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Valerie Haney, the former Sea Org worker who says she escaped from a Scientology compound by hiding in the trunk of a car, has petitioned the US Supreme Court over the ruling that derailed her lawsuit against the church, denying her right to trial and telling her to take her complaint to Scientology’s internal ‘religious arbitration.’

With the help of constitutional scholar Marci Hamilton, Valerie is asking the Supreme Court to step in and consider the question of a former Scientologist being asked to take part in the religious proceedings of an organization she no longer belongs to. She has made a similar argument multiple times at the appellate and state supreme court level, without success, and petitions to the US Supreme Court face an uphill battle; most are not considered at all by the court. But Hamilton’s reasoning is fascinating, and we have the document for you below.

Valerie, who currently works as assistant to actress and former Scientologist Leah Remini, filed her lawsuit in June 2019, alleging that she had been kidnapped while she was held at Scientology’s “Int Base” compound near Hemet, California. After her escape and subsequent appearance on Remini’s A&E series ‘Scientology & The Aftermath’, she alleges that Scientology surveilled, harassed, and libeled her with sexually explicit Internet postings.

On January 30, 2020, however, Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Richard Burdge, Jr. ruled that Valerie was still subject to a separation agreement she had signed with the church when she left the Sea Org, which obligated her to take any grievances, past or future, to Scientology’s internal brand of arbitration. This is not like independent arbitration, which sits before an impartial arbiter, but a panel made up of three Scientologists in good standing. Valerie has argued that there is no chance that a “suppressive person” like herself, who has been declared an enemy by the church, would receive a fair hearing before such a panel.


Hamilton’s petition focuses on the issue of First Amendment religious rights that such an arbitration raises.

In forcing Petitioner to participate in this religious “arbitration,” the California courts are prescribing to her religious beliefs and practices she consciously rejected. They are infringing on her right to reject a religion. The right to exit religion, enshrined in West Virginia State Bd. of Educ. v. Barnette, 319 U.S. 624, 642 (1943), is as important to the free exercise of religion as the right to enter or participate in a religion, and when the California courts blocked Petitioner from bringing her civil claims before them and redirected her to a religious service, they usurped her absolute right to choose the faith.

Scientology in the past has responded that the arbitration is not a religious ritual, and this is merely a contract dispute, with Valerie being held to the promises she made when she signed her agreement. (Scientology habitually claims that things are secular or religious depending on whether it will do them the best good in court.) Has Hamilton, however, done enough to convince the court that this is, indeed, a religious rights question?

Here’s the document, which was docketed just yesterday. Please give us your thoughts on it…


Haney v. Scientology: SCOTUS Petition by Tony Ortega on Scribd


Source Code

“GUARDIAN OFFICE WIN: The D/GUS Office got a great big win and a commendation from the state for pulling off a coup for them. Got us off their bad hat list. And how. There is however no truth in the rumour that the FBI was presented to us to run. What would J. Edgar do for personal publicity? ” — L. Ron Hubbard, May 27, 1970


Avast, Ye Mateys


“WW has orders to heavily recruit Scn org personnel and handle posting and other personnel functions Last Feb PL. They have acked it. If EC WW will do this function well, the Scn network will increase. We are engaged heavily in keeping this network of orgs going. The circular action is for public to enter the Franchise and lower org network and move up to the higher orgs. Thus they get to SO orgs. And we have wherewithal to handle things. When that cycle breaks down, it’s grim.” — The Commodore, May 27, 1970


Overheard in the FreeZone

“Jiminii states he was ‘created’ (assuming an identity in MEST) 900 years in the future, and came here in 1950 into a body. Quite a new thetan or assumed point of view. LRH seems to have been here some centillion years. On the other hand, very big beings are here and their invalidative vibrations probably affect us. And don’t forget the entities that attach to the thetan here.”


