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Paulette Cooper - The Other Story

Cooper's Declaration


 

While doing a search on PR Newswire through Nexis for Scientology-related articles, Diane Richardson and Keith Spurgeon, two Scientology critics, came upon an affidavit signed by Paulette Cooper that made no sense at all. In it, Cooper denounced her former counsel, Michael Flynn, right when he was in the best position to take the CoS down altogether. Her sudden settlement with the CoS was already a serious blow to Flynn's case and set a bad precedent, but her declaration made litigation against the CoS even more difficult for others and was potentially damaging for their cases.

Asked for the reason she made it on ARS, Paulette became very defensive and pretended that the clause of her settlement prevented her from discussing it, even though she said in another occasion that the clause of her settlement didn't include a gag order. Shortly later, she supposedly "unsubscribed" from ARS, and rather than address the issue publicly, engaged in a smear campaign against Diane through her mailing list. The reasons for Cooper's settlement and affidavit only started to make more sense for Diane and Keith when they ran into the Bast tapes.

Usenet post from the newsgroup alt.religion.scientology.

The whole Fishman thing

referen@neont.com (Diane Richardson)

Sun, 09 Jun 1996 18:27:21 GMT

Message-ID: <4pf5ph$qrf@clark.zippo.com>

>In article <4pcgq3$h0v@nntp4.u.washington.edu>, Ceon Ramon <ceon@u.washington.edu> writes

>>I haven't see Paulette Cooper betraying or implicating anyone.

Dave Bird---St Hippo of Augustine <dave@xemu.demon.co.uk> wrote:

>No, I think all the clams got out of her was a statement that her book "wasn't first-hand experience". They then misrepresented this as saying it "wasn't true", which is something else altogther. That's as far as it went.

No, that's NOT as far as it went. You're referring to the original lawsuit the "Church" of Scientology[tm] filed against Paulette Cooper.

Much later, after the FBI had seized documents from the CoS and made them publicly available, Paulette Cooper took on Michael Flynn as her attorney and *she* sued the "Church" of Scientology[tm]. She certainly had a valid case and had documents seized from the "Church" by the FBI as proof of her accusations.

Michael Flynn had taken on a number of ex-Scns as clients. Lavenda Van Schaick was the first of these, but the number grew to somewhere around 50 all told. Among those clients was Gerry Armstrong, along with Paulette Cooper.

It sure does seem to me, looking back on it, that Michael Flynn had the golden opportunity to "utterly destroy" the "Church" of Scientology[tm] at that point. Between Paulette Cooper's documentation and Gerry Armstrong's collection of LRH documents, it would appear that Flynn had Hubbard and his organization nailed.

From the CoS viewpoint, it's no wonder that they made Flynn's life a living hell. He had, to all intents and purposes, the stuff that could blow apart the entire CoS web of lies, deceit, and dirty tricks.

But then things started unravelling. People started bailing out of Flynn's campaign, firing him as their attorney and reaching private settlements with the CoS. I'm interested in finding out who started that stampede for the exits.

As an aside, I believe that Gerry Armstrong was one of the last of Flynn's clients to abandon ship. By that time, it would appear that Flynn's "big guns" had already left and Flynn realized he no longer had an open and shut case against the cult. Flynn himself reached a settlement with the "Church" and he convinced Gerry Armstrong to do the same. Armstrong, of course, later regretted the settlement agreement he reached with the CoS and is still battling over the terms of the agreement.

Diane Richardson
referen@neont.com

 

Usenet post from the newsgroup alt.religion.scientology.

Source:  The whole Fishman thing

referen@neont.com (Diane Richardson)

Thu, 06 Jun 1996 22:21:26 GMT

Message-ID: 4p7ma5$on@clark.zippo.com

I should point out that the declaration Paulette Cooper swore out for the "Church" of Scientology[tm] was done *years* (perhaps as much as a decade) after the harassment ceased.

We may choose to excuse Kim Baker's activity on insufferable pressure, but that certainly can't be Paulette Cooper's excuse. She settled out of court with the cult, signed over (for a second time) the rights to "The Scandal of Scientology," and most likely shafted a number of other litigants involved in the lawsuit at the time.

I doubt if we'll ever hear the facts behind *that* story, however.

Let me know if you'd like to see Paulette Cooper's declaration reposted here. I'll be glad to oblige.

Diane Richardson
referen@neont.com

 

Usenet post from the newsgroup alt.religion.scientology.

Source: The whole Fishman thing

paulettec@aol.com (Paulettec)

8 Jun 1996 10:51:29 -0400

Message-ID: <4pc41h$1q0@newsbf02.news.aol.com>

No, Diane you are wrong on several points. Although the Scientologists have recently released some alleged affidavit, while I don't remember signing that specific document, the statements were indeed made by me *in 1984* when a bar association complaint was filed against Michael Flynn, which believe me, I was all for. If I did indeed sign that affidavit, then I did it more than a decade ago as part of the final settlement and I'm not supposed to discuss that.

