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Judge Hammock to rule today that RTC will remain in Leah Remini’s Scientology lawsuit

[Leah Remini and Judge Randolph Hammock]

Judge Randolph Hammock issued a tentative ruling yesterday in anticipation of today’s continued hearing in Leah Remini’s lawsuit.

And while it reveals that he will agree with Scientology and add more paragraphs from Leah’s lawsuit that will be stricken, he also plans to overrule Scientology’s objections to the declarations from Mike Rinder and Claire Headley, and will keep the Religious Technology Center (RTC) in the lawsuit.

Today’s session is a continuation of a hearing that began on January 16 and resumed on January 19. (We were fortunate enough to be at both.) At the hearing on the 19th, attorney Robert Mangels raised an objection that Leah’s lawsuit didn’t make specific allegations about RTC, which is the nominally controlling entity in the Scientology movement. (Leah is also suing the Church of Scientology International and RTC’s chairman, David Miscavige.) Mangels argued for RTC to be let out of the lawsuit.

Judge Hammock explained that at this early stage in the trial, Leah only needs to allege that RTC has contributed to the harassment and stalking that she says she’s been subjected to. And since RTC had not bothered to file a separate opposition from CSI in the last round of filings, Judge Hammock decided that he would allow Leah a short time to add more evidence to her complaint in the form of supplemental declarations.

Mike Rinder and Claire Headley did just that, submitting detailed declarations which described RTC’s role in retaliation campaigns in Scientology’s history. Both Mike and Claire asserted that RTC and Miscavige would be behind any campaign of harassment against Leah.


Scientology bitterly opposed the new sworn statements, calling Mike and Claire “partners in bigotry” and said they had been out of Scientology too long to know how it operates today.

But in his tentative ruling, Judge Hammock says that the declarations from Rinder and Headley meet the minimum standard he’s been citing. And it’s fun to see him summarize what those declarations contain…

Rinder contends it is “incorrect” to call RTC an entity separate from the “other Scientology entities that defame and attack Leah Remini.” Instead, it too is “micro-managed” by Defendant Miscavige, and aids Scientology’s efforts to silence Suppressive Persons…

[Claire] Headley corroborates that Defendant Miscavige, as Chairman of the Board of RTC, “directs the activities” of OSA. She attests that “[o]ne of the primary roles David Miscavige plays as head of RTC is the planning and supervision of campaigns intended to silence, muzzle, and destroy anyone who violates Scientology’s policies.” Headley “attended and personally witnessed many meetings…in which David Miscavige outlined what steps were to be taken to accomplish the goal of destroying and silencing” Scientology’s enemies.

With Leah’s submission of these new declarations, Judge Hammock says in his tentative ruling that she has met her burden to tie RTC to the allegations in her lawsuit. “Plaintiff has met her burden to establish that Defendant RTC is a proper Defendant,” he writes.

But it’s not all bad news for Scientology. At the hearing on January 16, CSI’s attorney William Forman raised a number of items that he wanted the judge to toss out of Leah’s lawsuit along with the ones he had already decided to strike because they were either too old to fit for the defamation allegation, or were clearly just opinion or parody. Because, you see, Scientology can call Leah names all it wants, as long as it doesn’t make factual claims about her.

So, after reviewing Forman’s list, Judge Hammock has agreed to add to the list of items that are being struck from the lawsuit. Among the articles posted by Scientology that are not actionable because they were posted more than a year before the lawsuit was filed, for example, are such gems as “Leah Remini is a Disgrace to Women of Valor Everywhere,” “As the World Remembers the Holocaust, Bigot Leah Remini Inspires Praise of Hitler,” “Leah’s Anti-Religious Sugar Daddy’s History of Drug Dealing and Cons,” and “Remini: Aftermath Propaganda Inciting Religious Hate.”

On the other hand, after arguments made by Leah’s attorney Linda Singer at the previous hearings, Judge Hammock has put back in a few items, including a tweet by Scientology claiming that certain advertisers had dropped Leah’s Game Show Network program People Puzzler, and allegations made by Leah in reference to attacks on a publicity firm she had employed.

So it’s a mixed bag in some ways, but in general Scientology was largely unsuccessful in its attempt to derail Leah Remini’s lawsuit. Judge Hammock plans to let her most important claims about harassment and tortious interference stand, even if she has lost numerous parts of her defamation claims.

And now, with a third attempt to get this hearing finished over three weeks, we have a feeling Judge Hammock is going to be more likely to adopt his tentative ruling today and then move on. We’ll let you know what we hear.

Wednesday UPDATE: We called the court clerk today after we didn’t see a Minute Order filed on the docket. We were told that after considerable argument yesterday, Judge Hammock still didn’t rule but has taken the matter under submission.

This guy. So for now, we wait.



