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After a court restored the Danny Masterson suit, Scientology is apoplectic with rage

[He’s simmering.]

[Jeffrey Augustine shares some thoughts with us about the recent landmark court rulings we’ve been watching — ed.]

As covered here at the Bunker, the California Court of Appeals in January handed down what sure looks like a precedent-setting ruling in the case of Bixler v Church of Scientology. The ruling came as such a shock to the “Church Defendants” — as Scientology leader David Miscavige and company are called in the ruling — the defense lawyers exclaimed in horror in their (since denied) request for a rehearing:

This Court became the first in the nation to hold that “freely executed” religious arbitration agreements cannot be enforced over the First Amendment objections of a party who claims to be a “non-believer.”

Well, this isn’t entirely true. The court didn’t say the agreements can’t be enforced because these former members became non-believers, but because Scientology allegedly harmed them after they left the church.

Still, Scientology is clearly unhappy that for the first time a court has overturned its arbitration scheme. But then, there is a first time for everything. After all, Scientology became the first ever “religion” whose central sacrament requires electricity.


L. Ron Hubbard’s four quadrillion years of Whole Track, body thetans, engrams, past lives, implants, and virtually every other metaphysical object Hubbard describes in his writings are detectable and decipherable only with the arcane circuitry of the electrically-powered “E-meter.” Even “sec checks” — Scientologese for brutal interrogations — require the electrical contraption. “If it reads on the meter it is true” is axiomatic in Scientology. Never mind that this is tautological: it is held to be axiomatic in Scientology.

Given that Hubbard created so many firsts with what we call his electro-detectable Space Opera cosmology, why should Church Defendants be surprised that the California Appeals court issued what sure seems like a “first of its kind” precedent-setting ruling?

Nevertheless, Scientology cannot wrap its mind around the fact that it cannot stalk, harass and kill the pets of former members after they leave and still force them into its sham religious arbitration. The California Appeals court stated the matter in precise terms:

The issue properly phrased is: after petitioners have left the faith, can Scientology still require that all of Scientology’s future conduct with respect to petitioners – including torts of whatever kind – be governed by Scientology law, with disputes to be resolved solely in Scientology tribunals by Scientology members? We conclude it cannot.

Scientology’s attorneys promptly asked for a rehearing. They claimed the court was not properly briefed. Scientology wanted another bite at the apple so it could argue that an “SP Declare” does not mean that a person is no longer a Scientologist. It wanted to argue that Scientology alone can say when a person is no longer a Scientologist, and not something a civil court can determine.

In the Bunker comments after the momentous ruling, our own TX Lawyer asked a question which we found amazing to think about (emphasis ours):

I think the court of appeals is likely to stick with its previous decision is likely to hold: The First Amendment does not allow enforcement of a religious arbitration agreement for conduct that arose after the adherent became an ex-adherent.

Query: Would it work the other way around? If an ex-member set the local org on fire, would Scientology not be able to take its claim to arbitration to make the ex pay for the damage?

We consider this a fascinating question because what would happen? According to Church Defendants, the arsonist and former Scientologist would still be subject to Scientology’s religious arbitration. Further, L. Ron Hubbard specifically makes it a crime to turn over a Scientologist to the police. The Jo’Burg Sec Check introductory statement is read to the Scientologist who is being interrogated on the e-meter (emphasis ours):

“I am not auditing you. We are about to begin an HCO Confessional. We are not moralists. We are able to change people. We are not here to condemn them. While we cannot guarantee you that matters revealed in this list will be held forever secret, we can promise you faithfully that no part of it nor any answer you make here will be given to the police or the state. No Scientologist will ever bear witness against you in court by reason of answers to this Confessional. This Confessional is exclusively for Scientology purposes.

If Scientology deemed the former Scientologist to still be subject to its arbitration procedure and scriptures, Scientology officials could not call the police and have the arsonist arrested for arson.

But what would happen if Scientology officials called the police? Could the former Scientologist file a lawsuit and cite Scientology attorney William Forman’s exchange with Justice Moor of the California Appeals Court?

Justice Moor: What happens if I went into Scientology in 1980 to check it out and then left after two weeks? If I had signed the contract and was hit by a truck owned by Scientology 20 years later, would I still be bound to the contract?

Attorney Forman: That would be Scientology’s position, yes.


Would Scientology be hoisted on its own petard? Would any court force Scientology to abide by its own arbitration policy and handle an arson fire committed by a former Scientologist as an internal religious matter?

We think the answer is clearly no. Violations of public policy, i.e. breaking the law, are distinctly different from religious matters. Just like brutally and deliberately harassing former members is a violation of public policy, so too is arson.

Like everyone else, Scientology is entitled to protection under the law. A former member who committed arson against the Church should be arrested and subjected to full weight of justice. Likewise, the plaintiffs in Bixler v Scientology who were maliciously subjected to Scientology’s Fair Game should also enjoy the protection of the law. This is what the Court of Appeals ruled.

What do you think of the hypothetical presented by TX Lawyer?


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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

“This idea of somebody full-armed from the brow of Jove or something like that, coming down and helping man, and so on, that’s an old story. That isn’t even news. But somebody by his own bootstraps, even as you, pulling himself up through this thing, that is news. And whatever you have done and been on the Whole Track, or whatever I have done and been on the Whole Track, it still amounts to the fact that a guy just like you made this. And has made it, and also ‘physician heal thyself,’ has been broken all ways from the middle. Because it never happened before. That’s what’s news. I suppose my bank to a large degree’s been keyed out but over a period of time has been keying in harder and harder and harder and about knocked my head off, and I was working out technology by which you could get Clear, and I hadn’t had any auditing to amount to anything for a couple of years, actually. Mary Sue rolled up her sleeves and there we went and here we are. And this is a very satisfactory, well, I won’t say an end to the story, because the story is a long way from ended. But I will say it’s a very satisfactory denouement on the question, ‘Can one lift himself by his own bootstraps and beat all the laws of God and men in this whole universe from one corner to the other?’ And the answer, of course, is yes.” — L. Ron Hubbard, February 21, 1963



Avast, Ye Mateys

“The UKLO WW SH team, Phyll Stevens, Linda Parselle, Anne Tampion, Darlene Regenas and Margaret Hodkins are leaving today. They have worked hard and done very well. They graduated from the FEBC and attained Grade Clear OT. The Flag Bureaux has totally replanned SH spatially and have re-integrated the successful ’67 pattern. WW is now the UKLO Management Bureau. We wish them very well. The officers and crew have worked very hard completing the entirety of this very extensive project. Now it is up to them to put a UKLO and SH and SH Foundation there and bring SH back to its former glory. Good-bye, god bless, good luck. We wish you well. This is a major completion. A great one.” — The Commodore, February 21, 1971


Overheard in the FreeZone

“I just wanted to say that I really enjoy the ‘Overheard in the Freezone’ daily feature. It is the first time I have seen thoughts similar to mine, thought processes and interests and realities of a ‘post-Scientology’ similar to mine in a very long time. And I feel at home for the first time in years, the first time since I left Scientology. Except that I could not trace those comments to their writers and comment back. I wish I could. Many of them are really interesting, and I’d like to get to know them and discuss ideas. Please keep the feature going, it is really interesting and worthwhile. It shows some very interesting perspectives that augment mine in a thrilling way, which is rare anywhere.”


Past is Prologue

2002: Arel Lucas a visit by Scientology PI Edwin Richardson at the home of Ida Camburn before a protest at Gold Base in Hemet, California. “Standing on the outside of the locked screen was this tall dark guy who looked very familiar. ‘Hello, you know me,’ he said. I told Ida that ‘Mr. Richardson’ was here. ‘The sheriff is here to keep the peace,’ Richardson said. ‘He’s parked out front.’ Richardson said, ‘I just wanted you to know that we know about the post.’ He was looking at me more than at Ida. ‘What post?’ I asked. ‘The post about the pipe bomb and the cake,’ he said. ‘I just want you to know what we know about the post about the pipe bomb and the cake,’ he repeated mechanically. Ida was telling him that we know that people post things on a.r.s. or elsewhere that threaten themselves. He said again that the sheriff was here to keep the peace, as if we two old ladies would rush out and attack him with pipe bombs or possibly with cakes. We talked with the sheriff. The deputy was Deputy Gonzales, I discovered when we both asked for cards from him. Deputy Gonzales told us that the Hemet police would ordinarily have answered such a request, but that he had been out at ‘gold’ as part of an investigation there. I told Deputy Gonzales exactly what Richardson had said and that we didn’t know what he was talking about as far as any threat was concerned. I said that he was probably trying to keep us from picketing ‘gold’ today. The deputy asked if we intended to picket today. I said that we did.”


Random Howdy

“Pleasure and pain are what motivates everyone on the most basic level. People do things because they make them feel good, whether it be dope or Scientology. Even after drug addiction becomes destructive, people keep doing it because it’s become their way of life and people fear change (and pain) more than anything.”



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] Scientology social media: The world’s coolest religion is on fire!
[TWO years ago] Thanks to some Scientology OTs, you can now rent a cabin only a mile from Shelly Miscavige!
[THREE years ago] If you thought Scientology’s ‘Axioms’ were dumb, the ‘Logics’ are even dumberer
[FOUR years ago] Hubbard’s ‘Brainwashing Manual’ — how a crude Scientology hoax became a far-right touchstone
[FIVE years ago] As Scientology shrinks, its leader dreams up new ways to convince followers otherwise
[SIX years ago] When Scientology was in trouble in 1955, L. Ron Hubbard told prosecutor he was a ‘psychologist’
[SEVEN years ago] When Scientology was pouring on the ‘religious’ angle very thick: A video mystery
[EIGHT years ago] Federal judge dismisses Georgia class-action lawsuit against Scientology and rehab network
[NINE years ago] Narconon Staff Certifications in Jeopardy After New Whistleblower Comes Forward
[TEN years ago] Scientology Hip Hop: The Melbourne Day Rap Battle Team!


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 2,582 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,087 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,607 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,627 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,518 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 4,825 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 2,693 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 3,467 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 1,798 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,271 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,587 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,153 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 8,072 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,240 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 3,821 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,082 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,118 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 2,833 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,358 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 713 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 1,888 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,439 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,588 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 3,908 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 8,763 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 3,882 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,238 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,541 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,647 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 3,045 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 2,921 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,504 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 2,999 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,253 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,362 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on February 21, 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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