Luis Garcia

Scientology Legal Cases — July 2018: Scientology Wins Garcia Sham Arbitration; Settles Forced Abortion Case in DeCrescenzo

Laura DeCrescenzo

Events in a mediation last weekend signaled that the Church of Scientology was preparing to settle with Laura DeCrescenzo in her nine year old lawsuit that detailed numerous abuses she suffered at Scientology’s hands as a Sea Org member: Forced abortion, sleep deprivation, brainwashing, and false imprisonment.

Scientology’s Religious Technology Center (RTC) was named as a defendant in the lawsuit. Scientology dictator David Miscavige exercises supreme control over Scientology from his position as Chairman of the Board RTC.  DeCrescenzo’s lawsuit threatened to pierce Scientology’s corporate veils and show that Scientology is the alter ego of David Miscavige.

News of the settlement with Laura DeCrescenzo has just been published by Tony Ortega. In her long and grinding legal battle, DeCrescenzo was able to defeat Scientology’s contract called Agreement Regarding Confidential Religious Files. In this particular contract, Scientologists forever sign away all their rights to ever read, inspect, review, or own their preclear folders.

Among her other legal victories in pretrial, Laura DeCrescenzo was able to establish that over 100 people in Scientology had access to her confessional folders and there was no priest-penitent privilege. This struck another major blow against Scientology’s demonstrably false claim that pc folders are confidential. Scientology’s former members who speak out have consistently testified that their “private” pc folder data was used against them in retaliatory Scientology Fair Game attacks. Fair Game puts the lie to all claims made by Scientology that anything a former Scientologist said in session is private. L. Ron Hubbard himself sanctioned the use of pc folder data against former members who speak out.

The upcoming trial in DeCrescenzo posed enormous risks for the Church of Scientology. These risks included the setting of legal precedents that would be adverse to Scientology in all future litigation filed against it.

GARCIA

On July 17, 2018 Federal Judge James Whittemore ruled in the Church of Scientology’s favor in the sham arbitration it conducted with former Scientologists Luis and Rocio Garcia. In his ruling, Judge Whittemore’s concluded that the First Amendment prevented him from interfering in the outcome of Scientology’s arbitration procedure with the Garcia’s. To outsiders, it was abundantly clear to see that the arbitration was a complete sham.

The Garcia case was predicated on the fact that the Garcia’s had signed Scientology’s scammy “Religious Services Enrollment Application, Agreement, and General Release” contract. In this contract, the Garcia’s agreed to be bound by Scientology’s ecclesiastical rules including arbitration. According to the contract, Scientology was entitled to set all the rules in what became a one-sided farce that served to highlight the bad faith that is integral to the Church of Scientology.

We covered specifics of Scientology’s bad faith in two previous articles:

How Scientology Inc. Legally Cripples Its Own Members: The Four Unconscionable Contracts

Why the Church of Scientology Gets Away with Flagrantly Abusing and Harming its Own Members and How to Stop It.

An excerpt from our second article:

Churches, temples, mosques, and ashrams are free to determine their own internal form of government, rules, and discipline. The government is prohibited from intruding into these ecclesiastical matters. The First and Fourteenth Amendments to the US Constitution guarantees these rights. In the legal case Serbian Eastern Orthodox Diocese, Etc. v. Milivojevich, the Court stated:

“…the First and Fourteenth Amendments permit hierarchical religious organizations to establish their own rules and regulations for internal discipline and government, and to create tribunals for adjudicating disputes over these matters. When this choice is exercised and ecclesiastical tribunals are created to decide disputes over the government and direction of subordinate bodies, the Constitution requires that civil courts accept their decisions as binding upon them.”

So long as the “rules and regulations for internal discipline and government” do not violate US law, the members of a religious group can be subjected to harsh ecclesiastical tribunals, severe punishments, and even the humiliating public disclosure of their sins and the US courts cannot do anything about it. This is the dark side of “freedom of religion.”

Judge Whittemore cited Serbian Eastern Orthodox Diocese, Etc. v. Milivojevich in his ruling in Garcia.

In our opinion, Judge Whittemore issued an intellectually lazy and judicially incompetent ruling. Rather than focusing on the bad faith of Scientology during the entire arbitration process — which is a serious issue — he simply took the easy way out.

An exhausted old cow can’t deliberate properly: A perfect metaphor for Judge James Whittemore’s ruling in Garcia. 

Had Scientology’s attorneys known in advance that Judge Whittemore was so slovenly, they would have had Scientology’s arbitrators throw chicken bones on the floor; read the patterns; deny the Garcia’s any award; and have this chicken bone ecclesiastical procedure confirmed by Scientology’s IJC Mike Ellis. Judge Whittemore would have accepted their decision and issued the exact same ruling: The court may not interfere. Whittemore is 66 years old. He needs to be put out to pasture like an old cow before he does further judicial damage to other parties in his lackadaisical dotage. The poor old boy is tired.

SCIENTOLOGY: BAD FAITH, DIRTY CONTRACTS, BROKEN DREAMS

Although the Garcia’s lost in what was a sham arbitration, the Church of Scientology lost in a much bigger way. What the world saw in Garcia was Scientology’s bad faith and lies at work. For example, the Garcia’s were fraudulently induced to donate $65,000 to cover the costs of placing the Scientology cross atop the Super Power Building. This same fraudulent inducement was propounded to other Scientology by Scientology’s dishonest and predatory registrars (sales people)

Scientology’s registrars and certain other public-facing staff members can be so craven and dishonest that the Church of Scientology had to write a specific policy in which it does not stand behind any statements made by any of its staff members:

Laura DeCrescenzo prevailed in her case because Scientology’s conduct was so abhorrent that it appears to have exceeded First Amendment religious protections and, in this writer’s opinion, to have crossed the line into criminality. In any event, Scientology did not want to risk appearing in a public court of law where a jury would hear a shocking litany of horrific acts Scientology perpetrated against a young woman.

And under all circumstances, Scientology could not risk having David Miscavige placed on the stand. This is because the entire operating basis of the Church of Scientology is to protect David Miscavige from the consequences of his own actions. The same operating basis was at work when L. Ron Hubbard was alive and in control of the Church. The coddled and brutal tyrants at the top of the Scientology crime syndicate must always be protected at all costs. Mary Sue Hubbard learned this the hard way as has Shelly Miscavige.

In my view, the Church of Scientology lied to and swindled the Garcia’s out of hundreds of thousands of dollars and got away with it due to its First Amendment protections. The same holds true of the many people Scientology has swindled out of money these people have placed as “Monies on Account.” The fact is that there is no such thing as “Monies on Account” in Scientology. The actual contract Scientologists sign characterizes the monies as irrevocable donations and states that Scientology is under no obligation to return it. Again, this emphasizes why the IRS must move to revoke Scientology’s tax exemption.

The bad faith, lies, greed, hostility, and malice the Church of Scientology continually exhibits towards its own members is contained in the series of dirty contracts Scientologists must sign at every step of their journey up the falsely named “Bridge to Total Freedom.”

Bottom Line: No one should ever sign any contract with the Church of Scientology — and no one should ever donate money to this already wealthy and dishonest organization.

There is no Bridge to Total Freedom in Scientology.

There is only a Bridge to Total Slavery and Ruination.


Judge Whittemore’s Ruling in Garcia:

Garcia-v-Scientology-Order-denying-Garcia-motion

Palm Beach Post: Scientologists ‘committed fraud upon the court’ West Palm lawyer claims


Rivenbark/Maurice

Palm Beach Post staff writer Jane Musgrave just released a story stating that Luis and Rocio Garcia’s attorney Ted Babbitt has asked Federal judge James Whittemore to declare the Church of Scientology’s arbitration process to be a fraud upon the court. This move on the part of the Garcia’s is electrifying as it goes to the very core of Scientology’s notorious bad faith financial dealings with its own parishioners and former parishioners. Musgrave writes in her article:

In court papers filed in U.S. District Court in Tampa, attorney Theodore Babbitt contends the church made no pretense of conducting a fair and impartial hearing on his clients’ claims that it defrauded them out of $465,000 before they became disillusioned with its tactics. He is asking U.S. District Judge James Whittemore to reverse his decision to allow the Garcias’ lawsuit to be decided by Scientologists in arbitration and instead order that it be decided in a court of law.

