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The Top 25 People Enabling Scientology, No. 3: The judges

[Judge Steven Kleifield]

We’d like you to imagine a scenario. Imagine that you go to an amusement park, and before you can ride a roller coaster, the park asks you to sign a waiver. In the fine print of that waiver, it says that if some dispute arises between you and the amusement park company, you will forego civil court and instead take your grievance to arbitration.

You sign the waiver, enjoy the ride, and then go home.

Some ten years go by, and then for some reason you decide to express some unrelated criticism of the amusement park on a web forum somewhere.

Soon after that, thugs hired by the amusement park company show up at your house, set it on fire, strangle your cat, and smear your entire family on websites designed to cost your loved ones their jobs.

To your amazement, when you go to court to sue the amusement park company for terrorizing you, a judge informs you that you have no right to sue the company because you signed that waiver when you rode the rollercoaster a decade before, and you will have to take your dispute to arbitration instead. And not just any arbitration, but a “court” set up inside the amusement park with a panel of “judges” made up the carnies who work the rides.


Ridiculous? Unthinkable? Well, that’s actually a pretty good approximation of the situation that several ex-Scientologists find themselves in today because of three American judges: Tampa Federal District Court Judge James D. Whittemore, and Los Angeles Superior Court Judges Richard Burdge Jr. and Steven Kleifield.

In 2015, Whittemore ruled that Luis and Rocio Garcia couldn’t sue Scientology despite evidence that they’d been defrauded of hundreds of thousands of dollars by being lied to in order to convince them to make large donations. There was testimony in that case from top former Scientology officials who swore that the contracts the Garcias signed were designed to trap them in a scheme that would force them into Scientology’s brand of “religious arbitration” which bears no resemblance to the kind of independent arbitration most people are familiar with. The Garcias went through the proceeding and told us it was a kangaroo court. They’ve been appealing Judge Whittemore’s ruling for three years now. The Eleventh Circuit heard oral arguments in the case last July, but still hasn’t ruled.

Valerie Haney’s case was next, and was substantially different than the Garcia lawsuit. She was alleging not financial fraud, but that even after leaving her position with the church she was stalked and smeared by Scientology, which accused her of sexual improprieties on smear websites. But Judge Richard Burdge Jr found that the agreements she’d signed with Scientology still obliged her to take any grievances to its internal star chamber, even though the things the church had allegedly done to her happened well after she was no longer a Scientologist.

But then came the truly stunning decision by Judge Steven Kleifield, who ruled in a lawsuit which alleges that Scientology and its celebrity Danny Masterson had conspired to literally kill two of Chrissie Carnell-Bixler’s dogs, and that she and the other plaintiffs were enduring surveillance, hacking, stalking, and libel, even years after they had left the organization. In this case, the plaintiffs are also accusing Masterson of raping them in a separate criminal case that has the That ’70s Show actor facing 45 years to life in prison. And in that case, at least, the women have been given the protection of a court order that instructs Masterson to stay away from them.

But Kleifield, incredibly, ruled that in the Scientology arbitration he’s forcing these women into, Masterson has the right to take part, and the actor has said he intends to do so.

Thanks to Judges Whittemore, Burdge, and Kleifield, and a series of rulings since 2015, the Church of Scientology is now thoroughly lawsuit-proof when it comes to former church members.

It’s an astounding situation. And we wonder when major media is going to begin paying real attention to it.

The Top 25 People Enabling Scientology

3: The judges
4: The LAPD
5: The dirty tricks private eyes
6: The Riverside County Sheriff’s Department
7: The litigators

8: The ghost private eyes
9: The San Bernardino Sheriff’s Office
10: Political shills
11: Gary Soter
12: The city of Clearwater, Florida
13: Google and other tech titans
14: The Los Angeles Times
15: Jeffrey Riffer
16: James Packer
17: Louis Farrakhan
18: Mark “Marty” Rathbun
19: Wally Pope
20: Gensler
21: Parents who subscribe to ABCMouse
22: Graham Norton and other celebrity strokers
23: The apologist academics
24: Rebecca Dobkin and other low-level PI grunts
25: DirecTV and filmmakers buffing Dave’s channel


Jon Atack talks to Jamie DeWolf

Says Jon: “Jamie DeWolf, great-grandson of Ron Hubbard, talks with Jon about his infamous ancestor, and about his mission to speak out against the Scientology ‘dragon’ his infamous ancestor brought into the world.”


Lethal attack at the Capitol

With the news of a follower of Louis Farrakhan committing an act of violence yesterday in Washington DC, ramming his car into and killing a policeman, we received a lot of questions about it. Noah Green, 25, was shot fatally by police in the incident, and it soon emerged that he had been a sadly deranged and paranoid member of the Nation of Islam.

For more than a decade Farrakhan’s anti-Semitic organization has engaged in a rather strange relationship with the Church of Scientology, which we have covered rather extensively here. But so far, we haven’t seen anything connecting Green himself with Scientology. Our expert sources are continuing to look into it.



Scientology spies and Facebook police

Make sure you look at Mike Rinder’s blog today for an absolutely Orwellian series of emails from a Scientologist volunteering for the Italian branch of the Office of Special Affairs, Scientology’s secret police branch.

Because this dim-witted ersatz Scientology spy targeted the wrong person, it gives us a nice look inside the kind of bullying that church members are put through for daring to connect with the “wrong” people online.


