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Adding insult to injury, Valerie Haney faces a hearing for $160,000 in sanctions this week

In the last few days attorneys for Valerie Haney and the Church of Scientology have filed briefs in preparation for a hearing at Los Angeles Superior Court on Thursday that will consider whether Scientology can saddle Valerie with $160,000 in sanctions as punishment for asking a judge to reconsider his ruling to deny her a right to trial and force her into Scientology’s ‘religious arbitration.’

We have those documents for you to look at. And we’ll try to help you understand how, after her lawsuit was short-circuited by Scientology’s legal chicanery, the church is also in a position to saddle her with such a large cash penalty.

It’s almost as if suing Scientology in US courts were a dicey endeavor.

For those just joining us, Valerie filed a lawsuit in June 2019 alleging that as a Scientology ‘Sea Org’ worker she was held against her will for years at secretive Gold Base near Hemet, California. Her job had her working as a personal steward to church leader David Miscavige in his private quarters until she was moved to other tasks, and she believed that her knowledge about his personal life meant that the organization would never let her leave the compound. She ultimately escaped by hiding in the trunk of a car. She then went to work for Leah Remini as her assistant and became the focus of the premiere episode of the third and final season of Leah’s A&E series, Scientology and the Aftermath. As she did the work preparing for that show, Valerie says she was subjected to a fierce ‘Fair Game’ retaliation campaign by Scientology, which included being smeared online. In her lawsuit, she alleged kidnapping, slander, libel, and other counts.


But Scientology successfully derailed the suit last January by convincing Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Richard Burdge Jr that because Valerie had signed an exit agreement promising to take all disputes to Scientology’s internal “religious arbitration,” she was bound to that contract and could not sue Scientology in civil court — even though most of the things she is alleging took place after she had left her job.

In March Valerie filed a motion for reconsideration, and her attorneys presented what they said was new evidence, documents showing that Scientology actually fired her a week before she signed the exit agreement, and testimony that Scientology’s ‘arbitration’ was a sham. Scientology’s attorneys argued the new evidence wasn’t actually new at all because it appeared in filings that had already been on record in the lawsuit. And you may remember that the church’s attorneys were particularly angry that former Scientology officials Hana Whitfield and Mike Rinder had filed declarations with the motion, asking the judge to consider that Scientology’s “arbitration” was just a reworking of its internal court martial proceeding, the “committee of evidence,” and that it was fraudulent.

In August Judge Burdge denied the motion, and to add insult to injury Scientology argued that because Valerie’s attorneys should have known that the new evidence was already on file, she should have to pay a penalty of $160,000, which is the amount they estimated it had cost them to respond to her motion for reconsideration.

In his opposition to Scientology’s motion for sanctions filed this week, Valerie’s attorney Bobby Thompson argues that he had objected to the January ruling sincerely, and that Hana Whitfield and Mike Rinder had come to him independently and with a genuine motivation to bring material to the judge’s attention that he may not have been aware of.

Ms. Whitfield read a news article about this Court’s ruling on Defendants’ Motions to Compel Arbitration and independently reached out to Plaintiff’s counsel to provide previously unknown information relevant to the Motions to Compel. Neither Plaintiff, nor her counsel, knew Ms. Whitfield prior to this and could not through reasonable diligence have obtained the information from her prior to the ruling. Defendants’ nonsensical claim that Plaintiff’s counsel knew of Ms. Whitfield because they may have spoken at the same conference does not change this fact. Anyone who has been to a conference would be hard pressed to say they knew everyone or since attending, know of every single person in attendance at every conference they have ever attended. Even if that were the case, nothing about “knowing of” Ms. Whitfield because she spoke at a conference could reasonably indicate to Plaintiff’s counsel that she possessed the new evidence relating to the Committee of Evidence, which Defendants claimed was a fair arbitration process.

As further explained by Plaintiff, former Scientologist, Michael Rinder, also contacted Plaintiff’s counsel after reading about this Court’s ruling and provided additional new evidence not previously known to Plaintiff, including the fact that the Committee of Evidence was a sham arbitration process. Because Defendants have no reasonable basis for claiming Plaintiff should have known or discovered the information from Ms. Whitfield prior to the Motion to Compel Arbitration ruling, they attempt to instead claim that Ms. Whitfield’s evidence is duplicative of Mr. Rinder’s, and that due to a purported “affiliation” with Mr. Rinder, all of his knowledge about Scientology was somehow imputed onto Plaintiff and known prior to the Motion to Compel Arbitration ruling. Defendants provide no law or support for such a position. Nor do Defendants provide any actual evidence for their baseless allegation that Mr. Rinder contacting Plaintiff’s counsel after the ruling “is flat out untrue.”

Scientology’s reply is harsh, and it encourages a judge who has already ruled their way twice to come down hard on Valerie and her attorneys…

It is black letter law that a motion for reconsideration may not be filed unless it is based on new facts or new law unavailable to the moving party prior to the hearing on the previous motion. Plaintiff and her counsel here had neither new facts nor new law, and instead simply manufactured “new” evidence based upon witnesses and documents that were obviously available to them all along. Plaintiff’s motion was built upon a foundation of falsehoods and it merits sanctions.

Enough is enough. Plaintiff and her counsel have long played fast and loose with the Court’s rules. An award of monetary sanctions of sufficient magnitude is necessary here to deter Plaintiff, her counsel and future litigants from abusing the Court’s processes through groundless motions for reconsideration seeking multiple bites at the same apple. The motion should be granted.