“The arbitration was a mockery that no judge should countenance,” Babbitt wrote.

While he suspected the arbitration – the first ever conducted by the church – would be tantamount to “a kangaroo court,” the reality was far worse, he said.

The Garcia’s challenge to Scientology’s first-ever arbitration will be widely watched by former members who have been defrauded by the Church of Scientology — and particularly for advanced payments on services that were never delievered.

Update: Please see Tony Ortega’s article on the Garcia case.

We at the Scientology Money Project consider Scientology’s predatory practice of taking money in advance — and then refusing to refund that money when a person decides to no longer practice Scientology — crosses the line from civil fraud into conspiracy and criminal racketeering. It is our hope that Scientology’s top executives and lawyers will one day be charged in a RICO action. We consider that these people are criminals hiding behind religion. By L. Ron Hubbard’s own definition a criminal is someone who wants something for nothing:

First consider a group which takes in money but does not deliver anything in exchange. This is called rip-off. It is the “exchange” condition of robbers, tax men, governments and other criminal elements. — L. Ron Hubbard – HCO PL 10 Sep 82

The Church of Scientology is criminal in this practice per the definition of its own Founder.

One the four contracts all Scientologists must sign is called the “Religious Services Enrollment Application, Agreement, and General Release.” In this contract, one gives up the legal right to sue the Church of Scientology or to have a lawyer represent them in any dispute with Scientology. One also surrenders the right to a refund of any donations they have made to the organization. (For more details see our article DOX: How Scientology ensnares the unsuspecting in a series of binding contracts). Excerpt:

Here is the dirty Scientology contract at the heart of the dispute; hover your mouse over the document to invoke the controls that will appear at the bottom of the document:

Scientology.Religious.Enrollment.Contract

The new Garcia legal filings:

Garcia-vs-Scientology-Motion-to-Vacate
Garcia-vs-Scientology-Affidavit-of-Luis-Garcia
Garcia-vs-Scientology-Garcia-Suppressive-Declare

 

 

 

Surviving Scientology Radio Podcast With Mike Rinder Referenced in Garcia v. Scientology

10 February 2015: Tony Ortega today covered Church of Scientology attorney Bert Deixler’s deposition of Mike Rinder in Garcia v. Scientology.  Deixler asked Mike Rinder about the most recent interview he did with me on Surviving Scientology Radio.

Because this interview is of such intense interest to Scientology’s notorious Office of Special Affairs and its $1000-per-hour attorneys, it certainly bears reposting here in the public interest — particularly in terms of what Mike Rinder noted about his deposition over at his blog, “It is not especially enlightening as it was aimed at seeking dead agent material for the HBO Documentary and little about the case. But some may be interested in reading it.”

Mike Rinder Interview Podcast link: http://www.survivingscientologyradio.com/podcast/surviving-scientology-episode-27-with-mike-rinder

YouTube format:

Part of the exchange between Deixler and Rinder:

Deixler: Did you give — did you give a podcast or participate in a podcast recently?
Rinder: A podcast? Is that — is that Jeffrey Augustine, you mean?
Deixler: Yes.
Rinder: Yeah, I participated in that.
Deixler: And am I correct to say that in the course of that podcast you encouraged people to leave the Church of Scientology?
Rinder: I don’t know. You have a transcript there? I don’t know. Maybe I did. I don’t know.
Deixler: You don’t remember?
Rinder: No, I don’t remember.
Deixler: Do you remember participating in the podcast with Mr. Augustine?
Rinder: Yes. I just told you I did.
Deixler: And how — how long ago was that?
Rinder: Two weeks ago.
Deixler: OK. Sometime in the end of 2014?
Rinder: Uh-huh.
Deixler: Yes?
Rinder: Yes.
Deixler: And you don’t recall whether you encouraged people to leave the Church of Scientology —
Rinder: No, I don’t.
Deixler: — is that fair? OK. Do you remember saying anything like “you’ll get a lot further for a lot less money with a lot less pain and suffering if you left the Church of Scientology”?
Rinder: Yes, I do recall something like that.
Deixler: OK. And the reason for your saying that was to discourage people from remaining in the Church of Scientology, correct?
Rinder: No. I think that the reason for saying that was to let people know that there was an alternative.
Deixler: And the alternative is this Independent Church of Scientology?
Rinder: No. The alternative is whatever someone is looking for to resolve their spiritual needs.
Deixler: You encourage people to leave the Church of Scientology and look elsewhere for satisfaction of their spiritual needs; is that fair?
Rinder: That’s fair.
Deixler: And that’s something you’ve undertaken over a considerable period of time since you yourself left the Church of Scientology, correct?
Rinder: Yes, that’s correct.
Deixler: In fact, that’s been one of your principal both occupations and hobbies since you’ve left the Church of Scientology; is that fair?
Rinder: I would neither call it an occupation nor a hobby.

Transcript:

Is Attorney Bert Deixler Risking the Church of Scientology’s Tax Exemption?

The Church of Scientology is fighting for its life in the Garcia v. Flag et. al. lawsuit. Garcia is alleging commercial fraud on the part of the Church of Scientology. If Garcia wins, the floodgates to other lawsuits against the Church of Scientology for commercial fraud are flung wide open. The instances of Scientology and its front groups lying in order to raise money are legion, e.g. Narconon has more than 27 lawsuits against it for allegations related to lying to families of drug addicts about the type and efficacy of treatment services offered by Narconon.

Former Scientology “second in command” Mark “Marty” Rathbun has been called as a key witness by Garcia. Scientology attorney Bert Deixler deposed Rathbun. Tony Ortega posted more video of the deposition at his blog today. We post Tony’s YT video below.

In this video, Scientology attorney Deixler attempts to use a letter Rathbun wrote to David Miscavige in 1993 to impeach Rathbun’s credibility. However, the problem in doing so is that Rathbun opens up a Pandora’s Box concerning the Church of Scientology wholesale violations of the priest-penitent privilege; Founder L. Ron Hubbard; Scientology’s notorious Fair Game policy; and the 1993 tax exemption the IRS granted Scientology.

Deixler pushing Rathbun to read the internal “Liability Formula” Rathbun wrote in 1993 — which document is allegedly priest-penitent in nature — is proof that the Church uses privileged ecclesiastical folders against former members. This is inherently Fair Game and an egregious violation of what the David Miscavige, Mark Rathbun, Monique Yingling, and other CSI lawyers told the IRS in support of gain tax exemption.

Deixler leads with his chin in this deposition and allows Rathbun to state on the record that Scientology’s vicious Fair Game policy was never cancelled. By introducing Rathbun’s 1993 “Liability Formula” into the record, Deixler also hands Church critics further evidence that the Church uses private “ecclesiastical confessions” against former members. This is an egregious violation of the priest-penitent privilege.

How did Deixler get a copy of a private confession Rathbun wrote to Miscavige? In my opinion, the letter had to have come directly from Miscavige via the Church of Scientology’s notorious Office of Special Affairs (OSA). I say this because Miscavige would have had to instruct OSA to deliver this confessional letter to Deixler. Moreover, this private letter would have been in Rathbun’s CSI-owned “pc folder” thus showing Miscavige’s complete control over CSI and OSA Legal.

Finally, in attempting to establish a foundation, Deixler allows Rathbun to discuss tax exemption thus opening the door to this question: If what Mark Rathbun said in his 1993 Liability Formula was untrue, then was what Mark Rathbun told the IRS in pursuit of tax exemption also untrue? Rathbun was an indispensable and central figure in Scientology obtaining tax exemption.

