Scientology sued for Fraud! It's going DOWN like bird sh**! (The Garcia Suit)

Discussion in 'Media' started by BlackRob, Jan 23, 2013.

  1. RightOn Member

    The judge said he feared that "they were treading into First Amendment Waters". I think that is what he said.
    "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the government for a redress of grievances. "

    But of course that doesn't give the COS the right to rip people off. And that is what he has to determine. Whether or not the Garcias are more or less fucked by all the money they forked over in good conscious in the past and may not have any recourse now. Sort of like a "buyer beware"?
    I guess?
    The COS internal arbitration has to be deemed legit or not by the judge?
    IDK :(
    I hope so!

    I wish their lawyer called Rinder up first. He had something to do with the internal justice system writing? Didn't he? Or was at least knowledgeable about it. I thought it was strange to call Hadyn and Christi up to tell their stories. I know what their judge was trying to establish, but it back fired. I kind of agree with the judge that their testimonies were not relevant to the case. If they brought Rinder up to talk first, I think that may have sufficed and help to stay on track and not piss off the judge.
    At the very least, at least their stories are on court record.
    • Like Like x 1
  2. anoninoob Member

    This could/should have been open and shut by referencing the Fair Game Policy (both original and revised).

    Original; "deprived of property or injured by any means by any Scientologist without any discipline of the Scientologist. May be tricked, sued or lied to or destroyed."

    Revised; "
    This [policy letter] does not cancel any policy on the treatment or handling of an SP."

    this would simply show that arbitration through internal Scientology mechanisms would be highly biased if not outright useless IMHO.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. RightOn Member

    not enough sauce for the courts tho
    although I think what was more damning was that letter.
    That perfectly showed what the judge was looking for
    • Like Like x 1
  4. anonamus Member

    From the above mentioned letter:
    If that isn't catch-22, I don't know what is. I'm pretty confident Judge Whittemore will see it that way too.
    • Like Like x 3
  5. RightOn Member

  6. RolandRB Member

    But is there anything the judge can do about it? Is he going to say - "that's obviously not fair so you will have to change your church policy to make it more fair"? I don't think he can - that would be "interfering with a religion". That's the point with allowing religions to operate internally, however they like. If Catch-22 is an integral part of the runnings of a religious community there is nothing the courts can do to change it. I think the best approach the judge can take is to state an opinion that the system of arbitration could never have been designed to cover the situation of criminal fraud because that was beyond reasonable scope. And a person either in or no longer in the Church should have the same rights as anybody in a similar situation that had nothing to do with a religion and have recourse to the legal system to remedy the situation. He should be able to make that decision without needing to challenge any workings of the Church.
    • Like Like x 3
  7. anonamus Member

    No, but he can give this evidence of sham arbitration a lot of weight in his ruling.
    • Like Like x 4
  8. anoninoob Member

    This is the crux of the argument IMHO, does a church's internal policies violate established law without violating first amendment freedom of religion. Polygamy and human sacrifices could be considered internal church policies but are not allowed.
    • Like Like x 7
  9. anonamus Member

    ^^ This.
    Outright fraud shouldn't be allowed to hide behind first amendment rights.
    • Like Like x 2
  10. True. But since there is so much e-lawyering going on, I'll give my IANAL two cents as well.

    Don't be surprised if there ends up being appeal on the ruling, whenever it comes out, by whomever the decision is against.

    Rooting for a winner in the case at this level is like baseball fans getting all excited about a mid-season game in a 162 game season. Sure the game matters because you need to get to the playoffs. But it ain't even the playoffs yet, where the real winners and losers are determined.

    And remember that this is only an evidentiary hearing regarding a pre-trial motion by the cult. The actual trial has not even started yet.

    Now there's always the possibility that there could still be a settlement. Or Babbitt and Garcia could withdraw the suit. But if neither of those happen, where things will get most interesting is when the case is heard at the Florida Circuit Court of Appeals. That's when some truly final decisions will be made (unless this goes all the way to the US Supreme Court and they agree to review the case). And that could be in oh, 2-3 years. Or a lot lot longer.

