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Leah Remini’s new judge looks like an improvement — now watch Scientology squawk

[Leah Remini and Judge Scheper]

After Leah Remini filed her lawsuit against Scientology on August 2, it was assigned to Los Angeles Superior Court Judge William F. Fahey.

We told you on Friday that Leah’s legal team filed a peremptory challenge to remove Judge Fahey from the case, something they can do without needing to provide a reason. We had heard that he might be less than ideal, and he had some history of dismissing claims against the LAPD, something we figured might concern Leah.

Yesterday, City News Service reported that Judge Fahey had been replaced with Judge Barbara Scheper.

Was this an upgrade for Leah? We turned to a couple of reporters who cover the LA courts, and they seemed to think that it was.

They thought it was interesting that Judge Scheper has a background in challenging the LAPD.


She was appointed to the bench by Governor Gray Davis in 2001 after she had served as an attorney in the Los Angeles US Attorney’s Office and as an assistant inspector general for the LA Police Commissioner’s Office of the Inspector General.

“I bet Scientology challenges her,” one reporter told us.

At this point, there are no future hearings scheduled in Leah’s lawsuit after a hearing scheduled by Judge Fahey was taken off the docket.

Meanwhile, Leah’s legal team also submitted proof that they had served the lawsuit on the Church of Scientology International and the Religious Technology Center.

RTC is Scientology’s nominally controlling organization, and David Miscavige is chairman of it, which is why Scientologists refer to him as “C.O.B.,” for chairman of the board.

We say “nominally” because power in Scientology actually rests in the Sea Organization, the inner elite that is made up of hard core Scientologists who literally sign billion-year contracts, promising to serve the Sea Org from lifetime to lifetime.

Miscavige is the captain of the Sea Org, which is what makes him the sole leader of the entire movement, even though the Sea Org has no legal status as an organization of its own. Only Sea Org executives can hold positions in Scientology subsidiaries like RTC.

As for serving Miscavige the lawsuit, we assume Leah’s team is going to have the same trouble experienced by other former Scientologists who have filed lawsuits against him in recent years.

Miscavige’s only official address is at 6331 Hollywood Blvd, the Hollywood Guaranty Building. But Scientology’s own publications suggest that Miscavige has been living in Clearwater, Florida in recent years.

A Tampa federal court found in February that Miscavige was purposely evading service of a lawsuit there and named him a defendant after the plaintiffs went through an exhausting process of showing that they had tried to find him in numerous locations in California and Florida.

We’re afraid that Leah’s team is going to have to go through a similar protracted experience in order to get Miscavige served.

Meanwhile, in the Baxter/Paris trafficking case in Tampa, David Miscavige’s attorney William Schifino has indicated that the Scientology leader is sitting out the lawsuit’s current appeal at the Eleventh Circuit.

As we said, Miscavige was found by the court in that case to have been evading process servers, and he was named an official defendant in the lawsuit filed by Valeska Paris and Gawain and Laura Baxter, who allege that they were trafficked as Sea Org workers on Scientology’s cruise ship, the Freewinds.

However, even as Miscavige was named a defendant in the case, federal Judge Thomas Barber granted Scientology’s motion forcing the case into the church’s internal “religious arbitration.” But then Judge Barber granted a petition by Valeska and the Baxters to be allowed to make an interlocutory appeal of his ruling to the Eleventh Circuit.


Each party involved was supposed to fill out a web notification in the appeal, and when Miscavige didn’t, Valeska’s attorneys asked Schifino about it and he said his client was not going to participate. So Dave is sitting out the appeal. How ecclesiastical of him.


Technology Cocktail

“The way a person blows out of session or blows out of an organization or blows out of Scientology is a simple one. He withholds information and hides his overts. After a while he blows himself off. Show me a pc blowing session and I will show you a pc who has not levelled with his Auditor and who is guilty of undeclared overts against the dynamics and the Auditor. Show me a staff member who is blowing the Organization and I will show you a staff member who is guilty of undeclared overts against the Organization.” — 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 [43] Tory Christman [44] Kate Bornstein [45] Christian Stolte [46] Mark Bunker [47] Jon Atack [48] Luke Y. Thompson [49] Mark Ebner


Source Code

“Public must like to be fooled. They’re always paying con men of some kind or another. There must be some real value in having hope shot up to the moon in the stock market because those birds are very often paid off heavily. You could reevaluate the society on the basis of what I’ve given you. Yes, you could say, ‘Well, the society makes mistakes in this direction. Yes, the society is lied to.’ Well, I don’t think the society makes mistakes in this direction. That’s a new thought, isn’t it?” — L. Ron Hubbard, August 13, 1964


