whatever spiritual benefits that members of the Church of Scientology (“CofS”) had under its founder, L. Ron Hubbard (“LRH”), have been swept under the proverbial rug by the tyrant that is COB.

    Mankind’s “confront of evil” has not been high enough; SI needs to be lassoed and hog-tied. The power that COB has been given is like the power Adolph Hitler received as the head of the Nazi Party in Germany, 1933-1945 (kudos to the present-day German government for not recognizing Scientology as a religion). Without the weapons that the Third Reich brandished in order to spread their destruction, SI has been simply allowed to run amok, all in the name of “religion.” The harm done to someone spiritually cannot be properly measured in a science lab. Generations of mankind have been, are being and will be enslaved by SI and COB unless someone in authority steps in and gives a firm “That’s it!” to their antics.

    I can’t stay in “The Hole” anymore; I can’t continue on as COB’s puppet. I can’t go on like this anymore, I just can’t.

    I have admired Tom Cruise and John Travolta almost as much as I have COB, but Going Clear has tainted that affection forever. Going Clear has assisted these two movie stars by kissing their entertainment careers goodbye for them.

    Because of SI and COB, I lost my love and compassion for others. Through Going Clear, however, I found my heart once again, yet it cracked in two as I watched heartbreaking after heartbreaking story of good people duped, tortured, enslaved, beaten and trampled on by SI.

    If I could have but three wishes come true, they would be:

    (1) The doors to Scientology Inc. close forever, and that no one should be fooled into signing any kind of contract or agreement whatsoever with them ever again;

    (2) All contracts and agreements between parishioners, past and present, in Good Standing or not, with SI become null and void;

    (3) COB be removed from post and held by the International Criminal Court (“ICC”) to face his accusers.

    Going Clear assures us that if you are not a member of Scientology Inc., you are considered “the enemy,” and will be dealt with accordingly. Remember that always.

    I declare that the foregoing is true and correct.

    JennyAtLAX

    http://www.lawrencewrightgoingclear.com/sites/default/files/App11-Jenny%20Linson.pdf

    Originally Posted to “JennyAtLAX”:

    https://jennyatlax.wordpress.com/2015/03/14/movie-review-going-clear-scientology-the-prison-of-belief/

    • Rita Gregory

      So thrilled you are out Jenny! 😉

      • Now, “JennyAtLAX” might be out, but I can’t answer for my namesake, Ms. Jennifer Alise Linson De Vocht.

        • Rita Gregory

          Well one day…

          • For a moment today, JennyAtLAX felt such pain in her chest, the result of Going Clear, the heartbreaking stories, the unjust treatment. On top of that, a Federal Judge in Florida whose hands are tied, unable to help the Garcias.

            • Rita Gregory

              I’m sorry. It is so damned disappointing and heart breaking but we soldier on and I’m strangely optimistic. Something in the air.

            • I can smell it, too. Thanks for that, Rita.

            • L. Wrong Hubturd

              No, I think that was me….sorry Jenny.

            • Hilarious!

            • Rita Gregory

              Thanks for getting our hopes up!

    • Ardent

      Thank you Jenny. I send you a hug. Ardent

      • $#*%* Hug Back!

        • Ardent

          Thanks?

          • Yes, that was a “JennyAtLAX” thanks, Ardent. Muchas Gracias, senor.

            • Ardent

              Whew. I wasn’t too sure. Well, we all need hugs. I do thank you. And I am very happy you are out and about with the rest of the world, and not stuck in the mire of lies the cult engenders.

            • You NEVER know with JennyAtLAX!

            • Ardent

              (smile) Well, I’m off to bed. Sweet dreams everyone.

    • MadMaxi

      Very touching, let your heart be joined back together by the love being sent your way tonight.

    • Zana

      I’m sorry I didn’t get to meet you this evening. There was no way to tell who was who. I’m so glad you are out.

      • I attended the 11:45 AM showing at the Arclight Hollywood. I had the pleasure of sitting with the Angry Gay Pope & Company. AGP’s laugh is awesome and contagious; I didn’t know he was even there, not until he laughed!

        • Zana

          Ahhh… I was there at 5:15. Wish I could have heard Angry Gay Pope’s laugh. Yes!

          • Zana, sorry I missed you.

            • Zana

              Another time. We will all have a party at some time…our gathering at multiplexes around the country was just a precursor of the fun to come. 🙂

  • Ardent

    Tony, you must be feeling dreadful. Here’s an encouraging hug. This is a blow, but I am sure we will win in the end, with much thanks owed to you and your efforts. Thank-you Tony, for everything you do, every day, to inform and educate people about the insidious cult of Scientology.
    All my warmest regards,
    Ardent

    • Tony Ortega

      Dreadful? I didn’t lose in court. The Garcias did. I’m a reporter covering a fascinating story, and the latest chapter is one of the most fascinating yet. Don’t mistake my enthusiasm for covering the story with my investment in any particular outcome.

      • Ardent

        A very fair point. I was obviously transferring my own feelings.

  • Zana

    Wow! I just got back from the 5:15 screening at ARCLight in Hollywood. The girl working behind the concessions stand checked her computer screen and said there were 70 people for the 5:15 showing (not including last minute walk-ins.) There were 40 people for the showing earlier in the day. Cinerama Dome had 300 tix already bought and that they expected 500 people tonight. She also said the Q & A will be tomorrow night (Saturday) at the Dome. When we left people were pouring into the small ARCLight theater about 7:30. The friend I took with me was an old friend of Spanky’s. Had known her from earlier days when she and her husband were hanging out with John Travolta. Spanky was there (as was Tory). It was like a fun get together of all these amazing people. So many people — I kept looking around wondering who from the blogs was there. 🙂 I’m sorry, Missionary Kid… just didn’t know where to look. And Old Surfer Dude… I did’t see a Hawaiian shirt!

    In the meantime… Wow. Just WOW! The film was was gorgeously shot. Everyone on screen was down-to-earth, intelligent and inquisitive about how Co$ could get started, how so many intelligent people could be attracted to this and go along with it for so long. It was not “sensationalistic”… it was intelligent inquiring, building one piece of evidence on the next and on the next. And LRH’s teeth were so disgusting that it made my friend and I gasp.

    After the show my friend was flabbergasted. I know all the stories, have read all the books and follow this blog and Mike’s blog on a daily basis… so there were no surprises for me. In the meantime, my friend had not been up-to-date on anything. She was floored when we came out…literally amazed and shocked that all this could be happening right here in Hollywood to friends and friends of friends. That we could have been so close to it and not know what was really going on behind the scenes. She couldn’t stop talking about it after we left the theater and got our parking validations … we took so long talking to people coming in that it cost an extra $3 to get out of the parking garage. 🙂 No big deal… just showing the level of excitement and enthusiasm over the show.

    We ran into another one of her friends who was coming in to meet her husband. The woman was NOT a scieftologist, but works with another woman who IS a Scientologist whom I knew at CCI. My friend knew this woman who was just meeting her husband and didn’t know what they were going to see. My friend raved on and on about Going Clear…then this woman’s husband came up and said, “We’re going to see Going Clear,” and the woman was astonished. She looked at my friend and I and said, “I hope __(our mutual Co$ friend)___ is okay. Is she okay, do you think?” My friend said, “Call me when you get out and debrief before you talk to her!.”

    I’m saying all that because I know you will all see the movie, there will be tons of reviews out here… what I think is revealing and important is the “Buzz” that is happening here in Hollywood. I actually thought about staying for the next show, but I have some work to do this evening. People who don’t know anything about this are going. The girl behind the concession stand said that all the people seeing the show have told the employees of the ARCLight that they HAVE to see this show. She lit up when she was talking about it, as in “I can’t wait!”

    I didn’t see any Sea Org like people in black and white. I saw no flip phones. I didn’t feel the least bit afraid…because the jig is up. Everybody seems to know the Co$ game plan. My friend introduced me to one man coming in who had done 3 days on the Purif a long time ago and then said, “This sucks!” and got his money back and left. He was now just coming to see Going Clear on the first evening screening of the first day… just because he was curious.

    Going Clear feels like a torpedo to the broad side of the ship of Co$. I read about the Garcias just before I left for the theater, so felt incredibly mixed feelings. I think what audiences will (hopefully) be coming away with is “WE, the TAXPAYERS ARE PAYING FOR THIS!” We don’t WANT to pay for Co$ and their medical care and abortions and the cost of all their lawsuits in our courts. As in… What ecclesiastical leader of ANY church has the title “Chairman Of The Board.” Excuse me, ladies and gentleman and judges out there…Co$ IS a friggin’ BUSINESS in sheep’s clothing! I liked especially at the end when the filmmakers suggested that the Tax Exempt status be questioned and revoked and/or for TC and JT to step forward and make a statement about this.

    I want to see it again. Even before the 29th.

    • i-Betty

      There’s this to be said about today: every time I feel sad about the news, someone will post a review about Going Clear and I remember how much we have to be grateful for.

      And, Zana, thanks so much for dashing home to tell us all about it! Your excitement is contagious 🙂

      • Zana

        Thank you!! It’s history being made. It feels like such an honor to meet people like Tory and Spanky. Our Proprietor looks fabulous on screen. We will look back on these moments in time 20 years from now and marvel. So glad you are here i-Betty!

    • Satansthetan

      Ha! that was my wife you were talking to out front, she was pretty cagey about going to see the movie but ended up being blown away by it. I wanted more revelations but thought the whole thing was well done and GREAT intro for newbies, really made you feel for the people who were just shaking their heads and saying, how did that happen to my life, how did I allow that?
      Nice to meet you Zana!

