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Monique Rathbun is on the clock at the Texas Supreme Court, and more in our legal roundup

TXSupremeCourt

 
A sharp-eyed observer pointed out to us that the Texas Supreme Court’s docket posted a countdown date for Monique Rathbun to file a response to the Church of Scientology’s petition in her harassment lawsuit. That date is set for March 21.

We asked commenter TX Lawyer about that, and he explained that it’s an automatic date set after Scientology filed its petition. Monique can file a response by that date, or, if she doesn’t, then the court will decide if it wants her to file one and will formally ask her to. Or, he says, in some cases a party will waive the right to file a response if they feel the appellant has such a weak argument the court is not likely to take up the case for consideration.

On Saturday, TX Lawyer told us that he does think the court will find Monique’s lawsuit and Scientology’s appeal interesting, and will likely want her to file a response. So, for now she’s on the clock, but she might wait it out and be asked to submit one.

 

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In other Scientology legal news, we’re still waiting to see Laura DeCrescenzo’s newest brief in her forced-abortion lawsuit against Scientology, but in the meantime we got some surprising news in the case.

Once again, the nearly seven-year-old lawsuit has a new judge.

The case had already been delayed and then delayed again because its original judge, Ronald Sohigian, had retired. After several changes, the case eventually landed in the court of Judge Rolf Treu, who put off a scheduled hearing in November for Scientology’s newest motion for summary judgment. He asked for new briefs from both sides and then rescheduled the hearing for March 7. (It seemed somewhat obvious to us that Treu had simply panicked when he realized how complex the case was, and bought himself some more time to get up to speed on it.)

And now, in the middle of that round of briefing, Treu has been moved to another division, and the case has been handed to Los Angeles Superior Court Judge John P. Doyle.

For now, we’ve been told that the March 7 date for Scientology’s motion for summary judgment is not moving. And we hope that’s true. We also hope that Judge Doyle takes this case more seriously than his predecessor and is ready to go on that date.

 
An attorney who has litigation against the church mentioned to us casually one day that the lawsuit that really has the potential to cost Scientology dearly is the NAFC’s case regarding its trademarks.

We haven’t written about that case in a long time, even though there have been some developments in it that we’ve been meaning to bring you up to date on. Like, for example, that David Miscavige managed to slip out of it, but that he might be coming back in.

You may remember the lawsuit, brought by the National Association of Forensic Counselors, and specifically its president, Karla Taylor. We first made her acquaintance after former Narconon executives Lucas Catton and Eric Tenorio came forward, making accusations about the way Narconons are run, which got them featured on a segment of NBC’s now-cancelled news program, Rock Center. What really shocked Taylor were allegations by Tenorio that Narconon officials had come by their NAFC addiction counseling certifications by fraudulent means. And once Taylor began to look into those allegations, she was stunned to see how much Narconon used the NAFC’s logo and certifications in ways that were misleading or against NAFC rules.

She sued the Church of Scientology, its leader David Miscavige, and 80 other defendants for misusing NAFC’s trademarks. She was appalled, her attorney David Keesling tells us, with the thought that any families sent their loved ones to Narconon based on the idea that the NAFC had certified the program as legitimate and safe.

David Miscavige managed to extricate himself from the suit on a jurisdictional technicality. Taylor and the NAFC are in Indiana, Miscavige is based in California, but Keesling had filed the federal lawsuit in Oklahoma, where many of the defendants are located, as well as Narconon’s flagship facility, Narconon Arrowhead. Miscavige successfully argued that he shouldn’t be part of an Oklahoma suit brought by an Indiana company. So Keesling tells us that Taylor has another month to refile against the church leader, and she plans to do so in Indiana, where the NAFC is located.

And the lawsuit reached another landmark recently when Oklahoma federal Judge Ronald A. White issued an order scheduling a trial in the case, for October 4.

On Monday, Keesling tells us, the case goes to mediation, to see if a settlement can be worked out so the trial isn’t needed. We’ll continue to keep an eye on this one.

 
And one of our legal helpers recently pointed out that all but five of Ryan Hamilton’s federal lawsuits against Scientology’s various Narconon facilities have now been settled. We had a lot of fun through 2014 watching Hamilton rack up 29 different lawsuits against the drug rehab system as he pried interesting evidence out of Scientology, and honed his legal complaints in ways that were brash and clever.

But then, his attempt to consolidate all of his lawsuits — and the many similar suits by other attorneys around the country — into one giant Narconon case was struck down by a federal court. That made things a lot more inconvenient for an attorney trying to juggle cases in six different states all at the same time.

Since then, the lawsuits have been going away. We would wager that substantial checks are being written by the various Scientology-related entities involved, but these things tend to be wrapped up without public disclosure of the terms.

Whatever Hamilton managed to get for his clients, there’s no question that Narconon, and Scientology, have never been the same as Miscavige has moved away from the big Arrowhead model to small boutique clinics that are more about PR than fighting a societal problem with addiction.

