Re: Fwd: Scientology cult pays $8,674,643 to ex-member to end 22-year legal battle.

From: Grant Callaghan (
Date: Fri May 10 2002 - 21:03:09 BST

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    Subject: Re: Fwd: Scientology cult pays $8,674,643 to ex-member to end 22-year legal battle.
    Date: Fri, 10 May 2002 13:03:09 -0700
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    Don't these guys proofread what they write before they publish? Or maybe
    they were so eager to spread the good news they just didn't take time to
    read it over first.



    >Reformatted for your reading pleasure-
    >- Wade
    >May, 2002
    >Factnet News
    >Scientology cult pays $8,674,643 to ex-member to end 22-year legal battle.

    >It was a crushing and humiliating legal defeat for the cult that is
    >infamous around the world for its outrageous litigation tactics. Over the
    >past 22 years Scientology spent an estimated 140 million in and out of the
    >court in its efforts to crush a former member, Lawrence Wollersheim, and
    >his legal teams.
    >The Wollersheim v. Church of Scientology of California (CSC) litigation
    >wound its way though the LA Superior Court, the California Appellate and
    >Supreme courts as well as the US Supreme court almost a half a dozen times.
    >In the first landmark Wollersheim decision, Scientology’s counseling
    >practices were found to be dangerous in the first jury decision of the LA
    >Superior Court. These dangerous counseling practices were also found to be
    >the cause of Lawrence Wollersheim being driven to the brink of insanity. 
    >Thereafter, Scientology filed numerous malicious and tangential legal
    >actions designed to inhibit Wollersheim right of due legal process and to
    >exhaust his financial resources so that he could not carry on his case. The
    >California court saw this new abuse and fined Scientology separately
    >$500,000 in what is known as a SLAPP lawsuit (Strategic Lawsuits Against
    >Public Participation.) This SLAPP fine was the highest fine ever paid for
    >such a suit in California. 
    >In another ill-conceived effort to avoid paying the judgment Scientology
    >stripped an estimated 500 million dollars from the Church of Scientology of
    >California and transferred its assets to other corporations in the
    >Scientology corporate umbrella. To collect this judgment from the new
    >Scientology corporations that had received the money, Wollersheim and his
    >legal team filed a new collection lawsuit naming the Church of Scientology
    >International (CSI) and religious Technology Corporation (RTC) as
    >responsible for paying the Wollersheim judgment because of their receipt of
    >the CSC assets.
    >On 9th May 2002, just before minutes before CSI and RTC were to appear in
    >court Scientology hurriedly delivered an $8,674,643 cashiers check to the
    >LA superior court clerk. This stopped having any additional evidence
    >presented in court that could have exposed Scientology’s lack of corporate
    >integrity, and could have exposed Scientology’s controversial IRS
    >charitable tax exemption to review and potential repeal as well as stopped
    >the very real risk that Scientology’s top executives could soon being put
    >in jail for corporate and asset fraud. 
    >During the original 5-month jury trial in the LA Superior court in 1986
    >Scientology had almost 25,000 members picketing the courthouse carrying
    >signs saying “Not one thin dime for Wollersheim” and “We will NEVER pay.”
    >David Miscavige, the cult’s current leader and former executive in CSI and
    >RTC at the time of the (CSC) transfers, as well as other top Scientology
    >cult leaders repeatedly vowed to members that nothing could ever force them
    >to pay the Wollersheim judgment and they would fight the judgment forever
    >no matter how much it costs or what the sacrifice.
    >After today’s last minute payment it would appear that what David Miscavige
    >and Scientology’s other senior executives were actually saying was that
    >they would only stonewall on the payment up to that point at which they
    >were in danger of exposing themselves personally for potential felonies.
    >And that they wanted, at all costs, to avoid Scientology’s controversial
    >IRS tax-exempt status grant being exposed in a court of law to evidence
    >that could cause its repeal. 
    >Scientology leaders are now faced with having to concoct a story for their
    >current members explaining the painfully obvious incongruity of their
    >actions. They also have to now contend with the floodgates being thrown
    >wide open for thousands of new lawsuits being filed by emboldened former
    >members who lost hundreds of thousands of dollars to Scientology and/or
    >were also harmed by Scientology’s outrageous counseling tactics. 
    >In an exclusive for interview for FACTNet Lawrence Wollersheim said the
    >following about this long overdue and hard won victory:
    >“It is my opinion that there are hundreds of thousands of people all over
    >the US, Europe and South America who have been destroyed by this cult and
    >then intimidated into silence. But, I now do not think that these people
    >will remain silent any longer. 
    >I believe that they see this abusive cult has been beaten by the power of
    >the law and patience. I hope that they will begin immediately calling their
    >lawyers to use the full power of the law get their lives back and seek
    >restitution as well. I also believe that after this court victory, former
    >members who were intimidated into silence about criminal acts they were
    >coerced to commit while in Scientology will come forward and speak with the
    >proper government officials.
    >It took me 22 years of using the slow but steady power of law to enforce
    >justice upon this dangerous cult. There were times when I thought I could
    >not go on any longer. But then I would remember the many people who have
    >lost their lives in Scientology such as Lisa McPherson (a current
    >Scientology wrongful death case in Florida.). These people would have no
    >voice if someone did not win a Scientology case. 
    >I remembered Medger Evers wife who fought for 32 years and finally got the
    >killers of her husband (the civil right worker) to trial. I thought of the
    >families for the four African American teens in Atlanta who, after 39 years
    >of persistence using the force of the law, finally got the fourth Ku Klux
    >Klan member suspected in their deaths to trial.
    >When I saw the courage, persistence and dedication these individuals
    >displayed in using the law to effect justice I told myself to stop being
    >such a wimp and that I was only at the 12, 18, 20, and 22 year mark. These
    >numbers were nothing compared to the 32 years that Medger’s wife fought.
    >What also sustained me in fighting for justice, no matter the level of
    >threat or intimidation, was my faith in a higher, infinite and benevolent
    >The most important thing I have learned in this ordeal is that true justice
    >is not the law. Nor is it the judges or courts. True justice is that sense
    >of fairness that we all have in our hearts. It is that which gives us the
    >power to ensure justice for others and the strength to demand justice for
    >ourselves against all odds.
    >The most important thing I could say to others or to social advocacy groups
    >that are facing or considering cult - litigation, or bringing lawsuits
    >against wealthy corporations like cigarette companies or fighting the
    >governments that are polluting our environment or committing financial or
    >other criminal acts is that they should use the legal system and be
    >patient. Do not be intimidated into silence. Do not let the wealth or the
    >size of your opponent dissuade you. At the end of the day, the power of
    >justice sought through law and patience dwarfs any opposing force or
    >The rewards for enforcing justice are many. If you are a victim, justice is
    >the miracle healer that accelerates the process far beyond just therapy.
    >When a victim turns the tables on its former oppressor using the legal
    >system they no longer remain a victim. The process transforms them
    >psychologically and empowers them emotionally. There are also new laws like
    >the SLAPP laws that protect the weaker or poorer parties from wealthy
    >adversaries that are trying to punish them for speaking out or working for
    >a better world. This is the good news.
    >Lastly, I want thank all of the lawyers and former members and all the
    >family friends and other people who, as a team, forced this ruthless cult
    >to comply with the law. It could not have been done other than as a team.
    >I promise that everything that Scientology sought to hide from public
    >scrutiny in my case (by stopping the hearings with their $8,760,000 payment
    >to the court) will go to the proper government authorities. Everything in
    >my case that can be made available to other new cases suing Scientology
    >will be made available as soon as possible.
    >It is quite a paradox that the cult that vowed it would never pay me one
    >thin dime has now paid over 86 million thin dimes not even including the
    >$500,000 they paid earlier.”
    >(Scientology has paid 10 of millions of dollars in past secret settlements
    >but because of gag order and confidentially settlement terms none of the
    >current or former members ever hear about this.)
    >The FACTNet Staff & Lawrence Wollersheim
    >Newspapers covering this story are:
    >This News alert has been brought to you by F.A.C.T.Net (Fight Against
    >Coercive Tactics Network) a non-profit organization providing news and
    >information on cults and mind control since 1995. Please also forward your
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