Today at The Daily Beast: What Valerie Haney’s Scientology ‘arbitration’ was really like
Over at The Daily Beast, we have a story today with one of the closest looks at what Scientology is putting Valerie Haney through as she experienced three days of the church’s “religious arbitration” in Los Angeles.
If you remember, Luis and Rocio Garcia, who went through the first court-ordered arbitration in Scientology’s history in 2017, endured a single afternoon of what Luis characterized as a kangaroo court.
But in Valerie’s case, not only did Scientology put her through three days of frustrating, irrelevant testimony and insults, but they want her to come back in January for even more.
The implication is pretty clear: The longer Scientology draws this out, the longer Valerie has to wait before she can file an appeal in court of what she’s been put through.
We hope you take a look at our piece at the Daily Beast, but we also have something we think is pretty remarkable here at our Substack: The story behind the story, and how your Proprietor ended up personally witnessing Valerie, at the conclusion of all three days, recording sworn statements with her attorneys.
Here’s how that happened…
It seemed like a decent turnout for an early Monday afternoon: About half of the tables that could be seen from the casino’s southern entrance had players hunched over their cards.
As tempting as it was to try my luck, I walked past three large rooms of poker and blackjack tables to get to the hotel lobby and check in.
I wasn’t there to play cards. The gamble I was interested in was taking place less than a mile away and on the other side of the Golden State Freeway, where a woman was just then walking into one of the lesser-known buildings owned by the Church of Scientology, and where the odds were likely going to be stacked against her.
Valerie Haney had let me know that her “religious arbitration” was going to take place at Scientology’s massive printing plant in Commerce, California, and that she didn’t mind if I was close by to debrief her after each of three days that the arbitration was scheduled to happen. But the details had come together only at the last minute, giving me less than 24 hours to come up with a plan.
And although I’d grown up in LA and had driven through the city of Commerce countless times, I knew almost nothing about it other than it featured a former tire factory built like an Assyrian fortress that had been turned into an outlet mall, and nearby was a solitary 9-story hotel that enjoyed some kind of legal loophole allowing Las Vegas-style gaming in an otherwise inhospitable and industrial spot about halfway between downtown Los Angeles and Orange County on the 5 Freeway.
The Commerce Casino: Did it, like Vegas establishments, have cheap rooms for gamblers? Turned out its prices were very friendly, so I booked a room for three nights and told Haney that I’d be just minutes away when the Scientologists let her out each day.
But there was a complication. That morning, I learned for the first time that her attorneys had hired a team from a court reporting service to show up with her.
We both knew that Scientology would never let them inside to record what was going on. But only now I learned that the attorneys wanted to record something with her after each day’s session, and how far were they going to drag her away from Commerce for that? My plan was suddenly falling apart.
As I took in the view from room 625, with a clear shot over the freeway to the distant towers of downtown LA, I wondered if I’d wasted my money.
But then, a few anxious hours later, a message arrived from Haney.
She was out of the arbitration and they had a lot to talk about. Could her attorneys and the court reporting team record a sworn statement in my hotel room, since it was so close by?
I’d hit the jackpot without even stepping foot on the casino floor.
Over the next three days, Valerie, her attorneys, and the court reporting crew they had hired set up and recorded Valerie literally in my casino hotel room.
I sat on the bed, taking notes, and marveled at my luck.
Tomorrow, our subscribers will get a special treat: The video in full that we recorded with Valerie immediately after the third and final day of the arbitration, and that we drew from for our Daily Beast piece.
We think you’ll get a special understanding of what Valerie was put through when you get to see and hear her express her feelings about it without any filter.
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Source Code: Actual things founder L. Ron Hubbard said on this date in history
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