How Debbie Cook Exposed Scientology and Got Away Scot-Free

DebbieWayneConf.JPG
Debbie and Wayne: Breathing easier?
Our legal expert, Manhattan attorney Scott Pilutik, has been busy fielding questions since news broke earlier this week that the Church of Scientology had settled its lawsuit with former executive Debbie Cook and her husband Wayne Baumgarten.

After the jump, he takes a detailed look at the court's final judgment in the matter, which spells out the terms of a new gag order that will prevent the couple from ever again criticizing the church publicly.

And Scott also provided me this short version of how he sees this remarkable case, which began with an infamous e-mail that Cook sent out on New Year's Eve to her fellow Scientologists...

Debbie Cook signed a mean-as-hell non-disclosure agreement when she left her job with Scientology. She got to violate it, once carefully (her New Year's Eve e-mail), another time in court (her February 9 testimony), and one more time on national television (on Nightline). Then, instead of paying possibly millions of dollars in damages, she paid the church nothing and turned the clock back to December 31 as if none of it had happened.

I think people are conflating her "victory" at the February 9 injunction hearing with an actual legal victory, which it never was.

Pilutik was reacting to the outpouring of emotion that met the news of the settlement.

After the way Cook exposed the abuses she suffered as a church executive in her dramatic February 9 testimony, many Scientology Watchers had hoped that her case would continue to bring new revelations about church leader David Miscavige and the secretive organization.

To some, Cook's settlement was a disappointing and even shocking betrayal of that possibility.

But Pilutik says it's important to remember that although the lawsuit seemed to have backfired on Scientology's attorneys at several points, its basic premise -- that Cook was in violation of a non-disclosure agreement she signed in 2007 -- had never been ruled on in court. Cook was facing perhaps millions of dollars in damages if a judge agreed with the church that she had simply breached her contract when she sent out the New Year's Eve e-mail raising questions about Miscavige's leadership.

And so far, each of the three times the matter had been heard in Bexar County court, it had been handled by a different judge. With millions on the line, and a fourth judge likely to hear the church's upcoming motion for summary judgment, Cook had much to lose and very little to gain.

Naturally, some ex-Scientologists and other observers who are eager to see the church's practices exposed were hoping that Cook was going to press hard to get more revelations out of her former employer. She had filed a counterclaim, and her attorney, Ray Jeffrey, was aggressively pushing the church to produce someone for a deposition and to turn over records. It was Cook's position that she had signed her 2007 agreement with the church under duress, and that its draconian terms were therefore invalid. But as Pilutik points out, that had never been ruled on by the court, and a new judge might have simply discounted her assertion that she had been forced to sign it while being held against her will.

We don't know which side approached the other to begin settlement talks. Pilutik says that the timing of the settlement -- with considerable time to go before the motion for summary judgment was heard -- suggests to him that it was Cook who reached out to the church and not the other way around.

What we do know is that Cook and Baumgarten, according to the final judgment filed Monday, walk away without paying or receiving money from the church, and also are gagged once again. But to my un-expert eyes, the order filed Monday seems less onerous than the NDAs Debbie and Wayne had signed in 2007. I asked Pilutik to make his own comparison, and he sent this detailed analysis...

The only part of the NDA partially rendered in the judicial order is section 6, titled "Covenants" which are mostly reproduced from the original, although they're condensed and better-drafted. The original NDA is an overwritten mess, imagining the myriad things Cook and Baumgarten are no longer permitted to do instead of more generally categorizing them, which the judicial order does a better job of. Probably the most notable omission from the original in this section is the prohibition against disseminating Scientology's upper level materials. My guess is that the court would have a problem with that paragraph, as it doesn't in any way concern disparagement, and would probably constitute "public information" as opposed to "non-public information" of the sort Cook is specifically prohibited from disclosing. The judicial order more explicitly defines what constitutes "non-public information" than the original NDA.

Now section 6 is the meat of the NDA, and it's mostly been replicated. But every other clause in the NDA isn't replicated in the judicial order. Namely, Cook's release of claims she might have against Scientology; Cook's waiver specific statutory claims; Remedies, Consideration, and so on.

It's not the prohibitions that interest me though, it's paragraph 3, which evidently supersedes the liquidated damages clause of the NDA by effectively pushing the question off to another day. The paragraph states, in short, that if any derogatory information is disseminated, "such information could not likely be immediately retrieved nor its damaging effects avoided, making a monetary judgment ineffectual and inadequate." This means that if Cook and Baumgarten violate this order, the question of damages is for the court to decide.

Paragraph 4 also concerns relief, stating that "[a]ny relief sought by any party which is not granted herein is denied," This is truly puzzling because there is no relief granted "herein"--the order is an injunction and makes no mention of remedies. Indeed, as mentioned, paragraph 3 kicks the 'what if' can down the road rather than address it 'herein." What I think this intended to mean is that the relief sought by the parties in the underlying suit and countersuit is officially denied.

Paragraph 5 covers similar territory, by disposing "all claims" and asserting that this judgment is intended to be a "final, appealable judgment." This is also a bit half baked and begs more questions than answers. But one reasonable inference that can be drawn is that this order will necessarily supersede any other agreement with which it conflicts.

The order seems hastily drafted, and not because so many NDA provisions didn't make it in, but because the order leaves open to interpretation how the parties should proceed in case of X, Y, or Z. If one party alleges the other party has violated the agreement, they would proceed by filing a contempt action, and the court at that point can fashion its own remedy based on the existing facts. This is certainly more preferable to Cook and Baumgarten than a liquidated damages scheme whereby every violation would be tabulated by accountants to seven figures.

But mostly, Cook and Baumgarten have been returned to the status quo prior to Cook sending the December 31 e-mail, except that she got to tell her story in possibly violation of the NDA, they got to keep the money they received for their silence, got to testify in court on matters that certainly would have violated the NDA, and the most egregious aspects of the now-reformed NDA have either been removed or mitigated. It was the Scientology version of the Amish rite "rumspringa" in which every Amish youth is permitted a short time window to act irresponsibly--drink, do drugs, have sex--before returning to the fold, no questions asked. The question then, I guess, is whether Cook and Baumgarten actually returned to the fold; these terms don't seem to restrict that possibility, though it seems hard to imagine. And paragraph 3D makes it difficult for Cook and Baumgarten to find an Independent Scientology outlet, since they are all considered enemies of the Church.

As to the repeated claims we have seen online that Cook may have been paid something by the church in a secret side deal which is not reflected in the court judgment, this is what Pilutik had to say over at WWP...

This is highly speculative grassy-knoll territory and moreover makes zero sense. Any "separate agreement" would necessarily contradict the court ordered agreement, which appears to thoroughly cover all the territory one would want to cover at this stage. What good is a secret agreement which contradicts an existing, simultaneously-entered-into court-ordered agreement? What legal force would such a document have? And why would Scientology give money away without consideration -- consideration which would otherwise be found in the court-ordered agreement? How stupid do you think Scientology's lawyers are?

And more importantly, what leverage do you think Cook has over Scientology that necessitates a separate agreement whereby she'd receive money above and beyond what she and Wayne had already received? Even if she favorably estimated her chances of success at trial at, say, 90 percent (and that figure is probably lower), the 10 percent chance that the court validated the NDAs is an outcome that would effectively ruin them for the next decade or so. Anyone who thinks Cook had the leverage to demand cash as part of a settlement is missing the point that the court had not even come close to a finding on the NDA's validity, and that issue really could have gone either way, although I liked her argument better.

For Scientology's part, up until the eve of trial or deposition (after which point they would risk an adverse finding on the NDA's validity), all they risked was additional Cook testimony, the majority of which had already likely emerged during the injunction hearing. And which is how they generally do it. The non-trial-eve timing of the settlement suggests a greater likelihood that Cook andBaumgarten called to settle, and not the other way around; and the party calling for settlement is generally not the one with the leverage.

And finally, Pilutik sent me these thoughts about the court judgment...

The court set up a structure that appears to require all future disputes to return to that court, but the order doesn't specifically say so, such as it might have with a clause retaining exclusive jurisdiction over all future disputes arising from the order/agreement.

There's also nothing that explicitly invalidates the original NDA.

So my fear, if I were Cook, would be that if Cook potentially breaches, Scientology doesn't bother with the Texas court and files a breach suit based on the original NDA in, say, a Florida court. What might a Florida court do? Is it bound to look at the Texas order and say, take your dispute back to Texas? While that would make the most sense, who knows since the order doesn't explicitly retain exclusive jurisdiction and doesn't mention the NDA?

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Scientology on the High Seas

In November the Voice obtained hundreds of copies of L. Ron Hubbard's previously unpublished "Orders of the Day," which he gave to crew members as he sailed the Atlantic and the Mediterranean on the yacht Apollo. Our documents cover the period from late 1968 through 1971, and this time we're looking at what was happening the week of April 22 through 28 during those years.

This week, the Commodore continues his obsession with headwear...


1969

April 22: LRH finds a dumbness, and Diana admires good old dad.

DISCIPLINE

As people are shoving problems at me through failures in awareness and expertise and as I am being forced to give orders where none would usually be needed and as casual advices are being perpetuated as orders, the following ships regulation is now in force:

EVERY TIME I FIND AN OUTNESS OR DUMBNESS AND HAVE TO CALL ANYONE'S ATTENTION TO IT OR ISSUE AN ORDER TO CORRECT IT, I AM GOING TO DOCK THE OFFICER OF THAT SPHERE OF CONTROL ONE DAY'S ALLOWANCES AND THE OFFENDER ONE WEEK'S ALLOWANCES.

This applies to correcting the actions of a steersman or lookout or motorman or Engineer of the Watch, easing courses, aide actions, anything.

The ship is in non-existence. My work load is well above anything anyone else aboard could begin to do. I am not able to wear my own hats.

The excuse that one doesn't really know enough to note at once and handle outnesses has worn thin. It no longer goes. Failure to know that one is his post title is an act of Treason.

