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VALERIE HANEY SEEKS WRIT: Victims’ rights groups show support, Scientology cries bigotry

In a court document, the Church of Scientology is accusing the National Center on Sexual Exploitation, formerly known as Morality in Media, of “religious bigotry” because it is siding with Valerie Haney, Leah Remini’s assistant, in her lawsuit against the church and its leader, David Miscavige.

NCOSE and another victims’ rights group, the National Crime Victim Bar Association, are both urging a California appellate court to grant Haney an appeal in a lawsuit that Scientology successfully derailed at the trial court level, and Scientology is not happy about it.

On August 19, we published a statement by Valerie, who said she was not giving up her fight, even after Scientology successfully convinced Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Richard Burdge to derail her suit and force her into Scientology’s “religious arbitration.” Valerie made it plain that she was dead set against submitting to Scientology’s arbitration after the way it had treated her, and we pointed out that her other avenue would be to file a petition for a writ of mandate with an appellate court, hoping that it would grant her an appeal of Burdge’s ruling.

Valerie’s attorneys quietly submitted a petition for a writ on September 10, and a fascinating fight over it has already shaped up behind the scenes, with the victims’ rights organizations throwing their support behind Valerie, each of them submitting “friend of the court” letters (amicus curiae briefs) arguing for her to be granted an appeal.


Here’s the really unusual (but totally characteristic) Scientology angle: The church’s attorneys have filed a “response” amicus letter of their own, which we’re told is rather unusual.

And in that response, Scientology, which pretends that it’s an anti-trafficking champion, is calling NCOSE, an actual victims’ rights group, bigots.

It’s stupendous, and it’s classic Scientology.

Before we get into the details, some quick background for those confused on how we got to this point. Valerie filed her lawsuit in June 2019 with the help of a powerful national legal team that announced it was taking on Scientology in a big way, hinting that it was going to file quite a few additional suits in a major assault on the controversial church and Miscavige. But only two additional suits were filed, one in August 2019 by the women who accuse Scientology celebrity Danny Masterson of raping them; their lawsuit is aimed at the campaign of harassment they allege that Masterson, the church, and Miscavige subjected them to after they came forward to the LAPD. The third lawsuit was filed in September 2019 on behalf of a woman in Florida who alleged that she had been sexually abused as a child employee of the church, but she dismissed her lawsuit after the Clearwater Police Department informed her in May that it wasn’t going to file criminal charges after investigating her allegations.

Valerie’s lawsuit was particularly interesting because she had worked so closely with Miscavige, serving as his personal steward and having intimate knowledge of his personal life. She alleged in her lawsuit that as a lifelong Scientologist she had been subjected to emotional and psychological abuse since she was a child, and after she was demoted from her steward position she knew she might never escape from Scientology’s secretive Gold Base in San Jacinto, California, because she knew so much about Miscavige. She ultimately escaped by hiding in the trunk of a car driven by an actor who had been shooting a video at the base, and then she went to work for Remini, and appeared as the subject of the premiere episode of the third season of Remini’s A&E series, Scientology and the Aftermath, during which she said that Scientology was surveilling her and smearing her in online attacks. In her lawsuit, she alleged kidnapping for being held against her will for years at Gold Base, and she also alleged stalking, libel, slander, invasion of privacy, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and labor violations

After she escaped the base, Valerie, like so many other Scientologists who break free, was convinced by the organization to return and “route out properly,” which included signing a document in which she promised not to sue the church but to take any grievances to Scientology’s internal “religious arbitration.” Scientology successfully convinced Judge Burdge that Valerie was obliged to fulfill those terms, even though most of the allegations in her lawsuit — the stalking and the slander — occurred after she left the church. And Judge Burdge denied Valerie’s motion to reconsider, even after she pointed out that he was essentially sentencing her to a religious ritual in a church she no longer belonged to. Also, Scientology’s religious arbitration is not in any way like independent arbitration. It requires a panel of arbitrators who are members of the church. A California couple, Luis and Rocio Garcia, who became the first ex-Scientologists subjected to the procedure, described it as a kangaroo court.

We’ve noted that Valerie faced two different ways she could appeal Judge Burdge’s ruling. She could go through with the Scientology arbitration and after Burdge accepted the results then appeal his decision and a higher court would be obliged to consider it.

The other choice was to file a petition for a writ of mandate and try to convince an appellate court that extraordinary circumstances call for an appeal to be considered now, without Valerie having to subject herself to Scientology’s religious star chamber.

Legal experts tell us that the granting of such writs is relatively rare, but it can’t hurt that Valerie has two victims’ right organizations getting involved with their friend of the court letters.

First, we’ll quote from Valerie’s petition, which was written by San Mateo appeals lawyer Valerie T. McGinty. Here is its strong opening…

Petitioner, who escaped from traffickers in Scientology and now rejects Scientologist teachings, was born into Scientology with two Scientologist parents. As a young child, she was taught never to question Scientology and she was deprived of education, subjected to military treatment, trafficked, imprisoned, and abused, including having adults scream sexually lewd statements at her such as “I am going to fuck you and then your mother,” and “You are going to suck my dick,” which constitutes child abuse under California Penal Code § 273(a).

In her 30 years at Scientology, including at its paramilitary wings, Ms. Haney worked seven days a week with rarely a day off; she watched her supervisor abuse his wife; she saw the wife later escorted into a car, visibly upset, never to be seen or heard from again; and Ms. Haney was sentenced and subjected to physical labor and isolation by church leaders. When she tried to leave Scientology, she was threatened and even physically restrained until she finally escaped, hiding in the trunk of a car.

When Ms. Haney sued defendants for kidnapping, stalking, and human trafficking, among other claims, defendants moved to compel arbitration, relying on unenforceable “agreements” she was made to sign, which are all non-mutual contracts of adhesion, requiring that all arbitrators be ministers of Scientology, whose central tenet is that any person who speaks out against the church is an evil sinner who should be suppressed.

Despite this, and in violation of petitioner’s First Amendment right to freedom of religion, the trial court ordered that Petitioner be subjected to “Religious Arbitration,” subjecting Petitioner, a non-believer, to a Scientology religious ritual. Accordingly, writ relief is warranted.



[Appeals lawyer Valerie McGinty]

The next day, September 11, NCOSE and NCVBA applied to the court to file their amicus briefs. In the NCOSE letter, written by attorney Peter A. Gentala, emphasis is made on the coercion that Valerie grew up with as a member of Scientology.

It is hard to conceive of a more comprehensive array of coercion, duress, undue influence, and trauma than the circumstances leading to the arbitration agreements the trial court is enforcing against the Plaintiff, Valerie Haney. From the time she was a little girl, the Plaintiff was subjected to an unrelenting succession of physical, psychological, and emotional abuse. The abuse continued over the course of the first three and half decades of her life.

At the age of ten she was forced to sit in a chair while adults screamed sexual threats at her. Just five years later, those responsible for her abusive environment became her legal guardians. Her daily life was an exhausting routine of forced labor, confinement, and always Defendants’ controlling influence.

When, as an adult, Plaintiff—who had known nothing but environments permeated by Defendants’ domineering and abuse—finally resolved to leave Defendants’ control for
good, she was subjected to an additional three months of constructive confinement until she “consented” to sign sweeping legal agreements purporting to alienate all of her legal rights to hold the Defendants accountable for their tortious and criminal conduct.

The foundation of arbitration is consent — not coercion. The trial court’s order compelling arbitration inverts this principal and closes courts of justice to the Plaintiff by enforcing unconscionable agreements that were utterly founded on coercion, duress, and undue influence.

Gentala’s letter goes on into great detail about the specific allegations made in the lawsuit, and comparing Valerie’s experiences with the findings of numerous studies about how victims are affected by years of coercion and control.