      • Zana

        Wow!! You too!!! Someday we will all have a party and show up with name tags!! 🙂

      • Zana

        You too!! So happy to see you in such good spirits!! What a small world!! I was amazed that the friend I brought seemed to know so many people. !! More than me!! :-). She was shocked by the film. So glad this is becoming so public.

  • i-Betty

    I feel for Ted Babbitt, Amanda McGovern and their hard-working team. This must be a crushing disappointment for them, too.

    🙁

    • Zana

      I agree!! I was outraged when I heard the news! So sorry. !

  • Spike Robinson
    • EnthralledObserver

      I hope the timeline of this extends beyond the HBO screening on the 29th, otherwise there’s a whole chunk of people who won’t have had an opportunity to develop an opinion on the matter and choose to sign yet.

      • Spike Robinson

        I’m gonna keep it open as long as I can!

  • Illinoisian

    He has the money to hire lawyers. Those are positions that he can fill, as in “buy and pay for,” and courtrooms are places where the events unfold under very controlled conditions that can be manipulated by people with skill, and reputation, and big expensive legal staffs. The position which he has *not* been able to fill, at any price, is public spokesperson. And the world at large, the court of public opinion outside of Scientology, which, at one time, functioned under controlled conditions, is now wide open and fed by instantaneous and constant streams of information. No Scientologist can face the questions which are now being asked and make them go away. No PR firm, no matter how skillful, prestigious or well paid, can roll back the public relations disaster that is growing. It can’t be ‘handled’ by the deception and misdirection that was used in the past. The number of people who know and care about the abuses is growing exponentially. Let him have his win in the legal arena. Scientology is losing, is being stripped of it’s cloak in the court of public opinion and, if we have to win one and lose one, I’d rather have it that way than the reverse. Am I comforting myself in the face of this loss? Yes. I wanted the decision to go the other way and it really hurts to see this and to imagine the exhaustion and disappointment of the Garcias. But the battle to get the truth out into the public sphere is, honestly, way bigger and more important to me and I’m focusing my mind on that.

    Getting late. Wishing you all good night.

  • Spackle Motion

    One important image from the movie were pictures of IRS leadership hamming it up for the camera ALONGSIDE Miscavige and Rathbun after the secret IRS-Scientology agreement was signed.

    That’s an image that is seared on my brain. Absolutely disgusting.

    • Ardent

      Spoilers! careful….Please?

      • EnthralledObserver

        Oh God – Ardent, are you serious – please, for the love of Xenu – let them spoil me! (I am craving details given the fact I probably won’t get to see it for AGES!)

        • Ardent

          (reconsiders) Yeah, go for it. the joy of watching could not possibly be spoiled.

          • EnthralledObserver

            ^^ *Loves*

            • bromo

              While catching up on comments this morning, I realized a true quandary was developing for me. Do I stop feeding my obsessive compulsion to read all the comments here at the bunker to avoid spoilers in order to have some surprises when able to actually see Going Clear for myself? Or do I continue to feed the beast and enjoy the taste of every spoiler tidbit as an appetizer for the main course of which the menu is widely known? I decided to do the latter, as not reading all the wonderful comments here would lead to dying of starvation before March 29. I know that I will enjoy the chef’s special take on this meal of Going Clear, even though I may know nearly all the ingredients ahead of time. The secret ingredient is in how they put the meal together.

      • NO!! I am ALL for spoilers!

    • Intergalactic Walrus

      They should have posted the names of every one of those IRS “celebrants”. GAG!

  • EnthralledObserver

    It just hit me reading Zana’s review of Going Clear that David Miscavige got out of a deposition because a panel of judges determined his was a ‘CEO’ and therefore protected by the law from being deposed… but that in the Garcia case what he’s CEO of is a ‘religion’, which the another judge determined the law cannot make a judgement about. Checkmate, America – ya might wanna fix that little boondoggle of a legal black-hole!

    • Zana

      Yes!

    • Ardent

      After the Supreme Court of the U.S. ruled that a Corporation is a person, I gave up on justice in that country. Some serious re-thinking is needed in the good old USA. (And I’m most certainly a friend!)

      • EnthralledObserver

        It does seem quite problematic, doesn’t it? Whichever way all these lawsuits seem to turn there seems to be an obstacle… even when it’s very obvious to absolutely everyone who is the victim and who is perpetrator.
        Does the guy with the least financial status using the US legal system EVER win?

        • Robert Eckert

          It may happen sometimes, but I have never seen it.

  • Douglas D. Douglas

    I have been out all day– just got in and have been reading “Best” reactions to this ruling. I have not been able to read all 1008 comments, so if this has already been said, my apologies.

    Yes, this is a legal victory for the Church of Scientology, but in my reading, it doesn’t really change a thing. The Garcias were attempting to overcome a system they had agreed to support, and failed in that effort. But Scientology did not gain anything– they simply get to continue with the same system they have always relied on to keep their members enthralled. Any celebration is kind of absurd: “Hooray! The status quo has been maintained!”

    Perhaps the Garcias should make the token gesture of pursuing their arbitration according to the system established by Scientology. That system has been upheld in a civil court; the civil courts should be kept informed about the outcome. Just my opinion.

    • EnthralledObserver

      Any documentation regarding the outcomes of so-called arbitration can only be helpful, surely. I agree!

    • Sookie Sookie

      That perspective really does help cast it in a less-depressing light. It *could* have been a huge blow to Co$, but it wasn’t. But there’s still a huge blow landing from Going Clear.

      Thanks for re-framing it, DDD.

  • jeff

    The Movie was excellent. You guys will love it. Nothing really new for regular readers of the Bunker, except that our proprietor confesses to being fair-gamed as PIs for the Scilons appeared on his mother’s porch. Also, Marty, in an around about fashion expresses remorse for his actions, chalking the Squirrel Busters up to karma. Cruise and Travolta come off looking like the fools they are and Mike Rinder does a great job explaining both Tommy Davis and the Stepford wives as they appeared on AC360. I expect this will be very widely seen on HBO and the celebrities are going to have a lot of explaining to do. As with the Time magazine article of 91, they imply that John Travolta is being held hostage by what’s in his auditing files (read lots of gay sex).

    • villagedianne

      Yes in my earlier post I mentioned Marty’s statement as the only thing in the doc that was new for me. I forgot about Tony’s fair gaming, that was new too. There must be so much more he is not telling.

      The film was great. I went to an earlier showing and probably missed some Bunker Brothers and Sisters.

      • jeff

        Here in SF?

        • villagedianne

          No, not in SF, but in NYC.

    • Zana

      I did’t realize that the Scio-ford Wives came out of the Hole to do Anderson Cooper and then went right back. Amazing.

      • jeff

        I was pretty shocked by that, also. Tom DeVocht seems to have come out of everything OK.

        • Zana

          Yes. All the guys who are out seem to have come out much stronger. Mike Rinder is stalwart…like the Rock of Gibraltar. I love Marty’s shift. It’s remarkable to see how everyone is healing from the inside out now that they are out the outside.

      • Ardent

        It beggars belief, does it not, Zana?

    • Ardent

      Really, who on Earth now cares about John Travolta’s much-discussed sexual identity? I keep saying it: he could walk away from the cult now, head straight up to the press and announce that he’s ‘out’, and for a month there’d be all sorts of noise from the cheap seats, but his career would not, IMHO take a hit. He’s a fine actor, and people like him, unlike his ‘evil twin’, the scumbag power-trippin’ expert on everything. You know who I mean…

      • jeff

        I totally agree. But that’s what’s keeping him in

        • Ardent

          So sad. I feel the same about his hair loss. I’m bald. I don’t give a damn, and women don’t shun me…Johnny-boy, stand up, be proud and make more pictures. And lose the rug, please?

          • jeff

            The thing is, Spanky relates that it was him being angry at her for allowing the Scilons to humiliate her that propelled her to leave. And he’s still stuck. Irony much?

            • Ardent

              Whoa. Yes, profound irony.

      • From83

        If he left the church and as long as didn’t have sex with someone younger then 15. I think Hollywood would find movies for HIM! His carrier would get a second wind. Today’s Hollywood wants to help people like Travolta if they leave. “Going Clear..” made me really like Travolta. Also, I got to see “spanky” at the movie theater a real treat.

    • Intergalactic Walrus

      I’m wondering if it’s the CO$ that doesn’t want Travolta to come out as gay. If they have been arranging for his “indiscretions” to disappear with lawyers and publicists (and maybe tax-free $) then they have a lot to lose if he admits to being gay. The public wouldn’t care about his sexuality but any CO$ shenanigans involved might be another story. Any “coming out ” interview would have to go there and they wouldn’t want their dirt being revealed. And since he credits all of his success to CO$ and probably doesn’t want to give up that promised eternity he really believes in (and paid for) I can imagine him thinking he could come out and still stay in the CO$. He looks starry-eyed whenever he talks about it.

    • Thanks jeff for your review! And HI! Nice seeing you around! 🙂

      • jeff

        Thanks, Miss Tia…I think of you everyday when I see my bookmark.

    • jeff

  • TheMirrorThetan

    Is this April First or something? Because this feels like an April Fools joke.
    Shit. Fuck. Shit. This sucks so bad for the Garcias.

    • Douglas D. Douglas

      The Garcias took a shot and did not prevail. They are not in any worse condition than when they started out. The status quo has been maintained. It stinks– but it is not the end of the world.

      • TheMirrorThetan

        Yeah I know. Like you said it stinks, I just get grumpy when I wake up to bad news. And it doesn’t stop the stupendous shit-storm of bad publicity with Going Clear etc that is driving Dave crazier than a shithouse rat at the moment.

