Featured Post

HOW SCIENTOLOGY COERCED A CHILD TO HAVE AN ABORTION: THE LAURA DECRESCENZO FILES

HOW SCIENTOLOGY COERCED A CHILD TO HAVE AN ABORTION: THE LAURA DECRESCENZO FILES

—————- In anticipation of her biggest day in court yet, Laura DeCrescenzo and her attorneys hit the Church of Scientology with 928 pages of new filings —————- Details from 18,000 pages of evidence show how Scientology manipulated a child to keep her working under slave-like conditions —————- A key document describing DeCrescenzo’s unwillingness to have her coerced abortion is missing from the evidence Scientology was ordered to produce By Tony Ortega Wednesday afternoon, Laura DeCrescenzo filed explosive new information in her four-year legal odyssey against the Church of Scientology, submitting 928 pages of new declarations and exhibits in anticipation of a crucial October 23 hearing in her lawsuit against the church which alleges abuse, including allegations that she was forced to have an abortion at only 17 years of age. Key to the new filings is information gleaned from thousands of pages of previously secret files that the church fought mightily to keep under wraps. But on Monday, the U.

Share Button

Facebook

Subscribe to our e-mail list

SCIENTOLOGY SUED FOR FRAUD OVER REFUND SCHEME, MORE PLAINTIFFS TO COME

Luis Garcia, seen in a recent video by Tiziano Lugli

Luis Garcia, seen in a recent video by Tiziano Lugli

In what appears to be the most serious legal challenge to Scientology in several years, former high-level Scientologists Luis Garcia and his wife Rocio of Irvine, California today filed a federal lawsuit against the Church of Scientology, alleging fraud over the way their contributions to the church — more than $400,000 — were misspent. The suit was filed in Florida’s Middle District with the help of the prestigious law firm Babbitt Johnson Osborne & Le Clainche, which says it plans to file additional lawsuits by other former church members.

UPDATE: See attorney Scott Pilutik’s thoughts on the lawsuit, below.

In 1993, the Internal Revenue Service granted Scientology tax exempt status, but the church was still beholden to an earlier Supreme Court decision that required it, as in a business, to give members refunds when they requested them.

Now that Scientology is in the grips of crisis and more and more longtime members like the Garcias are walking away from the church, an increasing number of them have asked for refunds — and the church isn’t giving them.

We’ve written about this state of affairs numerous times. Now, the Garcias have filed a lawsuit that accuses church leader David Miscavige of turning Scientology into little more than a fraudulent money-making scam.

“The Church, under the leadership of David Miscavige, has strayed from its founding principles and morphed into a secular enterprise whose primary purpose is taking people’s money,” the complaint says.

A year ago, when Debbie Cook sent out her explosive e-mail to fellow church members, she accused Scientology leader David Miscavige of turning Scientology away from its original goals and instead put all the recent emphasis on his pet projects, including the “Super Power” Building in Clearwater, Florida and the church’s defense fund, the International Association of Scientologists. But even though church members are under intense pressure to donate to these projects, they are never told how the money is used. Cook accused Miscavige of using the donations to amass a billion-dollar slush fund for his personal use. The Garcias make a similar complaint, saying that they gave about $420,000 in donations for the Super Power Building project, the IAS, and for services at the “Flag Land Base” in Clearwater. They were repeatedly assured that the money would be used for specific reasons that they now say were all lies.

(The Super Power Building first broke ground in 1998, and its exterior appears finished. But its wild interiors are apparently still being remodeled, and the facility has never been opened. When it does open, it’s supposed to deliver “super power” processes to wealthy high-level church members. The cost to build the structure have ranged as high $100 million, but the church has raised about $145 million, reports the Tampa Bay Times.)

The Garcias and their attorneys are about to hold a press conference, and we’ll be listening in telephonically and taking notes. We’ve had time only to read through the complaint once, and we’ll be adding to this story as we learn more.

