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TODAY: Arguments on Scientology honcho David Miscavige being served in trafficking suit

[Attorneys Neil Glazer, left, and William Schifino]

There’s an interesting showdown happening in Tampa today, and we’ll have someone on the scene who will give us a report on it.

Starting at 2 pm Eastern, attorneys will be giving their arguments in Judge Thomas Barber’s federal district court about whether Scientology leader David Miscavige should be declared an official defendant in a labor trafficking lawsuit that was filed in April.

Valeska Paris and two other former Sea Org workers, Gawain and Laura Baxter, filed the lawsuit against Scientology and Miscavige, 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.

Scientology is attempting 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 Judge Barber.


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 written by attorney Neil Glazer 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 only recently sent down an attorney to represent him on the question about him being served. It’s Florida Bar past president William Schifino.

We reported on Schifino’s rather astounding answer to Glazer’s argument that Miscavige be considered served. Schifino literally argued that Miscavige does no business in Florida, and that the Scientology leader is actually a resident of California and attempts to serve him in Florida were a waste of time.

We pointed out, however, just the year before Scientology’s attorneys were arguing in a Los Angeles courtroom that it was a waste of time for Danny Masterson’s accusers to serve Miscavige in LA because he was clearly in Florida. So which is it?

In fact, Scientology itself advertised to its members that Miscavige was in Clearwater to bring in the new year at the Fort Harrison Hotel, just as he had the two years previous.

And as for doing business in Florida, how’s about this notable date in Scientology history, in 2013, when Dave presided over the opening of the new Flag Building across the street from the Fort Harrison.

Wow, if opening an $80 million dollar building with offices for you inside isn’t “doing business” in Florida, what is?

We have a feeling Glazer is well aware of these facts and will have a field day with them at the hearing today. And won’t it be fun to see Schifino make the Florida Bar proud by arguing that David Miscavige is a phantom without an address or place of business and that the trafficking lawsuit is a bunch of hooey.

Thankfully for us, Clearwater city councilman Mark “Wise Beard Man” Bunker plans on being in attendance today. If you remember, he gave us a great report from the November 17 hearing in this lawsuit, and we expect something fun from him today.

So keep an eye on your inbox for that to arrive later today!


Technology Cocktail

“Scientology was discovered (found), not invented (created). It was organized by L. Ron Hubbard, an American, who has many degrees and is very skilled by reason of study. Sometimes Wundtian psychologists defend themselves by saying Hubbard is insane; actually the Chicago Psychological Institute, a Wundtian organization gave Hubbard many tests at his own request in January of 1951 and found him unusually bright and extremely sane.” — L. Ron Hubbard, 1956




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

“Let’s go back to this problem and see if there isn’t a little bit more to be known then about an individual who will not exteriorize. We’ve got the DEI cycle — desire, enforce, inhibit. At first he desired to mobilize MEST, and then MEST began to enforce its mobilization upon him, and then he started to inhibit it. We will find this for instance between a man and a woman who are ill-matched sexually. We will find a woman who is tremendously demanding sexually, may at first attract some fellow who is fairly normal, and there will be a period there when he is perfectly willing to satisfy her. This passes rapidly into a period of where he begins to believe it is being enforced upon him, and this will pass rapidly into his refusal. And so you’ve got desire, enforce, inhibit. And he will not only inhibit his sexual outflow toward her, he will simply start inhibiting it toward all women. He does it by classes, non-specific. And so we find him then becoming sexually impotent in ratio to the amount of sexual performance which has been demanded of him. Rather sad thing, isn’t it?” — L. Ron Hubbard, January 20, 1954


Avast, Ye Mateys

“Div IV did not put any rat guards on our lines and now a rat has been seen aboard. What does it matter to make up super duper rat guards if you don’t use them!!” — Capt. Mary Sue Hubbard, January 20, 1970


Overheard in the FreeZone

“Finally I am here! It’s a great feeling, being verified and acknowledged as Clear. God knows how long and how many sleepless nights I’ve suffered from the uncertainty and invalidations of it. Words cannot describe the millions of things going through my mind right now. I’m just grateful that I’m where I am right now. The future is brighter than ever!”


Past is Prologue


1999: Bob Minton announced that Factnet had discovered a Scientology operative working under-cover. “They had unfettered access to information about me and my whereabouts, Stacy’s inner circle of friends, FACTNet records, Dan Leipold’s office, Graham Berry’s office and other juicy bits of info. Not only that, this plant had worked for the Cult Awareness Network for years and was an intimate friend of Cynthia Kisser, Craig Branch and a number of others active in the counter-cult movement. Her name is Laura Terepin. We hired some PI’s with impeccable credentials to check up on a few points about Laura. Laura lied about living alone in Madison WI. She never mentioned that one of her 3 house mates was a co$ chicago staff member. Laura cell phones were billed to a Hollywood, CA private investigator who seemingly had at least 13 other phones billed to him that were linked to co$ operatives. Laura’s boyfriend works for the same PI who handled the phones. And the clincher is that daily calls to OSA in LA showed up on Laura’s phone records.”


Random Howdy

“Clear Cognition: You mocked up your reactive mind. OT8 Cognition: You mocked up the Space Opera, your past lives and your BT infestation. The trigger for the OT8 cognition is the line ‘the Pilot says: I’m mocking this up.’ The desired End Phenomena is ‘Now that I know what I am not, I am ready to find out what I am’.”


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?


[TWO years ago] Danny Masterson arraigned on rape charges, enters a not guilty plea
[THREE years ago] Scientology staffers react to Xenu, and hit up the ‘Reckless Ben’ team to work for eternity
[FOUR years ago] Scientology uses celebrities and police as props — military veterans, it’s your turn!
[FIVE years ago] Garcias decry Scientology kangaroo ‘arbitration’ and ask judge to reinstate fraud lawsuit
[SIX years ago] What Scientology can tell us about a 20th of January like no other
[SEVEN years ago] The Church of Scientology of Latter-Day Dolts: Video evidence of the fall
[EIGHT years ago] Scientology’s first ‘Clear’: L. Ron Hubbard intended to return as his daughter Diana’s son
[NINE years ago] Tales from Scientology’s Hollywood Celebrity Centre: A new film, and a new death
[TEN years ago] Sunday Funnies: Scientology Says It Bought a SUPER BOWL Ad!
[ELEVEN years ago] Scientology on the High Seas: The Littlest Sailors!


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 2,915 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,420 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 2,970 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 1,960 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 1,851 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 5,156 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 3,026 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 2,131 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,604 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 3,920 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,486 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 8,405 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,573 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 4,154 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,415 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,452 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 3,167 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,731 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 1,046 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 2,221 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,772 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 3,903 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 4,241 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 9,096 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 4,215 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,571 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 6,874 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 2,980 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 3,378 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 3,254 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 2,837 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 3,332 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,586 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,695 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on January 20, 2023 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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