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Today at the Daily Beast: What Valerie Haney’s Scientology ‘arbitration’ was really like

Over at The Daily Beast, we have a story today with one of the closest looks at what Scientology is putting Valerie Haney through as she experienced three days of the church’s “religious arbitration” in Los Angeles.

If you remember, Luis and Rocio Garcia, who went through the first court-ordered arbitration in Scientology’s history in 2017, endured a single afternoon of what Luis characterized as a kangaroo court.

But in Valerie’s case, not only did Scientology put her through three days of frustrating, irrelevant testimony and insults, but they want her to come back in January for even more.

The implication is pretty clear: The longer Scientology draws this out, the longer Valerie has to wait before she can file an appeal in court of what she’s been put through.


We hope you take a look at our piece at the Daily Beast, but we also have something we think is pretty remarkable here at our Substack: The story behind the story, and how your Proprietor ended up personally witnessing Valerie, at the conclusion of all three days, recording sworn statements with her attorneys.

Here’s how that happened…

It seemed like a decent turnout for an early Monday afternoon: About half of the tables that could be seen from the casino’s southern entrance had players hunched over their cards.

As tempting as it was to try my luck, I walked past three large rooms of poker and blackjack tables to get to the hotel lobby and check in.

I wasn’t there to play cards. The gamble I was interested in was taking place less than a mile away and on the other side of the Golden State Freeway, where a woman was just then walking into one of the lesser-known buildings owned by the Church of Scientology, and where the odds were likely going to be stacked against her.

Valerie Haney had let me know that her “religious arbitration” was going to take place at Scientology’s massive printing plant in Commerce, California, and that she didn’t mind if I was close by to debrief her after each of three days that the arbitration was scheduled to happen. But the details had come together only at the last minute, giving me less than 24 hours to come up with a plan.

And although I’d grown up in LA and had driven through the city of Commerce countless times, I knew almost nothing about it other than it featured a former tire factory built like an Assyrian fortress that had been turned into an outlet mall, and nearby was a solitary 9-story hotel that enjoyed some kind of legal loophole allowing Las Vegas-style gaming in an otherwise inhospitable and industrial spot about halfway between downtown Los Angeles and Orange County on the 5 Freeway.

The Commerce Casino: Did it, like Vegas establishments, have cheap rooms for gamblers? Turned out its prices were very friendly, so I booked a room for three nights and told Haney that I’d be just minutes away when the Scientologists let her out each day.

But there was a complication. That morning, I learned for the first time that her attorneys had hired a team from a court reporting service to show up with her.

We both knew that Scientology would never let them inside to record what was going on. But only now I learned that the attorneys wanted to record something with her after each day’s session, and how far were they going to drag her away from Commerce for that? My plan was suddenly falling apart.

As I took in the view from room 625, with a clear shot over the freeway to the distant towers of downtown LA, I wondered if I’d wasted my money.

But then, a few anxious hours later, a message arrived from Haney.

She was out of the arbitration and they had a lot to talk about. Could her attorneys and the court reporting team record a sworn statement in my hotel room, since it was so close by?


I’d hit the jackpot without even stepping foot on the casino floor.

Over the next three days, Valerie, her attorneys, and the court reporting crew they had hired set up and recorded Valerie literally in my casino hotel room.

I sat on the bed, taking notes, and marveled at my luck.

Tomorrow, our subscribers will get a special treat: The video in full that we recorded with Valerie immediately after the third and final day of the arbitration, and that we drew from for our Daily Beast piece.

We think you’ll get a special understanding of what Valerie was put through when you get to see and hear her express her feelings about it without any filter.


Technology Cocktail

“Man is basically good. But the reactive mind tends to force him into evil actions. These evil actions are instinctively regretted and the individual tries to refrain from doing anything at all. The ‘best’ remedy, the individual thinks, is to withhold. ‘If I commit evil actions, then my best guarantee for not committing is to do nothing whatever.’ Thus we have the ‘lazy,’ inactive person.” — L. Ron Hubbard, 1964



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

“Recently I contacted some very interesting facsimiles of Captain Frank de Wolfe of the United States Army, who was wounded at Fort Donelson in 1862. You may think I am talking about a past death; I am not. I am talking about a sympathy facsimile picked up when I was about a year and a half old, evidently, on the death of my great-grandfather. I almost killed myself. I started running out a lot of emotional curves and life began to look more and more interesting, and then when I went to get up out of the chair I couldn’t get up. I wondered what this was all about so I began to run some more emotional curves, and then I suddenly recalled that my great-grandfather had a black cane with a solid gold dog’s head. It was a great little gimmick, this solid gold dog’s head. The facsimile which I had just finished running out was the facsimile of the death of my dog when I was 14, which tied in to the cane with the dog’s head, which was the death of my great-grandfather that occurred while I was still sick with pneumonia when about a year and a half old. Evidently my legs from the waist down had been out of valence most of my life.” — L. Ron Hubbard, December 10, 1951



