Scientology sued for Fraud! It's going DOWN like bird sh**! (The Garcia Suit)

Discussion in 'Media' started by BlackRob, Jan 23, 2013.

  1. TorontosRoot Member

    I wouldn't be too surprised if the judge sent quite a few scientoloonies to jail, once their behind the scenes interference is caught and sent to the courts. Now if out of those 500 selected scifags, a few decide to realise how much of a fraud the cult is, leave and side with the garcia's (it's a long-shot) then all hell could break loose. I have my doubts.
  2. The Wrong Guy Member

    Seeking to break legal logjam, judge asks for list of Scientologists to arbitrate church lawsuit

    By Dan Sullivan, Tampa Bay Times


    More than two years ago, a federal judge in a high profile lawsuit against the Church of Scientology told both sides to settle the matter outside court.

    Since then, the case has gone nowhere because neither party can agree on an arbitrator. So now the judge in Tampa plans to pick three random Scientologists in California and ask them to resolve the case.

    "Candidly, my sense is that you are not cooperating in the selection of an arbitrator," U.S. District Judge James D. Whittemore told the parties in a court hearing this month. "This case will be arbitrated and I have explored avenues that I can follow, if you will, in forcing you to do this."

    He ordered the church to assemble a list of 500 Scientologists "in good standing" with the church who live in the greater Los Angeles area, where the plaintiffs reside. From that list, the judge will select three people at random to serve as arbitrators.

    "(The case has) been going on four years and I expect it will be going on for a long time," said Ted Babbitt, a West Palm Beach attorney representing the plaintiffs, Luis and Rocio Garcia.


    Whittemore ordered the church to give him within 15 days a list of 500 Scientologists in good standing, selected at random in the greater Los Angeles area, where the arbitration is to be held. The list would include each person's contact information and notes indicating which work for the church.

    From that list, the judge will select three to serve as arbitrators. He also ordered that neither the church nor the Garcias interfere with his selection or contact any of the people selected to serve. He threatened sanctions.

    Joseph Varner, a civil trial lawyer in Tampa who is not involved in the case, said the move is a bit unusual, but so is the inability to arbitrate.

    "I can't speak for Judge Whittemore, but I would think any judge would be disappointed that he told the parties to pick an arbitrator two years ago and they haven't been able to arbitrate," Varner said. "I've never encountered anything like that."

    An attorney for the church did not return calls for comment.

    "We don't know what's going to happen," Babbitt said.

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  3. The Wrong Guy Member

    Scientology submits names of 500 members to federal court as ordered, but there’s a catch

    By Tony Ortega, April 27, 2017


    Whoa, Nelly. We’re going to find out soon just how far the Church of Scientology can push an already amped-up federal judge.

    Two weeks ago, we told you the bizarre new twist in Luis and Rocio Garcia’s 2013 federal fraud lawsuit, which had Tampa Judge James Whittemore becoming so fed up he took matters into his own hands. In 2015, Whittemore ruled that the Garcias had signed contracts which required them to take any disputes to Scientology’s internal arbitration and he stayed the lawsuit. Since then, both sides have been unable to select arbitrators, with each accusing the other of operating in bad faith.

    Tired of the fighting, Whittemore asked Scientology’s attorneys to file a request that would enable the judge himself to intervene. He then ordered the church to submit to him in just 15 days the names and contact information of 500 Scientologists in good standing in the Los Angeles area. Whittemore said he would select three names at random to serve as arbitrators to get the two sides beyond the impasse, and if he found out that either side tried to interfere with the process or contacted any of the people he selected, he would impose sanctions, which could even result in jail time.

    We now have Scientology’s response, which indicates that the document was filed along with a sealed envelope for the judge containing the 500 names — but just names, with no contact information.

    Scientology says it believes that Whittemore contacting Scientologists directly would be diving too directly into the church’s internal matters. The church is asking Whittemore to choose one name at random, and then submit it to Scientology’s “International Justice Chief,” Mike Ellis, who will contact the chosen Scientologist to see if they are willing and able to serve as an arbitrator.

    Any other procedure would inevitably lead to chaos. A Scientologist in good standing is unlikely to agree to participate in an arbitration proceeding without assurances from the IJC that the proceeding is authorized under Church law. If the Court were to contact a person it has selected, that person undoubtedly immediately would contact a local Church official or the IJC for information and advice, and quite possibly a lawyer.

    Uh, yeah. We pointed out that exact problem two weeks ago.

    Anyway, the upshot is, Whittemore asked for phone numbers, and Scientology is telling him to go fish.
    Oh, and we did say that they are asking the judge to select just one name, not three.

    You see, Scientology attorney Robert Potter reminds the judge that according to the church’s internal rules, the Garcias were supposed to select one arbitrator, the church would then select the second, and then those two arbitrators would choose a third.

    The church has asked Whittemore to choose just one arbitrator from the list of 500 names as the Garcia’s choice, and then the church will reveal its choice for the second arbitrator, and so on.

    So after Judge Whittemore pretty angrily put his foot down and said he’d select the entire three-person panel, Scientology is telling him he can only select one. And not by telephone.

    We’ll be interested to see how the judge reacts to that.

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  4. TorontosRoot Member

    Bloody he'll. I bet he won't be too happy.
  5. Quentinanon Member

    I think this demonstrates the contempt the scientology crime syndicate has for "mere WOG law", judges and courts.
    Going through the so-called "international justice chief" who is a brainwashed sea ogre, creates the very situation that the judge warned each party about, interference, by means of dilatory tactics, Mike Ellis, "The party you chose said he was busy studying to be a minister of the church and had no time for an arbitration." and/or not answering the judge for as long as he could, and/or briefing the person about the case with insinuations that if the chosen person did not vote as the cult wants, he would be declared an SP.
    Judge Whittemore should hold scientology in contempt for defying his order and sanction them with daily fines until they comply.
    Jail time is pretty meaningless as the cult will portray that as "religious persecution", demonize the judge, and still not comply. The Ronbot will sit in jail for the cult thinking that he/she is saving the universe.
    The only thing that will get compliance from the scientology criminal enterprise are hefty daily fines. $10,000 per day will get their attention.
    In scientology, money talks.
  6. The Wrong Guy Member

    Garcias answer: Was Scientology not paying attention to an angry federal judge?

    By Tony Ortega, April 29, 2017


    Now, the Garcias have filed an answer with the help of their attorney Ted Babbitt, and you can probably predict the message: Scientology, were you not listening?

    Not only did Judge Whittemore make it very clear in an April 7 hearing that he would choose all three arbitrators, but Babbitt points out Scientology wants to choose its own arbitrator after the Garcias have lost the chance to choose their own, an unfair advantage.

    Babbitt also reminds the court that it had asked not only for 500 names of Scientologists, but also their addresses, occupations, and telephone numbers, as well as indicating which of them are employees of the church. But after Judge Whittemore made it very obvious that he wants the information so he can contact potential arbitrators himself, and he warned both sides with jail time if they interfered or contacted the people on the list themselves, Scientology’s attorneys are now telling the judge they do intend to contact potential arbitrators on the judge’s behalf.

    Well, that should tell Judge Whittemore all he needs to know about Scientology’s sincerity, Babbitt writes.

