Anyway, we only have energy for another short post today, and we apologize if it only appeals to the truly hardcore in the Scientology watching community. But we understand that for many former members of the Church of Scientology, there’s a big fascination for a man named Mike Ellis, who holds the position of “International Justice Chief” of the Church of Scientology International.
When a member is “declared” a “suppressive person” — excommunicated, essentially — all other members of Scientology have to cut off all ties to the “SP” or risk being declared suppressive themselves. By Scientology policy, the only person an SP can communicate with in the church is the International Justice Chief, or one of his “continental” subordinates.
You might get in touch with the IJC to discuss having a “committee of evidence” to overturn your declare, or you might demand money back that you put on account and no longer have use of.
Former members have received some hilariously cynical letters back from the IJC — as we showed with this classic “Catch-22” faced by South African former member Robert Berrington. Berrington was told that to get a refund, he needed to fill out a particular form, but the form was only available inside an “org,” and since he was declared, he couldn’t get access to one. Amazing.
Berrington’s letter came up during the January 29 deposition of Ellis in the Garcia federal fraud lawsuit. Garcia attorney Ted Babbitt questions Ellis about what appears to be a crucial error in Scientology paperwork. Members are required to sign “enrollment forms” that make them promise to take their grievances to “binding arbitration.” But the rest of Scientology’s “ethics” policies don’t mention arbitrations at all. And Ellis has to admit that in the time he’s been IJC since 1998, there hasn’t been a single arbitration in the history of the church.
Marty Rathbun and Mike Rinder had testified that the “arbitration” clause in the enrollment form was always meant to be a sham, and the church never had any intention of hearing grievances that way. But now, Scientology is trying to force the Garcias into arbitration as if it were a legitimate alternative to civil court.
If you’re an ex-member and you’ve thought about suing over funds on account, you’ll probably want to read this deposition. For the rest of you, it’s hard for us to judge. Our brain is too fevered up. One more note: There are some redactions here, because it was Scientology itself that filed this deposition, but they seem to be minor.
We’re also going to include a deposition by Sherman Lenske, mainly because that’s a name that tends to get some former Scientologists in a tizzy. Unfortunately, it’s just a small portion of the deposition.
‘Going Clear’ tickets are on sale
Hey, don’t miss out on one of these screenings at Lincoln Center. If enough people go, we have a feeling the showings will be extended into a second week.
Also, for our friends in France (hey, Jonny Jacobsen!) Gibney tells us that Canal Plus has obtained the rights to show ‘Going Clear’ in that country.
Posted by Tony Ortega on March 6, 2015 at 07:00
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Learn about Scientology with our numerous series with experts…
BLOGGING DIANETICS: We read Scientology’s founding text cover to cover with the help of LA attorney and former church member Vance Woodward
UP THE BRIDGE: Claire Headley and Bruce Hines train us as Scientologists
GETTING OUR ETHICS IN: Jefferson Hawkins explains Scientology’s system of justice
SCIENTOLOGY MYTHBUSTING: Historian Jon Atack discusses key Scientology concepts