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Monique Rathbun: Hey, Texas court, here’s something to chew on


It’s been a long time since we’ve heard anything about the Monique Rathbun lawsuit against Scientology and its leader, David Miscavige.

The Texas lawsuit was put on hold when Scientology appealed a March 2014 ruling by Comal County Judge Dib Waldrip denying its “anti-SLAPP” motion. Arguments were made at a hearing before the Texas Third Court of Appeals in September, and since then we’ve been waiting for the appeals court to rule.

That’s a long time to wait, and the same court has already ruled once against Monique, when it granted Scientology’s appeal, last July, of Waldrip’s order that Monique could depose Miscavige.

What’s taking so long? We really don’t know why it’s taken since September for the appeals court to sort out Scientology’s anti-SLAPP motion. But in the meantime, twice now Scientology has filed notices with the court, asking it to look at new judicial opinions that it feels should sway the court in the favor of its appeal. Most recently, it asked the court to look at four recent decisions that it feels help out its case.


Monique’s appeals lawyer, Leslie Hyman, has responded that the four new decisions actually help Monique’s case, not Scientology’s. This is really arcane stuff, and we’d like to hear from our lawyers, but you can see that in all four cases Hyman explains how Scientology is misinterpreting the four cited cases, perhaps intentionally.

Monique’s camp tells us that, as arcane as these arguments are — about the standard of evidence in the case, for example — the new decisions are very encouraging. As always, however, we really don’t know how the appeals court is going to rule.

Here’s the document…


Monique Rathbun v Scientology: Appellee's response

Looking back…

August 16, 2013: Monique Rathbun files harassment lawsuit against David Miscavige, two Scientology entities, and private investigators and others working for Scientology
October 19, 2013: Scientology files an anti-SLAPP motion, a legal device intended to preserve the free speech rights of defendants who claim they’re being bullied with the use of a frivolous lawsuit. In this case, Scientology, a notorious legal bully, claims that it is being bullied by Monique, who is complaining about being followed and photographed every day of her life by Scientology goons.
January 4, 2014: Monique files for sanctions, submits Scientology leader’s foul-mouthed texts
February 24, 2014: Monique files motion for contempt against Scientology defendants
March 14, 2014: Judge Dib Waldrip denies Scientology’s anti-SLAPP motion
June 12, 2014: Scientology files its appeal of Waldrip’s denial of its anti-SLAPP motion with the Texas Third Court of Appeals
July 17, 2014: The Texas Third Court of Appeals overturns Waldrip’s order that David Miscavige could be deposed in a preliminary jurisdictional matter
August 8, 2014: Monique files her response to Scientology’s appeal of its anti-SLAPP motion
September 24, 2014: Oral arguments are held in Scientology’s anti-SLAPP appeal


Star2015Finally, the press begins to doubt the Star story about Cruise

We want to express our thanks for the kind words from the Frisky’s Amelia McDonell-Parry, who agrees with us that the Star’s recent story about Tom Cruise leaving Scientology is entirely bogus.

She quotes our story doubting the Star in some length, where we pointed out that the Star’s “insider” doesn’t actually say anything substantive about Cruise leaving Scientology. As we pointed out, Star hedges its bets by saying Cruise “may” be leaving at some point. In other words, they have nothing.

But we also wanted to point out something else about the Star story that we overlooked in our first examination of it. In the entire story, which is long by tabloid standards, the story offers only a single hard fact to prove that Cruise has been moving away from Scientology — Star claims that Tom missed the last Scientology anniversary gala. The problem is, they’re wrong about that!

Last October, we posted photographic proof that Tom was in London for the annual IAS parties and was even wearing his 2004 “Freedom Medal of Valor” which is such a legendary part of his story (and was featured prominently in the movie Going Clear). He’s in the photo with Venezuelan actress Ruddy Rodriguez, and it was snapped by Ruddy’s manager, who has since taken the photo down. But not before some sharp eyes over at ESMB spotted it, and then we posted it here at the Bunker.

