Among the many falsehoods perpetrated on the STAND League website are a series of FAQs where they try to present the image of scientology as victims of predatory, greedy litigants …
It’s a typical fable that gets off to a rollicking start:
During the history of the Church, some individuals sought to make money from unfounded allegations, but the Church successfully defended against those claims.
It’s a false premise for a number of reasons.
- There have been successful litigants — notably Lawrence Wollersheim and Julie Christoffersen who were awarded multi-million dollar judgments after trial. Wollersheim ultimately collected. Christoffersen settled after the Judge declared a mistrial.
- Many who have sued were paid off after scientology lost those two trials. There was an institutional decision to never go to trial again. Many litigants have received substantial settlements that have as a requirement that no public statement be made about the outcome, nor mention of how much money they got. There are many cases.
- Scientology has sued plenty of people, and lost. Back to the days of Time magazine and even earlier. They proudly tout that they brought the Justice Department to its knees by filing so many lawsuits they couldn’t deal with them all. They also crow about suing the Cult Awareness Network into oblivion.
- They sued Debbie Cook and had to settle with her.
The next assertion:
Litigation involving Churches of Scientology in America is virtually nonexistent today.
Mostly because of the rulings on Arbitration. Eventually, the arbitration agreements are going to be deemed unenforceable. When that happens there will be a flood of lawsuits.
They then go on to list various rulings from Australia, Spain, Italy, Germany and even Russia supposedly recognizing scientology as a religion. But this is very selective cherry picking. In numerous countries (including the UK), scientology is NOT recognized as a legitimate charitable organization as not granted tax exempt status. In Germany they are still on the watch list of organizations that are a threat to the constitution. In Russia scientology is being prosecuted and shut down.
They of course do not mention what Source had to say about litigation. It goes against the image they are trying to portray, so they just don’t mention it. Here are just a few quotes:
The purpose of the suit is to harass and discourage rather than to win. The law can be used very 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.
A Manual on the Dissemination of Material (1955
Make the suit as expensive as possible for them and as inexpensive as possible for us
OSA NW Order
Here is what the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals had to say when RTC appealed an order from the Federal Court sanctioning them $2.9 million for abusing the court system in the case filed against David Mayo:
US Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit – 82 F.3d 423 (9th Cir. 1996)Argued and Submitted Nov. 14, 1995. Decided April 11, 1996.
The facts are as follows: On January 20, 1993, the special master awarded attorneys fees, first under the Lanham Act finding the case exceptional because the plaintiffs [RTC] “have abused the federal court system by using it, inter alia, to destroy their opponents, rather than to resolve an actual dispute over trademark law or any other legal matter.” The master also awarded fees pursuant to the Copyright Act, 17 U.S.C. § 505, finding that the plaintiffs’ complaints had been brought “in bad faith” to harass the individual defendants and destroy the church [AAC] through massive over-litigation and other highly questionable litigation tactics.” The master also awarded fees pursuant to the court’s inherent authority to award fees when the losing party has acted in bad faith. Alyeska Pipeline Service Co. v. Wilderness Society, 421 U.S. 240, 258 (1975). Finally, the master declined to base the attorneys fees award on California contract law because “California contract law might collide with the first amendment in this particular context.”
The master made a succinct statement as to the fees requested, noting that “many attorneys worked many, many hours on this case”; that the hours were reasonable “given the plethora of constitutional issues, discovery stand-offs, appeals, and, most importantly, plaintiffs’ practice of endlessly litigating issues”; and that the hourly rates were reasonable for federal civil practice within the Central District of California. The master recommended an award of $2.9 million.
Moreover, there is little doubt that RTC is playing “fast and loose” with the judicial system as required in the minority view of estoppel. To first assert that its unfair competition and false designation of origin claims are justiciable and at the same time assert that Mayo’s identical claims are not is at best questionable; in light of RTC’s documented history of vexatious behavior, RTC’s actions are indefensible.
This is what the Justice Department said in the Sentencing Memorandum in the criminal case of Mary Sue Hubbard and 10 other senior scientology officials:
These suits were filed by the Church for the sole purpose of financially bankrupting its critics and in order to create an atmosphere of fear so that critics would shy away from exercising the First Amendment rights secured them by the Constitution.
The defendants and their cohorts launched vicious smear campaigns, spreading falsehoods against those they perceived to be enemies of Scientology in order to discredit them and, in some instances,
Scientology initiated law suits often for the sole purpose of harrassment, private citizens who attempted to exercise their First Amendment right to criticize an organization which they considered suspect, and public officials who sought to carry out the duties for which they were elected or appointed in a fair and even-handed manner. To these defendants and their associates, however, anyone who did not agree with them was considered to be an enemy against whom the so-called “fair game doctrine” could be invoked.
…these defendants were willing to frame their critics to the point of giving false testimony under oath against them, and having them arrested and indicted speaks legion for their disdain for the rule of law. Indeed, they arrogantly placed themselves above the law meting out their personal brand of punishment to those “guilty” of opposing their selfish alms.
L. Ron Hubbard wrote in his dictionary entitled “Modern Management Technology Defined” that “truth is what is true for you.” Thus, with the founder’s blessings they could wantonly commit perjury as long as it was in the Interest of Scientology.
It’s a different picture than the STAND bs….
Aharon Friedman says
This blog post is very important as it emphasis several facts:
1. Scientology does lose cases in court, and plenty of them.
2. They rush to settle before it actually goes to trial. Usually the settlement is equivalent in magnitude to the original claim.