The amicus brief from the National Crime Victim Bar Association was submitted by attorney Antonio Sarabia II…

Valerie Haney’s complaint alleges long-term coercion, manipulation, exploitation, and abuse by agents of the Church of Scientology International (“CSI”) both during and after Ms. Haney’s membership in the church. As part of its tactics to control and manipulate Ms. Haney, CSI procured her signature on numerous documents, several of which mandated binding religious arbitration for all disputes arising between Ms. Haney and CSI before a panel of committed Scientologists.

Compelled religious arbitration in cases arising from intentional tortious acts violates public policy, and agreements that purport to require it are unenforceable.

Additionally, compelled religious arbitration for incidents arising after the termination of the relationship in which the purported agreement was made violates the First Amendment to the United States Constitution when one party is no longer a believer.


Scientology — or rather David Miscavige — couldn’t take that drubbing sitting down.

Written by Scientology’s two attorneys handling the lawsuit, William Forman for CSI and Matthew Hinks for RTC, Scientology’s response starts out by taking a shot at NCOSE butting its nose in where it doesn’t belong…

NCOSE, formerly known as Morality in Media, is an American conservative non-profit known for its anti-pornography advocacy and such other issues as “child sexual abuse,” “child-on-child harmful sexual behavior,” “compulsive sexual behaviors,” “illicit massage businesses,” “prostitution,” “stripping,” and “the intersection of these issues with technology.” (Amicus Brief (“Am. Br.”), p. 2).

This case has nothing to do with NCOSE’s purported interests. These writ proceedings were filed by Valerie Haney, a former member of Scientology’s Sea Organization, a religious order composed of the most dedicated Scientologists committed to the lifelong volunteer service of their religion.

The document then quickly gets to Scientology’s familiar refrain, that it’s the real victim here…

NCOSE’s amicus brief offers three arguments: two of which concern matters that are not at issue in these proceedings at all and the last of which merely repeats the argument of Petitioner with an added dose of anti-Scientology religious bigotry (Scientologists should be disqualified to serve as arbitrators)…

…In short, NCOSE’s amicus brief is not based in reality. It is nothing but a slanderous, anti-Scientology screed offering opinions of an organization that have nothing to do with the case under consideration, based upon materials not before this Court and unproven allegations in an unverified complaint that it does not even correctly represent. The Court should reject the brief and not consider it.

“You know what, all I can say is that it’s like the pot calling the kettle black,” said NCOSE general counsel Benjamin Bull when we asked him about Scientology accusing his organization of religious bigotry. “It’s easier to say that than to respond to the amicus brief and what’s contained in it.”

Bull also took issue with Scientology’s characterization of NCOSE. “The National Center is made up of 28 full time employees. We have progressives and we have conservatives. We have faith-based people, and people with no faith. All we’re interested in is stopping sex trafficking and the kind of brainwashing we saw in the Scientology case,” he says.

Saying he was amazed that Judge Burdge had “punted” on Valerie’s lawsuit, he acknowledged that obtaining a writ of mandate is not easy, but it was the kind of case that did deserve more consideration than it had been shown at the trial court level.

“It’s extraordinarily unusual for a writ to be granted, yet this is the kind of case, with national significance and with issues of mind control and the coercion of victims, that it has a lot of currency and topicality. If the court is going to take a case on writ, it would be one like this.”

