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Scientology’s next move in forced-abortion lawsuit: Deposing defectors

[Claire and Marc Headley, Astra Woodcraft, Nora Crest]

We finally have an update for you on Laura DeCrescenzo’s forced-abortion lawsuit against the Church of Scientology, which is nearing eight years since she filed it in 2009.

In September, Scientology lost an appeal to the California State Supreme Court, which affirmed the trial court’s decision to deny Scientology’s second motion for summary judgment in the lawsuit. This cleared the way to a trial, but it still looks like it’s going to be a long time before Laura gets her day in court.

No trial date has been set, but discovery is proceeding, and we’ve learned that Scientology’s next move is to pull in several familiar names for depositions in March.

We confirmed with Marc and Claire Headley, Astra Woodcraft, and Nora Crest that they have all been notified that Scientology is pulling them in for depositions that will take place in Los Angeles.

It might not surprise you to hear that they are not thrilled about it.


“They’re just fishing for information. And they’re trying to get as much current information on us as possible, and they’re just using up more time and expenses,” Claire Headley tells us.

Claire did know Laura while they were both in the Sea Org, but she says she really doesn’t know anything that is pertinent to the lawsuit. “I knew of her and I’d seen her a few times. But I can’t really remember a conversation I’d had with her. We worked at completely different locations.” Questioning her won’t shed any light on Laura’s case, she says. “Not to mention I gave four days of depositions over a two year period in our own lawsuit all about abortions. I’ve already told them everything.”

She says she’s asked that Marc be left out of the grueling days of questioning, but so far it looks like he’s going to be pulled in as well.

“Why would they have such a hard-on to depose Marc in Laura’s case? He absolutely did not know her there. It makes no sense,” she says.

Marc tells us he thinks he’s going to be pulled in simply because Scientology can’t miss an opportunity to question him. “Every time this has happened, they never ask me about the case, it’s always just about gathering intel,” Marc says. “They just want to know who I’ve been talking to, emailing, whatever new stuff they can dig up to add to their hate websites and Twitter accounts.”

Astra Woodcraft says that she did work with Laura at the Hollywood Guaranty Building while they were both in the Sea Org.

Nora said she wasn’t looking forward to being questioned, but she did spend considerable time working with Laura.

“I worked with her directly for almost the whole time I was on the RPF. Both of us ended up on the RPF’s RPF a couple of times together,” Nora says, referring to the Sea Org’s prison detail, the Rehabilitation Project Force. “So for almost the whole two and three-quarter years I was there we worked together in some capacity.”

Nora described a hellish existence on the RPF’s RPF, the lowest a Sea Org member can go without being “offloaded” and kicked out. Nora drank bleach in a suicide attempt and was then offloaded and out of the Sea Org. Laura herself did the same thing not long after.

Now, Nora will have to relive all that while being roughly questioned by Scientology’s attorneys as the Los Angeles Superior Court continues to put off Laura’s trial date.


Getting Sirius about Scientology

We had some fun yesterday on the Jim Norton and Sam Roberts show on SiriusXM. Our portion starts about the 57-minute mark. After our portion, the crew had on Bob Odenkirk — hey, and we got to meet him as he was going in. What a pleasure.


HowdyCon 2017: Denver, June 23-25. Go here to start making your plans.


Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley has not seen his daughter Stephanie in 4,666 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 2,263 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 1,303 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy in 1,015 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 482 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 4,600 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 1,770 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 2,090 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 2,065 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 421 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin in 4,723 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 830 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis for 1,232 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 1,105 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 686 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike in 1,191 days.
Mary Jane Sterne has not seen her daughter Samantha in 1,435 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 12,544 days.


3D-UnbreakablePosted by Tony Ortega on February 17, 2017 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, Kindle, and audiobook versions. 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.

The Best of the Underground Bunker, 1995-2016 Just starting out here? We’ve picked out the most important stories we’ve covered here at the Undergound Bunker (2012-2016), The Village Voice (2008-2012), New Times Los Angeles (1999-2002) and the Phoenix New Times (1995-1999)

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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