Scientology Intervention: Commenters of the Week!

OT3Interference.jpg
It's not often that things are calm and soothing here inside the underground bunker. But after Judge Stryker gave the order yesterday for everyone just to chill out, we took it to heart. Even the cats are taking a break from tearing up the furniture.

There was plenty of activity this week, though, and let's take a look at what transpired. Things started early for us as, last Saturday afternoon, we scrambled to post copies of the motion for summary judgment filed by Scientology's attorneys in its lawsuit against Debbie Cook. We know that the church's lawyers aren't thrilled that we're posting their filings for our readers to take apart, but maybe they're just shy.

We got back to our regular schedule the next morning with another installment of Sunday Funnies, and this time things weren't so funny: we posted examples of the San Fernando Valley org using their children in fundraising fliers. Icky.

Monday morning we revealed a lengthy story that was close to our heart. For several weeks now, we've been working with Paulette Cooper to nail down surprising new information about how she and her sister Suzy escaped Nazi extermination in Belgium in 1943. This piece meant a lot to us, and readers seemed to appreciate it just as much as we did.

On Tuesday, we had even more court documents to post as Debbie Cook went on the offensive, filing notice that she intended to depose church officials and requested voluminous records from them.

The next day, we had the church's answer: they wanted the deposition delayed, and in particular wanted to make sure former executives Marty Rathbun and Mike Rinder would be excluded whenever a deposition does occur.

For our Thursday Stats weekly press roundup, we took another look at the troubled charter school in Florida, and wondered again about Paul Thomas Anderson's upcoming movie, The Master.

Friday morning saw our return to the high seas with L. Ron Hubbard, circa 1969-1971, with a wild example of mid-1970s "OT Phenomena" thrown in as well.

That afternoon, we provided an update from the Debbie Cook case in Texas, where Judge Cathy Stryker dealt a blow to Scientology's hurry-up strategy.

So let's get to the awards!

Saturday's report that Scientology had filed for summary judgment -- and our posting the entire pleading -- really generated a lot of great discussion about how the lawsuit against Debbie Cook is going to go. But many of us were stunned at this hilarious bit of movie reskinning by Brainslugged...

I keep dreaming of little Miscavige taking the stand in his toy soldier outfit and giving us a "A Few Good Men" moment.

"You want the truth? You can't handle the truth! We live in a world that has spirits of dead aliens floating around. And dead alien spirits have to be eradicated by men with tin cans, and cool-looking outfits. Who's gonna do it? You? You, Judge? I have a greater responsibility than you could possibly fathom. You weep for Lisa McPherson and Shelly Miscavige, and you curse the $cientologists. You have that luxury. You have the luxury of not being the ultimate authority on psychiatry. That Lisa and Shelly's deaths, while an inconvenience, probably saved lives. And my existence, while grotesque and incomprehensible to you, saves lives. You don't want the truth because deep down in places you don't talk about at parties, you want me and Tom Cruise on those bespoke motorbikes tricked out by the hard labor of my Sea Org slaves. You NEED us on those bikes. We use words like enturbulate, entheta, ethics. We use these words as the backbone of a life spent following the rambling words of a drug-addled schizophrenic drug addict. You use them as a punchline. I have neither the time nor the inclination to explain myself to a man who rises and sleeps under the blanket of the very freedom that I provide, and then questions the manner in which I provide it. I would rather you just said thank you, and went on your way, Otherwise, I suggest you pick up a set of cans, remortgage your house and sign a billion year contract. Either way, I don't give a damn what you think you are entitled to."

One of the key issues in Cook's case is the idea that she not only was under duress when she signed her 2007 non-disclosure agreement, but that she's been under duress ever since. Richard Dineen helped us understand how that might be the case...

Duress is systemic in Scientology and it does not stop when you escape. Yeah things get a lot better in many ways, but one should never lose sight of: "Disconnection, Fair Game, Declaring someone to be a Suppressive Person, maintaining a website( of people brave enough to speak out) of religious bigots, Private Investigators following , Hounding and Harassing, Suing the Apostates, etc., etc...It never stops! L Ron Hubbard designed a system that would make the North Koreans proud. Attack and destroy critics and especially former members who are critics. As a former member since declared to be a Suppressive Person I can no longer speak with my children or see my grandchildren, my former friends, and I regularly thank god my income is not dependent upon being in their good grace. Nonetheless I am under duress. Anyone who wakes up and switches from Kool-Aid to Coffee is under duress!

Our Sunday Funnies included some startling mailers produced by the San Fernando Valley org, which used small children to make fundraising appeals. We appreciated this exercise in satire by KidsAreLazy...

It's about time those lazy adults in little bodies did something for the cause of saving humanity from the ghosts of dead space aliens. If the voice of Bart Simpson can donate $10 million, the least they can do is give a measly $100. They should hurry up and sign the billion-year Sea Org contract if they can't give more money, the bums.

Meanwhile, OLD OT7 made a clever connection to a previous story about the Life Force charter school in Dunedin, Florida, where children were being punished with menial labor...

It was just a matter of time. If kids can have their own RPF, then, by God, they can shake down members for money to build their Idle Morgue. What's next, child registars?

Our Monday story about Paulette Cooper's harrowing escape from Nazi extermination -- with facts she has only now unearthed -- really moved readers in heartfelt ways. This note from BlackPR seemed to capture how much Paulette means to so many of us...

Paulette has been a hero of mine since I first learned of her story in the 90's. My children have been told about her scientology story probably a dozen times over the past decade. Now there's more to the story. How many people can say that they escaped death at the hands of the Nazi's AND the Scientologists?

Jefferson Hawkins was also moved, and he had a message for indies...

Paulette, as I have said before, you are an extraordinarily brave woman to have taken on Scientology when you did. I can see how, given your past, you recognized the dangers of Scientology as an authoritarian group who would stop at nothing to achieve their goals -- even attempting to destroy the lives of those who got in their way -- a practice they continue to this day. And for my Independent Scientologist friends who believe that the only thing wrong with Scientology is David Miscavige -- I would point out the obvious: Miscavige was only ten years old when the despicable, evil campaign against Paulette was launched. If you are sincere in reforming Scientology, and I know you are, dig deeper.

We also felt humbled to see this message from Kim O'Brien...

This blog has turned into a teaching tool for me as a parent. My 10 year old daughter is reading the Diary of Anne Frank now. This morning..I had her sit and read this story after I did. She was so moved ..it brought home to her that there are people still around us today who can attest to the horrors of Nazi Germany. To her it seems like a million years ago . Thank you so much for this story and the work that you do.

And this one by Aragorn_ii gave us a lump in the throat...

Did anyone else want to somehow leap through time and space into that picture of the two little sisters holding hands? I would in a heartbeat. One arm opened wide to hug them tight and the other clinched in a fist to beat the crap out of anyone who would dare harm them. That image brings to mind the most disgusting practice of the church of Scientology. Disconnection. From where does anyone or any organization get the balls to break up families? Man I need to take a walk or something to cool down.

On Tuesday, we showed how Debbie Cook had gone on the offensive in her lawsuit. And we passed on a note from her attorney, Ray Jeffrey, who wanted our readers to know how much the comments here are helping him work out his strategy. That brought this retort from Derfty...

Are we getting paid for this?

Debbie's filings brought out another lengthy and informative analysis from John P., of which I'll just post a portion here...

* "Be careful what you wish for" department: In a filing last week, Church attorney George Spencer demanded that Debbie Cook promise not to have Rinder & Rathbun testify in the case. Looks like his wish was granted... The deposition notice says that Mike & Marty will be "in attendance" during the deposition on Monday. It sounds like their presence is to advise Mr. Jeffery, which may well make them ineligible to serve as witnesses later on. But, of course, they're far more dangerous sitting next to Mr. Jeffery whispering in his ear after every answer, "He's lying. Now ask him x to catch him at it." This ought to be causing David Miscavige to have a heart attack on about now.

* "Hang 'Em High" Texas justice in action: Exploiting the unusual Texas rule that says they can compel a deposition almost immediately if the party requesting it doesn't care who it is, is just brilliant. Notice how Mr. Jeffery uses the list of the matters to be testified to in such a way that there are only a handful of people who can show up? I am sure that if the Church tries to send some low-level underling who doesn't have direct knowledge of the requested issues, they'll be sanctioned for it massively. We probably won't know who they're sending until somebody shows up. But Mr. Jeffery must have a pretty good idea, since he'll have Mike & Marty sitting there. The short list of witnesses all undoubtedly knew Mike and Marty well.

* Look carefully at the list of documents to be produced: Number 11 is "all surveillance videos and photos taken during this litigation, including those of Defendants, their home, their legal team, their law offices and their witnesses." This is a masterful counterstroke against the surveillance. By now, Mr. Jeffery undoubtedly has his own videos of Scientology OSA goons running around taping him, complete with license numbers. Even better, he may have gotten the Bulverde PD to investigate reports of stalkers, and they may have conclusively linked people taking video and photos of Mr. Jeffery back to the Church already. If the Church denies taping Mr. Jeffery, and then a Bulverde police officer gets on the stand and says "In response to a citizen complaint, I observed someone videotaping Mr. Jeffery's law office. I approached said person who informed me that they were a private investigator retained by the Church of Scientology." Who is the court going to believe? The Church or a police officer?

And Jgg seemed to speak for many who were impressed by what they saw in Jeffrey's court filings...

Would it be fair to say that they underestimated their opponent?

On Wednesday, we posted the church's response to Debbie Cook's request for discovery. Scientology's attorneys, for example, complained that it would be burdensome to expect the church to make available in Texas one of its Florida officials for a deposition. That prompted this comeback from Skydog...