Technology Cocktail

“Scientology is the route from human being to total freedom and total beingness. Dianetics was the route from aberrated or aberrated and ill human to capable human. This step had never before been achieved in Man’s history. Oddly, the step from human being to a spirit had been achieved, if rarely, but was not generally credited (Buddhism, other spiritual practices, even Christianity). Scientology really achieves it and for the first time with TOTAL stability, no relapse and invariably one for one. Nevertheless Man had an inkling of the goals of Scientology even though he considered them almost beyond God. But Man had no inkling whatever of Dianetics. None. This was the bolt from the blue.” — L. Ron Hubbard, 1966



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

“I happen to be a nuclear physicist. I am not a psychologist nor a psychiatrist nor a medical doctor. To some degree, it was my responsibility that this world got itself an atom bomb, because there were only a handful of nuclear physicists in the thirties — only a handful. And we were all beating the desk and saying ‘How wonderful it will be if we discover atomic fission,’ because we decided that the thing to do with atomic fission was to go out and discover the stars, to make big passenger liners that would go ten times around the world on the same fuel. This was what we endeavored to do with atomic fission. The government stepped in and gave us three billion dollars. I had nothing to do with that program; I would not have had anything to do with the program. Three billion dollars to destroy all of man.” — L. Ron Hubbard, February 6, 1952


Avast, Ye Mateys

“If your parents or friends are the kind who worry about you, BE SURE AND WRITE THEM AN AIRMAIL LETTER regularly. Otherwise they give us DEV T by asking the government to check up on you to see if you’re all right. If uncertain about it, write them anyway. Also, if you haven’t written your family recently do so anyway. Otherwise they’ll think Scn put you OUT of communication. You can mail the letter straight from here.” — The Commodore, February 6, 1969


Overheard in the FreeZone

“The postulate that worked for me that caused the rain in Australia had nothing to do with rain. I just become the planet and covered it with my beingness and decided it was all safe and OK. The thought of rain was also a previous one to this one but this one made it manifest.”



Past is Prologue

1997: Neil Muspratt transcribed a report from ABC Radio National, which aired this week in Australia. The guests were Scientologist Sabine Weber and analyst Steven Kent. “Sabine Weber: When you are a Scientologist in Germany and you are faced with discriminations like, your child in school is being harassed or your child in the kindergarten is not allowed to play with his friends anymore or does not even get a place there, or if you are confronted with losing your job, and we in the church of course get these not from just one single case but various cases where people are spit at, they are beaten, they are harassed, they are being insulted. Basically forms are being distributed where they, the government, or the Chamber of Commerce, or whoever, forwards the slogan ‘don’t buy at Scientology businesses’ or something like this, then of course, you cannot help it, you feel reminded by the 30s. Steven Kent: The substance of the German allegations are threefold. One, Germany is claiming that Scientology is an economic organisation operating under the cloak of religion. Second, the German government is claiming that Scientology is, is psychologically totalistic and controlling, and third, the German government is claiming that Scientology is totalitarian and anti-democratic. These allegations have to be viewed in the context of what is going on in surrounding European countries. Just in the last few months and in France, fourteen Scientologists were convicted of fraud, and a fifteenth was convicted of involuntary manslaughter, involving putting pressure on a person to take courses that apparently he couldn’t afford and the person committed suicide. Just in December, a Greek court ordered Scientology to leave the country, that, that case is, is under appeal. Germany is also aware that Scientology is making tremendous inroads in, in countries like Russia. It’s applying its administrative technology in, in Albania. The Russian city of Perm, for example, which has over a million people, apparently is using Scientology technology to organise and run a lot of its government offices. So Scientology is making tremendous inroads in a lot of places, especially former iron curtain countries, but it’s also under significant scrutiny in a number of European countries near Germany.”


Random Howdy

“If I knew I was going to live this long, I would have tried even harder to destroy myself.”


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] That time Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard bitched to followers about his income
[TWO years ago] Shekter: How Scientology intervened in an intimate affair of the heart
[THREE years ago] VIDEO: Jon Atack talks to Mike Rinder about his first months aboard Scientology’s ‘Apollo’
[FOUR years ago] Scientology OT8 dentist closes office while patients confront him about their cash
[FIVE years ago] Scientology TV wins a boatload of awards, and is the ‘fastest-growing TV network in history’!
[SIX years ago] Scientology spies coming forward to spill their guts, then and now: A key example from the past
[SEVEN years ago] L. Ron Hubbard’s daughter — the one he wanted to disappear — surfaces online
[EIGHT years ago] ‘Are you 100 percent American?’ — ‘Ross & Carrie’ investigate joining Scientology
[NINE years ago] Scientology vs. the mayor: The full Gabe Cazares interview from 1997’s Secret Lives
[TEN years ago] The BBC’s John Sweeney gives us another glimpse of creepy Scientology intimidation


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 2,802 days.
Valerie Haney has not seen her mother Lynne in 3,297 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,812 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 3,362 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 2,352 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 2,233 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 5,537 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 3,408 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 4,960 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 4,301 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,868 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 8,787 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 4,955 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 4,536 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,797 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,833 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 3,549 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 3,113 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 1,428 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 2,603 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 7,154 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 4,285 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 4,623 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 9,478 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 4,597 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 2,953 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 7,256 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 3,362 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 3,760 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 3,636 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 3,201 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 3,714 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 3,968 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 15,077 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on February 6, 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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