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The Top 25 People Enabling Scientology, No. 7: The litigators

[David Miscavige knows he can count on attorneys like Bert Deixler]

We still consider it one of the most revolting things an attorney has done in the service of the Church of Scientology.

Laura DeCrescenzo was suing the Church of Scientology over what she claimed was years of abuse not only as a “Sea Org” worker, but as a child indentured to Scientology. She had started out in the Sea Org at only 12 and was put on the child’s schedule: 90 hours a week, for pennies an hour, when she was paid at all. At 13, she was moved up to the adult’s schedule, 112 hours a week.

Like other Sea Org employees, she worked 365 days a year, and had almost no chance to see her family. At 17, she alleged, she was forced to have an abortion so she could keep up her round-the-clock work schedule.

It was a lawsuit with a lot of shocking allegations, and Laura knew that her best chance to corroborate her claims would be to get her hands on the files that Scientology had kept on her during her employment. Scientology is obsessive about keeping records, and Laura knew that all of the horrible things she had been put through would be coldly recorded in her voluminous folders.

Scientology didn’t want her to have her own files, and fought tooth and nail to keep them from her. When the trial court judge sided with Laura, however, and ordered Scientology to turn over the documents, the church turned to one of its most trusted litigators, high-priced Los Angeles attorney Bert Deixler.

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Deixler tried to convince the California State Supreme Court, and then the US Supreme Court, that what was contained in Laura’s files was so “religious” in nature that turning them over to her for her use in a lawsuit would be a shocking betrayal of Scientology’s religious rights.

This is a specialty of Scientology, turning things on their head so the church appears to be the victim, but neither court was swayed, and eventually Scientology had no choice but to turn over tens of thousands of Laura’s own records to her.

We then did a story about what was in those folders, and it was horrific. There were documents, for example, showing that Laura had been disciplined because, at 12 years old, she had admitted to missing her mother.

There were also records confirming that Laura was having difficulty dealing with her abortion, which Scientology knew full well had been forced on her.

Laura eventually won a huge settlement when, on the eve of trial, Scientology leader David Miscavige finally caved and wrote a huge check to end the matter. He knew that that church could never actually go through a trial and have these matters come out in evidence with the press watching.

But we were still stunned that Bert Deixler paid no price for his role in what Scientology had tried to do. Here were documents the church knew were horrific records of the abuse of a young girl in employment of the church, and it had tried to hide that material by having Deixler claim to the highest courts in the land that it was material that was too “religious” to be released.

Seriously, where are other religious organizations on this? Scientology tried to hide records of coerced abortion by claiming it was too religious to turn them over?

We’re still shaking our heads at that. But that’s typical for attorneys who do the real dirty work for Scientology in court, the mainstay litigators who, day in and day out, snow US courts with aggressively deceptive arguments and briefs, and for hundreds of dollars an hour.

We’re currently marveling at the antics of two more litigators, William Forman for the Church of Scientology International and Matthew Hinks for the Religious Technology Center, as they handle the biggest lawsuit against the church in years, the one filed by Danny Masterson’s rape accusers.

 

[Forman, left, and Hinks]

Most recently, Forman and Hinks stunned us in their recent filing in the case, when they told Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Steven Kleifield that the “commerce” of Scientology is, indeed, the kind of stalking that the church is accused of in that lawsuit.

The filing was brash and pugnacious, because it reflects the man paying the bills, Scientology leader David Miscavige. Dave’s money has for many years bought him the kind of litigators who will say and do what he wants them to in court, even outlandish things that make little legal sense.

Dave knows that his money ensures that he’ll always have these expensive enablers to do his bidding in court.

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Phil Jones adds his own experience with Scientology attorney Bert Deixler: Back when we were trying to contact the kids (about 5 years ago) we made numerous attempts. Scientology blocked us from even having a conversation with them. Once disconnected we weren’t even given the chance to say goodbye or even see them at all.

We tried lots of different things and even hooked up with a production company that was shooting a documentary (which never aired) for A&E. During that time we got a “cease and desist” letter from Bert Deixler.

At probably around $1,000 per hour or more there’s no way our son could afford to hire him. Our son is in the Sea Org and probably lucky to make $50 (gross) per week for his 100+ hour work weeks. Scientology obviously orchestrated this to attempt to shut us down. (It didn’t work).

Interesting tidbit. In the letter from Deixler he mentions us having gone to adult protective services. We actually never did go there. It was mentioned to one officer we spoke to at the LAPD Hollywood office that we were ‘considering’ it. We mentioned it to nobody else. Somehow Scientology got this info from the LAPD and figured that we actually did go to the adult protective services to make a report.