    And that's the rapid American justice system at work. Just sayin'.
  11. anoninoob Member

    my first sentence was badly formed.

    Do the courts have the right to compel a religious institution to change its internal policies, when those policies are in direct violation of established law, without violating its first amendment right of free exercise of religion? Are the cult's internal policies in violation of established law? That is the crux.
    • Like Like x 3
  12. Quentinanon Member

    No they cannot, but courts can punish an organisation for crimes and civil wrongs. In democratic countries, a government cannot punish someone for their beliefs, but they can punish them for behaviour that violates the law.
    • Like Like x 3
  13. RightOn Member

    take televangelist Jim Baker for Instance:
    From Wiki
    PTL's fund raising activities between 1984–1987 underwent scrutiny by The Charlotte Observer newspaper, eventually leading to criminal charges against Jim Bakker. From 1984 to 1987, Bakker and his PTL associates sold $1,000 "lifetime memberships", which entitled buyers to a three-night stay annually at a luxury hotel at Heritage USA. According to the prosecution at Bakker's later fraud trial, tens of thousands of memberships had been sold, but only one 500-room hotel was ever completed. Bakker sold more "exclusive partnerships" than could be accommodated, while raising more than twice the money needed to build the actual hotel. A good deal of the money went into Heritage USA's operating expenses, and Bakker kept $3.4 million in bonuses for himself. A $279,000 payoff for the silence of Jessica Hahn, who was introduced to Bakker by the evangelist John Wesley Fletcher, was paid with PTL's funds to Hahn through Bakker associate Roe Messner, who later married Tammy Fay Bakker.[6] Bakker, who apparently made all of the financial decisions for the PTL organization, allegedly kept two sets of books to conceal the accounting irregularities. Reporters from The Charlotte Observer, led by Charles Shepard, investigated and published a series of articles regarding the PTL organization's finances."

    and let's not forget Swaggert

    So he raised more than he needed for the hotel.
    Sounds just like the Super Power Building fraud and other orgs
    • Like Like x 4
  14. RolandRB Member

    I think you are right in that there will be an appeal by the losing side and there will be a 2-3 year delay as a result. That means all the other parties who want to sue the cult to get their defrauded money back will have to wait a few years. And if they wait a few years then will their claims be expired due to the passage of time? And if they initiate legal proceedings then can the cult stretch things out using the Garcia case? And after 2-3 years then I think the cult will have magically moved the money around where nobody can find it. That's if they still exist at that point and Lill' Nap' hasn't moved off his Point of Power with a few hundred million dollars in his pockets and gone to live in Bulgravia and bribe the police.
    • Like Like x 1
  15. 00anon00 Member

    Interesting question. Here is my e lyawlyer guess. The US government can take away tax exempt. The Mormons changed the stance on polygamy before they let Utah join the Union. They still get all that pussy in heaven.
    • Like Like x 3
  16. RolandRB Member

    Do these IAS whales know that they have been defrauded? We can all think of the good old days in the mid 70s when LRH was in charge with every Org and Mission bursting to the rafters with happy paying customers. Do they think the Church was making a lot of money then? Millions of dollars per week? Truth was, they were making a loss. All that money was keeping the Orgs and Missions running and the staff were getting well paid but if that money tap were to be suddenly turned off then there is no way they could provide the training and services that had been paid for in advance. It was almost a Ponzi scheme then, with every building packed to the rafters with people. This is why they had to increase prices by 5% each month. This is why they had to block refunds. This is why they had to rerelease the Tech, again and again and again. And now, with the Orgs only about 10% full on average, then surely these whales must realise that is they who are paying for the day-to-day running of the organisation and hardly any of their money goes to helping people or to expansion. If they do wake up, the Church does not have the money to pay them back so they may as well not bother trying to sue to get it back. It seems to me that the lawyers for the Church in the Garcia case know that and that they have been instructed to stretch out this court case indefinitely to stop the lawsuits from other whales who might wake up to the fact they they have been defrauded and all through their own stupidity.
    • Like Like x 1
  17. it is unfortunately a "religious" dispute and that is why the Judge does not want to hear Rinder or Collbran.
  18. TorontosRoot Member