      • Hingle McCringleberry

        Gotta agree with D3 here. The Garcias gave money to the bullshit causes of Co$ and when they saw the light, they wanted the money back. Didn’t work out for them for now and maybe they have an appeal to call on. What would really be bad is a loss by Laura DiCrecenzo over being enslaved and forced to have an abortion to keep her production up, though there’s a Statute of Limitations issue. An even more serious loss would be a negative outcome for Mosey Rathbun, who was never a clam, got personally harassed for a very long time, had her family, employer, and friends involved, and her life turned upside down for years. If they get legal precedent for that bullshit to be okay, we’ve really got problems. Rich people not getting their money back from a scam artist happens every day.

        • Ardent

          …And your comment here is also lifting my mood. Thanks.

  • Observer

    Reposting because it got buried under piles of troll scat.

    Refresh

    • Frodis73

      Snort and lol at troll scat. I really needed a good laugh. So pissed off about this court case and my computer is dying a slow death…worst time for that to happen. ML to everyone.

      • Hingle McCringleberry

        what’s wrong with it? I fix ’em for a living and give free consultations to Bunkerites.

        • Ardent

          I didn’t know that! Do you know about iMacs? I mean, can you give aid to those of us in the Apple Kingdom as opposed to the MicroKingdom?
          It is very kind of you to offer any service like this.

          • Hingle McCringleberry

            I generally frown upon the Apple community going way back to the time that I discovered that Mr. Jobs and Co. add extra pieces to their hardware so that you can only use their branded products as replacement parts. In some, they add a little 3-prong power cable to a hard drive for no other reason than having to buy a full price Apple replacement. That being said, I can help with them and am happy to do so for Bunkerites. sir.hingle.mccringleberry@gmail.com

    • Douglas D. Douglas

      To add (as I said below), any “celebration” within the ranks of Scientologists is confined to, “Hooray! The status quo has been maintained!” And that’s the very best they can manage these days.

    • Douglas D. Douglas

      I missed the troll scat.

      Or did I…?

    • Sookie Sookie

      That derp-y look on his face is exquisite.

    • jeff

      genius

    • Ardent

      Obs, you do make me happy.

  • EnthralledObserver

    Made this comment in response to someone below – but it needs extrapolating.

    Just thinking aloud – if the US law doesn’t apply to religions and their doctrine – i.e they cannot legally make a judgement about it either way – they WHY would religious contracts be in any way binding in the US law system? Why do they get to use it (when it suits them), when they refuse to submit themselves to it?

    Shouldn’t these ‘contracts’ actually not exist in the law’s eyes, so therefore, get on with the fraud lawsuit?

    • Liam

      It’s a floor wax, and you can put it on ice cream too

      • EnthralledObserver

        I don’t even think it’s as complex as that. The Garcia’s shouldn’t have allowed themselves to have been led into the $ci-bots game – which was to turn it into a religious matter. Should have said from the outset and stuck with.. “the contracts we signed within the CO$ were religious and we do not, nor does the defence, have the need, nor right, in a court of law, to examine them. This matter is about fraud.”

  • P.S. File Under “Yesterday’s Good News”

    My snark (inspired and dedicated to all of you, of course!) @ the NYT’s Going Clear review is still numero uno 🙂

    http://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/13/movies/review-alex-gibney-takes-on-scientology-in-going-clear.html#permid=14394997

    • Tony Ortega

      Nice.

    • Hingle McCringleberry

      Good job! You brought a gun to a knife fight.

    • Ardent

      I thought the review was generally positive. I wonder when I’ll ever get to see this film.

    • Douglas D. Douglas

      The newest comment is a specious statement about the wonderful effectiveness of the totally secular Narconon drug rehab program.

      Needs reply.

      • EnthralledObserver

        I cannot see the comments section over there – can anyone give me a hand to find it?

        • Ardent

          Look on the far right of the window: that worked for me, anyway.

          • EnthralledObserver

            I had nothing, but again a refresh seemed to fix the problem. Thanks. 🙂

          • beauty for ashes

            I refreshed many times and see nothing, why oh why must you taunt me internet?

            • Ardent

              Did you remember to kiss your computer good night yesterday?

            • beauty for ashes

              Shit!

            • Ardent

              …See? Now bash it with a hammer. That’s Miscavige-Tech.

            • beauty for ashes
            • Ardent

              If I could up vote several times I would. Very funny jokes! Thanks.

            • beauty for ashes

              Anytime Ardent! That’s a great site, lots of different stories and lots of humanity, definitely one to be bookmarked!

      • Ardent

        Yeah I gagged on that one. Barfy, barf, barf!

    • beauty for ashes

      For the life of me, I cannot get the comments to appear. Can you copy and past here? Pretty please?

      • Ardent

        I’ll try. Give me a sec…

        Okay, I captured a few I think:

        cientology is much more than a “religion.” They’re also associated with the Narconon drug rehab system, which uses non-traditional treatments. Part of their drug rehab philosophy includes the warning to stay away from undesirable influences which could bring on a relapse, which means stay away from the undesirable crowd that influenced you to use drugs. Narconon came about as a result of L. Ron Hubbard’s efforts to help people get permanently off addictive substances such as drugs and alcohol, without resort to religion. There is some similarity to the ideas of AA’s Bill Wilson, although AA is religiously oriented, whereas Narconon is secular.

        Reply 2Recommend
        jcarne Rydal, PA 10 hours ago
        Other than it being started more recently, how is Scientology different from any other religion. ALL religions require you to believe in fantastical, illogical dogma. Scientologists look to the “church” for their direction. So do Catholics. What’s the difference? Because Chrsitians/Muslims/Jews believe in the “correct” religion? Please.

        Beauty, the banner is quite wide and on the right hand (your right hand) of the screen. At first I didn’t recognize it as the comments section.
        FlagReply 1Recommend Share this comment on FacebookShare this comment on Twitter

        David New York, NY 9 hours ago
        It IS pretty similar to all existing religions, just more transparently false – even to the religiously gullible – because it’s so new and people can’t make claims about magic and miracles and stuff having happened in the distant past or whatever.

        The reason, perhaps, that people are so hard on Scientology is that most intelligent, empirically-minded, civilized people alive today don’t think we need any more religions.

        We need LESS religion in the world.

        “Religions of peace”…give me a break!

        FlagReply 5Recommend Share this comment on FacebookShare this comment on Twitter
        kdtighe Dunedin, FL 9 hours ago
        I think the average person has a “live and let live” attitude in regards to a person’s religious beliefs. How Scientology is administered, in some regards, is what I think most people object to. Examples: The Scientology penchant for over the top attacks on critics, disconnection from friends and family, and high pressure sales tactics.

        FlagReply 7Recommend Share this comment on FacebookShare this comment on Twitter
        SEE ALL REPLIES

        Beauty, the comments are on your right-hand side of the screen. It does not really look like a comments section, which confused me, too. GOOD LUCK! Ardent

        • beauty for ashes

          I just read that you didn’t see Nat’s reply. Sorry for the trouble. 🙂

      • “Mr. Gibney, who enters swinging and keeps on swinging, comes across as less interested in understanding Scientology than in exposing its secrets, which makes for a lively and watchable documentary if not an especially enlightening one.”

        Have you considered the possibility that there is nothing at the core of this “religion” to understand or be enlightened about?

        • beauty for ashes

          Thanks Nat! Good snark!

  • Ella Raitch

    Now the NOI hanging out with Scientology doesn’t seem so crazy. More wonder – why aren’t more fringe groups evaluating Scientology’s structures etc so that they too can construct impenetrable religious legal defenses against financial and human crimes.

    • MadMaxi

      Wonder what the members of NoI will think with this movie coming out? Wonder if they will pull back from their association? If so, then DM will lose another cash cow.

  • Ardent

    Can’t sleep. Bad vibe about the stupid decision. Ugh.

    • Liam

      Up with the late night crowd, Ardent!

      • Ardent

        Oh, yes. Hello again, Liam. Help me. Say something in Physics, please!!?

        • Liam

          You are relatively a insomniac.

          • Ardent

            Not bad, not bad. Thanks, that might help…

            • Liam

              If it’s a real problem, we can talk. I have solutions

            • Ardent

              ‘Solutions’? Brownian motion?

            • Liam

              No, for the insomnia. Only if it was a problem

            • Ardent

              Oh. Actually, I’ve had insomnia my whole life. I’d explain it in detail, but that would be tedious. I know the root cause of my problem, but I’m not going to discuss it. Thanks for your kind offer!
              Insomnia is a very serious problem that is rarely discussed. Treatments vary, people vary. I respond well to ‘Better living Through Chemistry’, but others do not. Only rarely do I have a complete failure to sleep.

    • what’suppressive

      I wouldn’t lose any sleep over it Ardent. Yeah it’s pretty shitty that they got away with it again. But the Garcia’s can afford it. The real shame is the people it leaves totally broke or in debt.

      • Ardent

        Absolutely. But the more cracks in the hull of that stinkin’ ship, the better. I am disappointed, along with many others.

  • Super Power Wogsy

    **Red X Reminder**

    Redx Doc: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1-Kvg78kCcvo5gL7UfPcmhmbsagTNtdj0y2LAiHVFrCU/pubhtml#

    (F5/Refresh)https://www.flickr.com/photos/120371503@N05/14300637862/

  • Super Power Wogsy

    …..pppssssst. I know it’s been an emotionally exhausting day for the Bunker. Here is a spot of tea from my kitchen to you. To the lost souls just getting out of the scam, godspeed in your recovery. It’s been fun bunkeroos. Please take a moment here and there to get off the internet and smell the roses. Well wishes to you all.