Avast, Ye Mateys

“SHERIFF SPENCE: Mitch Spence came back with a wanted poster published by 100 Substantial Citizens of Las Vegas, Mar 24, 1881. If you were there then, run it out fast!” — The Commodore, August 13, 1970


Overheard in the FreeZone


(Person A) “I’ve heard recently that there is some nonsense going around in this group about how LRH was somehow secretly removed sometime in 1972 and replaced by a double or something like that. It’s hard to fathom how anyone could believe such crap. I personally met LRH in 1977 when I went to the secret base in La Quinta, CA. He was in the mock up of a gentleman rancher and had long red hair, a Col. Sanders goatee and big fluffy sideburns. How anyone could think that this was not LRH is beyond my comprehension.” (Person B) “In our situation of an obviously stolen church — or do you doubt that the CoS went into enemy hands? — I do not believe any witness. Only hard facts. And all hard facts speak for a takeover in 1972. I have published several books on this. Perhaps you like to take a look.”


Past is Prologue

2001: A Scientology press release promoted the anniversary event held recently at the Celebrity Center in Los Angeles. “The names on this year’s lengthy guest list included, Jenna Elfman, Leah Remini, Catherine Bell, Danny Masterson, Lynsey Bartilson, Marisol Nichols, Michelle Stafford, Jennifer Aspen, Nancy Cartwright, Marissa Ribisi, Erika Christensen and Jason Lee. Celebrity Centre President, Susan Watson, said, ‘the popularity of Scientology and Mr. Hubbard’s works within the arts mirrors the Church’s overall growth, with nine million members in over 120 countries and eleven ‘Celebrity Centres’ in cultural centers around the world such as New York, Paris, London, Vienna, Nashville and Las Vegas as well as the International center in Hollywood.’ The fifteen hundred-or-so guests at the soiree not only received a copy of a new musical CD entitled, ‘The Joy of Creating,’ they witnessed the hip-hop legend, ‘original human beat box’ Doug E. Fresh, Broadway’s Carl Anderson, jazz great Chick Corea and Australia’s number one female vocalist Kate Ceberano, performing variations of Mr. Hubbard’s poem that declares, ‘The greatest joy there is in life in creating. Splurge on it!'”


Random Howdy

“I shook Jim Jones’ hand in the free eats line at Glide Memorial (he was serving) and I also met a man named Fred Lewis who was a friend of my dad’s. Fred lost 28 family members at Jonestown.”


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 Sep 7.

‘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:
Leah Remini v. Scientology, alleging ‘Fair Game’ harassment and defamation: Complaint filed August 2, hearing on proof of service on Oct 3.
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 Sep 7.
Jane Doe 1 v. Scientology, David Miscavige, and Gavin Potter: Case unsealed and second amended complaint filed. Next hearing Nov 6.
Chiropractors Steve Peyroux and Brent Detelich, stem cell fraud: Ordered to mediation.



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] PODCAST: She did Scientology’s dirty work, and then made historic amends for it
[TWO years ago] Tom Cruise’s Scientology superpowers, No. 11: Levitating an ashtray
[THREE years ago] The Top 25 People Enabling Scientology, No. 23: The apologist academics
[FOUR years ago] Powerful testimonies about child abuse in Scientology keep coming to light
[FIVE years ago] Scientology is very worried about 75-year-old Efrem Logreira and his allegations
[SIX years ago] The island nation that is proving to be a refuge for the Church of Scientology
[SEVEN years ago] Scientology’s fiery ‘Guardian’ before she hooked up with Ron, and other gems from our readers
[EIGHT years ago] With a trial looming in 6-year forced-abortion lawsuit, Scientology cries ‘but we’re a religion!’
[NINE years ago] Denise Brennan, 1952-2014: A former insider who exposed Scientology’s corporate shell game
[TEN years ago] In Scientology, When the Prices Kick Up, What Do You Get for the Money?
[TWELVE years ago] The Top 25 People Crippling Scientology, No. 22: Jamie DeWolf


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 3,120 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,635 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 3,185 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 2,175 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 2,056 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 5,360 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 3,231 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 2,336 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,783 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 4,125 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,691 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 8,610 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,777 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 4,359 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,620 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,656 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 3,372 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,936 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 1,251 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 2,426 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 6,977 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 4,108 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 4,446 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 9,301 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 4,420 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,776 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 7,079 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 3,185 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 3,583 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 3,459 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 3,024 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 3,537 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,791 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,900 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on August 13, 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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