By LUCY MORGAN and THOMAS C. TOBIN
©St. Petersburg Times, published December 23, 1997
LOS ANGELES -- The Church of Scientology is
complaining loudly about a Boston banker's effort to
finance anti-Scientology activities, including a wrongful
death lawsuit against the church in Tampa.
Scientology has blasted Robert S. Minton Jr. for donating
more than $1.25-million to its critics, calling his actions
"nefarious" and underhanded. The church contends he is
illegally interfering with lawsuits involving Scientology.
But earlier this decade, Scientology officials themselves
backed several lawsuits against one of the church's own
adversaries, the Cult Awareness Network.
Attorneys and top officials for Scientology say there is no
comparison because Minton's motives are "sordid" and
their efforts in the lawsuits against CAN were in defense
of religious freedom.
"The only thing that's the same is that there are lawsuits
involved," said Kendrick Moxon, a long-time Scientology
attorney based in California. "If you say that's a
contradiction, that's just a lie," he said. "That's just
Southern prejudice" against Scientology.
Minton's donations include $100,000 to Tampa lawyer
Ken Dandar, who represents the estate of Lisa
McPherson in a wrongful death lawsuit against the church.
McPherson was the 36-year-old Scientologist who died in
1995 after a 17-day stay at the church's Fort Harrison
Hotel in Clearwater. Police investigators have
recommended criminal charges in the case.
In an effort to get more information about Minton, the
church is using a bankruptcy case involving a church critic
to subpoena records of Minton's donations. At a hearing
scheduled today in Tampa, Dandar is expected to argue
against the church's effort.
Dandar said he never heard of Minton until church lawyers
asked about him this summer. He said he inquired about
Minton over the Internet and Minton responded, offering
financial aid in the McPherson case.
Minton also has given money to a number of other church
critics, including three people whom the church brands as
criminals for infringing on Scientology's copyrights.
But Minton's contributions are a fraction of the money and
effort Scientology poured into lawsuits that bankrupted
CAN, according to a lawyer who has defended the group.
Attorney Daniel Leipold puts CAN's legal expenses at
roughly $2-million, and "for every nickel we spent, they
spent at least a dollar."
CAN was formed in 1973 by California families who had
children in cults, but these days a call to the Cult
Awareness hot line is likely to be answered by a
Scientologist. A Scientology lawyer bought the network's
name and hot line after CAN declared bankruptcy in
For years Scientology had publicly denounced CAN,
issuing news releases that accused the group of bigotry,
kidnapping and other crimes. CAN countered with public
denunciations of Scientology as a harmful cult that breaks
up families, fleeces people out of money and endangers
the lives of its members.
In 1991, CAN chapters around the country began getting
letters from Scientologists who wanted to join the
organization. There were strong similarities of language
between the letters, which expressed sympathy with
CAN's efforts to help people "make responsible and
informed decisions when it comes to religious choice."
CAN admitted some of the Scientologists as members but
rejected others. Within months, more than 35
discrimination lawsuits had been filed against CAN by
individuals in California, Illinois, Washington, Michigan,
New York, Massachusetts, Oregon and the District of
Columbia. Most were filed in various California
Then Scientologists wrote to insurance companies that
carried policies for CAN, asking that they stop paying the
group's legal bills.
CAN had five mostly part-time employees, a network of
volunteers, an annual budget of about $300,000 and an
800-telephone number. Many of the callers were parents
worried that their sons or daughters were in cults.
CAN turned to Leipold, an Orange, Calif., lawyer who
handled defense cases for medical malpractice insurance
companies. Lloyd's of London paid the first $1-million in
legal fees and costs, but costs are now double that figure
and still counting.
As he defended CAN in the California suits, Leipold
found himself in court against long-time Scientology
attorneys and other lawyers who were being paid by
And, as he took statements from individual Scientology
plaintiffs, Leipold found a remarkable lack of knowledge.
Several of the plaintiffs said they had not seen or signed
the lawsuits, even though the court papers bore their
Brian Hart, one of the first Scientologists to file a suit
against CAN in December 1992, said he did not see the
lawsuit until 10 months later -- three days before he
testified in a deposition.
Hart told lawyers he could not remember how he got the
name and addresses of CAN officials. Nor could he
remember many other circumstances that led to the
lawsuit, including who asked him to write to CAN.
Another plaintiff, Jonathan L. Nordquist of Chicago, fired
his attorney and asked a judge to dismiss his lawsuit. He
said Eugene Ingram, a private investigator for the Church
of Scientology, paid him $300 to have lunch, and he
agreed to be a plaintiff. Nordquist said he signed a blank
page for Scientology attorneys.
"Scientology planned, instigated, coordinated and
sponsored a plan to subject CAN to multiple lawsuits in
multiple jurisdictions in order to overwhelm and eliminate it
or take it over and control it," said Leipold.
Moxon, the church attorney, said there was no grand plan.
"My office handled quite a few of (the cases)," he said.
"We understood that type of discrimination."
He said his firm represented the plaintiffs mostly at no
charge and that individual churches within Scientology
"helped a little bit, but very little."
Most of the CAN lawsuits were dismissed before trial
after the organization agreed to allow Scientologists as
members, but not before running up the legal tab.
It was a 1994 suit filed in Seattle that was the final straw
for CAN. Jason Scott was kidnapped after his mother
called a CAN volunteer and was referred to a cult
deprogramer to retrieve her 18-year-old son from a
Moxon filed suit for Scott and won a $1.8-million verdict
against CAN. The judgment has been appealed, but CAN
already has declared bankruptcy.
