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How Debbie Cook Exposed Scientology and Got Away Scot-Free

Discussion in 'Debbie Cook' started by Free to shine, Apr 30, 2012.

  1. tikk

    tikk Patron with Honors

    Not that I should have to prove my bona fides, but I worked on the Lisa McPherson trial, helped expose the Reed Slatkin scandal, received cease and desists with respect to Scn companies like Digital Lightwave, Diskeeper, etc. I might not have racked up as many posts on ESMB, but I've been a critic longer than most people here, and you're not going to tell me anything about Scientology that I don't already know.

    And with respect to Marty, I cannot take anything he says at face value. Marty is speculating that Cook received money because it was Marty that was selling Debbie Cook's case to his followers as the magic bullet, the domino that was going to topple the byzantine Scientology corporate empire. He's saving face. If Marty does have actual knowledge of the agreement, then his saying as much would lead Scientology to the natural conclusion that Cook breached the gag order because how else could he have actual knowledge of the terms of a confidential agreement? And if he's blustering, there's little downside because the parties aren't in a position to refute him. Marty's word is useless as to whether there was a secret agreement.
  2. Adam7986

    Adam7986 Declared SP

    Well let's see, you're saying to someone, you have two options, sign this and well help you get back on your feet or don't sign it and you walk away with nothing but the clothes on your back and no one to help you.

    I would call that just a tiny bit of duress no?
  3. tikk

    tikk Patron with Honors

    No. Not a tiny bit, not a lot. It's not duress, it's a choice faced by parties to a breach case, that's all. You're also ignoring that they'd already given Cook/Baumgarten more than $100k.
  4. Adam7986

    Adam7986 Declared SP

    Hm okay then.
  5. Mick Wenlock

    Mick Wenlock Admin Emeritus (retired)

    Nope, it's not duress. Offering an enticement to do something is one thing, denying the enticement is not duress.

    The Cooks had every opportunity to tell DM et al to shove it all where the sun don't shine.

    Instead - and this is important - they chose to take their money and then continue to make money of the same people she had been sucking the life out of before.

    it's more a bargain struck between Count Dracula and one of his undead.
  6. Adam7986

    Adam7986 Declared SP

    Yeah I see what you guys are saying.

    I was thinking of it differently
  7. Mick Wenlock

    Mick Wenlock Admin Emeritus (retired)

    Exactly right Tikk - and more to the point, the CofS also had a lot of ammunition it could have used that did not involve litigation including her husbands family, her ability to make a living, and so on. Personally I wonder if the cofs reaction was to the broader spreading of the e-mail - had it stayed "in house" ( a forlorn hope of course but then debbie is appallingly ignorant about the internet) the cofs would have handled it by "ethics" methinks. But once the lightning was out of the bottle then an example had to be made.

    I think a lot of people on here really do over-exaggerate the threat of bad publicity on the CofS and it's actions. There are many things Cook could have talked about - and 90% of them would have made HER look like an asshole, not DM.

    I also think that there is an enormous amount of wishful thinking that goes into some of the calculation of why or what the cofs would do. First of all I doubt that Cook would have won her case regarding the NDA as I posted before. She signed it, she was paid for signing it and then she broke it. I don't think any court would have been able to find otherwise - regardless of the fact that scientology was involved.

    It would be sensible for Scientology I think to both publicly threaten someone and put them through vast inconvenience "pour encourager les autres" and, at the same time to then reach a settlement that is rock solid and didn;t cost them anything.

    I doubt very much that any court is going to allow themselves to get their scrotum tangled in the grinding gears of what a religion may or may not be.

    It's very simple - if Cook had the wherewithal to leave and was not physically restrained and there was no physical threat then she was not under duress. That she flew across country - several times - and had opportunity to walk into any police station if she felt threatened is going to negate any duress claim. She owned her own car (thanks to ripping off the sheep) - she could have driven off at high speed any time she chose.

    And if you don't think that the cofs knows all this you are mistaken.

    Tikk may well be mistaken on some of the points - after all we do not know what the hell happened but I am pretty damned sure she is more likely to be correct than anyone else I have seen posting on this.
  8. Mark A. Baker

    Mark A. Baker Sponsor

    That not only bears repeating, it warrants emphasis.

