Danny Masterson’s victims ordered to use Scientology mediation for civil cases

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We first heard almost four years ago, in March, 2017, that Danny Masterson was being investigated by the LAPD for three separate rape incidents in the early 2000s against three different women. After an extremely long and no doubt drawn-out investigation by the LAPD, Masterson was arrested and charged with three counts of rape in June, 2020. He faces 45 years to life in prison if he’s convicted on all counts. He is currently free on $3.3 million bail. A judge ruled in October that the legal case against him can move forward. Masterson is also being sued in civil court by three victims, two of whom are members of Masterson’s cult, Scientology. Unfortunately a judge just ruled that the two Scientology members must use Scientology mediation.

The 2019 civil cases brought by former Scientologists Chrissie Carnell Bixler, her musician hubby, Cedric Bixler-Zavala, and two women who sued anonymously must be worked out in “religious arbitration,” Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Steven Kleifield said in a decision from Wednesday, according to Deadline.

This is because an arbitration agreement was already in place with the Church of Scientology, which will now be handling the dispute, the outlet reported

The ruling does not apply to Marie Bobette Riales’ similar case against Masterson as she was not a member of the church and therefore wasn’t a part of the prior arbitration agreement, the news site reported.

The women claimed that the “That ’70s Show” star and the church carried out a campaign of harassment against them after they reported to authorities that Masterson allegedly sexually assaulted them.

[From Page Six]

These are just the women who pressed charges and sought legal help. Masterson has Scientology’s legal team and goons behind him and former cultmembers know how relentless they are. Imagine how many more women he’s assaulted who are understandably afraid to come forward.

These women were “allegedly” raped, harassed and ostracized by Scientologists and yet they’re still being forced to use Scientology mediation. I’m not wholly familiar with mediation *knock wood* because the civil case I was involved in didn’t get to that point. Years ago I saw a legal documentary on HBO called Hot Coffee which I highly recommend. Binding arbitration and mediation clauses in contracts make it incredibly difficult for people to get justice. I hope that these women are still able to get compensation, and that Masterson is found guilty in the legal case.

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22 Responses to “Danny Masterson’s victims ordered to use Scientology mediation for civil cases”

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  1. Meg3 says:

    So I gather when ppl join the CoS officially they sign a contract much like signing one in a corporation. And probably due to said contract all “internal” (meaning between two members) disputes must be resolved legally within the “church”. Huh. Well I guess we will not hear anything else of these cases then.

    However, I do hope that Masterson will not be cast in any new projects. Also a reunion of That 70′s Show will likely never happen.

  2. Sean says:

    I noticed he’s being represented by Thomas Mesereau, the same attorney who represented Michael Jackson in his 2005 child abuse trial.

  3. Sarah says:

    The women who have been sent to Co$ mediation will not get any justice. None.

    • Merricat says:

      What kind of judge would think that is a good ruling? A pocket-judge, I am guessing.

    • SomeChick says:

      They will probably be declared SPs and so be blocked from even being allowed to meet with the mediator.Once you’re an SP you have only one possible contact person in Co$ and they can forbid communication with anyone else.

  4. Implicit says:

    Disgusting

  5. Merricat says:

    Danny Masterson’s career is pretty much over. He’ll have to make do with Scientology recruitment films.

  6. Mle428 says:

    We went to arbitration over a lemon law case. The arbitrator ruled against us (and case precedent) AND made a judgment that we were responsible for 50% of the opposing counsel’s legal fees. It was a nightmare, and there was some shady stuff with the arbitrator. It was one of the rare cases where we could appeal an arbitration due to the potential undisclosed conflicts of interest with the arbitrator. We then went after the manufacturer instead of the dealer and were fighting 2 cases at once. It took 4 years, and cost hundreds of thousands of dollars. We won both cases this summer, but my marriage almost didn’t survive the stress. I was in grad school during all of this and money was so tight. We could have lost our home to that judgment. Horrible!! The legal system is truly designed for the wealthy and powerful.

  7. Ann says:

    Scientology mediation? Is this real? Is there Catholic mediation or Hindu mediation? I legit find this so confusing that a judge can order religious legal counseling. Where is the separation of church and state? Honest questions so if anyone can explain I’d love to know more.

    • Lolafalana says:

      That is where the judge made a huge error. Mediation doesn’t really exist in Scientology. It is not an even handed examination of both sides. It is basically a ruse – allowing the church to silence people and abuse them further. The lawsuit that this mediation order was in response to was suing him and the church for harassment including killing one of their dogs and lighting one of the defendants houses on fire. Masterson has been ordered to surrender his guns. And most disgustingly – is allowed to attend and participate in the “mediation”.

  8. Betsy says:

    I saw this ruling and was so disappointed and angry on behalf of the victims.

  9. Midge says:

    I recently went through a mediation process after I sued for sexual harassment. I can’t discuss the case with anyone and am only allowed to say it was resolved. The NDA seems to be the only reason the defendant would agree to a settlement. As the plaintiff, it seems unfair and absurd that I cannot discuss the resolution of the case, which is public record. The mediation process protects the reputation of the institution and muzzles the plaintiff, forever casting suspicion on the victim’s integrity. After taxes and legal fees, settlements are not what they seem. The system sucks and is stacked in the defendant’s favor.

  10. lucy2 says:

    It seems crazy to me that in a civil lawsuit, a judge could rule for “religious arbitration”.
    COS is such a nightmare. Those poor women won’t get anywhere with the civil case, but I hope there’s some justice in the criminal case.

  11. Watson says:

    Disgusting

  12. emmy says:

    How is that arbitration clause legal??? Not every one is. I used to work for a lawyer who did a lot of arbitration, as counsel and arbitrator although not in the US. This seems highly irregular and like that judge is either incompetent, an asshole, or just CO$.

    • Sa says:

      I don’t know anything about arbitration outside the US, but both federal and states laws here have a strong presumption of the enforceability of arbitration clauses, because arbitration frees up the overburdened courts. Many arbitration clauses don’t even require the arbitrator to follow the law.

    • Charlie says:

      If their legal reps can find a way to make the CoS an additionally named defendant the case could (potentially) be moved away from CoS’s internal arbitration. It’s tricky.

  13. Julia says:

    My mother has a longtime interest in Scientology’s legal shenanigans (not the “church”; she’s literally fascinated by the shit they pull in court). She says that Scientology’s arbitration process is a joke. It’s a series of catch-22s that always rewards whichever person the organization favors, and in this case that will almost certainly be Masterson.

  14. Belly says:

    The judge is either in Co$ or shit-scared of them. He has no business sitting on any bench.

    What a bucket of diarrhoea.

  15. ms says:

    Its really important for people to understand, in general, that mediation and arbitration are different. With arbitration, someone makes a ruling and you’re done, they rule for you or against you. Mediation is a different process where both parties are supposed to agree to the outcome. Having said that, mediation is NOT appropriate for a rape case because of the power imbalance involved, and I wouldn’t trust Scientology to mediate a rape case, especially for one of their golden boys, if my life depended on it. This is a ludicrous decision that was obviously made to throw a serial rapist a bone. Those poor women.