3. The court system does not tolerate “litigational harassment” , which is the modus opera of Co$.
4. The arbitration issue is a temporary set back. Eventually, it will be resolved and justice prevail.
It is a good place to mention that there were several litigations here in Israel. They usually lost or settled.
I love reading your “dead agent” of Scientology lies. Like how dumb are they to think they can lie their way out of their sinking ship?
Jens TINGLEFF says
Oh, and reading through Jonny Jacobsen’s excellent coverage of the Paris trial, I found this gem: In 2014, one of the convicted $cientologists sued a victims’ support group and a lawyer directly. It did not go well.
So, this was a case brought by the criminal organisation known as the “church” of $cientology (in the person of one of its top leaders), and it failed.
Jens TINGLEFF says
The organisation itself was convicted of criminal fraud in France. That conviction was upheld all the way to the European Court of Human Rights. The fraud in question was the basic operation, the dishonest promises of improvements, and not on the obviously criminal stuff, so there should still be some juicy cases to go.
In England, the organisation itself admitted guilt in a libel case, apologised in court and paid Bonnie Woods a pile of money.
In Canada, the organisation itself made legal history with the largest fine for criminal libel.
Clearly not Clear says
I appreciate this good news blog. Staad should think twice before their next topic comes out. It will of course be fiction.
I just wonder what kind of fiction?
And how deliciously will you tease it apart, till it lays, exposed and embarrassed.
Karen de la Carriere says
Laura de DeCrescenzo was forced into child labor as in human trafficking and was forced to abort.
For 12 years the cult strung out her law suit hoping she would abandon her claims.
Luckily her law firm stuck it out and at the last day before trial the cult capitulated and paid.
INCLUDING the bill to pay Laura’s lawyers 12 years of her lawyers bills on all the motions and cross motions.
Oh how they LIE on their Baghdad BOB propaganda site STAND.
Mike, In my opinion, this is one of the most important blog posts you have done. As a Former-In, I am stunned concerning the facts you share here, the court losses and the formal judiciary scoldings of Religious Technology Center and the Church of Scientology. When in, members are only told that C of S is always the victor in any fight any where. Yet it simply ain’t true. Thank you, Mike.
Ditto. The legal judge statements are devastating.
Xenu gets Scientology at the public word of mouth level.
Judges have devastated Scientology in their legal comments.
I guess all the public can do is get simpler about Scientology, and stay away from it, on their own.
Xenu did not drop zillions of implanted surplus souls onto earth 75 milliion years ago during the Wall of Fire/4th Dynamic Engram, and humans do not need to do OT 3, 4, 5, 6 and 7 exorcism to rid themselves of their loads of these surplus souls (“body-thetans”).
Scientology’s own practices, when simplified and described in public friendly words, cannot sell Scientology successfully.
The Xenu “body-thetans” massive amount of required Scientology exorcism just cuts to the chase about what Scientology is.
To @ExTeamXenu75to03 — Indeed. These various official judge and judicial system summations excoriate the C of S. (censure or criticize severely)
I dont see how scx thinks anyone believes anything they say anymore. Everyone is aware of their litigious nature. It’s kind of telling that the organization is so insulated that they do not know (or care) how they look to the outside.
Litigate at the drop of a hat?
Scn and litigation – there’s a hole with no bottom. The story of the litigation abuses used to get tax exemption from the IRS deserves a book in its own right. The very tactics Scn used show they do not deserve that exemption but I can feel for the IRS people involved. It’s tragic that nobody in congress stood up to protect some bureaucrats doing their jobs. (That’s something you don’t hear very often.)
Zee Moo says
Add ‘litigiousness’ to the list of lron’s ‘nesses’. Now, when will the appeals court rule on the Garcia’s appeal? And when will the California Supreme Court rule on those suing Masterson and the CO$?
Jere Lull says
“And when will the California Supreme Court rule on those suing Masterson and the CO$?”
Entirely too late, Moo. There should be a thick folder full of legal opinions about scientology’s basic untruthfulness, FAR thicker than what we can assemble today, since scientology is all about lying about anything and everything. They tell the truth only by accident. Oh, I’m so disappointed I fell for that too-obvious crap.
Loosing my Religion says
When I was in SO I remember a minor cumulative stat called ValRR (value of Refund / Repayment requests) for the whole EU and it was quite high.
I don’t think it ever went down, quite the contrary.
They do everything they can not to give the money back, and people often stop asking for it also because based on the amount to get back the legal costs would eat a good chunk of it. It is also for this reason that we do not hear about it often but the requests exist.
Their concept of exchange is only a one-way towards their coffers.
Interesting article The Co$ tried to bankrupt me back in the 90 ‘s when I sued for the return of my money.
Then they wasted time in trying to get my case struck off.
They failed miserably and ended up paying my solicitors fees, QC’ s fees in the High Court in London. Ouch, that cost a mint. Plus they ended up having to pay me back anyway.
Well done OSA……
Thanks SO VERY much for the great news!!! True justice is wonderful to hear about.
Well Done Sir.
Jere Lull says
Good on you for persisting through what must have been a debilitating experience. Every loss scientology suffers is a win for mankind.
Thank you. The co$ were on to a loser in my case. We had evidence of undue influence, being lied to in order to extort money and bullying to obtain money too.
My advice to anyone who is trying to recover a large sum of money is to take legal proceedings against the cult.
Evidence of undue influence, lies, blackmail and harassment aren’t usually difficult to prove, and the cult do not like negative media reports. They usually throw in the towel prior to a court hearing.
This may not apply so much to the US where the co$ hide behind their religious rights curtain.
Jens TINGLEFF says
Is your result available in a form which can be referenced on the Internet? Are you already in The Big List?