– Luis Garcia, in the press conference: “Every time I was asked for a donation for the [Super Power] Building, I was told it would open within a year. I was lied to.”

– Ted Babbitt, Luis’s attorney, says that the lawsuit is not about Luis wanting the Super Power building open, but about the lies. “We can’t wait to see the finances” that will come out in discovery, he says. Oh, we can imagine he is looking forward to that.

Ted_Babbitt– Babbitt: “I’ve sued the biggest companies in the United States…I’m not afraid of taking on the Church of Scientology.”

– Babbitt: The complaint alleges that these donations have provided David Miscavige’s “high lifestyle.”

– Babbitt: Says he knows of hundreds of other former Scientologists who are just waiting for a lawsuit like this. He thinks he will end up representing many of them. They expect to end up representing HUNDREDS of people, but they do NOT plan to turn it into a class action.

(That’s really a good thing. Although we see our readers often extoll the idea of a class action lawsuit, the reality is that class action lawsuits totally blow, and they only end up enriching attorneys.)

– Luis Garcia: “They stay on you for hours, sometimes for days, until you cave in and give a donation….They have no mercy at all. Money has to be extracted at all costs…It’s unbelievable how much pressure you’re put under.”

– I’m told that five local TV crews are covering the press conference, as are Joe Childs and Tom Tobin of the Tampa Bay Times.

– Babbitt says he’s looked at every lawsuit against Scientology in Florida. This suit, however, he believes involves NO First Amendment issues, which the church usually appeals to in order to get out of lawsuits.

– Babbitt: “If we are correct that the [Super Power] building is not being opened so it can be used to amass more donations” — even though much more than necessary has already been raised to finish it, then that’s fraud, and they win their case.

– The lawsuit alleges five counts of fraud, two counts of unfair and deceptive trade practices and two counts of breach of contract.

– The lawsuit names five Scientology entities as defendants: The Church of Scientology Religious Trust; the Church of Scientology Flag Service Organization (FSO), which runs Scientology’s spiritual mecca in Clearwater; the Church of Scientology Flag Ship Service Organization, which operates Scientology’s private cruise ship, the Freewinds; the IAS Administrations (IASA), which runs the IAS, and the United States IAS Members Trust.

– The lawsuit has been assigned to federal judge James D. Whittemore.

– The Garcias are from Orange County, California, where Luis was also hit up for donations for the church’s “Ideal Org” there. He posted an amazing account of the way that process worked at Marty Rathbun’s blog.

– In the press conference, Babbitt talked about the way church members are told they have to go through Byzantine procedures to request a refund, which is the church’s way of getting them to give up. We reported a similar case recently, involving a Scientologist in South Africa. He said he asked for his money on account after he was “declared a suppressive person” — excommunicated, in other words. He said the church told him he could only request a refund if he filled out a form he could only obtain inside a Scientology “org” or church. But he was then told that because he was declared, he couldn’t go in the org to get the form. Amazing. That’s the kind of thing this lawsuit is aiming at.

UPDATE 1:15 PM We asked our legal department, also known as Manhattan attorney Scott Pilutik, to give us some thoughts on this lawsuit. Here’s what he sent us…

I like how the complaint immediately distinguishes the religion/not-a-religion question because this is always the overriding concern for any judge in a lawsuit against a religion. The judge wants to know that this case can be decided on neutral principles of law and doesn’t require doctrinal inquiry and paragraph 4 of the complaint makes that assurance, that instead this case is about contract, fraud, misrepresentation, and unfair business practices.

The fraud claim pits Scientology’s excuses to its members that the Super Power Building was incomplete because of lack of funds against its assurances to the city of Clearwater that delays were due to non-monetary considerations (i.e., building codes, bureaucratic complexity). These competing assertions are both well-documented and require little in the way of testimony, and will be difficult for Scientology to reconcile. Discovery involving testimony of Clearwater officials necessary? Monetarily, this is the biggest and therefore most important claim here, so it’s good news that (in my opinion anyway), it’s the strongest of the claims.