    The concern of the Defendants about a potential arbitrator participating in the proceedings demonstrates what both the Defendants and the Plaintiffs know about the arbitration process being nothing more than a sham. Defendants know that if the Court contacts Scientology members in good standing, none would consent to act as arbitrator unless the Defendants assure them that they would not be themselves declared or excommunicated if they serve as arbitrators. This is a very justified fear on the part of potential arbitrators who are in good standing. The Court knows from the testimony received by the Court in this case that if any Scientologist in good standing would dare to question the Church of Scientology in an arbitration proceeding, they would be automatically declared or excommunicated. Under the rules of Scientology, they are not even allowed to be in the same room with Mr. or Mrs. Garcia because the Garcias are declared. They are not allowed to speak to them and if they dared to find against Scientology they themselves would be excommunicated. The only way they could participate in an arbitration proceeding would be if they were assured by the Church that they could conspire with the Church to find in favor of Scientology. Anything less than that would lead to their own excommunication. As the Court knows from the testimony it received, that is no small matter. If a Scientologist is declared by the Church, their wives and husbands, in order to remain in the Church, would have to divorce them and never speak to them again. If their children were in the Church and they are declared, their children would never speak to them again. They couldn’t ever see their grandchildren because of the insular nature of Scientology they would lose all their friends, associates and business contacts. It would completely destroy their lives. These are people who are supposed to act as impartial and disinterested arbitrators.

    Babbitt writes that this will become plain to Whittemore as he tries to contact arbitrators, and will, the Garcias hope, finally convince the judge to declare Scientology’s internal arbitration unworkable and lift the stay on the lawsuit itself. For now, at least, they ask the judge to deny Scientology’s motion that’s in such defiance of his April 10 order.

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  8. TorontosRoot Member

    Let's hope it goes in the garcia's favour.
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  9. Ogsonofgroo Member

    Finally figuring it out they are, this is pretty awesome. Of course the cult's next move will be their usual bawwing "Oh noes oh noes persecution/prejudice/bigotry!".
    I hope they get their asses handed to them on a giant platter, all torn to shreds and ready to eat, Babbitt sounds like he's got some decent marbles knocking around in his brain-pan, good!
    Hats doffed to the Garcias for keeping up the good fight and seeking due justice, huge kudos man, takes truly brave hearts to continue this sort of battle, especially with CoS who are well heeled and lawyered-up with their usual gang of ass-kissing, sycophantic, over-paid shills. I venture that you gotta have a soul to sell it, did any of them?/do they... cult continues to circle the ever-flushing edge of the Big Commode in a shit soup of their own creation.

    My opinion, if ya don't like it, meh, go for a pizza.
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  10. TorontosRoot Member

    P133A is sooo g00d! Then again, teh cult wouldn't afford pizza, just far less than rice and beans, malnourishing goodies!
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  11. Ogsonofgroo Member

    Lolol, maybe one day they could add shredded ass to their beans? 'A spicey flavour combination of bitterness and despair, with a slight hint of aged whiskey and pain'

    Gah, time for bed, I go now lololololing :p
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  12. DeathHamster Member

    While they would hate a settlement, the one thing they would hate even more is anything that punches a hole in their 1st amendment religious protection and declares that their "arbitration" is a fraudulent sham. That would pave the way for lawsuits with juries setting the damages.
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  13. The Wrong Guy Member

    Judge Whittemore puts his foot down: Scientology, cough up those phone numbers!

    By Tony Ortega, May 2, 2017


    It didn’t take Tampa federal Judge James Whittemore very long to issue a new order after Scientology essentially thumbed its nose at his previous one, and wow, does he appear steamed.

    In the new order, which we have for you below, the judge has given the Church of Scientology just ten days to fork over the telephone numbers and occupations left off of a list of 500 names the church had previously submitted under seal, which supposedly represent 500 Los Angeles-area church members in good standing.


    So the judge has now issued a very brief order reiterating that Scientology must turn over the contact information to go along with the 500 names so that he can select all three panelists.

    Former church officials have told us that an outsider like a federal judge cold-calling Scientologists has disaster written all over it, and they say the church will find it extremely difficult to comply with this order. We can hardly wait to see if they do.

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  14. The Wrong Guy Member

    Scientology forks over phone numbers to federal judge, who puts his foot down again

    By Tony Ortega, May 20, 2017


    On May 1, Tampa federal Judge James Whittemore gave the Church of Scientology just ten days to turn over the phone numbers and occupations of 500 Los Angeles-area Scientologists whose names the church had previously turned into the court under seal. It’s been more than a week since that deadline passed, and now we have evidence that the church did comply.

    We learned that the church met the deadline from a footnote in a new order that Judge Whittemore issued yesterday, in which he reinforced just how much he’s taken control of a case that has fascinated us since it was first filed as a federal fraud lawsuit by a California couple, Luis and Rocio Garcia, back in January 2013.

    The Garcias say they were lied to and defrauded by the church in order to convince them to turn over hundreds of thousands of dollars for a building project. But in 2015 Judge Whittemore ruled that membership contracts signed by the Garcias required them to submit their grievances to an internal Scientology arbitration process, and he stayed the lawsuit. Since then the Garcias and the church have been unable to agree on a set of three arbitrators to hear the matter, who according to Scientology must be church members in good standing. Whittemore became fed up with the two sides fighting over the process and decided to step in. He asked Scientology to submit an application that would give him the power to choose the arbitrators, and ordered the church to turn over the list of 500 Scientologists.

    In a hearing last month, Scientology’s attorney, Wally Pope, appeared to agree with the idea that Whittemore would choose all three arbitrators. But by the time the church came back with its list of church members in good standing, it argued in a new motion that the judge should only choose one arbitrator, for the Garcias, and the church would take care of the other two. The church also insisted that it should contact any church members on behalf of the court, and did not turn over any phone numbers.

    But as we reported earlier, that didn’t sit well with Whittemore, who gave the church ten days to turn over that contact information for the 500 Scientologists. And now, he’s reiterated his authority to choose all three arbitrators, even as he “granted” Scientology’s motion that he choose just one.

    It’s one of the more creative legal “fuck yous” we’ve seen in a while, frankly.


    Did you get that? “Yes, I’m granting the church’s motion that I choose one person, and I’m choosing three. So suck it.”

    Now that’s a sick burn.

    And the situation is getting downright surreal. A federal judge in Tampa has a list of 500 names, with contact information, for Scientologists in good standing in the Los Angeles area, and he (or his clerks) are going to begin randomly choosing from that list to call up Scientologists to see if they would be willing to sit on an arbitration panel to decide a dispute brought by a couple of excommunicated top former church members, people the church has “declared suppressive” and instructed its members to have no contact with of any kind.

    Whittemore has already threatened to throw into jail the attorneys for either side if he finds evidence that any of them tries to interfere with this process by contacting those potential arbitrators independently.

    Which means that Whittemore thinks he’ll be able to convince three Scientologists to agree to become arbitrators without immediately running to the church or checking with its internal gestapo, the Office of Special Affairs.

    Truly, this has the potential to become one of Scientology’s greatest clusterfucks of all time.

    Or maybe we’re being too cynical and Judge Whittemore really will be able pull this off and will soon find three Scientologists to say, “sure, judge, I’ll be happy to serve” without running to the church in a panic first.

    Crazier things have happened.

    Here’s the judge’s order, one of the more passive-aggressive legal documents we’ve seen in a while. Let us know what you find in its depths.

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  15. The Wrong Guy Member

    Scientology to federal court: A judge calling our members directly? Are you nuts?

    By Tony Ortega, June 3, 2017


    The last time we checked in on the Garcia fraud lawsuit, Tampa federal Judge James Whittemore sounded like he’d lost all patience with the Church of Scientology. He restated, in no uncertain terms, that he was fed up with the bickering on both sides and was taking over the process of selecting a panel of arbitrators from a list of 500 Los Angeles-area Scientologists submitted by the church under seal.

    But once again, the church is risking the judge’s wrath. It filed a motion yesterday questioning the judge’s intentions, and we’re almost starting to feel sorry for church attorney Wally Pope, who no doubt must be submitting this stuff under the insistence of his diminutive client, Scientology leader David Miscavige.

    If you remember, California couple Luis and Rocio Garcia filed their fraud lawsuit in 2013, claiming that the church had lied in order to get large donations from them. In 2015, however, Judge Whittemore sided with Scientology, saying that the Garcias were required by contracts they signed as church members to submit their grievances to internal Scientology arbitration, and he stayed the lawsuit. But in the two years since then, the two sides have been unable to seat a panel of arbitrators, who must be church members in good standing. So Whittemore stepped in and decided he would select the panel, and ordered the church to turn over the list of 500 names and phone numbers.

    Scientology complied, but now it has filed a new motion asking the judge, essentially, to rethink what he’s already very forcefully indicated that he’s going to do.

    Just as we had, Scientology is anticipating that things aren’t going to go very smoothly if Judge Whittemore (or his clerks) begin randomly calling Los Angeles Scientologists and asking them to serve as arbitrators — and at the same time, instructing them not to go running to the church, which is under strict orders not to contact any of the people on the list.

    Can you imagine? You’re a paranoid, indoctrinated, and fully frightening Scientologist, already dreading the next visit or phone call from church vultures who want you to donate more, more, more, and out of the blue you get a phone call from Florida and it’s supposed to be some judge asking you to sit in judgment of the church and not tell anyone about it.

    Does that have Xenuriffic disaster written all over it or what?

    The church sure seems to think so.

    Defendants have expressed to the Court their concerns that direct contact to Scientology parishioners from a civil court about Scientology justice proceedings may cause alarm of such individuals, who did not assume their identities and contact information would be disclosed to a court without notice, as well as about the practical problems that may arise from this process. It also raises ecclesiastical questions, because parishioners may raise questions about such contacts with appropriate Church officials. Indeed, it is possible parishioners may decline to discuss the matter until contacting such persons.

    Ya think?

    Of course compliant Scientologists, already scared witless by a lifetime of security interrogations and other Scientology scare tactics, are going to freak out in this situation.

    In his last order, Whittemore had suggested that Scientology’s attorneys notify church officials of what’s going on so they aren’t caught blindsided. This assumes the quaint notion that David Miscavige isn’t already being kept informed of every minute detail of what’s been happening in this case. But Wally plays along and pretends that this isn’t the case:

    Defendants are under an injunction not to discuss this matter or the Court’s directives, even with Church officials, some of whom are on the list presented to the Court. Defendants are uncertain what it is they should or even are permitted to say to “Church officials,” let alone what the Court requests that the defendants instruct such officials to say to a parishioner who is contacted by the Court and then seeks advice from such a Church official.

    Did you catch that? Among the 500 names submitted to the court are church “officials,” which is interesting — you’d think with millions (*cough cough*) of Scientologists to choose from, they could have avoided submitting the name of executives, who clearly shouldn’t be on an arbitrating panel.

    Wally (or rather, his client) goes on to bring up “religious” complications whenever possible because, you know, this is a church and it’s all churchy and stuff. Like, how can a church member go on an arbitrating panel if they’re deep into the really religious activity of running around a pole? (That’s what you do in the very religious Scientology course called the “Cause Resurgence Rundown,” for you beginners.)

    A parishioner who is on a particular intense course of religious counseling or study may seek advice whether he may interrupt that activity to participate in religious arbitration. Such religious questions are far beyond the competence of this or any court to answer, and must be referred or left to the discretion of the religious authorities.

    Four uses of the word “religious” in two sentences! That’s gotta be a record.

    Even though the judge has already reacted angrily at the notion, Pope once again suggests that Judge Whittemore employ a prophylactic measure in order to protect the sanctity of Scientology from becoming infected. He’s written up a cute letter that the court could send out as if it were coming from Scientology’s International Justice Chief, Mike Ellis.

    “I am writing to inquire whether you would be willing and able to participate in a religious arbitration concerning a dispute between two former Scientologists and several Scientology churches concerning claims made by the former for refunds of donations made to such churches,” begins the letter, which we have for you in full below.

    Will the judge go for it? Well, he’s going to need to do something about nutty Scientologists freaking out when they get a call from a federal court. But it’s hard to see this judge submitting to Scientology’s suggestions after the heartburn he’s clearly already experienced in this case.

    Please give the motion and the letter a good look, and let us know how you think the judge is going to react.

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  16. The Wrong Guy Member

    Federal judge urged to ignore Scientology whining and get on with arbitration disaster

    By Tony Ortega, June 8, 2017


    Luis and Rocio Garcia are more aware than anyone that when Tampa federal Judge James Whittemore begins calling Scientologists to ask for their participation in an arbitration, all hell is likely to break loose.

    But as they point out in a new court filing, they think it’s important for the judge to learn that on his own, and Scientology should stop complaining and get out of the way. Here’s how the Garcias’ attorney Ted Babbitt put it in their response to Scientology’s most recent whiny motion:

    If [it’s] true that Scientologists by their nature would hesitate to be involved in any proceeding directed by this Court shouldn’t the Court find that out? If Scientologists simply wouldn’t take part in a fair and unbiased proceeding isn’t that exactly what the Court should know? If it is true as Defendants’ state in Page 3 of their current motion, “that direct contact to Scientology parishioners from a civil court about Scientology procedure may cause alarm of such individuals” doesn’t that confirm what Plaintiffs have argued?

    What the Garcias have been arguing since they filed their fraud lawsuit in 2013 is that they were lied to by a church that has no scruples about manipulating its members in order to get donations from them. The church argued back that the Garcias had signed membership contracts requiring them to submit any grievances to internal arbitration, and in 2015 Judge Whittemore agreed, staying the lawsuit. But in the two years since then, the two sides have been unable to set up a panel of three arbitrators, who must be Scientologists in good standing. So Whittemore stepped in, ordering the church to give him the names and contact information for 500 Los Angeles-area Scientologists so he (or his clerks) could personally call people from the list and set up the three-member arbitration panel.

    Multiple times, Scientology has filed motions essentially telling the judge he can’t do that, and the Garcias, in this new filing, point out that the church’s complaints simply reflect what a sham the arbitration is. (Multiple former Scientology executives have testified that the contracts were fraudulently set up to keep members from getting refunds, and the church itself admitted in court that it has never, in its decades-long history, ever even attempted an internal arbitration in the past.)

    So now the Garcias have submitted their response, encouraging Judge Whittemore to ignore the church’s attempted roadblocks, and the real fun should begin. Start making phone calls, judge!

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  17. The Internet Member

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  18. The Wrong Guy Member

    Federal judge tells Scientology to cool its jets, says arbitration is ‘imminent’

    By Tony Ortega, June 28, 2017


    Well, there goes Tampa federal Judge James Whittemore again, telling off Scientology and leaving no doubt where he stands. If you recall, the last time we visited the Luis and Rocio Garcia fraud lawsuit against the church, Scientology had asked Whittemore to clarify his latest court order. Judge Whittemore, clarify? Did he stutter?

    The quick recap: The Garcias, a California couple, filed their fraud lawsuit against the church in 2013, but two years later Whittemore decided that the Garcias were bound to follow contracts they had signed as church members which required them to take their grievances to Scientology’s internal arbitration scheme (a scheme which, former top church officials testified, didn’t actually exist; they claimed that the contracts were shams intended to keep Scientologists from getting refunds).

    After Whittemore stayed the lawsuit and ordered the Garcias to submit to the church’s arbitration scheme, the two sides clashed over how to find arbitrators, which the church insisted had to be members in good standing. After two years of bickering, Whittemore was fed up and asked Scientology’s attorneys to submit an application so he could legally step in. He proposed choosing all three arbitrators from a list of members he compelled the church to turn over, but Scientology then submitted a whiny motion asking the judge to “clarify” how he was going to cold-call Scientologists and convince them to serve on an arbitration panel without setting off a disaster in the paranoid church. The Garcias asked the judge to ignore Scientology’s complaints and get on with things.

    And that’s what Judge Whittemore has done, telling the church to go fish with its complaints.

    Defendants now seek “clarification” as to three aspects of the Court’s May 19th Order, all of which simply rehash previous arguments and will not be reconsidered…

    Then, the judge adds a cute addendum. He says the church’s attorneys can notify its “officers” about what’s going on — as if they haven’t been keeping church leader David Miscavige up on every move in the case.

    And what does the judge say the church can tell its officers?

    “Arbitration is imminent,” the judge says.

    Oh, really? That’s actually a pretty stunning suggestion. We were pretty skeptical that Judge Whittemore would be able to find three Scientologists in good standing who would be able to sit objectively in judgment of their own church. But if such a thing is “imminent,’ then Judge Whittemore may have pulled off quite a feat — we just hope he puts something on the record about it.

    Here’s the new court document.

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  19. The Wrong Guy Member

    We have the letter Scientologists are receiving from a federal judge!

    By Tony Ortega, June 30, 2017


    The quick recap: The Garcias, a California couple, filed their fraud lawsuit against the church in 2013, but two years later Whittemore decided that the Garcias were bound to follow contracts they had signed as church members which required them to take their grievances to Scientology’s internal arbitration scheme (a scheme which, former top church officials testified, didn’t actually exist; they claimed that the contracts were shams intended to keep Scientologists from getting refunds).

    After Whittemore stayed the lawsuit and ordered the Garcias to submit to the church’s arbitration scheme, the two sides clashed over how to find arbitrators, which the church insisted had to be members in good standing. After two years of bickering, Whittemore was fed up and asked Scientology’s attorneys to submit an application so he could legally step in. He asked the church to turn over the list of members in the LA area, and now his job is to find three of them to volunteer to be arbitrators — without them running to the church to ask for advice. It’s tricky.

    So here’s the text of the letter that the judge is sending out:

    Dear —-

    The Honorable James D. Whittemore presides over a lawsuit between two former Scientologists and two Scientology churches. At the request of the Scientology churches, and pursuant to the arbitration provision of the Scientology Enrollment Agreements entered into by the parties, the parties have been directed to arbitrate their dispute.

    You have been identified by the Church of Scientology as a Scientologist in good standing, and therefore qualify to serve as an arbitrator. The purpose of this correspondence is to confirm your availability to serve as one of three arbitrators. Once selected, the arbitrators will be instructed by the International Justice Chief of the requirement of applying Scientology principles to the dispute in a neutral and fair manner. The arbitration will take place in the greater Los Angeles area within the next three months, at a location to be determined.

    To preserve the integrity of the arbitration, it is important that you not discuss this matter with others, unless directed to by the court. Any communication, including your response to this correspondence, should be made in writing directly to:

    The Honorable James D. Whittmore, United States District Judge
    c/o Clerk of Court for the United States District Court for the Middle District of Florida
    George C. Young U.S. Courthouse & Federal Building
    401 West Central Boulevard
    Room 1200
    Orlando, Florida 32801

    Please answer one of the following questions and return your response on or before July 12, 2017 in the enclosed envelope. Your information has not been and will not be used for any purpose other than the selection of arbitrators. On behalf of the parties, your consideration is greatly appreciated.


    Clerk, United States District Court, Middle District of Florida

    ___ I am available to serve as an arbitrator.

    ___ I am unavailable to serve as an arbitrator.

    Former church members, you tell us: How are current members going to react to getting this letter? What are the odds that the judge can put together a panel relatively quickly?

    Whittemore has scheduled a hearing for August 21, so it appears he’s pretty confident that he’ll get the job done, and quickly.

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  20. TorontosRoot Member

    They're gonna choose the latter: unavailable.
  21. The Wrong Guy Member

    Garcia case update: Has Judge Whittemore managed to fill a Scientology arbitrating panel?

    By Tony Ortega, August 12, 2017

    There are new court filings in the Garcia fraud lawsuit against the Church of Scientology, and two new dates to put on your calendar.

    This Tuesday, there will be a hearing at Judge James Whittemore’s Tampa courtroom that was moved up a few days to avoid a calendar conflict. At that hearing, we expect the judge to discuss another document in the file, which reveals that both sides have agreed on the start of arbitration to begin in the Los Angeles area on October 23.

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  22. The Wrong Guy Member

    Federal judge says he has the Scientologists for a justice panel, but Garcias say, ‘not so fast’

    By Tony Ortega, September 21, 2017


    The Garcia litigation is enough to give us whiplash. As Tampa federal Judge James Whittemore pushes hard to get the case submitted to arbitration, it’s now the Garcias’ turn to say, “hold on there, judge.”

    Back in 2013, the Garcias of Irvine, California, sued the Church of Scientology for fraud, saying that they had been deceived when they were pressured to donate hundreds of thousands of dollars to the church’s various building projects. But Judge Whittemore sided with the church, saying that contracts the Garcias had signed while members required them to submit their grievances to Scientology’s internal arbitration scheme.

    Top former church officials Mark “Marty” Rathbun and Mike Rinder testified that there were no internal arbitration procedures in Scientology, and that they had specifically written the contracts so that members could never get internal justice for their grievances. But even though he acknowledged that testimony, Judge Whittemore still told the Garcias to submit to arbitration run by the church (not independent arbitration) and he put their lawsuit on hold.

    But then the two sides spent two years going in circles, unable to agree on how to sit a panel of three arbitrators, who Scientology insisted had to be members in good standing. Tired of the fighting, Judge Whittemore took matters into his own hands, and ruled that he would recruit and seat all three arbitrators himself, and he sent out letters to a selected list of Scientologists in the Los Angeles area. Scientology filed numerous motions objecting to the judge taking over, but Whittemore brushed them aside.

    And Whittemore warned both sides that they better not interfere with the process. Specifically, he didn’t want the Scientologists he reached out to running to the church to ask them what was going on.

    We found it hard to believe that the Scientologists who received his letter wouldn’t do exactly that, but we waited to see how it would turn out.

    In a recent hearing in the case, Judge Whittemore announced that he had found the people he needs to seat the panel, and scheduled arbitration to start next month in Los Angeles.

    But now the Garcias have filed a motion, expressing their extreme skepticism about the process, and asking for the Scientologists selected for the panel to submit sworn statements — the Garcias want them to swear that they did not violate the judge’s rules, and that they have not communicated with the church about the arbitration.

    And why are the Garcias skeptical that the Scientologists didn’t quietly check with the church? Because if they didn’t do so, they risked their eternities.

    Any Scientologist who communicated with a Court that potentially was judging Scientology without the permission of Scientology officials would be risking being declared suppressive. As such, the Scientologist would not only lose all friends and family but would be doomed not to have any chance of spiritual salvation for eternity. The fact that five out of twenty Scientologists polled agreed without condition to be arbitrators in this case amplifies the impossibility that the potential arbitrators have not talked to the Church.

    The Garcias are also asking for some miscellaneous relief, such as a court reporter to record what happens in the arbitration proceedings, and they also restate their opposition to arbitration in general.

    What do you think? Is there any chance that the five Scientologists in good standing who answered the judge’s letters and agreed to be on the panel didn’t immediately call the Office of Special Affairs to ask them about a Tampa court contacting them? And will they admit that in a sworn statement?

