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Luis Garcia steps in to help Danny Masterson’s accusers: Scientology ‘arbitration’ is corrupt

[Luis Garcia and his attorney Ted Babbitt]

On November 2, a California appeals court will hear oral arguments in the lawsuit filed by Danny Masterson’s rape accusers, who allege that they have been subjected to years of harassment by Masterson and the Church of Scientology.

As that hearing nears, the two sides have been filing documents for the court to consider, and we have new and startling filings for you to see.

The lawsuit was derailed last December when Scientology successfully argued that the four plaintiffs who had been Scientologists (of five total plaintiffs) were obliged under contracts they signed to take their grievances to Scientology’s own internal “religious arbitration” and not to a court of law. Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Steven Kleifield agreed, and denied the plaintiffs a right to trial. They then asked the California Supreme Court to intervene, which was a longshot. But the court did grant review, and now the appeal will be heard by the California Second Appellate Division.

Before the oral arguments are heard, however, the court asked both sides to address the issue of whether Scientology’s own internal brand of arbitration was “neutral.” After all, Scientology’s proceeding requires that all three arbitrators be members of the church in good standing, and former Scientologists who have been declared enemies of the church say there’s no way they’d get a fair hearing.

Last time, we showed you the 7-page letter from constitutional scholar Marci Hamilton arguing that this situation is inherently unfair, and Scientology’s 7-page argument that the court simply can’t butt in when it involves a “church” and its internal rules.


Now, we have the 5-page replies from each side for you. But we also have something special: A declaration by Luis Garcia, who is inserting himself into the case to tell the court that Scientology’s arbitration is “unfair, one-sided, and corrupt.”

Garcia and his wife Rocio, you will remember, sued Scientology in 2013 alleging that they had been lied to and defrauded by the church to convince them to turn over hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations. Federal Judge James Whittemore, however, granted Scientology’s motion for arbitration, agreeing that contracts the Garcias signed included promises not to sue in court.

In their case, the Garcias actually did go through with the arbitration, which they subsequently told us was a farce.

But because Whittemore accepted the result of that arbitration (which granted the Garcias about $18,000 of the hundreds of thousands they had donated, and which they rejected) Scientology today is arguing that the Garcia case proves its arbitration is fair and neutral.

Garcia wasn’t going to put up with that. He wanted the California appellate court to know that in Florida, Scientology had lied to the federal court repeatedly about its “justice” procedures.

I have first-hand knowledge of the Church’s religious arbitration because my wife and I were subjected to it ourselves. I will provide numerous instances in which the process was unfair, one-sided, and corrupt but this is not intended to convey each and every instance in which the Church and its representatives conducted itself in a way that was inconsistent with statements they made to the Court in my lawsuit about how the process of religious arbitration would play out.

Luis then goes into detail about the arbitration and how ludicrous it was.

They couldn’t have an attorney. They weren’t allowed a court reporter to take down what was said. They were held all day in a small guarded room. They weren’t allowed any witnesses or helpers. More than 90 percent of the documents Luis brought to present as evidence was not allowed. And it just gets more ridiculous from there.

We also have for you the rebuttal letters from the two sides. Marci Hamilton points to the Luis Garcia declaration to the make the point that it’s already well established that Scientology’s arbitration is one-sided and anything but neutral.

Scientology counters that Judge Whittemore accepted the results of the Garcia arbitration so what Luis himself says about it is irrelevant. Also, Scientology’s attorneys actually try to make the point that the arbitrators don’t have to be three members of any particular Church of Scientology, they could be members of any Church of Scientology.

For some reason, this reminded us of the line in the Blues Brothers when Jake and Elwood are told that Bob’s Country Bunker has both kinds of music: Country and Western.

While you’re puzzling over that comment, here are the relevant materials. Have at it, document hounds.

Here is Luis Garcia’s declaration.


Bixler v. Scientology: Luis… by Tony Ortega

Here is Marci Hamilton’s rebuttal letter on behalf of the plaintiffs.

Bixler v. Scientology: Marc… by Tony Ortega

Here is William Forman and Robert Mangel’s rebuttal letter on behalf of Scientology.

Bixler v. Scientology: Form… by Tony Ortega


Leah Remini podcast: Amy Scobee

Says Mike: “This week we welcome our dear friend Amy Scobee to talk about scientology and celebrities. Amy was in charge of scientology Celebrity Centres for many years. She has a lot of personal experience about how scientology treats its biggest celebrities. She was also the catalyst for The Aftermath when she reached out with the story of her mother, Bonnie. They were featured in the first episode.” Listen to the episode right here!



