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Laura DeCrescenzo, on eve of crucial hearing, explains Scientology for new judge


[Judge John P. Doyle]

Laura DeCrescenzo’s legal team filed its latest brief in advance of a crucial hearing, and we have the document for you. Laura’s forced-abortion lawsuit against the Church of Scientology is almost seven years old now, and trial dates have been set a couple of times. But there’s a final hurdle that she needs to get past, a motion for summary judgment that the church filed that will be considered on March 7.

The hearing was supposed to happen in November, but Judge Rolf Treu, who had inherited the case after Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Ronald Sohigian retired, seemed to panic just the day before the hearing and asked both sides to submit new briefs that would more plainly explain the issue.

Hey, we know it’s a complex case, but that just seemed like a complete amateur move to us. And now, just a couple of weeks before this crucial hearing, we’ve learned that Treu is off the case and it’s now in the court of Judge John P. Doyle, who has to do a lot of reading, and quick.

We hope he pays close attention to the document Laura’s team filed this week. It answers Scientology’s latest attempt to portray Laura DeCrescenzo as a griper. In the church’s attempt to explain the lawsuit in clearer terms for Judge Treu, it characterized Laura as a willing “minister” who lived the austere life that a monk or nun might experience in another church. Scientology even dug up an apologist academic who said that things were pretty rough when he was an 18-year-old seminary student, and life in Scientology’s Sea Org struck him as little different.

In other words, Laura is complaining unnecessarily about religious practices that she voluntarily submitted to as a cloistered religious worker, and her complaints are really about religious matters that are protected by the First Amendment.


Well, here’s how Laura’s team answered that characterization:

What Defendants ignore, is that Plaintiff was fraudulently induced to join the Sea Org and move away from her family at the young age of twelve, and thereafter was subjected to years of coercive persuasion at the hand of Defendants, such that she lost her ability to freely make choices about whether she should remain in the Sea Org, whether she should submit to Defendants’ disciplinary procedures, and whether she should have a child, among other important decisions. Churches who fraudulently induce children to join their organizations and engage in coercive persuasion are not entitled to claim judicial immunity from claims made by such individuals.

Kapow. We expect that’s plain enough for Judge Doyle to understand. But will he, like Judge Sohigian before him, find that Laura’s evidence that she led a hellish life in the Sea Org is persuasive enough for a jury to hear?

Her brief goes on to explain that Scientology can call itself a church all it wants, but that doesn’t give it immunity to treat people however it wants. And how she was treated is really quite shocking. If you remember, Scientology went all the way to the US Supreme Court trying to keep documents under wraps that describe Laura’s hellish experiences. They were unsuccessful, and we got a look at those documents. We hope Judge Doyle bothers to look at them.

Well, with this filing we’re set up for the March 7 hearing. Let us know if you think this document is persuasive, and what parts you found most interesting.


DeCrescenzo v. Scientology: Plaintiff's revised memo


Chris Shelton interviews counselor Rachel Bernstein, part 2



Bonus items from our tipsters

You have to give the church some credit for this kind of creativity when it comes to selling lectures on CDs.



3D-UnbreakablePosted by Tony Ortega on February 25, 2016 at 07:00

E-mail tips and story ideas to tonyo94 AT gmail DOT com or follow us on Twitter. We post behind-the-scenes updates at our Facebook author page. After every new story we send out an alert to our e-mail list and our FB page.

Our book, The Unbreakable Miss Lovely: How the Church of Scientology tried to destroy Paulette Cooper, is on sale at Amazon in paperback and Kindle editions. We’ve posted photographs of Paulette and scenes from her life at a separate location. Reader Sookie put together a complete index. More information about the book, and our 2015 book tour, can also be found at the book’s dedicated 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 L.A. 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

Other links: Shelly Miscavige, ten years gone | The Lisa McPherson story told in real time | The Cathriona White stories | The Leah Remini ‘Knowledge Reports’ | Hear audio of a Scientology excommunication | Scientology’s little day care of horrors | Whatever happened to Steve Fishman? | Felony charges for Scientology’s drug rehab scam | Why Scientology digs bomb-proof vaults in the desert | PZ Myers reads L. Ron Hubbard’s “A History of Man” | Scientology’s Master Spies | Scientology’s Private Dancer | The mystery of the richest Scientologist and his wayward sons | Scientology’s shocking mistreatment of the mentally ill | Scientology boasts about assistance from Google | The Underground Bunker’s Official Theme Song | The Underground Bunker FAQ

Our Guide to Alex Gibney’s film ‘Going Clear,’ and our pages about its principal figures…
Jason Beghe | Tom DeVocht | Sara Goldberg | Paul Haggis | Mark “Marty” Rathbun | Mike Rinder | Spanky Taylor | Hana Whitfield


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