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Valeska Paris asks court: Declare Scientology leader David Miscavige served, finally

In April, Valeska Paris and two other former Sea Org workers, Gawain and Laura Baxter, filed a major new lawsuit against Scientology in Tampa, Florida, alleging that they had been trafficked as children and adults, forced to do labor and treated horribly on Scientology’s floating cathedral, the cruise ship Freewinds.

Since then, we have been following developments as Scientology has attempted to derail the lawsuit the way it usually does in this kind of litigation, by arguing that contracts these former Scientologists signed while they were members obliged them not to sue but to take their grievances to Scientology’s own brand of “religious arbitration.”

A hearing on that question was held on November 17, and we are awaiting a ruling from federal Judge Thomas Barber, who at the hearing seemed to indicate some skepticism about Scientology’s claims.

In the meantime, Valeska and the Baxters have struggled to get Scientology leader David Miscavige officially named a defendant in the case, and they have made numerous filings alleging that Miscavige is purposely evading service. The other defendants, institutional Scientology subsidiaries, all accepted service and are fighting the lawsuit with a high-priced army of lawyers. But Miscavige has not had any attorneys appear for him, and even Judge Barber, at the November 17, hearing, expressed that he’d never seen anything quite like it.


In their previous filings, Valeska’s attorneys laid out the multiple attempts they have made to try and serve Miscavige at addresses in California and Florida, and the efforts their investigators have made trying to establish where Miscavige actually lives. In a previous filing, attorney Neil Glazer made the case that Miscavige actually lives at the Hacienda Gardens, an apartment complex not far from the Flag Land Base in Clearwater, Florida.

Now, Glazer has submitted an 18-page motion, reiterating that claim and several supporting documents showing that the plaintiffs have done all they can to find Miscavige, and that it’s now time for the court to declare Miscavige served.

Plaintiffs have engaged in diligent efforts to locate Miscavige for personal service, and to ascertain a mailing address for him at which waiver requests and notices may be sent. This includes public records searches, review of court dockets in other cases in which service has been attempted, inquiries of former Sea Org members, and searches of public information on the Internet. In addition, Plaintiffs requested that Defendants provide either Miscavige’s location or at least his mailing address, but Defendants declined to provide any information.

Glazer says that the only sort of “official” address for Miscavige has long been the building at 6331 Hollywood Boulevard in Los Angeles, the Hollywood Guaranty Building, which houses the L. Ron Hubbard Life Exhibition on the ground floor, and has offices for the Religious Technology Center on its top floor. (RTC nominally runs Scientology overall, and its chairman is Miscavige, hence the name he’s known by in Scientology, “C.O.B.” for chairman of the board.)

Glazer points out that even when Miscavige was cited for speeding a couple of times in Florida in the 1990s, his address was still given as 6331 Hollywood Boulevard. (And we also noted earlier the fun detail that his traffic tickets listed Miscavige as a six footer. The truth is a bit different.)

Glazer also describes the painstaking process they have been through, serving Miscavige through the Florida Secretary of State’s office after getting permission from the court, and sending notices to every single possible address associated with the Scientology leader, including the Hacienda Gardens location. All ten packets that were mailed, however, were returned to sender.

At this point, Glazer says, they have proved beyond a doubt that Miscavige is simply hiding from them, and deserves to be declared served.

There is more than enough evidence to demonstrate that he has intentionally concealed his location and erected obstacles to evade personal service of process. According to Michael Rinder, the former head of Defendant’s Office of Special Affairs, who was responsible for overseeing all legal matters for Defendants, Miscavige’s evasion of service of process is systematic and routine: pursuant to Miscavige’s direction, measures are taken to shield him from service of process, including directing security guards to refuse entry to anyone seeking to serve him and to refuse to divulge any information about his whereabouts or to answer any question with anything other than “I don’t know, please leave.” This is precisely what Plaintiffs’ process servers encountered in this action, and affidavits of service filed in other civil actions show that process servers have encountered similar obstacles.

