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Hello and welcome to another episode of Scientology Fair Game. Hello, Mike. Hello, Lee. How are you today? I'm OK, I should warn you, it is that time, and I think that you should put it on your calendar as well. Everybody listening. OK, just in case we get ugly for no reason.
Well, in my mind, justified completely. All right.
Well, that might enough of that information. But I do think it's a I do think it's a worthwhile disclaimer.
Yeah, OK. Well, for my own protection, I will not argue with you.
Great. Well, you don't need to argue with me. You just need to be breathing and that we find that annoying at this time. A right of the mother.
Anyway, we have a very special guest with us today.
We do indeed. And I. Green, hello. Hi, Ford. Hey, how are you? Hey. Hey. Should we call you mayor or councilman? Like I know I know a title that carries over. Yeah, you can reference it, but that's too much verbiage. Single single syllable name is fine. Ford.
All right, Ford. Well, welcome, Ford. You know, I've known you for a long time. I used to be on the other side of the equation from you when you were a lawyer representing various people against Scientology, most notably Lawrence Wollersheim and Jerry Armstrong. And I think I met you first when you were representing Jerry either in San Francisco with somebody at some lawyer's office or up there in Marin County near where you live.
But and your job, Mike, was to destroy Ford and the people that he was representing at the time against the Church of Scientology. Yes.
I'm so glad you always remind me of that. Well, hey, listen, I don't want people to think I don't exactly Ford. I don't want people to think that I'm soft on your past.
Might as well myself. But I certainly wasn't going after people in the way that you were.
But I understand, Mike, that was your job as a Sea Org member. And also I had my job as a Scientologist.
Well, you know, Mike, it might have been it might have been in 1993 during one of those interminable deposition sessions of Jerry Armstrong on the day that the IRS issued its decision granting religious status to Scientology. It might have been in that I think it was in that area era that we probably first met. Yeah, that maybe that doesn't ring a bell for me for but regardless, I mean, you go for a long time, don't look the same ganged up here on the other side.
Well, I must say, you always look different.
You didn't look like any other attorney that represented anybody against Scientology.
You with your feet up on the on the conference room desk in with your shoes off in some lawyer's office in San Francisco.
What was the name of that guy? That was probably Andy Wilson. Yes. Andy Wilson's office. That's exactly right.
And and Ford, you always you always had a an aura about you or an attitude about you that was very you know what? I don't give a fuck.
And Mike, was that different? Can I ask you a question, Mike? Was that different from the other lawyers that were dealing with you in Scientology at the time?
Yes, well, it was certainly different from the lawyers on our side.
I mean, we had the most buttoned up, proper, prim and white shoe law firms that you can possibly imagine.
You know, typically lawyers, even those representing plaintiffs who were suing Scientology tend to be very proper about how they go, about doing things.
And it's all like a lot of formalities and hi there and, you know, shaking hands and all that, like this kind of there is a collegial atmosphere amongst lawyers, no matter which side of the equation they're on, you know, and Ford was a man of his own mold.
He walked in like he wasn't like anybody else. He wasn't paying, you know, paying great deference to any other lawyers, whether they were on our side or on the the you know, the anti Scientology side.
He didn't really seem to care too much about what anybody else thought about him. His only care was what happens in this lawsuit and am I going to be able to win it or and am I going to be able to effectively defend if it was someone who was attacking or bringing a lawsuit against Scientology? They were defending themselves constantly from the assaults that we would manage to bring against them, even if they were plaintiffs.
Right. And Ford's interest was in that, not in the decorum of things. And that's what sort of always set him apart. And quite frankly, there was some lawyers that even lawyers on the other side that I sort of I like I had to smile at Ford and kind of felt a sort of. Respect for him because of that, like he was a guy that walked in and was a sole practitioner in a single man law firm in, you know, Marin County, California, who was taking on the biggest law firms and one of the most litigious organizations in the history of litigation.
And he was unaffected by that.
And that's really what I mean. He was not intimidated, not cowed, not anything.
And, you know, it was sort of something that stood out about him from the outset and something that I I just enjoyed his sense of humor, frankly.
Yeah. OK, and and and Ford won his cases against Scientology. Correct?