This order will remain in force until the ship is again neat, efficient, it and its crew are of good appearance and efficient and the tension of existing operations has been eased by someone else getting some ideas and taking some smart actions.

The effort to force the ship into a one man show with nobody else responsible has been a nice try. I intend that it shall cease.

LRH, COMMODORE

...

I want to thank our Commodore for taking us through the Straits. It was my privilege and honour to serve him.

Lt. Cmdr Diana Hubbard
Con Watch A


April 27: Now here's a Policy Letter I'd like to see...

Late item from LRH

Death Wish

I've just written an HCO Pol Ltf on "Death Wishes" of interest to the ship.

LRH, COMMODORE



1970

April 25: The sheer stamina Hubbard has for writing constantly, endlessly, unwaveringly, incessantly, about people wearing their proper "hats" (i.e., performing their assigned roles) is really just superhuman.

HATS

The soggy feeling one gets from lines sometimes comes directly from the line passing through a point which isn't wearing its hat.

Hats can be not worn through ignorance or through neglect. Many times hats are accepted not to help a group but "to have an opportunity to ___________". Like an MD who studies medicine to "make money" or "to obtain better opportunities with women". So one has two reasons to wear a hat -- (a) to do a job, (b) to have an opportunity to do something else.

When a hat is not worn for any reason at all, one gets a breakdown at that point. We call this a "camouflaged hole". Somebody has a title but doesn't do the duties or actions that go with it.

That is the soggy feeling's cause, the unworn hat. A group that cannot or does not snap and pop and get on top of it has some members in it who aren't wearing their hats.

The most common reason why hats aren't worn is because they are not known, this is what we are seeking to remedy with the Hats Programme now in action.

LRH, COMMODORE



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Bonus 1970s Awesomeness

While L. Ron Hubbard was moving HQ from the yacht Apollo to the Florida coast, Advance! magazine was thrilling Scientologists with its tales of "OT Phenomena." Those church members who had reached the higher levels of spiritual training shared their stories of superhuman powers with fellow dupes -- er, enthusiasts. This excerpt is from Issue 30, March 1975.

This week we had to share more than one OT success from Issue 30, they are just that good...


A few years ago I was driving home from work in my sports car when it started to rain. Unfortunately I had left the fabric top at home, so I picked up speed to beat the rain.

As I rounded a bad curve, the heavens opened up with a cloudburst which covered the road with several inches of water. The tires lost their traction and the car went out of control into the oncoming lane. I was heading for a head-on collision at well over 60 miles an hour with a car containing a family of four.

Out of necessity, I picked up my car and literally threw it off the road. I wiped out a sturdy fence built of four by fours, about 50 feet of it, before I came to rest in a stone wall.

The other car stopped and the family came over to offer assistance. They could not believe that I wasn't hurt, because the car was a total wreck. They also couldn't understand how my car suddenly swept off the road when it was heading straight for them.

I cursed myself for lack of control which resulted in the loss of my car and the fence. But now, looking back on it, I realize that it wasn't bad for a thetan who had been out of practice for a goodly number of years, and had only made OT II a few weeks earlier. -- Fred Hare, Full OT VII


My processing level is only Objective Processes and I'm on the Hubbard Qualified Scientologist Course now, but I have an OT Success Story just the same.

Yesterday evening I was eating dinner at a cheap place in Manhattan. There was some music coming in over the loudspeakers that I wasn't enjoying. I found it really was unpleasant to me.

Then I realized that I had put myself at the effect-point of that communication process. I figured out that out-flow is better than inflow, and that I might get somewhere with this problem of unpleasant music if I were creating it. So I started creating the music, while sitting there eating my dinner. Now get this -- after a few seconds of this, the music ended in the middle of a beat and a really enjoyable piece came on in its place! And that one played through and ended properly at the end of a bar. -- Bruce Pick, Port Washington, N.Y.


Well we know that second one isn't true because he tips us off right there at the beginning. I mean, you just aren't going to hoodwink this Gothamite with the words "a cheap place in Manhattan." I mean, come on.

As for the sports car hero with his Tom Cruise-like tale of helping at the scene of the accident, it's beginning to dawn on me that these OTs have created a great excuse for being really bad drivers. "But officer, I wanted to skid my car off the road and did so with the power of my mind!" Yeah, I'd buy that for a dollar.

Well, it's been quite a week here at Scientology Watching Central, but we have a special treat coming up for you in just a few more days. Please check our Facebook author page for upcoming schedules and updates.


**********
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. 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 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.

My Voice Nation Help
298 comments
John P.
John P.

