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Danny Masterson accusers signal they’ll go to higher court to fight ‘religious arbitration’

[Chrissie Carnell Bixler, at a 2019 protest]

Yesterday afternoon we told you that former Fox News anchor Gretchen Carlson testified before a Congressional subcommittee and brought up the lawsuit against actor Danny Masterson and the Church of Scientology that we’ve been watching so closely since it was filed in 2019. The lawsuit was brought by Masterson’s rape accusers, and Carlson used it as an example of how women are being denied justice through the misuse of a federal arbitration law.

Chrissie Carnell Bixler, one of the women suing Masterson, submitted a letter to the subcommittee which dramatically portrayed the paradox she and the other plaintiffs face. She actually stated it quite well:

I am ordered to go to my abusers for justice now pursuant to a system that is set up to condemn me, all because I signed something I was never allowed to read while in Scientology many, many years ago, even though I do not subscribe to this “religion” nor believe in any of its beliefs. I am terrified of them. I am ordered to go back to my abusers even though I have a criminal protective order in place with my rapist and any of his “agents,” which Scientology agrees they are. Judge Kleifield also ruled that our rapist gets to participate in the arbitration, and under Scientology’s rules our rapist could even be our arbiter.

And if you think that last part is an exaggeration, remember that on January 26 we reported that Danny Masterson has now indicated in a court filing that he does, in fact, intend to participate in the “religious arbitration” that Judge Steven Kleifield has ruled should take the place of a trial in this case.

Chrissie’s attorneys tried to convince Judge Kleifield to hold an emergency hearing and consider their argument that the lawsuit (and the arbitration) be put on hold for now while Masterson is facing the far more serious case making its way through criminal court and that could put him in prison for 45 years to life for raping three women. Kleifield refused to hold the hearing on an emergency basis, and so it has been scheduled for June 7.

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And once again, for the many people we hear from who understandably are confused on this point: There are two very different court cases going on regarding Danny Masterson, both at Los Angeles Superior Court, but one is a criminal matter and the other is a civil lawsuit.

Masterson is facing life in prison for raping three women, but in a separate case he’s being sued by those three women (and one of their husbands) and another woman for the harassment they say they’ve been put through by the That ’70s Show actor and the Church of Scientology (and its leader, David Miscavige) after coming forward to the LAPD with their rape allegations in 2016.

They are not suing for being raped. They are suing for being harassed after complaining about being raped.

On the criminal side, Masterson was charged on June 16 and was just arraigned on January 20 after he tried to get charges thrown out with a couple of different failed strategies. He has pleaded not guilty and says the charges against him are a publicity stunt. (By contrast, Scientologist money manager David Gentile, who is accused of operating a $1.8 billion Ponzi scheme, was charged on January 29, his charges were made public in February 4, and he was arraigned just five days later, February 9.) But if Masterson’s criminal case has moved slowly, it’s in the hands of a prosecutor whose filings and court arguments have been taut and effective, and the case has now been assigned to a trial court whose judge has handled similarly complex cases involving allegations of drugging and sexual assault. In other words, Masterson really seems to have his hands full with the criminal prosecution.

The civil lawsuit is another matter. We’ve been surprised by sloppy filings and poor court performance by the attorneys representing these women, and in another case they’re handling that also was derailed by a ruling forcing it into Scientology’s religious arbitration, an attempt to petition a higher court failed because it wasn’t filed in time.

Now, in a new brief, the attorneys for Carnell Bixler have once again laid out their arguments for why the civil lawsuit and the arbitration should be put on hold while Masterson’s criminal case is ongoing. They cite Marsy’s Law, which grants protections to victims of sexual crimes while those cases are being prosecuted, and point out what a nightmare it would be if these women were forced to sit in a room with their alleged rapist for an arbitration proceeding. And they also, in the final paragraph, reveal that they do intend to file a petition with a state appellate court seeking a writ of mandate to have a higher court review Kleifield’s ruling forcing them to arbitration.

It’s already been 44 days since Kleifield’s ruling. For the sake of these women seeking a day in court, we trust that their attorneys will get that petition filed with some alacrity.

 
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It’s nice south of the border this time of year, we hear

Scientology OT rabble rouser and antivaxx anti-mask “human rights attorney” Leigh Dundas continues to cool her heels in Mexico after making her star turn at the January 6 US Capitol riot, where she gave fiery speeches, screamed “Traitor!” at Capitol police, and was seen in the crowd near the building’s door.