Source Code

“The whole US civil defense system is based on the idea that there is a thing called the government which is composed of people (which already is silly) and they’re going to take over the country at the moment of an attack, see? They aren’t there now. They’re not part of the people, and they’re not human, you see? And they’re parked up someplace in Canada along the DEW line or down in Mexico or out on some island, and they don’t exist there now. And at the moment of an attack, nobody is supposed to do anything but be taken over by the government. That’s what you’re supposed to do in an attack. Consider it absolutely fascinating! It’s just as bad as Eisenhower’s design for the Normandy landing. I mean, there was nothing worse than that. I didn’t know this until the other day. I’m going to write a book on it. I’m going to call it The Great Myth. You see, I was a Pacific amphibious warfare officer before these Normandy landings occurred. And there’s certain ways you’re supposed to make landings. Well, they didn’t make them that way at Normandy. They killed men instead.” — L. Ron Hubbard, April 3, 1962


Avast, Ye Mateys

“Our trouble has been isolated to the British Government. It uses British Consuls, Lloyds and reporters as part of its intelligence service. It has been revealed that reporters in the UK, particularly those operating outside it, are members of their intelligence service while still being reporters. The US health societies, groups, foundations and agencies are all members of SMERSH which is an English takeover of the work of Clifford Beers to bring protection to mental patients. By blackmail, corruption and pretense of being ‘the very best people’ this group had the British government in its palm. It appointed the health ministers of both parties in England and throughout the Commonwealth and even Switzerland. SMERSH is a world takeover type group, full of preposterous plans. It is now actively destroying western nations whose governments look to them to dispose of malcontents without realizing SMERSH’s degraded technology is violently opposed by Western peoples. If we are careful, keep good security and continue to attack, SMERSH will collapse as they are trying to be a police state without either the police or army on their side. We must be alert to the Intelligence factors of SMERSH and safeguard against their penetration of our security. On our shoulders alone rests the possibility of freeing Mankind from the horror of one of these police states which could destroy Mankind. The rest, like sheep, have been taken in wholly.” — The Commodore, April 3, 1969



Overheard in the FreeZone

“Parsons was dodgy, and he was murdered because he was dodgy. But more specifically he was a commie. Israel is a commie state, so it makes sense he would pass data onto them. Hubbard was anti-commie. I reckon he was sent in on a mission to disturb Parsons. Years later another agent was sent in to kill Parsons probably because he was getting too out of hands. They didn’t want to just kill Parsons straight up back in ’46, it’s better to know who is your enemy and mess with them for years wasting their time, hence Hubbard’s mission. Parson was making jet-assist take-off for the Navy, so him being dodgy annoyed the Navy, and they would get their naval intelligence to handle him, thus we see Hubbard come into his life. Now this doesn’t mean Hubbard wasn’t into black magick. You can be sent on a mission and enjoy what that mission involves. In fact he could have liked Parsons but knew he was a sicko deep down being a lefty and that he needed to be dealt with.”


Past is Prologue

2000: The St. Petersburg Times reported that permits have been issued to begin the above ground portions of Scientology’s new Super Power building in Clearwater, Florida. “The pair of towering white cranes that loom over the project, mostly idle since the fall, will come to life once more. For 16 months, the building has taken shape below ground as workers shaped a foundation and a giant basement that will serve as a dining facility for Scientology’s uniformed staff. The crowning feature of the $45-million building will be a 15-story tower, visible from blocks away, topped by an eight-point Scientology cross made of bronze. At 384,000 square feet, the building will be the largest Scientology has ever constructed. It also will be the largest building in downtown Clearwater and one of the largest in Pinellas County.”


Random Howdy

“We Farsecians are not evil. We are the Knights Templar of the Universe. We are the Keepers of the ARC of the Covenant.”


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


Criminal prosecutions:
Danny Masterson charged for raping three women: Masterson arraigned Jan 20. Discovery hearing on April 20, prelim set for May 18.
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] Scientology’s new attempt to force ‘religious arbitration’ on Danny Masterson’s accusers
[TWO years ago] A stunning Scientology call to arms for our politically divided times on this dirt ball
[THREE years ago] Newly released documents: Scientology leader L. Ron Hubbard tried to ‘buy’ an African nation
[FOUR years ago] Scientology leader David Miscavige launches new personal attacks at Leah Remini
[FIVE years ago] David Miscavige and a bussed-in crowd cut the ribbon on Atlanta’s new Scientology ‘Ideal Org’
[SIX years ago] How Scientologists are dealing with the popularity of Alex Gibney’s film ‘Going Clear’
[SEVEN years ago] We asked David Miscavige’s tailor for his exact height — and here’s what he told us!
[EIGHT years ago] LEAK: Scientology’s Rehab Went from $5,000 to $2.5 Million in Insurance Revenue in One Year


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 2,260 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,764 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,284 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,304 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,195 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 4,502 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 2,370 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 3,144 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 1,474 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 3,948 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,264 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 11,830 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,749 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 3,917 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 3,498 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,759 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 2,797 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 2,510 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,035 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 390 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 1,565 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,116 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,265 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 3,585 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 8,440 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 3,559 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,915 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,218 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,324 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,726 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 2,598 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,181 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 2,676 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,930 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,039 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on April 3, 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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