    The judge seems pretty determined to get this arbitration over with, so he may make quick work of this objection by the Garcias. We’ll see soon enough.

    Here’s the document:

    More at
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  23. The Wrong Guy Member

    West Palm Beach lawyer Ted Babbitt sues Church of Scientology

    By Jane Musgrave, West Palm Beach Post, October 5, 2017


    When West Palm Beach attorney Ted Babbitt travels to Los Angeles this month to take on the Church of Scientology, he said that for the first time in his 52 years of practicing law he has no idea what to expect.

    The veteran lawyer said he’s been told he won’t be allowed to call witnesses to shore up his claims that the church duped an Irvine, Calif. couple out of $465,000 to fund its massive operation in Clearwater on Florida’s Gulf Coast. Further, he said it’s unlikely he will be allowed to challenge witnesses the church summons to refute his allegations. He suspects he won’t even be allowed to speak.

    The unusual lawsuit against the unusual and controversial church spun out of Babbitt’s control when a federal judge in Tampa ruled that it will be decided, not by a jury in a court of law, but by three Scientologists who understand the teachings of the church’s late founder, L. Ron Hubbard.

    To Babbitt, the proceedings, which are scheduled to begin Oct. 23, are tantamount to a kangaroo court.

    “There’s never been an arbitration (conducted by Scientologists) ever,” he said. “We don’t know what the rules are.”

    Because his clients, Luis and Rocio Garcia, left the church, they are considered suppressive persons. Under the rules of the sect, members of the church risk being declared suppressive persons themselves and being banished if they associate with those who have earned the Scientology equivalent of the scarlet letter.

    Even sons and daughters say they have been forced to break ties with parents who have decided to leave the church, which has been alternately vilified and fiercely defended by its recalcitrant and steadfast celebrity followers.

    On one side are actors Tom Cruise, John Travolta, Kirstie Alley and Elisabeth Moss, who have defended the church against those who attack it as a corrupt cult.

    On the other side, most prominently, is actress Leah Remini, who launched the hit A&E television network show, “Scientology and the Aftermath,” to expose what she claims are nefarious practices that forced her from the church. Luis Garcia and Babbitt have talked to Remini about their allegations, and their interview with her is to air in an episode of the show this fall.

    Although the arbitration will be governed by the church’s international justice chief, Scientology leaders readily acknowledge that the church has never held such an arbitration and that Hubbard himself decreed that “A truly Suppressive Person or group has no rights of any kind as Scientologists.” But they insist the church members will be fair.

    “The arbitrators will be instructed based on basic Scientology justice principles that they are impartial and they are not going to have any predetermined idea of what to believe or not believe,” testified Mike Ellis, who has served as the church’s international justice chief since 1998. “They’re there to get facts, provide whatever evidence, collect whatever evidence is needed so that they can arrive at a fair conclusion.”

    Similar hearings have been held when members who have been declared suppressive want to get back in the fold, testified Allan Cartwright, an Australian with a high school education who serves as the church’s legal director. Over a dozen years, 79 people asked to rejoin the church and 33 were allowed to return, he said.

    While calling the concerns Babbitt raised “compelling,” U.S. District Judge James Whittemore said he had no choice but to order that the lawsuit be decided by a panel of church members.

    In what is essentially a Catch 22 situation, Whittemore said that in order to accept Babbitt’s claims that the Garcias won’t get a fair hearing because the church has deemed them suppressive he would have to interpret church doctrine. But the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution prohibits the nation’s courts from interfering with religious dogma.

    To consider Babbitt’s arguments “would constitute a prohibited intrusion into religious doctrine, discipline, faith, and ecclesiastical rule, custom, or law by the court,” wrote Whittemore, who was appointed to the federal bench in 2000 by President Bill Clinton. “Accordingly, the Court has no jurisdiction to consider this argument.”

    Aside from the constitutional reason, Whittemore said the Garcias were fully aware that any dispute they had with the church would be decided by Scientologists. During the nearly 30 years they were church members, Luis Garcia signed more than 40 documents in which he agreed that any dispute would be decided “solely and exclusively through Scientology’s Internal Ethics, Justice and binding religious arbitration procedures.”

    Babbitt acknowledged that Garcia’s signature on dozens of arbitration agreements weakened his pleas to Whittemore, who snared international headlines in 2005 when he refused to order Terri Schiavo’s feeding tube re-inserted in the landmark right-to-die case.

    But Babbitt said arbitration rules dictate that the process has to be fair and impartial. He also insists the lawsuit he filed on behalf of the Garcias has nothing to do with intricate church policies, which Hubbard first unveiled in his best-selling 1950 book, “Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health.”

    Instead, Babbitt said the Garcias’ lawsuit is based on a simple, time-honored legal principle: “You defrauded me.”

    Luis Garcia, who contributed at least $1.3 million to the church over the years, said he became increasingly disenchanted with Scientology under the leadership of David Miscavige, who took over after Hubbard’s 1986 death. Under the leadership of Miscavage, “the Church of Scientology has strayed from its founding principles and morphed into a secular enterprise whose primary purpose is taking people’s money,” according to Garcia’s lawsuit.

    In 2010, Garcia said he’d had enough and decided to leave the church. When he asked for a refund of about $65,000 he had deposited in anticipation of taking future Scientology classes, leaders refused, according to the lawsuit. That spurred an exploration into what become of all the money he had contributed over three decades.

    “I realized I had been defrauded, lied to and cheated,” Garcia told The Palm Beach Post.

    That amount included $340,000 he donated to help the church build its spiritual center in Clearwater, according to the lawsuit. Known as the Flag Building or the Super Power Building, construction of the 15-story tower began in 1998 but the building didn’t open until 2013.

    The project was intentionally drawn out for 15 years so church leaders could “use it as a shill to induce further payments from members,” Babbitt claims in the lawsuit.

    The church also preyed on members’ altruism by falsely soliciting donations to help victims of disasters and human rights violations throughout the world, the lawsuit says. The Garcias donated roughly $100,000 to help starving children in Africa and tsunami victims in Indonesia and to block France from banning Scientology, but much of the money never was used for its intended purpose, Babbitt claims in the lawsuit.

    The church, he wrote, “accumulated in excess of $1 billion while (the Garcias) and others were fraudulently induced into believing their funds would be spent on humanitarian projects.”

    Attorney F. Wallace Pope, who represents the church, declined to comment on Babbitt’s allegations. Church leaders have consistently denied claims that they used the Super Power Project as a fundraising tool or that donations were diverted. The only comment Pope offered about the lawsuit was that it would be fairly decided by church members.

    Babbitt and Garcia scoff at such claims. “In their eyes I’m evil incarnate,” Garcia said. “Now, these people are going to hear my case in a fair manner? That’s ridiculous.”

    Recognizing their concerns, Whittemore selected the members of the arbitration panel and warned them not to have any contact with Scientology leaders.

    “To preserve the integrity of the arbitration, it is important that you not discuss this matter with others, unless directed to by the court,” the judge wrote in a letter to 20 Scientologists who were randomly selected from a list of 500 provided by church leaders. From those who responded to the letter, Whittemore tapped five panelists — three members and two alternates — to decide the case.

    Babbitt has asked that each of the panelists be required to sign affidavits, swearing they have not discussed the case with church leaders. He also wants a court reporter to be present to record the proceedings.

    Even with those safeguards, Babbitt said the case promises to be unlike any arbitration he has handled in his decades-long career. Ellis, the church’s justice chief, testified that Babbitt could talk to Garcia during the arbitration but “wouldn’t have a function in the procedures.” Recognizing Babbitt’s role will likely be limited, Garcia is preparing a case to present to the panel himself.