Let me see if I get this straight: On a moment's notice, the church can send out half a dozen private eyes, OTVIII's, and photographers clad in squirrel buster regalia, complete with "head cameras," to harass Mark Rathbun for several months -- but cannot send a "corporate representative" to attend a deposition that will take a few days at most?

Gerard Plourde, in a similar vein...

What an amazing document -- The plaintiff, who as an out of state party willingly chose to place itself under the jurisdiction of the Texas courts and controlled the timing of initiating the action, is now claiming that it needs time to designate representatives who can be deposed. What kind of preparation did Clemens and Spencer do before filing the initial pleading? I'd be embarrassed to submit this to a judge.

There was also some fun back-and-forth in this thread about whether our resident satirist, OTVIIIisGrrr8! is actually me, to which I can only say, the very notion that some of you would think I could edit the Voice, work on multiple ongoing Scientology investigative pieces, watch for breaking Scientology stories around the world, post at least something every day, read all the comments for this weekly feature and even join in the comments now and again, and still have time to write lengthy satirical comments under another name -- well, I am truly humbled that you think that much of my powers of stamina. (And for the record, I only post in the comments under my own name.)

In our Thursday roundup, we extolled the virtues of the Tampa Bay Times expose that has resulted in the planned closing of a charter school that had been invaded and sucked dry by Scientology, which prompted this comment by Villagedianne...

In the true manner of a Scientology org, the charter school was funneling money "uplines" while the teaching staff went without salary or basic supplies. They weren't only training the kids to be Scientologists, they were training the teachers to be org staff members.

The post also garnered us another smart observation by Jefferson Hawkins...

The only value that Scientology sees in these "LRH Study Tech" schools is PR. They convince Scientologists to start them up, playing on their altruism and sense of purpose. The Scientologist has to establish such a school on their own dime - the Church sends no financial assistance and never has, despite their insistence that the IAS "funds" such endeavors. They don't. Scientologists are taught that to expect a handout from the Church is "downstat" and they are expected to make their own way - that is "upstat." That doesn't prevent the school from asking for a government handout - that's "proof" that such and such a government is "supporting Scientology," and they will say so loudly in their events. Of course, the local government has not been told that it is Scientology, and if they ask, such a connection is vehemently denied. Meanwhile they will brag in events about how all of these children were "saved" with LRH study tech and use it as evidence of how Scientology is taking over the field of education. They will add this figure to their total of all the children who have ever been involved in any of these scam schools and come up with a total of "millions" of children who have been "saved" with LRH Study Tech. But if you were to contact the local governments or parents you would find they had no idea it was Scientology. Meanwhile, the "LRH Study Tech" school is tithing to the World Literacy Crusade for "consulting fees," the World Literacy Crusade is tithing to ABLE, and ABLE is tithing to the Church. That's the REAL money flow. Then when the scene goes sour, as it did in Dunedin, the Church is nowhere to be found. They will deny any connection and throw the local Scientologists under the bus, possibly even declaring them SP for "creating a public flap." There's your altruistic "Church" of Scientology. And there's the real story that the local Fox station was to lazy or too craven to uncover.

On Friday, we returned to the high seas, and Kate Bornstein filled us in on this fun bit of ship trivia...

There were two bathtubs on the entire ship: one for the old man, and one for his wife. All the rest of us took showers. Just sayin' -- there was no way any of us knew about that dirty brown ring unless he wrote about it, or... no, I don't wanna go there.

Friday's post also included a wacky example of "OT Phenomena" which described a church member leaving his meat body and playing hide-and-seek in the tomb of an ancient Pharoah. It's always good to hear from Mat Pesch, who hit us with this retort...

I reached OT 7, did 90% of what Scientology offers, audited (counseled) others, studied the auditing folders of other "OT's", etc. I saw individuals handle upsets and considerations through counseling but NEVER anything like what Mike is describing. I don't think Mike and Wanda were out of their bodies. I think they were out of their minds....

Yesterday, Judge Cathy Stryker dealt a serious blow to Scientology's hurry-up strategy in its lawsuit against Debbie Cook. What I love most about these stories is that it brings out such amazing legal analysis from our lawyer-commenters. I particularly enjoyed this exchange...

Scott Pilutik: I know I'm beating a moot horse, but ordering discovery while a summary judgment motion is pending is like ordering two families to pay in advance for a wedding they're unsure will take place. Depositions eat up attorney fees fast. Texas is bass ackwards. Still, good on Ray Jeffrey, and I hope he's got his bullshit detector set for 11 because he's about to find out just how uncooperative Scn can be when it needs to drag its feet.

mirele: It's "judicial economy," tikk. No reason to stop the wheels of justice from grinding just for a motion for summary judgment. The philosophy is that there's not likely to be a summary judgment, so if they get the discovery going, they're just that much further towards resolution. Yeah, so it doesn't always work out that way in practice, but hey, you have to admit, this is rather different than what we've seen in the past. And, of course, Scientology's not going to be at all cooperative about discovery. Not in the least.

Wow. Now that's great stuff. And we still have depositions, discovery, a summary judgment hearing and so much more to come! I just hope Davey doesn't drop out.

Please come back tomorrow morning for a special Sunday Funnies as we count down the days to L. Ron Hubbard's big 101st birthday on the 13th. And on Monday, a special pre-birthday gift for the Commodore: an investigative story we've been working on for several weeks, and that should be a hoot!


**********
Tony Ortega has been the editor in chief of the Village Voice since March, 2007. He started writing about Scientology in 1995. You can reach him by e-mail at tortega@villagevoice.com, and if you ask nicely he'll put you on his mailing list for notifications of new stories, which tend to come out each and every morning at 8 am, but can suddenly appear at any time of the day. You can also catch his alerts at Twitter (@VoiceTonyO), at his Facebook author page, on Pinterest, a Tumblr, and even this new Google Plus doohickey.

New readers might want to check out our primer, "What is Scientology?" Another good overview is our series from last summer, "Top 25 People Crippling Scientology." At the top of every story, you'll see the "Scientology" category which, if you click on it, will bring up all of our most recent stories. As for our regular features, on Thursdays we do a roundup of world press, on Fridays we visit L. Ron Hubbard on the yacht Apollo circa 1969-1971, on Saturdays we celebrate the week's best comments, and on Sundays we publish Scientology's wacky and tacky advertising mailers that people send us.

As for hot subjects we've covered here, you may have heard about Debbie Cook, the former church official who rebelled and is now being sued by Scientology. You might have also heard about the Super Power Building, Scientology's "Mecca," whose secrets were revealed here. We also reported how Scientology spied on its own most precious object, Tom Cruise. (We wrote Tom an open letter that he has yet to respond to.) Have you seen a Scientology ad on TV lately? We debunked some of the claims in that 2-minute commercial you might have seen while watching Glee or American Idol.

Other stories have looked at Scientology's policy of "disconnection" that is tearing families apart. You may also have heard something about the Sea Org experiences of the Paris sisters, Valeska and Melissa, and their friend Ramana Dienes-Browning. We've also featured Paulette Cooper, who wrote about Scientology back in the day, and Janet Reitman, Hugh Urban, and the team at the Tampa Bay Times, who write about it today. And there's plenty more coming.



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72 comments
kevin.anderson.60031
kevin.anderson.60031

That seems to be the answer to everything: File a lawsuit.  Case of too much power, maybe?

anonymous
anonymous

prophetharry@ymail.com was my last hope and after all the spell casters I tried before, prophet was my last chance that I had getting my wife back, and prophet kept his promise! My wife wrote me such a touching letter last week. She wants to live with me and the kids again. I really feel I'm living a new life Thanks to prophetharry for making this happen Jesse Tim Ray, UK

wenta
wenta

my name is wenta, i had a problem with my wife sometimes ago but never knew what the problem was,i tried to asked her but she refused to tell me what it was as time goes on i discovered she was having an affair with a friend of mine that happens to be my best friend,iwas so sad that i never knew what to do next,during my search for a way out i met a friend of mine who had similar problem and introduced me to a man who helped him with his situation,on getting to the man i discoversd he was a spell caster i was shocked because i have not had anything to mdo with a spell caster in my entire life so i tried to give this man a chance cos i never believed in spell casting as i thought it will not work for me but to my surprise i got positive results and i was able to get my wife back from him even after the spell caster did all i discovered my wife fell much more in love with me on like before so i was so happy that i never know what to do for him so i am using this opportunity to tell anyone on this blog having similar problem visit ayelalashrine@gmail.com and your problems shall be solved…

blackcatsearching
blackcatsearching

   “I had to refresh the page  times to view this page for some reason, however, the information here was worth the wait.”

LightOfTruth123
LightOfTruth123

Slightly off-topic:

I read this week that there is a new type of diagnosis in psychology circles, originating from psychologist Marlene Winell: “Religious Trauma Syndrome".

It is a kind of Post Traumatic Syndrome, that fundamentalist religions set people up for debilitating cycles of abuse.

From an article:

"Born to Christian missionaries in Hong Kong, Winell became immersed in her faith as a teen, but suffered when she decided to separate from religion in college. The author of Leaving the Fold: a Guide for Former Fundamentalists and Others Leaving their Religion, Winell counsels people exiting fundamentalist religions like evangelical and Pentecostal Christianity as well as Mormonism, Jehovah’s Witnesses, Christian Science, Scientology and other cult-like systems."

LightOfTruth123
LightOfTruth123

Oh my soul, I missed Brainslugged's comment. Barely touched ground this week.

That is just too funny. I love this comment roundup every week.

guest
guest

You wish, you pathetic little sockpuppet!

