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This time, Scientology puts up no fight as Jane Doe 1’s new attorneys join the fray

[Brad Edwards and Brittany Henderson]

Two years ago, you may remember, Scientology fought tooth and nail to keep out the Philly lawyers who were suing Danny Masterson and the church.

The Philly team had filed the lawsuit in August 2019 with the help of a California attorney, but early in 2020 Brian Kent and Marci Hamilton and Stewart Ryan were trying to get admitted to the Los Angeles Superior Court of Judge Steven Kleifield so they could appear in hearings and litigate the case directly. Scientology resisted this to an almost ridiculous degree.

Talk about ticky-tack. Scientology’s attorneys were objecting to things like the Philly lawyers not putting their home addresses on documents filed with the court, and they raised questions about the previous times they had been admitted from out of state to litigate in California (known as “pro hac vice” in legalese).

After some back and forth, the process went through and the attorneys were admitted. Judge Kleifield himself seemed surprised at how much Scientology was fighting something that is usually a formality.

Since then, the lawsuit was derailed by a Scientology motion for its own brand of arbitration, and then restored with a stunning January appellate ruling. At that point, Jane Doe 1, one of the four women (and one man) suing Masterson and the church, replaced the Philly team with new lawyers. She hired Bradley Edwards, a lawyer based in Fort Lauderdale who is known for relentlessly pursuing Jeffrey Epstein and leading to the predator financier’s downfall, and another partner at Edwards’ firm, Brittany Henderson, also known for taking on cases on behalf of victims of sexual assault.

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This week, Edwards and Henderson were admitted pro hac vice to Judge Kleifield’s court, and Scientology didn’t resist it at all. Should we read something into that? We really don’t know.

Also, with the state supreme court still working on rulings in the lawsuit, Judge Kleifield moved back a scheduled April hearing in the case to June, when once again the issue of a stay will be considered. Danny Masterson’s criminal rape case is a far more important matter, and we figured that at some point the civil lawsuit (which is about harassment, not rape), would be put on hold until after the criminal trial, which is scheduled for August 29 and predicted to last four weeks. Scientology, meanwhile, has indicated that it will file an anti-SLAPP motion in the civil lawsuit when they get the chance.

Right now, both the civil harassment lawsuit (Bixler v. Scientology) and the criminal rape case (People v. Masterson) are awaiting rulings at the California supreme court, and that’s what we’re most anticipating. We’ll remind you what’s at stake at the state’s highest court:

1. Will they grant Scientology’s petition for review of the appellate decision in the Bixler civil lawsuit.

2. Will they instead publish the Bixler ruling as the law of the state, dealing a crushing blow to Scientology’s ability to harass former members.

3. Will they grant Danny Masterson review of his motion to dismiss his rape case on the basis of his religious rights supposedly being trampled by Judge Charlaine Olmedo.

As ever, we’re watching the docket.

 
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Bonus items from our tipsters

Battle Creek is on fire!

 

 

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Sign up for a daily email when we post a new story on Scientology.

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.

 
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Source Code

“Is there any way to lick this thing called life? Well, that’s quite a thing to undertake, really. All in a few minutes, sit down with some preclear and go bang, bang, bang, and he feels better. Remember, this individual, at least so far as we can trace on an E-Meter has been about 76 trillion years on a track. He’s had experience after experience after experience after experience. He’s been through things they wouldn’t dare film or describe anywhere. And yet, we have the total conceit of — in using a few words — of attempting to resolve his wobbliness, his inabilities, his incapacities which have resulted from these experiences.” — L. Ron Hubbard, April 8, 1954

 
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Avast, Ye Mateys

“DEMOTION: Pending Comm Ev for muddying up port relations Mike Smith, Peter Warren, and Amos Jessup are removed from post and restricted to the ship. Ship’s Rep actions will be undertaken by the Purser and the 3rd Mate….I finally got data enough to get things handled and, with reservations, all is okay. If a problem or situation can’t be handled get it to somebody who can handle it. Don’t sit on it until the roof falls in. People only get bit for (a) not taking responsibility for their areas and for (b) failing to do their jobs or for (c) getting us in a mess through irresponsibility or stupidity.” — The Commodore, April 8, 1969

 
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Overheard in the FreeZone

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“I finally accept responsibility (KRC) for how I’ve mis-used this body for sensational purposes against its own biochemistry and anatomy — and ineffective or too little address to the mind too — first dynamics ethics condition formula ongoing — all’s going well now that proper conditions formula is at work Soon ready to declare and work through conditions on the 2D.”

