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Valerie Haney asks court for reconsideration after Scientology defeat in Masterson case

One of the most frequent questions we’ve received after Scientology’s stunning defeat last month in the civil lawsuit filed by Danny Masterson’s accusers was whether that ruling by an appeals court would have any effect on Valerie Haney’s own lawsuit against the church.

Like the Masterson accusers, Haney filed a lawsuit in 2019 alleging harassment and stalking by Scientology. For years she had worked as a Sea Org worker, serving in the private quarters of leader David Miscavige and his wife Shelly, and later on the cinema team, casting for Scientology’s videos. She made her escape from Gold Base in 2016 by hiding in the trunk of an actor’s car, and then became Leah Remini’s assistant, appearing on Remini’s A&E series ‘Scientology & the Aftermath,’ making her the target of an intense ‘Fair Game’ surveillance and harassment campaign by the church, which, she alleges, included sexually explicit Internet postings

Her lawsuit was derailed by a motion granted by Judge Richard Burdge Jr, who found that Valerie had signed contracts while she was a Scientology employee that obliged her to take her grievances to Scientology’s “religious arbitration” and not to a court of law.

Valerie’s attorneys petitioned the California appeals court and state supreme court, but her petitions were denied. The state supreme court did decide to intervene for the Masterson accusers, whose lawsuit had also been put in limbo by a similar arbitration motion. After the state supreme court granted review, the result was a landmark appellate ruling in January that overturned Scientology’s arbitration motion in that case.


In the ruling, the appeals court reasoned that because the Masterson accusers are alleging harm that was caused by Masterson and Scientology after the plaintiffs had left the church, then the contracts they signed, and the arbitration clauses in them, didn’t apply.

Valerie Haney too is alleging harm that occurred after she left Scientology’s Sea Org and after Scientology had declared her a “suppressive person,” essentially excommunicating her. Should the appeals victory for the Masterson accusers apply to her case as well?

She’s now trying to find out. On Thursday, she filed a motion for reconsideration with Judge Burdge, asking for him to take a new look at the motion for reconsideration he denied in March 2020.

New law made by the California Court of Appeals on January 19, 2022, justifies Plaintiff’s renewal of her Motion and this Court’s reconsideration of its February 18, 2020, Order. Plaintiffs in [Bixler, et al.] sued the Church of Scientology for torts they committed against plaintiffs in retaliation for reporting alleged crimes by a member of the Church of Scientology to local law enforcement. In Bixler, the Court of Appeals articulated that the First Amendment right to Free Exercise of Religion forbids courts from compelling religious arbitration against individuals who have rejected the faith. The same First Amendment concerns address by the Bixler decision are at issue in this case.

Plaintiff was unable to include the new law in its March 3, 2020, motion for reconsideration because the decision was not made until almost two years after its motion for reconsideration. Accordingly, this Motion for Renewal should be granted, and the Court should vacate its Order compelling Plaintiff Valerie Haney’s participation in religious arbitration for tortious conduct committed by the Church after she has left the faith.

And furthermore…

The Court of Appeals relied on the United States Supreme Court’s First Amendment jurisprudence and on California precedent In re Marriage of Weiss to find that a person has a constitutional right to leave the faith, and that “court enforcement of such a[ religious] agreement would encroach on a person’s fundamental constitutional right.” Similarly, Plaintiff Valerie Haney has left the Church of Scientology and cannot be constitutionally compelled to undergo religious arbitration without irreparably harming her right to leave the faith.

This is an exciting development, and we’ll be looking forward to seeing Scientology’s response. Valerie is asking for a March 15 hearing.

Previously, we had mentioned that there might be a hurdle for Valerie that the Masterson accusers didn’t face. As we’ve pointed out numerous times now, the appeals court was very specific that they were overturning the arbitration motion in the Masterson case not just because the plaintiffs had left Scientology, but because the harm they are alleging occurred after they left the church. In fact, the appeals court pointed to the Garcia lawsuit to make the comparison that the Garcias, although they have left Scientology, are alleging harm in their lawsuit that occurred while they were still members. So even though they are no longer Scientologists, the contracts still apply because their grievance dates to their time while they were still in.

Valerie’s case is more complex, because her complaint alleges kidnapping that occurred while she was still in the Sea Org, as well as stalking and libel that occurred after she had left. We don’t see that distinction being mentioned in this motion for reconsideration, and we have a feeling Scientology will pounce on it. It’s something to look for.

Here’s the document itself…

Haney v Scientology: Motion… by Tony Ortega



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Source Code

“We’re not in the business of whether people are crazy or not crazy. It’s just a method of calling dirty names anyway. The psychiatrists have no idea who’s crazy and who’s sane, and so forth. It’s just a matter of saying, ‘This fellow’s no good, and the US government wants to get him out of the way so he’s crazy.’ It’s just a matter of expediency. It says en masse, ‘We don’t agree with this particular person. He sees spiders on the ceiling and we don’t. Therefore he’s crazy.’ Has nothing to do with anything we are doing. Nothing. Nothing. Nothing. Just forget those classifications. We don’t care how potty this guy’s ideas of the physical universe are, you know, he just might have come down here from the Martian scout command or something like this, and they probably have very, very odd ideas, you see? The quality, the significance of the fellow’s ideas are no business of the auditor’s.” — L. Ron Hubbard, February 19, 1963


Avast, Ye Mateys

“Recently Flag was divided into 3 separate orgs. The Flag Bureaux (FB), the International Management Org was the first to be formed fully. It is the FOUNDING Org of the other two. It is doing very well and has stats rising in most areas and is heavily in the Mission business. Its colour flash is GREEN. The Flag Admin Org (FAO) is the Service Org. It trains, processes and handles Finance. It has the pattern of the standard 7 Division Organization. It is the ESTABLISHING ORG. The FAO flash color is RED. The Flag Ship Org is the ship itself. It consists of the usual yacht organization functions of Command, Deck, Stewards and Galley and Engine Room. The Ship Org Flash color is BLUE….To summarize the FB is running excellently, the tech and training of the FAO is tops. Finance FAO is going in well. By constant personal work and lots of help, I have these points in hand. Now the three numbered points above must occur and every effort, including very heavy Ethics, will be made to bring them into existence. Your cooperation will be appreciated.” — The Commodore, February 19, 1971



Overheard in the FreeZone

“We need auditors well trained. When I went through the upper sections no one could get on the solo course without the Briefing Course first — that was (and is) the level of understanding it takes to make happy, successful OTs. Unfortunately that no longer seems an option either in the independent field or in the Church of Scientology. No Saint Hill Special Briefing Course offer there, I have heard. I offer it, but so far, no takers, not in 20 years. So how do we get OTs functioning and happy? It takes a lot of personal attention, helping the student solo auditor fill in his missing data, helping him through his levels.”


Past is Prologue

2000: The Boston Globe reported that Scientology celebrity John Travolta plans a quiet birth for his next child. “John Travolta’s wife, Kelly Preston, will be having a ‘quiet birth’ when she delivers her second child, due next month. According to the teaching of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard, the delivery room will be hushed ‘so there’s nothing in the child’s mind that shouldn’t be there while there’s pain going on,’ said Travolta. Preston, however, will be allowed to moan in pain. ‘The sounds are not as detrimental,’ her husband said. ‘Any people saying any kind of negative verbiage may adversely affect the baby later on.'”


Random Howdy

“Confiscating people’s passports is a classic Eastern European sex trade/slave tactic. It doesn’t get more obvious and sinister.”


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

Criminal prosecutions:

Danny Masterson charged for raping three women: Next pretrial conference May 31. Trial scheduled for August 29.
‘Lafayette Ronald Hubbard’ (a/k/a Justin Craig), aggravated assault, plus drug charges: Last hearing was on January 18, referred to grand jury.
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 March 25 in Los Angeles
David Gentile, GPB Capital, fraud: Next pretrial conference set for April 8.
Joseph ‘Ben’ Barton, Medicare fraud: Pleaded guilty, awaiting sentencing.
Yanti Mike Greene, Scientology private eye accused of contempt of court: Hearing held on February 15, awaiting ruling.

Civil litigation:
Luis and Rocio Garcia v. Scientology: Eleventh Circuit affirmed ruling granting Scientology’s motion for arbitration. Garcias considering next move.
Valerie Haney v. Scientology: Forced to ‘religious arbitration.’ Valerie asks for March 15 hearing on motion for reconsideration.
Chrissie Bixler et al. v. Scientology and Danny Masterson: Appellate court removes requirement of arbitration on January 19, case remanded back to Superior Court. Scientology has said it will file an anti-SLAPP motion.
Brian Statler Sr v. City of Inglewood: Third amended complaint filed, trial set for June 28.
Author Steve Cannane defamation trial: Trial concluded, Cannane victorious, awarded court costs. Appeal hearing held Aug 23-27. Awaiting a ruling.
Chiropractors Steve Peyroux and Brent Detelich, stem cell fraud: Lawsuit filed by the FTC and state of Georgia in August, now in discovery phase.



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] Transcript: In the Danny Masterson lawsuit, Scientology continues to get its way
[TWO years ago] California is going ‘Ideal,’ and Scientology is on fire about it
[THREE years ago] Leah Remini accuses former Scientologists of sabotaging an episode of ‘Aftermath’
[FOUR years ago] Atack: What David Mayo told me about L. Ron Hubbard, Scientology, and the upper levels
[FIVE years ago] Disconnecting from the dead: Another employer accused of forcing Scientology is taken to court
[SIX years ago] DOX: A former L. Ron Hubbard business partner dishes on Scientology to the feds
[SEVEN years ago] HBO moves back ‘Going Clear’ to March 29 and TV’s most coveted spot: Sunday night
[EIGHT years ago] SCIENTOLOGY’S PRAYER: The Hail Mary petition to keep David Miscavige from being deposed
[NINE years ago] SUPER POWER UPDATE: Scientology Has Even More Excuses Not to Open Its Boondoggle
[TEN years ago] Scientology Sunday Funnies: There’s a Chill Down Under!


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 2,580 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,085 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,605 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,625 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,516 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 4,823 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 2,691 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 3,465 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 1,796 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,269 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,585 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,151 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 8,070 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,238 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 3,819 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,080 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,116 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 2,831 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,356 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 711 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 1,886 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,437 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,586 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 3,906 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 8,761 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 3,880 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,236 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,539 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,645 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 3,043 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 2,919 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,502 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 2,997 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,251 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,360 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on February 19, 2022 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, 1995-2021 Just starting out here? We’ve picked out the most important stories we’ve covered here at the Underground Bunker (2012-2021), 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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