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Danny Masterson says he intends to take part in Scientology ‘arbitration’ with alleged victims

[Masterson at his Sept 18 court appearance]

Scientology loves to twist the knife, and now that it has won its motions to force Danny Masterson’s rape accusers into “religious arbitration,” it’s looking for ways to further weaponize its position in the civil lawsuit filed by the alleged victims of sexual assault.

Another hearing is coming up in the lawsuit this Friday, and attorneys for both Scientology and Masterson filed new briefs to make their positions clear to Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Steven Kleifield.

Originally, the January 29 hearing was scheduled to hear a request by Masterson to put discovery in regards to himself on pause, but he’s dropped that request. Now, the hearing will be used to figure out what to do in regards to Bobette Riales, the one Masterson accuser who is suing him who was never a Scientologist.

Can she continue with the case if her fellow plaintiffs are stuck in arbitration? Should she be put on hold while they go through it? Masterson and Scientology wanted the judge know where they stood on the matter.

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. Riales joined the investigation in 2017, but she had never been a Scientologist. In August 2019 the four women, and Chrissie’s husband, rocker Cedric Bixler-Zavala, filed a harassment lawsuit against Masterson, Scientology, and Scientology’s leader David Miscavige, claiming that they had been subject to years of surveillance and intimidation for coming forward to the police.


But on December 30, Judge Kleifield ruled that the four plaintiffs who had been Scientologists (Chrissie, Cedric, and the two Jane Does) had signed agreements while they were in the church that obligated them to take their grievances not to a civil court but to Scientology’s internal arbitration, which was actually a reworking of court martial rules and that is not a form of independent arbitration. Also, we pointed out, Kleifield made the rather stunning decision that Masterson himself could take part in the arbitration if he wanted to. (We expect that Chrissie’s attorneys will shortly file a petition to a state appellate court for a writ of mandate and the right to appeal Kleifield’s ruling, an appeal which the state is not obligated to grant.)

Last week, Chrissie’s attorneys sought an emergency hearing in order to put the entire case on hold. They pointed to Masterson’s criminal case, which is moving along and last week saw the actor file a not guilty plea as he was arraigned on three counts of forcible rape. He’s facing 45 years to life in prison, and the three alleged victims — Chrissie and the two Jane Does — are under a protective order preventing Masterson from contacting them. But even with the criminal case progressing, Judge Kleifield turned down their request for the emergency consideration of a stay in the civil lawsuit.

And what about Bobette? She was never a Scientologist and so she won’t be drawn into arbitration. Judge Kleifield indicated that he would make some decisions about the case regarding her at Friday’s hearing, and so Masterson and Scientology have submitted the new filings.

Most interesting to us, Masterson has responded to Judge Kleifield’s ruling that he can take part in the arbitration by making it clear that he definitely intends to.

As the Court recognized in its Order, Plaintiffs’ claims against Masterson are predicated on the theory that Masterson is an agent of the other Defendants, who are parties to arbitration agreements with Plaintiffs (except Plaintiff Riales). Accordingly, Masterson is entitled to enforce the arbitration agreements vis-à-vis those Plaintiffs…In light of the Court’s Order, and subject to Masterson’s constitutional rights and protections, he will participate in the arbitration proceedings with Plaintiffs Chrissie Carnell Bixler, Cedric Bixler-Zavala, Jane Doe #1, and Jane Doe #2, as well as the other Defendants.

So now, this lawsuit has gone from alleged rape victims hoping for some justice after they claim to have been subject to years of harassment, to now facing the prospect of a kangaroo court put on by the organization that harassed them, and with their alleged rapist in the room.

As for Bobette, Masterson and Scientology both indicated that they would not object if Judge Kleifield ruled that her part of the case should be put on hold while the others are in arbitration. But if he decides that her part of the case should continue, Scientology indicated that it will then file an anti-SLAPP motion against her.

As we’ve pointed out in the past, it’s really rich for Scientology to use anti-SLAPP statutes, which originated in part because of Scientology’s ruthless history of scorched-earth litigation techniques. The anti-SLAPP motion allows a defendant to prevent a large, well-heeled bully from suing them into silence. But in this case, as in the Rathbun lawsuit nearly eight years ago, Scientology will argue that Bobette Riales is the bully and it’s Scientology that is being silenced.

Also, because Riales is in Indiana (the others are in California), if Kleifield allows her case to continue, Scientology says it will argue that she should be separated from the rest and then face the anti-SLAPP motion, which if granted would come with monetary penalties.

It’s clear that Scientology and Masterson both want to make these women pay dearly for daring to stand up for themselves.

We can hardly wait to see what Kleifield says on Friday.


Leah Remini Podcast: Valeska Paris


In 2010, we interviewed Valeska Paris about her eleven years as an indentured servant on Scientology’s private cruise ship the Freewinds. She says that she was being kept on the ship away from her mother, who had spoken out publicly about the church. That interview was the most-read story we did at the Village Voice, and we’re still amazed by what Valeska was put through. We’ve featured her here numerous times at the Bunker, and we’re glad that she has joined Leah and Mike for their latest podcast episode.


