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Scientology: Put Bixler case on hold while we hit up the US Supreme Court about ‘arbitration’

[Bobette Riales, Cedric Bixler-Zavala, and Chrissie Carnell-Bixler]

If you wondered how Scientology was going to deal with its stunning setback in the Bixler lawsuit, it confirmed this week that it’s going to try a Hail Mary to the US Supreme Court.

In January, California’s 2nd Appellate Division delivered a shocking blow in the Bixler v. Scientology case, overturning a lower court ruling that had forced the case into Scientology’s own brand of “religious arbitration.”

The appeals court found that because the Bixler plaintiffs are alleging harassment and stalking that has occurred after they left the church, Scientology can’t force them to into arbitration based on contracts they signed while they were still members.

Chrissie Carnell-Bixler and her fellow plaintiffs — her husband, Cedric Bixler-Zavala, Bobette Riales, and two women going by Jane Doe 1 and Jane Doe 2 — are suing over the harassment they say they’ve experience since the women came forward to the LAPD in 2016 with allegations that they had been raped by Scientology celebrity Danny Masterson. The lawsuit is only about that campaign of harassment, and it was filed in August 2019.

Criminal charges against Masterson were filed in June 2020, and his trial is scheduled for October 11 in Los Angeles. He’s accused of forcibly raping three of the women suing him (Bixler and the two Jane Does), and if he’s convicted he faces 45 years to life in prison.


The Bixler plaintiffs had asked the civil court for a stay in proceedings until the criminal case was taken care of. Scientology opposed that motion for a stay, and they say they still oppose it on the grounds that the plaintiffs were asking for.

But Scientology, in a new filing, says that a stay should be put on the case because by July 19 the church plans to file a petition with the US Supreme Court to ask it to intervene and overturn the 2nd Appellate Division’s ruling on religious arbitration…

The Church Defendants respectfully request the Court deny Plaintiffs’ request to stay this litigation pending resolution of the Masterson criminal matter and instead continue the current stay of proceedings pending resolution of the Church Defendants’ petition for writ of certiorari and any subsequent proceedings in the United States Supreme Court.

What will Scientology say in its petition to SCOTUS? We assume it will look at least something like the petition it sent to California’s Supreme Court after the January ruling by the 2nd Appellate Division.

What most seemed to horrify Scientology was that the appeals court essentially ignored some of the arguments being made by Marci Hamilton, the attorney representing the Bixler plaintiffs, who had argued that the contracts should be null and void after the women had left the church. The appeals justices, however, said that it wasn’t that they’d left the church that mattered, but that the harm they said the church was causing them, the stalking, libel, and harassment, was happening after they had left the church.

That might sound perfectly logical to an outside observer, but Scientology was hopping mad that the justices had dared to consider the situation outside of what Hamilton had briefed or argued. What authority did these justices have to look at the case themselves and decide what made sense?

The state supreme court was not swayed by this reasoning, and denied the petition.

Scientology will now try to convince the US Supreme Court that “religious rights” are under attack here, and hope that its conservative majority bites on it. But the odds are against them. The court only accepts to hear about 3 percent of the petitions that are submitted.

As soon as we see the petition pop up on the Supreme Court docket, we’ll post it for you.


Chris Shelton interviews Katherine Olson, part 3: The escape

Says Chris: “This week Katherine and I finish up our long-form interview detailing her escape story from the Sea Org and Scientology. Picking up where we left off, we go into how her friend helped open her eyes to the truth about Scientology and how the Aftermath Foundation played a critical role in providing a support structure for Katherine so she could get away. For me, how people get out of these destructive cult situations, whatever the group, is just as important as how people get into them in the first place. There is some really good advice here for anyone who has friends or family stuck in a cult situation, Scientology or otherwise.”




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Source Code

“We used to be tolerant about [the University of] Chicago. Most of us wanted to go there because you only had to go a couple of years before they handed you a sheepskin and we were bored. But this outfit uttered this asinine statement: ‘We have tested all the techniques of Dianetics and found out it didn’t work.’ Well, in the first place it’s asinine because all the techniques of Dianetics didn’t exist in published form and were not available to them to test, see? So right away, that was nonsense. For instance, I know of techniques that were released at the first foundation in Elizabeth which have never seen the light of day; I have never seen them published or anything else. Matter of fact, I saw three or four splinter groups suddenly start up on stuff that was merely designed to take care of one PC or something like that, and then they decided that this would apply to all PCs and so forth. There are several brands of therapy which are adrift today which simply consist of one technique developed for one PC at Elizabeth. So for any outfit to grandly look down its nose and say, ‘We have tested all the techniques of Dianetics,’ you know? Well, what a statement, see? They haven’t got them to test. How would they even know if they had tested all the techniques? Right away they are irresponsible. And then to say they didn’t work would also be asinine because if they had tested even sloppily, they would have gotten some result someplace, unless they were simply uttering a publicity statement to protect the vested interest.” — L. Ron Hubbard, June 18, 1964