After a Scientology lawyer purchased the CAN name in
bankruptcy court, Scott fired Moxon and hired Graham
Berry, a Los Angeles lawyer who often has represented
clients against Scientology. Now Scott says he believes he
was a pawn in Scientology's plan to eliminate CAN. In an
interview, Berry called Scientology "a bunch of
hypocrites" for complaining about Minton.
But church officials say there is a clear distinction between
Minton's activities and Scientology's role in the CAN
Scientologists were working successfully to preserve First
Amendment rights for themselves and all religions, while
Minton "is funding people who have been proven to be
copyright infringers," said Michael J. Rinder, a top
Scientology official in Los Angeles. "These people are a
pack of criminals," he said.
Rinder also said that Minton, by his involvement in the
Lisa McPherson lawsuit, is supporting an effort by Dandar
to extort $80-million from the church.
Dandar said the Florida Bar told him the arrangement with
Minton was ethical, provided Minton did not control the
case or have access to confidential information. He said
Minton agreed to those terms and gave the money "with
no strings attached."
Marina Chong <*> SP4+, KoX, GGBC#13, KBM#5, Joker/Degrader
The criminal cult $cientology was largely responsible for the demise of:
Noah Lottick Richard Collins Albert Jaquier John Buchanan Patrice Vic
Lisa McPherson anon.penet.fi utopia.hacktic.nl
http://www.entheta.net/ Marina's Manor: http://www.best.com/~mchong/
>Scientology sponsored suit against opponent
[clip details of scn-bought lawsuits against CAN]
>But church officials say there is a clear distinction between
>Minton's activities and Scientology's role in the CAN
>Scientologists were working successfully to preserve First
>Amendment rights for themselves and all religions, while
>Minton "is funding people who have been proven to be
>copyright infringers," said Michael J. Rinder, a top
>Scientology official in Los Angeles. "These people are a
>pack of criminals," he said.
what hypocrites these scientologists are.
scientology can do whatever it wants, rinder
is essentially saying. but anyone who opposes
scientology is a criminal.
such sickness is the reason i keep hanging
around. it needs cleansing. and i suspect a lot
of others feel about the same.
-- see...@ix.netcom.com (Conner, nee Number 3)
Note: the header address is wrong!
Friends of Dennis Erlich Club (www.netcom.com/~seekon/friends.html)
>Scientology has blasted Robert S. Minton Jr. for donating
>more than $1.25-million to its critics, calling his actions
>"nefarious" and underhanded. The church contends he is
>illegally interfering with lawsuits involving Scientology.
>But earlier this decade, Scientology officials themselves
>backed several lawsuits against one of the church's own
>adversaries, the Cult Awareness Network.
>Attorneys and top officials for Scientology say there is no
>comparison because Minton's motives are "sordid" and
>their efforts in the lawsuits against CAN were in defense
>of religious freedom.
>"The only thing that's the same is that there are lawsuits
>involved," said Kendrick Moxon, a long-time Scientology
>attorney based in California. "If you say that's a
>contradiction, that's just a lie," he said. "That's just
>Southern prejudice" against Scientology.
This is hilarious! Are the clams *really* saying now that they're
being picked on by those nasty redneck racist Southerners? The mind
| Chris Owen - chr...@lutefisk.demon.co.uk |
| WORLD'S BIGGEST SINCLAIR ARCHIVE - |
| http://www.nvg.unit.no/sinclair/planet/index.htm |
>In article <34a19b15...@snews.zippo.com>, Marina Chong
>>Scientology sponsored suit against opponent
>>By LUCY MORGAN and THOMAS C. TOBIN
>>©St. Petersburg Times, published December 23, 1997
>>Scientology has blasted Robert S. Minton Jr. for donating
>>more than $1.25-million to its critics, calling his actions
>>"nefarious" and underhanded. The church contends he is
>>illegally interfering with lawsuits involving Scientology.
>>"The only thing that's the same is that there are lawsuits
>>involved," said Kendrick Moxon, a long-time Scientology
>>attorney based in California. "If you say that's a
>>contradiction, that's just a lie," he said. "That's just
>>Southern prejudice" against Scientology.
> This is hilarious! Are the clams *really* saying now that they're
>being picked on by those nasty redneck racist Southerners? The mind
Especially if you consider that Robert Minton lives in Boston,
considered in some parts of the United States as The Yankee City, par
For the non-US readers, Southerners tend not to like Yankees. Seems it
dates back to an armed conflict between the 2 parts of the US in the
mid-19th century. Some Souterners would sooner piss on a Yankee than
take his money to post to ARS.
Note the German Chapter of the ARSCC: inform our masters that they
need to find an agent in the US South to distribute funds to our loyal
No, I don't have an account at Cyberpromo. And neither does
Sanford Wallace, anymore. Change ``cyberpromo" to``agora", & your
email will reach me. -- Want to try Hubbard's ``Tech"? Go to
http://www.fza.org/pilot/ & do it for free!!!
Ah, yes ... Your H-bombs and "Tech (TM)" are NO MATCH for wave upon wave
of pickup-driving good 'ol boys of all races and sexes, blaring deadly
LYNYRD SKYNYRD from their multi-channel Sonic Disrupters, confounding
your radar with a multitude of beer-can "chaff," and chilling your
hearts with blood-curdling REBEL YELLS. My Gawd, I almost feel sorry for
Corry Smith -- N4DCT
Unclaimed Mysteries -- http://nasw.org/users/clsmith/