He did a damn good job. Yes. I mean, he he didn't bring most of these cases. I'll let him talk about the cases that he was involved in, but he sort of came in to a number of them as after they had been started and helped take them to conclusion or helped represent Jerry Armstrong. He wasn't one of Armstrong's original lawyers in his lawsuit in Los Angeles, but came in when Scientology was going off to Armstrong.
This might be the period talking, Mike, but I just what I'm trying to get is that fucking Ford won the cases against Scientology, whether he was the lead lawyer or not, he lost. Not all of them, not all of them, because you kind of have to take your plaintiffs and your clients as you find them and some of them had defects that ultimately express themselves that you couldn't overcome. But but the people that were solid and who truly had been harmed by Scientology and there were many of those people, then that part was covered.
The hard part was covered in the having the balls to be able to stand up and face Scientology and not not cower or not run was covered. And so then what was left was dealing effectively with Scientology, Scientology's constitutional defenses. And along with the really with the Mormon Church of Scientology was at the vanguard of developing very effective First Amendment based defense of justifying conduct. Ultimately, that was not justifiable. But unless you had a lawyer who was smart enough and who could come up with effective responses, the constitutional defences carried so much inherent threat that more often than not, judges would tend to go for them and take Scientology off the hook when it deserved to be all the way on the hook.
Well, I hear you and I want to get into something with you for because many lawyers are willing to to get into a courtroom with Scientology when you are one of the few who has and who has won a substantial lawsuit.
Well, we'll talk about that later.
But I want to talk a little bit about your history, which I think contributes to to a why of would you agree?
Oh, yes. No, it's but for my personal experience, being brainwashed by a cult, the Moonies, I never would have been a lawyer. It was only in consequence of being brainwashed then walking out of the Moonies after eight months of brainwashing and then taking a year to deprogram myself, and then after having liberated myself from the psychological intimidation of being educated, to believe that I was inherently an evil person and being liberated to find out. No, no, I wasn't.
I was so pissed off that I went, no way the shit's going to happen in my country. And how are you going to stop it either in the legislature or the courts? And if you're going to play in either arena, you've got to be a lawyer and I'm going to law school. So I went to law school. What happened next was that after I had deprogrammed myself and was of was free of this psychic intimidation, I saw the guys were making money deprogramming.
And this was back in the heyday and in the mid 70s. And so I went, well, I'll try my hand at it. And so I was I was good at it. And so I participated in going in and locking the door in order to be happy, in order to have a direct kind of Socratic spiritual conversation where the person couldn't run away rather than rather than than talk and was sufficiently effective at that, that when I started to go to law school, I was the subject of a lot of surveillance and death threats and harassment to try to drive me out of law school.
And there were times where the whatever persons were were doing that were almost succeeded in blowing me out. But ultimately and I kind of had my Martin Luther King moment and figured that if what I had to say was so valuable that people were threatening to kill me, to try to shut me up, I ought to stick to it. And so I did. And then did you in nineteen eighty eight, you you want to talk about that?
So so I was admitted to practice and in nineteen eighty three and right away I was in the in the midst of a. court litigation because of who my boss was, was a civil rights lawyer named Carl Shapiro who practiced here in San Anselmo. And he despite being I mean he was a board member of the San Francisco chapter of the ACLU. And the ACLU had taken a very strong pro position saying that deprogramming violated the free exercise rights of cult members and the deprogrammers.
They were the ones that there were the real brainwashers because they used force to recapture cult members and in order to then deprogram them. And despite the ACLU having taken that position, Carl recognized the cult indoctrination for what it was and assisted parents in obtaining X Party conservatorship from them, from courts authorizing them to legally recapture or kidnap their cult affiliated kids in order to deprogram them. And so I worked in because of that, I worked in Karl's office. And so he passed a case to me that ultimately I was able to persuade the California Supreme Court to accept.
And then I was able to successfully persuade the court that the Mooneys practice of using deception in order to put somebody in a position where he or she could be brainwashed or subjected to the techniques of brainwashing without their knowledge or consent and then be made into obedient members, was not protected activity under the free exercise clause of the First Amendment, and that the group responsible for participating in that kind of conduct could be held liable under theories of fraud, intentional infliction of emotional distress and other causes of action.
And so that was huge because such as and this one was this same tactic used against well, for once again, was this used in the Scientology cases the same year?
