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Scientology’s new attempt to force ‘religious arbitration’ on Danny Masterson’s accusers

[David Miscavige and RTC’s attorney, Matthew Hinks]

We’ve been focusing the past couple of weeks on Scientology’s schizophrenic approach to the coronavirus pandemic, but life marches on, and so does Scientology litigation.

This week, Scientology’s attorneys filed a pile of new documents in the Danny Masterson lawsuit, and we wanted to bring you up to date on what’s happening in that case.

Chrissie Carnell Bixler, Bobette Riales, and two women going by the names Jane Doe #1 and Jane Doe #2 came forward to the Los Angeles Police Department more than three years ago with allegations that they had been violently raped by Masterson in incidents between 2001 and 2004. The LAPD investigation of those allegations continues, and in recent months we’ve reported that three additional women have come forward to the police. The LAPD initially forwarded its findings to the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office in April 2017 for prosecution, but DA Jackie Lacey (now facing a November run-off election seeking her third term) has still not said anything about whether she plans to file charges.

Last August, the four women and Carnell Bixler’s husband, rocker Cedric Bixler-Zavala, filed their lawsuit over what they claim was the intense Scientology “Fair Game” harassment campaign they’d been subjected to because they had come forward to the police. So while they continue to wait for the criminal investigation to come up with rape charges, they are suing over the harassment they say they’ve been put through in a coordinated effort by Scientology, its leader David Miscavige, and Masterson.

Scientology responded to the lawsuit in a number of ways, and one of them was to file motions to compel the four of the five plaintiffs who had been former Scientologists — all but Riales — to submit to “religious arbitration,” derailing the lawsuit. Scientology claims that as church members, the three women and Bixler-Zavala had signed binding agreements promising to take any grievances to arbitration rather than suing the church in court.

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The plaintiffs responded with a well-written opposition signed by their attorney Bobby Thompson, arguing that forcing former Scientologists to go through the “religious ritual” of religious arbitration would be unconstitutional.

If you remember, we were bracing ourselves for a March 27 showdown over the arbitration question. But on February 28, Bixler and her co-plaintiffs filed an amended complaint, bringing up to date their allegations of harassment, which they say has only continued after they first filed their lawsuit last summer (including, they say, the poisoning of dogs and even the arson fire of Riales’s Indiana home).

Because they filed that new complaint, it wiped out the existing calendar in the case. If Scientology wanted to force four of the plaintiffs into religious arbitration, they would need to file new motions to that effect. And so, that’s what they did this week.

As usual, attorney Matthew Hinks, writing for the Religious Technology Center, Scientology’s nominally controlling entity which is chaired by Scientology leader David Miscavige, begins his motion to compel arbitration by taking a sneering swipe at the lawsuit, claiming that it’s all just a media play and big conspiracy orchestrated by Leah Remini: “These malicious allegations are false, and were engineered by (and televised on) a now-cancelled anti-Scientology cable show, as part of a coordinated campaign.”

But soon enough he gets down to the real business at hand and says that based on the concepts of the Federal Arbitration Act, Bixler, Bixler-Zavala, and Jane Does 1 and 2 are obliged to take their dispute to Scientology’s religious arbitration and stay the lawsuit because of contracts they signed while they were members of the church.

“In the Scientology religion, parishioners and Scientology churches must resolve all disputes between them exclusively through Scientology internal Ethics, Justice and binding religious arbitration procedures,” he writes. “All of the Plaintiffs executed agreements pledging their commitment to Scientology doctrine and ecclesiastical law as a condition to participate in Scientology religious services.”

In their opposition, Bixler’s attorney Thompson said that it would be unconstitutional to force people who were no longer Scientologists into a religious ritual like what Scientology proposes in “religious arbitration.” But RTC argues that if some of their allegations arise after they left the church, it’s irrelevant.

“It is legally irrelevant that some of the alleged conduct occurred after Plaintiffs left the Church. Plaintiffs agreed to arbitrate any dispute that ‘should … arise’ with any Church entity, clearly intending that the agreement apply to future disputes.” (Emphasis ours.)

