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Predictable: Scientology tries to derail Jane Doe 1 lawsuit with ‘religious arbitration’

[Defendants Gavin Potter and David Miscavige, and attorney Graham Berry]

You probably knew this was coming. Scientology is going to its usual playbook with regards to Jane Doe 1’s new lawsuit against the church, David Miscavige, and Gavin Potter.

In June, the suit was unsealed, revealing that she had filed it with attorney Graham Berry in December and was accusing Scientology of forcing her to marry Potter, a Sea Org recruiter, after he sexually assaulted her when she was still a minor.

Jane Doe 1’s lawsuit alleges that after Potter abused her, she was given the choice either to go into the Sea Org’s prison detail, the Rehabilitation Project Force, or to marry Potter. She chose the latter, but alleges that any sexual contact she had with him subsequently over the years 1991 to 1997 she considered non-consensual.

She left the Sea Org but not Scientology, and she was close friends with Lisa Marie Presley and more casually acquainted with Masterson. On May 31, a jury found that Masterson raped Jane Doe 1 in the early hours of April 25, 2003. The jury also convicted him on another count of forcible rape, and on September 7 he was sentenced to 30 years to life in state prison.

Meanwhile, four of Masterson’s victims (and one of their husbands) are currently suing Masterson and Scientology for the harassment they say they’ve experienced since coming forward to the LAPD in 2016 with the rape allegations. That civil suit has been on hold during the criminal trial, and it is known in court as Bixler v. Scientology.


When the Bixler lawsuit was filed in 2019, Scientology attempted to derail it by forcing it into arbitration, saying that the women, who were Scientologists at the time, had signed contracts promising not to sue Scientology but to bring any grievance to the church’s own internal justice procedure.

An appeals court, however, overruled that decision, saying that the things the women were suing for in the Bixler suit — harassment, stalking, and even the poisoning of their pets — had occurred after they had left the church, and so the contracts no longer applied.

Now, Scientology is trying the same strategy to derail Jane Doe 1’s lawsuit, saying that they found a contract she signed in 2002 when she was 27, and that what she’s suing for — the abuse by Potter — occurred before she signed that contract and while she was still in in the church, not after she had left as in the other lawsuit.

The new motion also contains some language attempting to counter her allegations.

Plaintiff alleges that a purported Church agent—her fiancé and husband Gavin Potter—assaulted her while both were members of the Sea Org. The Church Defendants know these allegations are cynical falsehoods—Plaintiff’s own contemporaneous writings show that she fell in love with and enthusiastically married Mr. Potter on the eve of turning 18 years old—but those allegations unquestionably fall within the scope of the disputes she agreed to arbitrate.

Also, Scientology has asked the court to put the lawsuit on a stay until it can rule on the arbitration motion next year, at a hearing scheduled for May 30. A hearing to consider that motion for a stay is scheduled for October 27.

Previously, Scientology had told the court that the plaintiff had not served David Miscavige properly, and asked that he be removed from the case.

So, keeping score, Scientology has gone to its usual playbook: 1. Leave David Miscavige out of it. 2. You can’t sue us because you signed a contract agreeing to arbitration. 3. Your allegations are nonsense anyway.

Will another American court see it their way?


Technology Cocktail

“An E-Meter has a frailty I have just discovered. It operates only if the auditor has some, even small, command value over the pc, and operates hardly at all when the auditor has no command value over the pc. Thus rudiments go out only on the ARC break section. When this is out nothing registers on the E-Meter including a casual question about an ARC break. Thus the E-Meter must be supplanted by an auditor’s ability to recognize the existence of an ARC break.” — L. Ron Hubbard, 1961




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 [50] Bruce Hines [51] Spanky Taylor and Karen Pressley [51] Geoff and Robbie Levin [52] Sands Hall [53] Jonny Jacobsen [54] Sandy Holeman