    • Ella Raitch

      A good reminder. I had to take time off this morning to take my mentally-disabled son surfing. It was all organised by a group of volunteers who provide opportunities for disabled people of all ages. It was a blast – huge smiles all round. You know, I wanted to donate money but was refused! There are wonderful people all around the world doing wonderful things for other people every day. I couldn’t care less about Nietzschean supermen, if only they’d bugger off and leave alone those of us who celebrate vulnerability and human frailty. There was also the pristine what sand and clear ocean to revel in.

      • Lurkness

        Excellent reminders SPW and EllaR and a powerful example EllaR. So glad you and your son both had such a wonderful day!

      • Juicer77

        Glad you both had so much fun! 🙂

    • TheMirrorThetan

      I don’t need a cuppa. Anything shiny and new will distract me, Iam a cat after all 🙂
      I was planning on starting to read the Discworld books to forget about COS crap tonight.
      And I have heard they are very funny.

  • From83

    Fraud is Fraud. No one should be allowed to out right lie when taking someone’s money. Regardless of if they are a church or not… If I say am running a religion and tell people to give me money to bury it in the desert for the third coming of Jesus Ron Christ. Then I have to bury it and wait for him to come. I can’t just spend it on myself. Or I at least have to start telling people that I think someone is JRC who I hand the money to.Religions and charities need to be held to some level of honesty. If they ask for money to build a building then they need to use it to build that building. Or maybe people should just have to sign a contract whenever they hand over money to a religion that says we can use the money anyway we see fit regardless of any promises we have made to you about how we’ll use it!!

    • Liam

      You are right, From83. It is a total fraud.

      But when they take someone’s money, they can rely on their IRS interference called “Snow White”

    • From83

      At the very least the governments could rule that the Church can not call their procedure an arbitration since that implies that you’ll get an impartial third party to rule on the facts presented.

    • Tracy Schmitz

      exactly since when does RELIGION (religious rights under the 1st amendment) trump ANYTHING AND EVERYTHING??? oh sure its’ a “amendment” but can’t amendments be well amended? and by a judge?!

      • chukicita

        No. Judges do not make the law, they interpret it, and I’m really glad that’s all they can do. And exactly since the beginning of America.

        • Tracy Schmitz

          okay, so if they can “interpret it” only, which basically means how they “understand it” which is then basically their understanding and their opinion, then why not rule the other way, based on how he is “interpreting” it, meaning understanding and his opinion on the subject? i mean this is FRAUD! FRAUD is illegal! so because it’s a religion it can get away with FRAUD because somehow religious freedom in the 1st amendment is more important than law? what about separation of church and state?

          • chukicita

            I think the judge was being very careful to follow the letter of the law. I do understand your frustration, because I feel it too. A lot of people expect the law to protect them and it doesn’t always.

            This is certainly not Scientology’s first courtroom rodeo. I can’t count on two hands the number of cases I’ve followed in the last 20 years that I thought were going to be the “one” that finally brought justice to everyone the cult has harmed.

            The bright side is that a(nother) boatload of stuff about Scientology has been entered in the official record that they probably didn’t want in there.

  • Jack99

  • sizzle8

    This decision should be proof to anyone considering donating to the Cof$ that they will never get their money back no matter what the refund policies say or what is in LRH issues.

  • Lurkness

    Going Clear was great, but still processing my thoughts. Think I am going to go see it again tomorrow.
    It was nearly sold out for the 8pm show in the Dome at Arclight. Applause at the end and lot’s of discussions in the lobby afterwards, although I did not run across any Bunker denizens. It’s hard to recognize us although I know some of you (many of them went to the 5:15 show) so we need to come up with a cap or a shirt and proceeds funding the Bunker.

    Had a fantastic conversation afterwards with the author of the TrueLRH blog. It is a site I recommend if you want to see a comprehensive look at how DM has changed the Tech. If you are reading here E, I will give you a shout out later. Enjoyed our conversation.

    Thought two of the previews were very interesting and somehow appropriate:

    “Self/Less”–a sci-fi movie about living forever by going exterior and entering another body
    “True Story”– a movie about a prison and a prisoner that apparently wreaks havoc on others who are trying to help.

    • Shanester

      What is the url for the TrueLRH blog?

    • scottmercer

      Lurkness, I was there. Great film, but I would have to say much more valuable for newbies than those who are long-term Sci watchers.

      • Lurkness

        Agree and Sorry I missed you!

  • Jack99

    Bad news and over a thousand comments… I guess the church’s answer to The Hollywood Reporter’s questions http://www.hollywoodreporter.com/news/scientology-final-say-going-clear-781242 has already been talked about, but boy, “Karin Pouw” manages to outdo herself in hilarious pants on fire cluelessness:

    “Lastly, Lawrence Wright is obviously suffering from an acute case of jealousy of Mr. Hubbard and thus has tried to slander him out of spite.”

    Wright should put that as a blurb on the cover of his next book.

    • scottmercer

      Everyone on that HR article comments section carves The Co$ a new a$$hole. Except for Louanne.

      • Jack99

        Still, I’m a bit annoyed THR didn’t write back
        Dear Karin,
        since you didn’t answer our questions, we’re not going to publish your letter.

        • Mason Pierce

          The world would be a better place if the media took that road.

    • Bad news?! Nah, this is great. The reply is stupid and hilarious.

      • Intergalactic Walrus

        And the person(s) who wrote it has a very limited vocabulary. They should be embarrassed if this was the best they could put out. As old Abe said: “Better to remain silent and be thought a fool than to speak out and remove all doubt.”

      • Jack99

        I meant Whittemore’s arbitration decision is bad news. The THR reply certainly is stupid and hilarious, and probably another footbullet, making “Pouw” look like a lunatic.

        • Sorry. I see it now. On a bright side, something tells me Garcias are not about to go away.

          • MaxSpaceman
          • Rita Gregory

            Tony doesn’t think they will go through arbitration. I think they will. If they do I think they will get part or all of their money back. Why? Scientology needs to prove they do have an arbitration process and that process does result in refunds, at least sometimes. If they can’t prove that I believe their tax exempt status could be in jeopardy. This is just a feeling I have and if it turns out I’m full of shit well, so be it. IANAL.

            • It looks like Garcias lost, but they actually won, imo. Time will tell soon.

            • Rita Gregory

              I hear you! I said earlier I felt strangely optimistic about this and I do. I guess I’m trying to make logical sense of that feeling above. I should know better by now than to do that. LOL!

            • splog

              I can’t stop wondering if maybe, just maybe, the judge is setting CoS up to lose eventually by giving CoS what they want – enough rope to hang themselves.

              Western law is written to rule on what people *did*, not what they might do or what they might intend to do (Minority Report ain’t here yet). The judge can see that Scn arbitration is a sham but on paper at least it satisfies what the law requires; there has never been an arbitration in the entire history of CoS so he can’t determine what CoS will do with the first one. He has no real option other than to say “The Garcias signed the Enrollment Agreement, and it satisfies the requirements of the law, so the Garcias have no option but to enter arbitration if they wish to proceed”.

              I believe that CoS has effectively backed themselves into a corner. If they find they don’t have to give the Garcia’s their money back for the cross, that decision will be picked apart and examined closely. If they do give the money back, it opens the doors to many other people also wanting their money back. If CoS pulls the stunt we all expect them to (“we ain’t giving you your money back coz we say so”) then that flies right in the face of the IRS agreement, AND it will be public, not buried in IJC files somewhere.

              The bright side of all this is that there’s no judge ruling on what CoS must do, so CoS can’t whinge about First Amendment violations. Whatever happens will be the results of their own internal religious law absent any kind of legal interference, and the whole thing will be open to view. Either way CoS actually loses.

              I’d hate to be a CoS lawyer right now. Looks to me like DM just set up his own trap and rushed headlong right into it.

            • Rita Gregory

              Exactly. Scintology is damned if they do refund and damned if they don’t.

            • Gabbyone

              I believe this too, but no amount of money can pay for what they’ve been through now. Their fortitude in exposing the fraud is uncanny, and I know that yesterday’s decision was heartbreaking. They will never get back any of the sleepless nights or hours spent working on this case, and any money that they get will just be tokenism. I just hope that the Garcias and their attorneys know how respected they are for giving it everything they had. Justice exists only in our minds. They can’t take that away from anyone.

  • SciWatcher

    OMG WTF. I have been sick for the last two days, and then to wake up to this…it makes me sick all over again. This is just insane.

  • SciWatcher

    So, yes, this is a “win” for Scientology. But it does nothing to change the fact that the organization is dying. It does nothing to help the fact that the general public know it for the scam it is. It will never be the “legitimate” organization that LRH and Miscavige hoped it would be. It will never be taken seriously. Miscavige may be cackling with glee over this, but that doesn’t change the fact that his only power is monetary. The only respect he commands is that of a brutal dictator. Most of the world don’t even know his name, and he will be forgotten to history. The same is true, I think, for the old fat guy himself. When you say L Ron Hubbard to most people, they say, “wasn’t he that pulp-scifi author,” or “didn’t he start that wacky fake religion.” No one will remember him the way he wanted to be remembered.

    I think the Garcia’s should go through the arbitration process. And all the others who are still in and who are under the radar need to come out and let their voices be heard and demand whatever money back they have on account, too. Same to for those who have left with money on account. And when the arbitration process if found to be a sham, report it. I know, this is easy for me to say, having never been in. And I know that those who are still in, or who’ve gotten out only recently are wearied and battered and bruised. But one of the ways the “church” got tax exempt status by chipping away at the IRS with lots of petty lawsuits. If everyone went in and demanded their money back, it would make a difference. Just like if everyone under the radar were to leave, it would make a difference.

