by Mike Rinder and Marty Rathbun
The Radical Corporate church of Scientology has filed a Motion for Summary Judgment in the Debbie Cook case.
The church is asking the court to declare the church the winners of the lawsuit based on the facts that they have presented to the court. To grant a Summary Judgment, the court must decide that there is no triable issue of fact. That means that no evidence that Debbie can present conflicts with the facts that the church says are established and prove its case for breach of contract.
You can read the church Summary Judgment Motion here, but for those of you who do not care to get mired down in legal mumbo-jumbo, here it is in a nutshell:
The church claims Debbie and Wayne left the church and signed contracts not to speak about their experiences. They were paid money in exchange for their silence. The church asserts that any claims by Debbie and Wayne that they signed the agreements under duress are invalid as even if that were true, Debbie and Wayne did nothing to overtly invalidate the agreements for 4 years. Their inaction indicated agreement with the contract and thus they “ratified” it by their inaction. They are arguing that because Debbie did not battle George Spencer, and effectively cross examine herself on the stand on 9 February, and testify about the duress she has continued to experience since leaving Flag in October 2007, there was no such continuing duress.
Here is where some readers of this blog can help.
Evidence can be submitted to the court by Debbie’s attorneys in the form of sworn affidavits.
A lot of people out there have communicated having experienced continuing duress similar to that experienced by Debbie. In particular, those who can honestly testify, in the form of sworn affidavit, to the following fact pattern may be integral in defeating corporate Scientology’s summary judgment motion:
- Saw first-hand that David Miscavige operated as the supreme leader of Scientology and that there was no possibility of objecting to or defying his dictates no matter how unlawful without severe loss of rights. That includes corporeal punishment including battery, loss of consortium (split up from 2D), lessened sleep, food deprivation, imprisonment, personal degradation, severe hazing, torture, surveillance, monitoring by covert and overt means after leaving, etc.
- Witnessed David Miscavige beating, punching, kicking, choking, slapping, throwing water at, physically threatening, severely hazing yourself or other staff members, or witnessed agents of Miscavige doing the same or witnessed Miscavige ordering others to do the same.
- Left church employ because of “1” and/or “2” either by escape (unauthorized sudden departure) or route out procedure.
- Knew of corporate church policy and/or standard operating procedure to silence former members by way of any or all of the following:
a) signing non-disclosure agreements under intimidating circumstances including presence of Security and/or OSA personnel, presence of an OSA attorney, and/or presence of video recording equipment.
b) Witnessing or participation in the blow drill: where departed staff are tracked down by use of roving teams, credit card information, life history information, pc folder information, in order to make them participate in “a”.
c) Having a provisional SP declare held over one’s head, whereby you were told that if you remained compliant and silent on the outside the SP declare would not come, but if you did otherwise you would be SP declared thus either lose your immortal future and/or lose the right to communicate with friends, associates, business contacts, and family.
5. Were so indoctrinated in an isolated cult for so long that you lost all sense of common mores of civilized society. In other words, developed a mindset where you accepted the wholesale violations of civil and human rights visited upon self and others as justified or normal activity that did not warrant protest or reporting. Many have reported having developed a state of mind where the ends (no matter how unlawful or shocking) justified the means; where for extended periods of time they felt so degraded by their experience that they believed there was something awry with themselves for even harboring thoughts that Miscavige’s reign of violence and human rights violations was in any way actionable or wrong.
6. Because of 1-5 lived for a substantial period of time in fear or reticence of telling anyone about the facts underlying 1-5 or other facts concerning the loss of liberty or Human Rights of self and/or others by David Miscavige or agents of the church of Scientology.
A) Include any of the common manifestations you may have experienced that are often reported by others – nightmares about being apprehended and returned to the Hole or the Int Base or the RPF, nightmares about being visited (and being declared) and having your friends, family, and associates disconnected from you.
B) Include your own thought processes (backed by what you witnessed that prompted it) that kept yourself living in silent fear; such as taking a given period of time on the outside to begin to reckon that what you experienced inside was in fact unlawful or unacceptable in a civilized society; and such as awakening to the unlawful, unjustified nature of your experience only when you saw others were standing up and talking of their similar experiences over a period of time; and such as over time comparing what you experienced inside to the outside, and that experience beginning to wake your conscience with a need to do something about those left behind suffering.
C) Include your considerations about protecting the religion of Scientology. Part and parcel with that would be explaining any conditioning that had caused you to believe that the religion of Scientology was the same as the “church of Scientology” and how that played in keeping you silent and compliant – and of course how time played a part in the differentiation process that caused you to begin to communicate the evils you witnessed.
What is important to emphasize in “6” is time. How much time did it take you to decrompress from the physical and mental trauma of what you experienced in 1-5 to begin to speak with others about your experience; whether as a personal catharsis or as a conscientious need to help others still similarly situated.
I know there are literally hundreds who could and would attest to parts of 1 through 6 above. However, we are looking for corroborative witnesses to the experiences of Debbie and Wayne. Part and parcel of that of course is parallel experiences with an overlapping fact pattern.
Recognize, the inclusion of David Miscavige is important in distinguishing between the hundreds with similar experience and the few dozen with experiences sufficiently parallel with Debbie and Wayne’s experience to be admissible, relevant witnesses. “The boss”, as you may have heard Church of Scientology International counsel Eliot Abelson refer to Miscavige in Debbie’s signing video, is front and center in this case. Irrespective of Abelson’s now-world-famous admission the “church” is doing everything in its power to keep the chief perp out of this dispute, without Miscavige, of course, there is no dispute. Without Miscavige there is no 31 December 2011 e-mail by Debbie, there is no need to speak out, there is no cause to shudder into silence, there is no need for redress for aggravated assault and battery, torture, imprisonment, and the entire array of serial human rights abuses Miscavige perpetrates to this day.
If you feel you can honestly swear to facts that fit squarely within 1-6 above, or your experience roughly follows the pattern of 1-6 above, an affidavit from you might be critical in overcoming David Miscavige’s dishonest and aggressive attempt to bury Debbie Cook through court process.
If you are willing to consider drafting and signing such an affidavit, please tell your story – emphasizing the facts that fit within the 1-6 pattern – in writing to Mike Rinder at firstname.lastname@example.org and copy me at email@example.com.
Despite David Miscavige’s best efforts to prevent Debbie from establishing a defense of any kind we are continuing to assist her counsel in ways that ensure that she have as full, fair and affordable a defense as possible.
If you step up, you will be protected.