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Danny Masterson accusers want emergency halt on ‘religious arbitration’ to protect rape case

[Chrissie Bixler doesn’t want to run into Masterson in ‘arbitration’]

Tomorrow, Danny Masterson is scheduled, once again, to be arraigned on three counts of forcible rape that have him facing 45 years to life in prison. And for that reason, say his alleged victims, they have asked for an emergency hearing to take place, also tomorrow, so they can ask to have the harassment lawsuit they filed against the That ’70s Show actor and the Church of Scientology put on ice.

If they have to wait any longer for their lawsuit to be put on hold, they say, Scientology’s plan to put them through “religious arbitration” could compromise the criminal case against Masterson.

Masterson himself made a motion to halt discovery in regards only to himself, and that motion is scheduled to be heard on January 29. But his accusers argue that the case cannot be frozen for only one person — it should be put on hold for everyone, and immediately.

We know this lawsuit is a bit of a tangle, and especially now after Judge Steven Kleifield’s decision to grant Scientology’s motion to force four of the five plaintiffs into Scientology arbitration. But we’ll try to explain the current situation for those just joining us.

Chrissie Carnell Bixler and two women going by the names Jane Doe #1 and Jane Doe #2 went to the LAPD in 2016 with allegations that they had been raped by Danny Masterson in incidents between 2001 and 2003. All three of the women had been members of the Church of Scientology at the time, as is Masterson. A fourth woman, Bobette Riales, joined the investigation in 2017, but she had never been a Scientologist. The LAPD turned over the investigation to the LA District Attorney’s office for prosecution in April 2017, and by 2018 we reported that the managers in that office had signed off on charging Masterson under California’s strict “One Strike Law” carrying a potential life sentence. But well into 2019 the women had still not heard anything about criminal charges from then-District Attorney Jackie Lacey, and so they decided to take matters into their own hands.


In August 2019, Bixler, her husband rock singer Cedric Bixler-Zavala, Bobette Riales, and the two Jane Does filed a civil lawsuit against Masterson, the Church of Scientology, and its leader David Miscavige. They were not suing over the rape allegations. They were suing over the harassment they allege they’d been put through by the church and Masterson since they came forward to the police. Their allegations included pets being poisoned and Bobette’s house being set on fire, and the church and Masterson denied that they had anything to do with it.

Then, on June 16, DA Jackie Lacey finally acted, and charged Masterson with three counts of forcible rape. (The three victims he’s accused of raping are Chrissie Carnell Bixler and the two Jane Does.) Masterson attempted to have the charges thrown out with a couple of expensive court motions, but those motions were denied and after several delays his arraignment is now scheduled to take place tomorrow morning. Additionally, the women were put under the shield of a protective order that prevents Masterson from contacting them and also forced him to turn in his firearms collection while he awaits trial.

Meanwhile, in the civil lawsuit Scientology filed motions to compel the former Scientologists — Chrissie, Cedric, and the two Jane Does — to stay the lawsuit and take their grievances to “religious arbitration” as they had agreed to in contracts they had signed years earlier while they were members of the church. (Scientology’s brand of arbitration does not involve an independent arbitrator. It features three arbitrators who have to be members of the church in good standing and are prevented by Scientology policy from being fair to ex-members like these women who are considered excommunicated, or declared “suppressive persons.” And in Scientology there is no higher crime than turning in a church member to law enforcement or taking a church member to court, as these women have done.)

On December 30, Judge Kleifield granted Scientology’s motions, ruling that Chrissie, Cedric, and the two Jane Does are obliged to go through religious arbitration, denying them the right to trial. He also decided that Masterson himself could take part in the arbitration if he wanted to.

And that’s where the problem lies. With the much more important criminal prosecution threatening to put Masterson in prison, the women simply cannot allow an arbitration to go on which might elicit testimony from either side that could end up compromising the criminal case. And besides, the women are under the protective order in the criminal case, and an arbitration that would put Masterson in the same room with the women would be a violation of that protective order.

In order to protect the Plaintiffs from any additional harm or harassment by Masterson or his agents (including the Scientology defendants in this case), the Honorable Miguel Espinoza entered a Criminal Protective Order that precludes Defendant Masterson from having any contact with Plaintiffs Chrissie Carnell-Bixler, Jane Doe #1 and Jane Doe #2 either directly or through a third party. If religious arbitration were to proceed while the criminal matter and Judge Espinoza’s Order are still pending, it would violate same. Plaintiffs have additional state constitutional rights under Marsy’s law that would be violated as well if religious arbitration occurred during the pendency of the criminal matter.

The only arbitration that the Church of Scientology has done in its 67-year existence involved a California couple, Luis and Rocio Garcia, who went through it after their 2013 fraud lawsuit against the church was similarly derailed by a motion to compel arbitration. The Garcias were not allowed to have an attorney with them, no recordings were allowed, no transcript was produced, and most of the documentary evidence the Garcias brought with them was not allowed to be entered by Scientology’s “International Justice Chief,” Mike Ellis. (The Garcias only went through it so they could then appeal Tampa federal Judge James Whittemore’s ruling that forced them into it. They’ve been waiting more than two years now for the Eleventh Circuit to make a ruling on that appeal.)

