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Ken Dandar files another court appeal to get out of Scientology’s million-dollar noose

KenDandar2Let’s keep one thing in mind as we review, once again, why Tampa attorney Ken Dandar is facing ruination.

The only reason his bizarre legal situation exists is because two people died on Scientology’s watch.

One was a young church member named Lisa McPherson, who died in 1995 of severe dehydration, several experts say who examined her autopsy records, though the church managed to wriggle out of a criminal conviction when it put so much pressure on the local medical examiner she caved and changed the cause of death.

The second death was of a 20-year-old named Kyle Brennan who was not a Scientologist. But his father was, and Tom Brennan, following the advice of his Scientology handlers, decided to deprive Kyle of his Lexapro, a medicine that helped stabilize his moods. A few days later, Kyle was found dead of a gunshot wound to the head with his father’s revolver nearby. Police ruled it a suicide, but his family disputes that.

Ken Dandar’s “crime” was that he represented both families in court against the Church of Scientology. And now, he faces ruination because a retired judge saddled him with a $1 million judgment after a bizarre set of legal circumstances that at one point had a federal court telling a state court it couldn’t carry out an order.

We’ve summarized Dandar’s situation numerous times, and it’s as exasperating as it is complex. The simplest explanation is that after the McPherson wrongful death lawsuit wrapped up with a settlement in 2004, Scientology says Dandar promised, as part of the settlement, never to bring another action against the church.

Dandar has always denied that, saying that the parties to the 2004 settlement agreed never to sue Scientology again, but he wasn’t a party to the suit, he was an attorney representing a client.

When Dandar agreed to represent Kyle Brennan’s mother, Victoria Britton, in her federal lawsuit against the church in 2009, the church complained to the state court which had overseen the McPherson settlement, saying that Dandar was in violation of it.

The state court agreed, and after years of complex back and forth, retired Judge Crockett Farnell decided that Dandar owed Scientology a million dollars for his “bad faith” in deciding to represent Britton.

Dandar has tried numerous appeals, and has even tried to use the federal court to sue the state court, alleging a conspiracy against him, but none of it has stopped Farnell’s decision, and recently Scientology began collecting on its judgment by having the bank account of Dandar’s firm seized.

Again, to put this in the kind of context that you won’t see in the few treatments of this by the mainstream or legal press, this is all happening because a young woman was brought to the edge of death through neglect while staying for 17 days in the Church of Scientology’s spiritual mecca, the Fort Harrison Hotel, while surrounded by a small army of church workers. And twelve years later, because a young man was found dead while he was staying with his Scientologist dad, who didn’t agree with his son’s approved use of medicine.

For trying to help a couple of families seek answers for those deaths, Ken Dandar is being destroyed, exactly as Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard prescribed. In 1955, Hubbard wrote: “The purpose of the suit is to harass and discourage rather than to win. The law can be used easily to harass, and enough harassment on somebody who is simply on the thin edge anyway, well knowing that he is not authorized, will generally be sufficient to cause his professional decease. If possible, of course, ruin him utterly.”

Well, here’s Dandar’s latest attempt to convince the Florida courts that what is being done in Pinellas County is against the law. We will leave it to the lawyers in our reader community to tell us if these are effective arguments.

 

Ken Dandar v. Scientology: State Appeal 2014

 
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Bryan Seymour on the new Scientology Advanced Org

Our friend Bryan Seymour emailed us this morning to let us know that he’d just appeared on Australian television to talk about Scientology’s plans for a new “advanced org” on the north side of Sydney…

 

He also posted Scientology’s statement about the Advanced Org, and a pointed response.

Here’s Scientology’s statement written by its Australian spokeswoman Virginia Stewart. (And if you haven’t read our 2012 story about Virginia, please do.)

STATEMENT FROM THE CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY

The Church confirms that it has purchased the sites at 126 Greville Street and 23, 25 Millwood Ave, Chatswood, which provides several positive advantages. The existing building requires little or no external alteration to fit our purpose, it is centrally located within the Sydney metropolitan region accessible to the public transport network and is situated within pleasant environmental surroundings. The facility extends over 130 thousand-square-feet and overlooks Sydney’s Lane Cove National Park.

In terms of future plans, the Church is developing a plan that allows for administrative functions, ancillary uses and theological studies for parishioners and staff. The site provides more advanced religious studies and services for existing members of the Church.

Another Church facility, located on Castlereagh Street in the city, is for general public enquiries and tours. Interested people can walk in and tour the public information centre, attend a lecture or watch a film. This church provides all of the regular services one would find in any religion, such as weddings, funerals, Sunday Services and community events as well as all of the other Scientology religious theological studies, up to a certain level.