Plaintiffs submit that further efforts are not required and would be fruitless. For decades, Miscavige has both resided and worked in properties owned by Defendants. There are no publicly available records associating Miscavige with any address other than a Scientology-owned location. Although the corporate Defendants are clearly in the best position to know, their respective counsel informed Plaintiffs Counsel that their clients declined to provide a mailing address for Miscavige.

However, while Miscavige and the Defendants have made it virtually impossible to deliver any papers to him, there is no room to doubt that he is aware of this action and the fact that he is named as a defendant in it. This is a high-profile civil action against the Church of Scientology International and four of its most significant operating entities, and its leader, David Miscavige. Plaintiffs allege that Miscavige and the corporate Defendants committed serious federal crimes that caused the Plaintiffs to suffer serious injuries. The case has been widely reported in the media, and the Defendants have issued public statements in response.

Furthermore, Miscavige closely monitors and directly involves himself in legal proceedings involving Scientology. As former OSA head Michael Rinder attests, Miscavige not only is directly involved in the management of Defendants’ operations, but he oversees their legal matters. According to declarations from several top-level Scientology officials who report directly to him, Miscavige has long been involved in directing Defendants’ legal strategy. As far back as 1986, Miscavige handled legal strategy for lawsuits against Scientology.

A senior RTC officer, Anna Joasem, explained that “having worked for Chairman of the Board [Miscavige] for 22 years, I know first-hand that Mr. Miscavige has always been working relentlessly to end all legal battles for the Church so that he could concentrate his time and energy on the expansion of the Scientology Religion.” Miscavige’s direct involvement in litigation against Defendants includes directing settlement negotiations “of all legal cases.” He has even removed from their duties subordinates responsible for direct supervision of litigation and stepped into that role himself, going so far as to “spen[d] all of 1999 and again large portions of 2000 through to 2003” living in Clearwater to directly supervise litigation, while continuing “to also put on and hold many major international events each of those years, all of which were associated with dissemination and expansion campaigns and properties.”

“Mr. Miscavige is Scientology.” “And just as Mr. Hubbard was no armchair philosopher, Mr. Miscavige is always hands-on in getting the job at hand done.” It beggars belief that Miscavige could be anything but fully informed of every detail of this case, let alone the basic information required to put him on notice so he can appear and defend himself against Plaintiffs’ claims.

Miscavige cannot be permitted to continue his gamesmanship. Plaintiffs have complied with the requirements of Florida Statute 48.161. The parcel containing the notice mailed to Miscavige at his last known address was returned to sender on November 12, 2022. Every other parcel was refused and returned. Miscavige has been served and he has “failed to plead or otherwise defend[.]” Fed. R. Civ. P. 55(A). Accordingly, the Court should declare Miscavige to be in default.


In other lawsuits, similar fruitless attempts have been made to serve Miscavige, but we’ve never seen a team expend so much effort to complete the task. And based on Judge Barber’s reaction at the November 17 hearing, we suspect that he’s going to grant this motion and declare Miscavige an official defendant.

But will it matter? As we’ve pointed out numerous times, there’s an onerous precedent hanging over Judge Barber’s courtroom: It was in that very location that the Garcia case was forced into arbitration and then upheld by the Eleventh Circuit. Even with Judge Barber’s apparent skepticism, will he go against that precedent and reject Scientology’s motion to force the case into arbitration?

We continue to wait for his ruling on that. But in the meantime, it would be awfully fun to see Dave get officially served.


Technology Cocktail

“When exteriorized (placed ‘three feet back of his head’) he is actually out of the body and still “in” physical universe space. He can, exteriorized, move about and be in places just as though he had a body, seeing without eyes, hearing without ears, and feeling without fingers—ordinarily better than with these “aids.” This is not like ‘astral walking’ which is done by the individual who ‘sends a body’ or a viewpoint to some other place and perceives with it. A thetan is as much present where he is as if he were there in body. He isn’t ‘somebody else’ thanthe preclear moving dimly about. He is the preclear, he is there.” — L. Ron Hubbard, 1954



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 as Danny faces a potential sentence of 45 years to life in prison. NOW WITH TRIAL INDEX.