    The key is getting a decision, Babbitt said. Then it can be appealed.

    Babbitt and the Garcias hope an appeals court will reverse Whittemore’s ruling to send the lawsuit to a panel of Scientologists. “I really want to get this in front of a jury,” Babbitt said.

    If he prevails, Babbitt said there are a half-dozen couples who want to follow the Garcias into court to pursue their own fraud claims against the church they once revered.

    He also said he would sue the Church of Scientology in a California court to recover an additional $1 million that Garcia claims the church took from him on false pretenses. Babbitt had included that sum in the lawsuit he originally filed for the Garcias in federal court in Tampa in 2013 but was forced to drop it from the suit when Whittemore ruled it had been given to the church’s operations in Los Angeles — not Clearwater — and had to be litigated in California.

    The judge, however, agreed to allow the arbitration of the Tampa case to be held in Los Angeles because the arbitration panel members lived there.

    Although a resolution is years away, Babbitt said he’s not going to give up. “I got this far,” he said of the strange legal journey, which he expects will get stranger. “I’m going to find out where it all leads.”

    • Like Like x 1
  24. The Wrong Guy Member

    Scientology is hacked off that Luis Garcia and attorney will appear on ‘Leah Remini’

    By Tony Ortega, October 7, 2017


    As we get closer to October 23, when Luis and Rocio Garcia are slated to start their experience as guinea pigs for Scientology’s never-before-attempted “internal arbitration” over their fraud claims, the Church of Scientology has responded to the Garcias’ latest motion for relief.

    If you remember, we told you recently that the Garcias had asked Tampa Federal Judge James Whittemore to require the Scientology arbitrators he had personally selected to submit sworn statements that they had not violated his rules by running to the church to discuss the upcoming arbitration with them. The Garcias also wanted the judge to order that a court reporter record sessions of the arbitration, so that there will be a transcript for the judge to review later.

    While we wait for the judge to rule on that motion, Scientology has submitted its response. And no surprise, the church wants the judge to deny those requests on “religious” grounds. Although the judge stepped in and selected the arbitrators, the church still insists that Judge Whittemore can’t interfere with the arbitration itself because to do so would violate Scientology’s First Amendment rights of religious expression.

    A quick recap of this case, which we’ve been covering step by step for more than four years: In 2013, the Garcias filed their lawsuit, saying that of the more than $1 million they had given the church as members, more than $400,000 was obtained by the church fraudulently. The church argued, however, that in contracts the Garcias had signed as Scientologists, they had agreed to take all grievances to Scientology’s “internal arbitration.” Top former officials, including Mike Rinder, testified that there was no internal arbitration, and that the contracts had been purposely written to block members from getting their money back. But Judge Whittemore ruled that trying to determine if the arbitration rules were fair or not would take him into First Amendment matters, and he stayed the lawsuit and ordered the Garcias to submit to the church’s internal justice.

    Two years of fighting over how to choose the arbitrators ensued, but then Whittemore took matters into his own hands and selected the arbitrators on his own, from a list of Los Angeles-area church members in good standing supplied by Scientology.

    The Garcias are clearly unhappy that they have been unable to convince Judge Whittemore to reconsider his decision. But at least, they want a record of what happens so they can go back to the judge afterwards if what happens in the arbitration is unfair.

    But Scientology is asking the judge to deny the request for a court reporter, as well as for the request to have the arbitrators submit sworn statements.

    And then the church added something more, which you’ll see in their response, below: They’re not happy that the Garcias and their attorney, Ted Babbitt, will be appearing on an upcoming episode of A&E’s Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath.

    …plaintiffs are engaged in a clear effort to unduly influence the arbitrators and interfere with the arbitration. Defendants have just been informed that the Garcias and their counsel, Mr. Babbitt, have been interviewed and will appear on a weekly sensationalistic anti-Scientology series entitled Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath on the A&E Network. The program stars Remini and Mike Rinder, whom the Court may recall served as a paid “consultant” to plaintiffs’ counsel and who also engaged previously in an effort to interfere with the appointment of arbitrators. According to a letter sent by Myles Reiff, the Executive Producer of the series, to the Church of Scientology International, the program will feature the very claims at issue in this case and the contemplated arbitration…

    Well, sure, it’s not surprising that the church is unhappy about the Garcias hanging out with Leah Remini on national TV. But will the judge have an issue with it?

    We really don’t know, but he needs to rule on this motion soon. October 23 and the start of arbitration is rapidly approaching.

    Here’s the church’s response:

    Continued at
    • Like Like x 1
  25. The Wrong Guy Member

    BLOCKBUSTER EXCLUSIVE: It turns out the National Enquirer is blowing smoke again

    By Tony Ortega, October 9, 2017


    Scientology Watchers were naturally curious to see the National Enquirer go all-in this week with one of its screaming covers about the church and its celebrities, which naturally kicked up a lot of talk at the usual online gathering places. What did the newspaper mean by files being seized by the feds? And why hadn’t we seen that news anywhere else?

    Well, we decided to take one for the team and actually read the Enquirer’s new blockbuster “world exclusive,” which turned out to be one of the most ridiculous hype jobs we’ve ever seen from them.

    “SECRET SCIENTOLOGISTS UNMASKED!” reads the headline inside, along with its subhed: “Federal judge impounds cult’s EXPLOSIVE RECORDS.”

    Oh my. So, just for fun, we’re providing their article for you here, along with our annotations.

    A SHOCKING new federal court order…

    There’s nothing shocking about the court order.

    …has threatened to expose secret celebrity Scientologists…

    No it hasn’t.

    …after a judge seized the cult’s classified records!

    No he didn’t.

    The bombshell revelation is part of a multimillion-dollar fraud lawsuit…

    The Garcias are suing over $435,000 in donations, not millions.

    …filed against the church that’s rocked Hollywood to its core…

    No one in Hollywood has heard about or cares about this lawsuit.

    …shaking up stars whose links to the bizarre religion have been kept hidden for years!

    No one is shaken up, least of all Hollywood people whose involvement in Scientology occurred decades ago.

    “There’s widespread panic,” a source told The National Enquirer exclusively.

    There’s no panic. So either the newspaper made up this source, or someone who should know better is winding up the Enquirer, probably for pay.

    Continued at
    • Like Like x 1
  26. Quentinanon Member

    The National Enquirer uses the same type of sensationalism as does the OSA anal sphincter Freedom.
    • Like Like x 1
  27. The Wrong Guy Member

    Tonight on ‘Leah Remini’: The business of Scientology, and the pitfalls of suing it

    By Tony Ortega, October 24, 2017


    Tonight, at 10 pm A&E airs the second “special” episode in the second season of Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath, an episode which tries to come to grips with Scientology’s rapacious business model and how people get caught up in it.


    The final portion of the show is what actually resulted in a recent court filing and complaints by the Church of Scientology that Leah Remini was trying to influence a federal judge.

    Leah brings on California resident Luis Garcia and his Florida attorney, Ted Babbitt, to talk about Luis’s four-year lawsuit alleging that he’d been defrauded by the church. Underground Bunker readers know that no one has covered the Garcia lawsuit like we have, updating you on every twist and turn in the case.

    Luis and Ted explain that they want their day in court on their fraud allegations, but because Luis and his wife Rocio signed those sneaky contracts that Jeffrey was talking about, the church successfully convinced Tampa Federal Judge James Whittemore to stay the lawsuit and force the Garcias into Scientology’s internal arbitration.

    After a couple of years of squabbling, Judge Whittemore chose arbitrators himself, a panel of three Scientologists in good standing, and yesterday the arbitration actually began in Los Angeles. It’s not a public proceeding — the Garcias complained to the judge that they wouldn’t be allowed to have an attorney or even a court reporter to create a transcript — and so we’re waiting to get some word on how it’s going.