  • For what it’s worth, here is a UK perspective on this profoundly disappointing decision.

    So much depends on historical accident. The US constitution was written by people for whom religion (predominantly Christianity) formed a central part of their lives. They could not imagine a world without it. What’s more, many had fled from regimes where their particular interpretations of the Christian message were then subject to legal sanctions (for example the UK).

    The men who drafted the constitution were careful to insure that, in their new nation, there would be no interference in religious freedom whatsoever. This is why the first amendment is so brief and all-encompassing. It’s simplicity means that it has required much legal interpretation down the years – years which have brought about changes which the people who drafted it could not possibly have imagined. .

    One of these changes was the invention of Scientology. Over the years, Hubbard’s creation has evolved into a an exquisitely well-adapted parasite, feeding upon the blanket protection of freedom of religion in the US. This probably accounts for Scientology’s relative lack of success in other cultures which are more pragmatic about religion – e.g. France, Germany and the UK.

    I have a great deal of sympathy for the judge. He has clearly stated that Scientology’s ‘arbitration’ is an unconscionable nonsense. In fact, he has ensured that the facts about this fraudulent procedure have been entered into the public record in detail. Unfortunately, the law does not permit him to act upon them because – religion. His hands are tied, and I suspect that he is just as unhappy about this as we are. It is history that it to blame for this, not the good judge.

    This leads to some deeply puzzling situations. In the US, it seems that the law must theoretically remain silent on religious matters – so the courts have little power to decide what is, or it not, a religion.In practice any organisation can be ‘a religion’ if it presses its claim hard enough. Faith (or fraud) can often trump the law by playing the religion card if it has the resources.

    Scientology is an extreme example of this.There is clear documentary evidence that Scientology was originally presented by its founder as a rigorous and reliable ‘science of the mind’ with objectively-testable therapeutic powers. There is also clear documentary evidence that it was cynically incorporated as a ‘church’ specifically to shelter behind the protections provided by the constitution to a religion. In this way, it not only evaded tax, but also escaped responsibility the consequences of its quack medical activities.

    Scientology clearly hoisted a religious flag in the same spirit as a pirate hoisted the Jolly Roger. Doesn’t matter. It’s still a religion if it says it is.

    It seems that this battle has been lost – and this approach is a dead end. Times change, but the first amendment has not – cannot. Any attempt to do so would be met with massed opposition by vested interests in the form of entrenched religious bureaucracies. They would stand to lose if changes were made in order to address the abuses of organisations like Scientology. Also, that same amendment guarantees free speech. The population at large would oppose any interference by what they would see as a small special interest group.

    This battle is lost, but the war continues, on other fronts

    • EnthralledObserver

      Yep… I agree there seems to be a sort of checkmate dead-end with this angle of attacking $cientology.
      I’d still like some discussion by someone more knowledgable re how a ‘religion’ can have fingers in legal affairs (contracts), without being subject to the law’s scrutiny. Seems like that ought to be a contradiction. Maybe this is an angle that might be able to be exploited by future society to fix this problem?
      Too late for this battle though, I agree.

      • As I argue above, I think the fundamental problem is less a matter of legal interpretation, more a matter of what is politically possible in a religious culture which is itself sustained by the first amendment.

        What would have happened if the judge had ruled in favour of the Garcia’s – how many Churches (including many respectable ones) which have screamed bloody blue murder at a perceived erosion of their rights and gone on upon ‘the thin end of the wedge’?

        I regret to say that, rationally, there are many persuasive legal arguments that could be used to challenge this decision. In practice though, it’s never going to happen in the US.

        Me… I’m wondering if I should move to the US and set up as a ‘Revived Axtec’. We now know that the law will not interfere with a clear case of fraud perpetrated by a religion. Would it interfere with a human sacrifice (I could likely even arrange for a victim who has signed a contract agreeing to be killed)?

        OK – I know that this is absurd. human sacrifice would not be allowed. However, it makes the point that the line has be drawn somewhere, and the criteria in the US seems to be what is politically possible, and has little to do with the law.

    • chukicita

      “Scientology is an extreme example of this.”

      It is but one example of this. (sorry, I can’t seem to stop typing in italics)

      Here in Florida, the punchline state, the religious cloaking device has assisted many crimes for many different organizations. I believe this would be less likely to happen if there were, like the UK evidently has, a requirement to demonstrate good works. If you’re going to be tax exempt you should have to prove you’re worth it. This is the basis for the reason why religions are tax exempt in the first place — which I believe was adopted originally from UK law.

      Our First Amendment simply states that Congress shall make no law respecting the establishment of a religion or its free exercise… it doesn’t say the IRS can’t tax organizations that call themselves religions that do not meet a good-services litmus test.

      • I wonder if the problem arises from the fact that the first amendment is so short and all-inclusive. Over the years, this has necessitated a lot of legal argument about what it really means.

        The result has been a huge steaming pile of case law built upon a single sentence. The people who drafted the constitution assumed that everyone would always be able to recognise a religion when they saw one. Times have changed.

        The UK has arrived at its present status as a secular nation via a very strange route. Henry the 8th broke with the Catholic Church for political reasons, and established the Church of England in its place (several Bishops still have an automatic right to be members of the House of Lords, the upper chamber of Parliament). For some considerable time, the CofE was the ‘One True Church’ in law.

        As religious observance faded, and immigrants brought unfamiliar faiths to the country, government adopted a pragmatic approach. Religious organisations can receive tax exemption by registering as a charity with the purpose of promoting religion.

        The only requirements are that religious observance is open to all, and provides some modest public benefit. The CofS tried and failed to register as a charity in 1999. Since they could never meet either of those criteria, their failure was so complete that even they have never tried again.

        Of course, they then registered their UK operation in Australia to avoid tax (which is another – shameful – story). At least they have never gained the charitable status that they covet so much for the respectability that comes with it.

        Also, I wonder if the 1st amendment somehow sustains a religious culture in the US. It enables religious organisations to become rich and influential and reproduce themselves. Certainly, the US is an anomaly among Western nations, most of which have become significantly more secular in recent years.

        In others words, the first amendment sustains religious culture, and the religious culture insures the most liberal interpretation of the protection afforded by of the first amendment to religious organisations.

        I agree that the first amendment does not say that ” […] the “IRS cannot tax organisations that call themselves religions” – but the religious culture that the first amendment has brought into being perhaps makes it politically impossible…

  • Intergalactic Walrus

    The moral of the story is: If your “church” wants you to sign a contract, it’s time to say “Bye-bye” and find another church.

    • EnthralledObserver

      Amen.

    • Jack99

      Shouldn’t this decision make the Duggans and other whales a bit worried? No way to get their millions back.

      • EnthralledObserver

        Seems to me they don’t worry about wanting to get their millions back until they want them back – by then the scam is complete and apparently legally sanctioned.

        • Jack99

          You don’t get to be a millionaire, or billionaire, by being economically stupid. Maybe 90% of their brain is run by Xenu, but the last 10% is a wog calculator.

      • Intergalactic Walrus

        Not Duggan, he’s got $3.5 BILLION. And he’s 70 years old. He won’t be worrying about money ever. Even if he gives them $100 million, that’s chump change and he’ll never miss it. [sigh]
        http://www.forbes.com/profile/robert-duggan/

        • Jack99

          Probably, but I think you get to be a billionaire by worrying over every nickel you have. What’s really scary is that if he’s a true beliver, that the only thing than can save this planet is the church, he might leave a big part of the estate to them.

        • SexyNinjaMonkey

          3.5 billion… What’s that like a ‘diamond humanitarian universe builder with honors’?

      • Tracy Schmitz

        sadly and disgustingly, it won’t hurt them and they won’t care moneywise, but even worse then that?? they WON’T CARE ethically and morally wise about anyone else, any member former or not…

    • Tracy Schmitz

      true, what “church” has you sign contracts for ANYTHING! course, what “church” like scientology does ALOT OF THINGS that no other “religious” organization does….audits? disconnection (okay, the amish do), abuse in all of it’s forms (physical, mental, financial) and so on….

      • texasexpat

        I am aware of a huge on tv church in Dallas that requires you to sit down with an accountant. Show your w2’s etc., and sign up for automatic withdrawals to pay your tithes before you can join.

  • valshifter

    This might seem like a joke but I think we really dealing with the Great Beast here. DO NOT SIGN ANYTHING IN SCIENTOLOGY PEOPLE.

  • valshifter

    The Garcias should do an arbitration just to gather information on the process knowing that he won’t win anyway, just to see what they come up with this time.

    • Intergalactic Walrus

      Yep, if for no other reason than it would make a great New Yorker or Vanity Fair article.

  • Pierrot

    *** RED X +–+** RED X ** +–+ RED X *** Saturday the 14th of March

    The morning after :-)! Good morning Night Owls and early birds,
    Our stats are back up thanks to Texas, St Louis & Sac. A small smile after the bummer of yesterday.
    California & Boston among others have been going all out for lrh birthday “game” and have been flooding CL again. It is time to complain to CL again.

    RedX out some frustration
    while trying to find some hope in the judge illogical ruling,
    Lets help “Going Clear” to raise public opinion about the unfortunate decision by the IRS to wrap co$ in the religious cloak.
    Thank you to those who are finding some silver linings in this dark cloud.

