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Scientology not only opposes Valerie Haney’s do-over, but wants $160,000 in sanctions

[Attorney Matthew Hinks wants sanctions against Valerie Haney]

On August 11, a hearing is scheduled at Los Angeles Superior Court for Valerie Haney’s request for a do-over in her kidnapping and libel lawsuit against the Church of Scientology.

If you remember, on January 30 Judge Richard Burdge Jr derailed the lawsuit when he granted Scientology’s motion to compel Valerie to take her grievances to Scientology’s own “religious arbitration.” Scientology had successfully argued that when Valerie left her longtime position with the church, she had signed a contract agreeing to take any complaints to arbitration rather than to a civil court, and Judge Burdge agreed that the contract was binding, even in a case alleging kidnapping, stalking, and slander, much of which had occurred after she left her job with the church.

Since then, however, Haney filed a motion asking the judge to reconsider, and as we explained previously, she appeared to have some excellent arguments. In particular, documents showed she had actually been fired by Scientology a week before it had her sign the agreement not to sue the church. This was new information that hadn’t been brought up in court before, she argued, exactly the kind of thing that a court needs to reconsider a ruling.

Successful motions of reconsideration are fairly rare, but with new evidence, it looked like Valerie at least had a decent shot.

With a few weeks to go before the hearing, however, Scientology has responded with a predictably shrill court document in which Scientology’s attorneys claim that Valerie’s request for a do-over is so outrageous, she should have to pay them $160,000 for their trouble.


Plaintiff opposed Defendants’ Motions to Compel Arbitration with blatant, demonstrable lies. This Court was not distracted by those tactics and rightfully ordered the enforcement of the various arbitration agreements she signed. Now Plaintiff has returned to this Court to repeat some of her old lies, together with some new ones, in the form of a Motion for Reconsideration. If there is ever an instance that warranted imposition of significant monetary sanctions under Code of Civil Procedure § 128.7, this is it. Plaintiff and her counsel finally must learn that repeated attempts to mislead this Court will not be tolerated.

Can you just feel the fury?

The motion goes on to argue that what Valerie is calling new information was not new, and that her attorneys should have known it. So the fact that they didn’t bring it up at the January 30 hearing is their problem, not Scientology’s.

They then make an interesting argument about Scientology’s habit of declaring people “suppressive” and what happened at her “Fitness Board Turndown” (FBT):

In addition to being an invalid basis for reconsideration, Plaintiff’s argument as a basis to deny arbitration rests on a lie. Plaintiff misrepresents the meaning of the FBT. Her Memorandum falsely states that “Plaintiff was declared an enemy of Scientology (“suppressive person”) approximately a week before she signed the ‘Staff Departure Agreement.’” However, the FBT does not declare Plaintiff a suppressive person. It states that if she takes certain actions “she is subject to declare.” A reasonable investigation — i.e., asking one’s own client whether she had been declared a suppressive person at the time she signed the Departure Agreement — would have revealed to Plaintiff’s counsel that the underlying “fact” is untrue.

This argument about whether Valerie was declared suppressive or only most of the way there, while fascinating, doesn’t really get to the point of her argument, that she’d been fired a week before she signed the contract agreeing to arbitration. But we’re not super-expensive lawyers for Scientology, so what do we know.

Speaking of which, maybe the most interesting thing in this document is the part where the two attorneys — Matthew Hinks for the Religious Technology Center and William Forman for the Church of Scientology International — total up how much it is going to cost their clients to deal with Valerie’s request for a do-over.

Here’s part of what Hinks says:

My billing rate is $795 per hour. My partner, Robert Mangels, also assisted with the preparation of this motion, and will also assist with the preparation of the reply brief and appear for the hearing on this motion. According to JMBM’s billing records, Mr. Mangels has spent no less than 7.7 hours in connection with the preparation of this motion. I reasonably and conservatively estimate that Mr. Mangels will spend no less than 5 hours reviewing the opposition papers, working with me in connection with the preparation of the reply brief and attending the hearing on this matter. Mr. Mangels’ billing rate is $995 per hour. Thus, in addition to the $35,276.50 in fees thus far incurred in connection with this motion, we anticipate an additional $8,950 in fees, for estimated total fees of $44,226,50 incurred by RTC in connection with this motion.

And Forman:

I have spent no less than 5.6 hours researching issues regarding Cal. Civ. Proc. Code § 128.7, and drafting and finalizing, this motion. I reasonably and conservatively estimate that I will spend no less than 8 hours reviewing the opposition papers and any cited case law, drafting, finalizing, filing, and serving the reply brief, and attending the hearing on this matter. My billing rate is $850 per hour. My partner, Margaret Dayton, also assisted with the preparation of this motion, and will also assist with the preparation of the reply brief and appear for the hearing on this motion. According to SKH’s billing records, which I have reviewed, Ms. Dayton has spent no less than 5.7 hours in connection with the preparation of this motion. I reasonably and conservatively estimate that Ms. Dayton will spend no less than 6 hours reviewing the opposition papers, working with me in connection with the preparation of the reply brief and attending the hearing on this matter. Ms. Dayton’s billing rate is $750 per hour. Thus, in addition to the $9,035.00 in fees thus far incurred in connection with this motion, we anticipate an additional $10,700 in fees, for estimated total fees of $19,735.