    Fuck the religious part.
    • Like Like x 3
  19. BigBeard Member

    The "your an SP, so can't enter the org to get the form" letter from Ellis should have made the whole question about whether a FAIR arbitration system exists or not a slam dunk. Everything else was just a distraction that just annoyed the judge.

    • Like Like x 5
  20. The Wrong Guy Member

    • Like Like x 4
  21. Quentinanon Member

    Bottom line is the guy tried to arbitrate according to the cult's rules, but was denied. Done deal. He had to take it to court.
    • Like Like x 4
  22. RightOn Member

    yes! This is it in a nutshell
    • Like Like x 2
  23. The Wrong Guy Member

    Scientology posts the (nearly) full deposition of reclusive ‘Justice Chief’ Mike Ellis | The Underground Bunker


    When a member is “declared” a “suppressive person” — excommunicated, essentially — all other members of Scientology have to cut off all ties to the “SP” or risk being declared suppressive themselves. By Scientology policy, the only person an SP can communicate with in the church is the International Justice Chief, or one of his “continental” subordinates.

    You might get in touch with the IJC to discuss having a “committee of evidence” to overturn your declare, or you might demand money back that you put on account and no longer have use of.

    Former members have received some hilariously cynical letters back from the IJC — as we showed with this classic “Catch-22″ faced by South African former member Robert Berrington. Berrington was told that to get a refund, he needed to fill out a particular form, but the form was only available inside an “org,” and since he was declared, he couldn’t get access to one. Amazing.

    Berrington’s letter came up during the January 29 deposition of Ellis in the Garcia federal fraud lawsuit. Garcia attorney Ted Babbitt questions Ellis about what appears to be a crucial error in Scientology paperwork. Members are required to sign “enrollment forms” that make them promise to take their grievances to “binding arbitration.” But the rest of Scientology’s “ethics” policies don’t mention arbitrations at all. And Ellis has to admit that in the time he’s been IJC since 1998, there hasn’t been a single arbitration in the history of the church.

    Marty Rathbun and Mike Rinder had testified that the “arbitration” clause in the enrollment form was always meant to be a sham, and the church never had any intention of hearing grievances that way. But now, Scientology is trying to force the Garcias into arbitration as if it were a legitimate alternative to civil court.

    If you’re an ex-member and you’ve thought about suing over funds on account, you’ll probably want to read this deposition.

    Garcia v. Scientology: Mike Ellis Deposition Part 1
    Mike Ellis Deposition Part 2
    Mike Ellis Deposition Part 3
    Mike Ellis Deposition Part 4

    There's more at
    • Like Like x 6
  24. Random guy Member

    • Like Like x 2
  25. The Wrong Guy Member

    And after all that:


    By Tony Ortega, The Underground Bunker

    Federal judge James D. Whittemore ended the Luis and Rocio Garcia fraud lawsuit against the Church of Scientology today by finding that Scientology can enforce contracts signed by the Garcias which require them to take their disputes to the church’s internal arbitration.

    Whittemore made that decision while acknowledging that never, in the more than 50-year history of Scientology, had there ever been an arbitration, and that testimony indicated that there were no actual procedures set up for handling such a procedure.

    Once again, Scientology’s powerful First Amendment protections as a “church” came into play as Whittemore said his hands were tied as far as considering the Garcias’ contention that they could never get a fair arbitration from Scientology, which requires that such a dispute be heard by a three-person panel made up of Scientologists in good standing.

    By Scientology policy and longstanding culture, such panelists could never fairly arbitrate a matter brought by two “Suppressive People” as the Garcias are — Scientology jargon for anyone who has left or been expelled.

    “As compelling as Plaintiffs’ argument might otherwise be, the First Amendment prohibits consideration of this contention, since it necessarily would require an analysis and interpretation of Scientology doctrine. That would constitute a prohibited intrusion into religious doctrine, discipline, fait, and ecclesiastical rule, custom, or law by the court.”

    So, even though Scientology’s arbitration rules are probably a sham (as former top executives had testified), and are unlikely to be fair for two former “SP’s,” Scientology’s protections of the First Amendment once again prove too much for the US civil courts or law enforcement — a key concept in the movie Going Clear, which happens to be opening in theaters today.

    We are looking forward to attorneys letting us know their thoughts on Whittemore’s order, and we’ll be calling around for reactions from various quarters. But for now, here’s the order:

    Continued here:
    • Like Like x 3
  26. RightOn Member


    That fucking Ellis letter which stated that there was no way for someone to arbitrate if they were not allowed back into the COS if they were declared or whatever the fuck it said should have been the smoking gun.
    What did they dig up on this judge?
  27. Sorry for yelling, but WHAT THE FUCK???!!!
    :mad::eek: :confused: :(
  28. RightOn Member

    My heart goes out to the Garcias for all they have been through.
    Is there an appeal on the horizon? Or are they just exhausted?
    Shakes head.

    and..... I would love that judge to explain how a COS arbitration could possibly be at all unbiased and that is if and when anyone would be able to arbitrate with the COS if they are declared.
    And this had to happen on the asshole of all asshole's b-day.
    RAGE! Fucking cult!
  29. RightOn Member

    This ruling should be in another thread so people can see it, but why give the COS another thing to gloat about.
  30. And here's another fucked up thing. Rinderburn2 was supposed to be an ace-in-the-hole as the legal expert showing the way on how to win against the cult. What the fuck is up with that?? The dickhead was a loser and still is one. Hope he doesn't fuck up the Going Clear showings like he fucked up the Garcia's and Babbitt.

    I wish Rinderburn2 would just GDIAF.

    Argggh! So full of rage!!!
    Gonzo Gary
    This message by Gonzo Gary has been hidden due to negative ratings. (Show message)
    • Dislike Dislike x 4
  31. This is a comment from Tony O on his blog which I think sums up the current state of affairs:
  32. TorontosRoot Member

    THIS IS SO NOT OKAY!!!!!!!! >:O
    • Like Like x 1
  33. Incredulicide Member

    This case should be pointed to by US when someone responds to the Going Clear doco by asking "Why is Scientology so bad? Why do you keep saying it's worse than I think?"

    They can freely commit fraud and get away with it in court on the technicality of "Religious Arbitration".
    • Like Like x 2
  34. RightOn Member

    "Religious Arbitration" that doesn't exist.
    • Like Like x 2
  35. We in The Netherlands knew that when we steamed up the Thames.
  36. anon8109 Member

    Pinocchio was robbed and beaten by two criminals.
    He goes to court to ask for justice and instead gets put in jail for 3 months for stupidity.

    Garcias are defrauded by the Scientology corporation when it refuses to return money they put on account for services they will never receive.
    They go to court to ask for justice and get thrown back into the arms of their abusers.

    • Like Like x 2
  37. RightOn Member

  38. failboat Member


    They can't stop the implosion of their fail cult. It may not come at the end of the lawsuits of refund-seekers, but it will come.

    This will do nothing to stop the flood of PR from Going Clear, and I intend to enjoy every minute of that for the next several months.
    • Like Like x 5
  39. Can some US-fag explain to me the difference between physical (even "terrorist") attacks for religious reasons and denying civil rights to people (or even killing by forced abortions) for religious reasons?
    I.e., is there a list of what I can do and what not?

Share This Page

Customize Theme Colors


Choose a color via Color picker or click the predefined style names!

Primary Color :

Secondary Color :
Predefined Skins