Several days later, we pointed out that it was very strange that the tabloids that follow Tom’s every move hadn’t remarked on the photo. And now, Star magazine is claiming that it never happened!

Wow. Are they really that oblivious, or is something dishonest going on?

McDonell-Parry is exactly right when she says Scientology didn’t plant the “leaving” story with the Star. More likely, it was Tom’s entertainment PR folks, who have been panicking over the thought of every reporter — even the goofy entertainment ones — hitting Tom with tough questions about Going Clear during the publicity caravan for Mission: Impossible – Rogue Nation. Now, with Esquire and Redbook and everyone else saying Tom has left Scientology, those reporters are off the hook and they can ask instead about Tom’s awesome stunts. See how that works?


Scientology was impressed by its Bogotá shindig

You will probably not be surprised to learn that Scientology’s website put up a pretty glowing account of the Ideal Org opening that took place in Colombia Sunday.

We thought you might enjoy some of the overheated rhetoric about an event that our eyewitness told us attracted maybe 600 people, many of them from outside Colombia.

Scientology claimed that 2,500 were on hand, which is remarkably modest for Scientology exaggeration. And here’s what the website said about the man of the hour…

On hand to preside over the grand ceremony was Mr. David Miscavige, Chairman of the Board Religious Technology Center, who acknowledged the monumental impact of the moment: “Should any of you wonder how this day came to pass, well look no further than your own innate passion for humanity. For, this is a place where the nobility of a soul may finally be realized. Because, after all, this is a Scientology organization. And, yes, this is your first Ideal Org of South America and thus your eternal gateway to infinity.”

Gotta love that Shermanspeak.

And for posterity, here’s the list of dignitaries who were convinced to give speeches…

Joining the Scientology parishioners and Church officials were Lt. Colonel Anstrongh Polania, Chief of the Department of Joint Operational Law, Ministry of Defense; Lt. Colonel Carlos Peña, Coordinator for Anti-Drug Education, Colombian Anti-Narcotics Department; Captain John Galindo, Operations Director, Circle of Aid Technicians of Colombia (CINAT); Lt. Colonel Edgar Rojas, Special Ops Commander for Rural Zones, Colombian National Police; and Dr. Sandra Rincón, Advisor to the Ministry of Social Integration, Bogotá City.


We didn’t get a chance to include photos in our book, so we’ve posted them at a dedicated page. Reader Sookie put together a complete index and we’re hosting it here on the website. Copies of the paperback version of ‘The Unbreakable Miss Lovely’ are on sale at Amazon. The Kindle edition is also available, and shipping instantly.

Our upcoming appearances (and check out the interactive map to our ongoing tour)…

July 12: Washington DC, Hill Center DC-Drummond Hall, Center for Inquiry, 2 pm (with Paulette Cooper)

July 14: Hartford, MARK TWAIN HOUSE (with Tom Tomorrow)

July 17: Denver, The Secular Hub, 7 pm (with Chris Shelton)

July 20: Dallas, Times Ten Cellar, 7 pm (with Robert Wilonsky)

July 22: Houston, Fox and Hound, 11470 Westheimer Road, sponsored by Humanists of Houston

July 24: San Antonio, Folc Restaurant/Park Social, 6 pm

July 25: Austin

July 29: Paris, Le Bistrot Landais, 19:00 (with Jonny Jacobsen)

August 4: London, Conway Hall, (with John Sweeney)

August 24: Boston, Boston Skeptics in the Pub, 7 pm (with Gregg Housh)

Sept 15: Arizona State University

Sept 23: Cleveland

Sept 24: Minneapolis

Sept 27: Portland

Sept 28: Seattle

Sept 30: Vancouver, BC


Posted by Tony Ortega on July 7, 2015 at 07:00

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

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

Our Guide to Alex Gibney’s film ‘Going Clear,’ and our pages about its principal figures…
Jason Beghe | Tom DeVocht | Sara Goldberg | Paul Haggis | Mark “Marty” Rathbun | Mike Rinder | Spanky Taylor | Hana Whitfield


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