Source Code

“One day I was doing some processing on a Theta Clear and I had just lit a cigarette. And the Theta Clear was running this and running that, and trying to straighten himself out on this and change postulates on that and so forth, and all of a sudden the body sort of went rigid for an instant. And the Theta Clear must have been up in the corner or something of the sort, and the ashtray was out of my reach on a concrete floor, very slippery floor. And the ashtray was out of my reach and I had my cigarette and I was about to light it and I was looking around for an ashtray. And the ashtray came over, bzzt!, and I dropped a match in it. The thetan was just being polite, that was all, and had never thought twice about it. And I said, ‘Thank you,’ and the person became very confused. Because this person wasn’t up at the level where they were supposed to see or supposed to be or supposed to do things like that yet, you see?” — L. Ron Hubbard, September 22, 1952


Avast, Ye Mateys

“The WHY of departure from the Ideal Scene personally and organizationally came back to recruiting and hats. Everywhere I look hats fell out on all posts. Some of the wows! I am hearing and the cogs and enthusiasm to get this back in promise fast progress for this action. It is interesting that it has taken 13 months of very hard work on my part to run down and isolate this WHY. THE WHY WAS THE ABSENCE OF FULLY CHECKED OUT HATS. Simple now you see it. Nothing is quite as obscure as an omitted datum. Now, with this hat project rolling I can get back to my own hats!” — The Commodore, September 22, 1970


Overheard in the FreeZone

“I wouldn’t be surprised if Mark Twain and LRH were the same being. Both were prolific writers. Both were very well traveled at a young age. Both achieved notoriety.”


Past is Prologue

1999: Scientology celebrity John Travolta fled France this week to avoid being called to testify at the trial of French Scientologists. From the Independent: “The actor and scientologist John Travolta has cut short a visit to Paris apparently because he feared he might be called to give evidence in the trial of seven French members of the Church of Scientology in Marseilles. Members of his entourage told the French news agency, Agence France Presse, that Travolta feared that he might be forced to give evidence at the fraud trial of seven French Scientologists. The judgment on the seven, accused of claiming sums of up to pounds 15,000 for bogus treatment, has been delayed until 15 November.”



Random Howdy

“Scilon is a play on ‘Cylons,’ the robotic invaders in Battlestar Galactica. It is particularly appropriate because Hubbard was a science fiction writer, and the top-seekrit ‘OT levels’ are based on the belief that we are infected with ‘body thetans,’ the confused, immortal souls of space aliens who became disoriented 75 million years ago when the evil space warlord Xenu brought them to Earth (or Teegeeack, as it was known then), dropped them into volcanoes and blew them up with nuclear weapons. ‘The Scilons tried to talk me into taking a Free Personality Test.’”


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, first hearing set for Dec 4.
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. Next hearing set for Sept 26.
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] Scientology is fuming about Mike Rinder, Valeska Paris testimony in trafficking case
[TWO years ago] Scientology and anti-vaxx, a marriage made in heaven?
[THREE years ago] VIDEO: See Danny Masterson’s initial court appearance on rape charges
[FOUR years ago] Scientology is making plans for a Narconon drug rehab in the land of the rising sun
[FIVE years ago] Get a look inside Nathan Rich’s unique book about his Scientology upbringing
[SIX years ago] Scientology’s tiger: How L. Ron Hubbard created a language trap
[SEVEN years ago] ‘The Unbreakable Miss Lovely’ goes on sale as an audiobook on September 29
[EIGHT years ago] Visualizing Scientology’s latest ‘Going Clear’ public relations disaster
[NINE years ago] New videos leaked from Scientology, including a sobering call for help from Nashville
[TEN years ago] The Scientology Guide to Craigslist
[TWELVE years ago] Scientology Overseas: More Bad News in Australia, Israel, and the UK


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 3,160 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,675 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 3,225 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 2,215 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 2,096 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 5,400 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 3,271 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 2,376 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,823 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 4,165 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,731 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 8,650 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,817 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 4,399 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,660 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,696 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 3,412 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 2,976 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 1,291 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 2,466 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 7,017 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 4,148 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 4,486 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 9,341 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 4,460 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,816 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 7,119 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 3,225 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 3,623 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 3,499 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 3,064 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 3,577 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,831 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,940 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on September 22, 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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