While the Garcias might have been willing to put themselves through that, the women suing Danny Masterson can’t afford to because it would put their rights in jeopardy, they say:

If this Court does not stay these matters, it will needlessly strip plaintiffs of any protection against both the perpetrator of the crimes against them, and the defendants who harassed them, contrary to California law. They would be forced to appear, without their attorneys present and without any reasonable conditions to protect them, to disclose confidential information and be interviewed and subject to questioning, harassment and intimidation before a committee of Scientologists (which, by defendants own admission, could include defendant Masterson ) who, by mandate, must treat the plaintiffs as enemies of Scientology. This would clearly violate plaintiffs’ constitutional protections…

According to additional documents filed with the motion, Chrissie Carnell Bixler’s attorney Bobby Thompson has been trying for several days to get this emergency hearing scheduled. Now, it’s planned for tomorrow morning at 8:30 am at Los Angeles Superior Court at the exact same time that in another building of the same court Danny Masterson is scheduled to be arraigned on his criminal charges. (He won’t be there, but his defense attorneys Tom Mesereau and Sharon Appelbaum will be.) We’ll do our best to keep an eye on both situations at the same time.


Leah Remini podcast: Kate Bornstein

During our five years as editor in chief of the Village Voice, we wrote a lot about Scientology, but only for the website, not the paper version of the newspaper itself. The only time we deviated from that path was on May 2, 2012, when we decided to splash Kate Bornstein and her amazing voyage from L. Ron Hubbard’s first mate to renowned New York City trans performance artist on the front page. As our readers know, Kate has been a big part of the Underground Bunker ever since. And now she’s joined Leah and Mike for their latest podcast episode, which you can listen to right here…



Source Code

“You find many a girl — various stresses in the war you notice this: Some girl who was very much in love with some young man, and he got knocked off, something like that, and right away she becomes a lawyer — begins to talk in a rather husky voice. If you watch her a while longer, the next thing you know, she’s liable to start smoking cigars. You know? And in order to exteriorize her, you’d have to exteriorize her out of the body of a young man before you could exteriorize her out of the body she’s in. Now she doesn’t want to be in the body she’s in, so she’s not really in the body she’s in, and you just don’t have a dog’s chance of exteriorizing her out of that body. You say, ‘Be three feet back of your head.’ She’s not in it. So the whole command misses. You see that?” — L. Ron Hubbard, January 19, 1956


Avast, Ye Mateys

“1969 was the year of Out-Ethics. In 1970 I trust all SO members will wear their ethics hats. Every SO member has one. Every time we ease up or drop Ethics we get horrible problems and stats. It can be plotted on the Int GI. Fact is Ethics is madly out on the planet. Definition of some Earth wog leaders — somebody who is trying to get even with everybody else. Definition of psychiatry: the government’s method of getting even with the insane.” — The Commodore, January 19, 1970


Overheard in the FreeZone

“When you interweave your spiritual essence with too many other thetans, you are establishing too many anchor points on that Dynamic. When one does this, it makes it more difficult to once again find and re-unite with one’s true ‘soul-mate’ lifetime after lifetime. If ‘soul-mates’ mutually refrain from promiscuity prior to re-uniting, they find each other again and again, lifetime to lifetime. The indicator is this, trust your own knowingness as to whether you have a long term relationship with the person or not – and if not, do not get involved with them, especially sexually.”



Past is Prologue

1996: From Biased Journalism, a report on the film plans of actor John Travolta. “Word is that Scientologist superstar John Travolta is pushing Miramar Productions to do Revolt in The Stars, a story directly based on OT III. Miramar HATES the script. And thinks the movie will DIE on the vine, so to speak. Travolta is pushing Miramar to do the movie as part of his contract renegotiations, so it is difficult for them to say no.”


Random Howdy

“OT 7 is just sitting in a room talking to yourself and seeing if the needle reacts. You’d think after a couple of years of doing that they would just say ‘fuck it!’ and tell the case supervisor ‘The belfry is bat-free’.”


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 to March 2.
Hanan and Rizza Islam and other family members, Medi-Cal fraud: Trial scheduled for May 20 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] Georgia puts legislator who promotes Scientology anti-psych efforts on mental health panel
[TWO years ago] New Sea Org escapee says that Scientology still forcing abortions, decade after practice exposed
[THREE years ago] More Scientology news is here: You won’t believe how fast this planet is being cleared!
[FOUR years ago] Scientology in hot water again for cutting down trees without permission
[FIVE years ago] When the feds tracked down L. Ron Hubbard’s boast about getting rich by creating a religion
[SIX years ago] Earache my eye: A Scientology official’s excuses why he can’t fly for deposition in fraud suit
[SEVEN years ago] Sunday Funnies: For the second year in a row, Scientology will have an ad in the Super Bowl
[EIGHT years ago] We Told You Jamie DeWolf Would Blow Up!
[NINE years ago] Scientology Spokeswoman Who Disconnected From Her Father Criticizes Scientology Victim Who Didn’t


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 2,186 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,690 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,210 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,230 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,121 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 4,428 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 2,296 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 3,070 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 3,874 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,190 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 11,756 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,675 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 3,843 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 3,424 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,685 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 2,723 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 2,436 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,961 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 316 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 1,491 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,042 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,191 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 3,511 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 8,366 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 3,485 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,841 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,144 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,250 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,652 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 2,524 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,107 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 2,602 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,856 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,965 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on January 19, 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, 1995-2020 Just starting out here? We’ve picked out the most important stories we’ve covered here at the Underground Bunker (2012-2020), 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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