    Mark A. Baker
  9. tikk

    tikk Patron with Honors

    Thanks Mick. I'm a "he" by the way. I think the question of duress probably did favor Cook, as I've explained here I think and elsewhere, but not by so much that either party could conclude Cook would win at trial. The signing had all the elements of a sham ceremony, they faced a legitimate fear of disconnection (which continued, an important factor in that the duress never ceased and was therefore ratified). On the other side of the argument, they accepted the money and even corresponded further to arrange for Scientology to pay their taxes. I think Cook had better defenses than duress, which I've also gone into here and elsewhere, but it's all moot now. They both had legit arguments. The point is that there was (a) a significant amount of uncertainty as to what a court would do with the NDA; and (b) there was a significant risk for Cook if the NDA was validated by the court. It was these two factors--uncertainty and risk--for both parties--which would have dictated the terms of settlement, not the threat of bad PR. Moreover, Scientology's interest in quieting Cook is likely keyed to her expressing her dissatisfaction to current members (precisely what she did) moreso than than yet more bad PR. The former directly affects their bottom line--Cook told an assload of current members that Scientology was too expensive and was squirreled--than bad PR, which was just another log on an already roaring fire. Sure they would've cared if she didn't send the email but instead went to Nightline, but I don't think they'd have cared as much.
  10. Axiom142

    Axiom142 Gold Meritorious Patron

    I might have mentioned this before - I am not a lawyer, but I can’t resist putting my oar in.

    I would love to think that the cult paid over a couple of million in a brown envelope / secret transfer to an even more secret account in the Cayman Islands to shut Debbie Cook up.

    Not because I think she deserves it, but because it amuses me to think that L’il Davey would be so terrified of being dragged into a court to testify under oath, that he would pay any amount to make this spectre go away.

    But, do we have any evidence that any more money was handed over? Marty and Mike Rinder appear to think so, but do they know? OK, so ‘someone’ might just have been having a spot of afternoon tea with a friend of Marty and casually said, “I’m just going to make a phone call, I’ll be gone for about 10 minutes. Could you please make sure that no one walks over to this table and looks at or takes away these important documents relating to a recent court case that I was involved in? I would be especially upset if anyone took out their camera-equipped phone and took a digital photograph of page number 3, which could then be sent via the interweb to almost anyone.”

    Or maybe not…

    Obviously I am disappointed as I was really looking forward to the cult having to face some very awkward questions in court and being made to listen to some very damning testimony from an army of witnesses. But, I’m not in Debbie’s shoes and it is always easier to be an armchair general.

    I think that the most likely scenario is that the cult gave her a way out – agree to shut up for evermore and we stop this now. She couldn’t face the stress that the court case (and inevitable harassment) would bring and so just decided to walk away.

    Shows how much she cares about ‘furthering LRH’s aims’ and all that crap. If she really believed in Scientology, she would have fought to her last breath to defeat the Tiny Tyrant and never have shut up.

  11. Mick Wenlock

    Mick Wenlock Admin Emeritus (retired)

    oops, sorry about the gender re-alignment!

    The e-mail and the comment the cofs could have dealt with fairly easily, they would have got her in, she would have got the "you have been mislead" speech and she would have had it graphically shown to her what would happen both court cases and losing every scientology "friend" she ever had.

    Once she had caved - and all true believers do - she would have written another e-mail and gotten it approved and would have sent it out saying she was a victim of the black pr from the likes of that well known SP Mick Wenlock. She would have written up KRs on all those who responded to the initial email favorably (and you can bet your tuckus she has done exactly that) and the incredibly shrinking universe of scientology would have continued wobbling on its axis.
  12. Lone Star

    Lone Star Crusader

    I think she still does very much believe in Scientology. Everyone has got to understand that there's the dream of someone like Debbie riding in and fighting DM to "the death", and then there's reality. The reality is that the court system is set up to protect the innocent. It is purposefully structured to be very difficult to prove guilt or culpability so as to not convict an innocent person, or organization. So at times the truly guilty aren't found guilty. We all know that. There's countless examples in everyday life every year throughout the land. Hell, remember the Lisa McPherson case alone as an example.

    Of course the system's not perfect and at times the innocent do get convicted. This was a civil trial, but still, it's hard to come before a judge and jury and say, "That's a mean ol' nasty cult and they hurt me, and they hurt others and therefore find in my favor so we can drain their finances and finish them off for good. Help us in our crusade to end this travesty." And, "I shouldn't have to be held to that NDA because I signed it under duress because of all the bad things they did, and would've done if I didn't sign it. Yes, it did take me five years to complain about the duress, but listen, they are very evil. Just believe me."

