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Ex-scientologists To 'Expose' Cult

The East Grinstead Courier, March 4, 1994

[UK Scientology News - brought to you by The Leveller.]

The Church of Scientology succeeded in bringing to an end 10 years of legal action against two of its former senior members but now faces massive legal bills and possible publication of its "confidential" teachings.

East Grinstead dentist Ron Lawley and Staffordshire accountant Robin Scott - disaffected former members of the church - say they now intend to expose the cult as "an evil organisation that preys on the sick and vulnerable."

Judge David Sumner ruled in London's High Court that the church was entitled to discontinue legal actions against the pair, despite the letter's wish for a "day in court."

But he ordered the church's solicitors to return to Mr Lawley copies of documents, reserved for the eyes of only its most senior members, and that the church pay all the legal costs of the action so far. Mr Lawley now intends to publicise the documents "in the public interest."

Were the church allowed to retain the copy documents, Judge Sumner said it would gain "an advantage out of a litigation that had never proceeded."

Mr Scott, a counsellor for the church from 1973 to 1981, and Mr Lawley, a counsellor from 1978 to 1982, "strongly feel they have been victims of this cult," the judge said.

"They feel that the cult is taking money from the weak and vulnerable and the means used to retain members and keep them faithful to the cult are unlawful and repressive."


The judge said that in 1983 Mr Scott decided to set up a splinter group of the church at Strathdon, Aberdeenshire, "using what he regarded as the better points of scientology but charging for his courses a tenth of what the cult was charging."

"An unusual feature of this cult is that certain documents relating to its higher teachings or training are regarded by it as confidential. It may be that the cult accepts that these practices if placed in the wrong hands might be harmful," he said.

In 1983 the men gained entry to the organisation's offices in Copenhagan, Denmark, and obtained copies of the church's highest levels of teaching, described as New Operating Thetan Materials. "That their means of obtaining them were unlawful is undoubted."

Mr Scott was later convicted by a Danish court of "gaining unauthorised entry for the purposes of obtaining information," and received a four month prison sentance with three months suspended.

The judge said the church obtained injunctions against Mr Scott, Mr Lawley and others involved, and copy documents were returned to the cult's solicitors. The originals had been seized by police at Mr Scott's then home in Scotland and returned to the cult after his arrest by the Danish authorities, he said.

Outside court Mr Lawley, of St James' Road, East Grinstead, said he was delighted with the result. "It now means we can expose this organisation for what it is," he said.

Sheila Chaleff, Press Officer for the Church of Scientology, said the church was considering an appeal against Judge Sumner's ruling. "These materials are very important to us and we will fight to keep them within our religion," she said.

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