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Scientology whines that its arbitration process is misunderstood, asks court for hug

Hey, we’re back from a short vacation and we’re trying to catch up with what’s been going on with Scientology litigation while we were gone.

And so we noticed that Scientology has responded to Valeska Paris and the Baxters, who are getting a chance to appeal their labor trafficking lawsuit that was derailed by Scientology’s “religious arbitration.”

And as for Scientology attorneys breaking out the smelling salts, they really didn’t disappoint this time. Oh, the outrages poor Scientology is being put through!

To quickly review, because we know this stuff is complex, Valeska Paris and Gawain and Laura Baxter, all Australia residents, sued Scientology and its leader David Miscavige in Tampa, Florida last April over the way they were treated as “Sea Org” members, alleging that they were forced into the Sea Org as children and suffered years of abuse while as kids and adults aboard the Freewinds, Scientology’s cruise ship that sails the Caribbean.

Scientology objected to the age of the allegations, the jurisdiction (suing in Tampa over things that happened at sea), but mostly Scientology complained that Valeska and the Baxters had signed employment contracts in the Sea Org that carried arbitration clauses. (And no, not the infamous Sea Org billion-year contract, which is not at issue in this case.) By signing those employment contracts, Scientology argued, they would have to take their grievances to an internal Scientology justice panel made up of Scientologists in good standing. (And not independent arbitration as you might be familiar with.)


Despite the sordid nature of the allegations, US District Judge Thomas Barber, saying that he felt his hands were tied by some Supreme Court decisions, agreed with Scientology that the three couldn’t sue Scientology in court because they had signed those contracts.

Valeska and the Baxters then asked Judge Barber for permission to make an “interlocutory” appeal to the Eleventh Circuit rather than go through the arbitration process and then appeal later. For one thing, they said, it could take years to get through Scientology’s arbitration procedures.

Judge Barber agreed, finding that the plaintiffs had found a couple of issues of “pure law” that the appeals court could look at without having to review the entire set of facts in the case.

And that’s what they did: Valeska’s attorneys submitted a petition to the Eleventh Circuit, focusing on issues like whether Judge Barber really shouldn’t have the ability to judge whether the contracts had been signed under duress (something he said he couldn’t do because of previous Supreme Court rulings).

Now, it’s Scientology’s turn to try to convince the Eleventh Circuit to deny Valeska’s petition, and as usual they have brought out the smelling salts and they’re doing their best to snow the court.

For example, Scientology is acting incredibly offended that anyone would suggest their arbitration process is anything but a quick and easy procedure that might take only a few months.

Perhaps the Petitioners’ most galling argument is the unfounded assertion that their process is more efficient than arbitration. Petitioners assert (without support) that arbitration of their claims could take two years. Scientology arbitration is expeditious, free, and convenient, as arbitrators can travel anywhere. Addressing Petitioners’ fraud and duress claims now does not resolve whether this case goes to arbitration. Addressing the First Amendment issue now will not terminate the case. And had Petitioners honored their Agreements, the arbitration could have concluded by now.

This is such classic Scientology. They know the court they’re whining to won’t bother to look up that it took years for the Garcia arbitration to take place. And that Valerie Haney is already well into her third year since her case was forced into arbitration.

But as usual, Scientology figures that if its attorneys act offended, galled, outraged, and beside themselves that they have to protect a church from such calumnies and dastardly aspersions, then some clueless justices who can’t see beyond the name “Church of Scientology” won’t know any better.

(And we will remind you, it was the Eleventh Circuit that upheld the arbitration ruling in the Garcia case, and Scientology probably figures it already has the upper hand in this case.)


Technology Cocktail

“Today we have two golden rules for happiness: l. Be able to experience anything; and 2. Cause only those things which others are able to experience easily. Your reaction to these tells you how far you have yet to go in processing. And that is the first time we knew that. And if we achieve these two golden rules, we Scientologists would be the happiest and most successful people in this universe for who could rule any of us with evil? Of course these are the characteristics of gods—But who said we were trying to make anything else?” — L. Ron Hubbard, 1959




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?

[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

— The first Danny Masterson trial and beyond

[18] Trial special with Chris Shelton [19] Trial week one [20] Marc Headley on the spy in the hallway [21] Trial week two [22] Trial week three [23] Trial week four [24] Leah Remini on LAPD Corruption [25] Mike Rinder 2022 Thanksgiving Special [26] Jane Doe 4 (Tricia Vessey), Part One [27] Jane Doe 4 (Tricia Vessey), Part Two [28] Claire Headley on the trial [29] Tory Christman [30] Bruce Hines on spying [31] Karen de la Carriere [32] Ron Miscavige on Shelly Miscavige [33] Karen de la Carriere on the L’s [34] Mark Bunker on Miscavige hiding [35] Mark Plummer [36] Mark Ebner [37] Karen Pressley [38] Steve Cannane [39] Fredrick Brennan [40] Clarissa Adams [41] Louise Shekter [42] John Sweeney