    See instructions and links at wwp: https://whyweprotest.net/threads/taking-down-co-on-craigslist-co-ads-on-craigslist.113779/page-119#post-2519486
    RedX spreadsheet: https://docs.google.com/spreadsheets/d/1-Kvg78kCcvo5gL7UfPcmhmbsagTNtdj0y2LAiHVFrCU/pubhtml

    FREELOADER Debt is ILLEGAL and CAN’T BE ENFORCED.
    DON’T route out, BLOW, Get HELP, get OUT. CALL 1-866-XSEAORG

    (F5, …for) Wag a Mole by AegerPrimo https://www.flickr.com/photos/120371503@N05/13356288403/in/set-72157642802079293

  • Hingle McCringleberry

    Discus is acting funny, and I’m going to bed. As promised, my review of the LRH fictional story ‘The Great Secret’ will be out tomorrow. In the meantime, I’ve made a logo for my literary review endeavors. Goodnight and Good Luck!

  • EnthralledObserver

    The rules to qualify for tax exemption:
    “The organization must not be organized or operated for the benefit of private interests, and no part of a section 501(c)(3) organization’s net earnings may inure to the benefit of any private shareholder or individual. If the organization engages in an excess benefit transaction with a person having substantial influence over the organization, an excise tax may be imposed on the person and any organization managers agreeing to the transaction.”

    But how does anyone tell seeing as they aren’t required to be transparent regarding their finances? Whose job is it to check? Why aren’t they doing it?

  • valshifter

    My friend Mark, with cap. M signed up for a free course online just to see what the heck, but is more like information gathering than teaching him anything so he stopped , now they won’t stop sending him emails and remainders that he “has to complete” the course online Now. Who knows what happen once you finish the 16 lectures at the end, they probably ORDER you to come into the nearest org. for further whatever scam. by the way his name is Mark not mark.

    • Intergalactic Walrus

      Well that is understandable, because the CO$ are always looking for marks…

      • valshifter

        LOL, good one!

    • Synthia Fagen

      LOL. Well, at least she’s not teaching a grammar course although good use of the language is important in PR. Proper nouns (“Mark”) are capped, personal pronouns are not unless they start the sentence.

  • Ella Raitch

    Thoughtful review from Mike Laws @ ESMB

    http://www.forum.exscn.net/showthread.php?38680-My-GOING-CLEAR-review

    I am tremendously excited about being able to show this documentary to people close to me, important in my life, never in, that know of my past, to help them understand me and why certain things are so important to me.

    • splog

      I haven’t seen the movie yet (it’s not available in my country), but I really like what Mike says here:

      “This film so exactly communicates, or duplicates the phenomenon, the
      stickiness of the subject, the dream, the group, culture, etc. that it
      showed me I wasn’t that screwed up for being a part of it as long as I
      was. In part it shows the nobility of the dream, the goal, in such a
      way that I felt my initial desires to help and be involved WERE IN FACT
      NOBLE.”

      Like him, I understand that intellectually. But emotionally and in all the other ways that are really important, not so much.

  • Tory Christman

    Maybe I’ll start a “church: “We’re illegal, we practice fraudulent
    activities sometimes, we do things that aren’t right,
    we know it and as long as this country protects others from justice
    due concerning cases such as these, we get the same protection: DEAL WITH IT”.

    What do ya think? 🙂

    • lol! Why don’t you join Scientology, they already do that? O… wait… 😛

    • Ella Raitch

      I think that’s the way to really get rich Tory. Make sure you have a dirty tricks department, and to trash the freedoms and liberties that most people hold dear. Yeah, that’d work.

    • dchoiceisalwaysrs

      Well Tory if you are going to do it do it fast. Soon I hope that the misappropriated protection via the 1st amendment will be stopped. I love you Tory but will not join you in

    • SexyNinjaMonkey

      I’m in as long as i can be COB. We’ll make everyone call you Commandant and compete to donate the most money towards your birthday gift.

    • Tracy Schmitz

      right on as usual TORY! seems like any “religious” organization can do ANYTHING because “hey, it’s the 1st amendment!’ which then leads me to think “oh wait, isn’t there something about oh, i don’t know something i once heard about something called “separation between church and state?”..also, since when does and why should a organization especially one called a “religious” organization trump and be more important that persons, people? if anything, anything calling itself a “religious” organization which is SUPPOSED TO BE you know good, moral, ethical, faith based, kind, decent, and so on be HELD UP TO A EVEN HIGHER STANDARD? and thus when they do something wrong to it’s members be held EVEN MORE ACCOUNTABLE then some random business doing abusive acts to their employees, etcetera? UTTERLY RIDICULOUS!
      hey, i have a GREAT IDEA!( SARCASM HERE!) why not have all the pro sports teams call themselves a religious organization! then, all the players and coaches and owners who do bad things to women and others can say “hey, it’s part of our doctrine, freedom of religion!”….

    • jane456

      That is what I said when they had the mini hearing a month ago:

      “If this goes against the Garcia’s I am going to start the First Church
      of blatant fraud. I will lie to you to get your money and that is my
      religious practice. Na, ner, na, ner. 100% protected by the US
      constitution. I will be a nice church of fraud though, I won’t lock
      people up or make them do hard labor. I just want the money. Prefer
      cash, will take MO or cashiers check. In return all your dreams will
      come true. Right, that is a lie, but isn’t it worth it if I can make
      you believe it?”

      It’s a not funny joke on all of us. Look around at all the fraudulent groups out there, the government knows what they are up to but if they use that religion cloak they get the pass. They can commit: fraud, torture, false imprisonment, practicing medicine without a license, theft. They can have slaves, they can have child labor. So if you were inclined to enjoy crime or hurting people all you need to do is start a little religion. You can get away with just about anything in this country if you do that. That is our great nation.

      • Tory Christman

        Sad………..and true about being 100% protected by the US Government.
        So Jane 456? Are you going to do it? LOL

        • jane456

          It’s on my to do list ;-)….fer sure. I do have the slight issue of having a functioning conscience, this makes it tricky to lie with conviction. You sort of have to be on the sociopath spectrum to pull this kind of shit off. It’s an obstacle having a conscience, that is for sure. I know for example that the people that started my cult were straight up con artists, no doubt about it. They made all the shit up – or stole it from others – to get followers, money and power over peoples lives. They were ruthless and evil, they didn’t mind hurting people, not one little bit. Seriously, the government protects them, not us. Thanks US government. I will always remember this. There is a great review on the Vulture site that makes this point. If you Tory or I did what they did – torture, imprison and false imprisonment, fraud. It would be a criminal. But if you call yourself a church, you can commit all kinds of crimes and get away with it. There is something so wrong with this.

    • grundoon

      Sorry, Tory, it’s all too evident that the Church of Tory would never be able to bring itself to do things that aren’t right. Your diabolical criminal enterprise would fall flat on its face on account of never actually getting around to the illegal and fraudulent part. Due to your honest personality you will completely fail to enrich yourself by taking unfair advantage of others. It was a clever idea, but life isn’t fair: your unavoidable fate is to be a positive force in society. (breathes sigh of relief)

      • Tory Christman

        Rotflol! Ahhhh thank Gawd we didn’t have the Internet when *I*
        was a kid. Gawd knows what trouble I would have been into.
        Thank you, grundoon! That’s a first for me 🙂 Love to you and ALL 🙂
        Tory/Magoo

  • Rita Gregory

    I wonder what story Saturday will bring us from our proprietor?

    • “Saturday” ?

      • Rita Gregory

        Today’s story. Saturday.

        • i can’t remember what day it was, i think tuesday, at 7am all that posted was “Tuesday”….that’s what i’m referring too…..

          • Rita Gregory

            Oh. I’m feeling kinda weird today. I thought you were referring to my poorly worded post.

            • NO!! absolutely not!! referring back to the one word post last week!! I didn’t know if you were around for that though or not…

            • Rita Gregory

              Actually I think I was. I just didn’t get it. Like I said, I’m not firing on all cylinders today. It makes me paranoid because of Alzheimers which my father has, although mom says he was exhibiting symptoms long before the age I am now. Argh.

            • it’s early!!! who thinks on all cylinders this early in the morning??

            • Rita Gregory

              You’re right. I’m going to go make some coffee. Thanks Tia!

            • Oh yeah–without coffee i shouldn’t legally be allowed to do ANYTHING!! 😀

          • SciWatcher

            No, I think it was actually Saturday. I knew what you were talking about right away. That was one of the funnier “stories” here at the Bunker, and the comments were laugh out loud funny.

            • I don’t think was a weekend….tuesday sticks in my mind for some reason…..

            • shasha40

              That did also happen on a Saturday a few weeks ago , It was the first time I’ d ever seen it and Tony said he didn’t know how that happened . We were commenting away though ! Lol

      • Rita Gregory

        Ok, now I see. I think I’m starting to lose it.

    • Ella Raitch

      Jon Atack is standard Saturday fare – often

  • Ella Raitch

    Just had this response to a comment I made on this article 3 months ago:

    http://tonyortega.org/2014/12/09/scientology-ambush-another-crazy-encounter-this-time-with-marc-headley/

    Little Acorns Grow needs to be investigated. I had no idea there were ties to Scientology in anyway or I would never had put my child in there. Before my child went there they were confident and outgoing. There is a huge bullying problem that goes on there at it stems from all the kids who’s parents are Scientologist. If you try to address an issue the Director Melanie Martin will either lie, deny or ignore it. The positive review’s on yelp are from the Director Melanie herself, the Scientology parents who send there kids there and the person she pays to do the Marketing.

    The teachers are not properly credentialed and do not treat the kids properly either. I personally believe they were using Scientology methods on the kids. My child has changed and has become withdrawn, is no longer confident or outgoing and now has low self esteem. I am in the process of trying to undo the damage that this school has done.

    • Rita Gregory

      Damn. Poor kid. Poor kids. I hope this parent gets some counseling for this child.