We'll see Scientology not only I mean, it's true that they had the top shelf buttoned down lawyers, as Mike was describing, but they also had some very, very brilliant people, and in particular Eric Lieberman out of New York. Eric was just meant he had the First Amendment arguments just down pat. And he had originally worked with a civil rights lawyer in New York named Jeremiah Gutman and had come up with the original theories that justified what the California Supreme Court ultimately concluded was, was brainwashing.
And their argument basically was that since when when somebody claimed to have been brainwashed, the the Guttmann and Lieberman argument was ultimately what that would require would be for a court or a jury to determine whether or not the ideology that had been inculcated into a person's mind was true or false. And when that occurs in a religious context, that's what's called a heresy trial and that's forbidden by the First Amendment. So so Eric and and Guttmann, Lieberman and Guttmann came up with this argument saying that allegations of brainwashing cannot be passed on or not just disallowable by any any court or jury.
And that was what I was able to reverse in the in the Molcho case. And then that would apply to Scientology. But it was also it was really the posture of saying, listen, just because you say your religion doesn't mean you are a religion. And even if you are a religion, you don't get a pass and can't act like a destructive asshole without any sort of check or any sort of balance. And so I was able to come up with arguments that were.
Rebut the arguments that that Lieberman would come up justifying Scientology's misconduct. I mean, for example, in the Wollersheim case, one of the when we were going to collect the judgment that Charlie O'Rielly had won and I think nineteen eighty six, it had been a 90 day jury trial and O'Reilly had walked out with a 30 million dollar punitive damages award against Scientology on behalf of Sean. And so Scientology kept kept the ball up in the Court of Appeal for close to 20 years.
And ultimately, when it came back down to the trial court, the church of the defendant, Church of Scientology of California, which at the time Walter Scott brought the lawsuit, was worth five hundred million bucks, had divested itself of all of its assets. So Wollersheim had had the opportunity to go collect his punitive damages award, which at that point had been reduced to. I think it was like three million dollars or a million. And how is this two point five?
You were litigating this for 20 years now.
Close to it? I think it was 19 years. It was eighty, eighty six when the jury award came out. And then we didn't collect, I don't think until I think it was 22 that ultimately we were able to collect it. And so but how it you have to take these cases where they're at and where the issues came up. And so when the case came back down to the trial court, it was clear that it was not collectible because CSC, Church of Scientology of California had divested itself of all of its assets, like how we're going to collect the money.
Right. And that's how I came up with this theory of an alter ego theory for judgment, Data-Collection, and saying, listen, the Sea Org controls all of Scientology. So we want to to plead in as far as judgment. Debtors Solvent, Scientology Corporation, CSI, Church of Scientology, International, C T Church Society, what spiritual technology and RCC, religious technology corporations. Those were the ones that that had the money. And so in order to prove whether or not they we could go after them, we had to establish that there was no effective difference between any of these corporations.
The way that you do that is, is by looking to the Sea Org and looking to the structure of the Sea Org and looking to Miscavige, his position at the top of the Sea Org and and convince a judge that that there's no difference. And so these other solvent corporations ought to be able to come into the people, out into the litigation in the place of Church of Scientology of California and pay the money. And so Lieberman came up with these arguments saying, well, listen, you know, the the the Sea Org governs Scientology, but it's an ecclesiastical body.
And since it's an ecclesiastical body, you as a court and a judge can't touch it.
And so and this was all purposeful, but I could see you grinning now and people can't notice this stuff. Right. But, Mike, I just want you to interject here, because I know this is very purposeful. Right?
You had you guys had to have been impressed with with Ford's ability to sift through, you know, Scientology bullshit and your bullshit of setting up these other entities as if to seem as though they were separate but they were not right and they are not.
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They, they are, they are separate as a legal fiction. They are not separate in reality. Right. And the, the truth of the matter is that Ford is exactly right.
The control of all Scientology entities that are placed there for the benefit of courts and the IRS, et cetera, et cetera, is the sea organization.
The sea organization is the controlling body that oversees everything that happens in Scientology.
And the head of the sea organization is David Miscavige. And if you're in a particular corporate entity in Scientology, whether it's Church of Scientology International or Church of Spiritual Technology or Religious Technology Center or any one of the other dozens of them, you still answer to the Sea Org. And if David Miscavige snaps fingers and says, iest, I want you to spend fifty million dollars building another mansion for L. Ron Hubbard, then L. Ron, they will build it.