With regard to the Freewinds/FLAG refund, we’ve been down this road before but I love how this claim focuses on the quid pro quo donations legal fiction Scientology has skated by on for decades now. If the judge wanted to, he could possibly go down the road last traveled by the Sklars and direct that examination of the IRS-Scientology secret agreement is necessary to deciding this claim. Which would be awesome (but I’m not holding out too much hope).

Garcia’s claim that the IAS donations were fraudulently induced is certainly valid but perhaps problematic. Scientology will likely argue that (a) no such donations-for-project-X assurances were given; (b) donations given to IAS aren’t earmarked for specific projects but rather go into larger pot, and that IAS involves itself in many projects; and (most importantly) (c) any inquiry into IAS’s fundraising activity and the application of its donations would unconstitutionally entangle the court in church governance matters. I’m also unclear as to why the complaint doesn’t offer an explanation of how, in each instance of inducement, it was discovered that the donated funds were not being used for their stated purpose.

By and large though, this is really good stuff, and as Babbitt suggests, Garcia’s claims are fairly universal — so many members were shaken down in the same manner and could wind up joining this or filing similar suits. Consequently, Scientology will less motivated to settle because of the reasonable fear that others will soon line up behind Garcia. Only by getting the suit dismissed outright will they send the message they want and need to send. And that may be a difficult task here.

 
UPDATE 1:30 PM Just got off the phone with Ted Babbitt after asking a couple of follow up questions.

We asked what he expects to be the next development in the case, and he said the church will likely move to dismiss the case on First Amendment grounds. “And there will be a bushel basket of papers filed by their attorneys,” he says.

When should we expect that? “They have to answer within 20 days from the time they are served. And they are being served as we speak.”

Is deposing David Miscavige high on the list of priorities?

“That will be our first deposition,” he says, but he cautions that every judge makes different decisions about the pace of discovery as motions are being filed. Timing on depositions are hard to predict at this point.

Babbitt says that although he expects to end up representing “hundreds” of Scientologists who, like the Garcias, are angry about their refund requests being denied, he and his fellow attorneys will be extremely selective and may only file an additional four or five lawsuits on their behalf.

Luis Garcia vs Scientology (Fraud Complain) by

Share Button
  • http://www.facebook.com/bob.gravlin Bob Gravlin

    This reminds me of what I have been thinking lately that the best way to confront this cult is to frame it as an extreme monetary scam, much worse than groups like Amway, for example. People can more easily understand being scammed and ripped off.

    • Gabbyone

      . . . Or non profit dental associations like the AAOSH and AACD which operate using the Scientology model. Yeah, I’d love to see that too

  • TheHoleDoesNotExist

    “David Miscavige is responsible….” thanks Tommy Davis. We sure have missed you.

  • TheHoleDoesNotExist

    Oh my god, the Inch Wives! Whhhoooop

    • BuryTheNuts2

      Bitches

  • TheHoleDoesNotExist

    “yes, there was violence in the church…” Tommy Davis. Really, really miss ‘ya, Tom boy.

  • SP ‘Onage

    Ack…that tooth!

    • BuryTheNuts2

      OMG…I was thinking the same thing…i could not stop drawing my own “tooth target”…
      Sheesh

      • SP ‘Onage

        LOL! I can’t help myself, it’s like staring at a cobra…or something.

    • moxonmoxoff

      Shhh! Don’t let richlieu jr. hear you. s/he might have another psychotic break! although i rather enjoyed the poetry from hir last one . . .

  • BuryTheNuts2

    You don’t have to pay a half a million dollars. You can get if off of South Park………….

    BAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

  • sugarplumfairy

    Wow.. Wright is sooo articulate and credible.. miscavidge is busted.. at least on his violent behavior..

  • TheHoleDoesNotExist

    Whew, that was rapid fire Q & A. Just wish Larry had the chance to answer more about why the hemorrhaging of members to include being bankrupt and family disconnection. It was concise and fast and more exposure is more!

