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Scientology will appeal ruling in Leah Remini lawsuit that preserved most of her claims

We’re still seeing headlines saying that the recent ruling in Leah Remini’s lawsuit “gutted” it, or all but destroyed it, and that Scientology is entitled to fees, and so on.

We told you that those assessments are basically wrong. Yes, Judge Randolph Hammock did remove numerous defamation claims from Leah’s lawsuit, but he kept in eight of its nine causes of action (the one he killed, the ninth, was marginal to begin with), including the important claims of harassment and tortious interference, and Leah has already filed to put back in fresher defamation claims than the ones that were cut for being too old.

But the best evidence that this ruling was much better for Leah Remini than you’ve heard from some news organizations is that David Miscavige is so unhappy with the ruling he filed a peremptory challenge to remove Judge Hammock from the case, and yesterday Scientology’s attorney William Forman filed notice that the church will be appealing the ruling.

Sure, Leah gave up some things in the ruling, but it’s Scientology that is bursting a blood vessel over it.

Leah filed her suit on August 2, and she’s asking for a jury trial to prove that she’s been subjected to horrendous “Fair Game” smears and harassment by Scientology and its operatives.


Judge Hammock agreed in part with Scientology that this is a very public fight and that both sides are engaging in name-calling. But he also found that Leah can sue the church over claims that it has sent operatives to intimidate her family members, for example, or has targeted the executives of companies Leah does business with in order to scare them off.

Even with some of the defamation claims removed, this remains a problematic lawsuit for Scientology, and so we were pretty amused to see Karin Pouw, the church’s spokeswoman, tell the Courthouse News Service that this was “a resounding victory for the Church.”

It wasn’t a resounding victory, and Scientology has now confirmed that by indicating that it plans to appeal.

So what do we have to look forward to now? There’s the matter of replacing Judge Hammock. Leah’s team cleverly suggested that Judge Upinder Kalra take it over since he already has the Bixler case in his court and recently handed a very favorable ruling to the Danny Masterson victims suing the church. Will the court go for that, or will Leah’s suit be assigned to another random judge at the Los Angeles Superior Court?

Leah has asked for an April 18 hearing to ask for leave to amend her complaint and add those updated defamation claims. However, with Scientology appealing Judge Hammock’s ruling, the case is likely to be held up for quite a while. But then, with Scientology litigation, delays by the church just seem par for the course.


Technology Cocktail

“The reason why Dianetics and Scientology were abused or even fought has to do with what is called a ‘cultural lag.’ This has often occurred in the history of technical developments. The atomic bomb was wholly feasible more than a decade before it was ‘developed.’ No one credited it and no one put up the cash. The radio telephone was invented and demonstrated half a century before it was generally used. Cultural lag occurs for many reasons.” — L. Ron Hubbard, 1969



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 [55] Mark Bunker [56] Trish and Liz Conley [57] Trish Conley [58] Alex Barnes-Ross [59] Alex Barnes-Ross [60] Alex Barnes-Ross [61] Alex Barnes-Ross [62] Alex Barnes-Ross [63] Alex Barnes-Ross [64] Tory Christman [65] Tammy Synovec [66] Dennis Erlich [67] Alex Barnes-Ross [68] Valerie Ross [69] Kat in Austin [70] Mark Bunker [71] Phil Jones


Source Code

“I don’t think ever in my life I even ever held out my hand for a fee. I don’t ever mention it. I’ve even acted sometimes as Registrar for an organization that didn’t have anything to do with money and people would walk in occasionally and throw some money on the desk and I’d invoice it so they could have a receipt. I gave it to them so they could have a receipt, not so I could have any money. Now, that’s about the wildest look you ever saw! I remember auditing some people in the early days and we never talked about money and they got embarrassed after a while and they gave me several thousand dollars. That’s a reverse look, isn’t it?” — L. Ron Hubbard, March 30, 1965



Avast, Ye Mateys

“The hot water on A deck is tepid.” — The Commodore, March 30, 1970


Overheard in the FreeZone

“SPs behave as they do because they are being manipulated telepathically to do so. This is possibly why OT 8 saved the world, there’s seriously evidence for the world changing after OT 8. We are winning and have won, it’s great, that was a big battle of freedom vs enslavement. And Trump announced the Space Force, it’s been around for years but finally it’s made public, the truth is all coming out bit by bit, the whole enslavement system is being dismantled and we are rising to higher heights. The 20th century was all about machine advancement which was amazing, but now the 21st is all about our personal advancement. Atlantis’ golden age has begun.”


