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Danny Masterson accusers take Scientology ‘arbitration’ to California Supreme Court

We know that petitioning for a writ of mandate with an appeals court is a longshot. But we thought Chrissie Carnell-Bixler and the others suing Danny Masterson and the Church of Scientology had a pretty decent shot.

How, they asked in their petition, could they be compelled to participate in a “religious arbitration” with their accused rapist, while they are under a protective order from the criminal court where the district attorney is prosecuting that alleged rapist and attempting to put him in prison for life?

That bizarre conflict between civil and criminal courthouses in Los Angeles, however, was still not deemed extraordinary enough, and California’s 2nd Appellate Division declined to take on the case.

So on Friday Carnell-Bixler’s team filed a petition with the state’s supreme court, asking it to step in. We have that petition for you, and it’s powerful stuff.


After setting up the introduction to the case, here’s how the document describes this legal quagmire…

The courts in this case are being asked to enforce religious retribution against individuals who were raped and who have rejected the faith.

Despite this, and in violation of Petitioners’ First Amendment and California constitutional right to freedom of religion and their California constitutional rights under Marsy’s Law which guaranty specific rights to crime victims like Petitioners, the trial court ordered that they submit to “Religious Services Arbitration,” which is controlled by the Church and is being wielded as a sword to re-traumatize these rape victims.

Chrissie’s attorney, Bobby Thompson, asks the court to take up and resolve these issues:

(1) Does a rape victim and nonbeliever have the right to refuse a “religious services arbitration” under the First Amendment where such “arbitration” process specifies that all “arbitrators” shall be ministers of the religion who are charged with applying that religion’s “doctrine”?

(2) Does the First Amendment permit a court to force a rape victim who left the faith to submit to religious services “arbitration” regarding punishment inflicted upon the victims by the religious organization for reporting the rape to the authorities?

(3) Are rape victims protected against being forced into a so-called religious services arbitration with their perpetrator and his agents during the pendency of the criminal case where: (a) the criminal court issued a protective order against their perpetrator; and (b) the California Constitution guarantees against the harassment of crime victims?

What follows is a considerable amount of background to the case, which we have reported on many times here. We’ll let you go through the document in case you need a refresher on the kinds of harassment that these plaintiffs say they’ve been through since they came forward to accuse Masterson in an LAPD investigation in 2016.

But as we’ve seen in this case and others, courts have held that contracts Scientologists sign for religious services that contain a “religious arbitration” clause oblige them to bring their grievances to Scientology’s internal arbitration, even if the acts they are complaining about occurred years after they left the church.

The document has to convince the state supreme court that this is an injustice the court should take a look at:

Novel Question: Does a rape victim and nonbeliever have the right to refuse a “religious services arbitration” under the First Amendment where such “arbitration” process specifies that all “arbitrators” shall be ministers of the religion who are charged with applying that religion’s “doctrine”?

In an issue no California appellate court has yet addressed, defendants’ motion to compel arbitration attempts to subject Petitioners, non-believers who survived abuse and harassment at the hands of defendants, to undergo a religious ceremony where Scientology “ministers” are the “arbitrators” and Scientology “doctrine” is the “law” to be applied. The trial court thus engaged in unconstitutional coercion by forcing former Scientologists to now be subjected to the Scientology religious services arbitration.

The trial court’s Order violates Petitioner’s First Amendment right to freedom of religion and so must be reversed.

Scientology, for its part, has denied that its religious arbitration procedure is a “religious ritual,” and they have said in earlier filings that Chrissie’s team has improperly brought up Marsy’s Law in the case and other issues.


And in this case and in Valerie Haney’s similar lawsuit, the 2nd Appellate Division has pointed out that if these plaintiffs do go through the arbitration procedure, they will then have the right to appeal and the court will be obliged to consider it. So reviewing the lawsuits at this stage is simply premature, the appeals court has ruled.

But that ignores the fact that going through the arbitrations could be damaging to the criminal case against Masterson, and putting him in a room with his accusers would violate the criminal protective order that obliges him to keep away from the women. It’s a conundrum, but will this court take it up?

Give the document a look and let us know if you think it will convince the state supreme court to act.

Here’s the petition…


Bixler v. Masterson/Sciento… by Tony Ortega


Leah Remini podcast: Yashar Ali

Says Mike: “We are joined this week by media and politics reporter and social activist Yashar Ali. Yashar has done over a dozen stories related to Scientology and more are coming. He has been a long-term voice against scientology abuses who has never been scared off by their Fair Game tactics.” Check out the episode here…



Source Code

“I’m not down on religion. I believe in religion, except I don’t believe in limited religion. If we’re going to have two gods let’s worship two gods, that’s all. If we’ve got to have worship of gods, let’s at least worship the minimum number allowable in this universe. Now, let’s not fool around with this religion, tell people what they can’t do with religion and what they can do with religion. We’ve just got religion — if we’re going to have religion, then let’s be honest with it and look and see and find this to be the case: that everybody who starts worshiping one god and one god only, and shaping his pathway straight toward one god and only one god and good, and it’s good, and that’s all we can have anything to do with is good, winds up bad. Ever know any minister’s sons?” — L. Ron Hubbard, March 23, 1953


Avast, Ye Mateys

“Had a good break today on Research. Cracked why one can’t be audited after exteriorization so one can. Will push OT ability up out of sight. I do get my own hats worn despite randomity!” — The Commodore, March 23, 1970


Overheard in the FreeZone

“Isn’t science fiction surely just science that hasn’t yet been developed, discovered and refined? Almost all of the technology we take for granted now has appeared in some form or another in sci-fi works before, and it’s definitely the case that sci-fi writers have been critical to introducing the ideas that inspire scientists to create amazing things. Some of the sci-fi writers were originally physicists, engineers and industrial chemists. Therefore, is it no surprise that the development of spirituality from being a series of myths and monsters into a systematised and evidence-based approach should have been made by a sci-fi writer? I would say it is because of, and not in spite of, that.”


Past is Prologue


1996: An excerpt posted from the tech dictionary this week, describing a disease invented by LRH. “METALOSIS, osis. Greek. action; process, condition abnormal or disease condition caused by . METAL, any of a large group of substances (as bronze steel) that typically show a characteristic luster, are good conductors of electricity and heat, are opaque,can be fused or are usually malleable and ductile. A psychosomatic condition caused by the the interaction of body electric flows and magnetic and other fields of metal. The effects take a long time to occur. Engrams are formed. METALOSIS RUNDOWN. The procedure used in expanded Dianetics to cure metalosis.”


Random Howdy

“I remember growing up in the 60’s, and this idea that all of our problems were due to suppressed subconscious desires or traumatic incidents we had ‘forgotten,’ and if some psych could make us remember we would be miraculously whole and normal again like Liz Taylor, was the concept that was being pushed on everyone. Hubbard just took the bullshit and ran with it.”


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 April 13.
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. Pretrial conference set for Apr 29.

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. June 7: 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.
Author Steve Cannane defamation trial: Trial concluded, Cannane victorious, awarded court costs. Case appealed on Dec 24.

Concluded litigation:
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] The wealthy donors keeping Scientology in business, New Year’s 2020 edition
[TWO years ago] Carol Es on 20 years in Scientology: ‘You’re programmed to think emotions are weak’
[THREE years ago] Stop interacting with Scientology’s Internet trolls. Here’s proof it can backfire on you badly.
[FOUR years ago] State investigators fired for blowing the whistle on Scientology’s rehabs get hearing in Denver
[FIVE years ago] Scientology attorney Bert Deixler takes another swing at Karen de la Carriere
[SIX years ago] ‘Going Clear’: Mike Rinder helps us understand a Scientology document that will creep you out
[SEVEN years ago] Three weeks out of Scientology: Fresh information from a ‘blown’ Sea Org member
[EIGHT years ago] Blood Brother Ron: Starting Out Life on the Wrong Blackfoot
[NINE years ago] Scientology on the High Seas: Posing as Archaeology Students for the Sardinians


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 2,249 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,753 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,273 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,293 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,184 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 4,491 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 2,359 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 3,133 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 1,463 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 3,937 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,253 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 11,819 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,738 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 3,906 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 3,487 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,748 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 2,786 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 2,499 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,024 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 379 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 1,554 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,105 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,254 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 3,574 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 8,429 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 3,548 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,904 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,207 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,313 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,715 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 2,587 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,170 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 2,665 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,919 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,028 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on March 23, 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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