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Scientology is hacked off that Luis Garcia and attorney will appear on ‘Leah Remini’

[The Garcias and their attorney, Ted Babbitt]

As we get closer to October 23, when Luis and Rocio Garcia are slated to start their experience as guinea pigs for Scientology’s never-before-attempted “internal arbitration” over their fraud claims, the Church of Scientology has responded to the Garcias’ latest motion for relief.

If you remember, we told you recently that the Garcias had asked Tampa Federal Judge James Whittemore to require the Scientology arbitrators he had personally selected to submit sworn statements that they had not violated his rules by running to the church to discuss the upcoming arbitration with them. The Garcias also wanted the judge to order that a court reporter record sessions of the arbitration, so that there will be a transcript for the judge to review later.

While we wait for the judge to rule on that motion, Scientology has submitted its response. And no surprise, the church wants the judge to deny those requests on “religious” grounds. Although the judge stepped in and selected the arbitrators, the church still insists that Judge Whittemore can’t interfere with the arbitration itself because to do so would violate Scientology’s First Amendment rights of religious expression.

A quick recap of this case, which we’ve been covering step by step for more than four years: In 2013, the Garcias filed their lawsuit, saying that of the more than $1 million they had given the church as members, more than $400,000 was obtained by the church fraudulently. The church argued, however, that in contracts the Garcias had signed as Scientologists, they had agreed to take all grievances to Scientology’s “internal arbitration.” Top former officials, including Mike Rinder, testified that there was no internal arbitration, and that the contracts had been purposely written to block members from getting their money back. But Judge Whittemore ruled that trying to determine if the arbitration rules were fair or not would take him into First Amendment matters, and he stayed the lawsuit and ordered the Garcias to submit to the church’s internal justice.

Two years of fighting over how to choose the arbitrators ensued, but then Whittemore took matters into his own hands and selected the arbitrators on his own, from a list of Los Angeles-area church members in good standing supplied by Scientology.

The Garcias are clearly unhappy that they have been unable to convince Judge Whittemore to reconsider his decision. But at least, they want a record of what happens so they can go back to the judge afterwards if what happens in the arbitration is unfair.

But Scientology is asking the judge to deny the request for a court reporter, as well as for the request to have the arbitrators submit sworn statements.

And then the church added something more, which you’ll see in their response, below: They’re not happy that the Garcias and their attorney, Ted Babbitt, will be appearing on an upcoming episode of A&E’s Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath.

…plaintiffs are engaged in a clear effort to unduly influence the arbitrators and interfere with the arbitration. Defendants have just been informed that the Garcias and their counsel, Mr. Babbitt, have been interviewed and will appear on a weekly sensationalistic anti-Scientology series entitled Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath on the A&E Network. The program stars Remini and Mike Rinder, whom the Court may recall served as a paid “consultant” to plaintiffs’ counsel and who also engaged previously in an effort to interfere with the appointment of arbitrators. According to a letter sent by Myles Reiff, the Executive Producer of the series, to the Church of Scientology International, the program will feature the very claims at issue in this case and the contemplated arbitration…

Well, sure, it’s not surprising that the church is unhappy about the Garcias hanging out with Leah Remini on national TV. But will the judge have an issue with it?

We really don’t know, but he needs to rule on this motion soon. October 23 and the start of arbitration is rapidly approaching.

 
Here’s the church’s response:

Garcia v. Scientology: Opposition to Misc Relief by Tony Ortega on Scribd

 
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Chris Shelton and Aaron Smith-Levin on the RPF’s demise

Our story about the demise of Scientology’s RPF, which we based on accounts from two recent defectors, really hit some Sea Org veterans pretty hard. Chris Shelton and Aaron Smith-Levin try to explain why the RPF going away seems too hard for them to accept, and along the way help us understand a lot of interesting things about the Sea Org experience.

 

 
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Getting your goat

There’s been some interesting expansion of Scientology discussion on Facebook recently, kicked up by Leah Remini’s show. One group in particular blew up to more than 10,000 members, and naturally a group that active has attracted the usual trolls.

In particular, we were amused to see Michel Snoeck get involved, the author of the Hubbard apologist site “Wise Old Goat,” which tries to snow readers about Scientology with incredibly favorable readings of all of its controversies. We decided to have a little fun with the Goat this morning when he tried to convince participants that Dianetics was actually a fine book and that there was “nothing particularly wrong” about it.

We pulled out a nasty passage on page 336 of the original edition for him to deal with. If you haven’t read the passage, it says, “The seven-year-old girl who shudders because a man kisses her is not computing; she is reacting to an engram since at seven she should see nothing wrong in a kiss, not even a passionate one. There must have been an earlier experience, possibly prenatal, which made men or kissing very bad.”

To any literate adult, that’s a pretty plain endorsement of pedophilia, and of blaming the victim for recoiling from molestation. But Snoeck’s reaction to it is pure Scientology. We thought you might want to see it.

 

 
Fun, isn’t it? As for that 1973 policy he kept asking us about, earlier he had made the old claim that L. Ron Hubbard canceled the “disconnection” policy in 1968, and that it was Miscavige who brought it back. What he’s referring to, however, was a 1968 statement that Hubbard made cancelling disconnection because it produces bad public relations. In fact, the policy never ended, as people who suffered disconnection in the 1970s can tell you.

And yes, in 1973, an HCOB — a red-on-white bulletin which is, in Scientology, sacred Hubbard scripture, did lay out that one way you can handle a “PTS” person is, and we quote: “C. Handling or disconnection.”

In fact, you can find that HCOB on Wise Old Goat’s own website.

These Hubbardites. So annoying.

 
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Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley has not seen his daughter Stephanie in 4,895 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 41 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 1,104 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 1,878 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 2,652 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 1,998 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 2,492 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 1,532 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 1,244 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 770 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 4,859 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 1,999 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 2,319 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 2,294 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 650 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 4,952 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 1,058 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis for 1,461 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 1,334 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 915 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 1,420 days.
Mary Jane Sterne has not seen her daughter Samantha in 1,664 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 12,773 days.

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3D-UnbreakablePosted by Tony Ortega on October 7, 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 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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