 
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Past is Prologue

1998: Deana Holmes reported on the progress of Scientology’s efforts to flood the web with nearly identical web pages. “It seems that passing out CD-ROMs is not getting the websites up as fast as Scn would like. Scientology has set up a passworded website so that people can create their own websites online. The person in charge is Alethea Greenberg, and she is the Scientologist On-Line Director in International Management. Scientologists are supposed to email her for a password to gain access to the following site: http://on-line.scientology.org/welcome.htm. Then you log on to their website, create your website, and then submit it for approval to Scientology. When it’s approved, the web site is sent to you via email. Additionally, a snail mailed copy of the copyright / trademark agreement is sent to you to sign and return.”

 
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Random Howdy

“From what I’ve read registrars routinely tell prospective clients that Scientology can cure numerous physical aliments that the person is suffering from. That is medical fraud, is it not?”

 
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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.

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‘Lafayette Ronald Hubbard’ (a/k/a Justin Craig), aggravated assault, plus drug charges: Last hearing was on January 18, referred to grand jury. Additional charges also referred to grand jury after January 5 assault while in jail.
Jay and Jeff Spina, Medicare fraud: Jay sentenced to 9 years in prison. Jeff’s sentencing to be scheduled.
Rizza Islam and other family members, Medi-Cal fraud: Pretrial conference May 20 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: Found guilty of criminal and civil contempt.

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’s motion for reconsideration denied on March 15.
Chrissie Bixler et al. v. Scientology and Danny Masterson: Appellate court removes requirement of arbitration on January 19, case remanded back to Superior Court. Next hearing scheduled for June 29.
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.

 
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THE PROSECUTION OF DANNY MASTERSON

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.

SCIENTOLOGY: FAIR GAME

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.

LEAH REMINI: SCIENTOLOGY AND THE AFTERMATH

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.

SCIENTOLOGY’S CELEBRITIES, from A to Z

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?

 
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THE WHOLE TRACK

[ONE year ago] Talk about ‘enabling’ Scientology, watch this craven plan to kick Mark Bunker off board
[TWO years ago] With Scientology largely shut down by the pandemic, the few remaining members reminisce
[THREE years ago] Scientology admits in planning docs it expects only 6 walk-ins daily at new facility
[FOUR years ago] Scientology buys another derelict building in order to pretend that it’s expanding wildly
[FIVE years ago] You tell us: What’s the current condition of the Church of Scientology?
[SIX years ago] Brian Sheen continues to fight Scientology’s ‘disconnection’ in unique and unusual ways
[SEVEN years ago] Geoffrey Lewis, 1935-2015, a consummate character actor and an OT 5 Scientologist
[EIGHT years ago] Mike Bennitt shares with us a creepy e-mail he received after filming Scientology events
[NINE years ago] An Interview with Brandon Ogborn About His Play, The TomKat Project
[TEN years ago] Marty Rathbun is Big in the U.K., Still Waiting for Major U.S. Treatment

 
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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 2,628 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,133 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,653 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,673 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,564 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 4,871 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 2,739 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 3,513 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 1,844 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,317 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,633 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,199 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 8,118 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,286 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 3,866 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,128 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,164 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 2,879 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,404 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 759 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 1,934 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,485 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,634 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 3,954 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 8,809 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 3,928 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,284 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,587 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,693 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 3,091 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 2,967 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,550 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 3,045 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,299 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,408 days.

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Posted by Tony Ortega on April 8, 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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