As I understand things (through occasional casual bits picked up rather than as a result of systematic study), companies and military units had a very small visible political control presence.  The "zampolit" (political officer) was known and loathed, and people were adept at hiding their true actions from him.  There were often additional undercover plants as well, but not detecting those people was just a cost of doing business.  Essentially, the value of the political officer was one of deterrent, for specific crimes involving overthrowing the stability of the state.  That's a fairly narrow set of things the respective communist parties were trying to deal with. And, of course, the populations the governments were trying to control are orders of magnitude greater than Scientology ever was, so they had to pick their battles very narrowly.   I would argue that Scientology is far nastier.  They were trying to detect not only actions against Hubbard but any impure thoughts against Hubbard.  Any action less than perfection in any area of your behavior (not just those that involved the organization) could pull you into "ethics" to face interrogation for thought crimes.  And ultimately, if you had even the smallest doubt that "the tech" works miracles, that became an action of disloyalty against Hubbard and gulag-like punishment resulted.   The feedback loop is so much tighter in Scientology than in Soviet-era police states that the Russians and Chinese at their worst seem like amateurs in comparison. 

robert a
robert a

"What other organization, with the possible exception of a maximum security prison, has such a high percentage of employees focused on punishing those who ... " Actually, two answers immediately come to mind: The CP of the Soviet Union and its echo, the CP of China up to about 1976. In those cases, a Party structure shadowed the operational structure of companies and government units with the sole purose of maintaining Party control over all aspects of operations.

robert a
robert a

I disagree that it was the Cook side that sought the settlement. If you look at her letters to the CoS she has the goods on the McPherson case. CoS attorneys expected to keep all that out, but they couldn't keep out what came out in the depo, either. In the Lawrence Wallersheim case they paid rather than let damaging evidence come out, and I think we need to appreciate how important that is to them. All of the many tens of millions they have invested in intimidation, espionage, black ops, and court actions has that singular objective. As for Ms. Cook, she is another True Believer who acted only when it all turned against her personally, not for any reasons of principle or new realization. From what she wrote in her letters, it appears that all she wanted was to stop the problems her New Year's missive precipitated, and when she was offered that, she took it.

MassMom
MassMom

Noah Miller, I htink thousands were helped. This tawdry incident demonstrates the CoS is:1. Not as legally savvy. Others will follow in Cook's footsteps after witnessing the church walk away from what they felt was a slam-dunk case of violation of an NDA. More will follow.2. The CoS, for a period, was again exposed for its reported abuses by a former officer.3. Current and potential CoS adherants got a glimpse of the vindictiveness of the CoS. Not a good lasting image and certainly not something you'll see in the recruitment videos.

Sometimes the subtle, less sensational results are the most potent.

LRonSatanist
LRonSatanist

l ron hubbard was a piece of shit OTO satanist and acolyte of Aleister Crowley (like many of the scumbags who work at the Village Voice). If you actually believe this stupidity, I feel sorry for you, because you are a total sucker. 

CanuckXenu
CanuckXenu

This sort of fits the "Sunday Funnies" theme.  Family Guy tonight had a "John Travolta is gay" joke AND a Tom Cruise/Scientology throwaway gag.

Guess McFarlane will never be seen at Celebrity Center.

guest
guest

I think you all 3 make good points. I'm always surprised when people publicly go the ridicule or even harassment route when trying to reason with church members. It seems like that would very rarely work in getting people out. Sometimes it seems like protesters' goals are just to argue and get people angry. If I was yelled at/ignored/linked with crimes of other people, my thought would not be: these are benevolent people who know important things I don't and want to help me. 

So I think it's best to be kind and communicative.

On the other hand, you won't see me knowingly supporting any COS group or member's business financially. It's kind of sick to me that as many people know "enough" about the church, Tom Cruise's last movie did so well. There are citizen movements to ban all sorts of products for all sorts of causes. How does anyone in the know justify making Tom richer so he can pass on more resources to the church? 

Tye Solaris
Tye Solaris

This was posted as a reply to Mrs. Vonn Trapp

As an ex-insider, I know exactly what you are saying... however, Scott's replies are consistently informing us that our wog world views are not really applicable in a court room proceeding. Many specific points and aspects have to be addressed individually and there are additional filings and hearings and costs that are necessary for that to occur......

 The Law has become a world unto itself and that it actually weighs and dispenses justice and rights of any kind is largely coincidence for us living in the outside world....

Chuck Beatty
Chuck Beatty

"The effort to force the ship into a one man show with nobody else responsible has been a nice try. I intend that it shall cease." - L. Ron Hubbard, quoted from this article's quote of Hubbard.

Second thoughts on this nugget of Hubbard self admission, is that obviously Hubbard's DNA is so entwined with whoever rises up to run the movement today, is inevitably forced into the "one man show" role.    Witness David Miscavige, being the one man show today.

This might be a human sociological problem though, meaning it seems a human flawed pattern beyond Scientology's/Hubbard's ability to curtail, and that Hubbard is just repeating what is human sociology, which to me seems ultimately the truth.   

Hubbard the dictator who said the dreamer/theorist founder of a movement was NOT one to be the manager or management team leader of a movement, but that the dreamer founder ought only to be the dreamer of the theory of that movement.

Well, Hubbard's failure as top manager role (which he himself in the 1950s claims he took on the church management role only due to others failing), just proves he was blind to the advice about, and advice he should have heeded, but because of necessity he never was capable of heeding.

His church admin rules and regulations writings then became this massive albatross on the necks of the movement therapists/exorcists today.