We’ll have more from the Narconon litigation brought by other attorneys soon.

 
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ONRClogoRoss & Carrie investigate Scientology, episode two

We want to thank the reader who sent in this summary of the second episode of the “Oh No, Ross and Carrie” podcast’s infiltration of Scientology…

Ross and Carrie have a good time of it here, laughing hilariously several times at the silliness of what they learned and experienced. The “student hat” course, which they still can’t figure the meaning of, is one of those catch-phrases we are all familiar with that gets you giggling and can’t stop. They had far too many M/Us to be serious Scientologists!

In the course he took and the videos he saw, Ross learned some new vocabulary like “stable datum,” “knowingness,” “anatomy,” and what a “confusion” is. Don’t forget that “Start, Change, Stop” is the anatomy of the control of life, and “Creation, Survival, Destruction” is the cycle of action of life.

The second video he saw was about “Extroversion” and “Introversion,” and being exhausted not for the lack of sleep but instead because you were too introverted. Thus taking a walk — described in the hilariously called “Take a Walk” process — can cure you of your exhaustion.

Later on Ross noted that his handler, “Ben,” (all names are changed from original) looked red-eyed, and Ross couldn’t help but notice that he and his staff were all there no matter the day or evening hours he showed up. Even the same staff there when he left on Sunday were there the next morning on Monday. As for “Ben” it didn’t look like he was walking off his lack of sleep.

Ross finally got his Certificate of Completion from the “Minister of Validity,” but they spelled his name wrong. Not only did “Ben” not take the old cert back, but instead told him a new one would be made up the next time they saw him. Ross seemed a bit shocked by that. Why not take back the mistaken one now?

Ross and Carrie were invited to the New Year’s Celebration. Ross couldn’t go but Carrie decided she would, but only if she could bring her BF, Drew, to the event. She asked what to wear and they, or Roger or someone, told her not to be too dressed up but some would be wearing suits. So she decided work attire would be appropriate.

As they walked in they found out everyone was dressed up in fancy ballroom dresses and the men in black-ties. They were all under-dressed. Perhaps that was a plan of the Scientologists to make them stand out? All in all about 10 people were there who were obviously not Scientologists, and they all kind of understood each other: get me out of here!

The best part was when Carrie and her BF were sent to the wrong place. They found themselves in a Sea Org meeting! And it’s exactly as we suspected it would be: The SO workers were sent there to fill in empty seats to make the place look more full. Carrie also mentioned the only 1/3 of the seats in the Shrine’s balcony were filled.

As for the event, Carrie said that David Miscavige gave a robotic talk on the successes of Scientology for two hours, and he kept mispronouncing “dyslexic” as “dyslectic.” Poor DM, of all the words to get wrong…

The standing ovations were over the top. In a three-hour event, she counted 27 ovations. Ross calculated that to be about one every six and two-thirds minutes. For Carrie the kicker was when they gave a standing ovation for a WISE outfit that makes banjos. She couldn’t get enough of the Banjo ovation,

One of the great stats of the evening, she said, was how GAT II was creating Clears ever so fast now and people can go Clear in as little as two, and maybe one year. What saddened them was their handler “Roger” was in for a long time, they think over 15-20 years, and he just went Clear. Also “Ben” has been in for some 28 years and he hasn’t gone Clear yet. They also are aware, thanks to so many people out there with websites, that being Clear means you are certain of something or another, that you are certain you are Clear. It was confusing.

 
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Bonus photos from our tipsters

Yesterday, Mexico. Today, Taiwan. Hey, Narconon, this is really not a good look. What gives?

 
NarcononTaiwan5

 
Hey, Arte Maren, did you share any stories about targeting Paulette Cooper with your new friends on the Freewinds?

 
ArteMarenFreewinds

 
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3D-UnbreakablePosted by Tony Ortega on February 24, 2016 at 07:00

E-mail tips and story ideas to tonyo94 AT gmail DOT com or follow us on Twitter. We post behind-the-scenes updates at our Facebook author page. After every new story we send out an alert to our e-mail list and our FB page.

Our book, The Unbreakable Miss Lovely: How the Church of Scientology tried to destroy Paulette Cooper, is on sale at Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions. We’ve posted photographs of Paulette and scenes from her life at a separate location. Reader Sookie put together a complete index. More information about the book, and our 2015 book tour, can also be found at the book’s dedicated 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 L.A. 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

Other links: Shelly Miscavige, ten years gone | The Lisa McPherson story told in real time | The Cathriona White stories | The Leah Remini ‘Knowledge Reports’ | Hear audio of a Scientology excommunication | Scientology’s little day care of horrors | Whatever happened to Steve Fishman? | Felony charges for Scientology’s drug rehab scam | Why Scientology digs bomb-proof vaults in the desert | 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 | Scientology boasts about assistance from Google | 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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