Avast, Ye Mateys

“So evidently there’s a grade of ‘animal’ according to the very best professors. Looking it over, modern ‘education’ and all, we then have the job of moving people up on this course action with which there would be wide agreement due to teachings in universities. Animal + Technique Zed = Human Being + Dianetics to Grade IV = Homo Novis + Power, R6EW and CC = Clear + OT grades to OT VII = Operating Thetan + what research I’m now doing equals ( ). There are a lot of in betweens and a lot of tech but those are the major points.” — The Commodore, December 10, 1970


Overheard in the FreeZone

“There was another time when I perceived a reptile and it was this disgusting staff member, he was 1.1, and I think I was just looking at him and I got this reptile idea in my head, and I got the idea he was one. He gave me a bad look once after I mentioned I had just seen a UFO, which was the first one I’d ever seen and it was cool and I was excited and he shot me this evil little nasty look. He was totally in a fake PR valence all the time, and guess what, gosh this keeps getting better, he was related to Mike Rinder! Yes that family has bad DNA, maybe this special telepathic connection DNA. Mike Rinder was running around assisting Miscavige with the takeover of Scientology and now he trashes all of Scientology, his life so far as been assisting the enslavers, he is not good for humanity.”


Past is Prologue

2001: Caroline Letkeman reported a protest at the Vancouver Scientology org. “We brought hundreds if not thousands of people uptone with our very positive picket signs and very positive presences. Dozens of people came by to find out what we were picketing and to take one of our flyers. One woman came out of the building to hand out copies of a new scn publication ‘Voice of the Volunteer Minister: The Volunteer Minister’s Newspaper. Gerry charmed her out of a copy and contributed it to the
International Archives. We had some actual contact by a scientologist who spoke on the subject of the picket. His name is Ty-bor or Ty-borg, we weren’t sure which. I asked Ty-borg his last name but he wouldn’t say. Ty-borg confronted us with some very unusual questions. He began with a series of questions such as, ‘How many people die in hospitals a year?’ and ‘Why aren’t you picketing them?’ ‘How many people in Canada die from prescribed drugs?’ Gerry gave him his best estimates, and nope, he was wrong on all numbers. But Ty-Borg had the numbers right at the tip of his analytical mind. Gerry told him that we were doing a Lisa McPherson Memorial Picket, and Ty-borg responded that he had ‘studied her case and she died of a blood clot.’ That’s why it was so odd when Ty-borg seemed to want to impart information of a medical nature about ‘my daughter.’ Later, I realized it was simply that he had mistaken me for Lisa McPherson’s mother. Obviously he didn’t know she was deceased. It was kind of a tense few minutes when I kept on demanding that he explain what he meant by ‘your daughter’s medical information.’ At first, I thought he was being exceptionally cruel in his bullbaiting, but it was just a case of mistaken identity. I gave Ty-borg a copy of our handout, and pointed out which side of the handout had to do with my daughter, Ann. As Ty-borg disappeared back into the scn building, he encouraged me to study the Lisa McPherson case.”



Random Howdy

“Miscavige is a crime boss. If you’re a crime boss or a loan shark you can’t let somebody disrespect you or not pay back a loan, you have to make an example out of them to keep the rest of the underlings in line. This is more important than public perception.”


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] PODCAST: Part 2 of Tricia Vessey on testifying as Jane Doe 4 in the Danny Masterson trial
[TWO years ago] Who will cry for ‘fallen artists’ like Elvis and Hemingway if not Scientology?
[THREE years ago] Danny Masterson accusers: Scientology’s illegal behavior shouldn’t count as ‘commerce’
[FOUR years ago] George Gascón goes there: Elect him Los Angeles D.A., and Danny Masterson gets a fresh look
[FIVE years ago] Scientology school sinks to new low, but the federal dollars keep pouring in
[SIX years ago] A close up look at how human rights abuser Scientology is touting human rights as a front
[SEVEN years ago] The way to break free from Scientology’s mind trap: Admit to yourself that you’re gullible
[EIGHT years ago] DOX: Woman sues Pasadena company for forcing Scientology on her
[NINE years ago] Marc Headley responds to sliming Scientology gave him at the ‘International Business Times’
[TEN years ago] The big reveal: What you actually learn on Scientology’s Operating Thetan Level Three
[ELEVEN years ago] DOX: Autopsy Report of Scientology President’s Son, Alexander Jentzsch


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 3,239 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,754 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 3,304 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 2,294 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 2,175 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 5,479 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 3,350 days.
Doug Kramer has not seen his parents Linda and Norm in 2,455 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,902 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 4,244 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,810 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 8,729 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,897 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 4,478 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,739 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,775 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 3,491 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 3,055 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 1,370 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 2,545 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 7,096 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 4,227 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 4,565 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 9,420 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 4,539 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,895 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 7,198 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 3,304 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 3,702 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 3,578 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 3,143 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 3,656 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,910 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 15,019 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on December 10, 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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