Past is Prologue

1997: Grady Ward, Keith Henson and attorneys for Dennis Erlich deposed Scientology head David Miscavige this week. Scientology fabricated the story of a bomb threat to upset Grady and Keith’s schedule, delaying their deposition until the next day. The deposition was held at a secret location to allow Scientology to keep high security around Miscavige. Keith Henson described his time spent near Palm Springs. “About 7:30 I went down to join Grady. Not knowing what to expect after the various confused rumors of the previous evening, Grady and I headed for the Palm Springs airport. About 8:40 Mike Rinder and an older cult zombie showed up. Rinder handed us the following court order: ‘On May 19, 1997, at approximately 4:20 p.m., counsel for Plaintiff RTC made an emergency ex parte application by telephone for a protective order respecting the deposition of David Miscavige, scheduled to commence May 20, 1997 at 9:00 a.m. RTC further requested that Defendants Ward and Henson be excluded from the portion of the deposition conducted by Defendant Erlich’s counsel due to concerns regarding the safety of Mr. Miscavige. RTC requested that the deposition resume on May 21, 1997, for separate deposition by Defendants Ward and Henson. RTC’s concern for the safety of Mr. Miscavige arises from certain recent Internet postings by Defendant Henson perceived by RTC as threats against Mr. Miscavige, and alleged conversations between Defendants Henson and Ward overheard by an employee of Southwest Airlines at the San Jose Airport at approximately 1:00 p.m. today.'”


Random Howdy

“A Scientologist is a person who keeps buying bunk drugs that do nothing and he goes back to the dealer and tells him he didn’t feel anything and the dealer tells him everybody else says the stuff is the bomb and he must have done something wrong, so the dude buys some more and does it again and again and again. He’s a chump.”



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

Criminal prosecutions:
Danny Masterson charged for raping three women: Held to answer for trial, next arraignment set for June 7.
Jay and Jeff Spina, Medicare fraud: Jay sentenced to 9 years in prison. Jeff’s sentencing to be scheduled.
Hanan and Rizza Islam and other family members, Medi-Cal fraud: Pretrial conference August 21 in Los Angeles
David Gentile, GPB Capital, fraud: Next pretrial conference set for June 18.

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.



We first broke the news of the LAPD’s investigation of Scientology celebrity Danny Masterson on rape allegations in 2017, and we’ve been covering the story every step of the way since then. At this page we’ve collected our most important links, including our four days in Los Angeles covering the preliminary hearing and its ruling, which has Danny facing trial and the potential sentence of 45 years to life in prison.


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 BLACK OPS: Tom Cruise and dirty tricks. 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] Miscavige scores: Ohio Gov. DeWine to send out thousands of Scientology pamphlets
[TWO years ago] On Memorial Day, Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard’s stolen valor really rankles
[THREE years ago] PRAISE XENU: We have more Scientology hip-hop, and even better – IT’S AUSSIE-FLAVORED
[FOUR years ago] ‘Source’ magazine offers a glimpse into what goes on at Scientology’s Florida ‘mecca’
[FIVE years ago] Is Scientology using Tommy Davis to get Aussie billionaire James Packer back in the fold?
[SIX years ago] John Coale, Greta Van Susteren, and the miracle of Scientology drug technology: A meditation
[SEVEN years ago] Life after Scientology: The post-Sea Org baby boom
[EIGHT years ago] Scientology’s Drug Rehab Network Goes On the Offensive
[NINE years ago] How You Can Help a Film About Kate Bornstein Happen
[THIRTEEN years ago] Jason Beghe Turned Away at NY Scientology Building


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 2,313 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,818 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,338 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,358 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,249 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 4,556 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 2,424 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 3,198 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 1,528 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,002 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,318 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 11,884 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,803 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 3,971 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 3,552 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,813 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 2,851 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 2,564 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,089 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 444 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 1,619 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,170 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,319 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 3,639 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 8,494 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 3,613 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 1,969 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,272 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,378 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,780 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 2,652 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,235 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 2,730 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 2,984 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,093 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on May 27, 2021 at 12:00

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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