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Wollersheim

Lawrence Dominick Wollersheim is an ex-Scientologist. He brought a case against the Church of Scientology in 1980. In the course of this case, the story of Xenu came to public light when internal Church materials detailing the Operating Thetan Level 3 were used as exhibits.

Contents

Legal actions

In 1986, a jury awarded Wollersheim $5 million in compensatory damages and $25 million to punish the church for what jurors called intentional and negligent "infliction of emotional distress." On appeal, however, this was reduced to $2.5 million.[1] Scientology officials vowed never to pay, and the phrase "not one thin dime for Wollersheim," was chanted by Scientologists at court hearings.[2] The church challenged the $2.5 million award, but the case was dismissed and Wollersheim was awarded an additional $130,506.71 in attorney's fees.[3]

In their 1991 appeal, the Church of Scientology asserted that "Fair Game" was a "core practice of Scientology", and therefore protected as "religious expression". This was also stated by Scientology attorneys in the case against Gerald Armstrong, in 1984, by religious expert Frank K. Flinn.[4][5][6]

After over 20 years of legal battling, the Church finally agreed to settle the case and pay out an $8.7 million settlement on May 9, 2002.[2][7]

The money that the Church of Scientology deposited with the court clerk was divided among the various attorneys of Wollersheim who made claims against the funds. According to Larry Wollersheim, as of May, 2005, there was less than $2.3 million left in the account and there was still an ongoing claim by attorney Leta Schlosser for $2.7 million against the fund. Wollersheim claims he had not received any of the funds from the case.[8] On October 28, 2005 it was reported in the Los Angeles daily legal publication, the Metropolitan News-Enterprise, that the Wollersheim case was still ongoing and a trial was forthcoming regarding the Leta Schlosser matter. It reported that Schlosser had already received $100,000, but she was suing for much more.[9] On December 8, 2006, it reported that Wollersheim had won the case on appeal, because Schlosser lacks an enforceable lien because she did not comply with the Rules of Professional Conduct.[10]

FACTNet

In 1993, he co-founded Fight Against Coercive Tactics Network (FACTNet or F.A.C.T.Net) as an information resource on cults. FACTNet was soon involved in its own legal battles with Scientology.

References

  1. ^ s:Wollersheim v. Church of Scientology
  2. ^ a b Ex-Scientologist Collects $8.7 Million In 22-Year-Old Case, Richard Leiby, Washington Post, May 10, 2002; P. A03.
  3. ^ s:Church of Scientology v. Wollersheim
  4. ^ Bio data in "Confidential Scriptures in Religions", 27 Nov 1994
  5. ^ Fair game policy, excerpted court documents, Operation Clambake, retrieved 2/17/07.
  6. ^ Wollersheim v. Church of Scientology, 212 Cal. App. 3d 872 (Cal. App. 2d Dist. 1989)
  7. ^ Ortega, Tony (2008-06-30). "Scientology's Crushing Defeat". Village Voice. http://www.villagevoice.com/2008-06-24/news/Scientologys-Crushing-Defeat/full. Retrieved 2008-06-30.  
  8. ^ Wollersheim, Larry May 16, 2005."Update Lawrence Wollersheim may need some of your help..." -- USENET posting
  9. ^ Grace, Roger (28 October 2005) "25 Years Later, a High-Profile Superior Court Case Is Still on the Active List" Metropolitan News-Enterprise
  10. ^ C.A. Rejects Attorney’s Lien Claim in Scientology Case, Metropolitan News-Enterprise, December 8, 2006

Further reading

External links

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