And I don't know how you can say that Kim had "insufferable pressure" put against her to sign affidavits but that I didn't have that excuse (in 1984). I am not aware that Kim spent most of 15 years as SP#1 with a full contingent of B1 people constantly plotting to get her, and with daily dirty tricks against her; nor am I aware that Scientology ever had her arrested and indicted and that she had to spend 8 months and $28,000 fighting those charges alone; nor am I aware that she was deposed for 50 days, that 50 of her friends were deposed, that her elderly parents were repeatedly harassed, and that she had to defend 19 frivolous lawsuits against her all over the world on her own money. If I temporarily "broke" in 1984, what should be surprising was not that I did but that it didn't happen earlier.

I also found your statement interesting that I turned over the rights to "The Scandal of Scientology" twice. That certainly is news to me. If I did it twice, that means that the second time wasn't valid. Hmmm. :-)

And I resent your statement that I "most likely shafted a number of other litigants involved in"my lawsuits. I was the only one involved in my suit, and I believe that my settlement helped those on other suits who settled later.

And no you will never hear the whole story of the settlement, as you well know, because I signed an agreement not to discuss it, as you well know.

I am not going to get into a public spitting match with you or any other enemy of Scientology because I think if we're truly concerned about what Scientology is still doing to its critics, then we should avoid acting like the Scientologists and DAing and demeaning these critics ourselves.

It would be best legally if this is the last I have to say about his whole issue, and those who truly want me to avoid going back to court with Scientology will respect this by ending this whole discussion, so I don't feel I have to defend myself by breaking the secrecy of the settlement agreement--to defend myself from someone on "our side" no less!

Paulette Cooper

 

Usenet post from the newsgroup alt.religion.scientology.

Source: The whole Fishman thing

referen@neont.com (Diane Richardson)

Sun, 09 Jun 1996 01:58:36 GMT

Message-ID: <4pdbqp$2j4@clark.zippo.com>

paulettec@aol.com (Paulettec) wrote:

>No, Diane you are wrong on several points. Although the Scientologists have recently released some alleged affidavit, while I don't remember signing that specific document, the statements were indeed made by me *in 1984* when a bar association complaint was filed against Michael Flynn,

The affidavit wasn't released recently. It was located in a database search. I've never seen any Scientologists[tm] either post or mention this affidavit.

>which believe me, I was all for. If I did indeed sign that affidavit, then I did it more than a decade ago as part of the final settlement and I'm not supposed to discuss that.

Are you claiming that you *didn't* sign such an affidavit? If you did not, you certainly have cause to sue the CoS for libel, since at the time of your settlement, they issued it to newspapers across the country by means of the PR Newswire. It's still quite accessible, independent of the "Church," by accessing Nexis.

>And I don't know how you can say that Kim had "insufferable pressure" put against her to sign affidavits but that I didn't have that excuse (in >1984). I am not aware that Kim spent most of 15 years as SP#1 with a full >contingent of B1 people constantly plotting to get her, and with daily dirty tricks against her; nor am I aware that Scientology ever had her arrested and indicted and that she had to spend 8 months and $28,000 fighting those charges alone; nor am I aware that she was deposed for 50 days, that 50 of her friends were deposed, that her elderly parents were repeatedly harassed, and that she had to defend 19 frivolous lawsuits against her all over the world on her own money. If I temporarily "broke"in 1984, what should be surprising was not that I did but that it didn't happen earlier.

Was the CoS "constantly plotting to get" you at the time you signed that affidavit? It appears that their dirty tricks against you ended *years* before you signed that affidavit.

I'm still incredibly curious to find out why you never bothered to file charges against CoS operatives for the dirty tricks they pulled against you. You had incontestable proof that such tricks were pulled from the files seized during the FBI raid. Why didn't you prosecute?

>I also found your statement interesting that I turned over the rights to "The Scandal of Scientology" twice. That certainly is news to me. If I did it twice, that means that the second time wasn't valid. Hmmm. :-)

Ron Newman was the source of this information. If it is incorrect, it is because he misinformed me. He was telling me what you had told him. Perhaps you and he should clear up that misunderstanding.

>And I resent your statement that I "most likely shafted a number of other litigants involved in"my lawsuits. I was the only one involved in my suit, and I believe that my settlement helped those on other suits who settled later.

Really? Like Lavenda Van Schaick? David Mayo?

>And no you will never hear the whole story of the settlement, as you well know, because I signed an agreement not to discuss it, as you well know.

No, I do *not* well know. You have informed us *in public* that you never signed a nondisclosure agreement with the cult. Perhaps you'd like to check out the FAQ you wrote and posted to this newsgroup.

>I am not going to get into a public spitting match with you or any other enemy of Scientology because I think if we're truly concerned about what Scientology is still doing to its critics, then we should avoid acting like the Scientologists and DAing and demeaning these critics ourselves.

I'm just trying to get to the bottom of what's going on here. There certainly appears to be critics amongst us who do not share the same fsdesire to learn what *really* happened in past events.

The "Church" of Scientology[tm] has learned that sugar-coating a version of the "truth" does not work well on alt.religion.scientology. Perhaps it's time that a few critics learn the same lesson.

>It would be best legally if this is the last I have to say about his whole  issue, and those who truly want me to avoid going back to court with Scientology will respect this by ending this whole discussion, so I don't feel I have to defend myself by breaking the secrecy of the settlement agreement--to defend myself from someone on "our side" no less!