Derfty
Derfty

Contract Defenses: Undue Influence, Duress, Misrepresentation

Coercion, threats, false statements, or improper persuasion by one party to a contract can void the contract. The defenses of duress, misrepresentation, and undue influence address these situations:

To claim the defense of duress, a party must show that assent or agreement to the contract was induced by a serious threat of unlawful or wrongful action, and that she had no reasonable alternative but to agree to the contract. Blackmail is an example of duress. Undue influence is a type of improper persuasion that causes a person to enter an unfair transaction. Undue influence is often defined as unfair persuasion by a person who, because of his or her relation to the victim, is justifiably assumed by the victim to be one who will not act in a manner that is inconsistent with the victim's welfare. The defense of misrepresentation focuses on dishonesty in bargaining. A misrepresentation may be: 1) a false statement of fact, 2) the deliberate withholding of information which a party has a duty to disclose, or 3) an action that conceals a fact (for example, painting over water damage when selling a house).

Contract Defenses: Unconscionability The unconscionability defense is concerned with the fairness of both the process of contract formation and the substantive terms of the contract. When the terms of a contract are oppressive or when the bargaining process or resulting terms shock the conscience of the court, the court may strike down the contract as unconscionable.

The unconscionability defense applies to a wide variety of types of conduct, so a court will look at a number of factors in determining if a contract is unconscionable. If there is a gross inequality of bargaining power, so the weaker party to the contract has no meaningful choice as to the terms, and the resulting contract is unreasonably favorable to the stronger party, there may be a valid claim of unconscionability. A court will also look at whether one party is uneducated or illiterate, whether that party had the opportunity to ask questions or consult an attorney, and whether the price of the goods or services under the contract is excessive.

Jgg
Jgg

Here is David Miscavige's most recent discussion with counsel:

Miscavige: How's it going? Spencer:  Not well, the judge has ordered that discovery go on for two months. Miscavige:  So? Spencer:  So, you are going to have to testify at a deposition--- Miscavige: NO! Spencer:  Uh, or have someone else named as the leader of Scientology-- Miscavige: NO!  Hey, isn't that judge a woman?Spencer:  Yeah, so is Debbie Cook. Miscavige:  A woman should be intimidated by the eight people we had in the room. Spencer:  Actually, in the wog world, women sometimes have balls. Miscavige:  I hate the wog world.  Anyway, you can't make me testify!Spencer:  How about Shelly?  Or Heber?  Or Tommy Davis? Miscavige:  NO!Spencer:  Why not? Miscavige:  I can't tell you why!  Spencer:  Davey, I may have to withdraw as counsel-- Miscavige:  WHAT! Spencer:  You heard me. Miscavige:  Uh, Ray, ever hear of fair game?Spencer:  I thought you abandoned that? Miscavige:  Well, we abondoned the phrase "fair game"...I wouldn't be surprised to seea bunch of goons telling your neighbors that you are a child molester. Spencer:  By the way, Davey, you haven't paid your bill yet. Miscavige:  You haven't won the case yet. Spencer:  It doesn't work that way under our retainer agreement.  I may have to sue you... Miscavige:  So? Spencer:  If I sue you, I will subpoena you to testify... Miscavige:  NO!  NO!  Spencer:  Click...(dial tone)

Commenter  Ne Plus Ultra
Commenter Ne Plus Ultra

Jeff Hawkins on KPOJ 620 AM (Portland Talk Radio) -- right now!  And Mark Bunker too.  From 3 - 4 PST.

Julie_Kanon
Julie_Kanon

Scientology expert, Mark Bunker will be talking about #Scientology on the radio at 3PM PT today. Jeff Hawkins will be on as well. Tune in at 620kpoj (d0t)c0m

Julie_Kanon
Julie_Kanon

Mark Bunker, will be talking about #Scientology on the radio at 3PM PT today. Jeff Hawkins will be on as well. Tune in! @ 620kpoj (dot) com

RadioPaul1
RadioPaul1

Look now I can edit all my Typos :)

Radio Paul
Radio Paul

Looks like he specialists in contract disputes and product disparagement. We all know Scientology is a product and not a religion. 

Commercial Practice                      Mr. Lieberman's commercial cases typically have involved representation of businesses, non-profit organizations, artists, art dealers and galleries, and individuals in matters involving contract disputes, regulatory compliance, business torts, and claims of product disparagement.  In one particularly notable case, Mr. Lieberman represented a party that had maintained an ongoing (and expensive) relationship with a leading public relations firm, which then resigned the account upon direction of its parent conglomerate because of conflicts with an advertising company under the same conglomerate umbrella.  The case established that such a firm has a fiduciary duty to its clients that may not be breached because of the interests of related entities.  Mr. Lieberman has also successfully litigated a novel case concerning the scope of fiduciary duties of a trustee under New York's Prudent Investors Act

Radio Paul
Radio Paul

Ahhhhh the plot thickens, this is why they have him on board!

Copyright and Trade Secrets                      Mr. Lieberman's copyright cases have focused on the areas of fair use, particularly on the Internet.  He has litigated leading cases establishing limits of fair use of unpublished works.  He successfully argued for imposition of limited responsibility for copyright violations on Internet service providers who are informed of the violation and do not act to remedy it, a standard that was then explicitly adopted by Congress in enacting the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.              Mr. Lieberman also has litigated several cases raising novel and important questions involving trade secrets.  In one case, a federal court upheld the trade secret claims of a religious organization to certain esoteric religious writings and practices that were subject to strict confidentiality restrictions and were made available only on a limited basis.  In another case, the court upheld the Firm's arguments that trade secrets improperly disclosed might nevertheless retain legal protection if the holder of the secrets made reasonably successful efforts to recover their secrecy.

Radio Paul
Radio Paul

       Eric Lieberman has been practicing law for over 35 years.  After graduating with honors from Dartmouth College in 1968 and Harvard Law School in 1971, Mr. Lieberman received a prestigious Arthur Garfield Hays Post-Graduate Fellowship from New York University School of Law, where he studied constitutional law and prepared briefs for submission to the Supreme Court of the United States.  At the conclusion of the Fellowship, Mr. Lieberman joined the Firm, becoming a partner in 1976 and a name partner in 1978.                      Mr. Lieberman's practice has focused on complex litigation both at the trial court and appellate level.  He has appeared before the Supreme Court, where he has successfully argued two landmark cases and has worked on numerous other Supreme Court proceedings.  He also has appeared before all twelve regional United States Courts of Appeals, as well as numerous state appeals courts.  He has conducted litigation at the trial court level in both state and federal courts throughout the country.

       The subject areas of Mr. Lieberman's practice have been diverse, including First Amendment and constitutional litigation, civil rights and civil liberties, international law, copyright, defamation, commercial speech, commercial tort and contract litigation (both plaintiff and defendant), criminal appeals, and trust and estate litigation.

       Mr. Lieberman served for many years, together with the Firm's Michael  Krinsky, as General Counsel for the National Emergency Civil Liberties Committee, an organization that litigated many important civil rights and liberties cases.  Mr. Lieberman, with Mr.Krinsky, is also General Counsel for the Bill of Rights Foundation, a similar organization.  Mr. Lieberman served as Chairman of the Subcommittee on Civil Rights and Criminal Procedure of the Committee on State Legislation, New York County Lawyers Association

The extraordinary thing is he has a history of supporting free speech and progressive issues. I am blown away by his involvement with the cult on any level. It is people like him that give attorneys a bad name as having no soul.

Too Much
Too Much

"We know that the church's lawyers aren't thrilled that we're posting their filings for our readers to take apart, but maybe they're just shy."

Or maybe they're criminal shitbags who want to continue to hide what they do and who they are from citizens who might accidentally fall for Scientology's scams and frauds some day and hand over their money.

LifeIsBeautiful
LifeIsBeautiful

"I [...] edit the Voice, work on multiple ongoing Scientology investigative pieces, watch for breaking Scientology stories around the world, post at least something every day, read all the comments for this weekly feature and even join in the comments now and again [...]"

One might imagine that you are one of David Miscavige's "seaorg" slaves the amount of work you have been putting into exposing the Scientology corporation's lies and misdeeds this past year. Please don't burn yourself out the way some past protesters have. Nobody requires you to huddle in a bunker and post daily articles 7 days a week, sometimes twice a day, week after week with no respite, for months on end. It would make me personally happy to know that you take plenty of time to rest every day, and an abundance of days off to enjoy yourself. Life is beautiful and there's so much more to living than revealing how David Miscavige, CEO of the Scientology corporation, is a liar, criminal.

me
me

Knowing you will be watched if you go against the church for anything=continued duress.Knowing you cannot have more than limited contact with your family or ?????=continued duress

wannabeclear
wannabeclear

I was just listening to Mike Board's interview with Ray Jeffrey following the hearing yesterday and then reading his post about the hearing.  In the comments, OSA's favorite sockpuppet Louanne posted, by way of explanation for this bullshit, the url for scientologymythsdotinfo.  If you want some (additional) comic relief, read the lower section of the homepage, "today's myth...explained" for an "explanation" of squirrels and the squirrelbusters (apparently "a prank"), followed by an "explanation" of Debbie Cook.  Besides the fact that there are probably five people (including me) who are reading that crap, the level of deception (and self-deception) is astounding...

RadioPaul1
RadioPaul1

You are so correct on so many levels it is not funny. And all of this is before even getting to what Debbie said. I seriously doubt the COS will win but if this were to go to trial she still gets to make a case for what she said as being true. Also I don't know if anything she said in the email on Jan 1st covers anything she saw while in, so much as things she has seen since she left. I would be interested in knowing the agreement covered future events. Unless they can prove she made a false statement about a past event covered by the contract I am not sure what case they will have.

wannabeclear
wannabeclear

So, for example, when someone is held against their will until they sign an agreement and  agree on camera to statements about being happy and well treated, without benefit of outside counsel to consult?  That seems to fit the bill of duress and unconscionability.  And as for continued duress after they left?  Threat of disconnection, fair game, loss of livelihood, I think that about covers it.

Love
Love

Would you please put the link  - i couldn't find it,

A Daily Reader
A Daily Reader

Hey Lieberman, are you going to argue that licking the bathroom floor is a "trade secret"? The judge will understand how you'd want that kept secret, but a trade secret?  Think again.

With how poorly this case is going for your client, if I were you I'd make real sure I wasn't anywhere near a bathroom if Miscavige is around.  He might have YOU licking the floors before this is all done.

MarkStark
MarkStark

So any coercion, kidnapping, beating and humiliation Debbie underwent were trademarked ecclesiastical rituals?

Radio Paul
Radio Paul

In one case, a federal court upheld the trade secret claims of a religious organization to certain esoteric religious writings and practices that were subject to strict confidentiality restrictions and were made available only on a limited basis. ****NOTICE HOW THE SHITBAG DOES NOT SAY SCIENTOLOGY***** LOL, he is so proud to be their lawyer he dose not disclose it on his site and hides in elevators and wont say who he is because he is ashamed to be associated with them.

Victoria
Victoria

I guess Marty knows who the trenchcoat man is;

martyrathbun09|March 9, 2012 at 9:40 pm|

Since identified him as Eric Lieberman. He is C of S constitutional expert attorney. He is also perfected the art of brown nosing DM – achieving the distinction of one of only two attorneys who has staked a thirty year career and made lots of bread to this day through selling his soul to Miscavige. SO, he was likely there on an errand for Dave to report back to him personally on what the …….is really going on in San Antonio. Kidding himself that he doesn’t already know. People want to know if DM is Clear; this tells you all you need to know. Not even in the same neighborhood.

Too Much
Too Much

"Louanne"is a man named Jacob Arturo Vigil, he has never been a Scientology customer or a ringleader.

Damian DeWitt
Damian DeWitt

I must say though it was touching to see Louanne back in her usual fail action. I was afraid she had gone banky and downstat or maybe even RPF'd.

Welcome back, Louanne!

The Game - you just lost it.

hgc
hgc

The explanation for what is a squirrel is a huge failure. It never actually defines squirrel. Instead it relies on Ron's own words to say a squirrel is, 1) lunatic fringe, 2) running in circles, 3) looking for foolish nuts, 4) will get sick, 6) get lobotomized, and 7) ruin everybody else's fun. 

Can anyone else discern from all that what a squirrel is?

CannotBeBothered
CannotBeBothered

 That website is write-only for an audience of one cult leader with delusions of grandeur.

SP 'Onage
SP 'Onage

This is also their ecclesiastical trade mark:

"Those who criticize the church — journalists, doctors, lawyers and even judges — often find themselves ... framed for fictional crimes, beaten up or threatened with death.”

BlackPR
BlackPR

I was deposed by Lieberman and Kobrin in the Grady Ward case.   He was actually a likable guy with a decent sense of humor.  He is a big gun, though.  A fixer.  They brought him in for my depo because they were trying to pin Scamizdat on Grady and I had declared "I am scamizdat"..  They wanted Grady bad.  My idea at the time was that Scamizdat was less a person and more a "movement" or an "activity" not unlike its namesake samizdat.  It didn't help Grady in the end, sadly.   

He reminded me entirely of the actor Saul Rubineck (think his role in Unforgiven).  

One fun part of the depo, though was that whenever I said the word "cult" Lieberman would spit out "objection, move to strike" before I could even finish the "t" sound.  

He was one of the attorneys helping to defend Daniel Ellsburg on the pentagon papers case.

TheHoleDoesNotExist
TheHoleDoesNotExist

Lieberman:  Besides the Headley's cases, also See Larry Wollersheim; also see Lisa McPherson.  He and Moxon really should stop wasting their time on these American Apostates and get up on that roof in Israel,  where they belong.

hgc
hgc

The obvious follow-up question:  Is Marty Clear?

bobx
bobx

A poster at Tampa Bay Times said OSA stands for the Offensive Smelling Aliens.  I liked that line enough that I thought it deserved to be on this board too.

LordXenuCruise
LordXenuCruise

isn't that the name of a porn producer in a Harry Dresden novel ?

Jgg
Jgg

  It's a peaceful animal that does not need study tech, disconnection or fair game to survive.

hgc
hgc

Like, wow man. I forgot to include a 5. OK, let's say, 5) wears bad hats. 

wannabeclear
wannabeclear

Based on those things, particularly 1, 2, 3, and 7, I would say the definition of a squirrel is David Miscavige...

sketto
sketto

Sadly, that could also describe Marty Rathbun's blog. 

DodoTheLaser
DodoTheLaser

Lieberman is watched. By the Internet too. It's important to choose the right cases, Eric.It's ok to be an atheist and a businessman, try to be honest though. Quick.

Volcano Jones
Volcano Jones

"[Lieberman] and Moxon really should...get up on that roof in Israel where they belong." Because they're pieces of shit, right? Clever.

Radio Paul
Radio Paul

Yeah it is him and he is involved in the Headley Case (Eric M. Lieberman)

    Scientology Forced Labor Claims Hit the 9th CircuitBy MATT REYNOLDS             ShareThis     

     PASADENA, Calif. (CN) - Two former Scientology ministers want the 9th Circuit to let them sue the church for forced labor, rejecting application of the First Amendment's ministerial exception.     Husband and wife Claire and Marc Headley each filed complaints against the Church of Scientology under the Trafficking Victims Act after leaving the Sea Organization, an order of Scientology in which members work long hours and perform hard labor without pay.     The Headleys worked at the church from the early 1990s until 2005. Claire Headley claimed that the church prohibited her from having children and was coerced into having two abortions. She also alleged that members who tried to leave the church were followed, brought back, and deprived of food and sleep, among other punishments.     In his complaint, Marc Headley said ministers at the church physically abused him. He also claimed that he was told that he would be excommunicated from his family if he left the church without first going through a "routing out" process that requires members to continue their duties for free and perform hard labor.     Marc Headley has published a book about his experiences at the church, "Blown for Good: Behind the Iron Curtain of Scientology."     In 2010, U.S. District Judge Dale Fischer threw out the Headleys' complaints because he found their claims failed under the First Amendment's ministerial exception.     On Thursday, a three-judge appeals panel heard arguments to revive the case     "The simple fact is that where a religious organization does not have a religious justification for the conduct at issue it cannot avail itself of the protection of the First Amendment," the Headleys' counsel, Kathryn Saldana of Kendall Brill Klieger, told the panel.     Asked whether the court could consider the claims without first reading the doctrine of the church to determine psychological compulsion, Saldana said the Scientology church had been "subversive of good order" and had violated fundamental constitutional rights.     The church's attorney, Eric Lieberman, countered that the Headleys' claims related only to their "participation in the religion."     A forced labor claim is barred, "based upon psychological factors which relate to the beliefs: the religious upbringing, the religious training, the religious practices, the religious lifestyle restraints, religious order, and the rules and customs and discipline of a church," Lieberman said.     In her five-minute rebuttal Saldana continued tying the case to constitutional rights, rather than religious doctrine.     "This country was created on the basis of freedom," Saldana said.     "The 13th Amendment was enacted to ban involuntary servitude and slavery, and Congress in enacting the forced labor statute recognized that the definition they've given for forced labor is a crime of involuntary servitude," she added.     Judges Dorothy Nelson, Diarmuid O'Scannlain and Norman Smith presided over the hearing.

hgc
hgc

Yeah. For instance, no one knows if Imhofe really believes that stuff. What matters is how he does his funders' bidding in steering government policy toward allowing and subsidizing unfettered exploitation of the environment. 

bobx
bobx

"Theology is a dim-sighted man searching in a coal cellar at midnight for a black cat who is not there."  I forget who said that (it's not original with me).  It is disturbing to me that Senator Imhofe of Oklahoma publicly argues that global warming can't be real because it contradicts Genesis 8:22 (God's promises to Noah that the Earth will act normal from now on); it is not disturbing that somebody holds such beliefs, but rather that someone thinking like that is in an influential position of power.  And then, of course, I have to have the reflection that some things I strongly believe would seem just as bizarre and crazed to somebody else.  We think of Scientology's sci-fi stories as being particularly implausible, and wonder how anybody could fall for them, but that's largely because other religious stories are more familiar to us so that we have become numb to how weird they are.  The focus really needs to be on the BEHAVIOR, however much fun it is to joke about their beliefs.

hgc
hgc

Theology is the study of the unknowable. How many BTs can dance on the head of a pin? Can you exteriorize into Valhalla, and quaff a flagon of mead? Sure! What's true for you... you know the drill.

sketto
sketto

Clear? It's so funny.

Listening to Rathbun or any other Indie argue about this kind of silliness reminds me of arguments I used to have as a kid involving whether Superman could beat the Hulk. It really only matters to someone who doesn't want to admit that it's all invented in the first place. 

Volcano Jones
Volcano Jones

And has the largest testes, proportionally, of all mammals.

MarkStark
MarkStark

 I'd say "looking for foolish nuts" was a better definition for Scientology than an "applied religious philosophy" and a more accurate description of what the cult accomplishes compared with "clearing the planet" and "bridge to total freedom" and other Hubbard cuckoo.

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