Avast, Ye Mateys

“NEW RUNDOWN: The original Rundown of last November variously called and numbered, is now to be exported to eligible orgs as the New-Life Rundown, to be given in their Dept 10s It is a high-priced successful package. It requires Class IX to Supervise it. It must not be confused with a Life Repair. It literally gives one a new life. It does not supplant any grade or OT level. It has been smoothed out and is highly successful. The Rundowns Flag has been doing lately are above it. It will handle any special case. It’s a doll. Our Dept 10 is grooving in on it.” — The Commodore, June 18, 1971



Overheard in the FreeZone

“L11 was started and there were tremendous wins in the beginning. During this time I developed the ability to ‘plunge’ into the case of other people, which scared me beyond belief. I recognized I was simply exteriorizing and going straight into the case of other people as I thought of them, I still don’t know why that compulsion to go straight into their cases, but I sort of had it. I realized I was able to ‘read minds’ and communicate ‘thetanically’ with my auditor. We had several actual conversations telepathically and this new world was amazing to me.”


Past is Prologue

1999: The Savannah Morning News reported on June 16th that a kennel master has been fired after he took a bomb sniffing dog to work on an unauthorized job for Scientology in Clearwater. “The kennel master for Chatham County’s K-9 unit was fired after he took a bomb-sniffing dog to Florida to work a private job for his own personal gain, according to the county sheriff. Lt. Tony Derryberry also built pipe bombs — in violation of federal law — to help train Chatham’s K-9 units, said Sheriff Al St Lawrence. Derryberry took a dog trained to find explosives from its handler on May 6 and went with it to Clearwater, Fla., to work a private job — inspecting a site for a conference of the Church of Scientology, St Lawrence said Tuesday. He spent two days in Florida with the specially trained dog — an investment for the county of about $8,500 — without department approval, the sheriff said.”


Random Howdy

“So Kim shoots the ex-girlfriend and her entire performing ensemble and makes the families watch, and then sends them to labor camps. I bet C.O.B. pleasures himself fantasizing he had that kind of power.”



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

Criminal prosecutions:
Danny Masterson charged for raping three women: Next pretrial conference June 30. Trial scheduled for October 11.
‘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: Readiness hearing scheduled for August 22 in Los Angeles
David Gentile, GPB Capital, fraud: Next pretrial conference set for September 19.
Yanti Mike Greene, Scientology private eye accused of contempt of court: Found guilty of criminal and civil contempt.

Civil litigation:
Baxter, Baxter, and Paris v. Scientology, alleging labor trafficking: Complaint filed April 28 in Tampa federal court.
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 December 6.
Author Steve Cannane defamation trial: New trial ordered after appeals court overturned prior 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] Goodbye to a Scientology watcher we will dearly miss: Molly Kell, 1960-2021
[TWO years ago] How will Scientology react to Danny Masterson being charged with rape?
[THREE years ago] Wise Beard Man on the ballot in Scientology’s mecca? Mark Bunker on why he’s running
[FOUR years ago] Another sign Nation of Islam members are moving from Dianetics to full Scientology
[FIVE years ago] Scientology caught red-handed breaking government restrictions — and without penalty
[SIX years ago] When you postulate upon a star: L. Ron Hubbard and Scientology’s funny made-up words
[SEVEN years ago] Scientology’s slush fund: Jeffrey Augustine takes apart the fictions of the IAS
[EIGHT years ago] Scientology fires legal salvoes at the Garcias, and Vance Woodward fires back
[NINE years ago] What Scientologists at War Left Out: Some Annotations on Channel 4’s Documentary


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 2,699 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,204 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,754 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,744 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,635 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 4,941 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 2,810 days.
Carol Nyburg has not seen her daughter Nancy in 3,584 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 1,915 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,388 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,704 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,270 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 8,189 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,357 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 3,937 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,199 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,235 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 2,950 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,475 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 830 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 2,005 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,556 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,705 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 4,025 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 8,880 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 3,999 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,355 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,658 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,764 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 3,162 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 3,038 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,621 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 3,116 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,370 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,479 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on June 18, 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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