And it's because of his authority as the head of the Sea Org and the most senior official in Scientology, the ecclesiastical leader. It what Erik Lieberman said is actually true. It is the ecclesiastical it is the the testicle meaning church control.
But that doesn't mean it shouldn't be listened to or it's outside the scope of a court, right?
Yeah. This is the entire subject that that Ford just, you know, had such a breakthrough with the Molcho case. But we are now witnessing with this craziness of courts saying that Scientology religious arbitration, quote unquote, can't be looked into by the courts.
And Erik Lieberman is still the lawyer who is arguing for Scientology and convincing judges that they cannot possibly allow anybody to to bring something before a court where the Scientology lawyers can say, but, your honor, you're not allowed to look and you can't pass judgment on that. That's an ecclesiastical matter. A committee of evidence is an ecclesiastical body. You can't delve into that.
You can't decide whether that's a good arbitration process or not. And I it's funny that that, you know, Ford sent me one of these cases that I had forgotten all about where the court in in one of the Walsham litigations had said. And use the example of, look, you can't say that every religious expression is worthy of constitutional protection, the Inquisition was a core religious practice, and you can't tell us that people couldn't have sued for being tortured in the Inquisition.
Obviously they could. And I found that so funny because three days ago I wrote another article on my blog about this arbitration bullshit and said. Hey, calling calling a committee of evidence, religious arbitration is like the Catholic Church, calling the Spanish Inquisition religious education. Of course, a court can look into this. Of course, a court can pass judgment on it. Otherwise, religions have free reign to do anything they want and walk back when they get sued and walk back into court and say, oh, you're on.
I'm sorry, you can't do anything about it.
Well, that's exactly what has been happening with Scientology, of course. And this is this is Ford's point. Erik Lieberman is a brilliant lawyer. He is a brilliant lawyer. He is a brilliant, brilliant lawyer who has managed to.
And you know, Insua Scientology from virtually all all oversight by courts and courts, the courts aren't even allowed to to question. And one of the things that that really gets missed and I think the the the lawyers for victims must be missing this in making their arguments, the religious clauses of the First Amendment. There are two of them. One is the free exercise clause that says that governments cannot interfere with the free exercise of religion. And so that's been translated out to to by courts to say that the government cannot question the truth or validity of religious belief, but it can regulate religious conduct for the health and safety of citizens.
So that's one part. And then the other part is less well understood called the establishment clause, which really means the anti establishment clause. And what that says is, is that I think the language of the First Amendment is, is that the government cannot establish a religion.
And what that means is that you cannot you cannot take the source of authority that's exercised by religion and combine it with the source of authority that's exercised by the state. You can't put them together because it's too much harm. That is what happened in the Spanish Inquisition. You had the combination of the sources of authority, of religion and state telling people, if you don't believe this way, we're going to we're going to burn you at the stake or we're going to torture you or do any other number of things to you.
Right now. You take those principles and you apply them to what we're talking about, about so-called religious arbitration. And I mean, first off, you guys know that a committee of evidence is a completely arbitrary body and it has nothing to do with any sort of justice. None at all. But what you have now are people who have been hurt by Scientology, who, while they have been psychologically, psychologically coerced by Scientology, have signed agreements where they commit that if they have any bitch against Scientology, it's going to be submitted to Scientology, Scientologists, internal arbitration entity, which is a committee of evidence.
And then there have no there is no arbitration. There is only what you're saying, committee of evidence. And that is not in any way, shape or form an arbitration. No, people understand it.
Then that's an important distinction, because all of this stuff has to do with language and it doesn't sufficiently define the words that you're using. Lawyers like Lieberman are masters at at weasel wording, are masters at using language that appears to be benign for really malevolent purposes. And and this is currently exhibit A. And so that the current situation where you have courts enforcing clauses in Scientology contracts requiring people to go to committee of evidences, is using the power of the state to enforce religious edicts and thus violate the anti establishment clause.
And yes, judges all over the place are getting this wrong. I mean, I'm shocked at looking at at some of a pay that much attention the more I've been out of litigating against Scientology for the better part of 15 years. But I keep up a little bit and I see it and it just blows my mind because it's completely removing the right to redress, which is another part of the First Amendment. And it's amazing because Scientology uses the religious clauses to to enforce their their tenants and, of course, their ideology to violate all of the other protected aspects of free speech, freedom of the assembly, the right to redress and things like that.
