We have a few legal updates for you, and they involve the lawsuit filed by the National Association of Forensic Counselors against Scientology’s drug rehab network, Narconon, many of its employees, and Scientology’s leader, David Miscavige, as well.
A total of 82 defendants are scrambling to deal with the lawsuit, which alleges that they conspired to misuse the counseling certifications that the NAFC regulates. Masterminding the conspiracy, the NAFC alleged in its complaint, was Miscavige from his perch as the Chairman of the Board of the Religious Technology Center (RTC), Scientology’s nominally controlling entity.
RTC responded by filing a motion to dismiss which is drawn from Scientology’s usual playbook. RTC has nothing to do with Narconon, its attorneys argued in the motion, and it also has no connection to Oklahoma, where Narconon’s flagship facility is and where the lawsuit is set. Former Scientology executives tell us that when the church was restructured in the early 1980s, this was the goal they had in mind — a Byzantine corporate fiction that would enable the top executives to claim no involvement.
Now, the NAFC has fired back with a reply that takes on that corporate fiction, laying out the entire Scientology strategy, and with voluminous evidence to back it up. It’s one of the most detailed and deeply-researched legal assaults we’ve seen on the church’s essential nature in a long time.
We’ll just pull out some key quotes in the document, which we also have in full…
“This case is about Defendant Religious Technology Center spearheading the theft of Plaintiffs’ goodwill in order to bait vulnerable victims into the Scientology religion…This lawsuit involves the misappropriation and misuse of Plaintiffs’ logos, trademarks and certifications by Defendants for the purposes of marketing Narconon programs for profits and ultimately promoting the Church of Scientology.”
“As alleged in the Complaint, RTC holds the rights to L. Ron Hubbard’s name, writings and marks. Hubbard’s technology is used throughout Narconon Network to draw Narconon patients into the Scientology religion.”
“RTC and Miscavige maintain control over every aspect of the Church’s programs, which specifically includes Narconon. RTC, through Mr. Miscavige, maintains specific de facto control over all operations of Scientology.”
“Mr. Miscavige created a title as ‘Chairman of the Board, Religious Technology Center’ so that he could have full autocratic control while maintaining the farce of RTC as a legitimate corporation.”
“Mr. Miscavige created the Authorization, Verification and Correction (AVC) department in RTC and mandated that no strategy, project, program or order of any kind could leave the Church of Scientology without going through the AVC. Through the AVC unit within RTC, Mr. Miscavige directly oversees all strategies, projects, programs or orders of any kind associated with the Church of Scientology. Mr. Miscavige’s oversight and control within the AVC includes the requirement of RTC authorization and approval of all materials and promotional items prior to use by the Narconon Network. AVC control is exemplified through the directives circulated to the Narconon Network [Ex. 1 at paragraph 24, Exhibit 20, SOCO International Directive]. The SOCO International Directive describes the sole reason for Narconon is to sell L. Ron Hubbard’s technologies to society. Further, Mr. Miscavige touts the Narconon Network as ‘our’ program and he consistently refers to what ‘we’ are doing.”
“Mr. Miscavige personally visited Narconon Arrowhead…The Narconon Network maintains specific importance for RTC and Miscavige based on the celebrity involvement…Mr. Miscavige required the weekly report to be submitted to him from ABLE that detailed the statistics, accomplishments and any problems, with specific emphasis on Narconon Arrowhead.”
