Tony Ortega is a journalist who was formerly the editor of The Village Voice. He's written about Scientology since 1995, and in May 2015 released a book about Scientology's harassment of Paulette Cooper titled 'The Unbreakable Miss Lovely.' He continues to monitor breaking developments in the Scientology world from an undisclosed location in an underground bunker he shares with four cats and one of them wrinkly Shar Pei dogs. Despite his super-secret security protections, you can still reach him pretty easily by sending him a message at tonyo94 AT gmail.com (Drop him a line if you'd like to get an e-mail whenever a new story is posted.) [Header image courtesy John Rickard]
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Garcia federal fraud lawsuit survives another challenge by Scientology

Luis and Rocio Garcia’s federal fraud lawsuit against the Church of Scientology has survived another challenge as Judge James Whittemore denied the church’s latest motion to dismiss.

The Garcias say they were defrauded by Scientology when it pressured them to donate hundreds of thousands of dollars in building projects, but since their lawsuit was first filed []

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Ted Babbitt’s gambit: Recasting the Garcia federal fraud lawsuit against Scientology

Luis and Rocio Garcia

After several months delay in the federal fraud lawsuit that Luis and Rocio Garcia brought against the Church of Scientology, the Garcias have filed a surprising new motion: They’re dropping three defendants from the suit and asking Judge James Whittemore for the right to amend their original complaint.

If you remember []

SCIENTOLOGY DENIED: Federal judge finds that Garcia fraud lawsuit can continue

Luis and Rocio Garcia

Federal District Judge James D. Whittemore today issued an order denying a motion by Scientology that would have ended the fraud lawsuit brought last year by former church members Luis and Rocio Garcia, who say they were scammed for hundreds of thousands of dollars in donations.

The Garcias were longtime members []

LIVE FROM TAMPA: The Garcia v. Scientology Federal Fraud Lawsuit Mini-Trial!

Greetings from Tampa, Florida, where we’re on the scene for an unusual and potentially very entertaining evidentiary hearing in a fraud lawsuit that’s been derailed by accusations of unethical conduct.

We’re anticipating that it will be a fairly grueling day for former Scientologist Brian Culkin as he’s probably going to be something of a hostile witness []

Judge Whittemore Sets Evidentiary Hearing in Garcia Federal Fraud Lawsuit

Judge James Whittemore has scheduled an evidentiary hearing for July 24 in Luis and Rocio Garcia’s federal fraud lawsuit against the Church of Scientology.

At issue will be the church’s motion to disqualify the Garcias’ attorneys — Ted Babbitt and Ronald Weil — who, the church alleges, improperly worked with Robert Johnson, an attorney who previously []

Will Scientology’s Motion Demolish the Garcias’ Federal Fraud Lawsuit?

On Friday, Scientology filed a motion to disqualify the attorneys for Luis and Rocio Garcia in their federal fraud lawsuit against the church. We very rapidly posted the motion and several supporting declarations with only a brief description of their contents.

We’ve had some time now to digest the church’s motion, and we thought we’d take []

ELEVENTH CIRCUIT UPHOLDS SCIENTOLOGY ARBITRATION, DENIES GARCIA APPEAL

[The Garcias and Judge Whittemore]

The same day that the appeal by Danny Masterson’s accusers was heard in Los Angeles regarding Scientology’s ‘religious arbitration,’ the federal Eleventh Circuit handed down its long-awaited ruling in the appeal by Luis and Rocio Garcia regarding the same subject. And for the Garcias, it’s bad news: the federal appeals court []

Luis Garcia steps in to help Danny Masterson’s accusers: Scientology ‘arbitration’ is corrupt

[Luis Garcia and his attorney Ted Babbitt]

On November 2, a California appeals court will hear oral arguments in the lawsuit filed by Danny Masterson’s rape accusers, who allege that they have been subjected to years of harassment by Masterson and the Church of []

Danny Masterson’s nutty lawsuit involving his house loan is finally kicked out of court

[Danny and his circular Hollywood property]

While we’ve been covering Scientology celebrity Danny Masterson’s very serious criminal investigation and court case over the last several years, we also happened to discover something not to so serious that he was also involved with in federal []

Former Scientology OT gets indicted on $4 million securities fraud

 In November, Newport Beach insurance broker, financial advisor, and software purveyor Robert Andrew Lotter was arrested and charged with felony securities violations by the California Department of Insurance, which accused him of defrauding more than $4 million from over 20 victims. Also arrested was an insurance agent named Charles Albert Major of []