Scientology always finds a way to paint itself as a victim in court and to draw attention away from what someone like Valerie Haney is actually suing them for. And time and time again, American courts let them get away with it. We’ll see if it happens again this Thursday.


Valerie Haney’s opposition to Scientology’s motion for sanctions

Scientology’s reply to Valerie’s opposition


And as long as we’re posting legal documents, we have another one to share with you. Here’s the language from the final judgment in Matt and Kathy Feshbach’s 20-year fight not to pay a big tax bill, a fight that saw them repeatedly characterized as arrogant liars. In other words, major Scientology donors.

We thought you’d get a kick out of it.


The parties stipulate to entry of final judgment and respectfully request that the Court enter judgment accordingly. In support, the parties stipulate as follows:

1. The United States of America filed this action to reduce to judgment the unpaid federal income tax liabilities owed by Matthew L. Feshbach and Kathleen M. Feshbach for the year 2001.

2. This Court has jurisdiction of this action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1340 and 1345, and 26 U.S.C. § 7402.

3. This Court is the proper venue for adjudicating this civil action pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §§ 1391(b)(2) and 1396 because the defendants reside in this district.

4. The parties stipulate to entry of judgment in favor of the United States and against defendants.

WHEREFORE the parties respectfully request that this Court enter judgment in favor of the United States and against Matthew L. Feshbach and Kathleen M. Feshbach in the amount of $3,674,335.36 as of November 19, 2020, less payments, abatements and credits, plus interest accruing thereafter from that date to the date of payment according to law.

You see, IRS? It can be done.


Source Code


“A little bulletin here: Aussies, hang your head in shame! All through the Commonwealth with the greatest of ease, I was able to slow down this government raid on the church in Washington, but not in Australia. You see, the lines go straight from Australia to the United States and back and forth. And the whole rigged government release in Washington landed scram-bang into the press in Australia. So Australia is a seething mess of ‘God ‘elp us’ now, and somebody from the Australian syndicate is coming down to see me tomorrow, and they want to know all about it. I’m not going to tell them very much beyond a fascist government raided a church. I’ll tell them, Be very, very careful, though, because apparently there’s a million dollars in the offing to fight this in the United States. They actually got all kinds of leads and money pouring in like mad from all directions, and the situation looks very dark for the United States.” — L. Ron Hubbard, January 10, 1963


Avast, Ye Mateys

“Bless AOLA! They held their trend and all the GDSes continue to go up like rockets and their GI is over $41,000. They’re a great team, and we admire them.” — The Commodore, January 10, 1971


Overheard in the FreeZone

“The mainstream media is a classic example of the third party law in our 4th dynamic. It’s just so damn evil and is stirring up all these problems amongst us, yet appears superficially to be just reporting the news. The people chose Trump and the media are totally assisting in the stealing of the election. They are so so bad and if we eradicated them life on earth would be so much better. They are 1.1 disgusting scum. The media is a classic example of a 1.1 industry.”


Past is Prologue

2000: The doors of the Lisa McPherson Trust opened this week in downtown Clearwater. From the St. Petersburg Times: “An organization that says it wants to reform the Church of Scientology has followed through with its plans to open a headquarters at the epicenter of the Scientology world. The group, led by New England millionaire Robert S. Minton, on Wednesday purchased a small office building at 33 N Fort Harrison Ave., just 30 feet from a major Scientology building downtown. Minton and a five-member staff say they plan to educate local residents — including existing Scientologists — about abuses within the church.”



Random Howdy

“Miscavige isn’t that old and he’s got plenty of money, real estate, and willing slaves to play with. I saw an interview with Pol Pot shortly before he died and it boiled down to him saying he wished he could do some things over but he did what he thought was best for the people of Cambodia. Miscavige is either a non-believer who thinks ‘suckers get what they deserve and if it wasn’t me somebody else would be fleecing these idiots’ or he’s a believer and thinks ‘Yes, I’ve been a strongman, but that’s what was necessary to insure the survival of this organization.’ Caesar or charlatan?”


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 20.
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 30, Judge Kleifield granted Scientology’s 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. Dec 17: Feshbachs sign court judgment obliging them to pay entire $3.674 million tax debt, plus interest from Nov 19.
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.


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 now on 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] Activists find Scientologist French police tried for years to question about 2006 suicide
[TWO years ago] Uh-oh. Someone trusted a whole bunch of money to a wealthy Scientologist.
[THREE years ago] Xenu or Xemu? Here’s our take on one of Scientology’s galactic-wide mysteries
[FOUR years ago] Tonight on ‘Leah Remini’: Once again, Scientology’s a horror show for the mentally ill
[FIVE years ago] A business executive looks at Scientology as a (poorly run) business
[SIX years ago] Jon Atack: Scientology’s ‘training routines’ and their relationship to meditation
[SEVEN years ago] Black hearts and burning crosses: Scientology litigation is getting weird in Texas
[EIGHT years ago] The Master Gets Three Oscar Nominations
[NINE years ago] Scientology and Oiliness: More Renderings from the Super Power Building


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 2,177 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,681 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,201 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,221 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,112 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 4,419 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 2,287 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 3,061 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 3,865 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,181 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 11,747 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,666 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 3,834 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 3,415 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,676 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 2,714 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 2,427 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,952 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 307 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 1,482 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,033 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,182 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 3,502 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 8,357 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 3,476 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,832 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,135 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,241 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,643 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 2,515 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,098 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 2,593 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,847 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,956 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on January 10, 2021 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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