Scroll down to read the PDF of the Church of Scientology’s response to Valerie Haney’s Writ of Certiorari in which she asks the US Supreme Court to rule on the above question.
In Guinn v. Church of Christ Collinsville, the Church of Christ argued that resigning from the Church of Christ is doctrinally impossible. Therefore, Marian Guinn’s resignation was impossible and her lawsuit should be thrown out as the court cannot intervene in religious disputes. The Oklahoma Supreme Court rejected this because consent belongs to the person and not to the Church: A person has the right to join a a religion and consent to be governed by its rules; a person also has the right to resign from a religion and withdraw their consent to be governed by its ecclesiastical rules.
We see the Church of Scientology’s response to Valerie Haney as a variant of the one made by the Church of Christ: Once you sign a contract with Scientology, that contract remains valid and in force for perpetuity. Therefore, Scientology essentially argues, resignation from Scientology and withdrawal of consent is contractually impossible — and this, Scientology seems to argue, is not doctrinal because there is no requirement to be a Scientologist. In my view, this argument is specious.
If anything, Scientology is arguing that its arbitration became a contractual business matter once Valerie Haney resigned and withdrew her consent. This may be where Scientology hangs itself on its own petard. Simply put, Scientology has always been a business that gained religious status.
So now the question is forced: Is Scientology a religion or a business? It cannot have it both ways. For Scientology to say that one need not be a Scientologist to participate in its arbitration procedure — which procedure can only, per Scientology doctrine, be conducted by Scientologists in good standings makes its argument absurd:
1. A contract must be in force for arbitration to occur. The question becomes: Does a religious membership agreement remain in force in perpetuity as the Church of Christ argued? The answer is no. Valerie Haney withdrew her consent. A secular court cannot order her to participate in a religious ritual. And Scientology arbitration is religious in nature because, as a matter of established fact, Scientology has been recognized as a religion by the IRS, says it is religious, and has 501(c)(3) religious tax exemption.
2. All the indicia that Scientology is a religion is there and yet now Scientology lawyers want to overreach and argue that Scientology religious arbitration is available to the general non-Scientology public at large. This is both absurd and repressive. It is also unconstitutional as a court cannot compel a person to participate in any religious rite. To order such a thing would violate the separation of Church and State.
3. Because Valerie Haney is a declared Suppressive Person, Scientology lawyers are trying to use the court to create a legal precedent whereby Scientology can still compel expelled SP’s, i.e. persons who have been expelled by order of the IJC and are therefore non-Scientologists, to participate in a Scientology arbitration arising out of their former membership. This is absurd and creates the proverbial Hotel California argument: You can check out anytime you like but you can never leave.
4. As a non-Scientologist, we cannot participate in a Scientology arbitration as I have no standing in the Church. we cannot even sign a religious agreement with the Church of Scientology as we do not believe Scientology is a religion. In the initial four membership intake contracts all Scientologists are made to sign, Scientologists must agree that they believe Scientology is a religion, that Scientology is their religion, and they freely give their consent to be governed by Scientology’s ecclesiastical rules in all matters of the faith. Because we reject Scientology and deem it a business, how could we participate in a Scientology religious arbitration that can only be conducted by Scientologists in good standing? Scientology’s argument is ridiculous on its face.
4A. Conversely, if I provided a commercial business service to Scientology and signed an arbitration agreement, Scientology could compel me to participate in a secular business arbitration. But this would be a nonreligious business matter.
4B. Valerie Haney’s case is inescapably a religious matter arising out of her participation in the Scientology religion as a member of its legally non-existent Sea Org. The legal nonexistence of the Sea Org and its status as a religious order further reinforces the religious nature of the arbitration agreement which Scientology wants the court to order Valerie Haney to participate in against her consent.
5. Light has a wave-particle duality. Scientology wants to argue that it has a religious-business duality. The Haney case highlights Scientology’s self-serving legal history of arguing that it is whatever it needs to be in a particular lawsuit.
See our article on the Guinn case and how to properly resign a religious membership agreement. Resigning from one’s religious membership in the correct way can make a world of difference if matters become legally entangled. As always, we strongly recommend that you consult with an attorney if you have any questions whatsoever.
Scientology’s response to Valerie Haney:Haney-v-Scientology-SCOTUS-Reply-from-CSI-and-RTC (1)
Categories: The Scientology Money Project