“We’ve been working hard at it the last two years,” Dani told us by telephone from Haifa. “It wasn’t easy. It took time to find the right lawyer.”
Dani and his wife Tami are suing Scientology for 3 million shekels, about $820,000.
We broke the story two years ago that Dani and Tami had led a Scientology mission in Haifa, the Dror Center, to break away from the official church, a stunning and very visible part of the exodus that has seen many longtime members leave the organization in recent years.
Since then, Dani tells us, Scientology has waged a campaign that was intended to ruin his reputation and shut down Dror Center.
“Somebody leaked to me, from the city of Haifa, that the church was running a campaign at the planning and supervision department to try to get me shut down. Over some building permits,” he says. “They were using phony names to write anonymous complaint letters about me. And they were using data from my pc folders at Flag.”
That’s a serious allegation that we’ve heard many times in relation to Scientology — that private details members divulge in supposedly confidential confessional sessions end up being made public as retaliation for members who dare to leave the organization. In this case, Dani says that details he revealed in confidence during sessions at “Flag” — Scientology’s spiritual mecca, the Flag Land Base in Clearwater, Flordia — have been used against him recently.
“I think this lawsuit is unique in that I am also suing them for fraud at Flag,” Dani says. “So there’s quite a few things will be embarrassing for Scientology in this lawsuit and will have a big impact. I’m actually suing them about Scientology. About misleading people about the misuse of the tech.”
Dani says he’s going to get us a translation of the legal complaint soon, but for now we have a translation of a story which appeared in the Israeli press today.
Here’s the translation that was provided to us…
Yediot Aharonot, 3 November 2014
A Couple from Haifa is Suing the Scientology Organization in the amount of 3 Million Shekels
By: Lital Dobrovitsky
A lawsuit in the amount of 3 million Shekels was filed yesterday by a couple from Haifa against the International Center of Scientology and the Center of Scientology in Israel. The couple, who claims they were members of the Church of Scientology for 32 years, allege that they were slandered and libeled by the organization’s management, which caused damage to them and to the self improvement center that they manage in Israel.
The couple, Dani and Tamar Lemberger, claim that until the end of June 2012, they were members of the Church of Scientology, and even progressed markedly on their own “self improvement” process according to Scientology doctrine, to what is considered the next to highest grade in this process.
As part of this process, they had many sessions of the technique of “auditing”, from the word audio – to listen, which is conducted in privacy between the guide and the person receiving the auditing, under a commitment for total secrecy. The couple alleges that this promise of confidentiality was breached in their case.
The lawsuit states that in late 1991, after a long stay in the United States, the couple returned to Israel and opened a private center for the delivery of Scientology consulting services, which operated until June 2012 under license of the Church of Scientology.
They claim that they expanded the center and frequently received commendations for their achievements from the organization’s management in Israel and worldwide.
According to the lawsuit, all changed in March 2012, when Dani Lemberger sent a letter to the chairman of the Church of Scientology, in which he expressed his concern that the church is not operating correctly to achieve its goals, that it focuses on fundraising of huge sums for wrong purposes, and that it does not build local leadership.
According to the plaintiffs, a few months later, in June 2012, they were sent a letter which declared them, “Suppressive Persons,”. This, says the lawsuit, “means, in Scientology terminology, that they are antisocial personalities and that they are unworthy of remaining members of the Church of Scientology.”
Immediately following this, they claim, the organization’s management, in Israel and the world over, embarked upon a punitive and smear campaign against them, while using confidential information from their personal files and from the auditing sessions they received. As a result, they claim, tens of their customers left the self improvement center they manage.
The plaintiffs clarify in the lawsuit that they are no longer willing to be identified with the Church of Scientology, and that their center also announces that it is not connected to Scientology.
The plaintiffs are represented by Adv. Yoram Aviram. The defendants’ statement of defense has not yet been issued.
The Center of Scientology Israel has responded as follows: “No lawsuit has yet been presented to us. If and when we receive such, our legal representatives will study it, and we will submit a response accordingly. On the surface, it looks like false claims are made, aimed at nothing but damaging our good reputation and extorting money unlawfully.”
Posted by Tony Ortega on November 3, 2014 at 13:30
E-mail your tips and story ideas to email@example.com or follow us on Twitter. We post behind-the-scenes updates at our Facebook author page. Here at the Bunker we try to have a post up every morning at 7 AM Eastern (Noon GMT), and on some days we post an afternoon story at around 2 PM. After every new story we send out an alert to our e-mail list and our FB page.
Learn about Scientology with our numerous series with experts…
UP THE BRIDGE (Claire Headley and Bruce Hines train us as Scientologists) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48
SCIENTOLOGY MYTHBUSTING (Historian Jon Atack discusses key Scientology concepts) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44, 45, 46, 47, 48, 49