Laura Decrescenzo v. Church of Scientology International, Inc., et al.

AnonKat

Crusader
http://forums.whyweprotest.net/threads/laura-decrescenzos-lawsuit.37411/page-6#post-1795455

http://forums.whyweprotest.net/threads/laura-decrescenzos-lawsuit.37411/page-5#post-1794661

http://realitybasedcommunity.net/ar...ch-of-scientology-international-inc-et-al.php

1. She was forced to work in harsh conditions and subjected to punishment;

2. At the time she terminated her employment and left the facility in 2004, she was required to sign documents purporting to exculpate defendants and requiring her to keep certain information confidential or suffer penalties and fines;

3. Defendants knew that those documents were contrary to law and unenforceable, and that defendants intended to intimidate her into believing that she had no legal rights against them;

4. She was told at that time that she owed defendants approximately $120,000 for her job training;

5. She remained a loyal Scientology follower until July 2008 and that, as a loyal follower, she was forbidden from reading or thinking anything negative about Scientology;
6. She was threatened with harassment and banishment from her family and friends who remained at the Scientology facilities if she were deemed an enemy of Scientology;

7. After leaving the facility, she made payments on her purported debt for some time because she believed that she was obligated to do so and she reasonably believed that she had no legal rights or claims against defendants because of their representations concerning the documents that she had signed; and

8. She first realized in July 2008 that she might have legal claims against defendants despite the documents she had previously signed, when she happened upon some information on the Internet and her family members then shared their concerns.
 

Free to shine

Shiny & Free
Katty, you could have given the updated info.

From Tikk on WWP:(http://forums.whyweprotest.net/threads/laura-decrescenzos-lawsuit.37411/page-6)

Okay, I knew a guy who knew a guy, so to speak, and was able to get a hold of the opinion, filed only yesterday. It's very good news. I'll just make it available and and follow up with a summary after I've read it in greater detail. The crux of the opinion, which can be found here, http://db.tt/ztRPhxL , is as follows:

California Court of Appeal for the Second District said:

Our review of this record compels the conclusion that plaintiff has adequately alleged that (1) she was unable to comprehend the wrongfulness of the defendants' conduct for a period of time and that her causes of action did not accrue until she did so and (2) even after her delayed discovery of her causes of action, the defendants' threats and intimidation caused her to delay filing her complaint. In addition, we reject defendants' contention that plaintiff is collaterally estopped from prosecuting her action by a federal court judgment that equitable estoppel was inapplicable because the facts alleged in plaintiff's prior complaint were insufficient to demonstrate reasonable reliance on defendants' representations. We hold that her allegations of additional facts in the .present complaint establish a basis for reasonable reliance and such new allegations are not precluded by the federal judgment. We therefore will reverse the judgment with directions.

Tikk again:

I'm presently writing up a long piece which I hope to publish tomorrow but my understanding for the moment is that now goes to discovery followed by trial. I'm curious about the interplay between the federal and state courts, however, and want to understand everything that's happened before shooting my mouth off.

If that's the case--if this remand means discovery is to proceed--Scientology is in a pickle. On the one hand there's a strong incentive to settle b/c they can't allow a trial like this to go forward. Laura's story is pretty horrific and as the video produced by the St. Pete Times attests--she comes off as very credible and sympathetic. Losing at trial is unthinkable. On the other hand, there are numerous other Lauras out there and down the line--as horrific as her story is, it's also quite ordinary. Settling would thus amount to admitting that the manner in which they ordinarily operate creates an ongoing massive liability.
 

Free to shine

Shiny & Free
If Laura's case has life in it again, it is a VERY bad week for scientology.

Larry Brennan makes a great post on the above thread.

IMO more and more ex scientologists just want the truth out and they want the bullying, the crimes against decent human nature and the lies to stop. I know that Laura has been deeply hurt by this uncaring cult and she deserves what justice she can get here.

I agree with Bozuri that more people affected by scientology want public trails and I think that is because they need the truth to be out and they need some form of justice. Watch Laura pour out her heart and I think you can see why I feel that way.

I see this in SO many people with whom I deal on the subject of scientology. And some of the losses because of organized scientology and/or scientology "tech" are IMO unbearable. For example it absolutely tears my heart out speaking with Kyle's Brennan's mother whose life has been completely devestated at the death of Kyle. I see and hear a woman who could care less of the money involved in suing. Rather I see someone who simply must get the truth found and out and some form of justice done (there can never IMO be complete justice for what she has lost). I always try to be so strong and help this woman in any way I can (which is not much sadly) but I cannot stop the sadness and the tears just feeling her loss at the hands of scientology each time I hang up the phone.

And this goes on and on and on with one example after another.

I am no therapist but I am a client of a good one and am not ashamed to say I suffer from PSTD. I see that pain in so many people negatively affected by organized scientology and even scientology "tech".

How many EXes, family and friends of EXes have been hurt by this group? There are terrible things we know of involving death, suicide, loss of loved ones and out right horrid physical and mental abuse as regards scientology.

