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Cult harasses us say dissidents

East Grinstead Courier, unknown day, March 1986, front page

THE LEADER of a dissident group of the Scientology sect, claimed in the High Court on Monday that she and others were being "harrassed" by the official Scientologists.

Mrs Eileen Griswold, of Lewes Road. East Grinstead. has been accused of making pirate tapes of lectures recorded by the late L. Ron Hubbard, the cult's founder. Last Monday. New Era Publications international, which claims exclusive rights to the lecture series, were granted an order allowing them to search Mrs Griswold's home for unauthorised tapes.

But New Era's counsel, Mr David Pannick. said that "regrettably" Mrs Griswold had been given prior notice of tne order which wasobtained in open court and no incriminating tapes had been found.

However, other material had been discovered, including three tape sleeves, which, with other evidence collected by New Era, made a strong prima facie case that Mrs Griswold and her company, Villacroft Ltd, were involved in the unlawful copying of Hubbard tapes.

Mr Pannick asked the court to order Mrs Griswold to swear a statement saying whether she had made unauthorised tapes and to whom and when they had been distributed.

But Miss Fiona Clark, for Mrs Griswold and Villacroft, said Mrs Griswold and her husband were leaders of a break-away group and had been "subject to harrassment" by the official church.

In these circumstances it would be wrong for the court to order them to divulge names and addresses.

"This is simply going to be used as a further instrument of oppression against them." said Miss Clark.

Miss Clark said that Mrs Griswold's case when the matter came for a further hearing in two weeks' time, would be that the sound recordings were not Lhe type of material which should be protected by the court.

Mr Pannick said that if the court were concerned with allegations of possible harrassment. ft New Era would undertake not to (I use any information in an improper manner.

The judge said that where there were schisms, bitter feelings were likely to arise and it had become clear that a good deal of background material would be put in evidence when the case ~ came for a further hearing.

Mrs Griswold and Villacroft had agreed to give undertakings to remain in effect until then not to make or sell any unauthorised copies of the Hubbard lectures or destroy documents relating to such copies. Mrs Griswold had offered a further promise that no copies would be made by any other company of which she was a director.

The judge said those undertakings would cover the [illegible] "to a great extent [illegible].

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