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Valerie Haney’s Supreme Court petition gets a date for discussion, but don’t get your hopes up

Yesterday, we noticed that there was a new notation at the US Supreme Court in regards to Valerie Haney’s petition: “DISTRIBUTED for Conference of 9/27/2021.”

Had Valerie’s attempt to get the court to weigh in on Scientology’s “religious arbitration” moved past a new hurdle?

Well, not exactly.

According to the experts at Counsel Press, an appellate services company, having your petition “distributed for conference” is automatic, and doesn’t mean that it’s going to be considered or even read by the justices.


“At best, only 20-25 percent of the petitions distributed for a given conference are actually discussed during that conference and few, if any, of those discussed, are granted. Those which aren’t discussed, become automatically denied,” the company’s website says.

However, if there’s a later notation indicating that the petition has been also listed for a later conference (this is known as a “relist”) that’s a sign that the justices are giving it real consideration. If four of the nine decide the case is worth considering, the petition will be granted and the case heard by the court. Currently, the court accepts only about 80 cases each nine-month term out of about 1,700 petitions that are filed.

So the odds are long, but at least we now have a date (September 27) for when Valerie’s case might get some looks from the clerks working for the nine justices.

Valerie filed her lawsuit against the Church of Scientology and its leader David Miscavige in June 2019, alleging that she had been kept a prisoner for years at its secretive Int Base near Hemet, California, and finally managed to escape it by hiding in the trunk of a car. She then went to work for Leah Remini as her assistant and made an appearance on Remini’s A&E series Scientology and the Aftermath. In her lawsuit, Valerie alleged that the church had retaliated against her with harassment, stalking, and with libelous attacks on the Internet.

Scientology countered that Valerie had signed contracts that obliged her to take any grievances to its own internal brand of religious arbitration, and not a court of law. Judge Richard Burdge agreed, granting Scientology’s motion to compel arbitration and denied Valerie a right to trial. Valerie’s legal team then filed a motion to reconsider that was denied, as well as petitions to a state appeals court and the California Supreme Court.

Now they’ve taken their petition to the US Supreme Court, with a focus on what they say is a First Amendment issue: How can Scientology force a former member into what is essentially a religious ritual, its “arbitration” proceeding, even though Valerie is no longer a Scientologist? Constitutional scholar Marci Hamilton argued on Valerie’s behalf that this is a clear violation of her First Amendment religious rights.

Scientology countered that this was not a First Amendment case, and that it was disingenuous to call its arbitration a religious ritual. A contract is a contract, says Scientology.


Bonus items from our tipsters

One of our readers received this ad this week. It leaves out the best part. “We had the third-largest school Covid outbreak in the state! Hip, hip, hooray!”




Source Code

“When we go into the idea of supreme beings or gods or big thetans or something like that, well, we’ve just taken the whole curve all the way around and the only thing we’ve got on this planet today is just pure nuttiness on this subject, see, the theory of the Big Thetan, see. Actually, the Big Thetan theory is simply one of the GPMs and it — there’s end words that have to do with gods and things like this, you see. And there’s one of the root words — several of the root words — have to do with worship and so forth and it’s just goofiness, see? There isn’t anybody, any Big Thetan around who’s permeating everything that just because you say, ‘Now, please give me cake and ice cream for my supper tonight,’ is going to suddenly go into a brown study and wonder how to get you cake and ice cream tonight, see. There just is no such being.” — L. Ron Hubbard, July 15, 1964


Avast, Ye Mateys

“I could write quite a book these days. So many things have been wrapped up. Insanity and its causes and mechanisms for instance. I wish things would groove in more smoothly. Actually I have at least 2 books to write that are front line in importance. The one on insanity and one on studies of revolution. The last would become a text book for the state that would in fact make them bring about a revolution to prevent one! So I have hopes in getting things going smoother. It depends on handling these WHYs and getting back in the Flag – to CLO – to Org pattern that with the FEBC began this boom and will continue it.” — The Commodore, July 15, 1971


Overheard in the FreeZone

“In the free field, are young auditors being made? The scenario that I can see (and I hope I am very wrong) is people in their 50s, 60s, or 70s training in some Freezone Orgs. I’m worried whether there is going to be a new generation of auditors at all. I’m not personally in the KSW-protector position, frankly, and I have always said that for me some things LRH discovered are just nonsense. But I have also always said that 80 or 85 percent of basic Scientology Technology is pure gold. So it needs to be passed to the next generation. Is there something that can be done in your opinion?”