Yet there are so many other, countless, negative affects of dealing with this group and "tech" such as people who can't stop the bad dreams, those countless who do not speak out publically for fear of fair game, those who can't even sit in a normal doctor's office without thinking of the awful feelings waiting for a sec check or "session".

I say don't confuse the tears of Laura or others who speak out with weakness. IMO they often show someone who has the courage to say "enough is enough" to speak the truth no matter the consequences and to fight back. Many of these people are the types that cannot be bought and who will not lie as they just need and want the truth to be out.

ASAIAC Laura is one of my heros as is everyone else here who helps get the truth out.

IMO the reckoning is just beginning. And these actions listed on this thread are too just the beginning of much more to come.

FGJ!
 

Cherished

Silver Meritorious Patron
This decision leads me to publish an important message for ALL ex-members who either personally experienced or personally witnessed any crimes.

Even if the "statute of limitations" has expired and you think your story is about events too long ago to be of interest, the FBI will want to know what you suffered or witnessed.


Limitation periods can be set aside in certain cases, or extended. It happens in criminal cases sometimes too.

Please don't let the fact that your story isn't new stop you from making a report to your nearest FBI office. Ask to speak with the Duty Officer.
 

tikk

Patron with Honors
I posted about the California appeals court decision here, and discuss the background of Laura's case.

EDIT: Oops. I see now that AnonKat has already posted the link. Sorry for not fully reading. I'll leave this here anyway so as to not further confuse.
 

TG1

Angelic Poster
Thanks, Tikk, Cherished and all the other lawyers who posted above.

This sounds very encouraging. In so many ways!

TG1
 

FoTi

Crusader
I hope this goes to trial and Laura gets everything she deserves and the CoS gets everything it deserves.
 

Happy Days

Silver Meritorious Patron
This decision leads me to publish an important message for ALL ex-members who either personally experienced or personally witnessed any crimes.

Even if the "statute of limitations" has expired and you think your story is about events too long ago to be of interest, the FBI will want to know what you suffered or witnessed.


Limitation periods can be set aside in certain cases, or extended. It happens in criminal cases sometimes too.

Please don't let the fact that your story isn't new stop you from making a report to your nearest FBI office. Ask to speak with the Duty Officer.

Thanks Cherished.

Just remember and I take this datum from Scientology. 'more times over equals certainty plus results' may not be verbatim but ya get my drift.... so keep putting the truth out there through your reports to FBI, AFP and government officials it's important.

The CoS has gotta be hurting and this is so good...:biggrin:

Laura, you are a very brave lady, stay strong and safe :hug:
 

lotus

stubborn rebel sheep!
I hope this goes to trial and Laura gets everything she deserves and the CoS gets everything it deserves.

This is is what justice is about
:thumbsup:

The very best for you Laura and for others woho have to expose abuses to the authorities.
 

Karen#1

Gold Meritorious Patron
VERY SIGNIFICIANT RULING

When a Sea Org member routes out, they are made to "sign away their Constitutional rights" on bogus documents. These documents are invalid in the eyes of the Law

So much goes on in the Sea Org that there is a paranoia that the dirty little secrets will be revealed on the Internet.

Therefore a Sea Org member, is forced to sign on live Video Camera, some 1/2 thick worth of documents ~~ that they will not sue, will not reveal internal matters, will not post on the web, will not rah rah rah rah and that they will be liable for a huge sum of money if they violate this contract. This is done in an intimidating fashion with others in the room, sometimes a Lawyer, security guard, OSA staff etc. The penniless Sea Org member will only get his $500 cash after signing away his rights ~~ Now proven to be HOGWASH !

ALL BOGUS.

ALL HOGWASH.

Laura Decrescenzo signed one of these documents on release. Worthless and meaningless.
Sea Org members who are lurking who signed these documents that they cannot speak up, cannot go to Law Enforcement to report should ~~
Read what the Appellate judge wrote about it ~~

Especially pages 11 to 14

https://www.dropbox.com/s/dzmdvguzc...cond-appellate-district_DeCrescenzo-v-CSI.pdf
 

tikk

Patron with Honors
VERY SIGNIFICIANT RULING

When a Sea Org member routes out, they are made to "sign away their Constitutional rights" on bogus documents. These documents are invalid in the eyes of the Law

So much goes on in the Sea Org that there is a paranoia that the dirty little secrets will be revealed on the Internet.

Therefore a Sea Org member, is forced to sign on live Video Camera, some 1/2 thick worth of documents ~~ that they will not sue, will not reveal internal matters, will not post on the web, will not rah rah rah rah and that they will be liable for a huge sum of money if they violate this contract. This is done in an intimidating fashion with others in the room, sometimes a Lawyer, security guard, OSA staff etc. The penniless Sea Org member will only get his $500 cash after signing away his rights ~~ Now proven to be HOGWASH !

ALL BOGUS.

ALL HOGWASH.

Laura Decrescenzo signed one of these documents on release. Worthless and meaningless.
Sea Org members who are lurking who signed these documents that they cannot speak up, cannot go to Law Enforcement to report should ~~
Read what the Appellate judge wrote about it ~~

Especially pages 11 to 14

https://www.dropbox.com/s/dzmdvguzc...cond-appellate-district_DeCrescenzo-v-CSI.pdf

I've maintained for a long time that nearly if not every waiver/release Scientologists are made to sign is unenforceable, so yes, this is a very encouraging ruling, emanating as it does from the California Appeals Court--meaning that the lower courts must follow its precedent.

It is important, however, to realize the procedural context in which the ruling arose. The appeals court only ruled that Laura adequately pled in her complaint reasons why she didn't file within the 3-year statute of limitations (those reasons being Scientology's coercive, harassing, and threatening tactics designed to make the signee believe she had no further recourse or legal right to bring a claim against Scientology) well enough to survive Scientology's motion to dismiss. In deciding a motion to dismiss the court has to accept the plaintiff's allegations as true.

Consequently, Laura now has to prove at trial (by a preponderance of the evidence) that those tactics did cause her to delay filing within 3 years. I personally think this is very possible. What isn't known is how the lower court will handle this--i.e., whether there will be a separate trial to address "[w]hether plaintiff’s reliance on the alleged threats was reasonable."

Scientology's reliance on legally fictitious waivers and releases to cower outgoing members into not considering legal course is perhaps the most heinous of ways in which they abuse the legal process, and it's great that some light will be shown down on it. But the argument is only halfway there.
 

TG1

Angelic Poster
Tikk, I say it everytime you come over here, but I'll say it again: I wish you came over here more often. Your insights are so valuable.

TG1
 

Idle Morgue

Gold Meritorious Patron
http://forums.whyweprotest.net/threads/laura-decrescenzos-lawsuit.37411/page-6#post-1795455

http://forums.whyweprotest.net/threads/laura-decrescenzos-lawsuit.37411/page-5#post-1794661

http://realitybasedcommunity.net/ar...ch-of-scientology-international-inc-et-al.php

1. She was forced to work in harsh conditions and subjected to punishment;

2. At the time she terminated her employment and left the facility in 2004, she was required to sign documents purporting to exculpate defendants and requiring her to keep certain information confidential or suffer penalties and fines;

3. Defendants knew that those documents were contrary to law and unenforceable, and that defendants intended to intimidate her into believing that she had no legal rights against them;

4. She was told at that time that she owed defendants approximately $120,000 for her job training;

5. She remained a loyal Scientology follower until July 2008 and that, as a loyal follower, she was forbidden from reading or thinking anything negative about Scientology;
6. She was threatened with harassment and banishment from her family and friends who remained at the Scientology facilities if she were deemed an enemy of Scientology;

7. After leaving the facility, she made payments on her purported debt for some time because she believed that she was obligated to do so and she reasonably believed that she had no legal rights or claims against defendants because of their representations concerning the documents that she had signed; and

8. She first realized in July 2008 that she might have legal claims against defendants despite the documents she had previously signed, when she happened upon some information on the Internet and her family members then shared their concerns.

This is what this lawsuit is all about:


  • it challenges Scientology’s practice of using what it calls a “primitive lie detector” to interrogate its employees in security checks;

  • it questions the legal validity of the Sea Org employment contracts, as well as the waiver forms and other documents it says they are required to sign if ever they leave;

  • and it accuses Scientology officials of trying to discourage potential witnesses in the lawsuits through bribery and intimidation.


You GO LAURA!!
:happydance::happydance::happydance:
 

dchoiceisalwaysrs

Gold Meritorious Patron
I've maintained for a long time that nearly if not every waiver/release Scientologists are made to sign is unenforceable, so yes, this is a very encouraging ruling, emanating as it does from the California Appeals Court--meaning that the lower courts must follow its precedent.

It is important, however, to realize the procedural context in which the ruling arose. The appeals court only ruled that Laura adequately pled in her complaint reasons why she didn't file within the 3-year statute of limitations (those reasons being Scientology's coercive, harassing, and threatening tactics designed to make the signee believe she had no further recourse or legal right to bring a claim against Scientology) well enough to survive Scientology's motion to dismiss. In deciding a motion to dismiss the court has to accept the plaintiff's allegations as true.

Consequently, Laura now has to prove at trial (by a preponderance of the evidence) that those tactics did cause her to delay filing within 3 years. I personally think this is very possible. What isn't known is how the lower court will handle this--i.e., whether there will be a separate trial to address "[w]hether plaintiff’s reliance on the alleged threats was reasonable."

Scientology's reliance on legally fictitious waivers and releases to cower outgoing members into not considering legal course is perhaps the most heinous of ways in which they abuse the legal process, and it's great that some light will be shown down on it. But the argument is only halfway there.

Thank you Karen#1 and Tikk. The "church of scientology" is so dispicably unjust. And it totally irks me that everyday they are infiltrating human rights groups, and conning city councils and poisoning community good will activities.
 
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