Right. Well, it also Ford is actually in violation of the free exercise clause, too, because these people are no longer Scientologists, and yet they are being ordered by a court to participate in a Scientology ritual. And it is a Scientology ritual. It is a it is an actual procedure that you have to go through. And it. Terrible, it's a horrible thing, and any Scientologist who's ever been before a committee of evidence will tell you this is a this is like a nightmare.
Your worst nightmares come true. And now Scientology is gone before. Here's what really happened. The first case of this that where it really came up was in the Garcia case where they were suing for return of their funds.
And the the claws or the the paragraph of the enrollment agreement says you will agree to submit yourself to Scientology religious arbitration.
So I said to to Garcia's lawyers, there's no such thing. This is just a made up term religious arbitration, arbitration. The word does not exist in Scientology.
It was just put into this contract by Bill Dresher and Wright, and he put it in there because he was smart enough to go. Well, courts love arbitration. This will be a great block to people big enough to go in there and argue that, you know, whatever about the arbitration, that'll delay things even further. So it'll be fine even if we can't ever get anybody to agree because there's no such thing.
Erik Lieberman then showed up in Tampa and put forth the argument that we do have a procedure for an arbitration. And I'm like, you do? I never heard of it. No one's ever done one. There's never been a religious arbitration in the history of Scientology. They said, oh, it's up to the international justice chief to determine what the rules will be. And the judge kind of went, huh? So you mean you don't really. Oh, yes, we do.
OK, well, I'd like to see them. Oh, here they are. They a committee of evidence. And I'm like going through this committee of evidence saying, you know, this isn't a media, this is an arbitration, this is an arbitration. This this is proven guilty until proven innocent. Here is what you're charged with crimes.
You're this you're that you are answerable to a higher authority, blah, blah, blah, blah.
All of these things that are not arbitration like because everybody gets in their mind arbitration. Oh, I know what that is. Right. And and the judges sit there and go, oh yeah. Arbitration like the American Arbitration Association, a retired judge is going to sit and hear evidence and make an impartial decision about no wrong. No.
What what's really interesting about that is like everything in Scientology, L. Ron Hubbard said if it's not written, it's not real and right. And as you know, I mean, Scientology got go after Tom after all of these huge Bible sized books of with all these rules and regulations, including all the rules and regulations for what a committee of arbitration is. And when you go into and you start extracting all of that language and analyzing all of that language, you start to see how loaded the situation is towards the side of the leadership of Scientology.
And it's it's there's nothing fair and nothing impartial about it at all. And that's where Lieberman will come in and say, oh, Mr. Judge or Mrs. Judge, you can't look at this stuff because this is all ecclesiastical. This is all how we govern ourselves. And fortunately, I was able to to rebut that stuff by relying on the inherently unfair nature. I mean, just extreme, all of that stuff. And I mean the starting with the Scientology dictionary and then going into the the green books in the red books, I can't remember exactly what their their names are, but they're just loaded with material that's inherently unfair.
And so you start putting that in front of a court and the court's going to be offended by it. Unless Lieberman is able to say, listen, you can't look at this, you can't even question it because this is how we govern ourselves. And you can you, Mr. Judge, can't interfere with our self governance, except if except for for when the self government is is coercive or fraudulent courts, then can. And so it's simply a matter of figuring out how to organize the material under the proper headings.
And that's where I was really good and was able to with Lieberman's asked time and time again, because he's his arguments really weren't on the side of reality. They were on the side of Scientology. But sure, I not not in terms of what was genuine and authentic and all that.
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To Mike, I'm curious, Matt, because I've never been able to ask you of what kind of operations were you aware of when you were the head of what it was the right office of Special Affairs that were that were being run against me because I had just oh, my God, man, every time he turned around at another state bar complaint or a criminal investigation or somebody in some employee, that that that somebody that a Scientology agent and compromised or Eugene Ingram was going around to all the older ladies in Roswell where I grew up, you know, very blue chip community in Marin County trying to conducting a noisy investigation.
Were you aware of any of that stuff?
