Last week, Luis and Rocio Garcia responded to Scientology’s most serious attack on their federal fraud lawsuit with a harshly-worded court brief which also included a declaration from Luis Garcia himself.
On Friday, Scientology filed a new motion which is asking for Garcia’s declaration to be rejected. Why? Because Garcia is now alleging facts which contradict the lawsuit’s original complaint, the church says.
In January, the Garcias sued five of Scientology’s corporate entities, accusing them of defrauding the Garcias as they were asked for donations. In particular, the Garcias say they gave one entity — the Church of Scientology Religious Trust (CSRT) — more than $300,000 for donations toward construction of Scientology’s “Super Power Building.”
Ten months after the lawsuit was filed, Scientology said it had just discovered that some of CSRT’s trustees actually reside in California, where the Garcias are (they live in Irvine). That’s a problem for the lawsuit, Scientology says, which should not have been filed in a federal court in Florida.
The Garcias answered angrily, with a response that not only questioned the factual assertions about CSRT’s trustees, but Luis Garcia also pointed out that although his Super Power donations went to CSRT, he never actually met any CSRT representatives. His interactions were with employees of the Flag Service Organization (FSO), which operates Scientology’s “mecca” complex in Clearwater, Florida.
Now, Scientology has asked Judge James Whittemore to strike Garcia’s declaration. “The sworn factual statements of plaintiff’s declaration wholly contradict the allegations of plaintiffs’ complaint,” the church says.
The Garcias can’t sue CSRT in their original complaint and then later declare that they never actually dealt with anyone from CSRT, the church complains.
But the Garcia response last week also asked Judge Whittemore for the ability to amend their complaint. We asked a member of our legal team for their thoughts about the church’s newest assault on the Garcia team.
This is a leap, and par for the church’s course. Garcia’s complaint is not clear whether they met or talked to someone from the trust. It implies that the Garcias read and listened to statements, and that meetings were required. If it turns out that the Garcias did meet with the trust, I wonder why the dichotomy between the complaint and declaration wasn’t caught by their attorneys, or if it is even material to the case. If they didn’t meet, and this motion turns out to be overreaching by the church, I wonder how tired the judge is going to get of this nonsense.
Here’s Scientology’s motion to strike. We’re also waiting to see if Judge Whittemore will allow the Garcia team to seek discovery on the trustees of the church entities which have asked to be dismissed, and Whittemore also is considering Scientology’s motion to dismiss the suit in favor of arbitration.
Marc Headley’s Message to Mayor George Cretekos
We’ve been fascinated by Tampa Bay Times reporter Charlie Frago’s coverage of the Church of Scientology’s demands on the city of Clearwater as several big church events near. Scientology has made numerous last-minute demands for street closures, and has also flouted city law by chopping down trees and putting up huge signs.
Last week, former Scientologist Marc Headley — author of the thrilling escape narrative, Blown For Good — sent the following message to Clearwater Mayor George Cretekos, encouraging him to stand up to Scientology leader David Miscavige. Headley shared it with us, and we thought readers would find it interesting.
Hello, my name is Marc Headley.
I worked for Scientology for 15 years. A large portion of those 15 years I spent at the international headquarters of Scientology in California. I worked at Golden Era Productions. Golden Era Productions is responsible for the “Events” that Scientology put on all around the world. For many years I was over the “Event” production and crew that build the tents, rigged the lights and set up the video & audio gear. In addition to the hundreds of events I worked on, I would say 30 of them were in Florida and many at the Fort Harrison Auditorium in the great city of Clearwater.
In all the many years we did events, we would routinely get last minute changes dictated by David Miscavige. We were ordered to make these changes happen no matter what the consequence or resultant flap. If someone was ordered to cut down some trees because they would be in the way of something that David Miscavige ordered, you cut down the trees. Paying a fine for some trees paled in comparison to the possible punishments doled out by Miscavige. We killed trees on L. Ron Hubbard Way in Los Angeles for a camera angle that David Miscavige insisted on. No street is sacred in David Miscavige’s eyes.
A lot of times the local legal departments of Scientology would file for permits or road closures at the last minute for events that had been changed or put off by David Miscavige. In most cases there would be advance notice or filing requirements for these permits. THESE DEADLINES OR REQUIREMENT ARE OFTEN IGNORED. These are looked on as “unimportant details” and “pencil pusher mentality stuff” or “silly WOG laws.” “If there is a fee or penalty, just find out what that is and pay it!”
You have already seen this mentality in effect in your town of Clearwater. When David Miscavige delayed opening the newly erected building for years and years, they just went ahead and paid the fine. Everyone working for Scientology knows who delayed the opening. They could never blame David Miscavige for fear of the punishment that would ultimately ensue. Much better to just pay the fine, no matter how much it costs.
Scientology KNOWS that they are always right and are never to be questioned. They know that they are better than everyone else and even smarter and better quality people.
The mayor and staff of a small city are looked upon as people to be used as to achieve what Scientology wants. As soon as these people are no longer doing and saying what Scientology wants they are no longer useful. Period. Scientology looks down on anyone that is not in Scientology.
Years ago when I still worked with David Miscavige he attended a celebrity birthday party in Los Angeles. Tom Cruise, John Travolta, Oprah Winfrey, Bill Clinton and many others were there at the party. When David Miscavige returned to the Scientology facilities in Los Angeles, a staffer asked him if he met Bill Clinton. “No,” Miscavige replied, “He met ME!”
David Miscavige looks down on U.S. presidents. If you think he spends one single second thinking or caring about the people of Clearwater or their city leaders, you are sorely mistaken. You are either working for David Miscavige and Scientology or you are “obstacles.”
I understand you are in a tough position as Scientology has slowly but surely overtaken your entire downtown area. I understand the political and public pressures with such a group sitting there asking to be treated fairly when they themselves act unfairly on a daily basis. And as soon as they are treated like everyone else, they play the “religion” card. This is part of their playbook. This is how they are allowed to do what they do, day in and day out. They have taken a business and made it run like a well oiled Ponzi scheme under the guise of a religion. I should know. I worked there for 15 years at the top of the pyramid.
This is one of those fork in the road moments. This could be great. This could be a tipping point of great things to come. Or it could just be a tiny bump in the road in Scientology’s long highway of brute force conquests.
I wanted to write you and let you know this before you make any decisions regarding allowing them to ride roughshod over your city with their over the top last minute demands in regards to their upcoming events.
Thanks for your time and attention.
On Friday, Frago reported that Clearwater agreed to most of the hours Scientology wants Fort Harrison Avenue shut down next weekend for its events, but it denied Scientology’s request to remove a street light for filming purposes.
Headley tells us he received a form letter response from Cretekos, the same that other Bunker readers received to their notes to the mayor.
Hey, let’s take a look at some of the stuff our tipsters sent us this week in our recurring feature, Sunday Funnies.
Let’s start with this promotional video for last night’s big fundraiser for the Silicon Valley Ideal Org! Start yer engines!
Hey, here’s an oldtimer — Arte Maren — and you just know he’ll wow the crowd down in Georgia…
Here’s another couple that has decided to help save this planet. Their wallets a lot lighter, the rest of us are the beneficiaries!
Those irrepressible folks in the San Fernando Valley just never give up! We’d love to hear how much this party rocks…
Thanks again to our great tipsters. Keep those items coming!
Posted by Tony Ortega on November 10, 2013 at 07:00
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