      • no mention of that either…..and how long did they keep them there?? ya know? it’s just WEIRD….

        • Rita Gregory

          Why wouldn’t they just write to Tony about it?

          • or post in a recent entry? i smell fish!!

            • Rita Gregory

              Splog above think it may be a Disqus glitch. It is awfully glitchy since the latest update.

            • i disagree with that…..that’s a pretty fucked up glitch there….i can’t even imagine that one…..no, this is someone cutting/pasting the same comment to people…..

            • splog

              The Little Acorns Grow posts quite possibly are someone just copy-pasting the same answer in many places. Not everyone out there gets how discussion boards work.

              From the outside the other glitches this week look like bugs after an update. This stuff can get insanely complicated and an innocent change over here can cause unintended big problems over there. Like the bug I had to fix two months ago that was deleting the main accounting General Ledger every night… (that one was scary)

    • I got the same comment to a comment I made on an article 10 months ago last night!! I started reading the comment and was like ‘where/what are they replying to’ and saw above it was a comment of mine from 10 months ago!! i didn’t reply to them because i just thought it was weird….now i think it’s even weirder…..

      • Rita Gregory

        Huh? I wonder why? Are they making sure someone sees it by replying to more than one Bunkerite?

        • if that’s the case why not post it in the new post as something OT?? why go back MONTHS?? that makes no sense to me…..

          and seriously, this person—-let’s claim this comment IS real (i dunno if it is or not)—has never thought to report this place to any agency on their own? i mean, they don’t even mention contacting anyone beyond the director of the place…..

          • Rita Gregory

            They either want to stay under the radar and fear reprisals or are they trying to start us on a wild goose chase?

            • i’m leaning towards wild goose chase…..i don’t think they could really stay UTR since they pretty much out themselves to the daycare by claiming they spoke with the director about their concerns—so obviously they’d figure out real easy who this was…….

          • chukicita

            Aw, I accidentally “responded” to a 2-year-old post yesterday 😀

            • oh i can understand that! if a story is linked to an you see the comments you are inclined to reply!!! but when someone cuts/pastes the same reply to random replies on posts from 2-10 months (that we know of) it’s sort of weird, ya know?

            • chukicita

              yeah but i think it’s far more likely that it’s a disqus glitch than anything else. Occam’s razor and all.

          • Robert Eckert

            She probably just doesn’t understand how things work. I think she Googled something or other that brought up a bunch of Bunker pages, and is sending up flares to see if anybody knows what she should do.

            • that’s a good theory on how/why she got to those entries…..

        • splog

          Looks like a software bug. My job out here in the real world is to admin big Unix computers, and this kind of problem is quite common actually. I don’t know how the Disqus software is organized internally, but it certainly isn’t on one computer, it’s on *many* computers and there are hundreds of ways it can all go wrong and get glitches.

          Recent Disqus issues look to me like all those many databases are having trouble keeping themselves synced with each other and you can get what happened here – a reply comment gets wrongly linked to two or more other comments, or comments seem to disappear on your screen because they haven’t yet arrived at whatever computer server your browser is getting the page from.

          Best thing to do is let the Disqus staff figure it out and fix it.

      • Ella Raitch

        My comment mentioned education – she’s probably researching / googling and landing on random Bunker comments

        • Exactly, my comment about the school (now under “guest” doh!) comes up third or so if you google Little Acorns Grow + Scientology. I have some evidence that they are Scientology but they hide it well. I wrote to “Millie Ray”. I hope she responds and is real about having sent her kid there

      • Aslan’s Own

        I got the same thing too. The person posted the same thing six times I think – all exactly the same.

      • Can I get a timestamp to this weird message? I know a lot about the school

        • i’ll get you a screen cap in a bit….i’m having a personal technical difficulty meltdown right now……

          • No worries Tia, I found it 🙂

            • oh good….the one from 10 months ago? it was the same message though….it was just posted to me on a post from 10 months ago….some people on posts just a couple months old….

    • Can I get a timestamp to this weird message? I know a lot about the school.

  • moonnfire

    How do these judges sleep at night? Seriously, religion or not, lying to get money from someone is fraud. I don’t know how these judges don’t press criminal charges against COS.

    • Scream Nevermore

      He can sleep because he stuck to the letter of the law, if not the spirit. Like most judges.

    • Tracy Schmitz

      exactly, i mean if he knows and understands (but supposedly couldn’t do anything, which then leads me to think 1) what could the garcias have done to prove their case the if nothing could be done and 2) it sounds like it was going to be a losing battle from the start, so why have the case in the first place? why can’t this judge himself look into OTHER illegal activity and himself press forward? i mean shouldn’t he uphold the law and if he knows illegality is happening?

  • Marcabian Fleet Commander

    Kinda OT here but reading this makes me long for the good ol’ days of Chanology. Now would be a great time to get things going again, with the cult in such a precarious position (at least where public perception is involved).

  • Still_On_Your_Side

    It’s a bad decision, pure and simple, and Judge Whittemore clearly wanted to be rid of this case. At the end of the day, Whittemore’s ruling was based on the First Amendment. Efforts should be focused on getting the government to investigate and remove Scientology’s tax exempt status. This organization has brutalized enough people under the pretense of religion, and too many judges have fallen for it.

  • Tracy Schmitz

    so in a nutshell a religious organization can do pretty much ANYTHING to their members because “religious/religion” rights trump EVERYTHING ELSE? Really? REALLY? “hey, why not physically abuse members (oh wait that DOES HAPPEN!) you know because IT IS religious doctrine and practice and it’s protected by the 1st amendment! i don’t know if this is a good analogy the following but it’s kind of my thought on “freedom of speech” in that, ALL speech is protected right? however, isn’t and shouldn’t it be AGAINST the law and AGAINST that amendment if said speech incites violence? and violence does occur?! how is that allowed? how is either of these allowed???!!! too bad they the Garcias couldn’t have brought their case to another country!!

  • jane456

    Some exceptions; they went after Tony Alamo and Warren Jeffs for specific crimes against children. Someone else brought up the name of Jim Baker, which made me curious about how they went after him. It was some sort of fraud, I believe, but why did he get locked up, I wonder? Very atypical and I doubt it would happen again today. He might be able to get away with it today. He is still around, by the way. Selling end of the world supplies on TV.

    • ze moo

      Jim and Tammy Faye Baker oversold time shares at their ‘Christian theme park’. Inurement figured heavily in that case. Remember the air conditioned dog house?

  • InterestedObserver12

    I despair

    • WildaBeast

      Don’t despair. The {church} is going down. They’re just going to kick and scream all the way. I would say that with the way public opinion is turning against them, the time is nearly ripe for a motion to strip it of religious status – and when that comes…
      Don’t despair. Stay angry. It’s a powerful motivating force.

  • WildaBeast

    WHAT! Shit, shit, fuck dammit, merde, tabernac hosti calice, schiesse, gottverdammte SCHEISSE…$%&!! This fucking judge is a cockknocker. Strip Scientology of its First Amendment protections NOW…and make it apply retroactively!
    Tony, if the legal eagles let you know, would you please consider a follow-up post to inform those of us who don’t have time to sort through the 1,200-odd comments whether or not the Garcias can appeal this travesty of a ruling? If they can, I personally will start a gofundme account to help defray their legal costs. This. Is. A. Fucking. Joke. And I ain’t laughing.

  • Just a Guest

    Who posted the following in a previous Tony’s article:
    “This has probably already been said, because I’m late to the update, having just got up,
    but it seems to me that the fact the judge is irritated by BOTH sides is a good thing. It shows impartiality, which will make it more difficult for scientology to claim bias against them on appeal.”

    LOL Yes the judge was impartial! That ‘s why SCN won.

  • California

    The arguments are building to have the IRS re-examine scn’s tax exempt status and to deny it.

  • Simple Thetan

    This ruling is a strong indication of how degraded the U.S. Justice (or rather injustice) system has become. I am seeing it frequently in the recent years. U.S. Judges are ruling for preservation of existing establishments rather than for the principles of justice. I am convinced that in any advanced country a judge would have ruled differently. I do not believe that the judge’s hands were tied.

    This is the reason why in most countries Scietology loses case after case, while in the U.S. They are still legally strong.

    No matter, a legal setback will not stop or slow down the decline of that crime organization.

  • Jgg2012

    If this case “inevitably requires interpretation of church doctrine”, why did Whittemore order the mini-trial in the first place? I kinda think that Whittemore wants the 11th Circuit to reverse him, make a clear distinction between church doctrine and church practices (ie the former cannot be reviewed, the latter are subject to laws of general applicability) and then pound away at the arbitration system, which is a joke. I heard of a case once where a circuit court made a decision that was illogical, a district judge said “I’m bound by this, but I can’t believe they said this”. the case appealed, and this time the circuit court (with a different 3 judge panel) said “the district court was right, we didn’t mean to say something that stupid” and the district judge was very pleased with himself. In another case, a circuit court made a vague ruling, the district court struggled with it, the case was appealed again and the circuit court (different 3 judge panel) said “that previous decision was a model of clarity” (they were joking).

  • Michael Leonard Tilse

    If the Garcia’s are contractually bound to participate in a Scientology process of arbitration, as this order appears to rule, then is the Church of Scientology also contractually bound to provide one exactly as stated in their contract?

    And since this arbitration is a result of a contract, regardless of the way it is carried out according to the doctrine (gag) of the ‘church’, is the result also subject to the rule of Florida Law?

    One might hope, despite the overwhelming feeling this is a loss and a travesty, that the Judge has given Scientology enough rope.