Here’s the document itself…
Also, NAFC filed a huge amount of exhibits, which we’ll index here in their entirety, though they may take some time this morning to post fully…
Despite the purposeful window-dressing of the corporate structure of RTC and Scientology in general, in reality, RTC and Mr. Miscavige maintain control of every aspect of the Church’s programs, which specifically include Narconon. Miscavige makes regular public pronouncements touting the ‘successes’ and ‘statistics’ of Narconon as part of his continuous campaign to convince Scientologists and the world at large of the continued growth and efficacy of Scientology under his leadership…
In 2002, while still working with the Church of Scientology International, I was present in Clearwater, Florida with Mr. Miscavige managing the Lisa McPherson wrongful death litigation. Mr. Miscavige monitored the activities of Narconon on a weekly basis. He required a weekly report be submitted to him from WDC ABLE in Church of Scientology International that detailed the statistics, accomplishments and any problems in the Narconon network, but with specific emphasis on Narconon’s flagship facility….I met with Mr. Miscavige, Mr. [Gary] Smith, and Mr. [Marty] Rathbun when Mr. Miscavige made the decision that Arrowhead would be the new location for Narconon Chilocco….The three most prominent Scientology celebrities (Tom Cruise, John Travolta and Kirstie Alley) all publicly spoke on behalf of Narconon and Mr. Miscavige felt he had a personal obligation to see that a facility existed that they could use for influential people they may want to send to Narconon…
Exhibit 3: Mike Rinder’s declaration from the Monique Rathbun lawsuit
Exhibit 4: Marty Rathbun’s declaration from the Monique Rathbun lawsuit
Exhibit 5: A page from RTC’s website, explaining its goals
Exhibit 6: A page from RTC’s website describing David Miscavige
Exhibit 7: A page from Scientology’s website about Miscavige and Narconon…
Mr. Miscavige tirelessly works to extend Mr. Hubbard’s social betterment technologies to all people of the world…As the standard-bearer for these broad-scale humanitarian movements, Mr. Miscavige has overseen Church sponsorship of international headquarters for these initiatives. These centers include Narconon Arrowhead in Oklahoma, established in 2001 as the premier facility of the worldwide Narconon drug rehabilitation and prevention network.
Exhibit 8: Miscavige’s speech at 2002 LRH Birthday event…
“As of tonight, no less than 22 Arrowhead staff have now been recognized as Certified Chemical Dependency Counselors. Moreover, training in L. Ron Hubbard technology at Narconon now officially replaces all college training requirements. And finally, Narconon executives have now been welcomed to the Board, with authority to verify completion of those requirements themselves. Now that’s L. Ron Hubbard technology leading the way, for the entire field of drug rehabilitation!”
Exhibit 9: Article in Int’l Scientology News that corroborates Rinder’s declaration
Exhibit 10: The 1992 Ted Koppel interview of David Miscavige
Exhibit 11: Miscavige 2003 speech at SF church opening
Exhibit 12: Miscavige 2004 speech at NYC church opening
Exhibit 13: Photo of Miscavige at Narconon Arrowhead with Gary Smith…
Exhibit 14: Church booklet, ‘The Corporations of Scientology’
Exhibit 15: From Scientology’s website, ‘What is Narconon?’
Exhibit 16: Church booklet ‘The Command Channels of Scientology’
Exhibit 17: The Command Chart of Scientology
Exhibit 18: The Scope of Scientology (1991)
Exhibit 19: RTC’s website, electronic report form
Exhibit 20: Social Coordination International Executive Directive (1987)…
The only reason LRH founded the network of SOCIAL COORDINATION was to directly get the technologies of Education, Drug Rehabilitation and the rehabilitation of prisoners into wide use in the society and arrest the decline of society, caused by a few people who introduced unworkable technology….In a time of great social unrest, where drug use is at its peak, where the crime rate is consistently increasing, where children and adults are frantic about faulty education, there is one STABLE DATUM in all this: LRH’S TECHNOLOGY…Any idea that a SOCO group is there for any other reason than getting LRH’s tech out to society and replacing the unworkable tech that has been introduced, must be cast aside.
Exhibit 21: Narconon of Oklahoma Executive Directive (2002)
Exhibit 22: Excerpt from ‘What Is Scientology?’
Exhibit 23: An Active Field (Expansion Committee Program)
Exhibit 24: The Bridge to Total Freedom
Exhibit 25: A New Breed of Organization
Exhibit 26: Ideal Org chart
Whew, that’s it.
In other NAFC lawsuit news, one of the 82 defendants, David Lee, filed a motion to dismiss, NAFC answered it (as we reported earlier) and now Lee has replied to that response. Once again, he’s saying that he’s objecting on jurisdictional grounds, saying that he had no real ties to Oklahoma. Lee’s situation is particularly interesting because in the last couple of years he had become a Narconon whistleblower and appealed to the NAFC’s lawyers in a letter that he was on their side.
And one more legal item this morning. A story in the French press reports that there’s a new prosecution in that country, and it regards some Scientologists forcing employees of a private company to become church members. We see similar accusations made in this country from time to time, and an Oregon dentist and a Miami chiropractor each recently faced government action in the form of civil lawsuits. But over in France, they tend to take this kind of thing more seriously. We’ve asked our man in Paris, Jonny Jacobsen, to look into the matter, and we expect a report from him soon.
Posted by Tony Ortega on July 24, 2014 at 08:00
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