Here’s the letter:

Deixler To Jones: Scientology intimidation by Tony Ortega on Scribd

 
The Top 25 People Enabling Scientology

6: The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department
7: The litigators
8: The ghost private eyes
9: The San Bernardino Sheriff’s Office

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10: Political shills
11: Gary Soter
12: The city of Clearwater, Florida
13: Google and other tech titans
14: The Los Angeles Times
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
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24: Rebecca Dobkin and other low-level PI grunts
25: DirecTV and filmmakers buffing Dave’s channel

 
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Source Code

“A god of this universe, an anthropomorphic god — and I hope that you understand me very clearly when I use this word ‘god’ loosely and even blasphemously, for the good reason that this thing g-o-d is something which man has set up in his image. And it is merely an ambition on the part of a thetan, it’s an effort, a co-effort on the part of thetans to have a playing field and so on. And there is, actually, beings above the beingness of this universe. There are beings, but they are not this anthropomorphic thing who is the jealous god, who has hate and vengeance and so forth, that happens to be above that level. And the jealous god, the most jealous god there would be, would be a god who would insist at all times that he must not be duplicated, even to the point of not using his name in vain. He mustn’t be duplicated. No graven images. His space, it’s all his space and so forth. And we go on this way. Interesting, isn’t it?” — L. Ron Hubbard, December 14, 1953

 
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Avast, Ye Mateys

“SMERSH: Good news. Adelaide trouble had a reprieve when they did not pass a ban bill at once but delayed it until Feb due to the filibuster tactics of our opposition and the ferocity of the defense. The ‘Parliament’ there was considering a bill to ban Scn, backed of course by the Health Minister who is a SMERSH appointee.” — The Commodore, December 14, 1968

 
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Overheard in the FreeZone

“There’s been several research lines on the case for homosexuality. Why none of them has to do with the beings that control the re-incarnation cycle on Earth. (Marcabians). Because some homosexuals are born that way. These ETs manipulate the entities. Can create cloned bodies and can put spirits into containers, mix them and put them back into bodies. Creating composite beings of any kind or sexual preference is implicit.”

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Past is Prologue

1999: Dateline NBC aired a follow-up segment on Bob Minton this week. “The Church of Scientology has described Vaughn and Stacy Young and others Minton is funding as liars who commit crimes against the church. And church lawyers hired a team of investigators to span the globe looking for Bob Minton’s dirty laundry. Minton’s family and friends say private eyes told them they feared he was violent, even telling one friend that Minton might go into a church one day and start shooting at Scientologists. When we first broadcast our story, Bob Minton didn’t seem to have a lot of dirty laundry, and it seemed unlikely that he would become violent. But that was then.”

 
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Random Howdy

“Most animals have more of an affinity for their offspring than the average Scientologist.”

 
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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 on Jan 19.
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 denied Dec 11.
Chrissie Bixler et al. v. Scientology and Danny Masterson: Dec 18, re-hearing on motions to compel arbitration; 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. Nov 18: Feshbachs indicated they will enter into consent judgment to pay the debt.
Brian Statler Sr v. City of Inglewood: Second amended complaint filed, trial set for Nov 9, 2021.

Concluded litigation:
Author Steve Cannane defamation trial: Trial concluded, Cannane victorious, awarded court costs.
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 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.

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.

LEAH REMINI: SCIENTOLOGY AND THE AFTERMATH

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 now on Netflix.

SCIENTOLOGY’S CELEBRITIES, from A to Z

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?

 
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THE WHOLE TRACK

[ONE year ago] Glam for Xenu: When Scientology celebrities ruled the world
[TWO years ago] Finally, L. Ron Hubbard’s first ‘Clear’ — Sonya Bianchi — found again after 68 years
[THREE years ago] He was Scientology’s most famous spy, then he turned witness and vanished. Now, here he is.
[FOUR years ago] Nora Crest’s powerful new video: Why you can’t be gay in Scientology
[FIVE years ago] Who are those WISE guys? A tipster helps us get some names of Scientology operatives
[SIX years ago] Another Scientology ambush, this time of Marty Rathbun with Louis Theroux present
[SEVEN years ago] Jon Atack: What we have here — in Scientology — is a failure to communicate
[EIGHT years ago] DOX: Florida Officials Fight Attempt to Hide Drug Rehab’s Scientology Connections
[NINE years ago] Scientology Story of the Year: Cast Your Vote Now!

 
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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 2,150 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,654 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,174 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,194 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,085 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 4,392 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 2,260 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 3,034 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 3,838 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,154 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 11,720 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,639 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 3,807 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 3,388 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,649 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 2,687 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 2,400 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,925 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 280 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 1,455 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,006 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,155 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 3,475 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 8,330 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 3,449 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,805 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,108 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,214 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,616 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 2,488 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,071 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 2,566 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,820 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,929 days.

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Posted by Tony Ortega on December 14, 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, 15 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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