THE PODCAST: How many have you heard?

— The Underground Bunker Podcast

[1] Marc Headley [2] Claire Headley [3] Jeffrey Augustine [4] Bruce Hines [5] Sunny Pereira [6] Pete Griffiths [7] Geoff Levin [8] Patty Moher [9] Marc Headley [10] Jefferson Hawkins [11] Michelle ‘Emma’ Ryan [12] Paulette Cooper [13] Jesse Prince [14] Mark Bunker [15] Jon Atack [16] Mirriam Francis [17] Bruce Hines on MSH

— SPECIAL: The best TV show on Scientology you never got to see

[1] Phil Jones [2] Derek Bloch [3] Carol Nyburg [4] Katrina Reyes [5] Jamie DeWolf

— SPECIAL: Your Proprietor’s updates on the Danny Masterson trial

[1] Sep 21 [2] Sep 28 [3] Oct 4 [4] Oct 10 [5] Oct 11: Day One [6] Oct 12: Day Two [7] Oct 13: Day Three [8] Oct 17: Day Four [9] Oct 18: Day Five [10] Oct 19: Day Six [11] Special interview with Chris Shelton, Oct 19 [12] Oct 20: Day Seven [13] Oct 21: Day Eight [14] First week in review, with Jeffrey Augustine [15] Oct 24: Day Nine [16] Oct 25: Day Ten [17] Oct 27: Day Eleven [18] Oct 28: Day Twelve [19] Second week in review, with Jeffrey Augustine [20] Halloween special [21] Nov 2: Day Thirteen [22] Nov 3: Day Fourteen [23] Nov 4: Day Fifteen [24] Third week in review [25] Nov 5, Saturday special [26] Nov 6, Sunday special [27] Nov 7, Day Sixteen [28] Lisa Marie Presley breaking news [29] Nov 8, Day Seventeen [30] Nov 9, Day Eighteen [31] Nov 10, Day Nineteen


Source Code

“I was up there at Oak Knoll for about a year, Oak Knoll Naval Hospital. And I used to walk around — all I had to do — I was a line officer and all I had to do was take off one collar ornament, and I became a doctor….And a little doctor up there by the name of Yankewitz, I used to prowl around there once in a while, Yankewitz was a pretty good guy. And he came, he headed this project, and it had to do with endocrine system. They were trying to do something for people released from Japanese prison camps. These people couldn’t eat. And if they did eat it went immediately into fat. They couldn’t absorb any protein. And I had discovered that there was an immediate index between protein and healing tissue. I used to talk to Yankewitz about it, and he’d listen tolerantly, because he didn’t think I was doing anything, see….And it was out of that year’s study that I concluded rather conclusively, on a very large series of tests, that the body cannot be monitored by what we call structure. And by monitored, I meant healed. It can be changed by structure, but only deteriorated. It’s a one-way route….I’m sorry that I don’t have the records. I’m sure they’re still at Oak Knoll, because I know nobody in the government ever read any records, they just make them.” — L. Ron Hubbard, December 15, 1953


Avast, Ye Mateys


“We have 2 or 3 fellows who are trying to run away from it all to escape to some fancied bliss. Now and then I try to tell someone, ‘don’t go diving off that cliff’ and now and then they say cheerily ‘But I’ve GOT to, you see…’; and away they go. I just don’t like that dwindling scream followed by the thud.” — The Commodore, December 15, 1969


Overheard in the FreeZone

“Max Sandor, real name Joachim Steingrubner, dropped his body around 2 AM local time Dec 4, 2020 in São Paulo, Brasil. Anyone who knew Max from his involvement in various self development groups (Psycho Energy Auro Technology, Ifa, Scientology) should understand he has not entered the between-lives/Bardo, and will reincarnate without being wiped. Max was a charming fellow, and powerful magician/OT, and will be missed by all who knew him. I wish him the best in his next set of adventures.”


