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Scientology tries to keep high-profile Philly attorneys out of Danny Masterson lawsuit

[Can attorney Brian Kent, right, get into court to take on Miscavige and Masterson?]

Oh, you had to know this was coming.

A series of very important hearings is coming up in the lawsuit filed by four women who accuse Scientologist actor Danny Masterson of raping them. They’re suing Masterson, the Church of Scientology, and its leader David Miscavige for retaliating against them in an alleged harassment campaign after they came forward to the Los Angeles Police Department a few years ago.

In those upcoming hearings, scheduled for March 11, March 20, and March 27, the court will be dealing with, respectively, 1) Scientology’s gripes about the way it was served the lawsuit, 2) “demurrers” (a kind of legal response) from Masterson seeking to dismiss him from the case and from the church in regards to one of the women suing them, and then 3) Scientology’s attempt to have the lawsuit forced into “religious arbitration” for the other plaintiffs.

That’s a lot of big battles coming up in a short amount of time, but at least one other event that is scheduled for March 11 you might expect would proceed routinely and wouldn’t generate much fuss. We’re talking about the application to be admitted to the case by a slate of high-profile out-of-state attorneys who rounded up these lawsuits in a coordinated assault on the Church of Scientology.

When the first of the lawsuits was filed last June on behalf of Leah Remini’s assistant Valerie Haney, the lawyers put out a press release announcing that the lawsuit (which initially listed Haney as “Jane Doe”) was just the first to come in a major legal strategy to bring Scientology to justice…

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Attorneys representing Jane Doe filed the first of multiple lawsuits to hold the Church of Scientology accountable for its extensive history of alleged abuse including its “Fair Game” policy that demands members destroy, by any means necessary, anyone who speaks out against the abuses committed within the Church.

And not only was this a coordinated effort, but it was put together by a formidable team of legal talent…

Doe is represented by victims’ attorneys (who have represented victims of abuse within Penn State University, the Catholic Church, the Jehovah’s Witnesses, and others) including Philadelphia attorneys Brian Kent, Gaetano D’Andrea, Stewart Ryan, and Lauren Stram of Laffey, Bucci & Kent, LLP, Marci Hamilton of CHILD USA, Jeffrey Fritz of Soloff & Zervanos, P.C., and California attorney Bobby Thompson of Thompson Law Offices, P.C.

We were duly impressed and pointed out that Ryan, for example, was the prosecutor who had put Bill Cosby in prison, and Hamilton is a nationally known expert in prosecuting the exploitation of children.

This was a major team of mostly former prosecutors who were rounding up some killer plaintiffs like Haney and the Masterson accusers (Chrissie Carnell Bixler, et al.) with plenty more promised.

Since then, however, just about everything that could go wrong for these attorneys has, including filing a lawsuit in the wrong court, several botched service attempts, and most importantly, having the Haney lawsuit essentially neutralized with a granted motion from Scientology to force her grievance into “religious arbitration.”

Now, three big dates are looming in the Bixler v. Scientology/Masterson lawsuit, and already we’ve seen another minor defeat last week in anticipation of the religious arbitration showdown on March 27.

But here’s one of the strangest things about this entire legal campaign: Those powerful attorneys, most of them from Pennsylvania, more than six months after filing these lawsuits still aren’t even admitted to practice in the case. Up to this point, they’ve been relying on their “local” counterpart, Bobby Thompson of Burlingame, California, to handle things. (Fortunately, Graham Berry recently joined the team as a very helpful local addition.)

As out-of-state attorneys, they had to apply to the court to be admitted “pro hac vice,” and finally on March 11 that request will be heard in the courtroom of Judge Steven Kleifield.

And in most situations, it would probably not be more than a formal hand-wave from the judge.

But this is Scientology, and nothing is ever that easy.

This week, Scientology filed an opposition to admitting Kent, Hamilton, Stewart and the others to the case. And as Scientology documents go, this is a classic of faked outrage as Scientology attorney William Forman has accused Kent and the others of the gravest misdeeds and obfuscations.

Now, it’s true that a judge can refuse an application pro hac vice, as the law says, for “repeated appearances” — in other words, for using the privilege too much. But how much is too much? And is the fact that Brian Kent has appeared in other cases pro hac vice in California really disqualifying?

It all seems like a lot of overdramatization by Forman, but we’re looking forward to the attorneys in our audience weighing in.

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We have another new document for you as well. Finally the Bixler legal team is pointing out something to the court which we raised in November — that Scientology is trying to snow the court about its proper address for the purpose of service.

Scientology has complained that the process server trying to hand documents to Miscavige and the church went to 6331 Hollywood Blvd., when its proper address is 1710 Ivar Avenue. But Scientology leaves out of its angry filings to the court that these are actually two different entrances to the same building.

In a new document from Thompson, backed up with an affidavit from Valerie Haney who is lending a hand to the Masterson accusers here, that nasty little trick by Scientology is being laid bare.

Judge Kleifield will be dealing with that confusing mess on March 11, the same day he’ll consider whether to admit the out-of-town attorneys.

Here are the filings. First, Scientology’s opposition to the out-of-town attorneys joining the case…

Bixler v. Scientology: Oppo… by Tony Ortega on Scribd

 
And here’s the Bixler legal team’s opposition to Scientology’s motion to quash for “fraudulent service.”
And Valerie Haney’s declaration supporting it.

 
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Bonus items from our tipsters

Today’s the day!

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THE CALIFORNIA DREAM BECOMES REALITY!
Saturday, 22 February, 1pm
FOLLOWING ARE ALL THE DETAILS
SO YOU CAN ARRIVE ON-TIME AND ENJOY THIS HISTORIC OCCASION.
DRESS CODE:

Look your best! The event is being filmed by SMP and will be shared internationally.

