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Paul Haggis opposes motion to keep Scientology out of next month’s trial

[Haggis’s attorneys plan to introduce evidence first seen in Bryan Seymour’s ‘Black Ops’ series]

Last week, we told you that Haleigh Breest, the former publicist who is suing director Paul Haggis for allegedly raping her, filed a motion asking that the court not allow Haggis to bring up Scientology in their trial, which is scheduled to begin in New York on October 11.

Breest and Haggis sued each other in 2017. She claimed that he had raped her in 2013 after they attended a movie premiere together; he sued her on the same day, claiming that her allegations were merely an extortion attempt after a consensual encounter. Haggis’s suit was dismissed and now her lawsuit is about to go trial. But she doesn’t want Haggis or his attorneys to be able to bring in his history as a high-profile Scientology celebrity defector, or his 2011 prediction that Scientology, known for its elaborate retaliation schemes, would find a way to ensnare him in a scandal.

In 2011, Haggis told New Yorker writer Lawrence Wright, “These people have long memories. My bet is that, within two years, you’re going to read something about me in a scandal that looks like it has nothing to do with the church.”

Breest denies that she has anything to do with Scientology, and she says no evidence has emerged tying her to it, so Haggis shouldn’t be able to bring it up at trial.

“Haggis has not produced one shred of evidence to support this bogus story….If introduced at trial, speculation about Scientology would create a cloud over this case, distract the jury, and prejudice Plaintiff. All such speculation — in the form of testimony, documents, or any kind of ‘evidence’ at all — by Haggis, his lawyers, or his witnesses should be precluded,” she asked the court.


We pointed out that in the only interview that Haggis himself has given in regards to her allegations, he did not bring up Scientology, and instead characterized it as a consensual “one-night stand.”

However, Haggis’s attorneys have made it clear in a new opposition they filed to Breest’s motion that they do intend to bring up Haggis’s background as a Scientology defector into the trial, and also to introduce evidence you first saw here at the Underground Bunker and in Australian journalist Bryan Seymour’s spiked 2020 news series, “Scientology Black Ops.”

In July 2020, Leah Remini gave us material that was from an unpublished chapter from her 2015 memoir, ‘Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology.’ In that chapter, Leah spelled out how in 2005, Tommy Davis, who was then an international spokesman for Scientology, showed a woman who worked at the Screen Actors Guild and who had been involved in Scientology that he had a “dirt file” on Tom Cruise’s legendary former publicist, Pat Kingsley.

In Seymour’s “Black Ops” series, he talked to that former Screen Actor’s Guild employee (he called her “Witness X”) who told him that after Haggis’s defection in 2009, Tommy Davis had asked her to break into Haggis’s SAG file to look for incriminating information. She refused. (See a transcript of the episode here.)

Now, in the motion filed by Haggis’s attorneys, they describe the same incident (now referring to “Witness 1”), and suggesting that the former SAG employee has given a deposition and may testify in the trial.

At around the same time as The New Yorker article was published, Tommy Davis, Scientology’s Senior Executive and Spokesperson, called Witness 1, a former member of The Church, looking for “dirt” on Haggis; specifically, Davis asked Witness 1 for anything involving violent behavior towards women. Davis asked Witness 1 to break into Haggis’ files maintained by the Screen Actors Guild in order to try and find this type of information. Witness 1 refused.

Another revelation by Seymour in the “Black Ops” series was his episode about Tristan Silverman, who had once lived as a lodger with Haggis. (See a transcript of the episode here.) In his interview with Silverman, Seymour learned that she had not only been pressured by Scientology to come up with information about Haggis, but was the subject of a bizarre incident on a New York street.

Now, Haggis’s attorneys cite the incident, again suggesting that a deposition has been filed and that Silverman may be called as a witness.

In 2014, another former member of The Church received a call from a senior member of The Church looking for “dirt” on Haggis. The Church specifically asked this former member, who once spent a summer living with the Haggis family, if Haggis did anything inappropriate with women, including her. In fact, The Church even asked this former member to fabricate an allegation against Haggis, but the former member refused. Subsequently, employees of The Church showed up outside this former member’s home in Manhattan, forcibly walked her into a van to kidnap her, and insisted that the former member change her mind and make up a statement about Haggis. The former member escaped from the van when it stopped at a red light, and successfully fled into the New York subway.

The attorneys also indicate that former Scientology spokesman Mike Rinder may be called to testify, and they will also produce a witness who will corroborate Haggis’s claim that after he left Scientology, the church sent members to his home in order to intimidate him.

The jury, they say, needs to have this information in order to judge Breest’s testimony.

Critically and uncoincidentally, once Breest filed her lawsuit, all known and documented efforts by The Church to annihilate Haggis ceased. No more attempted kidnappings, double-agents, or threats by The Church to make anyone “find dirt” on Haggis. The Church, infamous for its relentless and lawless pursuit of its enemies, suddenly stopped its vicious tactics once Breest’s scorched-earth lawsuit started.

As such, this necessary background information must be presented to the jury. The jury is entitled to be informed of any possible motive Plaintiff may have and about The Church’s fatwa against Haggis. Haggis is no ordinary defendant in a civil case. He is the most public enemy of a notorious, nefarious, powerful, and well-funded institution which is known to destroy its detractors. The Church views Haggis as Iran views Salman Rushdie. And, the evidence will show that The Church was, in fact, seeking to embroil Haggis in ruinous, false allegations regarding women prior to Breest’s allegations here. If this information is precluded, the jury will be prevented from knowing necessary background information to evaluate Plaintiff’s claims.

As to Breest’s claim that she has no ties to Scientology, Haggis’s attorneys point out that this is based solely on her own assertion, and “If the jury decides that Breest is credible, then there is no harm in allowing evidence about The Church into this trial.”


