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Valerie Haney takes fight against Scientology ‘arbitration’ to California Supreme Court

Valerie Haney told us that she was determined to fight Scientology’s attempt to get her into its “religious arbitration,” and court records show that she’s doing exactly that, taking her battle to California’s highest court in a new filing.

In January, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Richard Burdge denied Valerie’s right to a trial on her allegations of kidnapping, stalking, and slander. The judge agreed with Scientology’s argument to derail her lawsuit because she had signed a contract as a church employee promising to take all grievances to Scientology’s own brand of “religious arbitration.” In August he upheld the decision after she filed a motion for reconsideration.

In September Valerie filed a petition with the state’s 2nd Appellate Division, asking for the right to appeal Judge Burdge’s ruling without first actually having to go through Scientology’s arbitration, but the appeals court denied her petition, calling it “untimely.”

According to the brief note the court issued, Valerie maintains the right to appeal Judge Burdge’s decision — but she would first have to go through the arbitration.


Valerie has likened that to crawling back to her abuser.

So instead, she’s taking her request for the right to appeal to a higher authority. Court records show that on October 30 Valerie filed a petition for review with the California Supreme Court.

We put in a message asking about her latest legal move, and we’ll let you know if she has anything to say about it.

Valerie’s lawsuit was filed in June 2019 to a huge media response. She had told her story in the premiere episode that started off the third and final season of Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath on the A&E network. A former Sea Org worker who had grown up in Scientology, Valerie had spent years as church leader David Miscavige’s personal steward, working in his private quarters at the secretive Gold Base near Hemet, California. She knew intimate details of Miscavige’s life (some of which she shared with us in an interview), and she was one of the last people to see Dave’s wife Shelly before she vanished in late summer 2005.

After Shelly disappeared, Valerie was moved to another post and ended up working at Gold Base’s video department as a casting director. She wanted desperately to leave the base, but knew that she would never be allowed to leave because of how much she knew about Miscavige and his private life. So she made her escape by hiding out in the trunk of the car of an actor who had been shooting a video at the facility. After her escape, Valerie went to work for Leah Remini as her assistant and they got to work on telling her story in the A&E series. Valerie described how she was then subjected to a ferocious “Fair Game” campaign by Scientology as it tried to intimidate her with stalking private investigators.

In her lawsuit, Valerie is suing for the way Scientology kept her against her will at the base, as well as for the harassment after she made her escape. But Scientology argued successfully that because she had signed an agreement when she left her job, she had promised not to sue the church and to take any grievance to its internal religious arbitration. Valerie’s attorneys tried to point out that the majority of what she’s suing over occurred after she had left her job, but Judge Burdge wasn’t persuaded, and ruled that she had to abide by the contract.

If Valerie goes through the arbitration and Judge Burdge accepts the results of it, she could then appeal his decision and an appellate court would be obliged to consider it. But she has said she does not want to subject herself to Scientology’s bizarre internal court and feels that she deserves an appeal of Burdge’s ruling without having to go through the arbitration. (Scientology’s religious arbitration is not like the independent arbitration that most people think of when they hear the term. It is a reworking of Scientology’s rules for its version of a court martial, and is heard by a panel of arbitrators who must be members of the church in good standing. Leah Remini has accused the courts of not understanding that Scientology ‘arbitration’ is a sham.)

The appellate court issued only a very brief statement saying that her petition was “untimely,” and it included a separate notation by Presiding Justice Laurence D. Rubin, who wrote “I would deny the petition only on the ground that petitioner has an adequate remedy on appeal.”

In other words, Valerie can appeal, but only after she’s subjected herself to the kangaroo court of her abuser, Scientology’s religious arbitration.

So Valerie must now convince the state supreme court that the appellate judges were in error when they didn’t consider her situation to be extraordinary. We don’t think there’s any question that her situation is extraordinary, but proving it to a state supreme court is a daunting task to be sure.


