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Scientology’s attack on Leah Remini’s suit: How the church responds to claims of interference

[Scientology’s response to claims it interfered with Leah’s game show: So what?]

On Saturday, we gave you some sense of what’s in Scientology’s huge attack on Leah Remini’s lawsuit, a blast of court documents and exhibits that totals more than a thousand pages.

We told you that it essentially boils down to this: “Yes, we called Leah Remini names online, but only because she called us names first.”

But of course, Leah’s lawsuit is about more than the names Scientology has been calling her. We’ve been saying since she filed the lawsuit on August 2 that what impressed us the most was the way that Leah and her legal team elevated this suit beyond simply a defamation case by detailing the ways that Scientology’s coordinated campaign of harassment has negatively impacted her ability to make a living.

So we thought it was worth taking another look at the specific ways that Scientology is answering that charge in their big response.

First, as to the allegation that Scientology has been contacting Leah’s advertisers and media companies, rather than deny it Scientology says that’s protected speech.


“Advocating that media companies and advertisers boycott or shun Plaintiff’s bigotry business is perhaps the classic example of such protected speech and conduct,” the filing says.

Yes, did you catch that? Scientology says Leah is in the “bigotry business.”

They then go on… “The speech Plaintiff complains of in this case addresses matters of public interest — a sitcom star’s public vendetta against a world-wide religion. And the communications, be they texts, calls, emails, or letters, were directed at individuals with a ‘direct connection’ to and ‘authority over’ the public’s opinion of Defendants. These were persons who aired a TV show about Defendants, published books about Defendants, hosted podcasts about Defendants, or sponsored shows about Defendants.”

As for stalking her, Scientology says surveillance itself is not “tortious” (in other words, something you can successfully sue over). And once again as we’ve seen in other cases, Scientology justifies its use of private investigators for surveillance by claiming that it’s a “pre-litigation” posture.

They point to Leah’s 2013 missing-person report that she filed with the LAPD about Shelly Miscavige, the wife of church leader David Miscavige who has not been seen in public since 2007. Scientology calls it a “false police report” even though to this day the church refuses to provide any evidence of Shelly’s well-being.

Scientology claims that Leah’s missing-person report was actually an “extortion” attempt aimed at the church, and so since 2013 Scientology has had every right to gather information about Leah as a “pre-litigation” precaution.

“From 2013 onwards — before any of the alleged surveillance — Plaintiff was threatening the Church with legal action and the Church was in a pre-litigation stance. This qualifies as pre-litigation investigation in connection with ‘a person’s right of petition’…Likewise, such conduct is protected under the right of free speech.”

In other words, Scientology says it can have private investigators sneaking around and digging into your life because they might end up in court with you!

As for the things said about Leah on Scientology’s websites, they are statements of opinion, and therefore they are not provably false.

“Having spent years calling for the destruction of the Church and demonizing Scientologists as child sex-traffickers, Plaintiff now sues Defendants for expressing negative opinions of her views and what they say about her character. These statements all amount to a ‘subjective judgment, rather than a provably false statement of fact,’ and are not actionable…Courts have held that calling someone ‘racist’ or ‘nazi’ or invoking comparisons to the ‘KKK’ are all statements of opinion or hyperbole, not provable as fact in a court of law.”

As a consequence of that, Scientology says Leah can’t sue the church for calling her, in one instance, “a vicious, lying, narcissistic, deranged, demented and dangerous bigot,” because that’s like, their opinion, man.

So, as to the interference with her business projects, Scientology again isn’t apologizing for what they’ve done.

For example, as to iHeartMedia canceling the podcast that Leah was doing with Mike Rinder, Leah’s lawsuit alleges that Scientology called and emailed iHeartMedia figures “in an attempt to prevent Ms. Remini’s podcast from airing.”

Scientology doesn’t deny it…


“To which Defendants respond, so what? It is a nonactionable, and very well-supported opinion that Plaintiff’s podcast was filled with obscenity and abuse. That is her brand. And again, Defendants are entitled to exercise their free speech rights to demand a broadcaster remove offensive content, as happens every single day in this country. As hard as it is for Plaintiff to accept, she is not the only one who gets to express her opinion.”