    • BuryTheNuts2

      Lovely..either way.

      • TheHoleDoesNotExist

        I’m sure there’s a lot of mothers out there thinking, “Laying of the hands…oh snap, I’m down with that, and for free” Larry lookin’ good.

    • candace6

      You just answered my question. Didn’t know if anyone knew ahead of time about his appearance. I thought is very damning.

  • mirele

    Man, it’s annoying when I actually have to go to work and WORK…that said, I’m home now. Not that I have a greater insight than anyone else who has commented, but when I saw this, my first thought was, “Karma is coming home to roost in the trees at Int.”

    When I first got involved in “this,” Scientology had just settled with the IRS and gotten its tax exemption. We found out a few years later what that meant. However, the point I’m drawing from that (and I am SURE this has not passed the notice of Ted Babbitt, Esq.) is that Scientology harassed the IRS into settling with something like 2,000 lawsuits filed in virtually every federal court district in the country. Wouldn’t it be just KARMA if something similar were to happen here? And, keep in mind, in other states, there might be causes of action not available in Florida.

    It warms the cockles of my cold, cold heart to imagine Davey trying to manage the Narconon suits Scientology already has, the two states (Nevada and Oklahoma) who want to pass laws regulating Narconon, and then a whole batch of lawsuits alleging fraud, deceptive trade practices and breach of contract. I do not know how well they will hold up, but hell, it’s worth a try. And even four or five additional suits, filed in California, New York, and a couple other states will drive the tiny tyrant bonkers. We can only hope.

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Robert-Eckert/100002715429426 Robert Eckert

      California is more sympathetic than most states to tort suits claiming “intentional infliction of emotional distress” which there should be no shortage of plaintiffs for.

    • Davka

      Now they really do have enemies to fight, as opposed to the ones L. Ron made up to justify his own paranoid cold war delusions!

    • jensting

      “It warms the cockles of my cold, cold heart to imagine Davey trying to manage..” Oooh, yeah! Especially now where David “he is NOT insane!” Miscavige seems to be of the opinion that every single media outlet who mentions a fairly tame and factual book (Lawrence Wroght’s opus) merits a dozen pages of hysterical rebuttal. Just wait till the Jenna Miscavige book and the second Marc Headley books comes out. All this and more and more lawsuits.

      Here’s a handy tip which lawyers can take directly from the playbook of the criminal organisation known as the “church” of $cientology: the trick is to tie one party up in so many civil lawsuits that they end up making a legal error which is then a criminal “contempt of court” kind of error. Then you have them cold.

  • http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PBeU2utihwM Deckard Cain

    Scientology – a costly, fake religion built by a malignant narcissist that caters to narcissists.

    I have hope in my heart that the evils perpetrated by these narcissistic fools will not go unpunished.

  • PreferToBeAnon2

    Whew! I just plowed through all of the comments here… I am just verklempt! This is the month that just keeps on giving! Soon, we will have Jenna’s book and that new one out of London. Narconon stuff is also full throttle.

    That Buzzfeed article by Alex Klein was rather timely. As evidence of a pattern, I hope they show pics of every Idle Morgue building under disrepair with corresponding flyers for donations for them. The buildings in Canada that David Love just wrote about are perfect!

    • N. Graham

      Absolutely! I hope they keep showing the Idle Morgues pictures. I mean the present-day ones, not the nice ones on the website.

  • dwayners13

    I predict that the church will be starting a new fundraising project. Hundreds of little Sea Org members will be hounding the public members to donate to a fund specifically to help pay the legal fees for this lawsuit. Once other ex-members hear about this lawsuit they will be signing up to join this couple. If this is successful, the list of potential members will be miles long. While it would be cheaper to just give this couple their money back, it could start a trend. I feel sorry for the poor Sea Org member who was near Miscavige when he heard about this, no doubt somebody got slapped around for this.

    • N. Graham

      “hundreds of little Sea Org members…” that is, assuming there are that many left. Might soon be “tens of little Sea Org members.”

  • pronoia

    OMG. Just finished watching Babbitt’s press conference and he has certainly thrown down the guantlet! Mentioned DM as a deponent — no reason why he shouldn’t be, Babbitt has deposed the CEO of citigroup (implying that by comparison, DM is small potatoes). He says that they make no claims that would result in a 1st ammendment issue, and that priests who are pedophiles are not a 1st amendment issue (awesome analogy) It is not a 1st amendment issue when you are lied to about donations or promises are broken. http://www.tampabay.com/news/scientology/couples-lawsuit-accuses-church-of-scientology-of-fraud-deception/1271893

    • SP ‘Onage

      Just now saw your post. They have proof of staged disasters to collect money for their coffers. What a bunch of scum!

  • ShannonE

    Well, it’s about time that the CO$ will have to take a dose of its own medicine! Isn’t it ironic that after all these years of intimidation and harassment in the court system, we may be at the precipice of multiple people suing the CO$ for fraud. Could it be that we are about to watch the demise of Scientology as we know it by a death of a thousand cuts? One can only hope!

  • http://twitter.com/tetloj tetloj

    Taking multiple clients on individually (not as class action) means that the legal team will be able to learn from mistakes from one case to the other.

  • EnthralledObserver

    Wow – I am impressed and suitably expectant of an, at least damaging, if not outright lethal impact this should have on the Co$ as it progresses. :D

  • candace6

    Did anyone else catch Lawrence Wright on Anderson Cooper? Oh my gawd. From talk of Miscavige beating people to the fact that the church is “hemorrhaging members” . Pretty brutal.

    • http://www.facebook.com/michael.tilse Michael Leonard Tilse

      That was great. I caught the clip on the cnn website: http://ac360.blogs.cnn.com/2013/01/23/book-goes-inside-scientology/?hpt=ac_bn1

      I think that Wright really helps to communicate the complexity of the scientology experience with the competing feelings of being helped and being used.

      • Poison Ivy

        Now 1/2 way plus through Wright’s book. He is amazingly even-handed. Almost to a fault (and still Miscavige, Hubbard and the CO$ ‘tech’ hang themselves!). He is kind and compassionate toward the victims.

        • DeElizabethan

          I will agree how even-handed Wright is almost to a fault, especially in the first half. It gets more interesting as you read and allow extra time as it’s hard to put down. Lots of new stuff in there too. I’m almost finished myself. After reading so much in first half I thought if they take him to court no way would a judge after reading it find him wrong, as it is quite fair, especially with Hubbard and family. The little propaganda seemingly is because those of us who know about it, well was little ugh, but done so well. No fault at all to him. A wonderful man and writer.

          How about all this new fraud shit hitting the fan? Yahoo. It was on all the local TV stations here and afar, and in the business world. Mook gave the WWP site and their elated no end.

    • Sid Snakey

      Cooper asked Wright to explain the comments made by Tom Cruise about being the only one who could REALLY help when driving by an accident.

      I think the explanation of the touch assist is only one part of it. If you see life how it REALLY is as a Scientologist (i.e. their world view), then someone who has had an accident needs to take a long hard look at their life, and only a Scientologist could explain to the accident victim about “pulling it in”, or being connected to an SP or PTS or DB, or re-dramatizing something or perhaps being re-stimulated by an engram which caused them to lose concentration and drive off the road, or not being sufficiently at cause over MEST (since an OT would simply have moved the oncoming car out of the way).

      Of course, this is all nonsense, but if you believe Hubbard then that is how you see the world, you as a Scientologist are the ONLY one who can help.

  • SP ‘Onage

    Holy buckets of turpentine! I just saw the Tampa Bay press conference video. Man, it really, really looks like David Miscavige will have to go into hiding, unless he wants to get deposed. They are gunning for you, Davey boy! Your worse nightmare is coming true. Hahahahaha!