I have signed no legal agreements with either the "Church" of Scientology[tm] or you, Ms. Cooper, so don't expect my questions to disappear. I'm just doing what I've always done here -- trying to learn the truth behind the lies.

Diane Richardson
referen@neont.com

 

referen@neont.com (Diane Richardson)

Sun, 09 Jun 1996 05:08:28 GMT

Message-ID: 4pdmuu$6mo@clark.zippo.com

We all know that L. Ron Hubbard was running the church back then. Paulette Cooper knew that. Michael Flynn knew that as well. It would appear to me that Paulette Cooper was willing to falsely swear under oath to something that she knew was a lie.

Diane Richardson
referen@neont.com

 

referen@neont.com (Diane Richardson)

13 Jul 1996 00:00:00 GMT

Subject: Re: Hubbard as Managing Agent of the CoS
Message-ID: <4s8nln$22l@clark.zippo.com>

>In article <3f7a66eb46@holsoft.demon.co.uk>, Sister Clara <clara@holsoft.demon.co.uk> writes

>>But one thing I continue to find interesting. It has been put forward as a proposition that Paulette's affidavit blew away the cases of her fellow litigants. I still do not understand why this one document should have the power to do that.

Sherilyn <Sherilyn@sidaway.demon.co.uk> wrote:

>I agree with you completely on this point. I do not believe that the document had the power to do anything of the sort, as it is completely at odds with the evidence that Diane has just posted.

>It reads like a simple bit of PR, aimed mainly at the publics. If it  was material in overturning cases against the cult, I'd be surprised.

Actually, the document was solicited for a very specific purpose, although it was used along with other CoS-manufactured evidence in later cases as well.

Paulette Cooper swore out her declaration on 4 March 1985. The "Church" of Scientology[tm] filed the declaration, along with an accompanying press release, on 21 March of the same year. Let's look at events surrounding the declaration.

In 1983, the CoS filed a $2-million defamation lawsuit against Michael Flynn for statements he allegedly made implying that "a large organization" had tried to murder him by placing water in the fuel tanks of his private airplane. [PR Newswire, Friday, 5 August 1983]

The lawsuit was initially dismissed by Judge Manuel Real of the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California. The "Church" appealed, the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals reversed the decision in October 1984 and ordered Judge Real to rehear the case. [United Press International, Wednesday, 3 October 1984]

Pretrial hearings began in early 1985. Flynn's lawyers included L. Ron Hubbard on their deposition list. "Church" lawyers stated that Hubbard would "not be available" for deposition. The matter went before Judge Real on March 11, 1985.

Judge Real ordered Hubbard to appear in Los Angeles for deposition on March 20. ["Scientology Founder's Appearance Ordered," Los Angeles Times, Tuesday, 12 March 1985] Hubbard, of course, failed to appear. Flynn's attorneys then asked Judge Real to dismiss the lawsuit because of Hubbard's failure to show. ["Reclusive Scientology Founder L. Ron Hubbard Fails to Appear for Questions," Associated Press, Wednesday, 20 March 1985]

On March 21, John Peterson, the CoS lawyer handling the case, filed Paulette Cooper's declaration, claiming it "revealed for the first time a sordid billion-dollar plot of extortion and perjury aimed at the Church of Scientology." Flynn's attorneys filed a declaration by Joseph M. Flanagan (who appeared as one of Paulette Cooper's co-defendants in another CoS lawsuit), implying that she had been paid $50,000 for the statement. [United Press International, Saturday, 23 March 1985]

The trial proper began and ended on Monday, April 1, 1985. Judge Real dismissed the lawsuit because of Hubbard's failure to appear for the 20 March deposition. The evidence that convinced Judge Real to dismiss the suit was neither Cooper's declaration nor Flanagan's counterdeclaration.

I quote from The Los Angeles Tmes, Tuesday, 2 April, 1985, "Hubbard's Absence Leads to Dismissal of Scientology Suit":

"Chief U.S. District Judge Manuel L. Real, in dismissing the libel suit against Boston attorney Michael J. Flynn, challenged the claims that Hubbard cannot be contacted as he waved a Scientology advertising supplement from The Times at the Scientology lawyers.

The Scientology advertisement, which Real said he noticed in his Sunday newspaper, proclaimed, 'You can always write to L. Ron Hubbard,' and quoted Hubbard as saying:

'I am always willing to help. . . . Any message addressed to me and sent to the address of the nearest Scientology Church or Mission listed in the back of this booklet shall be given prompt and full attention in accordance with my wishes.'

Real introduced the Scientology advertising supplement into the court record after John G. Peterson, an attorney for the church, had repeated his position that Hubbard was not available to be deposed by Flynn's attorneys in connection with the libel suit.

'Then why do you advertise that he can be reached?' Real asked."

As the American Lawyer noted in its 15 April 1985 report on the case, "Sometimes it doesn't pay to advertise."

The litigation, of course, did not end there. The CoS lawyers were back in Judge Real's courtroom on 9 September 1985, arguing to have the lawsuit reinstated.