And as for trying to influence the Game Show Network, where Leah is hosting the show People Puzzler, again Scientology does not deny that it wanted to get the network’s attention…

“As to Game Show Network, Plaintiff alleges that Defendants posted open letters on the STAND website calling Plaintiff an ‘unhinged bigot,’ and ‘rape apologist’, and pointed out that Plaintiff has inspired ‘hundreds of threats and acts of violence’. Defendants already addressed these statements of well-supported opinion and of fact respectively.”

In other words, Scientology says it posted those things about Leah because they believe they are true and are supported by the facts.


Also, Leah added to her lawsuit a motion asking for an injunction that would declare “the practice of Suppressive Person operations are unlawful and should be ceased immediately.”

Rather than deny that this is what’s going on, Scientology again claims that what Leah’s asking for is unconstitutional restraint, and also that she’s asking a court to improperly tell a religion to change its scripture…

“More fundamentally, Remini’s claim fails because she asks the Court to modify the scripture of the Scientology religion…Neither this Court nor any jury may adjudicate whether Remini’s misleading description of supposed Scientology doctrine is truthful or accurate—much less edit the writings that comprise a religion’s scripture. The United States Constitution prohibits the government from interpreting or declaring the official doctrine of a religion.”

Well, there you have it. Scientology says it can follow Leah, call her names, and complain to her advertisers all it wants to because it’s a free country, and the court can’t tell Scientology to change its ways that would infringe on a church’s religious rights.

We’re really looking forward to the reply that must be coming from Leah’s legal team.


Technology Cocktail

“Shakespeare said all life was a play. He was right in so far as the Time Track is a 3D, 52 perception movie which is a whole series of plays concerning the preclear. But the influence of it upon the preclear removes it from the class of pretense and play. It is not only very real, it is what contains whatever it is that depresses the pc to what he is today. Its savageness relieved, the preclear can recover, and only then. There is no other valid workable road.” — L. Ron Hubbard, 1963




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

“The Fifth Invader Force came in to use this area, and the name of this solar system is Space Station 33. They started to use this area without suspecting that the Fourth Invader Force had “You got a pc who isn’t ARC breaky and you now feel happy about the thing and you can go on auditing and find out what is wrong. This is to get him back into the realm of the living. So you see, that’s a valuable thing to know. If that fails you, well, you’ve always got suicide. You could propose that to the pc. That would solve his problems. ‘R2-45’ by its various . . various other techniques. So don’t think that you just have this one technique to fall back on. Now, that’s a valuable thing to know, that you can probably desensitize the situation . . that is to say, you can resensitize the meter by running the goal.” — L. Ron Hubbard, October 31, 1961


Avast, Ye Mateys

“A person found on a post who is not fully hatted is liable to ethics action. Awareness of the scene does not seem to exist in the absence of hatting. Thus unhatted persons look sort of blind. Mystery on post equals mystery of environment. You see this as a sort of frightened no confidence. I think hatting even changes eyesight. We ought to test it out. We already know that unhatted people get hurt more than hatted people. We know overts stem from misunderstoods. And we know running overts changes eyesight. it then probably follows that unhatted people couldn’t see a tiger if it was biting them! So, how to be mystified by it all and afraid — remain unhatted. But leave that to the old Catholic Church. They wanted everyone ignorant. So they would be terrified and blind? It figures. So get hatted and see.” — The Commodore, October 31, 1971


Overheard in the FreeZone

“Big Bangers say that a sort of moronic intelligence has somehow evolved to explain organic biology and the spirit of play (their latest theory is the God Comet). They have no explanation for why life forms bother to survive, and go through all that courtship, white wedding, reception, drunk speeches and a scuffle afterwards. Ron’s statement that ‘extroverting the attention (as in Scientology),’ may sound rather mundane, but we already know that some life forms are more extroverted than others, as in say a whale compared to a dolphin. It isn’t just a case of what jeans and chromosomes and complexity the life form is dressed in, what the fashion is. A whole wealth of interest arises from his statement, such as, what is being extroverted, why does it invariably feel better than introverted, and what is attention, anyway – a certain group of molecules facing the same way?”


Past is Prologue

1996: An article was posted from American Atheist News, describing Scientology’s efforts to establish a memorial to L. Ron Hubbard in his birthplace, Tilden, Nebraska.

