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Scientology leader David Miscavige will not testify in forced-abortion trial

[Laura DeCrescenzo and David Miscavige]

We have some updates for you from Laura DeCrescenzo’s forced-abortion case as it rapidly approaches its August 13 trial date.

A week ago, we told you that Scientology’s attorneys were scrambling to deal with a last-minute surprise from Laura’s legal team — she had filed a “notice to appear” requiring church leader David Miscavige to testify in the trial, which will consider her allegations of abuse as a child working for the church’s “Sea Organization.”

Scientology’s lawyers filed a motion to quash that subpoena, and asked Judge Mark Mooney to expedite his handling of it. The judge set a hearing date of Monday to make a decision about whether Miscavige would have to show up for the trial.

We have now learned that during that hearing on Friday, the attorney for the Religious Technology Center — the nominally controlling entity of Scientology as a whole — told the judge in open court that a mediation hearing on the case would be going on the next day.

We don’t know the result of that Saturday mediation hearing. However, we did learn that earlier today the Church of Scientology International dismissed its Ninth Circuit appeal on a federal lawsuit it had filed against Laura in one of its final gambits to try and delay her trial.


Also today, Laura’s attorneys withdrew the notice to appear that would have required Miscavige to testify in the trial. As a result, the Monday hearing to quash that subpoena won’t be held.

We called Laura’s attorney, John Blumberg, asking him what we should conclude from these changes, and he responded that he was unable to comment on the developments.

Even without Miscavige’s participation, the trial should be an ugly mess for Scientology, as attorney Scott Pilutik explained last week. “For Scientology, goal number one has always been to prevent any trial where the types of grisly abuses alleged by Laura are made public,” he told us.

So, here’s what we know. After a mediation hearing, both sides have now given up something going into the trial. Scientology’s Ninth Circuit appeal was a longshot attempt to overturn the dismissal of a longshot federal lawsuit it filed in December, hoping to convince the federal courts to kill Laura’s state court action. But even though the federal lawsuit seemed like a Hail Mary pass, if the appeal somehow succeeded, it would make her state lawsuit moot. So getting that dropped is one less headache for Laura.

And is she giving up a lot by letting Miscavige off the hook? A significant increase in media attention occurred in the last 24 hours over the prospect of Miscavige trying to get out of the case — imagine the press feeding frenzy if he’d actually been compelled to testify. So yes, this does seem like a pretty big chip to lose.

But either way, Scientology is still facing a major headache with the trial just a little more than three weeks away. Expect more fireworks as it nears.


Peter Nyiri on life under David Miscavige

Jeffrey Augustine continues his conversation with recent Scientology defector Peter Nyiri. In this episode, says Jeff:

“Peter Niyri discusses the ways David Miscavige and the RTC Rep Network issues orders concerning the day-to-day operations of the Church of Scientology International. This directly contravenes what Miscavige’s attorneys told a Texas court when they claimed Miscavige had nothing to do with managing the daily affairs of CSI. There are no checks and balances in the Church of Scientology as it told the IRS in its 1992 1023 application for 501(c)3 tax exemption. Peter also describes the extremely poor quality — literally nonexistent at times — of medical care in the Sea Org. Peter then switches topics to the release of the Basics in 2007 when the focus in Scientology was selling Basics libraries. He and his fellow Sea Org members worked from 9:15 AM to 5:00 AM — an 18 workday. This was done seven days a week for six months.”




Well, we should have done this a long time ago. We’ve created a Facebook Group for the Underground Bunker and its community, where you can spend even more time discussing Scientology news like today’s court development. It should be a lot of fun, or maybe it will be a big headache, or maybe Facebook itself will collapse in a grand conflagration of regrets and recriminations. Who can tell!

Let’s give it a try and see how it develops.


Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley has not seen his daughter Stephanie in 5,181 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 1,784 days
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 327 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 215 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 1,390 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 2,164 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 2,938 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 2,284 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 10,850 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 2,518 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 2,778 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 1,818 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 1,530 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,056 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 5,145 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 2,285 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 2,605 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 2,580 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 936 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 5,238 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 1,344 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 1,747 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 1,619 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 1,201 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 1,706 days.
Mary Jane Sterne has not seen her daughter Samantha in 1,950 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,059 days.


3D-UnbreakablePosted by Tony Ortega on July 19, 2018 at 19:30

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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