The 5 Worst Things Judges Have Said About Scientology

Categories: Scientology

FredGwynneJudge.jpg
How many times do judges have to say this stuff?
Monday evening, we learned that Debbie Cook, who dared to question the health of her religion, is being sued by the Church of Scientology. That night, Joe Childs and Tom Tobin of the Tampa Bay Times broke news of the lawsuit, which alleges that by sending out an e-mail complaining about how Scientology had gotten away from its founding principles, Cook violated the terms of a non-disclosure agreement she signed when she left church staff in 2007.

But that wasn't the only Scientology legal news we received this week.

Attorney Ken Dandar's bizarre recent court saga -- which we thought was completely, finally done with in December -- had one of those horror-movie endings where you thought the monster was dead but actually it had one last burst of beyond-the-grave energy and comes briefly back to life so it can be electrocuted or blown up or grated in a woodchopper so there's just no more question that it's dead and the credits can roll.

Yeah, it was something like that. So while we wait for more news in the Debbie Cook saga, let's take a look at the Ken Dandar case that would not die, and which produced one of the harshest judicial denunciations of Scientology and its legal shenanigans that we've seen in a while -- and while we're at it, let's place it in a list of the all-time judicial smackdowns of L. Ron Hubbard's wacky creation, for good measure!

Dandar, you'll remember, was the attorney who represented Lisa McPherson's family in its wrongful death suit against the church, which was settled in 2004. As part of that settlement, Dandar made (or didn't make, or sort of made, depending on who you ask) a promise that he would not bring future lawsuits against the church.

But he subsequently took up another wrongful death suit against Scientology, this time in the wake of the suicide of a young man named Kyle Brennan. Scientology's attorneys went to Pinellas County Senior Circuit Judge Robert Beach, who looked at the 2004 settlement and agreed that Dandar had to abide by it by removing himself from the Brennan case. Dandar fought that order, but then eventually agreed that he'd take himself off the federal suit.

The federal judge in the Brennan matter, however -- U.S. District Judge Steven Merryday -- told Dandar not to quit the case unless he could find another attorney to take his place.

The problem is, with Scientology's reputation for nasty legal shenanigans, it's really difficult to find any attorney who will take on a case against the church. So Dandar was stuck -- he couldn't comply with the federal judge's order to find a replacement, and he couldn't comply with the state judge's order to drop the case or face sanctions. Dandar found himself being fined $1,000 a day by the state court, climbing up to $130,000 -- but then Merryday, the federal judge, told the state judge he couldn't levy those fines..

Legal publications found it a fascinating quandary about which court should take precedence -- a state or federal court order?

Ultimately, Dandar was able to find a replacement -- his old friend, attorney Luke Lirot, agreed to take his place. And then, just a few weeks later, the case itself was dismissed as Judge Merryday found the evidence against the church in Brennan's wrongful death claim to be lacking.

Finally, Dandar was out of his pickle and could relax, right? Well, no. As we learned this week, Scientology went back yet again to try to have Dandar sanctioned on the same matter, even though the sanctions had been thrown out earlier.

Here is the concluding paragraph from Judge Merryday's order from last week, knocking down yet again the church's attempt to punish Dandar on a matter that had already been settled. You can practically hear him seething...

This litigation, along with simultaneous and associated litigation in the state courts (described in excruciating detail elsewhere in this record), is the sort of "scorched earth" litigation that impairs and adulterates the better judgment and professionalism of counsel, involves the courts in tangled and exhausting disputes tangential to the main dispute, and causes a marked decline in the public's confidence in the bench and the bar. The parties and their counsel should direct themselves to the necessary matters at hand and reject the temptation toward further provocation and retaliation, pursued either in over-zealous excess or as a tawdry litigation tactic designed as a general deterrent. Without reason to hope the parties and counsel will heed my advice but with knowledge that sanctions aplenty (and more) have attached elsewhere, I add nothing further to the sad folly of these parties' aggravated relations.
For some thoughts on Merryday's entire order, we turned to our legal expert, Manhattan attorney Scott Pilutik...

Sometimes Scientology's litigation armada, in their zeal to punish and deter on behalf of their vindictive (but religious!) client, concocts procedural weaponry beyond that which the law allows. Here, not only did they move for sanctions after the case was over, but it was the same sanctions motion that had already been denied. It's like winning a baseball game and then immediately demanding that the other team forfeit to try and get a second win.

Merryday's order also suggests that the case was closer than Scientology would have everyone believe. It was hardly meritless, there just wasn't enough evidence -- the vast majority of which was in Scientology's exclusive control. And likely never left it.

When a party spends more energy and money than it could hope to gain by making the motion, the legal system is being abused, so it's great that Merryday at least recognized this by calling Scientology out for its "tawdry" and "scorched earth" tactics.

In fact, judges have called out Scientology repeatedly over the years, both for its legal tactics, but also for the practices of the church itself. Here's just a sampling of some of the most memorable pronouncements from the bench over the years. And before we start the countdown, let's remember these heartwarming thoughts from Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard: "The purpose of a lawsuit is to harass and discourage rather than to win," Hubbard wrote in 1955. "The law can be used very easily to harass, and enough harassment on somebody who is simply on the thin edge anyway . . . will generally be sufficient to cause his professional decease. If possible, of course, ruin him utterly."

With that as background, let's go to the bench:


#5. Justice Kevin Victor Anderson QC, State of Victoria, Australia, Board of Inquiry, 1965...

Scientology is evil; its techniques are evil; its practice is a serious threat to the community, medically, morally, and socially; and its adherents are sadly deluded and often mentally ill... (Scientology is) the world's largest organization of unqualified persons engaged in the practice of dangerous techniques which masquerade as mental therapy.