“A proposal to erect a picnic complex at a public park in honor of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard and post signs along a hiking trail listing his 21 ‘Way to Happiness’ precepts has many folks in the small town of Tilden, Nebraska worried and angry. A local citizens group is threatening to file a lawsuit, and there is a slate of city council candidates explicitly opposing the plan. Critics say that the signs and picnic pavilion clearly violate the First Amendment separation of church and state. Two years ago, a group known as the Friends of the Park Foundation began raising money for a new city park and trail which would connect with Cowboy Trail, a popular hiking and cycling route. Enter the Friends of L. Ron Hubbard Foundation; the group donated $50,000 to supplement locally-raised money for the park projects, and match a $228,000 federal grant. The Foundation has pledged another $250,000 for the construction of a ‘picnic pavilion’ which would be included in the new park to be officially named the L. Ron Hubbard Park and Recreation Center. Plans have also been proposed to include signs listing the Hubbard-authored ‘Ways to Happiness.’ They include such homespun advice as ‘Fulfill Your Obligations,’ ‘Don’t Do Anything Illegal,’ and ‘Take Care Of Yourself.’ Depending on who you talk to, these are important moral lessons, painful elaborations of common sense, or messages designed to promote Hubbard and the Scientology religion. Members of the Concerned Citizens group insist that the park project involves an attempt to promote the Scientology religion, and that the ‘Ways to Happiness’ qualify as religious statements which have no place on public property. One member told the World-Herald that the proposal was Scientology’s attempt to ‘come in and recruit new members.’ In addition Concerned Citizens ‘narrowly missed’ putting a measure on the Nov. 5 ballot which would have banned acceptance of money from the Hubbard Foundation; but three anti-Hubbard candidates are now running for City Council. The local City Attorney is reportedly concerned about the church-state separation dimension of the park flap. Michael Brogan has advised city officials to avoid the potential for lawsuit and reject at least the suggestion to erect the 21 precept signs, and notes that ‘The more it looks like the city is approving of a particular kind of religion, the more it would violate the notion in the Constitution that requires a separation of church and state.'”


Random Howdy

“As Claire pointed out, the whole ‘What is true for you is what you have observed yourself’ is a circular logic conundrum. It should be ‘If something isn’t true for you it’s because you have a M/U.’ I recall reading a paper by Touretzky or Kent that explained how the ‘misunderstood word’ is what everything else in Scientology revolves around. It is the key.”


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. Sentenced to 30 years to life 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. Next pretrial hearing October 30.
David Gentile, GPB Capital, fraud.

Civil litigation:
Leah Remini v. Scientology, alleging ‘Fair Game’ harassment and defamation: Complaint filed August 2, Scientology submitting anti-SLAPP response Oct 26.
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: Discovery phase.
Jane Doe 1 v. Scientology, David Miscavige, and Gavin Potter: Case unsealed and second amended complaint filed. Scientology moves for religious arbitration.
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] This Halloween, Scientology is up to its old tricks again
[TWO years ago] Kirstie Alley, the Scientology Celebrity Centre, and that time we lost a teenager
[THREE years ago] The Top 25 People Enabling Scientology, No. 10: Political shills
[FOUR years ago] How ‘The Kominsky Method’ nailed it: Writer Chuck Lorre’s secret Scientology past
[FIVE years ago] On sale today: Battlefield Scientology — the best of the Bunker, with Paulette Cooper!
[SIX years ago] Garry Scarff, 1956-2017: A complex figure and dogged researcher
[SEVEN years ago] Leah Remini reveals that she’s been stalked during production of her new TV series
[EIGHT years ago] Jon Atack: The ‘Axioms’ — L. Ron Hubbard’s attempt to make Scientology sound ‘sciencey’
[NINE years ago] A reminder, this Halloween, that Scientology’s tricks tear families apart
[TEN years ago] Honesty in Scientology: Jefferson Hawkins Helps Us With Another Ethical Quandary
[ELEVEN years ago] It’s Halloween, and Narconon is Very, Very Afraid


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 3,199 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,714 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 3,264 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 2,254 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 2,135 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 5,439 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 3,310 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 2,415 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,862 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 4,204 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,770 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 8,689 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,856 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 4,438 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,699 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,735 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 3,451 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 3,015 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 1,330 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 2,505 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 7,056 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 4,187 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 4,525 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 9,380 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 4,499 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,855 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 7,158 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 3,264 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 3,662 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 3,538 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 3,103 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 3,616 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,870 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 14,979 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on October 31, 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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