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On the eve of the big Tampa hearing, the Garcias fire back at Scientology’s ‘bench memo’

Mike Ellis [Photo by Doug Owens]

Mike Ellis [Photo by Doug Owens]

We told you last week that Scientology pulled a bit of a fast one in the Garcia federal fraud lawsuit, submitting a substantial “bench memorandum” with just days to go before tomorrow’s big evidentiary hearing.

There’s so much at stake in this hearing, which will decide if Scientology can force the Garcias into its internal arbitration scheme, we pointed out that Scientology was willing to pull out attorney Sherman Lenske from the shadows to sit for a deposition.

Yesterday, the Garcia team responded with its own bench memo, which we think makes the issues in this case pretty clear. Written by attorney Amanda McGovern, it argues that Scientology’s problem is still that it doesn’t really have proper arbitration rules, even as it wants the Garcias to be forced into them.

The memo also takes issue with the testimony of Mike Ellis, the reclusive “International Justice Chief” of the Church of Scientology (see photo), who asserted that arbitration had occurred under his watch, but then had to retract that statement “to avoid prosecution for perjury.”

Give this document a read, and it will prepare you well for what’s likely to happen tomorrow in Tampa…

Garcia v. Scientology: Plaintiff's Bench Memo

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Laura_DeCrescenzoLaura DeCrescenzo gets a small win as she waits for trial

It’s been a long time since we had an update for you in Laura DeCrescenzo’s forced-abortion lawsuit against the Church of Scientology. Things have quieted down since she won a huge victory and survived the church’s motion for summary judgment in October 2013. Since then, the case has been through several judge changes after the retirement of Judge Ronald Sohigian.

With a new judge finally in place, a trial date was set for December 7, 2015. But Scientology still had another motion to consider, this one about compelling Laura to turn over some old computers she supposedly had sitting in her garage.

Scientology watches Laura’s social media activity like a hawk, and because she does business online, she can’t simply keep quiet. During one exchange with a friend, she mentioned that it had taken a while to get caught up in her email inbox.

Scientology then rushed into court, accusing Laura of erasing key evidence — without any proof that that was going on. The church asked that Laura turn over old computer equipment in what was obviously a fishing expedition.

And on February 3, Judge Rolf M. Treu agreed with that assessment, denying Scientology’s motion.

What surprises will Scientology dream up between now and that December 7 trial date?

 
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David E. Miller

David E. Miller

Attorney David Miller files a fourth lawsuit against Narconon

Las Vegas attorney Ryan Hamilton has filed 27 lawsuits against Scientology’s drug rehab network, Narconon. Michigan attorney Jeff Ray recently filed two new suits. And now Indiana attorney David E. Miller has filed his fourth lawsuit against the embattled rehabs. (Here’s our previous story about the previous three suits he filed.)

The new lawsuit was filed by Miller on behalf of Dana Oberhansly of Arizona, who contacted Narconon Freedom Center in Albion, Michigan in April 2013. She spoke with an intake counselor, who convinced her that she “would be going to a nice rehabilitation facility that would be worth her time and money.”

Her withdrawal would be monitored by health professionals, a sauna program would “detox” her by sweating out toxins from her body. And the Narconon program would remove her drug cravings through a program with a proven 82 percent success rate.

She wasn’t told anything about a connection to Scientology, when in fact that’s all Narconon actually is. And in a recent court filing, Narconon even admitted that it’s a “faith-based” program, in contrast to what its websites say.

Upon arrival, she realized that she’d been lied to about the state of the facility, which was run down, and there were no medical professionals to watch over her difficult seven-day withdrawal.

In fact, the staff was made up of former patients, some of whom had to be “quarantined” because they relapsed.

There was also a water line break, which led to a health inspection, a sewer backed up in the women’s shower area, and bed bugs were rampant, says the complaint…

By having patients ingest extreme doses of Niacin and other vitamins while sitting in extreme temperatures for hours, the sauna program unnecessarily exposes patients to serious health risks including severe dehydration. Upon completing the Narconon Program, Plaintiff had a very difficult time adjusting to a normal life after her experience at NFC. She began to drink again and abuse the same drugs she had while at NFC. Plaintiff attempted to apply the Narconon Program to her life and found that this only expedited her return to abusing drugs at a higher frequency than she had prior to attending NFC.

Take a look at the full complaint.

 
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Scientology front groups exposed

A nonprofit watchdog has actually exposed Scientology’s front groups that are trying to infiltrate public schools.

Well, in Hungary, at least.

Peter Bonyai tells us that the Hungarian Civil Liberties Union has done what no one seems to be doing in this country — protect kids in schools from the sneaky way Scientology sends in its anti-drugs and other groups to get L. Ron Hubbard “technology” in classrooms.

It looks like the HCLU has produced a lengthy and thorough report about Narconon, the Foundation for a Drug-Free World and other Scientology fronts. But the report is in Hungarian, so you’ll have to put up with this brief description of the report.

 
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Bonus photos from our tipsters

Actual Tampa org caption: “Our beautiful staff auditor, Kirstan, audits the staff members as her full time job! She’s amazing auditor and loves her career here”

 
SciTampa4

 
Hey, Roland and Marcus are shilling for Narconon at the Frölunda Torg shopping center in Gothenburg, Sweden. Get the straight dope from these wild and crazy guys!

 
SciSweden

 
Youth for Human Rights in the Mexican state of Nayarit — whoo hoo!

 
SciNayarit

 
The Scientology org in Novara, Italy — near Milan — had quite a turnout when it presented its Drug-Free message at the Benvenuto Cellini high school in Valenza.

 
SciNovara

 
Vaselina!! So after this Grease-themed fundraising party in Mexico City, will we see it spreading to the US orgs?

 
SciGrease

 
It’s Ecuador day on the Freewinds! Or something.

 
SciEcuador

 
Narconon Egypt: These are the geniuses behind the JK Rowling ad. Hey, using too much Facebook? Better get in the sauna!

 
SciEgypt

 
Ah, the Freewinds! Come for the exotic Caribbean, stay for the epic swabbing!

 SciFreewinds1SciFreewinds2

 
Scientologists are using social media more than ever. Drop us a line if you spot them posting images to Instagram or Facebook!

 
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Posted by Tony Ortega on February 17, 2015 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 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

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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