Source Code

“I remember one time I was arrested by mistake. They do that in the United States every once in a while. Somebody wanted me as a witness. They wanted me as a witness in a bankruptcy case of some kind, and I was just a witness, innocent bystander – factually an innocent bystander, but I must have had something about that particular area in some past life because the next thing I knew why the cops rushed in you know and practically shot everybody down and grabbed me and took me off and held me very carefully so that they would have this witness for this case. And I said to ‘em, ‘Don’t you think this is sort of unfair?’ And they didn’t pay any attention to that. So I got kind of mean, in my own inimical mean way. And when I finally appeared on the witness stand, I had the prosecuting attorney and the attorney for defense arguing with the judge that I shouldn’t be required to be held more than the next 15 or 20 minutes anyway because they wanted to help me. The judge helped me too. That was the end. I sat down and gave some testimony. I said, ‘Well I don’t know anything about it. I was hardly there.’ And that was it. Boom.” — L. Ron Hubbard, July 7, 1960


Avast, Ye Mateys

“MARY SUE HUBBARD is assigned Power as a student, 2nd week running, with 441 points. She also got 100 percent on her Exam. DIANA HUBBARD having gotten 100 points is upgraded to Emergency as a student. KEN URQUHART, with only 10 points, is assigned Non Existence as a student. The Class in general is doing well on Dianetics, will soon complete, and be ready to audit. When so qualified they go onto VI or VIII as eligible.” — The Commodore, July 7, 1969


Overheard in the FreeZone

“Scientology does not make ‘good people.’ No, it really does not. We make Clears and OTs. We make Auditors, we make Administrators and Executives. This is something completely different. Honestly, I don’t want to be ‘good.’ People who do what they are told or when they have to be told what to do are considered as good: ‘I was just doing my job.’ So a civil servant, a policeman, a soldier. Finally, it’s someone who doesn’t want to, can’t, or shouldn’t take responsibility. Someone who does not want to, cannot or should not think.”


Past is Prologue

1999: One-time Scientology celebrity Leif Garrett has been arrested for drug possession. “On ‘Entertainment Tonight’, former teen idol Leif Garrett was arrested last week for possession of heroin. Leif Garrett did the Purification Rundown a few years ago, according to ‘Entertainment Tonight’ and some of the skag mags. He also sang on the ‘Road to Freedom’ album.”



Random Howdy

“Hubbard said that Mohammed was a hustler and a ‘small town booster’ and that the ‘Black Stone’ was a piece of the R6 implant.”


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

Criminal prosecutions:
Danny Masterson charged for raping three women: Found guilty on two counts on May 31, remanded to custody. Sentencing on Aug 4.
‘Lafayette Ronald Hubbard’ (a/k/a Justin Craig), aggravated assault, plus drug charges: Grand jury indictments include charges from an assault while in custody. Trial scheduled for August 15.
David Gentile, GPB Capital, fraud.

Civil litigation:
Baxter, Baxter, and Paris v. Scientology, alleging labor trafficking: Forced to arbitration. Plaintiffs allowed interlocutory appeal to Eleventh Circuit.
Valerie Haney v. Scientology: Forced to ‘religious arbitration.’
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 sentencing of Masterson on Aug 4.
Jane Doe 1 v. Scientology, David Miscavige, and Gavin Potter: Case unsealed and second amended complaint filed. Next hearing August 1.
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] Scientology will try to derail new labor trafficking lawsuit with ‘arbitration’ strategy
[TWO years ago] News from Texas reminds us of a legendary fight against Scientology’s goon squad
[THREE years ago] PPP small-business coronavirus bailout loans went to Scientology and Narconon centers
[FOUR years ago] How Scientology treats a member in real need strains the notion of the word ‘church’
[FIVE years ago] Scientology’s messiah? ‘Hubbard believed he was as great as Jesus, Buddha, & Mohammed’
[SIX years ago] The Scientology lecture in which L. Ron Hubbard revealed the true name of our Earth society
[SEVEN years ago] The Church of Intimidation: Scientology stalks another ex-member on the taxpayer dime
[EIGHT years ago] Monique Rathbun: Hey, Texas court, here’s something to chew on
[NINE years ago] Scientology tries to psych out Florida — and Chill EB is back!
[TEN years ago] Alanna Masterson’s Dad Calls Connor Cruise “Worst Person in the World” for Her to Date
[ELEVEN years ago] No Memorial Service for Scientology President’s Son? ‘So Despicable, It’s Almost Beyond Words’
[TWELVE years ago] ‘Inside Scientology’: Janet Reitman’s Book Tour Starts Off With a Scientologist Challenging Her


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 3,083 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,598 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 3,148 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 2,138 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 2,019 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 5,323 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 3,194 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 2,299 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,746 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 4,088 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,654 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 8,573 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,740 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 4,322 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,583 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,619 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 3,335 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,899 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 1,214 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 2,389 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,940 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 4,071 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 4,409 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 9,264 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 4,383 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,739 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 7,042 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 3,148 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 3,546 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 3,422 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 3,005 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 3,500 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,754 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,863 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on July 7, 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, 1995-2022 Just starting out here? We’ve picked out the most important stories we’ve covered here at the Underground Bunker (2012-2022), 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


Tony Ortega at Rolling Stone


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