With other costs and time spent, the two total up $160,220 that they want Valerie to pay for the time they’ve wasted on her motion to reconsider.

We have two reflections on this accounting they’ve provided. First, we think it’s important to keep in mind that Scientology is spending this kind of cash on all of the ridiculous motions that the church files in attempts to delay and derail lawsuits. It’s really kind of incredible how much Scientology pays its attorneys to keep up its scorched-earth approach to litigation.

And second, as ridiculous as Scientology’s call for sanctions appears, we sure don’t want to assume the outcome based on Judge Burdge’s dismissive and short-sighted January 30 ruling that got Valerie into this position to begin with.


Will Scientology come out of this not only derailing Valerie’s lawsuit but also saddling her with $160,220 in sanctions? Suddenly that August 11 hearing is even more compelling.

Here’s the document…

Haney v. Scientology: Motio… by Tony Ortega on Scribd


Bonus items from our tipsters

Here’s another heartwarming success story…




Source Code

“Now your understanding is that when you die, why somehow or another about 15 minutes later you appear in another body. Let’s look at this thing from a time disorientation basis. That is a lie. It takes 69 days plus. More than 69 days. See, this has upset some of our calculations. We’ve wondered what has happened to some of our people, why they didn’t show up again immediately, that sort of thing. You’ve gone as long as eight or nine years between death and birth. Now what happens — I’ll just give you a fast rundown on this situation — what happens is, you’ve got a compulsion to appear at the between-lives return-point. And, of course, you just do a disappear at death and an appear there. You don’t travel to there, see. It’s all nicely implanted and you’re supposed to arrive at this exact point. And having arrived at this point you go through the works. And the works consist of a false death given to you in pictures. You’re caught there and beamed in, and you get a bunch of pictures which they have taken — these aren’t your pictures — and it tells you all about the death you just died. Only that’s not the death you just died. They give you a completely false death.” — L. Ron Hubbard, July 23, 1963


Overheard in the FreeZone

“There is no ‘LRH 2.’ Ron does come back — I have no doubt in that — Ron is on our side, you can trust that. But I can tell you what LRH is thinking or would think about us: ‘Why don’t you do your job, you have the tech. What are you waiting for? When do you start?’ Do you know what is going on in Switzerland regarding the coronavirus? In Switzerland an MD was institutionalized because he called coronavirus a fake. Ron warned us even back in 1952. And also in KSW: There is no democracy. Friends, the situation is more serious than you may think.”


Random Howdy

“L. Ron Hubbard is dead but that didn’t stop lawyers for Monique from introducing his works as evidence in a court of law. There is a paper trail for Joseph Smith leading back to the early 1800’s also. Evidence clearly demonstrates that L. Ron Hubbard and Joseph Smith were con men. Smith was a convicted con man. The Abrahamic religions are obviously too old for this.”


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

Criminal prosecutions:
Danny Masterson charged for raping three women: Arraignment scheduled for September 18.
Jay Spina, Medicare fraud: Sentencing is set for August 27 in White Plains, NY
Hanan and Rizza Islam and other family members, Medi-Cal fraud: Next pretrial conference set for Jan 12 in Los Angeles

Civil litigation:
Luis and Rocio Garcia v. Scientology: Oral arguments set for August 30 at the Eleventh Circuit
Valerie Haney v. Scientology: Forced to ‘religious arbitration.’ Hearing on motion for reconsideration set for August 11
Chrissie Bixler et al. v. Scientology and Danny Masterson: Sept 4 (CSI/RTC demurrer against Riales, Masterson demurrer), Oct 7-19 (motions to compel arbitration)
Jane Doe v. Scientology (in Miami): Jane Doe dismissed the lawsuit on May 15 after the Clearwater Police dropped their criminal investigation of her allegations.
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, trial set for Nov 9, 2021


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

[Jenna Elfman, Giovanni Ribisi, and Greta Van Susteren]

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] Hey, slacker, come on back to Scientology — things are peachy now!
[THREE years ago] Scientology shifting front group strategy — it’s all about kids, kids, kids
[FOUR years ago] Bomb diggety! It’s more Scientologists high on L. Ron Hubbard and the everloving ‘tech’
[FIVE years ago] The Church of Scientology: A rollicking legacy of belligerence, profanity, paranoia, and violence
[SIX years ago] LIVE BLOG: The Elli Perkins story tonight on the ID Network, ‘The Scientology Cure’
[SEVEN years ago] Claire Headley: Scientology’s Own Rules Prove That it Uses “Disconnection” To Split Up Families
[EIGHT years ago] ‘The Master’ Screenplay: Scientology History from Several Different Eras Skillfully Woven Together


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 2,007 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,511 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,031 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,051 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 942 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 4,249 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 2,117 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 2,891 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 3,695 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,011 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 11,577 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,496 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 3,664 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 3,245 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,506 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 2,544 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 2,257 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,782 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 1,312 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 5,872 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,012 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 3,332 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 8,187 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 3,306 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,662 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 5,965 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,071 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,473 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 2,345 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 1,928 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 2,423 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,677 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,786 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on July 23, 2020 at 07:00

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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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