In a long-delayed piece in Village Voice, Tony Ortega reveals the details of the tactics and loss of the Church of Scientology in a case against former member Lawrence Wollersheim. After allegedly blocking access to public documents and filing retaliatory lawsuits, the church finally paid $8,674,843 to cover the $2.5 million judgment and the interest it had accrued. Among the court documents that the Court sought to withhold was this picture of Scientology leader David Miscavige, in his full Sea Org outfit, the most secret part of the secretive organization.
Much of the litigation was fought over access to documents and secrets in the Church, including its belief that every human carries parts of the the souls of alien creatures banished to Earth 75 million years ago by a galactic overlord named Xenu. It is a belief that was developed by science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard, who developed a faith based on “Dianetics.”
For the full story, click here.
7 thoughts on “Details of $8.7 Million Court Loss of Scientology Revealed”
Jonathan, a new link for Ortaga’s story:
Doesn’t the ruling below bear on the woman who was kidnapped and physically harmed by church members during her “exorcism”?
“Scientology claimed that its practices were protected by freedoms guaranteed in the First Amendment, but the court rejected that argument by pointing out that Wollersheim had been coerced to remain a Scientologist through the threat of freeloader debt, the use of “fair game,” and the use of confidential information in his files.”
My “wheel of wonder” has a suicide knob on it: my spouse complains frequently of such out of body experiences.
I have done the gravel truck thing myself. I used my special level of consciousness to turn something I call the “wheel of wonder” while instructing my right foot to slow down time by depressing what I call the “pedal of power.” As for taking over control of the car of another person losing control, anyone who has driven with my mother has experienced that particular out of body sensation. We also call it the “OT (Other Turley) phenomena.”
“Another Scientologist took over the body of a man who was losing control of his car on the freeway, righted the car,…”
I hope there’s a lot of Scientologists around for the rapture! I was getting worried about what to do with all the empty cars and planes that will be running amok!
Two quotes from the article stood out for me:
1. In the most recent issue of Advance!, the magazine of the Los Angeles headquarters, Scientologists are encouraged to begin their advanced training on the OT levels after “going clear.” To entice them, the magazine contains stories by other Scientologists, identified only by initials, who have already attained advanced OT levels and have used their new abilities in what they call “OT phenomena.” One man writes of two gravel trucks bearing down on his automobile in what would have been a sure collision and his possible death—until, using his OT abilities, he slowed down time and made beams come out of him to hold back the screeching trucks. Another Scientologist took over the body of a man who was losing control of his car on the freeway, righted the car, and calmed the driver down. Another man pacified a ghost that, unseen to others, was bothering workers in his office building.
2. “The Wollersheim case is among the most important decisions against Scientology in its history because it showed that the organization’s standard practices used against a member were harmful,” says Stephen Kent, a sociologist of religion at the University of Alberta who is one of the few academics who studies Scientology in depth.
I’d like to know how (1) differs in any significant respect from the miracle claims associated with the various healers, saints & gurus of other more “conventional” faiths; & whether (2) isn’t the case for most, if not all, religions.
I can understand why they tried so hard to suppress the Sea Org’s picture. He is beyond Las Vegas smarmy! Actually the whole thing has striking parallels to the cheney administration. I wish this judge was in charge of all the lawsuits filed against cheneyandminions.org. Where is Xenu when you really need him? Explain to me again why churches should be tax exempt.
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