  • ParticleMom

    ParticleDad said the SP building reminded him of the Winchester House.

    If you are not familiar with the story, Mrs. Winchester believed she was haunted by spirits and the only way she could appease the spirits was to build a huge house for them. As long as the building continued, she would live. If it was completed, she would die. It led to an enormous mansion that had stairways to nowhere and other bizarre features. You can take tours of the house.

    http://www.winchestermysteryhouse.com/sarahwinchester.cfm

    Perhaps DM is haunted by the OT levels that don’t exist and he believes that if it is ever finished, he is done for. And then we will get to tour the building and see the oiliness table…or lack thereof!

    • stillgrace

      The story of Sarah Winchester is fascinating. However, it is a common misconception that she believed she would live forever, as long as she kept building. I have read the original copy of her final will and testament, and there is no way she didn’t plan for her own death. She did indeed keep building 24/7 on her estate, however, the exact reasons behind her motivations will always be a mystery.

      Hence, the Winchester Mystery House. Always worth the time to visit.

  • SP ‘Onage

    Babbitt said his firm has interviewed people working for the church who shot video of an “alleged” earthquake.

    “They would go out with three or four people and they would hire people to act as if they were disaster victims, pack up their equipment, come back on a plane,” Babbitt said. “No money was ever spent for that disaster despite . . . attempts to collect money making it seem like people were starving or people were in dire need of help. That help was never delivered.”

    This is scandalous! I wonder if John Travolta was involved?

    • LaLa104

      Babbit has some shitz on Davey and he can’t wait to get him on the stand since he’s the first he wants to despose! This is tittilating! This IS scandalous!

      • SP ‘Onage

        He sounds pretty confident and says, scientology’s power is over blown, lulz! The other guy sitting next to Luis looks really serious. This is getting juicy!

  • DeElizabethan
    • ParticleMom

      Thanks for the link. It is really interesting to read what the locals in Clearwater have to say.

      • DeElizabethan

        It is still new and I was only one on so far. They also get many out of area ones (but who can always tell) and Clearwater people need and love to hear what others say. They don’t speak up much because they are still afraid and did try back in the 80-90′s. This will be a new wave and hope for them.

        • whingeybingey

          What happened to them to make them afraid?

      • DeElizabethan

        Check on it tomorrow.

    • 1subgenius

      Pat Harney: “”The Church has not been served and has no comment, However, we understand from media inquiries this has something to do with fundraising and we can unequivocally state all funds solicited are used for the charitable and religious purposes for which they were donated.”

      So she has no comment, but goes on to comment. Brilliant!

      “I have nothing to say, but I’m going to say it anyway.”

      • Espiando

        So when did Harney Har Har get out of the RPF? Until now and the flyer for the Harlem Revival or whatever they’re calling it (when they have to pull their House Negroes out of storage), we haven’t seen hide nor hair of her for years. Well, it’s nice that she’s back. She was always great for a stupid quote back in the day.

      • 1subgenius

        On the rare occasion that I am asked a question by the media, my standard response is, “No comment. And you can quote me on that.”

        • sugarplumfairy

          On the rare occasion that I am asked a question by the media, my standard response is, “no, I do not want to buy a subscription..”

  • DodoTheLaser

    Watch David Miscavige frantically opening Super Power building for tours this week, or some such.

  • Espiando

    I think we now need a brand new category: Bitter Defrauded Apostates. Ted Babbitt and Sugar Ray Jeffery are honorary members, with Graham Berry, Michael Flynn, and Ken Dandar as the first men awarded the Diamond Patron Meritorious With Honors Emeritus Award from this prestigious body.

  • EnthralledObserver

    Does anyone else enjoy the delicious IRONY of the fact that in order to defend himself and his fraud of a church, or indeed settle this suit outside court should that happen, Mismanage will be executing more of the fraud he’s been accused of… i.e. spending parishoner’s donations on projects that weren’t what the money was intended for by the donators.. ???

    Irony is delicious, innit? lol.