As for their argument that as former Scientologists there’s no way that they would receive a fair arbitration from a panel of three arbitrators, all required to be Scientologists in good standing, Hinks points out that this argument didn’t fly with Judge James Whittemore in the Garcia case (which is on appeal).

We’re looking forward to your thoughts on this document, and its attempt to answer the very strong opposition that had been submitted by the plaintiffs.

 

Bixler v. Scientology: RTC&… by Tony Ortega on Scribd

 

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A note from your proprietor

Well, we held out as long as we could, but it’s pretty obvious that even if the pandemic took a better turn, we’re all going to be feeling the effects of our isolation and financial strain for months to come.

For that reason, we are canceling this year’s planned June HowdyCon in St. Louis. We are hoping to meet in that fair city in 2021, with help again from flyonthewall and Observer, who had been doing such a great job getting this year’s party planned.

Until then, please take care of yourself and protect your health.

— The Proprietor

 
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Bonus items from our tipsters

Why put off a trip to South Africa over a silly little virus?

 

 
And while you’re down there, prepare to be AMAZED!

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More from the Decon Seven Decontamination Team!

 

 
Beware Scientology Volunteer Ministers in Israel!

 

 

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SMP boasted about finding an open beach in Santa Barbara for their latest documentary shoot…

 

 
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Source Code

“The whole US civil defense system is based on the idea that there is a thing called the government which is composed of people (which already is silly) and they’re going to take over the country at the moment of an attack, see? They aren’t there now. They’re not part of the people, and they’re not human, you see? And they’re parked up someplace in Canada along the DEW line or down in Mexico or out on some island, and they don’t exist there now. And at the moment of an attack, nobody is supposed to do anything but be taken over by the government. That’s what you’re supposed to do in an attack. Consider it absolutely fascinating! It’s just as bad as Eisenhower’s design for the Normandy landing. I mean, there was nothing worse than that. I didn’t know this until the other day. I’m going to write a book on it. I’m going to call it The Great Myth. You see, I was a Pacific amphibious warfare officer before these Normandy landings occurred. And there’s certain ways you’re supposed to make landings. Well, they didn’t make them that way at Normandy. They killed men instead.” — L. Ron Hubbard, April 3, 1962

 
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Overheard in the FreeZone

“Scientology got into bad hands starting in 1972, and it was not done by the young David Miscavige at that time, but by the IRS, CIA, FBI and other such criminals with vested interest to hold down Clears and OTs and grab the tech of ‘remote viewing’ for themselves.”

 
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Random Howdy

“We Farsecians are not evil. We are the Knights Templar of the Universe. We are the Keepers of the ARC of the Covenant.”

 
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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 June 17
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, depositions (Warren McShane, Lynn Farny), April 20 hearing set (motion to compel arbitration)
Matt and Kathy Feschbach bankruptcy appeal: Oral arguments were heard on March 11 in Jacksonville
Brian Statler Sr v. City of Inglewood: Amended complaint filed.

 
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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?

 
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THE WHOLE TRACK

[ONE year ago] A stunning Scientology call to arms for our politically divided times on this dirt ball
[TWO years ago] Newly released documents: Scientology leader L. Ron Hubbard tried to ‘buy’ an African nation
[THREE years ago] Scientology leader David Miscavige launches new personal attacks at Leah Remini
[FOUR years ago] David Miscavige and a bussed-in crowd cut the ribbon on Atlanta’s new Scientology ‘Ideal Org’
[FIVE years ago] How Scientologists are dealing with the popularity of Alex Gibney’s film ‘Going Clear’
[SIX years ago] We asked David Miscavige’s tailor for his exact height — and here’s what he told us!
[SEVEN years ago] LEAK: Scientology’s Rehab Went from $5,000 to $2.5 Million in Insurance Revenue in One Year

 
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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 1,896 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,400 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 1,920 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 940 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 831 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 4,138 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 2,006 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 2,780 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 3,554 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 2,900 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 11,466 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,385 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 3,553 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 3,134 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,395 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 2,433 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 2,146 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,671 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 1,201 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 5,761 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 2,901 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 3,221 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 8,076 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 3,196 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,551 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 5,854 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 1,960 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,362 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 2,234 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 1,817 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 2,312 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,566 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,675 days.

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Posted by Tony Ortega on April 3, 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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