Others have faced charges for less, so we’re wondering if maybe that had something to do with Leigh’s sudden removal to Mexico, where she says she’s been attending a conference called “The Greater Reset,” as she explains in a new video.

 

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As you can tell, it doesn’t sound like she’s in a rush to return to the US. Wonder why.

 

 
Hm…

 

 
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Source Code

“I have a bit of a news bulletin, has nothing to do with the mental health empire that Mr. Kennedy is trying to create in the United States at 1.6 billion dollars, that isn’t news. The Federal government, of course, always has wanted the right to incarcerate any citizen for-without trial, and of course, immediately they get their Legislation passed, why, they’ll be able to do that. In other words, they’ll be able to incarcerate any citizen without commission-permission from his family, without a medical consultation and without a trial, and will be able to move him at any time without the consultation with the family or a hearing or a trial, and do anything to him they wish, such as electric shocks and prefrontal lobotomies. And of course that makes a very interesting political empire, and Mr. Kennedy is trying to create just that empire right this minute. So I think that’s very interesting.” — L. Ron Hubbard, February 12, 1963

 
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Avast, Ye Mateys

“D/G US Bob Thomas informs us Org personnel are safe and secure in the California Earthquake. We telexed back expressing our concern and appreciation.” — The Commodore, February 12, 1971

 
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Overheard in the FreeZone

“I completed the original LRH bridge through OT7, then completed the new bridge, NOTS and OT8 but wanted more. I started researching and found the CBR bridge. I looked at what LRH had done and left and determined that LRH had completed the Power Change ethics condition and assigned Scientology tech to CBR and/or David Mayo. The CBR bridge was completed sometime after that. I read all the CBR materials including Excalibur (which I did not run as I had finished solo Nots) and the OT levels through OT40. I ran all the processes that read up to OT17 which is a far as I was interested in running. I had rather substantial gains, increases in awareness, increases in understanding and a decrease in my reaction time. This is not a question as to whether this is really LRH tech, I am not interested in that discussion. So if the gains are there to be had, do some still believe it is incorrect to run the processes?”

 
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Past is Prologue

1999: Frequent Scientology protester Gregg Hagglund reported a visit to his elderly parents this week by representatives of Scientology. “One Catherine Manning and one Al Buttnor attempted to trick my parents into permitting them to enter their home. My parents are in their 80s and not in the best of health. I had extended the No Trespassing Notice I gave the church to include my brothers home (which the church had visited once before) and my parents home. It may be possible to bring charges of Criminal Assault by Trespass. My mother answered the door to a man and woman who identified themselves as Scientologists and wanted to come in and discuss ‘your sons religious bigotry.’ My mother told them to go away and closed the door on them.”

 
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Random Howdy

“If only we could take a ride in Mr. Peabody’s Wayback Machine to pre-1970 and that magical time before the 100 percent scientifically correct TECH turned into incomprehensible DRECK. The gods are cruel.”

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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 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
David Gentile, GPB Capital, fraud: Charged in Brooklyn federal court on Feb 4. Arraigned on Feb 9. Status conf. on Feb 16.

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. March 8: 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.

 
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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] The skateboard hero & the anti-Semite: Insider report from Scientology’s bizarre celeb event
[TWO years ago] ‘Scientology and the Aftermath’ shelved two episodes, delayed one in season three
[THREE years ago] How Scientology gamed Google to increase the effectiveness of its Super Bowl ad
[FOUR years ago] Welcome to your Scientology nightmare, people of Clearwater, Florida
[FIVE years ago] SCIENTOLOGY’S SPACE MAN: The newest defector from church management opens up
[SIX years ago] Fact-checking Danny Masterson’s remarkable Paper interview about Scientology
[SEVEN years ago] This is Scientology today: Oregon 10-year-old celebrated for donating $100,000
[EIGHT years ago] Scientology Does Star Wars: That’s No Moon, It’s a Fundraiser!
[NINE years ago] Scientology Sunday Funnies: Fresh Meat in the Windy City!

 
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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 2,210 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,714 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,234 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,254 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,145 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 4,452 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 2,320 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 3,094 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 3,898 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,214 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 11,780 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,699 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 3,867 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 3,448 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,709 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 2,747 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 2,460 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 1,985 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 340 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 1,515 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,066 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,215 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 3,535 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 8,390 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 3,509 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,865 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,168 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,274 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,676 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 2,548 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,131 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 2,626 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,880 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 13,989 days.

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Posted by Tony Ortega on February 12, 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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