  • whingeybingey
  • Steven A.

    A question for the veteran Scientologists here and one comment on the suit:

    Question: I don’t understand how keeping the Super Power building empty for so many years helps the CoS with fundraising. Wouldn’t this be a huge turnoff to big money donors? They are smart people who would understand that it doesn’t take 15 years to complete a single building. It doesn’t even take 15 years to complete a huge city skyscraper built from scratch. So why is it a plus for the church to have potential donors know that a building started in 1998 is still incomplete? It would also seem to raise thorny theological questions, since Scientologists are supposed to be better at getting things done, and in this case their premier project is taking far longer than would a similar project being managed by SPs.

    Observation on the suit: It seems likely that Mr. Garcia is doing this as a matter of principle and not to recoup the money. This litigation will certainly cost much more than the $400,000 in damages he is claiming. Babbitt is probably not doing this on a contingency fee, so Garcia is probably paying Babbitt based on his time, possibly with some sort of cap or deferred payment arrangement. The way the church litigates, there will be a lot of motions and a lot fighting about discovery. There will be a huge fight over whether a protective order should be issued to keep all discovery secret from the public.

    If this case is litigated, he will be paying out much more than 400K and he won’t be able to recover his fees from the CoS even if he wins. The only reason you would spend one or two million for the possibility of recovering 400K is if you are being driven by principle.

    • sugarplumfairy

      the way they’re gunning for miscavitch, it seems to me they’re looking for a settlement.. They know tiny fists will do anything to avoid being deposed.. but seeing this play out in court would be a dream come true, so i hope you’re right..

      • BuryTheNuts2

        I hope so too. I am doubtful….but we can hope.
        Either way…Davey’s enturbulation level has got to be maxed out!

      • Steven A.

        Well, if Garcia and Babbitt really were hoping for a quick settlement of this case, they probably wouldn’t emphasize in their press conference that there are hundreds of other cases lined up behind it. That is a disincentive to the CoS to settle Garcia because then they would have to settle all the others as well. You can be sure that if it doesn’t settle, the CoS will move to prevent the deposition of DM, relying on a line of cases that protects CEOs and other high-level corporate and government executives from being deposed unless the plaintiff can show that it is really necessary to prove the claims. They will probably argue that DM has no knowledge of Garcia and that there is no testimony that Miscavige can offer that can’t be obtained from some lower exec.

    • sharon brown

      Yes they are very intelligent people but they’ve also been indoctrinated to the $cientology way, Don’t dare to ask such questions! We can all see the things that don’t make sense but they have faith(pardon the pun) in their “religion” and are trusting and believing in the powers that be. It’s not until the blinders , however , are removed and probably some reading of others experiences that they realize how duped they were. Kudos to the Garcia’s for having the cajones to take them on !

    • scnethics

      Answer: The only way to understand why the church has been able to continue to raise money for the building, when it obviously should not take so long to complete, is to take into account the undue influence the church exerts over its members. Most scientologists are bright people, but they are literally unable to think critically about scientology, the church or its management. They’ve been given a narrative, which they all have accepted, of a great man creating a powerful technology that represents man’s only hope for survival (and the church is the only approved carrier of that message), and without realizing it, they force everything they see to match with that narrative. Even when there is an obvious problem, like a building taking FOREVER to complete, scientologists will come up with an explanation on their own for why – one that fits the narrative of a super-capable church management running a thriving church.

      Just like Luis, I was told that the building would be completed by a certain time, and it wasn’t. I explained this to myself pretty easily. First, I reasoned that the person talking to me was a lower-level staff member and was only telling me what they were told (I was not lied to). Next, as a scientologist, I knew that management often would “make postulates” (meaning to think that something will happen), and then state that postulate as a prediction they are certain of. So, the person talking to me had heard management’s postulate and stated it to me as a fact (and you’re not really supposed to acknowledge there is a difference). And finally, I was driven to the only logical conclusion which was the church really wasn’t in the best financial shape (it’s expensive to clear a planet, ya know), but didn’t want to share that info with public like me, and this gave me even more motivation to give!

      Even someone with the balls to ask why the building is taking so long, would not be able to get past their own desire for the answer to fit with the narrative, and so would not be likely to challenge the answer they got, even if the answer was preposterous. Really, the more intelligent the scientologist, the more easily they come up with reasons why what they see with their eyes does not match the narrative they’re clinging to. Vance Woodward comes to mind :)

      • Steven A.

        Thank you. That actually makes sense. I guess the human mind can convince itself of anything if the motivation is there. The sad thing is that we are all vulnerable to this kind of self-deception.

  • sharon brown

    January 2013 has been Great for Us, sucking for $cientology and I’m enjoying All the tv shows and news profiles on Lawrence’s book ! (Not finished yet but loving the insights!) I trully Hope and pray that” for the Love of Xenu!” this lawsuit works to further expose the cuorruptness that Is $cientology! I just don’t understand (oodles of money !) how previous lawsuits by others have been shot down especially when it comes to the child labor and hunam rights offenses! Well, here’s to helping bring their collective Downstat ! I just pray those in the Sea Org and RPF can hold out. You know ” little Napolean is going bananas right now which means others will be facing his wrath. I’m hopeful they won’t be able to hid behind their “religous” ( ewe, just threw up in my mouth a littlte typing that ! lol) freedom status !

  • TheHoleDoesNotExist

    Just finished watching Mr. Babbitt’s press conference. Music to my ears: enriching “a multi billion dollar company”, DM as “Chief Architect” (echoes of Enron, Citi?) “in the seat of a corporation”. Mr. Babbitt has all the qualifictions: he is not deaf, dumb Or blind.

    I’ve already read details of his background and experience. I believe Mr. Babbitt may be the one who will tear down the wall of lies and expose the dark belly of scientology. Underneath that fake religious cloak, the whole world will now see its true nature: Not a giant powerful monster in an ivory tower but a tiny, sniveling bully hiding in a bed of roaches.

  • TheHoleDoesNotExist
  • Trustmeonthis

    I find it hard to imagine Miss Cabbage ever setting foot in a courtroom, given all his goons… but that would be fantastic! But, don’t they have to serve him in person?

  • Couch_Incident

    Rather than more plaintiffs, I’d like to see more defendants, namely the directors and officers of the various entities for breach of fiduciary duties (duty of care, duty of loyalty, and, unique to non-profits, duty of obedience). Standing (ability of a person or an entity to sue) would be difficult to establish (compared to shareholders suing the D&O’s of a for-profit corporation), but not impossible.

    The fun part in naming D&O’s as defendants is that you would have individuals, rather than faceless rich corporate entities, with their money on the line. And D&O insurance doesn’t cover fraud…

    Incidentally, there were some interesting legal/tax issues that came up with the excess funds that charities collected for 9/11 relief and what should be done with the excess (e.g., “cy pres” doctrine – did the donors have a specialized intent for their donations or a general desire to contribute?). To sort some of the issues out (it’s complicated), Congress stepped in and passed special tax legislation for the 9/11 excess funds situation.

  • DeElizabethan

    From the Miami Herald comment:

    Terri wrote:

    I don’t know if this is going on all over but on Facebook, one Scientology member joined 2 “I grew up in…” groups and then plastered the page with posts regarding the evils of Psychiatry and psychotropic drugs. He also solicited the other members of the group for votes to win contests for which his so-called Church of Scientology had applied for from big corporations for the use of these funds going towards church-affiliated organizations. He did all this without revealing to the groups other members that he was a Scientologist and was doing work for his church. I don’t believe that all of these funds are going to these organizations because one request was for a new roof and that building had a complete overhal in 2007 that included a new roof. Check on the site in google called Operation Clambake which details what is going on.

    http://www.miamiherald.com/2013/01/23/3196849/calif-couple-sues-over-donations.html#comment-779263789