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The Top 25 People Enabling Scientology, No. 11: Gary Soter

[Soter is always the tall one in a Scientology lawyer scrum]

Calabasas, California attorney Gary Soter has turned up numerous times in our stories as a legal water carrier for Scientology. We couldn’t help picking him out in the New Braunfels, Texas courtroom when he was the tallest attorney in the room, towering over the rest of the lawyer scrum representing the church in its battle against Monique Rathbun. At one point, he showed a flash of anger that a reporter was taking photos in his direction, and he was quite intimidating. But there was nothing he could do about it, it was a public hearing after all.

It was also Soter who had Valerie Haney sign an agreement when she left Scientology, and it came up in her lawsuit that she felt frightened because Soter was accompanied by an armed guard. Scientology denied that this was true.

Soter tried to get attorney Ray Jeffrey in trouble by filing a bar complaint against him that was dismissed. And Soter also jumped into the breach to defend Scientology against Leah Remini and her claims that the church was interfering with her TV series.

But the thing that really set Soter apart as a legal soldier for Scientology was the way he tried to derail Leah’s A&E series just before it premiered in 2016 with a threat letter about Amy Scobee that was truly depraved, even by Scientology standards.

 

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[Amy Scobee, telling her story on the first episode of ‘Aftermath’]

In the premiere episode of Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath, Scobee, a former Sea Org official, would reveal that she had been raped at 14 by a fellow employee at a Scientology mission in Bellevue, Washington. And then, in typical Scientology fashion, Amy was punished for being a victim, and was made to apologize to her fellow employees. In writing. (Even today, putting those words down, we are still amazed that this organization never seems to pay a penalty for treating people this way.)

With only days to go before that episode was scheduled to air, Soter sent in a detailed threat letter, telling A&E that Scobee was lying, that she was actually 16 not 14, and that she had been the “sexual aggressor” in the incident, and that it was limited to her shoving her hands down an older man’s pants.

That letter, Amy told us, was full of lies. She provided specific details to us about the incident which happened in the summer of 1978 when she was 14 years old, that it involved oral sex and intercourse, and that every member of the staff at her mission knew all of those details — because, according to Scientology policy, she was forced to write out those details and then get every staff member to sign it. In other words, Scientology would have documentation backing up what Amy was saying.

But even if, for argument’s sake, we accepted what Soter was saying, that Amy Scobee was a 16-year-old girl that summer, it’s still amazing that Scientology asked him to claim that this child was the “sexual aggressor” in a rape, and that Scientology would threaten to sue A&E for airing a show about it.

But those are the kinds of things you need to be prepared to do once you agree to be one of David Miscavige’s enablers.

A&E, of course, went ahead with that premiere episode, which proved to be a huge hit for the network.

And check it out, Gary, your revolting letter got you on the list.

 
The Top 25 People Enabling Scientology
11: Gary Soter
12: The city of Clearwater, Florida
13: Google and other tech titans
14: The Los Angeles Times

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15: Jeffrey Riffer
16: James Packer
17: Louis Farrakhan
18: Mark “Marty” Rathbun
19: Wally Pope
20: Gensler
21: Parents who subscribe to ABCMouse
22: Graham Norton and other celebrity strokers
23: The apologist academics
24: Rebecca Dobkin and other low-level PI grunts
25: DirecTV and filmmakers buffing Dave’s channel

 
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SCIENTOLOGY BLACK OPS: Tom Cruise and dirty tricks, the series axed by Seven News

In July the Australian Seven News network cancelled at the last minute a ten-part nightly news in-depth investigation of the Church of Scientology and its history of dirty tricks operations. All ten episodes have now been leaked to the Internet, and we’ve collected all ten links in one place. Judge for yourself why Tom Cruise and Tommy Davis might not have wanted viewers to see this hard-hitting series by journalist Bryan Seymour.

 
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SCIENTOLOGY: FAIR GAME

After the success of their double-Emmy-winning, three-season A&E series ‘Scientology and the Aftermath,’ Leah Remini and Mike Rinder continue the conversation on their podcast, ‘Scientology: Fair Game.’ We’ve created a landing page where you can hear all of the episodes so far.

 
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Source Code

“We have learned that it does no good in America to advertise. It doesn’t do any good to advertise. We get everybody we get by word of mouth. You understand, I’m merely talking on percentiles. Something like three out of fifty or three out of twenty-five come in because of ads. That is our average for all over the country.” — L. Ron Hubbard, October 18, 1956

 
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Overheard in the FreeZone

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“2.0 and above is where survival kicks in, and it’s way above 1.1 which is much or most of the Left. 2.0 is as high a tone as will impinge at all on the Left. It is the proper tone to adopt to drain the swamp. Trump has to come down from his chronic tone of action, 20.0, in order to communicate at all with the swamp dwellers. Study your materials. Find out who you really are. But we still love you. So I suggest for an amends project when you get up to ‘liability’ as an American, that you watch 50 or more ‘walk away’ videos, then make one of your own.”

 
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Past is Prologue

2000: “M” reported that Scientologists protesting at his workplace attempted to be hit by his car as a set-up for him to be arrested. “I came driving my vehicle around the corner, and as I pulled into the driveway, at the last minute, I saw this guy just standing there. I had to brake really hard to avoid hitting him, and my tires ‘chirped’ as I did this. He then stepped out of the way, and I proceeded to park and go into the office. He and another Scientologist were hanging around the office, handing out some of their negative literature. I then went outside and videotaped the two of them. I told them that it wasn’t a good idea to be standing in driveways, that it was dangerous. The second Scientologist made a remark to his friend that essentially expressed that he was disappointed that I hadn’t hit him.”

 
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Random Howdy

“I asked vaLLarrr the Sci troll one time if any new OT levels were released, and they didn’t include Hubbard’s handwriting on some level, would s/he consider them genuine and s/he said ‘no’.”

 
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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 29 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

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: Oct 26 (motions to compel arbitration)
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.

Concluded litigation:
Dennis Nobbe, Medicare fraud, PPP loan fraud: Charged July 29. Bond revoked Sep 14. Nobbe dead, Sep 14.
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.

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

[Catherine Bell, Chick Corea, and Nancy Cartwright]

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] Duggans abandon scheme, give $48.8 million in AbbVie stock directly to Scientology
[TWO years ago] Read the ‘disconnection letter’ from a brother telling his sis — Sylvia DeWall — so long forever
[THREE years ago] Scientology slut-shames Mimi Faust after destroying her family because … it’s a church!
[FOUR years ago] Trademark lawsuit against Scientology’s drug rehab network settles weeks before trial
[FIVE years ago] Countdown to Friday: ‘Scientology’s Dirty Tricks’ on the menu in Sydney
[SIX years ago] Tom Cruise shows up with his Scientology ‘Freedom Medal of Valor’ in London
[SEVEN years ago] Scientology Drug Rehab: New Evidence in the Disturbing Case of Richard Teague
[EIGHT years ago] A Yoga Master’s Question For Scientology OT 8’s: Can You Show Cause Over Matter?
[NINE years ago] Scientology Petition Going to the Wire: Will Obama Be Forced to Say Something?

 
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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 2,093 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,597 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,117 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,137 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,028 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 4,335 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 2,203 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 2,977 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 3,781 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,097 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 11,663 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,582 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 3,750 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 3,331 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,592 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 2,630 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 2,343 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,868 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 1,398 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 5,958 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,098 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 3,418 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 8,273 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 3,392 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,748 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,051 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,157 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,559 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 2,431 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,014 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 2,509 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,763 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,872 days.

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Posted by Tony Ortega on October 18, 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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