Anyone who paid attention to the Masterson case Preliminary Hearing last week got a glimpse of the triggering experience of recounting a rape for the victims.
After hearing their testimony, Judge Olmedo ordered that Danny Masterson to stand trial for rape. The role of scientology in the matter was not lost on her.
Which makes the order of Judge Kleifield in the civil court virtually next door even more egregious.
The same women who testified as victims in the criminal case are also plaintiffs in a civil suit. Their civil case was filed before the criminal charges were announced, when they had been fighting for years to be heard, and it was the only avenue they had at the time to get any form of justice. Scientology itself is not charged in the Masterson rapes, but scientology IS being sued by the women for what they did to prevent them getting justice, and subsequent Fair Game harassment they have suffered after they went public.
Scientology did what it always does. They bombarded the court with high-priced lawyers filing lengthy legal papers, arguing they are being persecuted blah blah blah
They persuade overwhelmed Judges to take the easiest way out. And in the case of these plaintiffs, they argued that the plaintiffs had signed agreements that required them to be sent to “religious arbitration.” I have written about the insanity of this previously. Scientology “Religious Arbitration” – Giving Kangaroo Courts a Bad Name and More on Scientology “Religious Arbitration”
But in light of the ruling in the criminal case, this takes on a whole new level of grotesque.
Remember, the documents scientology is relying on are “Enrollment Agreements” which are required when someone signs up for auditing or training in scientology. If you have a dispute about the course or the auditing or how much you paid or whatever, it is supposed to be sent to arbitration to resolve. Slid into the fine print of this lengthy legal document is the statement that ANY dispute will be sent to arbitration. I don’t think someone signing up for the Purification Program expects that if they are raped that this would be covered. Judge Kleifield disagrees.
In fact, he quoted the specific language in his order requiring the plaintiffs to participate in scientology “religious arbitration.” You tell me what you would expect? He also says that the agreement does NOT “require someone to be a believer” to justify how non-believers can be required to participate in a religious ritual, again, read the introductory 12 words in all caps. This is the quote he included in his order (in ALL CAPS):
IN ACCORDANCE WITH THE RELIGIOUS NATURE OF THE SERVICES TO BE PROVIDED, I ACKNOWLEDGE, UNDERSTAND AND AGREE THAT IN NO EVENT SHALL ANY DISPUTE, CLAIM OR CONTROVERSY ARISING OUT OF MY PARTICIPATION IN THE SERVICE BE SUBMITTED TO A COURT FOR JUDICIAL DETERMINATION. MOREOVER, I UNDERSTAND AND AGREE THAT BY SIGNING AND SUBMITTING THIS APPLICATION/AGREEMENT, I AM WAIVING ANY RIGHT WHICH I MAY HAVE TO HAVE SUCH DISPUTES, CLAIMS OR CONTROVERSIES DECIDED IN A COURT OF LAW, BEFORE A JUDGE OR A JUDGE AND JURY.
Nor did it trouble him that someone who is no longer a scientologist — in fact someone who has been declared a Suppressive Person and expelled from scientology and is no longer entitled to any rights in scientology, and according to their policy should be destroyed utterly — is being forced to sit in a “religious arbitration.” Aside from the undeniable fact there is no such thing as “religious arbitration” anywhere in scientology “scripture,” scientology argued that their procedure of a “Committee of Evidence” was their form of “arbitration.” It bears no resemblance to an arbitration. Yet they assert courts may not inquire into matters of religious governance, and if they say this is what a religious arbitration is, then that is the final word. What about the rights of these victim to NOT be subjected to a religious ritual they have rejected?
Unfortunately, all of this is not the worst thing Judge Kleifeld did.
He also ruled that Danny Masterson can participate in the “religious arbitration.” Can you imagine? DJ Donkey Punch gets to sit in on the proceedings to further try to intimidate these women. Given his recent track record, he will probably make some Instagram jokes about it.