During the proceedings, Ken Hoden, the CoS Los Angeles president, rose from his seat and demanded to speak. He called Judge Real a liar, upon which Judge Real held Hoden in contempt and had U.S. marshals forcibly remove Hoden from the courtroom. This incident occurred just a couple of weeks after Judge Real had ordered CoS lawyer John Randolph jailed for contempt in another cult case he was hearing -- a lawsuit the CoS had filed against Laurel Sullivan.

That's another story entirely, however. :)

In the end, the specific purpose for which Paulette Cooper's declaration was solicited by cult lawyers was not aided by the document. That did not, however, keep "Church" lawyers from using the same document in other cases, and with better effect.

I will do my best to present these cases in future posts. I was made aware of the continued use of Paulette Cooper's declaration by David Mayo, whose own case was adversely affected by the "Church's" use of that document. It appears that Larry Wollersheim's original lawsuit was unnecessarily delayed and made more complex because this declaration was entered as evidence as well.

I do not claim that Paulette Cooper's declaration alone was damning enough to alter the outcome of later litigation. I believe, however, that it was utilized successfully by "Church" attorneys to extend litigation and to make the litigation more expensive for their opponents. The declaration was only one of several "dirty tricks" that "Church" attorneys used. The secret videotape made by Gene Ingram of Gerry Armstrong's purported revelation of a conspiracy between Michael Flynn and government officials to take control of the "Church" was another. I will present these events as I find time to do so.

Diane Richardson
referen@neont.com

 

referen@neont.com (Diane Richardson)

08 Jul 1996 00:00:00 GMT

Message-ID: <4rq7qm$akk@clark.zippo.com>

In a previous message:

Subject: Re: The whole Fishman thing
From: krasel@wpxx02.toxi.uni-wuerzburg.de (Cornelius Krasel)
Date: 1996/07/01
Message-Id: <4r8ia3$aiu@power5.rz.uni-hohenheim.de>

[snip]

>Does this show any evidence that Michael Flynn still knew whether Hubbard was in control of Scientology at that time or not? Do your other press clippings show any evidence?

[snip]

The court records of the time provide ample evidence that Hubbard was legally considered the "managing agent" of the Scientology[tm] organization. In an accompanying post, I will provide the text of a similar case, in which the courts found L. Ron Hubbard to be the managing agent of the CoS.

Flynn was neither the first nor the only lawyer to sue L. Ron Hubbard as the managing agent of the Scientology[tm] organization. To my knowledge, the first instance of this occurred in an Oregon lawsuit filed by Martin Samuels, the franchise holder of the Portland mission, against L. Ron Hubbard personally.

Samuels' lawsuit was similar to those filed by Flynn on behalf of his clients. He alleged that Hubbard directed and controlled others to commit torts against him -- conversion, outrageous conduct, defamation and fraud. Hubbard failed to appear and was found in default. The CoS appealed the decision, asking to be allowed to stand in for Hubbard. The Oregon Court of Appeals did not allow the intervention of the CoS and upheld the lower court's decision requiring Hubbard to appear in person. (71 Or. App. 481; 692 P.2d 700 1984).

As to what is meant by Hubbard's "directing and controlling" others, this is defined in a legal, rather than in a practical, sense. Whether or not Hubbard was still running the Scientology[tm] organization, it was being run under the authority of Hubbard's name as Founder of the religion. That made Hubbard responsible for the activities of Scientology[tm] subordinates.

The complaint Flynn filed as his own lawsuit against Hubbard is available at http://www.sky.net/~sloth/flynn.cmplnt. Section IV, Statement of the Claim, details Flynn's reasons for suing Hubbard as managing agent of the CoS. They include:

Defendant is the founder, controller, principal and absolute authority over the Scientology organizations and individuals. The Scientology organizations, as well as various individuals, acting as agents of defendant within the scope of the authority granted to them by and upon his express orders, engaged in the conspiracy to perpetrate the torts alleged herein.

Hubbard ordered that the directors and officers of each of the Scientology organizations enumerated above sign written resignations in advance of their appointment as Directors and Officers and this was done. Hubbard held these "resignations" and over a period of years whenever any of said Directors contested his orders or authority, he removed them from their capacity in said corporations, and appointed new individuals who complied with his orders and policies.

Hubbard was a required signatory on every bank account over $5,000 of each said Scientology organization.

Hubbard established, supervised and controlled an organization called the "Guardian's Office" ("G.O.") which he placed in each of the Scientology corporations for purposes of enforcing his express daily orders. He routinely called these orders the "daily battle plan."

At all times material hereto, the G.O. employed individuals under Hubbard's direction to operate in California, Las Vegas, Nevada, Boston, Massachusetts, Clearwater, Florida, and diverse other places. Plaintiff has possession of the written policy of Hubbard establishing and directing the G.O., together with the "training materials" of the G.O., written by Hubbard, all of which were used to commit the torts alleged herein.

