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We’re back in court today as Leah Remini’s lawsuit faces early hurdles

We’ll be back in the courtroom this morning as Judge Randolph Hammock once again takes up some important early matters in Leah Remini’s lawsuit against the Church of Scientology.

He’ll be returning to the issues he wrestled with for three hours on Tuesday: Deciding which parts of Leah’s defamation claims should be struck because, Scientology argues, they are merely examples of opinion and protected free speech.

But first, Judge Hammock will be dealing this morning with a question about video recording the hearing, and whether today’s proceeding might be live-streamed.

We intend to be live-blogging the hearing as we did Tuesday, with our updates posted in the comments at today’s post at So please go there to see the very latest about what’s going on.

Besides resolving the issue about video recording, and then getting back to what he was discussing on Tuesday regarding Scientology’s motion to strike material from the lawsuit, Judge Hammock is also supposed to use today’s hearing to rule on Leah’s motion for a preliminary injunction. She’s asking the court to enjoin Scientology from harassment while the lawsuit is going on.


But on Tuesday, Judge Hammock indicated that he was leaning against granting the motion unless today Leah’s legal team could convince him that the need for the injunction is more obvious and immediate. So we are looking forward to what Leah’s legal team will say about that.

We’ll also be interested in how Leah’s team will deal with the attempt of the Religious Technology Center — Scientology’s nominally controlling entity that is run by David Miscavige — to get itself dropped from the lawsuit. On Tuesday RTC attorney Robert Mangels complained to the court that there is no connection named in the lawsuit between the harassment Leah alleges and RTC. Judge Hammock asked Leah’s attorney Linda Singer to point out such a connection in a declaration and she couldn’t. So we expect that Leah’s team has come up with something to show the judge today to keep RTC in.

Hey, that’s a lot of stuff, and we know it’s complex. Please hang out with us at the dot org site in the comments, and we’ll update you as fast as we can!


Technology Cocktail

“The people who come to you with wild discreditable rumours, who seek to tear people’s attention off Scientology, who chew up orgs, are suppressive persons. Well, give them a good rock and let them suppress it!” — L. Ron Hubbard, 1965



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

“You find many a girl — various stresses in the war you notice this: Some girl who was very much in love with some young man, and he got knocked off, something like that, and right away she becomes a lawyer — begins to talk in a rather husky voice. If you watch her a while longer, the next thing you know, she’s liable to start smoking cigars. You know? And in order to exteriorize her, you’d have to exteriorize her out of the body of a young man before you could exteriorize her out of the body she’s in. Now she doesn’t want to be in the body she’s in, so she’s not really in the body she’s in, and you just don’t have a dog’s chance of exteriorizing her out of that body. You say, ‘Be three feet back of your head.’ She’s not in it. So the whole command misses. You see that?” — L. Ron Hubbard, January 19, 1956


Avast, Ye Mateys

“1969 was the year of Out-Ethics. In 1970 I trust all SO members will wear their ethics hats. Every SO member has one. Every time we ease up or drop Ethics we get horrible problems and stats. It can be plotted on the Int GI. Fact is Ethics is madly out on the planet. Definition of some Earth wog leaders — somebody who is trying to get even with everybody else. Definition of psychiatry: the government’s method of getting even with the insane.” — The Commodore, January 19, 1970



Overheard in the FreeZone

“Imagine that you are strong enough to instantly destroy in absolute agony anyone who offers you the slightest offence. Once you have destroyed them then it is done. You cannot reverse it. Might you postulate inability in yourself after destroying a loved one who admired another’s body when they thought you were not looking? We do not trust ourselves to become OT again until we have learnt to control our destructive impulses. The latest OT rundown is not a solution. The solution is spending thousands of hours studying LRH tech and fully understanding and applying it.”


Past is Prologue

2000: The Tampa Tribune reported this week that Bob Minton will be charged with battery for an incident during a protest at the Fort Harrison Hotel in October. “An outspoken critic of the Church of Scientology was formally charged with misdemeanor battery late Friday. New Hampshire millionaire Robert S. Minton Jr. faces a maximum penalty of one year in the county jail and a $1,000 fine if convicted of striking Scientologist Richard W. Howd Jr. during a protest Oct. 31 outside the church’s spiritual headquarters in downtown Clearwater. State Attorney Bernie McCabe had the option of not prosecuting the case, and Minton had been waiting since his arrest the night of the incident for a determination. Neither could be reached for comment late Friday. In the battery incident, Minton was carrying a protest sign up and down the sidewalk outside the Fort Harrison Hotel on Halloween night while Howd filmed him at close range with a video camera. Minton testified that he struck Howd with his placard when Howd would not back away as Minton left the area.”


Random Howdy

“OT 7 is just sitting in a room talking to yourself and seeing if the needle reacts. You’d think after a couple of years of doing that they would just say ‘fuck it!’ and tell the case supervisor ‘The belfry is bat-free’.”



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 January 29, 2024.
David Gentile, GPB Capital, fraud.

Civil litigation:
Leah Remini v. Scientology, alleging ‘Fair Game’ harassment and defamation: Complaint filed August 2, motion to strike/anti-SLAPP motions by Scientology to be heard January 9, 2024.
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] Tonight: Our conversation with Mike Rinder on ‘A Billion Years’ for Mark Twain House
[TWO years ago] Journalist John Connolly dies at 78, was outed in 2011 as Scientology spy by Mike Rinder
[THREE years ago] Danny Masterson accusers want emergency halt on ‘religious arbitration’ to protect rape case
[FOUR years ago] Georgia puts legislator who promotes Scientology anti-psych efforts on mental health panel
[FIVE years ago] New Sea Org escapee says that Scientology still forcing abortions, decade after practice exposed
[SIX years ago] More Scientology news is here: You won’t believe how fast this planet is being cleared!
[SEVEN years ago] Scientology in hot water again for cutting down trees without permission
[EIGHT years ago] When the feds tracked down L. Ron Hubbard’s boast about getting rich by creating a religion
[NINE years ago] Earache my eye: A Scientology official’s excuses why he can’t fly for deposition in fraud suit
[TEN years ago] Sunday Funnies: For the second year in a row, Scientology will have an ad in the Super Bowl
[ELEVEN years ago] We Told You Jamie DeWolf Would Blow Up!


Scientology disconnection, a reminder

Bernie Headley (1952-2019) did not see his daughter Stephanie in his final 5,667 days.
Tammy Synovec has not seen her daughter Julia in 2,784 days.
Valerie Haney has not seen her mother Lynne in 3,279 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,794 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 3,344 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 2,334 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 2,215 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 5,519 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 3,390 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,942 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 4,284 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,850 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 8,769 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,937 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 4,518 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,779 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,815 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 3,531 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 3,095 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 1,410 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 2,585 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 7,136 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 4,267 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 4,605 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 9,460 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 4,579 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,935 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 7,238 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 3,344 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 3,742 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 3,618 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 3,183 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 3,696 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,950 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 15,059 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on January 19, 2024 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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