    • Jgg2012

      Yes, they are obligated to provide one, especially if they ask a court to compel arbitration. It’s as if the contract said “complaints must be mailed to the NY office” even though it was shut down six years earlier.

  • Always Amazed

    Shit Shit Shit!!

  • I, like everyone else am disappointed with the outcome of this case. It makes it seems like Scientology can’t be beat in a civil court of law. I just want to say they can be beat. The lawyer for Lawrence Wollershiem prevailed in his case and he helped to save the Lisa McPherson case when it got all screwed up. There is a specific strategy he used and he always prevailed in the end. I am willing to share that information for free to anyone involved in a legal fight with Scientology. I’m not advocating any silver bullet remedy but this strategy was conceived by the lawyer Dan Liepold (deceased) Vaughn Young (deceased) and myself, still hanging on. Despite Scientology’s line of bullshit any case that I have actually on cost Scientology dearly and no cases were lost. Let me know if anyone is interested.

  • Silence of the Clams

    Sad. Not just sad for the Garcia’s but for the majority of the residents of the United States who choose to believe in gods and prophets. With well over 300 religions and denominations recognized within the US alone, if you are one of those believers, there is a hard truth to accept: You are probably wrong. This doesn’t make you a bad person, it just means at a certain level, you are believing in lies….and everyone knows it.

    Our government knows it too. They know, even in the best scenario, that most of these religious beliefs are nonsense and based on mythical stories. And these stories come with some pretty dire consequences for those that choose to think for themselves and ‘question’ their validity. Such is the case with Scientology.

    Here we have a judge basically stating that he knows this is all bullshit. He knows the Garcias will never see that money nor with anyone else now ever seeking recompense from the Cult because he’s essentially created legal precedent now for the Cult to use as it’s defense. He knows it’s a fraud, BUT it’s a recognized ‘religion’ so there is nothing he can do.

    Of course this is wrong-headed. Whittemore is saying that whatever happened to get here can’t be reversed regardless of how non-sensical it is. If that was the case we wouldn’t have had the Civil Rights movement, the space program, the 19th Amendment, The repeal of prohibition (a personal favorite).

    How did we get here? How did we allow hundreds of independent nations to form within our own? How did we allow them to create their own laws, rules and punishments? How did we form a system of justice that turns and runs in the face of clear injustice?

    We simply allowed it to happen because way too many of us are obsessed with what happens to us after we leave this life. And the fear of that unknown will continue to eat away at the known. It will continue to subjugate the laws of common sense. It will continue to hurt the innocent. It will continue to thwart progress and freedom.

    No thanks to Judge Whittemore, it will continue…..

  • PoisonIvyHerself

    Just saw this today.

    So disgusted. Just disgusted.

    When will Scientology’s fraud against the United States of America’s taxpayers end – and hopefully, it’s abuse of its own members – along with it.

  • Toni m

    I’m sad and upset for this ruling as many of you are. The Garcia’s lost this battle against the cult, but they are big winners too. A knowledge report was made against Mr Garcia when he refused to donate 350,000.00 dollars and in this report they accused his wife as the cause of his refusal. They purpose was to separate them. (He read from this report in an interview that is in YouTube). The Garcia’s WIN, they defeat the cult by staying together and by getting out of there. I commend the Garcia’s for their fight against this cult, Thanks to you Mr and Mrs Garcia many people are going to stay away from this cult. it came out by your fight that the arbitration for returning money is just another scam from this cult and it was made to benefit them only. I wanted to read that you won this case, not only for you but for what this meant for others that want they money back too. We do not always have what we want, but be sure that in my book you are WINNERS. You prevail and stayed together and the most important win, you are out of this cult. Enjoy your freedom.

  • grundoon

    Judge Whittemore’s order says, “This case is STAYED pending arbitration.” It doesn’t say DISMISSED.

    Legal dictionaries say, “A stay of proceedings is the stoppage of an entire case or a specific proceeding within a case. This type of stay is issued to postpone a case until a party complies with a court order or procedure.” “A ruling by a court to stop or suspend a proceeding or trial temporarily or indefinitely. A court may later lift the stay and continue the proceeding.”

    Doesn’t this mean that, after the Garcias go through the Chruch’s “arbitration”, they could ask Whittemore to lift the stay and proceed with the case in order to argue that the arbitration procedure was “substantively unconscionable” as applied?

    • Jgg2012

      Yes, but you are back to square one. If Whittemore believes that reviewing the arbitration decision is a review of religious doctrine, he will decline to set it aside. Better to appeal to the 11th Circuit, and having them say that the arbitration system is a sham.

      • grundoon

        On what grounds could the judge’s order be appealed? Would the Garcias have to show that Whittemore made an error of law? (Where is the error?) Would they have to show irreparable harm? (But it seems they cannot show that the harm cannot be redressed through arbitration, until they actually go through with the arbitration.) Since the case hasn’t been dismissed and there has been no final judgment, would it be considered an interlocutory appeal?

        If the Garcias go forward with arbitration, the Chruch will have to improvise some sort of arbitration process. In doing so, the Chruch has unparalleled opportunities for footbulletry.

        Whittemore may expect that the Chruch will do the smart thing: mock up a process with some appearance of fairness, and rig it to give the Garcias a full refund ASAP. That would end the case, and leave the Chruch with favorable precedents for the next challenger.

        But more likely, the Chruch’s “International Justice Chief” will send another of his famous letters telling the Garcias that they as SPs are forbidden to enter the building so they cannot obtain the arbitration request form. Or, every Scientologist in good standing who the Garcias nominate as arbitration panelist gets immediately declared and expelled. Or, the Chruch demands a fee for the arbitration, greater than the amount in dispute.

        The Chruch’s arbitration charade may very well “shock the judicial conscience” and transgress laws of general application. The court may then be able to cast aside an unfair arbitration result without touching on religious doctrine.

        • Jgg2012

          Whittemore made an error in applying the 1st Amendment to a fraud case. The 1st Amendment protects sincere beliefs, so how could it apply to a fraud? He also made a clearly erroneous factual finding, applying the arbitration clause of the 40 enrollment agreements to a donation that was not contractually required, but given because the Church falsely represented what it would be used for.

          • grundoon

            Sounds plausible. Thanks.

    • Anonymous Confused Person

      This is the part I’m interested in. So, does this mean that the judge has decided that the Garcias must given arbitration a chance, and if it doesn’t work*, he’ll compel third-party arbitration, or award some other remedy? The Cherch is crowing about its “victory”, but if the case is /stayed/, that is not a won case.

      *I’d be curious to understand how the judge would determine this, if this were the case.

      My complaint is this:
      A: you’re made to sign a document stating you’ll submit to arbitration if you want a refund.
      B: you’re automatically declared if you want a refund, because only SPs want refunds.
      C: members of the cherch in good standing can’t talk with you if you’re declared, so you can’t have a comm ev, which is their basis for arbitration
      D: which means that you can’t actually get arbitration

      …and this is okay, because the cherch’s animosity towards (and ultimate refusal of fair treatment of) SPs is cherch scripture.

      Is Judge Whittlemore’s gambit that he’s going to say, “okay, cherch, law requires that I ensure that all steps are followed. So let’s see your ‘arbitration'”?

  • Sarcasmo

    I wonder if it will come out in the future that the Judge’s dog was drowned in his swimming pool or some other form of extortion was used by the cherch.

  • AintMizBahavin

    Doesnt take a genius to figure out that miscavibitch blackmailed this judge grant into giving that judgement!!!! i can almost hear the threat! ” judge grant remember we both are members of and participants of the cloning center ”
    Donald Marsh you were absolutely right about this asshole!!!!

    google Donald Marsh

  • JB

    I wonder if $cientology goons anonymously blackmailed or threatened the judge? This judge has no balls.

  • JB

    I think the Garcias should go on GoFundMe, and that we all send some $ to them, to help offset the huge legal bills they and their lawyer(s) must have incurred in dealing with the matter.

  • Jgg2012

    Here’s little summary of what “religious entanglement” (or intrusion, as the court called it) is. It started with a case in the 1940s where 2 states subsidized parochial school teachers. The Supreme Court held it unconstitutional, as it would require determining what was a good religious education, who was a good Catholic teacher, etc. Later cases allowed subsidizing books, equipment, etc. students said they needed was held OK because doing so did not require such a determination. In the 1920s, Kosher fraud statutes were passed in the NYC area. In the 1990s, they were successfully challenged because a court can’t say whether meat is kosher. If they hear conflicting testimony from 2 rabbis, which one’s opinion is better? A judge can’t do that (even if the judge is Jewish, he is not a rabbi) so the statutes were re-written so that you may say meat is kosher if (but only if) a rabbi has approved of it and given a stamp of approval. So, it’s simple: if it’s approved by a rabbi, you can say “kosher”, if not, you commit fraud by saying kosher. No second-guessing that rabbi, or playing rabbi. This is analogous to Scientology saying Narconon is NAFC certified. In our case, the Garcias were falsely told why their money was needed; they are not second guessing Miscavige’s judgment as to what LRH might want. I really disagree with the view that there is religious intrusion.

  • Nojoking

    What about the 1st amendment rights of the person(s) who were the very ones that made up that religion? What would a religion be without it’s members? Could not attorney represent their client as a religious person instead of just a mere citizen with the same 1st amendment rights as the Church?

  • SkyBill40

    On the 13th of March 2015, $cientology won and justice lost in not atypical fashion. What an utter shame that the sham of a “religion” that Scientology is was protected by the very laws which should expose it for what it is.

  • Cymboli

    He wanted this case out of his court. Period.

  • seahen

    Are the Garcia’s filing an appeal? They should go to the Supreme Court if they have to.