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Judge Whittemore puts his foot down: Scientology, cough up those phone numbers!

It didn’t take Tampa federal Judge James Whittemore very long to issue a new order after Scientology essentially thumbed its nose at his previous one, and wow, does he appear steamed.

In the new order, which we have for you below, the judge has given the Church of Scientology just ten days to fork over the telephone numbers and occupations left off of a list of 500 names the church had previously submitted under seal, which supposedly represent 500 Los Angeles-area church members in good standing.

In his previous order, Judge Whittemore gave Scientology 15 days to turn over the names, along with telephone numbers, occupations, and indications of which of them were church employees. Whittemore intends to randomly contact Scientologists on the list until he can find three who are willing to serve as arbitrators to hear grievances from a California couple, Luis and Rocio Garcia.

The Garcias filed their fraud lawsuit against the church in 2013, but two years later Whittemore decided that the Garcias were bound to follow contracts they had signed as church members which required them to take their grievances to Scientology’s internal arbitration scheme (a scheme which, former top church officials testified, didn’t actually exist; they claimed that the contracts were shams intended to keep Scientologists from getting refunds).


After Whittemore stayed the lawsuit and ordered the Garcias to submit to the church’s arbitration scheme, the two sides clashed over how to find arbitrators, which the church insisted had to be members in good standing. After two years of bickering, Whittemore was fed up and asked Scientology’s attorneys to submit an application so he could legally step in.

But after Whittemore asked for the list of names, Scientology submitted a list without telephone numbers, and also asked the judge to choose just one arbitrator on behalf of the Garcias — the church still wanted to pick its own arbitrator (and the first two panelists would select the third). The Garcias countered that this was unfair, and reminded the judge that he wasn’t getting what he asked for.

So the judge has now issued a very brief order reiterating that Scientology must turn over the contact information to go along with the 500 names so that he can select all three panelists.

Former church officials have told us that an outsider like a federal judge cold-calling Scientologists has disaster written all over it, and they say the church will find it extremely difficult to comply with this order. We can hardly wait to see if they do.



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Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley has not seen his daughter Stephanie in 4,738 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 1,841 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 2,335 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 1,375 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy in 1,087 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 613 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 4,702 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 1,842 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 2,162 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 2,137 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 493 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin in 4,795 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 902 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis for 1,304 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 1,177 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 758 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike in 1,263 days.
Mary Jane Sterne has not seen her daughter Samantha in 1,507 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 12,616 days.


3D-UnbreakablePosted by Tony Ortega on May 2, 2017 at 13:00

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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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