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Scientology will try to force Danny Masterson accusers into its internal ‘arbitration’

[Plaintiffs: Cedric Bixler-Zavala and Chrissie Carnell Bixler]

The Church of Scientology has notified three women, each of them former Scientologists who say they were raped by Scientologist actor Danny Masterson and have sued the actor and the church, that it plans to derail their lawsuit and force them into Scientology’s brand of internal arbitration, citing contracts they signed as members years and even decades ago.

The three women who are former Scientologists — Chrissie Carnell Bixler and two women we refer to as Victim B and Victim C — filed their lawsuit in August. A fourth woman, Bobette Riales, who was never a Scientologist, joined them as a plaintiff, and Bixler’s husband, rocker Cedric Bixler-Zavala, who is a former Scientologist, is also suing over the harassment he says the couple has experienced since Chrissie came forward with her allegations. The lawsuit targets Masterson for alleged rapes that occurred between 2001 and 2004, and it also names the Church of Scientology and its leader David Miscavige for the harassment campaign that allegedly happened more recently.

Scientology’s initial response to the lawsuit was to move to quash it and seek sanctions, saying the attempt to serve the defendants was “fraudulent.” Those motions are scheduled to be heard on February 4.

In the meantime, Scientology’s attorneys have indicated that they plan to file additional motions to force the three women who were former Scientologists into the church’s “internal arbitration,” saying that as members of the organization they signed contracts promising never to sue the church.

Scientology successfully pulled this maneuver in a 2013 lawsuit filed by former Scientologist donors Luis and Rocio Garcia, who alleged that they had been lied to and defrauded when they were asked to donate large sums as church members. Scientology admitted that it had never, in its 60-year history, held an internal arbitration, and top former Scientology officials testified that the contracts with the arbitration provisions were shams intended to keep Scientologists from getting refunds. But Tampa federal Judge James D. Whittemore, saying that Scientology’s First Amendment religious rights kept him from examining Scientology’s internal justice rules, stayed the lawsuit and ordered the Garcias to go through the arbitration, which the Garcias said was a kangaroo court. They are now appealing Whittemore’s ruling, hoping to get their lawsuit reinstated.

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Scientology’s victory in a financial dispute like the Garcia case is one thing, but now it has indicated that it wants to do the same in a lawsuit brought by rape victims.

“It is unconscionable but completely predictable that Scientology would try to prevent women who have been raped from getting their day in court on a technicality,” says Mike Rinder, a top former Scientology official who testified in the Garcia case that the contracts Scientologists sign are shams. “The claims of these women have nothing to do with them participating in Scientology services. It would be like signing a release of claims agreeing not to sue a car dealership when they sold you a car. They then beat you up in the parking lot and steal your wallet and assert you are prevented from suing because you waived your rights. And you have to go to ‘arbitration’ in front of their Uncle Al and Cousin Vinnie.”

 

[Leah Remini: ‘It’s bullshit and I’m tired of it.’]

“I don’t understand how Scientology is even suggesting this,” Leah Remini tells us. The former Scientologist celebrity and King of Queens actress wrapped up the third and final season of her A&E series, Scientology and the Aftermath, when she featured Chrissie Carnell Bixler and her allegations about Danny Masterson in the series finale in August. “Scientology is again using the courts to tie up litigation with bullshit and nonsense in order to prevent their criminal activities from being revealed. And they’re obstructing justice once again. This is the purpose of Scientology’s ‘Fair Game’ policy, to obstruct justice, to waste the court’s time, and to further victimize the victims of Scientology. It’s bullshit and I’m tired of it.”

In their 2013 lawsuit, the Garcias alleged that Scientology had committed fraud when it lied to them in order to get them to turn over large sums; they asserted that their lawsuit was about criminal behavior, and that it had nothing to do with Scientology’s status as a church or its religious rights. But Judge Whittemore ruled that the contracts they signed were religious in nature, and so the court had no right to examine Scientology’s internal rules.

“After every service you do in Scientology, you’re forced to sign these documents, and you’re not allowed to have those documents looked at,” Leah Remini explains. “It’s just a standard release, we’re told.”

Leah says that at one point, she refused to sign the documents, saying that her attorney didn’t want her to sign anything without him looking at it. “They said, are you threatening to sue the church? As a Scientologist, of course you will say you’d never sue. But they won’t let you take those documents away, you can’t even have copies of them. But once you step outside the church, of course you no longer agree with their policies. But again, you aren’t allowed to look at the documents you signed.”

“This is very standard practice,” Rinder says. “These contracts are oppressive, one-sided and I believe unenforceable, but Judge Whittemore seems to differ in that opinion. Scientologists sign them as a condition of being allowed to participate in any service. They are signed before they can begin but after they have paid. They are presented as a ‘formality’ and at the time they sign them no Scientologist believes they will ever come into effect. They are treated as one more step of a ‘routing form’ that has to be navigated in order to get onto service.

“These contracts are completely one-sided. The people who sign them do not have lawyers present nor are they even able to have a lawyer review the contracts,” Rinder adds. “If someone was so bold as to say they were not going to sign it until their lawyer had looked at it, they would be considered ineligible to take the service. They would be labeled a ‘trouble source’ — PTS — and by the ‘tech’ could not take the service. These contracts give up all rights, including the right to sue and submit instead to Scientology arbitration. They also waive your rights to your PC folders. And much more. Even worse, the money flows the wrong way. Usually consideration — money — flows to the person giving something up as compensation for doing so. Scientology takes your money and takes your rights. Heads we win, tails you lose.”

And to be clear, Scientology is not trying to force these litigants into independent arbitration, where the outcome might possibly favor the ex-church members. Scientology claims its contracts are religious in nature and that the courts can’t interfere as it forces ex-members to seek justice in Scientology’s own brand of “arbitration.”

“Arbitration clauses are not intended to allow the unscrupulous to get away with criminal acts. The theory behind arbitration is it lightens the burden of the court system,” Rinder says. “I am not even getting into the issue of whether the so-called ‘Scientology arbitration’ could qualify to be categorized as ‘arbitration.’ It does not. It is a sham star chamber hiding behind a smokescreen of made up religious mumbo-jumbo designed to scare courts into staying out of their business.”

In Scientology’s brand of arbitration, a panel of three Scientologists in good standing hear the grievances of former members, who are considered “suppressive persons,” enemies of the organization.

“I hope the judge in this new lawsuit sees right through this blatant attempt to bullshit the court system into giving Scientology a free rein to abuse,” Rinder says.

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“‘The purpose of the suit is to harass and discourage rather than to win.’ That’s what L. Ron Hubbard said. That’s the policy. Everything Scientology does is outrageous. It was outrageous when they forced the Garcias into arbitration to set up this precedent. It was the only time in history that Scientology had done an arbitration,” Remini says, citing a 1955 policy created by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard.

The rest of that 1955 policy states, “The law can be used very easily to harass, and enough harassment on somebody who is simply on the thin edge anyway, well knowing that he is not authorized, will generally be sufficient to cause professional decease. If possible, of course, ruin him utterly.”

Now, we’re seeing Scientology use that strategy against three women who say they were raped and then subjected to harassment for daring to come forward with their allegations.

Will Scientology be able to silence them by citing contracts they signed years ago, promising not to sue?

 
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Leaked document of the day

From the FBI documents release comes this item.

What a poignant little gem this is. When the FBI put on what was the largest raid in its history on July 8, 1977, swarming into two Scientology locations in Los Angeles, it set up a staging area nearby, behind a bowling alley.

And it wasn’t just any bowling alley, it was Hollywood Star Lanes on Santa Monica Boulevard, a local landmark that existed from 1960 to 2002. And yes, you know it. Because it was where ‘The Big Lebowski’ was filmed…

 

 
And here’s the FBI letter thanking the Lanes for letting it set up its big raid on Scientology in the parking lot.

 

 
——————–

Source Code

“As long as religion brings solace to man in any way, shape or form, as long as churches stand in any way for the spiritual freedom of man, psychiatry will not really be able to progress, whatever its end goals are. Therefore, our rebuttal to any such attack is that psychiatry should not be permitted to wipe out a small church and then go on to a bigger church and then go on to a bigger church, and so take it all over. And also that the Minister of Health, as we have just told the press, has no right whatsoever to comment upon religious beliefs or practices. And in addition to that, that they are telling us that we must not do something we are not doing. Now, this is the yickle-yackle that appears in the world. The public at large is in actual fact getting ready to turn. Much of it has already turned. They see something very rotten in this idea of attacking Scientology. They are sick of this, see, because it’s gone on too long. And we hear cross comments of this particular character here and there. And they’ve gone too far and they’ve said too much! And they are now talking to a hostile public on the subject. It’s up to us to make sure that this is the downfall of all suppressive practices in that line.” — L. Ron Hubbard, December 13, 1966