#4. Justice Latey, High Court of London, 1984...

Scientology is both immoral and socially obnoxious...It is corrupt, sinister, and dangerous. It is corrupt because it is based on lies and deceit and has its real objective money and power for Mr. Hubbard... It is sinister because it indulges in infamous practices both to its adherents who do not toe the line unquestionably and to those who criticize it or oppose it. It is dangerous because it is out to capture people and to indoctrinate and brainwash them so they become the unquestioning captives and tools of the cult, withdrawn from ordinary thought, living, and relationships with others.


#3. US District Judge Leonie Brinkema, RTC vs Lerma, October 1996...

The dispute in this case surrounds Lerma's acquisition and publication on the Internet of texts that the Church of Scientology considers sacred and protects heavily from unauthorized disclosure. Founded by L. Ron Hubbard, the Scientology religion attempts to explain the origin of negative spiritual forces in the world and advances techniques for improving one's own spiritual well-being. Scientologists believe that most human problems can be traced to lingering spirits of an extraterrestrial people massacred by their ruler, Xenu, over 75 million years ago. These spirits attach themselves by "clusters" to individuals in the contemporary world, causing spiritual harm and negatively influencing the lives of their hosts.


#2. Judge Paul G. Breckenridge Jr, Church of Scientology of California v. Gerry Armstrong, June 1984...

In addition to violating and abusing its own members civil-rights, the organization over the years with its "Fair Game" doctrine has harassed and abused those persons not in the Church whom it perceives as enemies. The organization clearly is schizophrenic and paranoid, and the bizarre combination seems to be a reflection of its founder, L. Ron Hubbard. The evidence portrays a man who has been virtually a pathological liar when it comes to his history, background, and achievements. The writings and documents in evidence additionally reflect his egoism, greed, avarice, lust for power, and vindictiveness and aggressiveness against persons perceived by him to be disloyal or hostile. At the same time it appears that he is charismatic and highly capable of motivating, organizing, controlling, manipulating, and inspiring his adherents. He has been referred to during this trial as a "genius," a "revered person," a man who was "viewed by his followers with awe." Obviously, he is and has been a very complex person, and that complexity is further reflected in his alter ego, the Church of Scientology.


#1. And our favorite, this declaration by Judge James M. Ideman, who in 1994, sounding exhausted by years of harassment, removed himself from a case that had originated over a Scientology breakaway group led by David Mayo...

Portions of this petition will become moot because I have decided to recuse myself from this case. Plaintiff has recently begin to harass my former law clerk who assisted me on this case, even though she now lives in another city and has other legal employment. This action, in combination with other misconduct by counsel over the years has caused me to reassess my state of mind with respect to the propriety of my continuing to preside over the matter. I have concluded that I should not...The past 8 years have consisted mainly of a prolonged, and ultimately unsuccessful, attempt to persuade or compel the plaintiff to comply with lawful discovery. These efforts have been fiercely resisted by plaintiffs. They have utilized every device that we on the District Court have ever heard of to avoid such compliance, and some that are new to us....This noncompliance has consisted of evasions, misrepresentations, broken promises and lies, but ultimately with refusal. As part of this scheme to not comply, the plaintiffs have undertaken a massive campaign of filing every conceivable motion (and some inconceivable) to disguise the true issue in these pretrial proceedings. Apparently viewing litigation as war, plaintiffs by this tactic have had the effect of massively increasing the costs to the other parties, and, for a while, to the Court....Yet, it is almost all puffery -- motions without merit or substance...


You sort of get a sense for what Debbie Cook may be up against in coming days. Well, we'll do our best to keep you up on the latest in her case.

And one last thing: we second the sentiments of an excellent editorial published last night by the Tampa Bay Times, which noted Scientology's hypocrisy when it whines about its own free speech rights while suppressing the rights of its members. We agree in the strongest terms with the Times' call for openness in any ensuing court proceedings...

If this case moves forward, the judge should ensure that all depositions, court filings and court hearings are public. The public should be able to observe how the Church of Scientology seeks to wrap itself in First Amendment protections to avoid scrutiny and strip those protections from members of the church who were seeking to reform it.

The Tampa Bay Times may have changed its name, but it hasn't changed its stripes, and for that, we are grateful.



Debbie Cook Coverage in the Village Voice...

January 1: Scientology rocked by allegations of greed in e-mail to 12,000 church members

January 3: Is Scientology imploding? Watching the panic after a former executive dares to question church management

January 4: Scientology in crisis: Debbie Cook's transformation from enforcer to whistleblower

January 6: Scientology in turmoil: Debbie Cook's e-mail, annotated

Also, please see our primer, "What is Scientology?"



Tony Ortega is the editor-in-chief of The Village Voice. Since 1995, he's been writing about Scientology at several publications.

tortega@villagevoice.com | @VoiceTonyO | Facebook: Tony Ortega

Keep up on all of our New York news coverage at this blog, Runnin' Scared


SCIENTOLOGY IN THE VILLAGE VOICE

[All recent stories] | [What is Scientology?] | [Top 25 People Crippling Scientology]
[Commenters of the Week] | [Thursday 2pm Stats!] | [Scientology vs. South Park]
[This Week Aboard the Apollo] | [Sunday Funnies]

FEATURED INVESTIGATIONS

[Scientology spokesman Tommy Davis secretly recorded discussing "disconnection"]
[Benjamin Ring, LA deputy sheriff, wants you to spend your 401K on Scientology]
[Scientologists: How many of them are there, anyway?]
[Scientology hates clean ice: The "Fair Game" operation that should turn your stomach]
[Scientology hates clean ice, part 2: Another target, and the web as weapon]
[Paulette Cooper, Scientology's original and worst nightmare: a Thanksgiving tribute]