WHEN SHOULD I BE THERE?

Arrive in Ventura no later than 11:00am.
Thousands of people are coming from across the US, so we don’t want any traffic jams, and we want everyone to be able to make it on time!

BUS DETAILS:

Buses depart from LRH WAY & INGLEWOOD ORG.

Departure times from LRH Way: 7:30am & 10am

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Return buses to LRH Way depart Ventura at 3pm until 11pm

Departure time from Inglewood Org is 10am
Return buses to Inglewood depart Ventura at 4pm

PARKING:

FOR THE DAY OF THE OPENING, THERE IS NO PARKING AT THE ORG.

Park at the Ventura County Fairgrounds (10 E Harbor Blvd, Ventura CA 93001). Cost: $8

SHUTTLES:

17 Shuttles will be available to transport all guests to the Org.

Shuttles will run continuously from the Ventura County Fairgrounds Parking Lot
and the Ventura Marriot Hotel (2055 E Harbor Blvd, Ventura, CA 93001) to the Org,
from 10am until the end of the night.

If you park somewhere else, we recommend using Uber or Lyft to get to the Org.
(Ventura Org Address: 2151 Alessandro Dr, Ventura CA 93001)

APPROXIMATE DRIVE-TIMES:

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Santa Barbara 30-45 min Valley 1 hour
LRH Way 1 – 1:20 hours Pasadena 1 – 1:30 hours
Inglewood 1 – 1:45 hours OC 2 – 2:15 hours
San Diego 3 – 3:15 hours Bay Area 5:30-6:30 hours

CHILDCARE

You are encouraged to bring your children to the Grand !
There is a brand new playground and jungle gym at the org. Opening
Inside is a children’s playroom with toys and games for all ages
(available after the Grand Opening ceremony).

If absolutely needed, there is off-site childcare, call (323) 953-3313 to make arrangements with Bernadette Willett.

FOOD

Pre-reception heavy hors d’oeuvres and lots of food available in the org afterward.

WEEKEND AGENDA:

SATURDAY, FEB 22ND:

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10am pre-event reception.

12pm Take your seats

1pm SHARP – GRAND OPENING CEREMONY, tours of the org

6:30pm US Ideal Org Alliance Summit and Awards Presentation & Dinner

SUNDAY, FEB 23RD:

10:30am The first Sunday Service!

11:30-1pm Brunch, then First Roll Call in the new Ideal Org!

1:00pm Ideal Org Panel & an all-Ideal USA Completion Launch event!

4:00pm Dissemination Workshop, delivered by staff from SMP, giving you the tools to disseminate with an Ideal Org!

Finally, the weekend wraps up with a signature Ventura OT Committee steak cookout at the new Ideal Org!

 
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Source Code

“I criticize governments. That’s because at the present moment I’m not in any position whatsoever to completely smash them. I make no bones about this, see? This is not covert at all. Governments know what they’re doing, not cooperating with me, if they’re that smart. If they were very, very clever, they never would. And we’ll have to cut that off the tape, you see. But at the present moment it’s not that I’m in a position to, but it just doesn’t fit the cards to make nothing out of all national governments, that’s all. It just isn’t in the cards at the present moment.” — L. Ron Hubbard, February 22, 1962

 
——————–

Overheard in the FreeZone

“There are profound differences between American indies and European freezoners. American indies are waiting for the return of LRH as indicated by David Mayo. According to Mayo, LRH instructed him (Mayo) to to find LRH reincarnated some 20 years after death. That probably ‘drives them crazy.’ European freezoners, on the other hand, are aware, mostly, that LRH assumed the identity of a Space Commander after death. That somehow provides peace of mind.”

 
——————–

Random Howdy

“Most of the junkies I’ve talked to told me the reason they did dope was because it made them feel ‘normal,’ not for the buzz. It made them feel the way they always imagined life should feel, even before they tried it. Unfortunately it’s an illusion, just like the ‘tech,’ and it ends up costing you everything. Hey, if they made Scientology and dope free just think of all the money and pain saved!”

 
——————–

Start making your plans…

 
Head over to the convention website and meet us in St. Louis!

 
——————–

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

[Erika Christensen, Ethan Suplee, and Juliette Lewis]

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] First AME Church & USC both disclaim letter Scientology using against Leah Remini
[TWO years ago] Insider reports on Scientology’s grand openings in Silicon Valley and Salt Lake City!
[THREE years ago] First look inside Tom Cruise’s Clearwater double penthouse — and Scientology is not happy!
[FOUR years ago] How the indoctrination of growing up in Scientology has changed over generations
[FIVE years ago] Sunday Funnies: Scientology’s latest insider fliers for your dissection and delectation
[SIX years ago] Jon Atack puts it to Scientologists — did L. Ron Hubbard have the qualities of a leader?
[SEVEN years ago] Oklahoma Rep. Jason Murphey on Scientology’s Lobbying: “It’s Some Spooky-Looking Stuff”
[EIGHT years ago] Scientology and the Occult: Hugh Urban’s New Exploration of L. Ron Hubbard and Aleister Crowley

 
——————–

Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley (1952-2019) did not see his daughter Stephanie in his final 5,667 days.
Valerie Haney has not seen her mother Lynne in 1,856 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,360 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 1,880 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 900 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 791 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 4,098 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 1,966 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 2,740 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 3,514 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 2,860 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 11,426 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,345 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 3,513 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 3,094 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,355 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 2,393 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 2,106 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,631 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 1,158 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 5,721 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 2,861 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 3,181 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 8,036 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 3,156 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,511 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 5,814 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 1,920 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,322 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 2,194 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 1,777 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 2,272 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,526 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,635 days.

——————–

Posted by Tony Ortega on February 22, 2020 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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