 
——————–

Overheard in the FreeZone

“The last 20 years under DM particularily, has been devastating….It’s my belief that a real program aimed at recovering every single Clear and OT ever made, along with a generous Amnesty, wherein they were met with 100 percent standard, Ethics officers, CSing, Auditors and Admin Terminals would create the greatest renessance in the history of the subject. The result would boom orgs and the inflow of new (FSMed) public in ways never, ever seen, not even in the haydays of Scientology.”

 
——————–

Random Howdy

“Future membership growth for the Church of Scientology has been effectively terminated by the Internet and Anonymous and the old guard critics. Its name is MUD. It’s definitely headed for Shakerdom and that was the original goal. As far as bringing DM to justice and the government doing anything about that, I wouldn’t hold my breath.”

 
——————–

Scientology’s celebrities, ‘Ideal Orgs,’ and more!

[Kelly Preston, Jason Dohring, and Anne Archer]

We’ve been building landing pages about David Miscavige’s favorite playthings, including celebrities and ‘Ideal Orgs,’ and we’re hoping you’ll join in and help us gather as much information as we can about them. Head on over and help us with links and photos and comments.

Scientology’s celebrities, from A to Z! Find your favorite Hubbardite celeb at this index page — or suggest someone to add to the list!

Scientology’s ‘Ideal Orgs,’ from one end of the planet to the other! Help us build up pages about each these worldwide locations!

Scientology’s sneaky front groups, spreading the good news about L. Ron Hubbard while pretending to benefit society!

Scientology Lit: Books reviewed or excerpted in our weekly series. How many have you read?

 
——————–

THE WHOLE TRACK

[ONE year ago] Scientology reveals it has a secret donor with an NFL connection giving millions
[TWO years ago] Defeated in court, L. Ron Hubbard’s son boasted about spreading lies in new FBI document
[THREE years ago] Tonight on ‘Scientology and the Aftermath’: When the fraud & abuse becomes overwhelming
[FOUR years ago] Scientology’s latest filing in the Trout Run zoning fight: We bleed for all religions
[FIVE years ago] Jonny Jacobsen: New Scientology legal setbacks in Belgium, France, and Holland
[SIX years ago] TEXAS JUDGE ORDERS DEPOSITION OF SCIENTOLOGY LEADER DAVID MISCAVIGE
[SEVEN years ago] HOMELAND SECURITY INVESTIGATING SCIENTOLOGY FOR HUMAN TRAFFICKING

 
——————–

Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley has not seen his daughter Stephanie in 5,657 days.
Valerie Haney has not seen her mother Lynne in 1,786 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,290 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 1,810 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 830 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 721 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 4,028 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 1,896 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 2,670 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 3,444 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 2,790 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 11,356 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,275 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 3,443 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 3,024 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,285 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 2,323 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 2,036 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,561 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 1,088 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 5,651 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 2,791 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 3,111 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 7,967 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 3,086 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,441 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 5,744 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 1,850 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,252 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 2,124 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 1,707 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 2,202 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,456 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,565 days.

——————–

Posted by Tony Ortega on December 13, 2019 at 07:00

E-mail tips to tonyo94 AT gmail DOT com or follow us on Twitter. We also post 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 new book with Paulette Cooper, Battlefield Scientology: Exposing L. Ron Hubbard’s dangerous ‘religion’ is now on sale at Amazon in paperback and Kindle formats. Our book about Paulette, 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, 1995-2018 Just starting out here? We’ve picked out the most important stories we’ve covered here at the Underground Bunker (2012-2018), The Village Voice (2008-2012), New Times Los Angeles (1999-2002) and the Phoenix New Times (1995-1999)

Other links: BLOGGING DIANETICS: Reading Scientology’s founding text cover to cover | 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 | Shelly Miscavige, 14 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

Watch our short videos that explain Scientology’s controversies in three minutes or less…

Check your whale level at our dedicated page for status updates, or join us at the Underground Bunker’s Facebook discussion group for more frivolity.

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 | Battling Babe-Hounds: Ross Jeffries v. R. Don Steele

 

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