    Uhhhhhh......No, the court demands proof. I'm betting that Mr. Jeffreys came to see that their counter-suit wasn't going to be as effective as he thought. By that I mean that he was going to have a difficult time getting enough credible witnesses to back up Debbie's testimony regarding 'the hole' and being held against her will, etc... And no, Marty and Mike wouldn't have been enough. They may not have been allowed to testify anyway.

    I also think that the CoS wasn't showing very many signs of being afraid of the counter-suit. They were going to line up their "witnesses" for sure. All of them would've testified that Debbie lied about 'the hole', the kidnapping, signing under duress, all of it. Of course they would've lied, but is that surprising? They would've been drilled and they all would've been ready to give uniform testimony saying Debbie is just a disgruntled, bitter ex-Officer of the Sea Org who didn't get her way.

    Ray Jeffreys knows the judges in San Antonio. He probably had a pretty good handle on how many would've been sympathetic to the whole "Debbie was abused by an evil cult" argument. They got lucky in February when they drew the female judge who had a history of defending battered women in her pre-judicial career as a lawyer. She allowed the Cook abuse testimony that day. Most other judges probably wouldn't have. You could tell that the lead Scieno lawyer was frustrated and even surprised that the judge overruled his objection to that line of testimony. I just bet he was thinking, "Goddamn it! We just had to get this one judge today....of all days!"

    I think there is no mystery as to how this went down in the end. Tikk can weigh in on this, but I think Ray Jeffreys called Debbie in and told her that they need to come to a settled agreement and avoid any trials because there was at best a fifty percent chance they would prevail in court. He probably asked her if she's willing to fight a long, expensive battle with an organization that has a team of talented lawyers and an endless supply of money to drag this out indefinitely. Plus, IF the cult lost they would appeal and drag it out even longer. They have the resources to drain her financially, emotionally, and even physically given her already poor health. She had no leverage to demand "millions of dollars" to "shut up and go away". There just isn't any evidence of this kind of leverage. Read the final agreement, all of it. It's in the cult's favor overall IMO. Why would anyone with leverage agree to that?

    As far as believing Marty and Mike....:duh: If either one of them says the grass is green, I would go outside and look again just to make sure. :yes:
  13. Terril park

    Terril park Sponsor

    I've known you for most of the fourteen years I've been on the net. Though we rarely if ever interacted.

    You have no need to prove your bono fides with me.

    That Marty has an agenda here seems to be the case.

    However CO$ does not follow rules. It attempts to subvert all and any
    attacks or percieved attacks. And much else.

    They by there own declaration don't follow rules.

    Thus your excellent legal arguments [ no expert here!] may be side stepped.
  14. Terril park

    Terril park Sponsor

    Well we had beer and pizza together.

    No cave ins on iether side. :)
  15. Mick Wenlock

    Mick Wenlock Admin Emeritus (retired)

    hey Terril - please don't mistake being polite and respectful with actually believing anything. You are ALWAYS welcome at our house but thats because you are Terril and you like beer, believe me it has NOTHING to do with Scientology.
  16. Mick Wenlock

    Mick Wenlock Admin Emeritus (retired)

    The cofs does not follow WOG rules.

    It follows its own rules with absolute stupidity.
  17. Terril park

    Terril park Sponsor

    Thanks and reciprocated :) You ever come to London.
  18. tikk

    tikk Patron with Honors

    Although Scientology, as a litigant, is admittedly not a "rational actor," inasmuch as they'll spend $100 to get your $1, they remain bound by realities that dictate the possible outcome of cases. Moreover, my arguments take into account Scientology's character and history, and can't be lazily dismissed by the mere assertion that they 'don't follow the rules.' Seriously, you'll have to do better than pedantic generalizations about how different Scientology is because (a) I know how they're different; and (b) they're actually not as different as you think, which is something you start to realize when you watch the lawfare engaged in by multinational corporations; the only difference is that Scientology litigates like a multnational corporation against individuals. But Scientology makes legal decisions, like everyone else, based on what the law is and how courts might rule on the law.
  19. crm1978

    crm1978 Patron with Honors

    If Debbie or anybody else from the Sea Org has lost their health it is not hard to see why years of beans and rice no sleep no health care etc takes a toll if she took the money it might be to live out whatever time she has left in a pleasant place I would rather see her sing like a bird about shorty but I can understand taking the money I bet she could sing quite a song otherwise why give her big money?