I mean, I'm not sure that I was aware of everything, Ford, but certainly you, as a prominent lawyer representing the people that you represented, were a primary target of the Office of Special Affairs so that you that you qualified for Gene Ingram treatment meant you were way up there on the top of the list, like Gene Ingram was was hit man number one on the private investigators side of Scientology.
He was a big, bad boogie man who was sent after Michael Flynn.
And you and, you know, I don't remember who else, but there was always a run.
Yeah. Yeah, exactly.
Charlie O'Riley There was always fraud programs to find and compromise everybody like you. Programs that were executed by the local. Head of the Special Affairs Department, Jeff Chiros, or whoever was right then to find disgruntled former clients of yours and get them to bring back complaints, too, to send people in to try and get them to find something wrong with how you treated them in your business, you know, or find a woman who, you know, you had gone out with and get her to spill the beans on what a dirty, sneaky, rotten sex criminal you were.
Like, whatever, anything, anything and everything to come up with discreditable information or information that could be used to bring about a complaint against you or get someone to sue you or get a bad media article about you that was being looked for and and worked on constantly.
I'm sure that your garbage was taken and people were going through your trash and filtering through to find anything in there that could be used. And, you know, the infamous deadline, that's what that's called the deadline for dustbin, because it's a that's a carryover from the Guardian's office and that's what they call it in England, the dustbin.
So this this is stuff that was I'm sure that there were people sent into your office and, you know, to spy on you. You know, I know that you mentioned one time this guy, Gary Scarff, Gary Skaf was one of these people who sort of fluttered around on one minute. He was pro Scientology. One minute he was anti Scientology. And then he had like he was a sort of a free agent guy who would come and try and sell information to Oza.
Like he'd go off and then come in and say, ah, do you know, I found out this and that, blah, blah, blah.
So there were people there were things like that that were happening all the time. If I could interject one thing like what Ford needs to understand is that we as a Scientologist were not mentally sound. With what we were doing right, so we were brainwashed, Mike was brainwashed and had the mentality that you are fair game and anybody in opposing the practices of Scientology were to be utterly destroyed by any means.
So, I mean, I can honestly look back on on on the activities that, you know, that that Mike was involved in, that Scientology is currently involved in a fair game and say, I don't think what you're saying is is untrue, Ford.
But what they're doing now is that they are they are taking people who are, you know, from maybe a certain other front groups of Scientology who went to Scientology, who are dealing with mental illness.
And they're having PIs hire those people to follow people to fair game them so that they can say, look, we had nothing to do with that. And I do believe that's happening now.
But but I can't say for that that you're not talking about a group of unstable people who were dealing with mental illness. Present day, but but that Scientologists are people who who do need help?
Well, no, of course. I mean, you know, I worked as a programmer for a number of years. And so I'm I'm familiar with, you know, how locked up a person's point of view can can be. And it's ultimately a fear based procedure where you scare the shit out of somebody in Scientology that they're what is it that they're among? If it was, it might that 20 percent of the human beings are are suppressive persons and then have that 20 percent, two percent are irredeemable.
So, you know, as a Scientologist, you're constantly scared shitless that, you know, you're going to be audited and it's going to be determined that you're among the two percent of people that are absolutely not the defining factor in whether or not Scientologists believe that you should literally be alive on this planet.
Is this one fact? If you are speaking out against Scientology, they believe you do not deserve to live, period.
Period. That's the essence of the fair game policy. But, you know, I mean, that's that's the bottom line. So it's yeah, it's the objectification of the enemy. And if you as soon as you objectifying them and you make him or her less than human, then someone who's less than human isn't is not deserving of humane treatment. And, you know, you can decapitate them or do whatever else you need to do in order to vindicate your religious values.
And that's the principles of fundamentalism that are all over the world. And that's what we're dealing with when we're dealing with Scientology and Fair Game. Yes. Period. Yeah.
And you know, for that I say that and I think that I am right about this. In most religions, you have a fringe, which is the fundamentalist fringe, like you have fringe fundamentalist Christians and fringe fundamentalist Muslims and fringe fundamentalist Jews there out in, you know, far out on the edges of these mainstream religions.
Scientologists are all fundamentalists. I have to be. And that and that is almost the defining one of the defining factors of what makes something a cult is that everybody within it is a fundamentalist. They are 100 percent committed to the one way, the one word, the one truth, the one leader. And that is Scientology. It is an organization of fundamentalists. You got be you can't be anything but a fundamentalist and a Scientologist.
Yeah, no, I agree with the only modification is that I would take out the word committed because it connotes an element of choice and replace it with obedience, because that is what makes the cult member is, is that that's a person who is indiscriminantly and unconditional, unconditionally obedient to the commands of a single leader who claims to have some connection with with God, exclusive connection with God or some superhuman source of of moral authority. And that's what that's what makes them scary, is that they have no independent judgment and they're completely obedient.
And if they're instructed that somebody is a suppressive person or somebody is evil, then by definition that person is an enemy and has got to be eliminated. You're exactly right, and that that's Scientology to a T. And that is what fair game is.
We talked a bit about the Molcho decision, which was Ford's like, seminal case about brainwashing.
And that decision stands to this day. And, you know, we've talked a bit about how, you know, Erik Lieberman and Scientology have done a lot of work to sort of undermine some of the principles that are contained in there. But there is also the one that I mentioned from the Walsham case where they talk about, you know, you can't tell us that a court couldn't couldn't be sitting in judgment of people who were tortured in the Inquisition because that's a religious practice.
And then we had another one that that was a very significant decision. And Ford talked about this in the context of Wollersheim, in fact, and collecting on the judgment. But there is a actually a more important case called the Church of Spiritual Technology, the IRS commissioner, where the Church of Spiritual Technology sued to get tax exempt status and was denied by the federal court and upheld on appeal. And that decision came out just right before the IRS granted Church of Spiritual Technology tax exempt status.
And within that, they say that this is where a court really pass judgment on the Sea Org being the control the they call it a deceptive versus a an effort to cover up what really is going on.
And they say all this corporate stuff in Scientology, hey, the real control in Scientology is the sea organization. And if courts would understand that and they would understand that, that, you know, a committee of evidence is akin to the Spanish Inquisition in Scientology terms, and they would understand that you can, in fact, brainwash someone to give up their free will and do things that they wouldn't do if they were in their right minds.
Those things are important. And those are the things that are lacking in these ongoing cases right now where people are seeking justice for being abused left, right and center and are being told, go back to your Scientology and they'll they'll help you out some more.
They've abused the fuck out of you already and they'll do a little more with our blessing.
So, you know, be happy that we have such a terrific justice system here in the United States.
Like, you know, the thing really is it's not so much courts, but it's the lawyers. Right. You know, it's lawyers. They have to take the time to learn Scientology for they don't want to.
They think they know everything. And as somebody who was trying to talk to these lawyers and I can tell you, they cut you off, I'm like, you don't understand Scientology. I get that you understand law, but you can you fucking listen to your clients and they won't listen for it?
Well, that's why they're getting their asses kicked, because, you know, I mean, what's so the law is comprised of a couple of things that at least, you know, one are that are the principles of law. And that's what the lawyers, you know, think they know, but they probably don't, because that's why law is called the practice of law. You never really get it right. Right. But more importantly, those principles are applied to facts.
And unless you get the facts right, the principles are going to be off. And that's the problem. I mean, it's really hard learning Scientology. And I mean, it can it can twist your brain and reading that Scientology crap for hours on end, day after day and and not just reading it, but using your mind to think through actually, what does this really mean and how does this fit into the overall picture and organizing it? It's it's very trying and very taxing at once.
You do it then then you can go into to a court like I did for Wollersheim and argue argued to the judge, listen, Judge, they're giving this crap about ecclesiastical deference. And you have to defer to the ecclesiastical decisions of the so-called church. Just suspend belief for a second and and say you were dealing with the Mafia and say that David Miscavige was a mafia. Boss, wouldn't you want to know the means of communication that the boss is giving in order to effectuate his orders for the destruction of his enemies?
Yes, and, you know, it absolutely worked. And Mike, who's the who is the German guy who is high up there? He had kind of a German accent cut. Weiland, Weiland, Kurt Boylan. Yeah. I'll never forget after I made that argument and convince the judge to to let us put on proof that the Sea Org ran Scientology on in the Wallers case while it came up to me afterwards, so pissed off and upset. And he said, I can't believe you would compare David Miscavige to a mafia boss.