At all times material hereto, Hubbard has controlled said Scientology organizations and issued express daily orders to them through several individuals. These agents include his wife, Mary Sue Hubbard, Jane Kember (the head of the G.O.), Arthur Maren (an employee of the G.O.), David Miscavige (the current liaison of express orders between Hubbard and the G.O. and all Scientology organizations), Norman Starkey (an employee of the G.O.), Joseph Lisa (an employee of the G.O.) and Lyman Spurlock (in charge of ASI and all financial affairs of Hubbard and the Scientology organizations). Plaintiff is in possession of a 286 page

"Stipulation of Evidence" filed in United States v. Mary Sue Hubbard Crim. #78-401 (D.C.D.C. 1978), and executed by Mary Sue Hubbard and eight (8) of the highest officials of the G.O., all as agents of Hubbard, in which said individuals stipulate that Hubbard is the "overall supervisor" of the G.O. Said "Stipulation of Evidence" is a detailed stipulation of the "operation" of the G.O. to "destroy" some of the "enemies" of Hubbard, one of which was the plaintiff.

At all times material hereto Hubbard used the Scientology organizations and the above-named individuals and others to implement and enforce both his policies and his daily orders.

Some of the policies were written and copyrighted by Hubbard and his agents and used by his agents as overall policy directives to carry out his orders. Some of the written policies that were specifically implemented against the plaintiff as hereinafter described are set forth below . . . .

[Fair Game and other policies are then quoted.]

Hubbard, of course, was found in default when he failed to appear in court to defend himself against Flynn's lawsuit. This time, Mary Sue Hubbard appealed, asking to be allowed to intervene in the lawsuit, since her interests would be jeopardized by an adverse judgment against her husband.

The appeal was heard by the First Circuit Court of Appeals, which would not permit Mary Sue to intervene for her husband and upheld Hubbard's default. The decision was issued February 6, 1986 at 782 F.2d; 4 Fed R. Serv.3d (Callaghan) 18.

Interestingly, the Federal Government also successfully employed the same tactic in its court battles with the Scientology[tm] organizations, which may well explain Hubbard's reticence to appear in *any* courtroom during that time period. I will post a lengthy excerpt from the decision of the Appeals Court which details the evidence for holding Hubbard responsible as the managing agent of the Scientology[tm] organizations up until the time of his death.

Diane Richardson
referen@neont.com

 

referen@neont.com (Diane Richardson)

08 Jul 1996 00:00:00 GMT

Message-ID: <4rq7s3$akk@clark.zippo.com>

In 1978, the "Church" of Scientology[tm] filed suit against the United States government and a number of Federal Government officials (FBI director, Attorney General, CIA director, NSA director, etc.), alleging an extensive campaign of government harassment. The lawsuit never got beyond the pretrial discovery stage. The defendants (the Federal Government) issued a notice to depose L. Ron Hubbard on August 24, 1984. Hubbard, of course, refused to appear. The government then moved to either dismiss the case or compel Hubbard's deposition. The Court agreed, ordering the defendants to issue another deposition notice along with a factual statement as to why Hubbard's deposition was necessary.

Hubbard, of course, failed to appear again. The CoS submitted numerous declarations by offcials of individual Scientology[tm] churches and high officials in the central Scientology[tm] organization, denying not only Hubbard's status as managing agent, but any capability of contacting him. The Government responded with additional declarations and other evidence in support of Hubbard's status as managing agent.

On March 13, 1985, the District Court found that the Government had established "at least a prima facie case" that Hubbard was managing agent as of November 19, 1984. Yet another deposition notice was issued for Hubbard to appear. Once again, Hubbard didn't show. The CoS lawsuit was then dismissed because of Hubbard's failure to appear.

The "Church" of Scientology[tm] appealed the dismissal to the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia. The Appeals Court decision, although reached after Hubbard's death, settled the matter decisively.

Below is an extended excerpt from the Appeals Court decision.

 

802 F.2d 1448; 5 Fed. R. Serv. 3d (Callaghan) 1169; 256 U.S. App. D.C. 54

FOUNDING CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY OF WASHINGTON, D.C., INC., APPELLANT v. WILLIAM H. WEBSTER, DIRECTOR OF THE FEDERAL BUREAU OF INVESTIGATION OF THE UNITED STATES, ET AL.

No. 85-5885

UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE DISTRICT OF COLUMBIA
CIRCUIT

802 F.2d 1448; 5 Fed. R. Serv. 3d (Callaghan) 1169; 256 U.S.
App. D.C. 54

June 3, 1986, Argued
September 26, 1986

[snip]

L. Ron Hubbard resigned from his official position as Executive Director of Scientology Churches in 1966, after serving for more than a decade. He continued thereafter in the ostensibly nominal position of "Founder." The Government offered abundant evidence in the District Court, however, that Hubbard played a uniquely prominent role within Scientology and various affiliated organizations from 1966 until the early 1980's. As founder of Scientology and the sole source of its scriptures, Hubbard enjoyed authority difficult for the founder and owner of a garden-variety private business to attain. Private, secular concerns may advance beyond the vision of its founder; new talents may need to be secured as the cycles of the organization's

development unfold. It is not at all an unfamiliar situation for the entrepreneur -- the visionary -- to find inhospitable the administration of the vast enterprise spawned by his experimentation in the laboratory or workshop. But an organization claiming to be a religion that is built upon the word of a single individual venerated by the flock of the faithful is, it scarcely needs to be said, a rather different sort of entity. It is not disputed that, in the spiritual or ecclesiastical matters asserted to be the high mission of Scientology organizations, the word of L. Ron Hubbard has remained unquestioned.

From evidence adduced below, Hubbard appears to have maintained control in administrative matters through high positions in such entities as the Sea Organization, "an elite fraternity of Scientologists." Church of Scientology of California v. Comm'r, 83 T.C. 381, 389 (1984). n6 Indeed, uncontested declarations before the District Court leave little doubt about either the ecclesiastical or administrative dimensions of Hubbard's authority during the period from 1966 to 1982. The declarations of Diana Sue Reisdor-Voegeding and John Nelson, associates of Hubbard until 1982, describe the mechanisms by which Hubbard controlled operations of Scientology and its related organizations, passed on orders to subordinates, and sought to avoid prosecution for his ties to the Church. J.A. at 395-403. Beyond these declarations specifically cited by the District Court (J.A. at 429), the Government submitted other declarations bearing on the question of Hubbard's control. Laurel Sullivan, an officer in the Scientology organizations from 1973 to 1981, asserted that public pronouncements to the effect that Hubbard had at that time disassociated himself from the [*1454] Scientology organizations were "completely untrue," and that he in fact issued orders that were immediately obeyed. J.A. at 208. Kima Douglas, who worked at the Church from 1968 through 1980, declared that Hubbard exercised "complete control over the entire (Church) organization." J.A. at 216. Gerald Armstrong, another associate, told of a 1980 meeting to make plans to conceal Hubbard's acknowledged control over "all aspects of" the Church of Scientology of California. J.A. at 222. The Tax Court decision to which we just alluded, in denying the California Church of Scientology tax-exempt status for the years 1970, 1971 and 1972, set forth detailed findings about Hubbard's relation to that organization along with the numerous other Scientology organizations. Church of Scientology v. Comm'r, supra. The Tax Court harbored no doubt that Hubbard "kept control over" the policies, actions, and even the finances of the California Church. Id. at 389; n7 see also n.6, supra.

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -Footnotes- - - - - - - - - - - - -

n6 The Tax Court found that although Hubbard had officially resigned from his position as Executive Director of Scientology in 1966, he remained in the "top position." Through the Hubbard Communications Office Policy Letters, he controlled the basic administrative policy of the California Church, the "Mother Church" of all Churches of Scientology in the United States, 81 T.C. at 389, 401. Through various types of policy directives, including "Flag Orders," "L. Ron Hubbard Executive Directives," and "Orders of the Day," Hubbard directed operations in Scientology's subsidiary organizations. Id. at 389.

Hubbard also retained control over Scientology's financial affairs. He was a signatory on all Scientology bank accounts. His approval was required for all financial planning. He was the sole trustee of a major Scientology fund. He controlled Operation Transport Corp., Ltd., a sham corporation which purportedly performed banking services for "Flag," Scientology's administrative center. Id. at 389, 399, 400.

Further, Hubbard supervised "auditing," the process through which Scientologists help an individual gain "spiritual competence." He also continued to develop Scientology doctrine, id. at 385, 389, as our subsequent discussion in the text will show.

n7 To be sure, the findings by various courts which have found themselves immersed in Scientology-related litigation have not been entirely uniform in this respect. See Church of Scientology of California & Founding Churches of Scientology of Washington, D.C. v. Siegelman, No. 79 Civ. 1166 (S.D.N.Y. order dated Oct. 27, 1980) ("absence of any official connection" to Churches on the basis of evidence before the court prohibits compulsion of Hubbard as a witness), J.A. at 271-73.

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Beyond the overall dominance that he exercised over the Scientology organizations during this earlier period, Hubbard was closely linked to, if not in charge of, the activities for which appellees initially sought his deposition. The primary evidence about these activities emerges from the criminal prosecution in which seven members of the church, including Hubbard's wife, were found guilty of conspiracy to obstruct justice. In that trial, one defendant was found guilty of conspiring illegally to obtain government documents, and another was found guilty of theft of government property. See United States v. Hubbard, 208 U.S. App. D.C. 399, 650 F.2d 293, 301 (D.C. Cir. 1980). In a Stipulation of Evidence submitted in that case, the defendants recounted a full-fledged campaign mounted by the Church of Scientology and its affiliated organizations against the United States Government, particularly the Internal Revenue Service. See Stipulation of Evidence, supra. The conspiracy, involving all levels of the Church hierarchy, encompassed theft of government documents for use in litigation against the United States, falsification of government identification cards, wiretapping, infiltration and perjury. See id. The Stipulation indicated that Hubbard "was, by virtue of his role as the founder and leader of Scientology, overall supervisor of the Guardian's Office," a Scientology entity which carried out these illicit activities. Id. at 7. Indeed, the grand jury named Hubbard as an unindicted co-conspirator in that case. Those indicted and convicted included not only Hubbard's wife, who "as the second person in the hierarchy of Scientology, had duties which included supervision of the Guardian's Office," id. at 8, but several other officials occupying high posts in the Scientology hierarchy.