On the air with Jim Paris

Your proprietor had another fun conversation about, well, Scientology.



Source Code

“One time there was a fellow I knew. He was a mining engineer. A good friend of mine. He was an educated classmate at GW. And then went out west and took a post graduate course at Boseman. And this boy was kicking around the mining camps, and all due respect to womankind at large, the better women do not hang around mining camps. But he decided to get romantic and he got married. And he married a woman straight out of the cribs. That is to say, she was, for sale, and had been for years. But, what do you know? Fantastically enough, she made him a good wife and everybody was very fascinated with this. They went up in the mountains, he did a lot of prospecting for Anaconda Copper and they, looking over old properties and so on, and oh, it went along all right. He was living a rather rough life and a lot of privation in it and a lot of loneliness and so forth, so everything was OK. He finally quit Anaconda Copper on the thought that there were some lodes that went out from a very famous mine which had been closed down, which might still be active. Well that was a very lonely part of the country, too. And he went down there with this woman and he prospected around and by golly, he uncovered the most enormous quantity of five dollar rock. And away he goes. Well boy, he’d exceeded her rate of havingness. Bang! And you talk about a mess. He was in more trouble in less time than he’d been for years. Interesting, oh she went completely haywire. Just went off the deep end. Well what had happened there, he’d all of a sudden become well off. He had about a half a million dollars in the bank. He all of a sudden was driving Cadillacs and she was able to wear fur coats and that sort of thing. That was just the end. Just went completely to pot. Went out, slept with anything that came along. Just stole money, did anything.” — L. Ron Hubbard, January 26, 1954



Avast, Ye Mateys

“OVERBOARDS: BOB SEWELL is assigned overboard blindfolded for not returning to work until 1100 hrs, after he had gone Overboard at 07.55 hrs. He did not give me an explanation and was reported to me as eating cookies and drinking coffee while he was supposed to be working and still in a condition of Non Existence.” — W.O. Alex Sibirsky P.P.F. I/C, January 26, 1969


Overheard in the FreeZone

“Those first days were the best. I remember when I was doing my Comm Course. We had about 14 students on the coffee break. There was a hole in the floor and the place was pretty grotty. But we all had a cup of tea or coffee and we were laughing, celebrating what we were calling the ‘Year of Scientology.’ This was 1977.”


Past is Prologue

1996: Ted Mayett posted a description of gambling in the cult this week. Ted was formerly on staff at the Las Vegas Org. “Over the years Jim and other visiting OT’s and Sea Org executives would discuss how they won at the casinos. I quickly determined that on the whole they won as often as the tourists did. They did not always have a tale to tell of winnings. This was because they won only as often as probability predicted they would. No more, no less. When I would get hotels for visiting Sea Org and others I would see these people playing video poker. I learned quickly that they did not want any advice. Not when they had postulates. In all the years and all the rooms I got for them only one guy asked me what would be the best gamble for a twenty dollar bill. This was an older Sea Org boy. Somehow he got the bright idea that as I had put 12K on the Bridge I must know what I’m talking about.”


Random Howdy


“Miscavige is downsizing the corporation, cutting his overhead to the barest minimum and consolidating his forces in his last two strongholds, L.A and Clearwater. It makes sense. In Pyongyang most of the office buildings and hotels are empty except for a skeleton staff to make it look good for the occasional tourist or journalist they let in. They’re also there to turn the faucets on occasionally and keep the boiler running. It makes the Generals and the Kims happy, and that’s all that really matters.”


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

Criminal prosecutions:
Danny Masterson charged for raping three women: Masterson arraigned Jan 20. Next conf to set prelim, March 24.
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: Status conference.
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] Scientology says it’s ‘partnering’ with Miami police for Super Bowl anti-drug quackery
[TWO years ago] Lucas Catton: ‘Narconon and the Church of Scientology are committing fraud daily’
[THREE years ago] Clearwater city council candidate gets ringing endorsement from a Scientology front
[FOUR years ago] The new ‘disconnection’ billboard on Sunset Blvd is going to be a Valentine to Scientology
[FIVE years ago] Bryan Seymour challenges Scientology’s ‘Freedom’ magazine to show itself
[SIX years ago] Scientology hits back at Alex Gibney’s film ‘Going Clear’ with predictable smears
[SEVEN years ago] Sunday Funnies: CCHR’s annual gala — time, place, form, and event!
[EIGHT years ago] Kima Douglas, 1942-2013
[NINE years ago] The Decline and Fall of Scientology? Skeptic Magazine Makes the Case


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 2,193 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,697 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,217 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,237 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,128 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 4,435 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 2,303 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 3,077 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 3,881 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,197 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 11,763 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,682 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 3,850 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 3,431 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,692 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 2,730 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 2,443 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,968 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 323 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 1,498 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,049 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,198 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 3,518 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 8,373 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 3,492 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,848 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,151 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,257 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,659 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 2,531 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,114 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 2,609 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,863 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,972 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on January 26, 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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