Past is Prologue


1997: The St. Petersburg Times carried an article this week on TradeNet, a Scientologist-run multilevel marketing company setting up headquarters in Dunedin, Florida, near Clearwater. “The property, assessed for tax purposes at $909,000, is located at 380 Main St. has been purchased by TradeNet, an 18 month old company that is a network marketer (sort of like Amway), selling environmentally safe products. It’s biggest seller is a 3-inch plastic ball filled with a blue liquid that is supposed to replace soap in washing machines by emitting a ‘Negative charge,’ causing the water to clean your clothes. It is good for about 1,000 loads and sells for about $75.00. TradeNet employs about 150 people. The company also leases the former Yakie Lumber Yard on Alt. US 19 in Palm Harbor where 40 others work. This situation has put the squeeze on downtown parking which is of concern to other businesses in the area although the city has recently started enforcing the three hour parking limit. ‘Just so the blue shirts stay in Clearwater,’ said a local restaurant owner, ‘That’s all I care about because it scares people.’ ‘They’re going to take over the whole town,’ said another business owner. And yet another said, ‘I’m still afraid that Dunedin’s going to end up looking like downtown Clearwater.'”


Random Howdy

“Scientology is ‘Glengarry Glen Ross’ meets ‘Ancient Aliens’.”


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

Criminal prosecutions:
Danny Masterson charged for raping three women: Next hearing set for August 9. Trial tentatively scheduled for early November.
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 Sept 9.

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 to US Supreme Court submitted on May 26. Scientology responded on June 25.
Chrissie Bixler et al. v. Scientology and Danny Masterson: California Supreme Court granted review on May 26 and asked the Second Appellate Division to direct Judge Steven Kleifield to show cause why he granted Scientology’s motion for arbitration. Oral arguments scheduled for Oct 5.
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: Third 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] New Scientology video brings up past lives, the nuttiest and most gruesome part of Hubbardism
[TWO years ago] Jokes aside, has Scientology ‘Clear’ Joy Villa managed to ‘safepoint’ the White House?
[THREE years ago] Scientology proves it will try to capitalize on just about any disaster
[FOUR years ago] Whale watching update: Your 2017 mid-year guide to who’s keeping Scientology alive
[FIVE years ago] Scientology caves: Fred Haseney avoids court hearing, will take camera to Big Blue tomorrow
[SIX years ago] Nick Lister: Scientology asked me to seduce Mike Rinder’s wife in a spy operation
[SEVEN years ago] Lawsuit number 17 filed by Las Vegas attorney against Scientology’s rehab network
[EIGHT years ago] Scientology’s Drug Rehab Fights Class-Action Lawsuit With Move to Federal Court
[NINE years ago] Video from the Memorial of Alexander Jentzsch; Also: Scientology Commenters of the Week
[TEN years ago] Scientology’s “Documentary” of Marty Rathbun Revealed! (UPDATED — The Squirrel Busters Respond!)


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 2,362 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,867 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,387 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,407 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,298 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 4,605 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 2,473 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 3,247 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 1,577 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,051 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,367 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 11,933 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,852 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,020 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 3,601 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,862 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 2,900 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 2,613 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,138 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 493 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 1,668 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,219 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,368 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 3,688 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 8,543 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 3,662 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,018 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,321 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,427 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,829 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 2,701 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,284 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 2,779 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,033 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,142 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on July 15, 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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