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Scientology files notice of appeal in time-wasting federal court attack on forced-abortion case

[Laura DeCrescenzo and Bert Deixler]

Well-regarded California attorney Bert Deixler has once again genuflected to his client, Church of Scientology leader David Miscavige, filing a notice of appeal after the church got roundly defeated in a calculated move to slow down a lawsuit that scares the bejeesus out of Miscavige.

We’re talking about the forced-abortion lawsuit filed nine years ago by former Scientology employee Laura DeCrescenzo who was but 12 years old when she indentured herself to the servitude known as the Sea Organization, which requires signing a billion-year contract and, in her case, working 90-hour weeks until she turned 13, when she was put on the 112-hour adult schedule.

When she was 17, she’s testified, she was coerced into having an abortion because that’s been Scientology policy since at least the 1970s, that its Sea Org women end their pregnancies so they can keep up the grueling schedule. The policy was supposedly ended in 2010, but we’ve seen some evidence that it’s still continuing today.

Bert Deixler, Scientology’s expensive legal hired gun, is trying everything he can to keep Laura from having her day in court, when her trial is finally scheduled to begin in August. In December, Deixler filed a long-shot lawsuit in federal court, trying to argue that a federal judge should step in and wipe out Laura’s state court lawsuit, even though Scientology has been litigating it there for years.

That federal judge, George Wu, saw through Scientology’s gambit, and he granted Laura’s motion to dismiss on May 3, with prejudice, preventing the church from refiling the case with some changed language. It was about as much a slam-dunk as Laura could hope for, and the way seemed clear for her state trial.


But now Deixler has filed a notice of appeal with the US Ninth Circuit, and we have no doubt it’s because Miscavige threw a temper tantrum and demanded that it be done, even with Judge Wu slamming their cynical ploy so hard.


The church will have to file a motion asking the appeals court to stay Laura’s state lawsuit while the appeal is heard. But our legal experts tell us this is unlikely to be granted.

Let us remind you once again that it was Deixler, bookstore owner, pillar of the community, who fought hard on behalf of the church when Laura won a court ruling ordering the church to turn over her private folders — her own files, mind you — and Deixler told both the California Supreme Court and the Supreme Court of the United States that what was in Laura’s folders was so “religious” in nature it would violate Scientology’s religious freedom rights to force the church to turn them over.

Well, both courts ignored that argument and Laura did finally get her folders, and they contained vile material showing how a church manipulated a 12-year-old girl who merely wanted to communicate with her own mother.

This is the “religious” content that Deixler didn’t want the world to see.

And now, he’s going to argue that a federal judge screwed up when he knocked down Scientology’s latest ploy to throw a road block in front of Laura — when, if there was any real justice in this country, the church should be sanctioned for all of the ways it’s trying to keep Laura from her day in court.

And not only that. We have another beef. Deixler has shamed himself time and again, but he’s just a hired gun working for a bad actor. What really puzzles us is this…

When the hell is the Los Angeles fricking Times going to start paying attention to this monumental court case in its own effing backyard?

The Times is going through a big transition right now, with a new owner who is moving the newsroom out of the city center itself. The Times will be undergoing something of an identity crisis. What better way to show its readers that it’s serious about local news than to get rid of its near-total aversion to Scientology stories and start digging into Laura’s case? Or another case we wish we could have explored further if we weren’t just one dude in New York with a laptop* — a Scientology front group’s felonious behavior that ruined the careers of three local African-American educators, a story the Times entirely, completely ignored? Or how about this — a Calabasas attorney writing on behalf of his Los Angeles client, the Church of Scientology, trying to derail a Los Angeles-based television show, Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath, by arguing that a 14-year-old girl was the sexual agressor in her rape by a Scientology employee, a document that we posted here at the Bunker and which has never been mentioned by any other news organization, despite the document being made fully available through our Scribd account? Or hey, the Times “Calendar” section pretends that it is an important voice in LA entertainment — when is it going to pay attention to LA-based rocker Cedric Bixler Zavala’s allegations that Scientology has been harassing him and his wife, Danny Masterson accuser Chrissie Bixler, including the shocking evidence that their goddamn dog was killed by being kicked in the neck by Scientology thugs? Or one of LA’s biggest mysteries — how Scientology leader David Miscavige is getting away with banishing his wife to a small compound in the mountains northeast of the city? You think the Times might spare a reporter or two to look into that little controversy, which is one of the things we get asked about most?

What the hell gives?

We’ll put it to you, our loyal readers: How can we get the Times to start giving a crap about some of the biggest stories in its own damn patch of earth?

*ps: For some reason Scientology thinks this admission — that the Bunker is put out by a single person on a laptop computer — is somehow a slam on us. We’ll just remind the church that this modest website gets more traffic (ranked #23,057 in the US on Alexa) than the church’s official website (, which is at #31,688). And that’s even after two solid months of a 24/7 Scientology television station on DirecTV trying to get people to visit the damn thing. So there.


Bonus items from our tipsters

The London org gets a bit fresh with Jessica Chastain…



Make your plans now!


Wow, we’re now less than two months out, and Chee Chalker is working hard to make sure things are going to run smoothly at this year’s HowdyCon in Chicago, June 21-23. As in past years, we’re looking forward to meeting readers of the Bunker, culminating in Saturday night’s main event.

The biggest difference this year is that our Saturday night event is separate from that evening’s dinner. Chee is setting up an inexpensive pizza dinner that you don’t need to pay for ahead of time, after which we’ll walk over to the theater where our event, hosted by Chicago Fire star Christian Stolte, will take place. Because it’s a separate event, we’re asking that you pay $10 each to get into the Saturday night event, which will help us recoup what the Bunker paid for the venue. (We have never made a penny on our HowdyCon meetups, we only try to break even.)

Please email your proprietor (tonyo94 AT gmail) in order to reserve your spot for Saturday night’s main event. Seating is limited, and we’re going to have some really interesting people on stage and they may make a few announcements that you don’t want to miss.



Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley has not seen his daughter Stephanie in 5,115 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 1,718 days
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 261 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 149 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 1,324 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 2,098 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 2,872 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 2,218 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 10,784 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 2,452 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 2,712 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 1,752 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 1,464 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 990 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 5,079 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 2,219 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 2,539 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 2,514 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 870 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 5,172 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 1,278 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 1,681 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 1,553 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 1,135 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 1,640 days.
Mary Jane Sterne has not seen her daughter Samantha in 1,884 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 12,993 days.


3D-UnbreakablePosted by Tony Ortega on May 15, 2018 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, 1995-2017 Just starting out here? We’ve picked out the most important stories we’ve covered here at the Undergound Bunker (2012-2017), 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 | 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 non-Scientology stories: Robert Burnham Jr., the man who inscribed the universe | Notorious alt-right inspiration Kevin MacDonald and his theories about Jewish DNA | The selling of the “Phoenix Lights” | Astronomer Harlow Shapley‘s FBI file | Sex, spies, and local TV news


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