SHOWDOWN TODAY: Scientology will try to force Valerie Haney into 'religious arbitration' - 2020-01-30
[BREAKING:] Jeffrey Augustine reports that Judge Richard Burdge Jr. has ruled in favor of Scientology, granting its motion to force Valerie Haney into 'religious arbitration.' The lawsuit is on ice, and the judge asked them to come back to report in April 2021.
Today, three major lawsuits that were filed last year against the Church of Scientology will get their first big legal test at Los Angeles Superior Court, and our man Jeffrey Augustine will be there.
On June 18, Valerie Haney sued Scientology's leader David Miscavige and two of the movement's legal entities, the Church of Scientology International (CSI) and the Religious Technology Center (RTC). She alleges that as a Sea Org employee she worked as an indentured servant for more than 20 years, enduring countless degradations, and after serving as Miscavige's personal steward was then unable to leave secretive Int Base in California because she knew too much about his private life. She ultimately had to escape by hiding in the trunk of a car. Since coming forward about her story on Leah Remini's television show, she's been subjected to a fierce and frightening campaign of "Fair Game" surveillance and harassment by the church, including smears about her sex life on websites operated by the church. She's suing for kidnapping, stalking, slander and several labor law violations.
In December, CSI and RTC responded by filing an ex parte motion asking Judge Richard Burdge Jr. to hold an emergency hearing on the day before Christmas Eve to consider their motions to compel Valerie to take her grievances to "religious arbitration" and drop her lawsuit. Judge Burdge said he didn't see any reason for an emergency and ruled that he'd hear the motions on January 29 and 30. Later the two sides agreed to combine CSI and RTC's motions into a single hearing on January 30, which is today.