Past is Prologue

1997: The supermarket tabloid Globe carried an article this week in which Scientologist Kirstie Alley claims her love for her boyfriend dates back over 500 years. “‘I’m so in love with James because he reminds me of my ex-husband Francesco from 500 years ago,’ Kirstie confided to a pal. ‘We were married in the 1400s in a past life.’ But despite her startling confession, the sexy star of Veronica’s Closet takes the far-out notion of past lives with a grain of salt. ‘Past lives to me are so, like, who cares?’ says Kirstie, 42. ‘We’ve all had trillions of them. But every once in a while there are some truly pleasurable ones that you want to remember!’ Kirstie plunged into her passionate romance with 34-year-old James after hubby Parker Stevenson filed for divorce in March. They’d been married for 14 years and adopted two children together, Lillie, 3, and William, 5. But the actress’ belief in past lives is not new–it’s rooted in her Scientology religion. ‘Scientologists believe in the idea of past lives, but not reincarnation,’ a spokesman explained to GLOBE.”


Random Howdy

“The irony is that a supposed spiritual technology that is claimed to be based in science and logic to some degree is actually the most fundamentalist ‘religion’ ever created. The Westboro Baptist Church and the Taliban have nothing on Scientology when it comes to fundamentalist dogma.”



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

Criminal prosecutions:
Danny Masterson charged for raping three women: Mistrial declared November 30. Status conference scheduled January 10, retrial scheduled March 27.
‘Lafayette Ronald Hubbard’ (a/k/a Justin Craig), aggravated assault, plus drug charges: Grand jury indictments include charges from an assault while in custody. Plea deadline scheduled for December 16.
Jay and Jeff Spina, Medicare fraud: Jay sentenced to 9 years in prison. Jeff scheduled to time served with three years supervised release, restitution of $9.7 million.
Rizza Islam, Medi-Cal fraud: Trial scheduled for March 1 in Los Angeles
David Gentile, GPB Capital, fraud: Next pretrial hearing December 9.
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. Hearing November 17 to argue the arbitration motions, awaiting ruling.
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 at least through February 7.
Brian Statler Sr v. City of Inglewood: Case settled ahead of scheduled Dec 6 trial.
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.



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] Confirmed: Danny Masterson adds OJ Dream Team lawyer to his defense
[TWO years ago] A new book about escaping Scientology has already made waves overseas
[THREE years ago] Scientology trying to use its UN connections to fight its favorite bogeyman, psychiatry
[FOUR years ago] Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman: Spied on by Scientology until it ripped them apart
[FIVE years ago] Louis Theroux’s showdown with Scientology over a public road: The nutty new chapter
[SIX years ago] CLAIM: ‘Frail’ looking Shelly Miscavige spotted near Scientology compound in California
[SEVEN years ago] Today in L.A.: Can Scientology kill a forced-abortion lawsuit in the name of religion?
[EIGHT years ago] More about the goons Scientology sent to intimidate Marty Rathbun and Louis Theroux
[NINE years ago] Sunday Funnies: Scientology celebrates the holidays!
[TEN years ago] Scientology Leader David Miscavige: Getting Desperate?
[ELEVEN years ago] Martin Bashir Compares Newt Gingrich to Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard


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 2,879 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,384 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,934 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,924 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,815 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 5,120 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 2,990 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 2,095 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,568 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,884 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,450 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 8,369 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,537 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 4,117 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,379 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,415 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 3,130 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,695 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 1,010 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 2,185 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,736 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,867 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 4,205 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 9,060 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 4,179 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,535 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,838 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,944 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 3,342 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 3,218 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,801 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 3,296 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,550 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,659 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on December 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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