Past is Prologue

2001: Tilman Hausherr reported on the libel trial in Berlin in which Bob Minton is suing OSA representative Sabine Weber, Freedom Magazine and Scientology for false statements made in Freedom magazine and other publications. “The court said there is no indication that Minton has been involved in shady movements of billions of dollars, he did do the debt buy-back, there is no evidence that he helped hide any money, Scientology isn’t a ‘citizens organisation’ that can’t be expected to do some research. While the court wouldn’t say that Scientology has an ‘intelligence service,’ it called Scientology a large organisation with enormous possibilities, so it has to listen to the response of Minton. Many of the oral allegations of the Scientology attorney were similar to what has been claimed on ars, e.g. that Minton has Caberta on a string, that he bribed her, that he set up money laundering foundation for Abacha, and that he was ‘sure’ that Greenland was also there to funnel money into foreign countries. Minton’s attorney explained that Scientology is doing a ‘perverse’ campaign against Minton, based on the policies of Scientology founder Hubbard, that Caberta is actually not even investigated for bribery, only for ‘Vorteilsnahme’ which is something less. The Scientology attorney said that the complaint in Switzerland was for real, but didn’t explain why they could only provide some translation of it. He claimed that because Minton attacked Scientology, Scientology is allowed to attack Minton.”


Random Howdy

“The first time I heard about people having to pay for being sec checked I was gobsmacked. OT 7’s have to get sec checked every 6 months to the tune of twenty grand or thereabouts. Imagine if the cops started charging people to be interrogated? Without a lawyer!”



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 May 17, 2024.
David Gentile, GPB Capital, fraud.

Civil litigation:
Leah Remini v. Scientology, alleging ‘Fair Game’ harassment and defamation: Some defamation claims were removed by Judge Hammock. Leah seeking to amend her complaint.
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: motion to file new complaint, hearing on May 29.
Jane Doe 1 v. Scientology, David Miscavige, and Gavin Potter: Case unsealed and second amended complaint filed. Scientology moves for religious arbitration, hearing on April 16.
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] Life as a Scientology ‘Flag auditor,’ bending the minds of Neil Gaiman and others
[TWO years ago] Scientology is unhappy the Danny Masterson accusers are sticking up for Valerie Haney
[THREE years ago] Another Scientology success story: Real Water liver failure lawsuits proliferate
[FOUR years ago] Scientology tries desperately to keep members from letting reality sink in during pandemic
[FIVE years ago] Leaving Scientology’s ‘Sea Org’ isn’t easy, and some turn to desperate measures
[SIX years ago] Georgia police department closes its case on Arnie Lerma attempted murder-suicide
[SEVEN years ago] Dungeons & Dragons and Scientology collide: Can we get a saving throw on that engram?
[EIGHT years ago] Scientology leader David Miscavige in Atlanta on Saturday: Can you feel the excitement?
[NINE years ago] AUDIO LEAK: Hear a Scientologist being declared suppressive and facing the loss of her family
[TEN years ago] Sunday Funnies: These fliers should convince you to give all your cash to Scientology!
[ELEVEN years ago] Independent Scientology: The Ballad of Captain Bill


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 2,855 days.
Valerie Haney has not seen her mother Lynne in 3,350 days.
Katrina Reyes has not seen her mother Yelena in 3,865 days
Sylvia Wagner DeWall has not seen her brother Randy in 3,415 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his grandson Leo in 2,405 days.
Geoff Levin has not seen his son Collin and daughter Savannah in 2,286 days.
Christie Collbran has not seen her mother Liz King in 5,590 days.
Clarissa Adams has not seen her parents Walter and Irmin Huber in 3,461 days.
Jamie Sorrentini Lugli has not seen her father Irving in 5,013 days.
Quailynn McDaniel has not seen her brother Sean in 4,354 days.
Dylan Gill has not seen his father Russell in 12,921 days.
Melissa Paris has not seen her father Jean-Francois in 8,840 days.
Valeska Paris has not seen her brother Raphael in 5,008 days.
Mirriam Francis has not seen her brother Ben in 4,589 days.
Claudio and Renata Lugli have not seen their son Flavio in 4,850 days.
Sara Goldberg has not seen her daughter Ashley in 3,886 days.
Lori Hodgson has not seen her son Jeremy and daughter Jessica in 3,602 days.
Marie Bilheimer has not seen her mother June in 3,166 days.
Julian Wain has not seen his brother Joseph or mother Susan in 1,481 days.
Charley Updegrove has not seen his son Toby in 2,656 days.
Joe Reaiche has not seen his daughter Alanna Masterson in 7,207 days
Derek Bloch has not seen his father Darren in 4,338 days.
Cindy Plahuta has not seen her daughter Kara in 4,676 days.
Roger Weller has not seen his daughter Alyssa in 9,529 days.
Claire Headley has not seen her mother Gen in 4,650 days.
Ramana Dienes-Browning has not seen her mother Jancis in 3,006 days.
Mike Rinder has not seen his son Benjamin and daughter Taryn in 7,309 days.
Brian Sheen has not seen his daughter Spring in 3,415 days.
Skip Young has not seen his daughters Megan and Alexis in 3,813 days.
Mary Kahn has not seen her son Sammy in 3,689 days.
Lois Reisdorf has not seen her son Craig in 3,254 days.
Phil and Willie Jones have not seen their son Mike and daughter Emily in 3,767 days.
Mary Jane Barry has not seen her daughter Samantha in 4,021 days.
Kate Bornstein has not seen her daughter Jessica in 15,130 days.


Posted by Tony Ortega on March 30, 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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