Breest has asked the judge to move the start of the trial up to October 3 in order to accommodate an expert she wants to testify in the proceeding. For now, the start is still scheduled for October 11.


Technology Cocktail

“When speed is the consideration, not results, you get a very cheap camera or car. And you can expect it to fall apart very soon. You also get a cheap reputation. We are in the Leica and Cadillac and Rolls Royce product class without trying.” — L. Ron Hubbard, 1970


Now available: Bonus for our supporters

Episode 12 of the Underground Bunker podcast has been sent out to paid subscribers: You may have read our book about Scientology’s insane attempts to try and destroy journalist Paulette Cooper, but we had a delightful conversation with her about her own memoir. Meanwhile, we’ve made episodes 1 through 11 available to everyone, with such guests as Michelle ‘Emma’ Ryan, Jefferson Hawkins, Patty Moher, Geoff Levin, Pete Griffiths, Sunny Pereira, Bruce Hines, Jeffrey Augustine, and Claire Headley. Go here to get the episodes!


Source Code

“Now, we are not in conflict with the customs and philosophy of the planet or the universe. Quite the contrary. It’s not a case of everybody is out of step but Jim. It’s a case of others want people badly out of step. And they’re getting them pretty badly out of step. But if you can talk to and communicate with anybody on the subject of Scientology, he agrees with what you’d say. He agrees very rapidly with what you say, unless he misses a word. If he misses a word then he won’t agree with what you’ve said, but you are actually talking to him about things which have been with him as customs, far, far, far longer than any Johnny-come-lately psychology or mental science that has been foisted off on him in recent times.” — L. Ron Hubbard, September 15, 1964



Avast, Ye Mateys

“With a lot of fireworks of all kinds the Great Word Clearing Festival got off to a start. There was a small amount of excitement when two lions escaped and rushed to the galley. But instead of eating the cook, he put them to work washing dishes. That’s why you had paw prints on your plates this morning.” — The Commodore, September 15, 1971


Overheard in the FreeZone

“As far as this society goes, I’m out there in the world, I see the decline. As an example, I work with a couple who are upper middle class and I have gotten to know their friends. My couple are the very few who don’t do psychiatric drugs or drugs of any kind and the only ones winning in their marriage — thanks to this tech. Ron had his hands full is all I can say. Anyone attacking him and the tech are the ‘classifiables.’ I have a much better understanding of why it was hard to have the dynamics in and to make money on staff. Believe it or not it is still the 3D that is going to clear this planet and it has to be done.”


Past is Prologue

1997: Three former Scientologists announced a lawsuit against Scientology leader David Miscavige and OSA head Mike Rinder this week for publishing bulletins in which they were described as criminals. “The Verified Complaint, filed in superior court for Los Angeles county, tells the short story: Miscavige and Mike Rinder, who heads up Office of Special Affairs (OSA) for Church of Scientology International (CSI) – are alleged to have been the approving authorities for a brochure called ‘Public Warning.’ Published by OSA, the brochure contains trademarks ostensibly owned by RTC, used with RTC’s permission. ‘Public Warning’ also contains a measure of unflattering allegations against the plaintiffs–about $190 million worth, according to them. (We’d love to show more of ‘Public Warning’ to you, but it’s copyrighted by CSI.)”


Random Howdy


“Jeez, does everybody around here have a sock except me?”


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

Criminal prosecutions:
Danny Masterson charged for raping three women: Trial scheduled for October 11.
‘Lafayette Ronald Hubbard’ (a/k/a Justin Craig), aggravated assault, plus drug charges: Grand jury indictments include charges from an assault while in custody. Arraigned on August 29.
Jay and Jeff Spina, Medicare fraud: Jay sentenced to 9 years in prison. Jeff’s sentencing to be scheduled.
Rizza Islam, Medi-Cal fraud: Trial scheduled for October 24 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, Scientology moving to compel arbitration. Plaintiffs filed amended complaint on August 2.
Valerie Haney v. Scientology: Forced to ‘religious arbitration.’ Selection of arbitrators underway. Next court hearing: February 2, 2023.
Chrissie Bixler et al. v. Scientology and Danny Masterson: Appellate court removes requirement of arbitration on January 19, case remanded back to Superior Court. Stay in place, next status hearing October 25. Scientology petitioning US Supreme Court over appellate ruling.
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] Would you purchase a Scientology E-meter from this man?
[TWO years ago] Scientologist chiro Nobbe: There’s an innocent explanation, judge. Prosecutors: No there isn’t.
[THREE years ago] Scientology reels in politicians and gets photo ops out of Hurricane Dorian
[FOUR years ago] Sharp new memoir digs into Scientology’s toxic cruelty experienced by those who grow up in it
[FIVE years ago] Scientology’s newest infiltration — Rebecca Minkoff and Meghan Fialkoff at Nasdaq!
[SIX years ago] SCIENTOLOGY DENIED: California Supreme Court rejects appeal in forced-abortion lawsuit
[SEVEN years ago] Back where it all started: Hoping to see you in Phoenix to talk Scientology then and now
[EIGHT years ago] Scientology’s secret plans for world domination — even better than the last time!
[NINE years ago] Scientology Sunday Funnies: Texas Memories, Valley Whales, and Top Secret Plans!
[ELEVEN years ago] Hugh Urban: An Interview With the Professor Who Took on Scientology


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 2,788 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,293 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,843 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,833 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,724 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 5,029 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 2,899 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 2,004 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,477 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,793 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,359 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 8,278 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,446 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 4,026 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,288 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,324 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 3,039 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,604 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 919 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 2,094 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,645 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,776 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 4,114 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 8,969 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 4,088 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,444 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,747 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,853 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 3,251 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 3,127 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,710 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 3,205 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,459 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,568 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on September 15, 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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