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Did you know you can get an email every morning when we post our daily Scientology story? We know some of the folks who come to the Underground Bunker aren’t here to talk about the politics of the day, and that’s why we created a daily politics feature over at our other blog, The Lowdown, and we ask readers to take their political discussions over there. And if you drop us a line at tonyo94 AT gmail, we’ll put you on the list so you get a morning reminder that a new Scientology story has been posted — and only for our Scientology stories.


Source Code

“The Eighth Dynamic is really infinity stood upright. And it simply means infinity. Now, you can come along and say, ‘Well, you also mean the Supreme Being?’ No, we don’t particularly mean the Supreme Being. How do we know that you aren’t, collectively, the Supreme Being. See? That’s probably much more closer to truth. There are gods around of various kinds. There are some wind gods over in India; there are various savage gods of one kind or another. But if you give them a good quizzing you find out that they’re just a thetan and they behave most remarkably like you would if you hadn’t thought that you ought to lay aside all the power you had, too.” — L. Ron Hubbard, October 19, 1954


Avast, Ye Mateys

“NOTES FROM HCI: In spite of Sea Watches, Drills and docking the following completed courses yesterday: Al Bornstein, Lookout Specialist; David Ziff, HDG; Dekki Le, SO SS; David Ziff, HSDC; Sharon West, SO SS; Liz Ausley, OOD Specialist. Very Well Done. It’s great to see thetans making things go right.” — The Commodore, October 19, 1970



Overheard in the FreeZone

“Cabal bases on Mars surely exist. The secret Earth conspiracy is just a small part of the larger agenda to suppress the rest of the universe.”


Past is Prologue

1995: Robert Clark, formerly the anonymous poster henry, posted a request for donations. Robert lost his job with AccuWeather following a visit from Scientology private investigator Eugene Ingram. “This is the situation. I have been suddenly left with no resources whatever nor any way to do so much as pay my rent. I was really hoping not to be forced into this, but — you guessed it — I’m going to hit you up for money at this point. The Save Henry’s Ass Movement (SHAM) is not a defense fund. It is not a 501(c)(3) tax-exempt organization, and therefore donations will not be tax-deductible. In fact, it isn’t even an organization. It’s just a name I made up. It seemed like a good idea at the time. Money sent to this fund will be used to meet the immediate needs of paying rent and keeping the electricity on and food in my refrigerator. It may even buy me a pack of cigarettes. I might even use it to buy peanut butter, if I’m required to dodge the draft any time soon.”


Random Howdy

“A day without Kirstie is like a day without donuts.”


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


Criminal prosecutions:
Danny Masterson charged for raping three women: Next hearing set for November 10. Trial tentatively scheduled for February.
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 December 17 in Los Angeles
David Gentile, GPB Capital, fraud: Next pretrial conference set for November 19.
Joseph ‘Ben’ Barton, Medicare fraud: Pleaded guilty, awaiting sentencing.

Civil litigation:
Luis and Rocio Garcia v. Scientology: Oral arguments were heard on July 30, 2020 at the Eleventh Circuit
Valerie Haney v. Scientology: Forced to ‘religious arbitration.’ US Supreme Court denied Valerie’s petition Oct 4.
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 November 2.
Matt and Kathy Feschbach tax debt: Eleventh Circuit ruled on Sept 9, 2020 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 June 28, 2022.
Author Steve Cannane defamation trial: Trial concluded, Cannane victorious, awarded court costs. Case appealed on Dec 23. Appeal hearing held Aug 23-27. Awaiting a ruling.



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] Danny Masterson’s attorneys back in court in rape case today while he’s in Wyoming
[TWO years ago] Let’s help Scientology actor Danny Masterson name his new wine venture
[THREE years ago] Scientology has to open its books again, and we dig into the numbers
[FOUR years ago] Raid in Hungary: Scientology’s Cold War tactics are colliding with 21st Century data privacy
[FIVE years ago] Scientology’s biggest lie: That it will teach you to take control of your own life
[SIX years ago] Would you buy a used car from this man? Scientology and refunds — a primer
[SEVEN years ago] Marty Rathbun on being ambushed at LAX by raving Scientologists: ‘It was insane’
[NINE years ago] When L. Ron Hubbard Rocked the World: The OT 8 Release!
[TEN years ago] Scientology’s “Disconnection:” Lori Hodgson, Ex-Church Member, Kept from Scientologist Son After Serious Wreck


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 2,458 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 2,963 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,483 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,503 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,394 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 4,701 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 2,569 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 3,343 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 1,673 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,147 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,463 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,029 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 7,948 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,116 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 3,697 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 3,958 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 2,994 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 2,709 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,234 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 589 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 1,764 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,315 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,464 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 3,784 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 8,639 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 3,758 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,114 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,417 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,523 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 2,921 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 2,797 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,380 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 2,875 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,129 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,238 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on October 19, 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


Tony Ortega at The Daily Beast


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