Chuck Beatty
Chuck Beatty

"The effort to force the ship into a one man show with nobody else responsible has been a nice try. I intend that it shall cease." - L. Ron Hubbard, quoted from this article's quote of Hubbard.

From my hindsight view, this type of admission quote by Hubbard shows he was blind to the problems he himself was creating.

As almost all long term ex members who lived long enough near Ron or who've spent decades trying to apply his rules, most eventually come to realize, there was no winning when you came up against Ron's illogicalness.

One was with him or against him.

And the penalty for being with him, was accepting and adopting his illogicalness and blindness, suffering being blamed and targeted by him, and accepting his condemnatory labels as being incompetent at his movement.

The truth is Ron was a bad manager. Ron's 1950 Essay On Management essay, is his most important self admission that the religion founder should NOT be the management team leader of the movement that is executing the dreamer's religion!

Ron should have stayed out of the management structure setup evolution of the movement, per his 1950 Essay On Management. This is a high level criticism of him, which some of the splinter group leaders instinctively know or came to realize also, and it justifies doing other types of management setups.

Ron should NOT have been involved and the key decision maker of the church/movement management.

Noticing today how the freezone/independent Scientologists just stick with Ron's "tech" (talk therapy and exorcism therapy) and that they do NOT follow the administrative setups with their confining penalty regulations, proves this point.

The Sea Org era beginnings, of which these excellent "OODs" (Orders of the Day, the daily newspaper on the Apollo vessel in the formative Sea Org years, late 1960s to early 1970s) articles come from, are examples of key times when Ron was way out past his own advice.

Ron justified it, honestly, by drawing on his "past lives" memories, his past lives research, in how things were done in earth history and further back in galactic space civilization history, and these past lives' history lessons Ron discovered, are what he wove into the Scientology church multi echelon structures.

There is so much more context all this fits within.

Thanks again Tony for even noticing!

Strelnikov
Strelnikov

Ron comes off as a busybody, "Garry Stu" sort of character in the OODs, that he is all-knowing and his crew are feebs.....I would have jumped ship at the first port they came across, because Hubbard was mediocre as a commander of a flotilla, but thought he was Admiral Nimitz.

DodoTheLaser
DodoTheLaser

Scientology failed to deliver Clear and OT. That's why we are here. Hi, Debbie! Have a good life.

wannabeclear
wannabeclear

RE: The Outness and the Dumbness (I think I'll start a band, just so I can name my first album that)

If there was ever any doubt that Miscavige is just following LRH's wackbar playbook, this passage on discipline alone is all the proof needed.  When I read the sentence, "My work load is well above anything anyone else aboard could begin to do," I had an undeniable urge to have t-shirts made and send them to Marty and all of his indies who think that the tiny tyrant is any different than his master.  He learned at the teat of the original and has just taken it to its sociopathic conclusion...

Tye Solaris
Tye Solaris

(in final reply to Scott P.)

Thank you for taking the time to communicate with more detail on this case.

Reamus
Reamus

Question: when Tony's most awesome blog is quiet, what other website works for you (in terms of preventing scientology abuses?)

Reamus
Reamus

Hey LRH, I know you invented "Study Tech" but did you really know what you were doing?  Because you shouldn't capitalize "Treason."  Moron!

Elizabethan
Elizabethan

Oh yes, have read some and it is interesting. It's on the web. Myself, I can't wait to go to another galaxy, if I'm going anywhere, just not back here.

magikcarrot
magikcarrot

L. Ron Hubbard's Hilarious "Windsplitter" Song from Battlefield ...... O how we laughed and laughed.

Jgg
Jgg

  One thing you have to remember is that a lawsuit is draining.  Look at Wollersheim: yes, it produced tons of negative publicity and cost Scientology millions, but he didn't get a dime for 20 years; when he did, most of it went to legal fees.  Cook's case is weaker than his, moreover, so she easily could have lost and gotten nothing and been stuck with insurmountable legal fees.

Elizabethan
Elizabethan

Boy, you got that right Noah.  Speaking of puzzles and being a piece of a part of the puzzle. Tisn't easy to know where one fits in except in nowhere!!!!!!!!

Mimsey_borogrove
Mimsey_borogrove

I don't know how much I believe what  Pilutik wrote about dismissing the idea she was paid off by the church. IMO he is forgetting the fact she was imprisoned illegally by DM in the hole for an extended period of time. It seems to me that the whole point of her lawyers thrust was to wave their crimes in front of the court, the media and most importantly, in Miscaviges face. It was to make it quite clear with her appearances in the press and television media, the published list of questions their lawyers were to respond to, Scientology could expect more of the same if they didn't come to the table.

Scientology is all about maintaining a squeaky clean public image.  They thus had a vested in interest in settling. On ESMB, another lawyer explained the usual for these injunctions is to do the cash settlements prior to filing the injunction.  It doesn't matter that the abuse DM visited on her was not part of the matter to hand, the NDA, because Scientology is in dire straits with diminishing public, and they fear the fallout if the case proceeded. Thus they are motivated to do anything to shut her up. 

This is a big part of their declaring parrishoners who start looking the reports and blogs about Scientology on the net. They cut off and shun anyone who might spread any negativity within the ranks. Thus they are motivated to shut her up - what she has to say is very toxic, and it is coming from one of the most highly thought of former Flag Executives.

That is why I think they paid her off. 

Mimsey

Noah Miller
Noah Miller

It sounds great. But it does not hold up when what the church is interested in is getting Debbie to be quiet. If they paid her and did not declare it, that payment constitutes a different deal then what is in the new NDA.

Why would anyone risk their NDA in order to pay your opposition under the table, when your goal is that NDA. All they would have to do is declare the money and weather the storm for a week or two of blogs speculating about her being payed off-- which they're already doing anyway. 

Plotinus
Plotinus

I originally thought of Dianetics and Scientology as a weak-minded fool's attempt to create a form of self-help.  It was evident to me LRH was a dim wit. 

Then I decided, rather than deluded self-help, it was specifically designed to financially rape it's adherents.

I have finally come to the conclusion that it was specifically designed to drive people insane. 

My conclusion is based on my current studies not only of Scientology, but many other philosophies and religions.  Scientology, rather than offering any means of self-help, seems rather to take the neurotic components of everyday life, and amplify them, while taking the positive components of life and minimizing them.  

It really is a recipe for insanity.

MarkStark
MarkStark

Dr. Lottick -- after his son got involved in Scientology and killed himself -- called Scientology a "school for psychopaths." Maybe he meant the part about training people to get rid of Body Thetans (dead space alien souls) or trying to leave their bodies (go exterior), believing they are controlling matter, energy, space and time?

He could have also meant the pressure that can be put on a more confused or fragile person, to assume responsibility for doing scientology in a way that heals them, and sells it to others. Everyone in the cult is supposed to be this shining example of success to draw others into it. A member is constantly encouraged and rewarded by buying into it, and claiming it is helping. When it doesn't work, and some people are made to feel like failures, and they have a problem that requires compassion or a different approach than digging through their past looking for "engrams," they feel hopeless and discouraged. 

He also could have meant their preoccupation with claiming they have "all the answers" and are the only ones who can clear the planet. I still think the primary objective is to get people in a state of mind so they can be controlled for the purposes of extracting ever larger amounts of money, or in the case of workers, so that they devote their lives to selling it, getting money out of other people.

That's what is ironic about Debbie. She sold more of it than just about anyone, but still ended up being confined, tortured, and ultimately cast out. She was unable to use any of the transformational "tools" that Scientology supposedly gives a person, to help herself.

If the main purpose of the cult was to drive people crazy, they wouldn't pay up. They discard people who get too crazy to be productive or are able to pay up or work for them.

However, if you mean people are crazy with devotion and trust, yeah, that could probably be their primary goal. To do that, you have to project certainty, and find people who are looking for certainty.  For some people, thinking they've found certainty, all the answers, helps them be confident and achieve things others can't.

One thing that irked me about Scientologists compared to other religions -- although I've never taken a course or been audited -- is they seemed incapable of having a theological or even philosophical discussion. Instead, they just keep foisting it on you, selling it, that you must do it yourself, and that you are a fool or failure if you don't at least do that. Then, for the people who do it, and reject it, which is most people who try it, they claim they are superior and the people who reject it are failures. Doesn't matter if they're as dumb as Louanne or uneducated as Karin Pouw and David Miscavige. They are Scientologists and they are going to clear the planet, like Dr. Hubbard said they should do.

Plotinus
Plotinus

You make a good point, that it would be nonproductive to destroy your adherents immediately, when they still have money.  So your distinction "crazy with devotion and trust" is a good one.  But one can be too devoted and trusting, while still relatively healthy.  Scientology corrodes mental health.  I believe the construct is designed to break you.  LRH was obsessed with creating slaves. 

magikcarrot
magikcarrot

Yep.

 Neurotic insanity with many years of Ethics and Conditions cycles just to make sure you stay in the loop.

MarkStark
MarkStark

There's a fine article on the San Antonio Express homepage about the Cook trial, by Brian Chasnoff: "Abuse fits into the teaching of L. Ron Hubbard." He makes only one inconsequential mistake by suggesting Reitman wrote that people were punished on Hubbard's ship by being put in chains.

Someone mentioned the domino theory, and it reminded me of how my thinking is partly that, partly the paper-cut theory, but my optimism favors a tipping point theory, having to do with a nexus between people using the Internet as a resource for information when either considering spending money on taking Scientology courses/processing, or when people question something about it, whether they are current members, raw meat or critics. Given the rate of growth of using the Internet to find information, that tipping point alone could be in 10 to 20 years.

Incidents like the Brian C. story,set me back in thinking we were anywhere near a tipping point from the availability of information on the web alone. Chasnoff mentions the "Church" as a "hydra," and we know that has been its history.

The other thing I look for is the crack that opens up into a gulf that swallows the scam, which I guess is a way of saying the first domino that gets pushed over. That could be something like one of the big three "scilebrities" waking up and denouncing David Miscavige or something else -- something less predictable. I thought there was a remote chance it could be the Debbie Cook incident, because it was something that came out of left field, and was surprising. But honestly, I thought they were going to settle before Miscavige was dragged into court or it turned into a show trial. In addition, I thought the vast majority of faithful clams would just turn on Debbie or ignore her. We still don't even know what [petty thing] Debbie did to get herself imprisoned and maybe never will. Did she remind Miscavige what she knew about Lisa M? Did she ask how Shelly was doing?

Again, I'm probably being overly optimistic but aside from an unforeseen incident precipitating the collapse the of the cult, I also think there are other possibilities in the works:

Wright's book.The Master (movie)Opening of Super Powerz building

The first domino to go over could be anything that that stimulates the public's interest in reading about the wackiness, control and abuses of Scientology. Otherwise, the cult will just keep sprouting heads, because they've got so much money now, to do so.

Chocolate Velvet
Chocolate Velvet

Yeah, it's an excellent overview. The article makes it clear that Debbie Cook is confused when she claims the violence is a distortion of Hubbard's original teachings, and that the ethics policies are a core element. This article should be linked everywhere you can think of!

Unfortunately, Louanne is the only commenter so far on the article. Helpfully offering links to the "myths" site, and yadda yadda yadda. Time to get to work, information warriors! mysanantonio.Kom/news/news_columnists/brian_chasnoff/article/Abuse-fits-into-teachings-of-L-Ron-Hubbard-3517061.php

MarkStark
MarkStark

People in San Antonio know Krazy Kult came to town for a trial and left. I think they know enough to wiki Hubbard or Scientology rather than wade through some BS link of Louanne's.

It's too bad an article like that didn't make a newspaper like USA Today though because it would be an excellent article for newbies to read. No back story necessary. Very coherent. Says it all.

Chocolate Velvet
Chocolate Velvet

People outside San Antonio, such as myself, will see this article too. Half my friends have checked out the link I posted elsewhere, none of them live in Texas, Cali, or Florida, so Sci news is always news to them. The accurate info would be helpful for folks like them, you see? I think USA Today is a sack of crap, to put it baldly. They mostly avoid any story that might upset or bewilder you over breakfast. But other outlets DO follow up on stories getting a lot of web traffic. Hence the suggestion to link the story a plenty.

Synthia Elizabeth Fagen
Synthia Elizabeth Fagen

 "It's too bad an article like that didn't make a newspaper like USA Today though..."

I guess a settlement isn't interesting to anyone, including the major news outlets.

Noah Miller
Noah Miller

Chains, Chain Locker, close enough I guess. 

Elizabethan
Elizabethan

Noah, speaking of gray. A snippet from my letter to Debbie since she asked me how Flag was that week. This was a black cloud, the effect she created at Flag Friday."my senses told me of something "wrong" all the way home and then of course looked up your letter to re-read in TBT to see if that happened to have anything to do with the changes, which of course answered that question. You know if they would've just been friendly and normal like all was well, I may have never looked. So.........

Elizabethan
Elizabethan

If I wasn't a Lady, I'd say WTF? I am however half German. Sounds like something my grandmother used to schpeil.

 Thetan-X
Thetan-X

L Ron and his fucking "HATS" I mean What The Fuck L Ron? I don't wear hats, I might put on a nice pair of ear-muffs once in a while or a scarf but never a Hat. Why are you so fucking INTO Hats ????Hats here, hats there hats,hats every where, jesus fucking christo with the fucking hats I can't take it anymore L Ron!!! What about socks???? for fucks sake !!!

grundoon
grundoon

SOCKS

The soggy feeling one gets from lines sometimes comes directly from the line passing through a point which isn't wearing its socks.

Socks can be not worn through ignorance or through neglect. Many times socks are accepted not to help a group but "to have an opportunity to ___________". Like an MD who studies medicine to "make money" or "to obtain better opportunities with women". So one has two reasons to wear socks -- (a) to do a job, (b) to have an opportunity to do something else.

When socks are not worn for any reason at all, one gets a breakdown at that point. We call this a "camouflaged hole". Somebody has a title but doesn't do the duties or actions that go with it.

That is the soggy feeling's cause, the unworn socks. A group that cannot or does not snap and pop and get on top of it has some members in it who aren't wearing their socks.

The most common reason why socks aren't worn is because they are not known, this is what we are seeking to remedy with the Socks Programme now in action.

LRH, COMMODORE

it's business time
it's business time

Put your business socks on, crew. It's business time. The Commodore will now screw you over. 

[FOTC punny reference]

Victoriapandora
Victoriapandora

Because, "I am not able to wear my own socks", just doesn't have the same ring to it.

S. P.
S. P.

Almost everything Pilutik says makes good sense, and the crux of the matter is this: " Cook had much to lose and very little to gain."

However, Cook's email did NOT violate her NDA. The email sounded negative in many ways, but unless law is something horribly arbitrary, irrational, vague, and subjective, for somebody to violate a contract he must do something that the contract literally states he not do, right? The thing that allegedly violates the contract must do more than just sound bad or in some vague subjective way violate the unspoken spirit inspiring the contract. Right?

I am no lawyer but you don't have to be a lawyer to understand what words mean. Taken literally and strictly, nothing Cook agreed to was violated by her email.

I am confused and a little frightened and disgusted by that lawyer's assumption. If our laws are supposed to just, questions like that should be decided by logic and a careful and strictly rigorous analysis of what the words of a contract literally mean, not by hasty judgment, vague free-association, and prejudice.

But again, what really matters is that Cook had everything to lose and nothing to gain by trying to somehow stop the church from just "walking away" from the case. No one should blame her for doing what she did--she has a responsibility to herself and her husband to be prudent and wise. Her court testimony was devastating and a great victory agains the contemporary church and it's current leadership.

Unex Skcus
Unex Skcus

Cook had everything to lose and nothing to gain

Sceptic that I am, I could find it plausible to suggest that Cook may have been well aware that in a 'no holds barred' courtroom fight, Co$ (and DM) could have more to lose than she did.

One could consider that Cook had everything to gain and nothing to lose.

She knows the system. She survived for a long time as head of one of Co$'s most important entities, Flag. Whatever Debbie Cook is, 'stupid' doesn't come to mind. And she is pre-programmed to 'handle' situations, as accorded to LRH.

Yep, with the amount of flack going on, and DC's timing of the email... I wouldn't be entirely shocked to find out in the course of time that Debbie (and Wayne) had outwitted Co$, predicted their reactions, and lured them into an inevitable trap.

Marty's yelping about a substantial "take it on the quiet, and get the f*ck outta here" payoff is, well, plausible.

IMHO

Noah Miller
Noah Miller

To reiterate the article, paying them off under the table would essentially constitute another agreement that could easily void or at least crack the one they got. No lawyer worth their salt would allow their client, after fighting to get a new NDA to then toss that NDA out the window in order to pay the opposition. It makes no sense. 

guest
guest

Why assume the lawyers would know about, or be able to stop, an under the table payment? Don't forget the crazy cult mindset on every possible subject. It wouldn't surprise me if both the church and Debbie felt that the wog court did not have the power to give adequate justice or protection. And there are ways of hiding the money or making it appear to be earned another way. Maybe the settlement was really the final word. But criminals bringing their fight to court and then finishing it later on their own is something that has always happened and always will. It seems naive to assume that the church and any still-brainwashed person will act the way an average wog would in a legal situation. 

Jonathan W. Hendry
Jonathan W. Hendry

To distinguish themselves from the hacker Anonymous types, anti-Co$ Anonymous ought to rename themselves "Men Without Hats"

CofS Exit Zone
CofS Exit Zone

That's not how the culture works. We are still, and always be, apart of Anonymous. It's just different strokes for different folks, and the operational strokes we subscribe to are called Project Chanology. No further separation is necessary, nor wanted.

jensting
jensting

 well, I'm not Anonymous, so I narrowly miss having to say "No Way!!"

Unex Skcus
Unex Skcus

Hmm... I suppose I'm just a 'small a' anonymous, like, I'm just anonymous...

I kinda like "Thetans Without Hats". Doesn't target gender.

Plus, if I have that on a T-shirt, probably 99.9999% of Aussies would ask me "WTF is that?" Being as anonymous as I am, I guess I'd just point them to this blog.

bobx
bobx

It does have a whiff of "Deutsche, Wehrt Euch!  Kauft Nicht Bei Juden!" to it.

Michael Leonard Tilse
Michael Leonard Tilse

Simply put, I object to the behavior of the corporations of Scientology and it's directors and staff and members where that behavior abuses people, damages people or violates the human rights of people. There is ample testimony, including the testimony under oath by Debbie Cook, to support that this behavior exists. By supporting in any way the corporations, organizations, staff and members of Scientology I would thus be lending my support to that behavior.

I believe that refusing to support in any way anything even faintly connected to Scientology will hasten the day when the abuse ends. I believe it is important to explain this basis for refusing support when doing so, so as to educate the scientologist as to why.

The idea that scientology is a religion has been sold precisely to confuse objection to behavior, which is appropriate, with objection to belief which is not.

Noah Miller
Noah Miller

Yes these things exist, and they are horrible. But John and Jane Scientologist do not know they are occurring, and some of them are being tormented by these actions. You can't effect change by closing your eyes and pretending these people don't exist. I hate to use the term Hearts and Minds, but Hearts and Minds man. 

Talk to John and Jane Scientologist. Tell them about what's going on, present the evidence. Allow them to refute it if they can, this makes them go do their own research. And yeah maybe it won't happen the next day but when every time they talk about their religion someone speaks to them like a human being and explains why there is such disdain for it and why we know that there are abuses going on they will be forced to examine their position. 

All your way does is put these people in a box and supports their belief that the Wog world is out to get them. It will have the exact opposite effect you intend and is just plain mean, on a human level, to boot.

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