We know you’re going to want to go through these documents in detail. And we’re looking forward to your observations of them. First, here’s Valerie’s petition…



Haney v. Scientology: Petit… by Tony Ortega

Here’s the amicus brief by the National Center on Sexual Exploitation…


Haney v. Scientology: Amicu… by Tony Ortega

Here’s the amicus brief by the National Crime Victim Bar Association…


Haney v. Scientology: Amicu… by Tony Ortega


And finally, here’s Scientology’s response to NCOSE’s amicus brief…


Haney v. Scientology: Amicu… by Tony Ortega


Source Code

“Do you know that absolutely standard tech, complete, proper, hair line standard tech, used in organizations throughout the world, will at least triple the stats of each within 90 days? Couldn’t help it. And if it was really applied in a business-like fashion, and nobody messed it up in any way, shape, or form, one of our Division 5 people said we might even be able to take the planet within a year. It is hot.” — L. Ron Hubbard, September 24, 1968


Overheard in the FreeZone

“Your Democratic friends and Democratic PCs are supporting the destruction of the USA, and with that, the rest of the world. You seem to forget LRH quotes on Marxism. Marxists today teach the children and teenagers in USA. The LGBT sodomite agenda is rampant. LRH said that the LGBT agenda had cause the destruction of the USA (he said that in the 60’s) like before with Rome, Greece etc. Finally, you don’t seem to have duplicated the LRH taped lecture The Free Being. In it LRH describes with detail how lower organized beings and entities can and have been bringing down Free Beings and OTs along the track. Those ‘lower but well organized beings’ are the Antifa and BLM communist leaders and their spiritual entities. Yes. Marxism is a spiritual movement pretending to be atheistic. Not to say of BLM and Vudu.”


Random Howdy

“Yesterday you were merely irritating. Today you’ve placed yourself on the menu.”


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

Criminal prosecutions:
Danny Masterson charged for raping three women: Demurrer filed by Masterson, arraignment delayed to October 19.
Jay and Jeff Spina, Medicare fraud: Jay’s sentencing is set for October 5 in White Plains, NY. Jeffrey’s is set for October 24.
Hanan and Rizza Islam and other family members, Medi-Cal fraud: Next pretrial conference set for Jan 12 in Los Angeles
Dennis Nobbe, Medicare fraud, PPP loan fraud: Charged July 29. Bond revoked Sep 14. Nobbe dead, Sep 14.

Civil litigation:
Luis and Rocio Garcia v. Scientology: Oral arguments were heard on July 30 at the Eleventh Circuit
Valerie Haney v. Scientology: Forced to ‘religious arbitration.’ Petition for a writ of mandate filed with Cal 2nd Appellate District, Sept 10.
Chrissie Bixler et al. v. Scientology and Danny Masterson: Sept 29 (CSI/RTC demurrer against Riales, Masterson demurrer), Oct 26 (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 tax debt: Eleventh Circuit ruled on Sept 9 that Feshbachs can’t discharge IRS debt in bankruptcy. Update required in federal lawsuit on Oct 19.
Brian Statler Sr v. City of Inglewood: Second amended complaint filed, trial set for Nov 9, 2021.
Author Steve Cannane defamation trial: Trial concluded, awaiting verdict.


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] Another national census is in, and Scientology comes in at a mighty 0.007 percent!
[TWO years ago] A Scientology enforcer dies, and one of his former victims is the only one to eulogize him
[THREE years ago] Scientology got plenty of photo ops out of hurricanes in Texas and Florida. But did it help?
[FOUR years ago] Flirt with Scientology, and its dogged letter writers will hound you forever
[FIVE years ago] Leah Remini book out Nov. 3: ‘Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology’
[SIX years ago] Rathbun v. Scientology: Another appeals court hearing, this time with everything on the line
[SEVEN years ago] JASON BEGHE ON LEAH REMINI: She’s Right, Scientology Does Want Her to Fail
[NINE years ago] Scientology Dropkick: Commenters of the Week!


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 2,070 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,574 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,094 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,114 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,005 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 4,312 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 2,180 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 2,954 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 3,758 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,074 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 11,640 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,559 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 3,727 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 3,308 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,569 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 2,607 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 2,320 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,845 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 1,375 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 5,935 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,075 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 3,395 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 8,250 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 3,369 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,725 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,028 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,134 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,536 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 2,408 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 1,991 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 2,486 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,740 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,849 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on September 24, 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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