Silver Meritorious Patron
Interesting article in the Tampa Bay Times. Though the judge ruled that the Schippers have to abide by the CoS "arbitration" for a repayment of money on account, he allowed their lawsuit to continue.
Schaefer did allow other parts of the couple's lawsuit to go forward.
He did not direct the couple to church arbitration for the $7,500 they placed on account at the church's cruise ship because no agreements were signed specifically for services on ship.
He also let stand another count he termed "a curious cause of action.''
Hoverson and Schippers asked the court to force the church to return $147,183 in "freeloader debt'' they paid in 2008, reimbursing the church for free training and services received by Hoverson's two children while serving as members of Scientology's religious order, the Sea Organization.
Danar Hoverson was a Sea Org member 15 years. Ximena Hoverson served nine years. When they left the order, the church billed them, as is customary for departing Sea Org members. The two remained Scientologists but could not take services until the bill was paid.
Calling it a "false debt,'' Hoverson and Schippers state in their suit that after paying the bill, the church directed the children not to communicate with them because the couple caused a stir after leaving the church.
If their suit goes forward, it could be the first time Scientology's commonly imposed "freeloader debt'' is contested in court.