    Will tonight’s episode somehow influence those arbitrators, as the church complained? We highly doubt it. It’s going to be tough enough for three Scientologists in good standing even to be in the same room with famous SPs like the Garcias.

    Luis and Ted told Leah that they’re hoping to prove, eventually, that the arbitration is a sham, and then prevail in court and open the way for others to sue the church.

    “There’s a long list of people waiting for us to win this stumbling block,” Luis says.

    More at
    • Like Like x 1
  28. The Wrong Guy Member

    In the Facebook public group Supporters of Leah Remini: Scientology & the Aftermath, Luis Garcia has posted an update. Quote:

    Hello World.

    For the last 5 years I have been very quiet on social media, the ex-Scientology community and with the press at large, at the behest of my attorneys, as they did not think it wise for me to give any ammunition to the enemy or anything they could twist and get out of context (as they often do so skillfully), while involved in a major federal lawsuit.

    So save for the occasional “happy birthday,” I have been tamed and silent. But not deaf, and not blind. And definitely not asleep.

    This all ends today. The gag comes off today, and from today forward I will be as outspoken a critic and whistleblower as I used to be.

    I will tell, and expose, and pound, and tell again, and shine the light on the lies, the deceit and the abuses of the so-called “Church of Scientology.” I will, as much as I can, try to end the reign of this criminal, mafia-like organization, operating as a business, masquerading itself as a “religion,” using and abusing all the first amendment protections and rights afforded to bonafide religions.

    No sir, I will not be silent any longer.

    Today you could say I’ve had my fill. My wife Rocio and I attended arbitration yesterday, October 23rd, 2017. After we got there and cleared the “cone barricade” by showing our driver’s licenses to one of the three security guards, we were allowed to drive into their driveway and park in their parking lot.

    But my dear friend, Pauline Lombard, who had driven for an hour to meet us there, who had met with us before to train and work on our presentation strategy, who was to assist me with reading documents, was turned away. She was not allowed in the building, not even allowed to park in their lot. Even when I showed a letter from my doctor to Mr. Ellis, which states that I have an eye condition which diminishes my ability to read or write, even when I pleaded with him to allow her to literally be my eyes, she was turned away. Two SPs in this Scientology building were probably plenty already. In all fairness, Mr. Ellis offered to provide a person to read for me.

    As it turns out, it really didn’t matter because… about 95 percent of the evidence I brought was rejected by Mr. Ellis as “irrelevant, from the internet or the press,” or get this… “entheta.”

    “Entheta” is defined as “En=enturbulated; theta=thought or life.” It is further defined as “irrational or confusing or destructive thought, enturbulated thought.”

    Scientology has done a great job over the years in indoctrinating its members into believing that anything and I mean anything even slightly critical or negative about Scientology is “Entheta.” And the rule is you never listen to entheta, you cut it off, you squelch it, you stop it.

    So for example, when I tried to introduce as evidence a screenshot taken from their own website ( which states:

    “To meet increasing worldwide demand for Scientology services and community initiatives, the Church of Scientology launched a program to transform all Scientology Churches into what Founder L. Ron Hubbard termed ‘Ideal Organizations.’ And Ideal Org is configured to provide the full services of the Scientology religion to its parishioners, while also serving the community with social betterment and outreach programs,”

    This page, again, taken from their own website, GETS REJECTED by the International Justice Chief, Mr. Mike Ellis as ENTHETA. A list of all the Missions that have ever existed in the US was also rejected. It showed that out of 243 Missions, there are just 60 open today.

    They are afraid of the Truth.

    Not only most of my evidence was rejected, and I had stacks and stacks of documents and policies, but the arbitrators were briefed and were told who-knows-what for hours and hours while my wife and waited patiently in a conference room and before I could address any of them. They were also given a 10-page damning indictment or “professional opinion” or whatever you may want to call it, written and signed by the “Claims Verification Board.” Mr. Ellis was kind enough to give us a copy at 4:20 pm.

    This expert report contains such pearls of wisdom as:

    • “On November 11, 2010m Luis Garcia posted a blog with Marty Rathbun, attacking the Church and its officials.”


    • “Building donations and membership donations are nonrefundable pursuant to Church policy.”

    • “Garcia claims he was promised the Scientology Cross above the Flag Building would be erected within a short time frame and that the building would be completed more quickly than it was (the cross was erected 6 years after we gave them the money to buy it, which had to be done that very night. The building took 15 years). Thousands of Scientologists contributed to the Flag Building and we have found no evidence to support these claims.”

    • “There is no written evidence supporting the Garcia’s claims that false promises were made to solicit membership donations…”

    But remember, the evidence I did have was rejected because it was “entheta” or some other reason.

    And probably the best nugget of wisdom, oh! Lucidity and mental clarity indeed are:

    “The Garcias are spreading black PR, caused by their failure to come clean; they need extensive sec checking. They have missed withholds and unhandled false and evil purposes.”

    I just don’t agree with this one though. I have not been spreading black PR, but I certainly will from now on, if exposing the truth is what the Claims Verification Board calls black PR. By the way, who exactly is the Claims Verification Board? Oh well, a question for another day.

    This document, this bastion of light and fairness, this false and exaggerated and highly prejudicial manifesto concludes by stating “Church policy makes clear that the Garcias do not qualify for any refund or repayment of donations.” This was given to the arbitrators, hours before they even met us. If this does not predispose them in some way against us I don’t know what would.

    When I asked Mr. Ellis if he thought this was fair and or ethical, he responded “I am not here to answer your questions,” which he said many times when we had a question about something.

    After spending most of the day waiting in a conference room, while the arbitrators were getting briefed and trained on how to be fair, neutral and most of all, unbiased, Mr. Ellis told us at 5:00 pm yesterday that they were ready to “interview us.”

    We pointed out that it was 5:00 pm, which in the Scientology arbitration world means “quitting time.” For us that’s what it means anyway. And we left, promising we would return today at 9:00 am.

    After another successful crossing of the cone barricade, we were placed in the same conference room. We could hear the laughter coming from another room nearby. The arbitrators were indeed having a great time.

    We waited for about 25 minutes and Mr. Ellis finally took us across the hall to a large conference room where the arbitrators introduced themselves.

    To make a short story even shorter:

    - The arbitrators asked very specific questions and they wanted very specific answers. For example:

    Q: “Did you ask for your money back before you were declared SP?”

    A: “No.”

    - No documents were reviewed at all.

    - Mr. Ellis cut me off repeatedly as soon as I would start answering a question when he considered what I was saying or about to say was “entheta.”

    - Mr. Ellis complained that I was “nattering” about him.

    - Most of my evidence was never even seen by the arbitrators. This included numerous policies written by L. Ron Hubbard. That is correct. The founder’s policies were rejected as not relevant.

    - Nothing to do with fraud, lies, malfeasance, deception, cheating, misrepresentation, etc., was discussed at all. Mr. Ellis made sure of that.

    Their only concern was with whether or not we had followed proper church procedure in requesting a refund of our money.

    - I asked a question to one of the arbitrators and Mr. Ellis immediately cut me off and said: “they are not here to answer your questions; if you have a question, ask me.” I reminded Mr. Ellis that he had already told me several times that “he was not here to answer my questions.” His face… oh, his face!

    - The arbitrators were also given two documents which, while not discreditable, were taken from my confidential penitent/priest Ethics file. I am sure of this. The fact that they are not discreditable makes no difference to me. The line has been crossed.