Bonus items from our tipsters



Source Code

“It is interesting that the Tagalogs weren’t ever told that you were supposed to stop when you were hit by a bullet. So they would get hit with three or four bullets through the heart and one through the head and then run seventy-five yards and take a machete and whack off an American soldier’s head. This was disconcerting to our troops during the Philippine insurrection. So we sent a lot of people in and convinced them that when you were hit by a bullet you were supposed to die. They have never repeated this performance. That is an interesting datum. And yet there were lots of Tagalogs running around getting shot at during World War II and none of them put on this kind of a performance. What actually happened to them was mechanical.” — L. Ron Hubbard, November 12, 1951


Overheard in the FreeZone

“I’m not sure if a soul can be a spirit guide and reincarnate, but Ron is my #1 spirit guide. Been with me since birth. I’m a medium and talk to him all the time. I’m surprised Scientologists never hired a medium to talk to him. I only became aware this past August that I have abilities which is why I’m just now searching for answers. I just asked my reader if they can reincarnate and be guides. I’ll let you know. They cannot be spirit guides and reincarnate at the same time. So he has not reincarnated but lives on in spirit. If I’m not mistaken, Scientology has connections to the spiritual realm.”


Past is Prologue

1998: The State of Florida this week charged Scientology with crimes in connection with the death of Lisa McPherson, who died in their care in 1995. From the Associated Press: “The Church of Scientology was charged Friday in the 1995 death of a member whose family claimed the church held her against her will for 17 days. Prosecutor Bernie McCabe charged the church with abuse or neglect of a disabled adult and practicing medicine without a license, both felonies.”



Random Howdy

“I’m bemused that ex-Scientologists still actively engage in magical thinking, not realizing that the number one reason that they got sucked into Scientology in the first place is because they were already engaged in magical thinking through a belief and interest in the supernatural and the paranormal which had already placed them on the slippery slope to cult hell.”


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

Criminal prosecutions:
Danny Masterson charged for raping three women: Masterson’s demurrer denied Oct 19, arraignment delayed to Jan 6.
Jay and Jeff Spina, Medicare fraud: Jay’s sentencing delayed for ‘Fatico’ hearing in January.
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 writ of mandate denied Oct 22 by Cal 2nd Appellate District. Petition for review by state supreme court filed Oct 30.
Chrissie Bixler et al. v. Scientology and Danny Masterson: Nov 6, motions to compel arbitration, awaiting ruling; Jan 29, Masterson’s request to stay discovery pending the criminal case
Matt and Kathy Feschbach tax debt: Eleventh Circuit ruled on Sept 9 that Feshbachs can’t discharge IRS debt in bankruptcy. Oct 19: Feshbachs still considering further appellate relief.
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.


SCIENTOLOGY BLACK OPS: Tom Cruise and dirty tricks

The Australian Seven News network cancelled a 10-part investigation of Scientology and its history of dirty tricks. Read the transcripts of the episodes and judge for yourself why Tom Cruise and Tommy Davis might not have wanted viewers to see this hard-hitting series by journalist Bryan Seymour.


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.


An episode-by-episode guide to Leah Remini’s three-season, double-Emmy winning series that changed everything for Scientology watching. Originally aired from 2016 to 2019 on the A&E network, and coming November 1 to Netflix.


Find your favorite Hubbardite celeb at this index page — or suggest someone to add to the list!

Other links: Scientology’s Ideal Orgs, from one end of the planet to the other. 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 a weekly series. How many have you read?



[ONE year ago] Woman who fled Scientology after being lured in by Jason Dohring acting class goes public
[TWO years ago] AUDIO: Scientology fundraising throws in a little conspiracy-mongering for effect
[THREE years ago] Tonight on ‘Leah Remini’: Scientology’s front groups, including Narconon, get a special look
[FOUR years ago] Leah Remini schools us on what motivates Scientologists to toe the line
[FIVE years ago] Countdown to Room 174: Remembering, in real time, Scientology’s grimmest scandal
[SIX years ago] Scientology Photoshopping: Erasing L. Ron Hubbard’s second wife from ‘The RON Series’
[SEVEN years ago] Bruce Hines Joins Us As Claire Headley Keeps Us Moving Through Scientology’s OT Levels!
[EIGHT years ago] Scientology Desperately Wants Your Children: The Cruise Ship Come-On
[NINE years ago] Scientology Seasickness: 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 2,118 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,622 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,142 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,162 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,053 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 4,360 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 2,228 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 3,002 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 3,806 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,122 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 11,688 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,607 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 3,775 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 3,356 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,617 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 2,655 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 2,368 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,893 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 248 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 1,423 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 5,974 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,123 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 3,443 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 8,298 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 3,417 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,773 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,076 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,182 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,584 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 2,456 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,039 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 2,534 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,788 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,897 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on November 12, 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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