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For Scientology on L. Ron Hubbard’s birthday: A sworn declaration from Mike Rinder!

Earlier this week, we reported on a very well written court brief that was submitted on behalf of Chrissie Bixler and the four other plaintiffs suing Danny Masterson and the Church of Scientology. The document was in opposition to Scientology’s attempt to force four of those five plaintiffs — the four who are former Scientologists — into “religious arbitration,” thereby sidelining their lawsuit.

That opposition document pointed out, for example, that Scientology doesn’t even have “religious arbitration” in its policies, but that it would be using something called a “committee of evidence,” which is more like a court-martial.

Luis and Rocio Garcia made this same argument when they were faced with Scientology’s attempt to sidetrack their 2013 federal lawsuit into arbitration. They also pointed out that Scientology had never, in its 60-year history, held a “religious arbitration,” and they had testimony from former high-ranking official Mike Rinder explaining that the contracts they had signed were a sham and had been invented in order to confound parishioners who wanted refunds. But Tampa federal Judge James Whittemore brushed aside all of those arguments and granted Scientology’s motion anyway, forcing the Garcias into arbitration, which they said turned out to be the kangaroo court they were expecting. They’re now appealing Whittemore’s ruling, and we’ve been waiting for two years for a ruling from the Eleventh Circuit.

Hoping to avoid that same result, Chrissie Bixler and her attorneys are also making those arguments, and they too have turned to Mike Rinder for help. He submitted a declaration to go with their opposition briefing, and we thought you’d want to see it in its entirety.


And just in time for L. Ron Hubbard’s 109th birthday, too. The Great Thetan was born on this date in 1911 in Nebraska, and tonight about 2,000 of the church faithful will gather at Ruth Eckerd Hall in Clearwater, Florida to celebrate his legacy, virus or no virus.

We just hope a few of them take the time to read this summation by their former international spokesman…

I, Michael Rinder, declare as follows:

1. I am over the age of eighteen (18). I have personal knowledge of the facts stated below and, if called upon to do so, could and would competently testify thereto.

2. I was a member of the Board of Directors of the Church of Scientology International from 1983 until 2007, when I terminated my relationship with the Church of Scientology and all related entities.

3. I was raised as a Scientologist from the age of 6 and, as such, am well versed on the policies and procedures of the Church of Scientology. I was a member of Scientology for over fifty (50) years. I worked as a staff member for the Church of Scientology, in various capacities for over thirty (30) years. I am intimately familiar with the tenets of Scientology.

4. Scientology was founded by L. Ron Hubbard. Scientologists believe that the written and/or spoken word of L. Ron Hubbard must be applied as policy. The words of L. Ron Hubbard may not be canceled, changed or altered in any way unless he specifically authorized the change.

5. Chrissie Carnell-Bixler, Cedric Bixler-Zavala, Jane Doe #1, and Jane Doe #2 have each been declared a “Suppressive Person” by Scientology for any number of reasons. In the eyes of scientology they have committed Crimes and High Crimes including speaking with the media, spreading “disaffection,” refusing to comply with the orders of the organization, accusing a scientologist in good standing of criminal offenses, reporting such actions to law enforcement, and finally the act of bringing a lawsuit against scientology. A “Suppressive Person” is considered an enemy of Scientology and is to be destroyed, ruined” and “obliterated” pursuant to well established rules of Scientology to be followed by every Scientologist, including all members of a “Committee of Evidence.” Anyone declared a “Suppressive Person” is expelled from Scientology.

6. According to Scientology policy a “Suppressive Person” has no rights, including under internal Scientology ethics procedures and Committees of Evidence (discussed below). It has long been the practice of Scientology that “Suppressive Persons” who have been expelled from Scientology can “no longer take advantage of the internal ecclesiastical support and justice procedures” the church provides “to resolve disputes.” According to Hubbard’s own writings “Suppressive Persons” must be “ruin[ed]…utterly,” “shudder[ed]…into silence,” and “obliterate[d].”