    - Towards the end, the arbitrator who was the chairman, proceeded to give us a speech, stating he knew the truth, extolling the virtues of the Scientology movement and how it is making the world a better place, and then lectured us about the fact the we had been “sold a bill of goods,” by some mean SP and he hoped that someday we would recant, atone (A-E steps) and come back into the fold. The kool-aid was strong with this one. I wondered how impartial he would really be.

    There were no more questions by the arbitrators. The first arbitration ever conducted by the Church of Scientology in its entire history had concluded.

    It had taken a total of fifty minutes. And 1 day of arbitrator training. History has been made.

    To say this was a kangaroo court would be an understatement. At no time whatsoever were the fragile and pure minds of these arbitrators allowed to be contaminated by even the slightest amount of truth I could throw at them. We tried, we really tried. But as my father used to say, you can’t ask a donkey to use a toilet.

    We were then asked if we wanted to wait a little bit, you know, like a couple of hours for a decision, while they deliberated. We said no. We had waited long enough.

    We left, because… Frankly, my dear, I don’t give a damn.

    Besides, we kind of know already what they are going to decide, you know, with their impartiality and fairness and all.

    They made a couple of blunders and there are a few more details to be disclosed at the appropriate time and forum. Let’s just say that a head or two may roll.

    Thanks to everyone who helped me in some way to prepare for this mock court. You know who you are. Thank you. I will not forget it.



    • Like Like x 1
  29. This completely sucks. But it was predictable.

    On Leah Remini's A&E show last night, after Garcia and Babbitt discussed their suit, there was disclosure that Rinder was a paid consultant on the suit.

    At that point, I remembered how Rinder's involvement has been the kiss of death on legal cases against the cult. Don't need to take my word for it. There's plenty of information on that all throughout this very thread.

    Sure enough, right around the time the show airs, Garcia puts up his post above. For all intents and purposes, this suit virtually sounds like it's is all over. That means it's doing the exact opposite of what Babbitt, Garcia and Rinder intended. Instead of opening up the floodgates to return of donation suits, it is setting the legal precedent to no one ever being able to sue the cult for that.

    Awesome consultancy, Rinder. What a bucket of utter bullshit fail.

    Rinder was Rathbun's conjoined twin as Rinderburn. Even if Rinder doesn't totally turn like Rathbun, there's some seriously bad crap, vibes, karma, woo or whatever you want to call it that hooked them up that tightly in the first place. That' why no matter how much good it seems like he's doing with the A&E shows, I just don't trust him.

    So IMHO, if there's any flicker of light left for Garcia and Babbitt on their suit, they need to cut out Rinder on anything further. Then maybe they'll have a chance. If they don't, they have no one to blame but themselves for shutting this suit avenue down.
    This message by 4545 has been hidden due to negative ratings. (Show message)
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  30. So easy to spot the moles

  31. Totally. They put pictures of moles in their posts...
    • Dislike Dislike x 2
  32. TorontosRoot Member

    Well said! You did what you could, and the cult wouldn't let you even have a damn fair arbitration. They didn't want to have truth told at all. They never want to give back the money, making it impossible to sue and I totally BET miscavige or OSA briefed all of them, entirely. Going against that judges orders!
  33. The Wrong Guy Member

    Scientologists "committed fraud upon the court" West Palm lawyer says

    By Jane Musgrave, Palm Beach Post, January 19, 2018


    In a move that could help scores of people who claim they have been duped by the Church of Scientology, a West Palm Beach lawyer on Friday asked a federal judge to rule that the controversial sect committed a fraud upon the court and shouldn’t be allowed to resolve disputes behind closed doors.

    In court papers filed in U.S. District Court in Tampa, attorney Theodore Babbitt contends the church made no pretense of conducting a fair and impartial hearing on his clients’ claims that it defrauded them out of $465,000 before they became disillusioned with its tactics. He is asking U.S. District Judge James Whittemore to reverse his decision to allow the Garcias’ lawsuit to be decided by Scientologists in arbitration and instead order that it be decided in a court of law.

    “The arbitration was a mockery that no judge should countenance,” Babbitt wrote.

    While he suspected the arbitration - the first ever conducted by the church - would be tantamount to “a kangaroo court,” the reality was far worse, he said.

    Clearwater attorneys representing the church, which has a large operation in the Gulf coast city, didn’t return a phone call for comment.

    Babbitt said his clients - Luis and Maria Garcia - weren’t allowed to call any witnesses at the court-ordered October hearing that was conducted by the church’s international justice chief. Contrary to promises church leaders made before the hearing, Babbitt was prohibited from attending. Further only about 70 of the 900 pages of material the California couple gathered to shore up their claims were permitted to be shown to the three Scientologists who served on the arbitration panel.

    Anything that was deemed “entheta,” was rejected, Garcia said in an affidavit, describing the hearing conducted at the church’s headquarters in California. The term is used by Scientologists to describe anything that is critical of the church, Garcia said.

    Further, before the hearing began, the three Scientologists on the panel spent hours meeting privately, Garcia said. Mike Ellis, the church’s justice chief, explained that he had to “hat” the three panelists so they would understand their roles. In Scientology parlance, that means Ellis had to train them, Garcia said.

    No court reporter recorded the proceedings so Garcia’s affidavit is the only record of what happened, Babbitt said.

    While the panel rejected nearly all of the Garcias’ claims, it agreed to reimburse the couple $18,000 they paid the church’s travel agency for trips they never took, Babbitt said. Since they are rejecting the panel’s decision, they returned the check, he said.

    “The proceeding here was a sham that does not deserve to be called arbitration,” he wrote. “This was a star chamber proceeding, completely controlled from start to end by the church, with no ability for the (Garcias) to present their case.”

    Before ordering the arbitration, Whittemore acknowledged that Garcias might have difficulty getting a fair hearing on their claims that the church misrepresented what they did with the money they donated to the church’s Florida operations. Having left the church, they are considered “suppressive persons.” No Scientologists are allowed to speak to them.

    Still, the judge said, he had no choice but to allow Scientologists to decide the dispute. Constitutional guarantees of separation of church and state prohibit secular courts from deciding cases that turn on religious doctrine, he ruled.

    Further, he said, during the 30 years they were devout Scientologists, Luis Garcia signed more than 40 documents in which he agreed that any dispute would be decided by “solely and exclusively through Scientology’s Internal Ethics, Justice and binding religious arbitration procedures.”

    But, Babbitt said, Whittemore tried to assure the process would be fair. He issued court orders, prohibiting Scientology leaders from talking with the panelists and panelist from getting direction from church leaders. Further, church leaders promised that the Garcias would be allowed to present their case and Babbitt would be allowed to assist them. None of their promises came true, Babbitt said.

    Suspecting that the arbitration panel would rule against the Garcias, Babbitt planned on appealing Whittemore’s decision in hopes an appeals court would order that the lawsuit be tried in federal court. The Garcias’ lawsuit is to be a test case for roughly a dozen of other disgruntled Scientologists. Further, the Garcias plan to try to file suit in California to recover another roughly $700,000 they contributed to the church’s operation there.

    The church’s handling of the arbitration may negate the need for an appeal, Babbitt said. He said he is hopeful Whittemore will throw out the panel’s decision and order a trial once he reads the church’s response to his claims.

    “It’s of monumental importance,” Babbitt said of Whittemore’s decision which won’t come for months. “If this … allows us to go forward and have a jury trial, it opens the door to many, many people who have claims against Scientology.”

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  34. The Wrong Guy Member

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  35. Quentinanon Member

    If it isn't fraud, it isn't scientology.
    Scientology arbitration a kangaroo court? Was anybody expecting something else?
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  36. The Wrong Guy Member

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  37. The Wrong Guy Member

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  38. The Wrong Guy Member

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