But that's exactly what he is, is he's a complete thug. But the only reason I was able to do that was because I had I had so much knowledge of all of the policy letters and all of the executive directives and then also experience in Scientology litigation and the witnesses that Scientology was relying on, Vicki Asurion being the primary one, that who had been my client, who had sold me out, that Scientology bought out and who completely reversed sworn positions that she had taken in the litigation where I represented her, I had all that stuff and was able to present it to the court and and all of her declarations in her deposition testimony to show that actually what she was saying now against Wallerstein was that completely at odds with what she had testified to when she was before Scientology had bought her off.
But if the lawyers aren't willing to take the time to do their homework, the results they get are going to reflect that. And that's what's sad, because people who have been deeply, deeply, grievously wounded, heinously wounded by horrible Scientology conduct, are going without justice. And that's because you have lazy lawyers. And that's really where the blame lies with lazy lawyers, not with the courts. At least initially agreed, the only thing of any interest to cover is applying this entire conversation to our current national political landscape.
But yeah, that well well, here's what happened in Washington, D.C. last Wednesday with the invasion of the capital. It's taking all of these principles that we're talking about and applying them in a much larger context. I mean, Scientology is definitely scary and evil, but the scale of its operation pales in comparison to what we're having to confront on a national basis now. And I don't think people I don't think they're aware. I don't think they're aware of how what what a narcissistic leader really means.
People have the expectation that a narcissistic leader or his followers ultimately are are human. And at some point they're going to manifest human sensibilities when that's flatly just not true. And that's part of that's really what a cult is. So anyway, that that's probably beyond the scope of this interview, but it certainly applies. And I guess what I would would add is that Scientology wrote the book on opposition research 40 years ago. They wrote the book, you know, you go and you investigate a person's background and you find out all the dirt that you can.
You find out where they're half a bubble off on a loan application that's been signed under penalty of perjury. And and then you can take that and you can use it to leverage somebody who is attacking Scientology into a position of of being ineffective. They'll go away by the threat of of of being exposed. And now those kinds of tactics and techniques of opposition research have are mainstreamed right there.
Everybody's using them. But but Scientology, they lead. They're the ones that invented it in the application of fair game and the application of attacks, the attacker and those policies that Scientologists take as gospel. And use in the old days, Eugene Ingram and now whomever the new persons are that are in that position, I guess the other thing that I would point out is what was that, the first movie on a John Grisham book, the firm.
About how you had the law firm that was run by the private investigator. It wasn't the lawyers running the private investigators. It was the private investigators running the lawyers. And ironically, Tom Cruise's in that movie. Right. And so, you know, so that is a depiction of how Scientology operates. And I just I guess another point I would make would be the expertise and accuracy of that of the two Southpark episodes, one trapped in the closet in a half an hour, South Park was able to accurately depict the belief system and the ridiculousness of the belief system of Scientology.
And then the other one was the return of chef and. And how so? Isaac Hayes, who is a Scientologist, who is the voice of chef on South Park, you know, he he goes and he becomes involved in a in an organization of of pedophiles and is completely brainwashed and indoctrinated in doing that and how all his buddies go and recapture him and deprogram him. And I just thought that those two episodes, brilliantly and succinctly in a very short period of time, were able to describe most of the issues that arise when you're dealing with cults, whether it's Scientology or some other cult, both the indoctrination and obedience and ridiculousness of how a person is, how the brainwashing removes a person's capacity to exercise consent and removes their capacity to to to reason and to think can supplant that with the ideology of of the group of how trapped in the closet was able to depict that in a half an hour.
And then the process of reversing that, how the return of chef was able to depict that and a half an hour. And they're both hugely complicated fields, but ultimately they're not that complicated because we're all human and we all, if we're honest, know something about what it means to be weak and something about what it means to be strong and how those two things come together to to lead an independent full life. So I think those would be my final comments.
And thank you for those comments and thank you for once again saying yes to us when in class.
No, no. I knew this was going to be fine. Well, we had you on the aftermath and you were amazing.
We just didn't get to to hear your whole story. And I wish we heard more from you then, but I'm so glad that we were able to speak to you now. And and we thank you for it and thank you for having me.
Really appreciate the opportunity to communicate my views on these really important and continuing important matters forward.
Thank you once again. My pleasure. Yes. And thank you all for listening. Until next time, I'm like my Leelee.
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