7. When a person is declared a “Suppressive Person” they are subject to the Scientology policy of “Fair Game” which states that a “Suppressive Person” may be “deprived of property or injured by any means by any Scientologist without any discipline of the Scientologist.” The “Suppressive Person” may “be tricked, sued, or lied to or destroyed.” (See a true and correct copy of HCO Policy Letter of 18 October 1967 attached hereto as Exhibit “A”).

8. The “practice of declaring people Fair Game” was “cancelled” in 1968 per Hubbard because it “cause[ed] bad public relations.” (See a true and correct copy of HCO Policy Letter of 21 October 1968 attached hereto as Exhibit “B”). However the order from Hubbard cancelling the practice of declaring people “Fair Game” did not end the policy on how “Fair Game” was applied to “Suppressive Persons.” First, it only ended the practice of “declaring people” Fair Game. (See Exhibit “B”) (emphasis added). Furthermore, the order specifically stated that it did “not cancel any policy on the treatment or handling of a [Suppressive Person].” (See Exhibit “B”) (emphasis added). Therefore, all that resulted from the 1968 order was that Scientology stopped publicly acknowledging “Fair Game” campaigns against “Suppressive Persons.”

9. For more than twenty (20) years I worked as the Executive Director of the Office of Special Affairs overseeing legal and public relations matters for the Church of Scientology.

10. During the course of my employment in this position, I was informed of every threatened or filed legal action against Scientology entities. I oversaw the responses to these matters.

11. During the course of my employment with the Church, I was responsible for implementation of contracts, agreements, and other documents designed to protect Scientology entities from litigation. This included the “Religious Services Enrollment Application, Agreement and General Release” (hereinafter “Enrollment Agreement”) and all other agreements scientologists are required to sign. No member of Scientology is allowed to raise objections as to the content of the Enrollment Agreement. Any objection or disagreement with the contents of the Enrollment Agreement would be seen as an attack against the church and would be dealt with harshly by the church.


12. During my time in Scientology and thereafter, the Enrollment Agreement contained an “arbitration clause.” “Religious arbitration” in Scientology is a fiction created for the in terrorem effect on potential plaintiffs. There is no Hubbard writing that uses the term arbitration. There is no prescribed procedure for Scientology “arbitration” anywhere in Hubbard writing or any policy for that matter. Instead, as admitted by Scientology before, the rules that apply for “arbitration” in Scientology as the rules for a “Committee of Evidence.”

13. “Religious arbitration” was, and still is, a legal artifice, created by lawyers working for Scientology without understanding what the scientology religion actually encompasses. In more than sixty (60 ) years of operation, there has never been a “scientology religious arbitration.”

14. The case of Garcia v. Church of Scientology Religious Trust et al., brought in federal court in the Middle District of Florida, centered around the return of payments for religious services that the plaintiffs had made to the defendants. The plaintiffs had signed an “Enrollment Agreements” they had signed when they paid for religious services. The scope of the plaintiffs’ claim was limited to return of funds. The court asked the Scientology Defendants to describe the “religious arbitration” procedures. Scientology asserted the procedures were outlined in a writing of L. Ron Hubbard concerning a scientology ritual known as a “Committee of Evidence.” In the end the court ordered that an arbitration be held under those terms. The “kangaroo court” that ensued bore no resemblance to an arbitration and this is now pending on appeal before the 11th Circuit.

15. In nearly every respect, this case is very different from Garcia. Plaintiffs are not asking for a return of money they paid in connection with religious services or an Enrollment Agreement they allegedly signed. The Enrollment Agreements were designed by Scientology to prevent people getting their money back and the clear language of the agreements ties the contractual obligiations to “enrolling” in Scientology services. No such claims of return of monies are being made here. Instead the plaintiffs are seeking damages as a result of allegedly tortious conduct on the part of Scientology including for harassment.

16. What is similar to the Garcia case is scientology proclaiming that their so-called arbitration is conducted under the rules of a Committee of Evidence. It is plain on their face as delineated in the official Scientology publication, Introduction to Scientology Ethics, that these rules are nothing like an impartial arbitration that any civil court would be familiar with. By way of example:

a. It is Church policy and practice that a Committee of Evidence is convened when it is suspected or alleged that a given person has committed a wrong (a “Crime” or “High Crime” in Scientology parlance);

b. Those scientology “Crimes” and “High Crimes” included testifying before a civil court, filing a lawsuit against scientology, speaking to the media about Scientology without authorization, reporting a Scientologist to civil authorities including law enforcement, and various other “crimes” that each of these plaintiffs is, according to Scientology, guilty of;

c. It is Church policy and practice that a Committee of Evidence functions as a fact-finding jury, charged ONLY with determining the guilt or innocence of the “Interested Party;”

d. It is Church policy and practice that a Committee of Evidence consists of appointed members, rather than party-selected arbiters. It is Church policy that the findings of the Committee have to be authorized by higher Scientology authorities. In fact, in the Garcia matter, the plaintiffs were not permitted to select one of the three appointed members as was represented by the Church;

e. It is Church policy and practice that a Committee of Evidence consists of members of scientology in good standing and that they may not even communicate with a declared “Suppressive Person” like the plaintiffs in this case. Beyond not communicating with them, they cannot take their side against the Church or they too will be declared a Suppressive Person and their scientology family, friends, and even employers will be forced to stop speaking to them;

f. A Committee of Evidence is answerable to and ultimately governed by the International Justice Chief. The International Justice Chief is an employee of the Church of Scientology International, Inc., which is a party to this matter.

17. I am familiar with the pages of the Introduction to Scientology Ethics (See a true and correct copy of excerpts from Introduction to Scientology Ethics attached hereto as Exhibit “C”). The contents are accurate and constitute the true and complete copies of the applicable pages of the book. The policy on Committees of Evidence was first introduced by Hubbard in 1963. (See a true and correct copy of HCO Policy Letter of 7 September 1963 attached hereto as Exhibit “D”).

18. Scientology has repeatedly and publicly stated that “Suppressive Persons” who have been expelled from Scientology (as these plaintiffs have been) “could no longer take advantage of the internal ecclesiastical support and justice procedures Churches of Scientology provide to resolve disputes…” (See a true and correct copy of Scientology Newsroom FAQ attached hereto as Exhibit “E”).

19. A Committee of Evidence is a Scientology religious ritual and is nothing akin to an “arbitration.” Any scientologist who has been charged as an “Interested Party” in a Committee of Evidence proceeding remembers it well. A higher official of Scientology (a “Convening Authority”) charges one with Crimes and High Crimes that he or she has determined you are likely guilty of, much like a prosecutor in a criminal case. But here those who are sitting in judgment (The Chairman, Secretary, and Members of the Committee of Evidence, i.e., the panel of “arbiters”) are beholden to that “Convening Authority” and know that if they do not find the “Interested Party” guilty they can be charged with “dereliction of duty” and investigated for “similar crimes of their own.” (See a true and correct copy of Addendum to HCO Policy Letter of 7 September 1963 attache hereto as Exhibit “F”). The higher authorities of Scientology are not to be challenged or second guessed by those lower on the chain of command. Even scientologists in good standing appearing before a Committee of Evidence know it is a foregone conclusion that they will face an adverse determination.


20. Indeed, Scientology would never fashion their procedure after anything familiar to the civil justice system so as to avoid participating in the “wog” (non-scientology) justice system because Scientology believes it is undoubtedly corrupt and will side against them. Again quoting from Introduction to Scientology Ethics book:

a. “Police and courts offer an open-armed opportunity to the vicious and corrupt to establish themselves in a position of safety while satisfying their strange appetites of perverted viciousness toward their fellow man.”

b. “There is little thought of administering justice so that individuals can improve. There is every thought to punish and create misery.”

c. “Justice systems thereby become a sort of cancer which erode every splendid ambition and achievement of the decent citizen.”

(See a true and correct copy of excerpts from Introduction to Scientology Ethics attached hereto as Exhibit “C”).

21. What Scientology purports to be “religious arbitration” is not arbitration as it is commonly understood by the civil court system. It is not administered under AAA or any other similarly situated body. It is not designed to be fair but instead to achieve a specific outcome which is the outcome most favorable to the Church.

22. No Suppressive Person can ever receive a fair or unbiased Committee of Evidence before any Convening Authority or panel of “Scientologists in good standing.”

I declare under the penalty of perjury that the foregoing is true and correct. Executed this 3rd day of March, 2020 in Los Angeles, California.

Michael Rinder

Here’s the full document, with exhibits…

Bixler v. Scientology: Rinder Declaration by Tony Ortega on Scribd



Bonus items from our tipsters

Ten years, yikes…


Will there be virtual drinking?


Meanwhile, in Orlando…




Source Code

“NEW DEVELOPMENTS: Quad Dianetics, Quad Power, Quad R6EW are all going like a bomb. Four Times the result! Opens the door to Quad Grades. Really gives a booster shot. It is the result of taking a discovery in upper level tech and applying it to the lower levels. OUR HGC: Our Flag Auditors are going truly great. The new line works very well. UPSTAT UNITS: The FB (excepting in Action which is in Danger due to necessary by-pass) is doing very well. Including Mimeo. The E/R FSO is great. The HU is doing well. HCI FAO is doing its job well. Qual FAO is picking up. Reg Dept FAO is doing Reg. Income Dept FAO is doing great. Ship’s Rep FSO is doing very well. Other divisions are cordially invited to join this upstat parade by getting organized and into full production.” — L. Ron Hubbard, March 13, 1971


Overheard in the FreeZone

“The word clearing I did while studying to be a Dianetics auditor kept me from falling asleep the next time I watched a training film, and MU phenomenon reading the book, slowing me down, making me feel dumb. I’d posit though that I should have done more practice runs while I was studying. What good is an unapprenticed graduate? Finally finishing the course and given a PC I realized I had budding competency to help another clear engrams and it gave me great joy. However, working with PCs, there is something to be said for intuition or quiet knowingness and pan-determinism, and of course great TR’s. For example, in my current consulting skill-set I started out knowing only one word and having a strong personal need, and I put in thousands of hours testing out theory and clearing MUs as I went.”


Random Howdy

“So they regulate brothels in Nevada but not drug rehabs?”


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), March 24 deposition (David Miscavige), 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!

[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?



[ONE year ago] Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard is celebrating another birthday, and it’s a party!
[TWO years ago] Scientology TV kicks off with Miscavige monologue, settles into familiar propaganda
[THREE years ago] Danny Masterson turns 41 today, and we have a gift from his cast and crew at ‘The Ranch’
[FOUR years ago] John Travolta and his ancient galactic friends celebrate Scientology’s holiest day of year
[SIX years ago] ‘BARE-FACED MESSIAH’ back in print: Our interview with author Russell Miller
[SEVEN years ago] What Could L. Ron Hubbard Use on His 102nd Birthday? How About a Little SUPER POWER!
[EIGHT years ago] Happy Birthday, L. Ron Hubbard! Here’s Our Surprise Gift For Scientology’s Founder
[ELEVEN years ago] Scientology Gets Its Ass Kicked In the Desert


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 1,876 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,380 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 1,900 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 920 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 811 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 4,118 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 1,986 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 2,760 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 3,534 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 2,880 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 11,446 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,365 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 3,533 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 3,114 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,375 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 2,413 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 2,126 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,651 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 1,178 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 5,741 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 2,881 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 3,201 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 8,056 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 3,176 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,531 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 5,834 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 1,940 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,342 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 2,214 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 1,797 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 2,292 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,546 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,655 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on March 13, 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, 1995-2019 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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