The criminal case does not stand alone. The Tax Court decision to which we previously referred denied the Church tax exempt status in part because of this conspiracy by the Scientology organizations, "beginning in 1969 and continuing at least until July 7, 1977." Church of Scientology of California v. Comm'r, supra, 83 T.C. at 505. Finding that the Church of Scientology of California "filed false tax returns, burglarized IRS offices, stole IRS documents, and harassed, delayed, and obstructed IRS agents who tried to audit the Church's records," id., the Tax Court held that the California Church had violated public policy and thereby lost entitlement to any exemption which it might otherwise have enjoyed. 83 T.C. at 506-09.

Abundant evidence supports the proposition that Hubbard continued in his de facto position as head of the Church. n8 Based on [*1455] the evidence in the record, the District Court rightly concluded that Hubbard was in a position to provide information about the conspiracy on behalf of the Scientology organizations for this purpose.

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n8 We observe that other courts have reached inconsistent results in related cases concerning the managing-agent status of Hubbard in more recent years. Three decisions, relying on many of the same declarations and documentary evidence presented in this case, found that Hubbard could be deposed as a managing agent. Church of Scientology of California v. Armstrong, No. C420153 (Cal. Super. Ct. July 20, 1984), J.A. at 165-93; Church of Scientology of California v. Flynn, No. CV 83-5052R (C.D. Cal. Mar. 20, 1985), finding Hubbard a managing agent through March 4, 1985), Supplemental Appendix ("S.A.") at 729-30; Church of Scientology Int'l v. Elmira Mission of the Church of Scientology, No. CV 85-412T (W.D.N.Y. order dated Nov. 26, l985), J.A. at 732-49. A fourth court, upholding the finding of a United States Magistrate, concluded that Hubbard could not be considered a managing agent for purposes of Fed. R. Civ. P. 30 after December 9, 1983. Religious Technology Center v. Scott, No. CV 85-711-MRP (C.D. Cal. order dated Jan. 24, 1986), J.A. at 773-75; see also n.4, supra.

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D

To designate Hubbard as, at least prima facie, a managing agent, the District Court had to find it probable that he remained a managing agent for the Scientology organizations at the time his deposition was sought. Fed. R. Civ. P. 32(a)(2). 4A J. Moore, supra, para. 32.04. For the first scheduled deposition, Hubbard must have been, prima facie, managing agent as of November 1984; for the second, as of April 1985. Faced with overwhelming evidence of Hubbard's continuing control over Scientology as of 1982, appellants have sought to raise doubt whether Hubbard remained as managing agent after that time and specifically at the critical, later dates of the aborted depositions. First, they emphasize that the declarants upon whose statements the Government relies held no positions in Scientology organizations after 1982. Second, Scientology submitted numerous statements by its high officials to the effect that Hubbard had engaged in communications with Scientology's official organs only intermittently since 1982 and that he had not communicated with the Scientology apparatus since May 1984. See, e.g., Declaration of Marc Yager, J.A. at 437-39; Declaration of Guillaume Lesevre, J.A. at 446-47. Third, Scientology points to indications of organizational rearrangements around 1981-82, when Hubbard hired a law firm and a professional management agency separate from the Scientology network to handle his personal affairs. See Declaration of Lyman Spurlock, J.A. at 457-58; Declaration of Lawrence E. Heller, J.A. at 461-64.

The narrow question to be explored is whether the District Court erred in holding it probable that Hubbard continued to exercise the authority of a managing agent for Scientology insofar as he retained authority to determine whether to govern authoritatively in either administrative or ecclesiastical affairs. As noted above, Hubbard's role as managing agent up to approximately

1982 is well established in the record. A "general principle" in the law of evidence in such matters is that "a prior or subsequent existence is evidential of a later or earlier one." 2 Wigmore on Evidence @ 437, at 514 (emphasis in original). n9 In addition, the declarations of the church officials themselves, while denying Hubbard's role, n10 in fact implicitly confirmed that Hubbard, even after 1982, remained free at all relevant times to communicate to them whatever and whenever he wanted. Indeed, the two times they agree that he did communicate with the entire Scientology apparatus, in December 1983 and January 1984, Scientology dutifully issued his [*1456] statements to its members, n11 exactly as if he remained in his undisputed position of authority. Lesevre Declaration at J.A. 446; Yager Declaration at J.A. 438-39. As the District Court concluded, it appears without question that had Hubbard attempted to reassert his authority in other ways, Scientology officials would have accepted that exercise of dominion over the flock. So far as we can discern, the record reveals no evidence that Hubbard intended to end his relationship with Scientology, but only that he wanted, in his unfettered discretion, to determine whether and how to continue that relationship. Ultimate control, we have no doubt, he possessed until his death. n12

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n9 We recognize that a presumption of continuity in time may not hold as an absolute rule for relations of authority, see 9 Wigmore on Evidence @ 2530 (Chadbourn ed. 1981). "The rulings merely declare that certain facts are admissible, or that they are sufficient evidence for the jury's finding . . . on such issues. . . . ." Id. (citations omitted).

n10 It cannot go unnoticed that these declarations were provided by individuals who owe their allegiance to an organization whose officials in the past have employed a number of devices, including deception and falsification, to achieve the organization's goals. But needless to say, we are not in a position to weigh the veracity of the numerous declarants whose statements came before the District Court.

n11 Rons Journal 38, as the later communication was known, took the form of a tape recording distributed to local Scientology Churches and Missions. See Transcript, transcribed December 18, 1984, J.A. at 355-93. In this message, apparently recorded on New Year's Day 1984, Hubbard reported that he was making available "the first accurate briefing I have had on scientology organizations in several years." J.A. at 356. The transcript suggests the way he continued to exercise such authority that amounted to control. He noted that he had not "for a very long while . . . been connected" with the "demanding area" of "active management of the Church or associated organizations." Id. Yet, as the reason for this separation, Hubbard contended that he needed time to "complete my researches and write them up for you," id., an apparent reference to his pursuit of refinements in Scientology doctrine. See also J.A. at 391-92 (announcing "new discoveries"). In the bulk of the 37-page transcript, Hubbard recounted in great detail the latest changes in the Scientology organizations, with comprehensive statistics about the state of finances, the growth of the organization, and efforts by "new executives" in the organization to "rebuild global scientology in every division and sector, get it back on policy and in tech" after an alleged attempt by "power crazy people" to take over the organization. J.A. at 357-58. In this communication, Hubbard alluded to "Rev. 352," or L.R.H. Ed. 352, J.A. at 358-59. In this statement from December 1983, Hubbard "gave an inkling" of the recent

changes in the organization that Rons Journal 38 described in detail.

n12 On January 27, 1986, over nine months after dismissal of this suit in the trial court, the Church announced that L. Ron Hubbard had died on January 24, 1986. See J.A. at 718 (citing account in Washington Post). As the parties have implicitly recognized, Hubbard's passing has no bearing on the questions before us. We remain obligated to decide the appeal on the basis of the record before the District Court.

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The continued, undisputed possibility that Hubbard might unilaterally reassert his authority provided adequate justification for the trial court's holding. Courts have accorded managing agent status to individuals who no longer exercised authority over the actions in question (and even to individuals who no longer held any position of authority in a corporation), so long as those individuals retained some role in the corporation or at least maintained interests consonant with rather than adverse to its interests. See, e.g., Independent Production Corp. v. Loew's, Inc., supra; Fay v. United States, 22 F.R.D. 28, 31-32 (E.D.N.Y. 1958); Curry v. States Marine Corp., supra, 16 F.R.D. 376. But see Proseus v. Anchor Lines, Ltd., supra, 26 F.R.D. 165.

But we are satisfied that the District Court's holding in this respect rests on even stronger ground. Hubbard continued through 1984 not only as the potential leader of the Scientology organization but as the actual leader. Even as Hubbard may have sought to distance himself, for whatever reason, from administrative details and to separate his personal business affairs from the Scientology apparatus, the evidence before the District Court demonstrated that Hubbard retained preeminence as spiritual or ecclesiastical head of Scientology. The basic structure of belief for Scientology dictates that no one can replace him in this role. n13 In this essential sense, [*1457] Scientology remained his alter ego despite the passive role he sought to assume. In an organization which claims to derive its purpose from Hubbard's writings and sayings, the role that Hubbard continued to play in Scientology affairs could scarcely be viewed in law or in practical judgment as a figure of lesser status than that of managing agent.

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n13 We are informed, without contradiction, that Scientologists uniformly agree that the writings of Hubbard comprise the sole source of their scriptures, a status equivalent to Judeo-Christian Scriptures. See Declaration of Heber Jentzsch, J.A. at 279; Yager Declaration, J.A. at 435-36; Lesevre Declaration, J.A. at 444; Church of Scientology, Scientology: A World Religion Emerges in the Space Age 52-55, District Court Exhibit 4(a)-A. As Rons Journal 38 suggests, Hubbard viewed even his most recent "new discoveries" as authoritative truth to be passed on as church doctrine. J.A. at 391-92. The great detail in which Hubbard recounted in Rons Journal 38 the status of the church organization and its membership also suggests that despite the declarations of Church officials, Hubbard's role after 1982 may have encompassed at least some sort of advisory authority over the organization; the communications about "dissemination and delivery of Scientology religious services," Lesevre Declaration at J.A. 446; Yager Declaration at J.A. 438, which the declarants have not submitted for the record or described

in detail, suggests the same.

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 E

We recognize that the District Court's definition of "managing agent" imposed a greater burden on Hubbard if he truly wished to disassociate himself from the Scientology organization that might obtain for, say, the founder of a business enterprise. Yet, Hubbard's status -- as founder and spiritual leader of a movement that lays claim to the status of a religion -- presents a unique situation in the application of traditional legal doctrines governing the relationship of individuals to organizations or associations with which they are or have been affiliated. While an entrepreneur might simply terminate all connections to the enterprise that he or she had founded, Hubbard's teachings catapulted him to the epicenter of Scientology attention and activity. During his lifetime, Hubbard remained an object of allegiance and veneration even if he did not maintain regular communication with the organizational vessel. Under these unusual circumstances, we have no hesitation in upholding the District Court's finding that the Government had shown, prima facie, Hubbard's status as managing agent of Scientology at the pertinent times.

Diane Richardson
referen@neont.com

 


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