This Advanced Church follows on from that providing more advanced theological studies not available at the Castlereagh Street Church.

Anyone with an enquiry about Scientology would be directed to visit the Castlereagh Street Church.

In addition to providing spaces for Scientology religious services, the new site will house the management arm of the Church (the Continental Liaison Office) with offices which work on developing and running our community and social reform programs.

The Church of Scientology and its members sponsor secular education based programs that effectively curb drug abuse, instil tolerance, raise awareness of human rights and uplift morality across whole populations. They support these programs both financially and through volunteering their time.

More details on each of these campaigns include:

* The Way to Happiness: It is a common sense guide to better living, comprised of 21 precepts, each based on the fact that survival is interdependent and without universal brotherhood there is not complete happiness. As part of the precept “Safeguard and Improve Your Environment,” members of the Church engage themselves in maintaining and safeguarding their environment, working with the community.

* Volunteer Ministers: Scientologists volunteer their help, both in times of major disasters and in times of more personal disasters that can befall individuals, organisations, and countries around the globe. With its motto “Something Can Be Done About It,” Australian Volunteer Ministers have travelled to a number of major disaster sites in Australia and around the world and bring experience in trauma counselling, organisational skills and a willingness to do whatever task is needed.

* Youth for Human Rights Australia: It is a secular non-profit organisation that works to raise awareness of human rights through education on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which is supported by grants from the Church. In the last two years, the Church has distributed more than 25,000 booklets and DVDs to teachers, students, lawyers and general public, to make people aware of the human rights issues.

* Drug Free Ambassadors: Drugs are a major social issue, especially among young people in our city. The Church-sponsored charitable organisation Drug-Free Ambassadors, formed in 1993, has distributed 2.6 million free drug education booklets providing real facts about the harmful effects of drug abuse and their effects on the body and mind.

Regards

Virginia Stewart
Church of Scientology

 
And here’s Bryan’s response…

I should point out to anyone who has read the statement from Scientology above that it includes several inaccuracies:

Scientology is very different to most Churches, in that members do not believe in any God and they do not pray or hold services like other religions.

Their faith is based entirely on the work of L Ron Hubbard, who founded Scientology after failing to succeed as a science fiction author.

The “secular education based programs” referred to in the above statement include Narconon, a drug treatment program based entirely on Scientology. There have been no properly controlled, peer-reviewed studies showing this program to be effective. In addition, this Scientology ‘front group’ is very expensive, (up to $25,000 per treatment).

The HQ of Narconon in Oklahoma, USA, is under scrutiny following several deaths… as reported in the American press recently:
“A multiagency investigation of Narconon Arrowhead began after Stacy Dawn Murphy, 20, died from a drug overdose at the facility in July 2012. Her death followed the deaths of patients Gabriel Graves in 2011 and Hillary Holten in 2012.”

Find out more about Scientology’s ‘drug addiction treatment’ course here: https://www.facebook.com/BuyerBeware

As for the claims made in the above statement about “safeguarding“, “volunteer’ work and “Human Rights” programs – the awful truth is that Scientology stands accused of countless breaches of Human Rights by former members.

According the 2011 Census, there are 2,163 Scientologists in Australia — a fall of 13.7 percent from the previous Census. Scientology has claimed to have 250,000 members in Australia.

To learn more about Scientology, visit: http://tonyortega.org/

Bryan Seymour
Seven News (Australia)

 
Yesterday we showed in Scientology’s own plans for the new center how much it’s another unneeded project that’s primarily meant to give the impression that the organization is expanding, when the opposite is true. And we urge Bryan to point out the next time he’s asked about the new facility that one of its main uses will be for space opera exorcism.

 
ALSO: If you haven’t already done so, please see former Scientology spokesman Mike Rinder’s excellent takedown of Florida State University’s supposed “study” which concluded that Scientology is pumping nearly a billion dollars annually into the local economy at its Clearwater, Florida headquarters.

Rinder shows how FSU’s study was based entirely on bogus information supplied by the church itself, and leads to conclusions that are pure fantasy. Want to know the impact of Scientology on Clearwater? Just use your own eyes. Walking through the town, you can see how the church has drained the city’s downtown of any life.

 
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Posted by Tony Ortega on November 5, 2014 at 07:00

E-mail your tips and story ideas to tonyo94@gmail.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…

BLOGGING DIANETICS (We read Scientology’s founding text) 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

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

GETTING OUR ETHICS IN (Jefferson Hawkins explains Scientology’s system of justice) 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14

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

PZ Myers reads L. Ron Hubbard’s “A History of Man” | Scientology’s Master Spies | Scientology’s Private Dancer
The Underground Bunker’s Official Theme Song | The Underground Bunker FAQ

 

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