Mike Ellis

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


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:


The new Garcia legal filings: