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Masterson: Judge unimpressed by Scientology whining, denies request for sanctions

[Judge Steven J. Kleifield]

Judge Steven Kleifield denied Scientology’s motions for sanctions today in a hearing held at the Los Angeles Superior Court and otherwise brushed aside a lot of whining and bellyaching by attorneys for Scientology and Danny Masterson in order to reschedule various matters in a lawsuit filed by four women who say Masterson raped them.

At issue in today’s hearing were a couple of important issues. First, a slate of out-of-state attorneys behind the lawsuit are seeking to be admitted to the case formally. Usually, such a “pro hac vice” request is a formality, but Scientology had objected with overheated rhetoric about how the mostly Philadelphia-based attorneys, including Brian Kent, Marci Hamilton, and Stewart Ryan — the prosecutor who had put Bill Cosby in prison — were abusing the pro hac vice privilege after applying for it too many times in recent years.

Judge Kleifield expressed some surprise that there would be so much “controversy” over something so minor (get used to it, judge), but, in what seemed like a smart move and out of an abundance of caution, he asked the attorneys seeking to be admitted to file declarations with more information about their recent appearances in California, and then scheduled another hearing on the matter for April 22.

The second important issue on the calendar today were motions to quash service filed by Scientology’s entities and also by church leader David Miscavige. Scientology’s attorneys had complained bitterly that attempts to serve the defendants with notice of the lawsuit had been “fraudulent,” accusing the hired process server company of lying about when and how they had tried to serve the papers. Scientology not only argued that the service had not been performed properly, but that the plaintiffs should have to pay sanctions.

But Judge Kleifield wasn’t putting up with any of that malarkey. He denied the request for sanctions, although he did grant Miscavige’s motion in the sense that the church leader had not been served properly with the original lawsuit — which we have already reported previously.


However, because Chrissie Bixler and the other plaintiffs filed a newer, amended complaint on February 28 a lot of the bitching and moaning by Scientology over what occurred last summer and fall is all irrelevant anyway.

The new complaint has been served properly on the defendants (again, except for Miscavige, apparently), and that has reset the clock on several other matters.

Scientology’s “demurrer” in response to Bobette Riales, the only one of the five plaintiffs who was never a Scientologist, will be moved back, as well as Danny Masterson’s demurrer that he had filed in response to all five plaintiffs.

Also, although Bixler’s attorney Bobby Thompson had just filed a rather well-argued opposition to Scientology’s motions to compel the four former Scientologists into “religious arbitration,” that also gets moved back, and will not be heard on March 27 as originally scheduled.

From what the judge said in court, it sounded like things were getting moved back to around June, and as soon as we have some definite dates we’ll let you know.

The judge also indicated that he had some open dates for trials in June 2021, but this one is too soon to set.

In general, it sounded like Judge Kleifield was not impressed with Scientology histrionics (not only in their moving papers but also in the courtroom), and that he’s more interested in moving things forward in a sensible manner.


Ask a Scientologist!

Here’s a question that came in to, and we thought Mat Pesch might be the best person to answer it. If you have a question for one of our many experts, please send it in!

If Scientology promises its members powers to affect the material world, what is the justification for fundraising for material items like building and books? Why bother with donations if you can conjure things into existence?

I never met a Scientologist who thought they could, or expected some other Scientologist to be able to, just conjure into existence some material object like a coin, a rock, a flower, etc. I know that Hubbard made (and sold) thousands of lectures where he rambles on about all sorts of hypothetical concepts as if they are fact. I have tried to study them in detail and found them to have little to no application value in the real world. I think most Scientologists just hope that it will make sense to them when they achieve some higher level of Scientology. I think many people have had experiences where they perceived someone died or was about to call them or they were able to locate someone or something in an unexplained way. They believe that there are spiritual and mental possibilities that they don’t understand, that they would like to know more about and develop. I think it is that sort of thing, along with the promise of being able to recall past lives, operate outside one’s body, etc, that draws people further into Scientology. Someone can argue whether they actually recalled past lives. I think it is interesting that on the original released version of OT 8, Hubbard said that none of the past lives that the OT 8s had recalled were actually them. He said that now that you know who you are not, you are ready to find out who you really are. The sad joke is that there were no further OT levels. Hundreds of thousands of dollars later and it’s a dead end. The person is left with the question of who they really are, which is probably one, if not the, main question they came to Scientology to get answered. I did meet a handful of people who claimed to be able to operate outside their body. As I got to know them better, it became obvious that they were nuts. As far as Scientology helping to expand one’s spiritual and mental abilities, I would personally rate it as very disappointing. In Scientology, it’s MONEY that is god and is worshiped. That, I found to be true.

— Mat Pesch



Source Code

“I might as well tell you why the foundation at 211 West Douglas just went out of the processing business entirely and is teaching as few students as possible and at this late date is going into research. I’m not quite sure what they’re going to research, but they’re just going into research and so I, this leaves as official entities in the field the HDAs in the field, the affiliates, that is to say the college associates, a professional school in Wichita, and whatever unit is here as far as the lineups are concerned, and of course this foundation. OK? This by the way is a big load off my mind because I’ve been wondering which way those people were going to jump, and sometimes suicides jump the wrong way. And all they seem to have gotten me for so far is to tell the income tax people that I’m vastly out of order on my income tax, so the income tax people are coming down. Do we have anybody around town who’s awfully good on income tax? Well, they wouldn’t let me look at any of the ’51 books, so I don’t know what income they’ve got written down. And they wiped out all my income just before income tax time, so I don’t know, I mean, I wrote the collector of internal revenue about a year ago and I said, ‘God, I’m confused.’ And he never replied, so I guess he is too….What do you know? Well we’ve got to make a couple of theta clears quick and wreck these income tax people right quick.” — L. Ron Hubbard, March 11, 1952


Overheard in the FreeZone

“For all practical intents and purposes, we are the only Creator there is to be found in any known space or non-space. I take pride to know that we, collectively and individually, are our own known working masters and it is we that are learning to exert positive control over all of life and matter, and otherwise, I don’t see anything else happening any time soon if ever….You want a new planet, build it. You want a new star, build one. You want peace on Earth, make it happen.”


Random Howdy

“You people’s humanity is rubbing off on me and it’s making me unstable.”



Full Court Press: What we’re watching at the Underground Bunker

Criminal prosecutions:
Jay Spina: Sentencing set for April 3 in White Plains
Hanan and Rizza Islam and other family members: Trial set for April 14 in Los Angeles

Civil litigation:
Luis and Rocio Garcia v. Scientology: Waiting for an appellate decision from the Eleventh Circuit
Valerie Haney v. Scientology: Forced to ‘religious arbitration.’ Hearing on motion for reconsideration set for April 16
Chrissie Bixler et al. v. Scientology: April 22 (plaintiff attorneys pro hac vice), June (demurrers by Masterson and Scientology), June (motions to compel arbitration)
Jane Doe v. Scientology (in Miami): Jane Doe’s attorneys have asked for discovery, March 19 depositions (Warren McShane, Lynn Farny), April 20 hearing set (motion to compel arbitration)
Matt and Kathy Feschbach bankruptcy appeal: Oral arguments on March 11 in Jacksonville
Brian Statler Sr v. City of Inglewood: Complaint filed.


Start making your plans…

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


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

[Elisabeth Moss, Michael Peña, and Laura Prepon]

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?



[ONE year ago] New government docs show Scientology trying to snow the Justice Dept after Snow White
[TWO years ago] Scientology TV goes live tomorrow at 8 pm Eastern on app, DirecTV
[THREE years ago] Source: Scientology made Danny Masterson’s Victim B search past lives to explain being raped
[FOUR years ago] Belgian judge throws entire case against Scientology out of court on technicality
[FIVE years ago] The ‘Going Clear’ screening in Austin, featuring Marty Rathbun and other familiar faces
[SIX years ago] Judge in Laura DeCrescenzo’s case retires, Scientology objects to his replacement
[SEVEN years ago] LEAKED: Scripts Spell Out How Scientology Directs the Unsuspecting to Its Rehab Network
[EIGHT years ago] Scientology Sunday Funnies: Countdown to LRH’s Birthday!


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 1,874 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,378 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 1,898 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 918 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 809 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 4,116 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 1,984 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 2,758 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 3,532 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 2,878 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 11,444 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,363 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 3,531 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 3,112 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,373 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 2,411 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 2,124 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,649 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 1,176 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 5,739 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 2,879 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 3,199 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 8,054 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 3,174 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,529 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 5,832 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 1,938 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,340 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 2,212 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 1,795 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 2,290 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,544 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,653 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on March 11, 2020 at 13:53

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, 1995-2019 Just starting out here? We’ve picked out the most important stories we’ve covered here at the Underground Bunker (2012-2019), 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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