Deixler’s attempt to impeach Rathbun goes to impeaching the truthfulness of the Church’s tax exemption as well — and this could become a matter for a Grand Jury or DOJ probe.

Deixler and Miscavige can’t have it only one way: Attacking Rathbun is attacking tax exemption is attacking Miscavige.

The Church of Scientology: One big ball of wax.

The Core of Scientology is Its Malicious System of Sham Contracts

As reported by Tony Ortega, the Church of Scientology has moved to strike the affidavit of Mike Rinder in the Garcia case.

Essentially, the Church of Scientology wants to prevent  the  Garcia’s from using Rinder’s specific knowledge that Scientology created sham legal documents designed to deter and defeat refund requests from Scientologists who request refunds.

Rinder

As we noted in our earlier blog entry, the entire purpose of Scientology contracts is to legally cripple its own members:

How Scientology Inc. Legally Cripples Its Own Members: The Four Unconscionable Contracts

Taken altogether, the contracts of adhesion employed by the Church of Scientology constitute a pattern of bad faith, fraud, and a willful and malicious intent to deceive new members at the outset.

The real core of Scientology is composed of its malicious system of sham contracts.

The intake system used by the Church is designed to strip a person of all of their civil rights from the very beginning. The Church’s fascist demand that members forfeit their Constitutional rights as a precondition of membership and participation is an indictment of the Church as a malicious entity. The series of contracts reveal an intent on the part of the Church, its agents, and even its own clergy to harm Scientologists in various ways while attempting to evade the legal consequences of the harm the Church inflicts upon people.

Scientology’s malicious and unconscionable contracts constitute bad faith and fraud on the part of the ecclesiastical hierarchy of Scientology churches. Furthermore, the “ecclesiastical hierarchy” is nothing more than a franchise system designed to cheat and defraud customers under the ruse of selling religious goods and services,

The “Church” itself does not stand behind the goods and services it sells and will, generally speaking, not issue refund as it told the IRS.  Refunds are only given if sufficient legal threat is leveled. For this reason, imo, anyone seeking a refund should instead consider suing individual churches, the Church of Scientology International, RTC, CST, and David Miscavige by name. These lawsuits should be widely publicized.

My personal emphasis in Scientology criticism long ago shifted away from space opera and celebrities and towards the legal and corporate framework — and in particular the bogus and malicious system of contracts at the heart of the Church of Scientology.

Once you strip away  “Xenu and the celebrities” what is the Church of Scientology in actuality?

The answer is simple: A dishonest and greedy franchise system that hides behind malicious contracts and 501(c)3 status. Once the 501(c)3 status is revoked, the franchise system will fall apart under legal scrutiny.

******

Enabled and assisted in its various frauds by its cretinous and despicable non-Scientology lawyers, the Church of Scientology never discloses or makes known to new members he intrinsically dishonest nature of the Church of Scientology and its system of sham contracts, bonds, waivers, interrogations, disconnection, fines, and penalties. The unalloyed malice of the Church of Scientol0gy against its own members speaks to the inherent paranoia, deceit,  aggression, and treachery of the Church.

To be as blunt as possible: You will be cheated, tricked, lied to, abused, and deceived in every way possible once you become a member of the Church of Scientology. And there is nothing you can do about it because you have signed away all of your civil rights as a precondition of joining the Church.

A Scientologist cannot sue the Church on its own terms or he or she will lose. The Church a rigged casino, a Mafia with its own rules.

Therefore, the Scientology system of contracts has to be put on trial. The system of contracts is designed to to deprive all Scientologists — Sea Org, Staff, and Publics — of their Constitutional rights.

IMO, this is the essence of the matter: The Scientology “religion” cannot be put on trial in America but its system of sham contracts can and should be put on trial.

*****

Scientology’s motion to strike Mike Rinder’s affidavit: