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

    Wow great article by Jon.
    I guess I never thought of the difference between deprogramming a 1st and 2nd generation scientologist. Very interesting. Very sad to think that the 2nd generation scilons have no childhood to go back to.I never thought of it that way. What Scientology does to children is beyond unacceptable. It's illegal and simply has to stop. Its out right child abuse.
    Jon's story needs to be heard by towns that are considering letting a Narconon facility open, to schools who let COS front groups in to talk to to their kids and especially the US government. And everyone else in between. For any person to think the study tech is not dangerous, this article needs to read.

    I would like to wish Jon all the luck in his new endeavor. And thank Jon for all he has done and does!
    <3 My sword sir!
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  2. Long shot? That's for sure.

    A good try? Not at all. Not when the judge called the appeal "borderline disingenuous." Now Garcia's and Babbitt's reputations are taking a hit in a legal paper, not the cult's. It's a hollow victory if the only thing gotten out of it is some fun seeing the cult attorney response to the appeal. Whoopdeefuckingdoo.

    It's not smart in business, chess, lawsuits or anything to keep dumping time money playing out a losing game. Especially if you end up looking more and more like a moron by taking "borderline disingenuous" actions. IMHO, if that continues the cult will end up suing for their attorney fees to be paid by the Garcia's. Then the Garcia's will be even worse off than before they filed their suit.

    So Babbitt either needs do something effective that isn't a Hail Mary or else concede defeat and move on.

    And please, no more brilliant legal advice from Rinder.
  3. ^^ QFT
  4. wolfbane Member

    THIS. Although I see a third alternative - troll Scientology's arbitration process for all it's worth.

    The Garcia should go through with it, just to mess with their heads and keep the pressure on. And be total dicks about every little nit picking thing that is contrary to normal arbitration process. Also - insist on filming everything. Then infect the people assigned to the panel with their SP-ness. Do everything they can to cause Ellis a huge headache. Made the whole ordeal into one big cult circus and publicize the shit out of it.

    That won't likely win the case, unless they manage to trick the cult into going nuclear on the footbullets so that the judge throws the whole arbitration process out as unfair. But it would surely be lulz-filled to see the fake arbitration process rammed up Ellis' fat ass and make all the losses and setbacks in the case worth it.
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  5. Your alternative would be great. But personal injury attorneys spending money just for the lulz? Sorry, but IMHO, hell no, ain't gonna happen. They're in this for the Benjamins.

    I believe there were several law firms (maybe three?) involved in the Garcia suit. All of them have had more than one attorney and probably paralegals as well on the case. These firms have likely spent well into six figures paying for all these salaries. They were obviously fronting a lot of money to cash in later like we all hoped would happen.

    But it's easy to look back now and see that this case was ill-prepared. Otherwise, the promises Babbitt made - that the midget would be deposed right away, that this was the first of many suits, etc. - would have happened. Then we really would be having lulz.

    Instead, the attorney firms have cut their own throats on getting any future business on cult refunds.
    They now have a precedent on their arbitration process which effectively kills anyone from successfully suing them on refunds again. The cult didn't get hurt, they got further strengthened. Ugh, that pisses me off every time I think about it!

    And since Rinder was the paid legal consultant, he is the one who probably led the lawyers so astray. That's why I will keep saying to keep him away from any further cases or we'll end up with even more stupid, like the Church being awarded their huge attorney fees to be paid by the Garcia's.
  6. The Wrong Guy Member

    Garcias file notice of appeal with the Eleventh Circuit, take on two more specialist attorneys

    By Tony Ortega, The Underground Bunker


    ...the Garcias have filed a notice that they plan to appeal to the Eleventh Circuit both Whittemore’s order to compel them into arbitration and their motion for reconsideration. They also provided notice that two attorneys — specialists in appeals — are joining their team. One of them is Rebecca Mercier Vargas, and the other is Jane Kreusler-Walsh, who has been called “the Appellate Queen” in the press.
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  7. RightOn Member

    Continued luck to the Garcias!
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  8. Random guy Member

    If the cult get away with their lame arbitration scheme, the precedence could get ugly. I hope the 11th circuit takers a long, hard look at the consequences.
  9. RolandRB Member

    But these mandatory arbitration schemes are nothing unusual in the US. It limits legal costs in disputes and keeps away the burden from the courts. It is supported by the courts.

    I am guessing that the Garcias agreed to it and signed all the relevant forms. It is no good agreeing to this arbitration and then saying it does not apply to them. One defense could be to start the arbitration process but then say it was not possible since no arbitration process should have the scope to arbitrate on fraud.
  10. The Wrong Guy Member

    Garcias’ appeal rejected; now the couple faces the real possibility of Scientology arbitration

    By Tony Ortega, The Underground Bunker

    Another setback for the Garcias, and this one seems to leave little else for them to do but to submit to Scientology’s internal arbitration scheme.

    As we told you earlier, Luis and Rocio Garcia appealed the ruling by federal Judge James Whittemore granting Scientology’s motion to compel the Garcias to use the church’s arbitration process — even though Whittemore himself admitted that there was significant evidence that the arbitration scheme was a sham and didn’t exist.

    The Garcias first sued Scientology in January 2013, alleging that they had been defrauded when they were convinced to donate more than a million dollars to the organization. Specifically, about $400,000 in donations they said were solicited from them in a deceptive manner. But Scientology pointed out that the Garcias had signed numerous contracts which called for all disputes to be handled internally, with refund requests hashed out through an internal arbitration scheme. The Garcias countered with testimony by former church officials who said that the contracts were designed to confound members who complained, and that no arbitration had ever occurred, and even that there were no actual policies for an arbitration to take place.

    Whittemore, in his order, acknowledged that the arbitration scheme might be actually nonexistent, but he said that probing into that question would force him into internal church matters that were protected by Scientology’s religious rights under the First Amendment. So he granted Scientology’s motion, and put the case on hold until the Garcias submitted to the church’s internal scheme.

    Rather than do that, the Garcias appealed, but in their appeal, they checked off a box which said that Whittemore’s order had been a final one. Scientology objected, saying that Whittemore had not ended the case, and that the Garcias were improperly asking for an interlocutory appeal of a lawsuit that hadn’t technically ended.

    The Eleventh Circuit of the US Court of Appeals agreed, and rejected the Garcias’ appeal. Now, we hear, the Garcias are talking with their attorneys about whether they should actually go through with Scientology’s arbitration scheme — even though they have argued that it’s inherently unfair for former members who have been declared “suppressive persons.”

    Continued here:
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  11. RightOn Member

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  12. RightOn Member

    Does this judge realize that anyone who is declared can not step iniside an org?
    So then will this "cult arbitration" (if granted) be court ordered?
    How can it be if the judgey-poo doesn't want to get messed up with the COS's rights *cough* because of the 1st Amendment?
  13. GibbousWaxing Member

    Well, isn't this what the judge needs? The Garcias have to try to participate in Scn "arbitration" and if they're prevented from doing so, they can then bring their evidence of rejection back to the court. At that point, the judge can resume hearing the case.

    Investigating Scn policy isn't the judge's job. Ruling on evidence that's presented in court is. It's up to the Garcias to get the evidence that their request for arbitration has been rejected. or bypassed, or ignored, or whatever. They can't just tell the judge, "Oh, they wouldn't let us into the building if we asked for arbitration, so there's no point trying," and have him accept that they know for certain what would happen in a hypothetical future situation. The have to be able to say, truthfully, "We tried to comply with our end of the contract we signed, saying we would submit to their arbitration, and they didn't let us."

    That past tense makes all the difference. Yes, it would drag the case out even more, and I can understand people feeling tired and worn down, but if they want an unassailable court case, they have to be able to address specific events that actually occurred, not just what they expect would happen, no matter how right those expectations may be.

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  14. RightOn Member

    ^^^^ but there are other examples of members not being able to use COS's BS system. Tory is one example and there are others. Don't any of these past failed arbitrations count? and were they ever presented? Also affidavits of others like Rinder (was it Rinder?) stating that the arbitration was BS, because he helped write it.. Shouldn't count for something? I would understand if NOBODY ever tried.
    I bet that when the final decision is made f and it is in favor of internal arbitration, it will be that they can't come back with evidence that it didn't work. It will probably be a done deal? Or will the judge think that well you tried and lost? Because there is no way they are going to win. Or will the COS finally smarten up and grant them SOME money back and say SEE we ARE nice. What would it matter to them anyways? They don't pay a dime of it. Their members do.

    and what about that letter that surfaced and told a member that they were NOT allowed in the org because they were declared? I though that was the smoking gun
  15. GibbousWaxing Member

    RightOn, not being a lawyer, I can't answer your questions with any certainty. I can say that these other people, who may very well have cause of action on their own part, are not parties to this action, so their experiences may be seen as irrelevant to this particular case. This would depend on how the relevant law is written, and I know nothing about that. The letter that you refer to as the "smoking gun" might, in fact, have been the main reason Judge Whittemore decided to leave the door to his courtroom open for the Garcias to come back. Again, I don't know. This is all just speculation. But it's why I'm not wailing over the "defeat" just yet.
  16. The Wrong Guy Member

    In Religious Arbitration, Scripture Is the Rule of Law | The New York Times

    Here's the relevant excerpt:

    By the time he left Scientology, Luis Garcia had signed off on two dozen arbitration clauses in agreements with the church, requiring him to settle any dispute before a panel of fellow Scientologists.

    In just about every aspect of church life, including training and making donations, members must settle any issue internally rather than going to court.

    Yet, there has never been an actual arbitration in the six-decade history of Scientology, according to court records and a lawyer for the church.

    Mr. Garcia’s may be the first.

    An entrepreneur and a native of Madrid, Mr. Garcia said Scientology gave him the confidence to open a successful print shop and yogurt store in Orange County, Calif.

    Mr. Garcia and his wife, Maria, dedicated years to Scientology, taking dozens of classes to try to reach enlightenment. He estimates that his family spent $2.3 million on courses, fees and donations.

    In 2008, Mr. Garcia reached the highest level in Scientology, where he said all of one’s past lives are supposed to be easily recalled. “But that didn’t happen,” he said. “That’s when I began to question everything.”

    Mr. Garcia said he sent an email criticizing the church management to hundreds of Scientologists in November 2010. The church declared the Garcias “suppressives” and excommunicated them, according to a legal brief submitted by his lawyers.

    Mr. Garcia said he wanted back the roughly $68,000 he had paid the church for training courses he never took and other expenses, according to his lawsuit. He also demanded that the church return $340,000 he said his family had given for the construction of a “Super Power” building in Clearwater, Fla.

    Neither a spokeswoman from Scientology nor a church lawyer commented on the allegations in Mr. Garcia’s lawsuit.

    Mr. Garcia said he repeatedly felt pressured to give money to keep officials from blocking his path toward enlightenment or writing him up for an ethics violation.

    One night in Clearwater, a church official asked Mr. Garcia for $65,000 to pay for a large cross that would sit atop the Super Power headquarters, according to the lawsuit. “She said it would be the Garcias’ cross,” Mr. Garcia recalled in an interview.

    Another former Scientologist, Bert Schippers of Seattle, said he was told the cross would be dedicated in his honor after he agreed to make a donation.

    Scientology moved to force Mr. Garcia’s case into arbitration. The process seemed like a farce, he said. An arbitration run by a panel of Scientologists, his lawyers argued, could not possibly be impartial. As a declared suppressive, Mr. Garcia was considered a pariah. Church members who interacted with him risked being harassed, according to court papers filed by his lawyers.

    “The hostility of any Scientologists on that panel is not speculation,” his lawyers argued. “It is church doctrine.”

    A church official testified that the panel would be instructed to act fairly. In a statement, a lawyer for the church said that even though Scientology had never conducted an arbitration, the church had a set of procedures it used to resolve disputes with members.

    In his decision, Judge James D. Whittemore of Federal District Court in Tampa said the Garcias were bound by the terms of the contract they had signed with the church. While acknowledging that Mr. Garcia may have a “compelling” argument about the potential bias of the process, Judge Whittemore said the First Amendment prevented him from even considering the issue.

    “It necessarily would require an analysis and interpretation of Scientology doctrine,” wrote Judge Whittemore, who was appointed by President Bill Clinton. “That would constitute a prohibited intrusion into religious doctrine, discipline, faith and ecclesiastical rule, custom or law by the court.”

    Mr. Garcia said he was still deciding whether to go through with arbitration.

    Judge Whittemore’s ruling has also been a blow to the network of former Scientologists who have spoken out against the church.

    “I do not understand why the courts are going along with it,” Mr. Schippers said.

    Mr. Garcia’s lawyer, Theodore Babbitt, said the ruling might have scuttled many future lawsuits against the church. “Arbitration,” Mr. Babbitt said, “is inoculating the Church of Scientology from liability.”

    Source, and more than 900 comments:
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  17. TorontosRoot Member

    The people (not OSA's minions or trolls) speak for themselves in the comments. Now I wish those people showed up and filled the courtroom.
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  18. Quentinanon Member

    This forced arbitration by contract is pretty crazy and flies in the face of the whole purpose of civil courts. And in the U.S., the judges cannot analyse or interpret religious doctrines to settle a contractual dispute or claim of damages, if one party no longer adheres to a former belief system? This forces more scientology on Garcia even though he no longer believes that crap. I would say U.S. law and courts require some overhaul.

    From Black's Law Dictionary:
    "Arbitration. A method of dispute resolution involving one or more neutral third parties who are usually agreed to by the disputing parties and whose decision is binding."
    No way can scientologists serve as neutral third parties in this case. Not possible, so arbitration is no longer possible.
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  19. GibbousWaxing Member

    So, um...the contract that you sign as a wide-eyed acolyte that says you agree to let them kill you if need be...

    Does that one still apply after you leave the chruch, too?
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  20. Quentinanon Member

    According to Judge NitWhittemore, yes.

    Amendment I

    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.

    First, Judge NitWhittemore, you are full of fail. The legislative and judicial branches are entirely seperate. You rule, not legislate. Nothing prohibits you from examining the policies of any organisation, religious or not, whether a litigant can receive equitable treatment in an arbitration.
    By failing to do this, Judge NitWhittemore, you neglected your responsibilities as a judge, and kicked the cult can down the road.
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  21. The Wrong Guy Member


    By Tony Ortega, The Underground Bunker, April 14, 2016

    Luis and Rocio Garcia filed a new motion in their lawsuit yesterday, asking federal district Judge James D. Whittemore to lift the stay in their case and allow them to get on with suing the Church of Scientology. We have the document for you and its set of exhibits.

    Last August, the Garcias lost an appeal in the case and then had to face the music: If they were going to get their money back from Scientology, they would have to submit themselves to Scientology’s internal arbitration procedures.

    The Garcias first filed their federal fraud lawsuit in January 2013, alleging that the church had deceived them in order to obtain donations, including $340,000 towards the construction of the Flag Building in Clearwater, Florida, also known as the Super Power Building. The Garcias had been longtime Scientologists and frequent donors, and Scientology argued that they had signed multiple contracts which required them to submit disputes to the organization’s internal arbitration system. The Garcias argued, however, that the contracts were a sham. There were no internal arbitration rules, they said, and an arbitration had never been performed in the history of the church — all of which the church admitted in court was true.

    Nevertheless, Judge Whittemore sided with Scientology, and put a stay on the lawsuit until the Garcias submitted themselves to the arbitration scheme. Which, we point out again, didn’t actually exist.

    Now, nearly a year after Whittemore made that decision, the Garcias have come back to his courtroom in a new filing, describing the frustration they experienced as they attempted to work with Scientology’s “International Justice Chief,” Mike Ellis, to choose a panel of arbitrators and found themselves stymied at every turn.

    Ellis had told the court that since there were no specific rules about arbitration written by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard (who is the source for all policies and procedures in the organization), he would use the rules used in other internal justice procedures. Ellis proposed that each side choose one arbitrator, and jointly they would choose the third. And all three arbitrators had to be Church of Scientology members “in good standing.”

    (The Garcias had explained to Judge Whittemore that because they have been “declared” to be “suppressive persons” — Scientology’s version of excommunication — no church member in good standing would be free to side them in an arbitration proceeding. But Whittemore wasn’t swayed.)

    The new court motion and its exhibits spells out what happened when the Garcias attempted to work out with Ellis how to come up with those three arbitrators. Because the Garcias are “SPs,” by Scientology’s rules they are not allowed to communicate directly with any Scientologists in good standing. They can only communicate with Ellis, the IJC. Ellis, meanwhile, offered to submit a list of Scientologists in the Los Angeles area that he wanted the Garcias to choose from for their selected arbitrator. The Garcias objected, saying that didn’t think they should have to choose from a list of people Ellis had pre-selected. Instead, Luis Garcia asked for a list of all Scientologists in good standing to choose from. Ellis refused. Garcia submitted a series of names of Scientologists that he approved of for his arbitrator, but Ellis rejected each one, saying they weren’t in good standing.

    But how were the Garcias to know if a particular person was in good standing if Ellis wouldn’t give them a list of them?

    And around and around it went. Meanwhile, Ellis was taking longer and longer to reply to Garcia’s messages. And now, the Garcias have gone back to Judge Whittemore, and they’re hoping he’ll agree that Scientology is sending them in circles and have no intention of holding any kind of arbitration. Writes attorney Ted Babbitt in the filing:

    While the Court found that the limited process set forth in the arbitration agreement was sufficient, in practical application that is not the case because the Defendants have taken the unreasonable position of insisting on a definition of “in good standing” that makes it impossible for Plaintiffs to choose an arbitrator of their own choice. Scientology continues to act in a manner that indicates they believe they are “above the law” and can deny anyone their right to due process with impunity. It would appear they hope the Garcias will become so frustrated they will just give up all hope of ever getting their claims heard as they play games and constantly shift the goalposts.

    We think you’ll find the actual messages between Luis Garcia and Mike Ellis interesting, and they were all submitted as court exhibits. We’ve excerpted them for brevity, but we think you’ll get the idea.

    Continued here:
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  22. RightOn Member

    Now maybe the Garcia's can get back to business of suing your asses.
    You have proved that the arbitration system is total BS, and you have proved disconnection.
    You have proved there isn't ANY justice when it comes to the COS.

    I am so glad you are going to give the Gracia's another chance to prove you are nothing but a total sham.
    I never thought I would say this, but thanks Ellis!
    Let's hope Whittemore sees the COS for what they really are?
    He didn't see it the last time. WHY I have no idea.
    I just hope the COS isn't MAKING him see things the wrong way? But if he sides with the COS once again, I can't help but think there is something REALLY wrong here and a new judge needs to be appointed. Because after he reads Ellis's run around and how ridiculous the contents are, if he still thinks that the COS is on the up and up, that would not only be totally moronic, I think it will prove something smells really icky?

    ANY cult member in good standing with the "Mother Church" *cough* simply can not do anything for the Garicas unless they want to be declared.
    Wait... any cult member in good standing who just "agrees" to do something for the Garcias would also be sec checked out the wazoo or declared or both.
    It's a no win situation for everyone involved. And it's time for judgey-poo to get a clue.
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  23. Random guy Member

    Amazingly good news!
  24. anon8109 Member

    I would say that the scientology corporation has broken the contract by acting in bad faith.

    It shouldn't take over a year just to pick arbitrators.
  25. Former Scientologists tell federal judge: Church thwarted process to get money back.

    Tampa Bay Times: Former Scientologists tell federal judge: Church thwarted process to get money back

    * * * * * BEGIN EXCERPT * * * * *

    Former Scientologists tell federal judge: Church thwarted process to get money back

    Thomas C. Tobin, Times Staff Writer

    Thursday, April 14, 2016 4:46pm

    TAMPA — In an attempt to resolve their $1.3 million fraud case against the Church of Scientology, a federal judge last year required Luis and Rocio Garcia to submit to the church's internal arbitration process.

    That is easier said than done, the couple says in a new motion that accuses Scientology of obstructing the process for months. It also argues that the church, by throwing up barriers, has effectively waived the right to have the matter arbitrated and asks U.S. District Judge James D. Whittemore to get on with their lawsuit.

    The Garcias, who live in California, are seeking the return of $1.3 million in donations they made to various Scientology causes during their 28 years in the church — most notably a sum of more than $420,000 that went to the church's massive "Flag Building" in downtown Clearwater.

    The couple alleges that church workers deceived and pressured them into making the donations. But their case has been made more difficult by the fact that they signed some 40 documents agreeing to go through Scientology's "religious arbitration" process if they ever had a dispute over the money.

    Under that process, the church selects one arbitrator, the Garcias select another one, and those two arbitrators select a third person. All three arbitrators must be Scientologists in good standing.

    But the Garcias say that finding a Scientologist in good standing to represent them on the panel has been every bit the challenge they predicted it would be when they urged Whittemore last year not to make them go through church arbitration.

    * * * * * END EXCERPT * * * * *
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  26. amaX Member

    My frustration levels went through the roof just reading what the cult put the Garcia's through. I can't imagine being front-and-center for that circus.
    Good luck to the Garcia's!
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  27. TorontosRoot Member

    They need all they can possibly get! Ruthless cult is ruthless.

  28. Quentinanon Member

    "Under that process, the church selects one arbitrator, the Garcias select another one, and those two arbitrators select a third person. All three arbitrators must be Scientologists in good standing."

    Sure looks like religious discrimination to me. A non-discriminatory procedure would call for the cult to select one arbitrator of any or no religious persuasion, the Garcias select another of any or no religious persuasion, and those first two arbitrators agree on a third of any or no religious persuasion and all must not have any interest in the case. Then, the arbitration is done in accordance with state and federal law, not scientology dogma.

    Don't count on NitWhittemore giving any ruling based on the rule of law. He's clueless.
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  29. anon8109 Member

    It is, and the judge said that it's OK since it's none of the governments business to interfere with how a religion is run, not to mention that the Garcias agreed to this in dozens of contracts.
  30. The Wrong Guy Member

    Scientology responds to Garcia accusations; sexy Virginia congressional candidate visits an org

    By Tony Ortega, May 18, 2016

    Scientology has responded to the new accusations by Luis and Rocio Garcia that the church has made it impossible for the couple to abide by federal Judge James Whittemore’s order that they take their accusations of fraud to Scientology’s internal arbitration.

    Scientology has never conducted an internal arbitration, and Judge Whittemore acknowledged, when he put a stay on the Garcias’ 2013 lawsuit, that there are no actual procedures in place for such an arbitration. But Whittemore agreed with the church’s argument that because arbitration was called for in the contracts the Garcias had signed, that was something he couldn’t meddle in for fear of violating Scientology’s First Amendment religious rights.

    The Garcias have come back to court, however, and are trying to convince Judge Whittemore that Scientology has made it impossible for them to even attempt such an arbitration. According to the church and its “International Justice Chief,” Mike Ellis, the Garcias’ complaints will be heard by a three-person panel made up of Scientologists in good standing: One that the Garcias choose, one that the church chooses, and a third chosen by the other two arbitrators. But every time the Garcias have tried to get a list of Scientologists to choose from, or have suggested Scientologists they know for their arbitrator, Scientology has refused to turn over a complete list of names or has dismissed the Garcias’ choices as people not in good standing. The Garcias say the situation is impossible, the church is not serious about conducting an arbitration, and they want Judge Whittemore to lift the stay in the case and re-activate the lawsuit.

    Now, Scientology has filed its response, and says, not surprisingly, that it’s the Garcias who are being impossible. The Orange County couple kept suggesting potential arbitrators who were known church defectors, the church says, in an effort to disrupt the proceeding. Initially, for example, the Garcias said they wanted former church member Tony DePhillips to be their arbitrator.

    Tony DePhillips is a well-known disaffected former Scientologist. An Internet search reveals that he has been blogging or posting his disaffection with Scientology since at least March 2014. Moreover, Tony DePhillips was at the time of the designation, and presumably still is, a client of Mr. Babbitt, the Garcia’s counsel, who has asserted a Garcia-type claim on his behalf against the Church. Plaintiffs proposed DePhillips for no purpose other than to evoke a response that he was not in good standing with the Church.

    In other words, the Garcias be trollin’, the church claims.

    In its response, the church is pretty open about what an Orwellian situation the Garcias are in here. Because the Garcias have been declared suppressive (Scientology’s version of excommunication), they aren’t supposed to be approaching current church members about accepting a position as their arbitrator. And if they do, those church members know the rules and won’t respond to them. But the church refuses to turn over a master list of members to choose from, and asks the Garcias to trust Mike Ellis to communicate with current members on their behalf.

    This is all described by Scientology as if it were the most normal thing in the world, of course.

    Take a look at the document itself. Do you think the Garcias have a shot to convince Judge Whittemore to take over this lawsuit again? Or will he just instruct the Garcias to choose from the limited list of people Mike Ellis is offering them?

    Continued here:
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  31. amaX Member

    This makes my head hurt. I can't even imagine how frustrating this is for the Garcia's. It's madness. But that's what Scientology does so well. I continue to send good thoughts to the Garcia's.
    Thank you for the update, The Wrong Guy.
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  32. TorontosRoot Member

    Bugs me endlessly that scientology is trying to put the "impossibility" blame on the garcias. It's just wrong. The cult is making it impossible.
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  33. The Wrong Guy Member

    The judge, his letters, and more proof that Scientology is snowing a federal court

    By Tony Ortega, July 20, 2016


    A couple of new documents showed up recently in the court file of Luis and Rocio Garcia’s federal fraud lawsuit against the Church of Scientology, and we thought you might want to hear about them.

    As you may recall, the Garcias were told by the court to submit their complaints about being defrauded to Scientology’s internal arbitration system, as was spelled out in contracts they had signed as church members. The Garcias had argued that Scientology’s ‘arbitration’ was a sham that didn’t really exist and had never actually been used in church history. But the court decided that a contract was a contract, and the Garcias had to take their beef to the church’s internal justice system. The Garcias came back to the court earlier this year, however, complaining that Scientology had made it impossible to choose arbitrators. Scientology countered that it was the Garcias who were making it impossible to proceed.

    We’ve been waiting more than two months for Judge James D. Whittemore to make some sort of ruling about those arguments. But in the meantime, these two new documents appeared, and what really caught our attention was that they weren’t submitted either by the Garcias or the Church of Scientology.

    They were put into the court file by Judge Whittemore himself.

    He may have been obligated to do so and perhaps we shouldn’t read too much into the presence of these documents in the file. But the time he’s taking to make a ruling — more than two months — as well as his placing these documents in the court do make us wonder just what he’s thinking.

    The documents are letters that were written to Judge Whittemore, each of them very similar even though it’s pretty obvious that they were written independent of each other. One of them is from Cindy Plahuta, who lives in Colorado, and the other is from Marcel Wenger of Switzerland.

    Each of them are former members of the Church of Scientology who have been watching the Garcia lawsuit unfold. And each of them were surprised to see the Church of Scientology insist that the Garcias should be compelled to take their dispute over money they had given the church to an internal arbitration process.

    As Plahuta and Wenger both explained to Judge Whittemore, each of them had money on account at Scientology that they wanted back as well. So, inspired by what Scientology had argued to the judge, they each took it upon themselves to write letters to Scientology’s “International Justice Chief,” a man named Mike Ellis, asking that they too get to take part in arbitration. Each of them got no response.

    After Plahuta received no reply, she wrote to Judge Whittemore, explaining what she had done. “The certified letter was returned unopened, and I have not heard from Mr. Mike Ellis or anyone else regarding our request for arbitration,” she wrote.

    She wanted Judge Whittemore to know that while they were in his court, Scientology officials were saying the Garcias had to go through arbitration, but that they were lying about arbitration being a real choice.

    Continued here:
    • Like Like x 9
  34. The Wrong Guy Member

    Was it something we said? Scientology wants Cindy Plahuta’s letter in fraud lawsuit struck

    By Tony Ortega, July 22, 2016


    Yesterday, the day after our story appeared, the Church of Scientology filed a motion to strike the letters from the court file.

    Scientology’s attorneys were clearly unhappy that the letters supported the arguments being made by the Garcias, and they called it improper for the letters to be filed as a part of the lawsuit.

    “While neither Wenger nor Plahuta are parties to the case, they clearly have attempted to file, in letter form, further memoranda in support of the Plaintiffs position, without seeking leave of court,” Scientology’s attorney, Wally Pope, says in the brief.

    We understand that there are rules about what a judge can consider, but we couldn’t help enjoying the way Wally Pope complained about the letters, as he seemed to admit that they were actually pretty effective and made a strong point about Scientology and its fake internal justice procedures.

    “The letters of Wenger and Plahuta clearly request relief in favor of the Plaintiffs, and clearly present argument with respect to the very matters awaiting decision.”

    Ooh. The letters are on point and make the church look bad. Quick, judge, tear them up!

    Here’s Wally Pope’s filing:
    • Like Like x 4
  35. RightOn Member

    hey! I have an idea Wally!
    How about Scientology giving people their fucking money back?
    poof! Fixed! :D
    Oh wait... that's right, you have to ruin them utterly...
    never mind.
    • Like Like x 3
  36. Quentinanon Member

    And you are correct. The scientology organization is the only entity on the face of the Earth that will spend far in excess of a reasonable settlement just to drain a plaintiff. It's even more important to those idiots than "good PR" and "public goodwill". They would rather eat rice and beans and go without toilet paper than settle with someone in a civil manner.
    • Like Like x 1
  37. TorontosRoot Member

    NO WONDER I smelled shit at the last few protests I attended, or when I walked past a scifag in front of the toronto MORGUE.
  38. Quentinanon Member

    The no toilet paper thingy is no joke.
    Very common back in the 1970's and 80's.
    The Exec Councils of morgs routinely disapproved of purchase orders for toilet paper when they had lean income weeks, which was most of the time.
    The FBOs though, made damn sure that Hubbard got paid before everybody and everything else.
    Somebody in mimeo would bring a box of scrap paper into the bathroom to use in place of real TP.
    Many times I considered wiping my ass on that paper, folding it up and sticking it into the SO1 box to Hubbard.
  39. TorontosRoot Member

    Oh gawd, effics would be going nuts! But they never would figure out who did it. Hahahaha.
  40. The Wrong Guy Member

    So much for all that: Attempt by Garcias to revive Scientology lawsuit shot down by judge

    By Tony Ortega, August 6, 2016


    Well, so much for that. Tampa federal Judge James D. Whittemore has denied the latest motion by Luis and Rocio Garcia, who were attempting to revive their fraud lawsuit against the Church of Scientology and avoid struggling any further with the church’s Kafkaesque internal “arbitration.”

    But no dice. After considering the matter for a couple of months, Judge Whittemore has ordered the Garcias and Scientology to press on and find a way to get past their disagreements and arbitrate their differences.

    “While the record indicates that Plaintiffs have had difficulty designating an arbitrator of their choice who is a member in good standing with the Church, it cannot be said that Defendants have acted in a manner inconsistent with arbitration,” the judge writes in his order dismissing the Garcias’ motion.

    Continued here:
    • Like Like x 1

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