THE TOP 25 PEOPLE CRIPPLING SCIENTOLOGY

1. L. Ron Hubbard | 2. David Miscavige | 3. Marty Rathbun | 4. Tom Cruise | 5. Joe Childs and Tom Tobin | 6. Anonymous | 7. Mark Bunker | 8. Mike Rinder | 9. Jason Beghe | 10. Lisa McPherson | 11. Nick Xenophon | 12. Tommy Davis | 13. Janet Reitman | 14. Tory Christman | 15. Andreas Heldal-Lund | 16. Marc and Claire Headley | 17. Jefferson Hawkins | 18. Amy Scobee | 19. The Squirrel Busters | 20. Trey Parker and Matt Stone | 21. Kendrick Moxon | 22. Jamie DeWolf | 23. Ken Dandar | 24. Dave Touretzky | 25. Xenu

HELD ABOARD THE FREEWINDS: TALES OF THE SEA ORG

[Valeska Paris, held against her will from 1996 to 2007 on Scientology's cruise ship]
[Ramana Dienes-Browning, marriage at 16, sexual interrogation, life in the engine room]
[Melissa Paris, Valeska's sister: forced to marry at 16]

SCIENTOLOGY VS. SOUTH PARK: INVESTIGATION AS RETALIATION

[Scientology targeted South Park's Parker and Stone in an investigation]
[More documents in the South Park probe: instructions to send in a young mole]
[Scientology responds in typical fashion] | [Lloyd Kaufman confirms the probe]
[Mark Ebner also investigated after South Park involvement]
[Mark Chauppetta, private eye, explains what Scientology operatives look for]

MARTY RATHBUN AND THE SIEGE OF SOUTH TEXAS

[Scientology has Rathbun arrested] | [Rathbun and Mark Bunker reveal surprising ties]
In Germany with Ursula Caberta: [Announcing plans] | [Press conference] | [Making news about Tom Cruise, Bill Clinton, and Tony Blair] | [Post-trip interview]
The Squirrel Busters: [Goons with cameras on their heads] | [Rathbun's open letter to neighbors] | [Ingleside on the Bay, Texas rallies to Rathbun's cause] | [Squirrel Buster's claim to be making a "documentary"] | [VIDEO: "On a Boat"] | ["Anna" sent to creep out Monique Rathbun] | [Squirrel Busters go hillbilly] | [A videographer blows the whistle on the goon squad] | [Ed Bryan, OT VIII, shows the power of Scientology's highest levels]

SCIENTOLOGY SPYING AND "FAIR GAME"

[Secret Scientology documents spell out spying operation against Marc Headley]
[Scientology's West U.S. spies list revealed] | [Scientology's enemies list: Are you on it?]
Spy operation against Washington Post writer Richard Leiby: [Part 1] | [Part 2]
[A Scientology spy comes clean: Paulien Lombard's remarkable public confession]
[Scientology advertises for writers in Freedom magazine]
[Accidental leak shows Scientology spy wing plans to "handle" the Voice]
[Lori Hodgson and Disconnection: "No one's going to take my eternity away"]

SCIENTOLOGY AND CELEBRITIES

[Hey, Scientology Celebrity, Here's Your Media Training Checksheet!]
[Tom Cruise and X Factor's Stacy Francis singing together on the Freewinds]
[X Factor's Stacy Francis: Her first husband, Michael Sandlofer, answers abuse claims]
[Tom Cruise and Baby Suri embarrassed by news item, so someone must pay]
["Tom Cruise told me to talk to a bottle"] | [Tom Cruise likes coconut cake] | [Tom Cruise has a sense of humor] | ["Tom Cruise not a kook!"] | [Paulette Cooper on Tom Cruise]
[Paul Haggis, director of Crash, issues an ultimatum, leaves the church]
[Character actor Jason Beghe defects noisily] | [Actor Michael Fairman reveals his "suppressive person" declaration] | [Michael Fairman talks to the Voice]
[Giovanni Ribisi as David Koresh: Scientology-Branch Davidian link makes sense]
[Russell Brand weds ex-Scientologists in wild ceremony] | [Skip Press on Haggis]
[Placido Domingo Jr.: Scientology's retaliation is "scary and pathetic"]
Grant Cardone, NatGeo's "Turnaround King": [Doing Scientology's dirty work?] | [Milton Katselas complained about Cardone's smear job] | [Cardone runs to Huffpo]
[Philip Boyd, Saving Grace actor, rips "the business that is Scientology"]

JANET REITMAN'S INSIDE SCIENTOLOGY

[Our review of Inside Scientology] | [An interview with Janet Reitman] | [A report from Reitman's first book tour appearance] | [At the Half-King: Reitman not afraid]
[Scientology doesn't like Inside Scientology] | [Q&A at Washington Post]
[A roundup of Reitman's print reviews, and why isn't she on television more?]

HUGH URBAN'S THE CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY

[A review of Urban's scholarly history of the church] | [An interview with Hugh Urban]

EX-SCIENTOLOGISTS SPEAK OUT

["The Money Machine": another blockbuster St. Pete Times investigation]
[Marc Headley: "Tom Cruise told me to talk to a bottle"] | [The Nancy Many interview]
[Sympathy for the Devil: Tory Christman's Story] | [Jeff Hawkins' Counterfeit Dreams]
[86 Million Thin Dimes: The Lawrence Wollersheim Saga] | [Mike Rinder on spying]

OVERSEAS NEWS

[Scientology in Israel: Arson, attempted murder, paranoia -- and a visit by the Voice!]
[Scientology dodges a bullet in Australia] | [Scientology exec Jan Eastgate arrested]
[All hell breaks loose in Israel] | [Scientology sees fundraising gold in the UK riots]
[Aussie former rugby pro Chris Guider calls David Miscavige "toxic" and "violent"]
[Stephen Cox, UK church newbie, pledges 20K pounds] | [Biggi Reichert: A German Lisa McPherson?] | [The Birmingham trove: 7,000 internal e-mails]
[Australian farmer blamed for giving Tom Cruise a bad shrimp, loses her friends, family]

ODD VIDEOS AND ODDER NEWS

[Scientology chillin' with hip hop!] | [The curious career of Scientology rapper Chill EB]
[Chill EB and me: the Voice interviews Scientology's in-house rapper]
[Scientology singalong, "We Stand Tall"] | [Captain Bill Robertson and "Galactic Patrol"]
[Scientology wins a major award!] | [Scientology wants your money: Meet Dede!]
[Birmingham in the House! The "Ideal" dance mix] | [Scientology and the Nation of Islam]
[When Scientology was hip] | [Sad: David Miscavige makes fun of his own fundraisers]
[Freedom magazine parodies The New Yorker. Hilarity ensues.]
[Scientology surf report: Anonymous parties outside the New York "org"]

THE VIEW INSIDE THE BUBBLE

[A scientologist's letter to the Voice and its readers] | [Scientology silent birth]
[Tad Reeves: Scientology might listen to this guy] | [More Tad Reeves and family]
[Scientology never forgets: A heartwarming telemarketing holiday miracle]
[Desperate Scientology fundraising caught on video]

My Voice Nation Help
77 comments
BeenBurned
BeenBurned

The *C* Cult word gets overused,but in some cases it is appropriate. The definition of a destructive religious cult is like alcoholism-if booze controls you instead of the other way around you are an alcoholic.The Watchtower society Jehovah's Witnesses as an example is not benevolent and won't let you leave their organization in peace.If they try to ruin your reputation and break up your family for trying to get out then they are a cult!Whenever you surrender your logic and reason to anyone who asks you to trust them because they know better and to please donate generously, it's a cult. If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it's probably a duck.... -Danny Haszard

BeenBurned
BeenBurned

The *C* Cult word gets overused,but in some cases it is appropriate. The definition of a destructive religious cult is like alcoholism-if booze controls you instead of the other way around you are an alcoholic.The Watchtower society Jehovah's Witnesses as an example is not benevolent and won't let you leave their organization in peace.If they try to ruin your reputation and break up your family for trying to get out then they are a cult!Whenever you surrender your logic and reason to anyone who asks you to trust them because they know better and to please donate generously, it's a cult. If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it's probably a duck.... -Danny Haszardhttp://www.dannyhaszard... 

redhead
redhead

Tony, I have been following your stories with great interest , and check frequently on your face book page for updates. Please dont overwork yourself though.  Im beginning to think  even reading about scientology is a bit addictive , let alone being a scientologist.

California
California

Thank you for this, Tony.  FACTS are great in this discussion.

The conclusion that I drew from this is that even if this Florida law-suit focuses only on "Breach of Contract" issues, Scientology will try to drag it out forever, in order to punish Cook and Baumgarten.  And try to make life difficult for the judges, as well.

Robert Robinson
Robert Robinson

Thanks Tony for showing that there are some judges that cannot be compromised by the Evil Empire.

Ron
Ron

For an eye-opening look at the sort of pressure that they've used against judges in the past, read this:

Scientology's War Against Judges December 1, 1980, James B. Stewart Jr., American Lawyer

DeckardCain
DeckardCain

Why is it that the Aussies have it right CONSISTENTLY while the Americans get it wrong every time?  That Aussie judge was 100% accurate.  Scientology is evil and the tech is dangerous.  It is so sad that people put their mental well being in the hands of people like Rathun who most likely barely finished high school.

Chuck Beatty
Chuck Beatty

+9 article, thanks for quoting judges!     

If people want to engage in the high volume exorcism (OT levels 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7), then save some money, quit official Scientology, and do the exorcism in the freezone Scientology and independent movements.

At least in the independent movement of Scientology, people won't be battered with all the foul Hubbard penalty rules.  

DamOTclese2
DamOTclese2

Don't forget Scientology crime boss Helena Kobrin's smack-down:

[1] On May 2, 1994, Helena Kobrin, counsel for the Church of Scientology, was ordered to pay sanctions in the total sum of $17,775 for filing a frivolous complaint in federal court. The case is entitled Religious Technology Center, Inc. v. Frank Gerbode, and is reported in the RICO Business Disputes Guide published by Commerce Clearing House, Inc. The citation is Religious Technology Center, Inc. v. Frank Gerbode, [Current Transfer Binder] RICO Bus. Disp. Guide (CCH) par. 8595 (C.D. Cal. May 2, 1994). The case was decided by Judge A. Wallace Tashima of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. The case number is CV 93-2226 AWT. Ms. Kobrin prepared and filed an amended complaint on behalf of plaintiffs Religious Technology Center and the Church of Scientology International against defendants David Mayo and the Church of New Civilization. Id. at 15,790. The amended complaint alleged that defendants violated the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization Act (RICO). Id. The Court dismissed the action. Id. The defendants then filed a motion for sanctions against, among others, Helena Kobrin and her firm, Bowles & Moxon. Id. The Court granted the motion after observing: "This RICO complaint does not pass muster under Rule 11(b)(2) that the claims be 'warranted by existing law.' Neither is any 'nonfrivolous argument' made 'for the extension, modification, or reversal of existing law' in support of plaintiffs' RICO theory. * * * The claims are frivolous. Alleging the RICO claims in the amended complaint was objectively unreasonable under the circumstances." Id. at 15,792 (footnotes omitted). The Court concluded as follows: "IT IS ORDERED: 1. Defendants shall recover from Attorney Helena K. Kobrin and the law firm of Bowles & Moxon, jointly and severally, monetary sanctions under Rule 11 in the sum of $8,887.50, as partial reimbursement for attorneys' fees incurred in defending against the amended complaint.2. In addition, Attorney Helena K. Kobrin and the law firm of Bowles & Moxon, jointly and severally, shall pay to the Clerk of the Court a monetary penalty in the sum of $8,887.50, as a further sanction."Id. at 15,794. It is unknown whether Ms. Kobrin, or any other party, filed an appeal from the District Court's order imposing sanctions. If such an appeal was filed, it is unknown whether the appeal is still pending, or what the result was if it has been decided. The District Court's order imposing sanctions may not be final.

DamOTclese2
DamOTclese2

Judge Merryday should have ordered David Miscavige to be remanded in to custody so that he could be fined, instructed, and punished for committing more racketeering despite the previous Judicial findings which the slappy dwarf ignored.

Andy Panda
Andy Panda

This so called "church" is in court more often then the mafia. Thanks to the Hubbard "always attack" policy.

Strelnikov
Strelnikov

I think it is well established in American and British Commonwealth law that Scientology tries to play the courts like a piano, but doesn't mind if they miss a few notes, because they're playing to annoy, not entertain.

Jens Tingleff
Jens Tingleff

Excellent article!

How about a collection of things that scientologists (or, at least, their lawyers) have said about scientology?

I believe, but am too lazy to look up, that the Sea Org was described as living hell, but religiously sanctioned living hell, in order to defend against the lawsuit by the Headleys.

Also, let's not forget he religious instruction from LRH himself:

"Somebody some day will say ‘this isillegal.’  By then be sure the orgs saywhat is legal or not."

- L. Ron Hubbard, HubbardCommunications Office Policy Letter, 4 January 1966, "LRHRelationship to Orgs"

Jonny Jacobsen
Jonny Jacobsen

Who knows, Tony: you might have another one for your collection in Paris tomorrow morning (though most of the French court judgments I've come across aren't quite as snappy and quotable as their U.S. equivalents).

Damian DeWitt
Damian DeWitt

French court judgments may not be as snappy and quotable, but Mon Dieu, quel courtroom drama! I just read your latest post an Infinite Complacency on of the saga of UNADFI's lawyer Olivier Morice denouncing the cult's lawyers at the Paris Appeal Trial in November:

"Scientology, he said, had been wasting the court’s time with procedural motions for days now: talk about self-righteous!« Quels donneurs de leçons! Quels donneurs de leçons ! »What they were really trying to do was delay the time when the court would actually start to examine the facts of the case."

Quel donneurs de leçons! - what a great expression.

Judge Claudine Forkel seems pretty savvy. Perhaps she and Judge Merryday might enjoy exchanging notes on dealing with Scientology's "holy war of litigation."

skippress
skippress

Hey, Tom Cruise is a presenter at the 84th Academy Awards. If you don't like that, let them know, won't you?

 

Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences

8949 Wilshire BoulevardBeverly Hills, CA 90211-1907

Telephone: (310) 247-3000

Facsimile: (310) 859-9619

http://www.oscars.org/contact/...

barbsnow
barbsnow

But how would they teach a copyrighted religion?  Ridiculous, indeed! 

Tye Solaris
Tye Solaris

Teach?

There is no Teaching in Scientology... there are only classroom supervisor's ... you have to "learn" yourself... just you and Ron's writing.... (which has the copyright on it).... so in reality you pay a truckload of money and then do all the "work" yourself.

Oh, and then you have to hand write a glowing document of all the wonderful "Wins" you had IMMEADIATELY after you finish a course... which is then put in your folder to be used against you in court anytime they wish... and of course you do not get a copy of ANYTHING for your own records.... and if you ask... "Off to Ethic's" with you or worse... 

And..... if that letter of "Wins" that you wrote is not 'glowing' enough ... well, you will have to do the course over again... and probably pay again for the privilege....

And .... this is just the beginning.

It all seems so benign and harmless in the beginning ...

The gradient of the spiral down is so slight that you hardly notice it..Till one day, there you are screaming for blood and guts from someone that church management has identified as an evil supressive who wants to steal your right to spiritual freedom from you....

Some get out and see it for what it is...

And some get out and still don't see it for what it is.

And others may dwell in the abyss for eternity listening to the promisesthat "Freedom" is just around the corner.

SP 'Onage
SP 'Onage

I think the Judge in Debbie's case should be watched very carefully for any misconduct.

$cientology is notorious for corrupting law enforcement, politicians, and involvement of judicial misconduct.

There's more than enough proof that David Miscavige makes a parasitic living robbing his parishioners it's so substantial, so voluminous that no one at any level of government can claim they do not know and were not aware that it is happening within this criminal religion.

There are stacks of court documents and evidence compiled by individuals who have fallen victim to $cientology's abuse and fraud. I have to wonder just how much evidence is enough for the FBI to get involved? 

Tye Solaris
Tye Solaris

They were involved. Then got dismissed by the DOJ.

DM has had the number one priority to 'infiltrate' key positions of government from local to federal ... even the President of the U.S. 

Infiltrate is either place a Scientologist in a Key position or "Acquire" them thru various direct/indirect or covert means.

Everything else follows after that. 

(note: acquire means to have 'Influence with to a greater or lesser degree" this can be accomplished by either Direct or Indirect communication).

(note: a 'Covert' means of influence may be any means of leverage as to cause the individual to decide or take action that is either favorable to or of no adverse effect to our position or objectives).

robinlandseadel
robinlandseadel

I knew that David Miscavige was an agent of SMERSH! This proves it.

Tye Solaris
Tye Solaris

Being that Baseball was mentioned in the article...

I would love to see the 'Full Stat Workup' of the Church and it's entire history of legal shenanigans laid out in Baseball grid form...

Number of games played.Number of first base hits.Out on 'pop' fly.Bunt to first base.Times to the world series.MVP'sOut's for stealing bases....

Are the number of legal cases the COS has brought in the Hundreds or Thousands?

Tye Solaris
Tye Solaris

Hi Ho, Hi Ho, it's off to war we go!

With all the painstaking and detailed legal work that has been done to expose the 'True' nature of Hubbard and his creation... 

Congress itself should demand that the "Sealed IRS Records" be opened and reveal how this horrible nightmare ever received a blanket "Tax Exempt" status for every corporate entity they have conceived and run.

Remember.... no 'Tax - Exempt' religious status from the IRS .... no official recognition of Religion Status ... and then they are open to regulation by all manner of Federal, State and Local government bodies... as simply a corporation.

Maybe those government bodies were the "Body Thetans" Ron was trying to swat away with his hands on his deathbed.

Joe Hone
Joe Hone

If anything is untouchable in the legal system it is jurors, and one starts to feel that should one of these cases ever go to trial - which is inconceivable given the risks for CO$ - that they would go after the jurors after the verdict, they are that stupid.

Ron
Ron

If they thought that they could tamper with the jury before the verdict, and get away with it, I'm sure that they would.

Tye Solaris
Tye Solaris

Make that "have".

ShellyMiscavige
ShellyMiscavige

I'm sure I've read in the past about jurors having their pets killed when a case goes wrong for the cult.

skippress
skippress

Judge Ideman got it partially right: "Apparently viewing litigation as war..." He should have said, "Absolutely viewing litigation as war..." To a $cientologist - like it was to Hubbard - LIFE is war, and the human race is the enemy. When you are far enough into $cientology, you become inhuman and subhuman, quite the opposite of the "homo novis" Hubbard posited that a "Clear" would be in his Dianetics book.

It is equally true that $cientology loses a lot more on the legal front than they ever win, draining its coffers in legal battles. Larry Wollersheim was ultimately victorious in his battle against them, even though they held massive rallies in Los Angeles vowing he would not get "One Thin Dime!" (I was at one of those rallies.) As I recall, his millions weren't paid out in dimes.

They will probably learn once again, via Debbie Cook, that there is such a thing as a counter-suit to be feared, a justice system that cannot always be manipulated, and that the American people don't take kindly to the attempted suppression of free speech. I'd love to see Matt Lauer asked Tom Cruise to explain this one. What will the over-amped movie star say? "You're glib, Matt! You don't know the Constitution, I do!"

Tye Solaris
Tye Solaris

Exactly Skip,

For the Scion's it is 'All War' until they have you under their dominion... i remember the Seattle thing well... and how busloads were rounded up from Orgs around the country and sent there like it was some grassroots movement.... of course Travolta just flew his Airliner to Seattle loaded with his Sci-Celeb friends ... protested on the streets for awhile.. got some camera time with media ... then went out for a fabulous dinner and celebrated how victorious they were then flew back home to lounge around the pool.... meanwhile the "ordinaries" loaded up in the old school buses and slogged their way back across thousands of miles of roads and weather...

As I recall the check to Larry was cut at the very last minute ... just before they were to walk into the courtroom... apparently Larry and his Lawyers had gotten hold of some 'rock-solid' evidence that would have blown a hole a mile wide into the 'good ship scientology' and sunk her... I suppose they had to accept the check... but I wish they had not... and the whole of the church would have sank with federal marshall's swarming the entire organization.

But I am sure you know this.

skippress
skippress

When $cientology finally goes down for the count, it will be as though locusts by the millions rose from Hell itself to devour this "religion." Elwrong knew it was coming; he wrote about it in "Battlefield: Earth" when Johnny Goodboy Tyler (worst name for a hero ever) finds Hubbard's books (called something else) decaying in an abandoned library. The only one of Elwrong's books that ever became a movie, thanks to lunatic Travolta, displays in its title the mentality of $cientology's Flounder and its minions. But hey, look at all the Razzies they won. Best worst ever!

Tye Solaris
Tye Solaris

That film had the most peculiar 'atmosphere' to it that I have ever experienced..It was like a needle had been inserted into the mind and the life force drained out of it...Oh, wait... maybe I am confusing that with Scientology...

NOTseriously
NOTseriously

I need jumbo bucket o' popcorn for THAT, please.

JustCallMeMary
JustCallMeMary

IMHO, FWIW, The Brennan case had many flaws at the onset. I think things would have gone differently if Lirot had initially taken the case instead of Dandar. I think they lacked knowledge of the lines and protocol when it involves a Class V  Org.  As soon as  the incident happened, and he reported it to Denise, Tom Brennan must have been barred from services and written off by Flag ( standard protocol) and sent back to his Class V org ethics dept with instructions to get him to handle his PTS situation. There is no way that Flag got involved with giving orders to Brennan and Gentile involving Kyle beyond being informed of that initial call of his death. Ask anyone who has been offloaded by Flag for any reason and they will tell you this.Flag wants nothing to do with outside ethics situations that endanger Flag in any way and if the person involved is not an OT, they are sent immediately to their home Org for ethics handling. Denise Gentile was probably immediately told to steer clear of Brennan on the issue as soon as possible and stay off Flag lines until it settled. If there was any interference, or orders for Tom to do something, by the church, it would have had to come from the Tampa Org, where Tom was a member. There is no indication any person or documents were supoened from Tampa Org, a major oversite.

Karen J.
Karen J.

Actually there are documents that Merryday allowed into evidence showing that Flag was involved. These documents have not been made public. Flag was involved and giving orders to Brennan the day before his son died. Osa Int. was also involved. The flaw in the Brennan case is that we've only heard the defendant's version of it.     

JustCallMeMary
JustCallMeMary

I never said they weren't involved before he died. Here is what I wrote:

[..] As soon as  the incident happened, and he reported it to Denise, Tom Brennan must have been barred from services and written off by Flag ( standard protocol) and sent back to his Class V org ethics dept with instructions to get him to handle his PTS situation. There is no way that Flag got involved with giving orders to Brennan and Gentile involving Kyle beyond being informed of that initial call of his death.[..]

I'm talking about after he died, which was a good portion of the plainfiff's complaint. What happened before is not all public but I have read some of the docs sent to me and it's clear to me that Kyle was disturbed. Whether there was one or two prescriptions, whether he took the meds regularly or sporatically before he arrived, is not the point because he displayed paranoia and delusional behaviors before he arrived and continued to do so with the calls to the police and these things could have come from a lack of medicine or as a side effect of the medicine he'd been on. Kyle was disturbed and in need of appropriate medical care and he didn't get it.

I don't think anyone killed Kyle. I think his father contributed to his death in a negligent manner. I think Tom already knew what to do as a scientologist ( handle or disconnect) and that the church had little to do with all that lead up to the death and the death itself. I think he was unstable and did not receive appropriate help and the paranoia increased as he lived with Tom, who was negligent, especially because he did not remove the gun from the apt. The medicine was made out by Tom to be a bad thing ( standard fare in Scientology) and it was taken away from Kyle in an effort to 'help'. I've observed and heard about these kinds of  situations of a disturbed relative , where medicine is taken and thrown out or removed. To a scientologist it is as if they are saving a soul from the devil. It's nuts the lengths they will go to 'help' in their way. But to murder? No. To be negligent? Yes.

If Tom wanted to get rid of Kyle, all he had to do was pick up the phone and say,' this is too much for me'  and arrange to have him escorted back home by his sibling or mother. He was only visiting when all this happened. When a person is so disturbed, as Kyle was at the time, anything can send them off the deep end and ap[parently something did. But was it murder? No, I find that very hard to believe. It was terrible situation made worse by negligence, ignorance, false ideas and cult indoctrination.  I read over and over again and through so many docs on this case and this is the only conclusion I keep coming back to. It breaks my heart to see his Mom suffer over this loss so deeply but it would be unfair of me to encourage a case that I believe lacks sufficient evidence to support it's claims.

Damian DeWitt
Damian DeWitt

Even without the documents that have not yet been made public, it is clear that there has been massive re-arrangement of the crime scene including moving of Kyle's body, and destruction, hiding, and fabrication of evidence. An operation of this magnitude of arrogant contempt for the law would not have been entrusted to amateurs like Tom Brennan, Denise Miscavige, and her husband Jerry Gentile. It could only have been carried out by OSA with the consent of the very highest circles of the regime. 

If Kyle's death were an actual suicide there would have been no cause for such an elaborate covert operation. Moreover, it would have been a surprise to OSA; and they would have had to re-arrange the scene, instruct Tom, Denise, and Jerry in their alibis, and manufacture handwritten notes on the spot. 

In his indispensable Second Declaration Lance Marcor states: "If Kyle was being considered as an Enemy/SP, Tom may have taken matters into his own hands, or others, and possibly expedited the disconnection by having "a hand" in his demise, since Torn Brennan stated in his answer filed in this case that his son died as a result of suicide or homicide."

The Kyle Brennan case is not over. February 17th will be the fifth anniversary of his death. One way or the other Kyle Brennan will be vindicated as the hero and martyr to Scientology that he is.

Damian DeWitt
Damian DeWitt

Journalist Graeme Wood wrote a highly perceptive interview in the Wall Street Journal of Janet Reitmam's book Inside Scientology. (WSJ, "What Hubbard Wrought", July 22, 2011). He wrote:

"According to Ms. Reitman, David Miscavige, the church's leader, called these acts a 'holy war' of litigation.' If the English language has a more frightening phrase, I haven't come across it."

He concludes by writing: "A key question does go unaddressed: If Scientology is getting away with a multitude of sins, what should be done about it? Legal challenges don't seem worth the trouble. From the perspective of 'Inside Scientology,' it looks as if the system has been gamed, fairly or not."

I think that Mark Stark is correct when he points out that the internet has radically changed the world of litigation allowing vastly greater access of the public to legal information on Scientology cases. 

Indeed, the Tampa Bay Times editorial of today remarks about David Miscavige's jihad against Debbie Cook:  "If this case moves forward, the judge should ensure that all depositions, court filings and court hearings are public. The public should be able to observe how the Church of Scientology seeks to wrap itself in First Amendment protections to avoid scrutiny and strip those protections from members of the church who were seeking to reform it."

The internet is turning Miscavige's "holy war of ligtigation" into a "holy war of Scientology footbullets."

Heather G
Heather G

"There is substantial evidence to support the jury's finding on this theory. First, the Church's conduct was manifestly outrageous. Using its position as his religious leader, the Church and its agents coerced Wollersheim into continuing “auditing” although his sanity was repeatedly threatened by this practice. (See pp. 892-894, post.) Wollersheim was compelled to abandon his wife and his family through the policy of disconnect. When his mental illness reached such a level he actively planned his suicide, he was *882 forbidden to seek professional help. Finally, when Wollersheim was able to leave the Church, it subjected him to financial ruin through its policy of “fair game.”Any one of these acts exceeds the “bounds usually tolerated by a decent society,” so as to constitute outrageous conduct."

Larry WOLLERSHEIM v.CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY OF CALIFORNIA 212 Cal.App.3d 872, 66 Cal.Rptr.2d 1

sketto
sketto

Wow, this seems to show that Scientology was engaging in harsh, unethical legal practices as early as 1965, when David Miscavige was 5 years old, and continued it throughout its history. Just more evidence of what a vindinctive prick Hubbard was himself and how harmful Scientology has always, always been.

I wonder how Marty Rathbun and the Indies are going to blame Hubbard's actions back then on Daveyboy.

Skwerl King
Skwerl King

 They will use a special technique: cognitive dissidence. 

robinlandseadel
robinlandseadel

More like cognitive diffidence—Who needs reality when you've got Scientology? It's a lot like the GOP.

Kim O'Brien
Kim O'Brien

Oh SNAP!! "Scientology is both immoral and socially obnoxious"

 What a great line ...and I love love love the description of Hubbard

 "The evidence portrays a man who has been virtually a pathological liar when it comes to his history, background, and achievements. The writings and documents in evidence additionally reflect his egoism, greed, avarice, lust for power, and vindictiveness and aggressiveness against persons perceived by him to be disloyal or hostile. "   

So many good bits of riducule for the church that it makes me smile while i have my first cup of coffee for the day !!

Lliira
Lliira

 "Scientology is both immoral and socially obnoxious"I love that line. "You people don't only do evil things, you're also fucking annoying."

sketto
sketto

Clearly, you haven't spoken to the right Scientologists who would tell you that all of Scientology's problems begin and end with David Miscavige. The fact that these awful legal practices go back to the very earliest days of Hubbard's big con doesn't seem to matter to their opinion of his awesome "researches".

Second Guest
Second Guest

.......... and they don't give a &^*$% what the courts rule........."Judge Puts Gag on Church in Libel" Oct 5, 1991, Toronto Sun:   A day after a record libel award against the Church of Scientology of Toronto a judge has slapped an order on it preventing a repeat of the defamations.   Crown attorney Casey Hill was awarded $1.6 million damages by a jury Thursday after it found the church had libelled him at a press conference.   Scientology lawyer Morris Manning shares responsibility for $300,000 of the jury's award.   Mr. Justice Douglas Carruthers last night issued an interim restraining order.   Hill's lawyers Tory, Tory, DesLauriers & Binnington said in a press release last night it sought the injunction after the church issued a press release following Thursday's verdict.   The law firm said: "The press release contains statements which are similar to thse which the jury found to be defamatory."

Schockenawd
Schockenawd

There is a veritable trove of judicial comments about Scientology.  One of the others I like was by Judge James Kolts, who was serving as a special master in one of the four Wollersheim cases -- the second one, when, after Wollersheim won his $30 million judgment against the Church of Scientology of California, the "unrelated entities" called Church of Scientology International and Religious Technology Center sued Wollersheim in a separate lawsuit, trying to undo his judgment.  In that second lawsuit, Scientology claimed that, by using certain documents as evidence in Wollersheim's case, he and his lawyers had violated Scientology copyrights and committed violations of RICO (the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act).  Judge Kolts saw right through the ruse and would have none of it, saying at one point, "[Scientology's] case... borders on the frivolous and malicious, boiling down to penalizing an attorney simply for conducting necessary discovery to represent his or her client's case."

I met Judge Kolts once, when I was involved in another, later case having nothing to do with Scientology.  He was a private arbitrator by then, having retired from the bench years before.  After the arbitration proceeding was over, I couldn't resist the opportunity to go up to him and shake his hand for having done and said such brave things in the Wollersheim II case.  At that moment, he seemed to wither and shrink a little, and he physically backed up a few steps.  The look that came over his face at the mere mention of Scientology was a combination of trepidation and dread, and he ended the conversation very quickly.  Imagine -- if Scientology's war machine can cause that sort of visceral reaction in the judicial officers presiding over a case, what effect it can have on the "church's" actual enemies.

Tye Solaris
Tye Solaris

Judge Kolts visceral response to the mere mention of Scientology indicates that he likely was at the receiving end of Scientology "tactics" that were much more than mere piles of paperwork...

And keep in mind that Scientologist's would be breaking out in deafening applause and cheers upon hearing of the withering and deleterious effects they were having on anyone who dare stand in their way or challenge them.

JustCallMeMary
JustCallMeMary

Addition to Breckenridge: [..] Judge Breckenridge, Los Angeles Superior Court: "[The court record is] replete with evidence [that Scientology] is nothing in reality but a vast enterprise to extract the maximum amount of money from its adepts by pseudo scientific theories... and to exercise a kind of blackmail against persons who do not wish to continue with their sect....." [..] ~xenu DOT net archive Quotes

Addition to Brinkema:

[..] in RTC v. Lerma Judge Leonie Brinkema found that the RTC's lawsuit was intended to pursue the "broader motivation" of "the stifling of criticism and dissent of the religious practices of Scientology and the destruction of its opponents." [..] bostonphoenix DOT com

TonyOrtega
TonyOrtega

I didn't quote that first part from Breckenridge because he's actually quoting someone else.

JustCallMeMary
JustCallMeMary

oops...... that wasn't evident from where I obtained the quote. My bad :P

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