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

CommunicatorIC

@IndieScieNews on Twitter
Former Scientologist allegedly forced to have abortion wins major legal victory against church.

Raw Story: Former Scientologist forced to have abortion wins major legal victory against church

https://www.rawstory.com/2016/05/fo...tion-wins-major-legal-victory-against-church/

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Former Scientologist forced to have abortion wins major legal victory against church

Tom Boggioni

01 MAY 2016 AT 09:15 ET

Itook seven years, but a former Scientologist will see her lawsuit against the church — which she says kept her captive and forced her to have an abortion — go to trial, KABC reports.

Laura Ann DeCrescenzo, who began doing volunteer work for the Church of Scientology at the age of six, received good news this week when Los Angeles Superior Court Judge John Doyle denied a motion by lawyers for the Church of Scientology International to dismiss her case.

DeCrescenzo is suing the church for false imprisonment, intentional infliction of emotional distress, unfair business practices and wage-and-hour violations, as well as claiming that the church coerced into having an abortion at the age of 17.

According to DeCrescenzo, she was kept a virtual prisoner by the church for years.

“I wasn’t allowed to speak with my family. You’re not allowed to have more than twenty dollars on you at any given time,” explained DeCrescenzo. “You’re not allowed to go anywhere without another person. You’re watched 24/7.”

DeCrescenzo says she remained a member of the church for years after the abortion, stating that church officials psychologically abused her after she became pregnant, telling her that she would be left homeless and unable to find a job and denied the ability to ever see her husband again.

According to the woman, she finally escaped the church in 2004 when she pretended to attempt suicide by swallowing a cup of bleach.

She abandoned the church for good four years later.

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CommunicatorIC

@IndieScieNews on Twitter
Ex-Scientologist Can Go to Jury Trial Over Forced Abortion, Judge Rules.

Ex-Scientologist Can Go to Jury Trial Over Forced Abortion, Judge Rules

The following is a very good article that understands the legal posture of the case, summarizes the history and facts well, quotes Tony Ortega, and includes the Knowledge Report video of Gary Morehead on Forced Abortions. As I result, I'm not going to even try to excerpt it. Recommended reading.

Broadly: Ex-Scientologist Can Go to Jury Trial Over Forced Abortion, Judge Rules

https://broadly.vice.com/en_us/arti...o-jury-trial-over-forced-abortion-judge-rules

by Tanja M. Laden MAY 3 2016 8:30 PM
 

Jump

Operating teatime
If this does go to a jury it will be a massive triumph for the protesting community. I don't think Scientology has been made to weave its convoluted logic before a jury before. It will be massive because it will set some boundaries on this kind of cultic behaviour AND it will put on public record the dismissive regard that Scientology philosophy has for people, families and relationships.

It will also give Laura her day of justice. At last.

 

CommunicatorIC

@IndieScieNews on Twitter
When Should Humanists Oppose Abortion? When Scientology Forces It on Church Members

When Should Humanists Oppose Abortion? When Scientology Forces It on Church Members.

The Humanist: When Should Humanists Oppose Abortion? When Scientology Forces It on Church Members

http://thehumanist.com/commentary/humanists-oppose-abortion-scientology-forces-church-members

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When Should Humanists Oppose Abortion? When Scientology Forces It on Church Members

BY MERRILL MILLER • 11 MAY 2016

With reproductive rights constantly under attack in the United States, humanists spend a significant amount of time and effort defending abortion access, whether through volunteering and donating to pro-choice organizations or by explaining to friends and family why abortion is a valid and moral decision. However, in defending women’s right to reproductive freedom, humanists should also remember that the right to have a child is just as important as the right to terminate an unwanted pregnancy. While instances in which humanists, feminists, and other pro-choice advocates must defend women’s right to carry a wanted pregnancy from religious organizations may seem rare, we must be prepared to speak out against these situations if we truly care about women’s right to bodily autonomy under all circumstances.

Recently, an instance of a religious organization pressuring women to have abortions has come into the spotlight through a lawsuit filed against the Church of Scientology. The lawsuit was filed by Laura Crescenzo, a former Scientologist and member of the Sea Org. The Sea Org is an organization made up of Scientology’s most committed members, often children of Scientologists, who are employed by the church and exploited as employees through withheld wages, long working hours, and threats of being ostracized for leaving. Sea Org members are forbidden from having children, and those who become pregnant are coerced into having abortions, despite the official Church of Scientology’s stance
Code:
http://www.scientology.org/faq/scientology-attitudes-and-practices/scientology-position-on-birth-control-and-abortion.html
that abortions are “traumatic physically and spiritually to an unborn child.” (The trauma an abortion may cause to the mother is mentioned almost as an afterthought.) After being forced to terminate her pregnancy and enduring even more abuse, Crescenzo spent years seeking justice from Scientology.

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Being truly pro-choice means supporting all of the reproductive choices that a woman may make, and both abortion and keeping the pregnancy are part of the range of choices. Just as the humanist movement criticizes Catholics and evangelical Christians when they codify their religious beliefs into law, we should also criticize the Church of Scientology for coercing its members into having abortions against their will. And we should stand with other organizations, both religious and secular, that fight for women’s reproductive freedoms.

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Free to shine

Shiny & Free
What next?

Judge Doyle: I have Scientologists in the family, but I can be impartial in forced-abortion case

A surprising new document showed up in the court file of Laura DeCrescenzo’s forced-abortion lawsuit in Los Angeles. Superior Court Judge John P. Doyle has submitted a detailed disclosure about his ties to family members who are Scientologists. They are his cousins, and in the six-page document Doyle details his interaction with them, which has been sparse. But those interactions do include a visit to East Grinstead, England, where Doyle says he had a tour and lunch at Saint Hill Manor, Scientology’s UK headquarters and the former home of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard.

The disclosure comes just weeks after Doyle had denied the Church of Scientology’s most recent attempt to get DeCrescenzo’s seven-year lawsuit thrown out with a motion for summary judgment. Laura survived a previous motion for summary judgment in 2013, and this time Scientology had asked Doyle to kill the lawsuit as a violation of its religious rights guaranteed under the First Amendment. But Doyle sided with DeCrescenzo, saying that the church’s motion had been a longshot to begin with.
http://tonyortega.org/2016/05/17/ju...t-i-can-be-impartial-in-forced-abortion-case/

NOLAGirl (Stephanie) Narapoid • 41 minutes ago

Right? What are the odds of this? It's like....can Laura and her team get a fucking break??!!?? I agree with what Scott Pilutik said, if this were ANY other religion we wouldn't even be talking about this. Those criminals will try to take advantage of this any way they can, even if their attempts fail, just to delay, delay, delay.
http://tonyortega.org/2016/05/17/ju...l-in-forced-abortion-case/#comment-2679927250
 

ThetanExterior

Gold Meritorious Patron
I remember Greg: blond hair. Wasn't he a NOTs auditor for GOWW, must have been around 1980? (Rhetorical question).

Paul

He audited me on NOTs OT Eligibility in mid 1990s.

He could audit in Spanish as well as English, having been raised in Peru I think.

He was married to the IAS reg from hell, Ginger Smith.
 

Dulloldfart

Squirrel Extraordinaire
He was there later than 1980. He was married to Ginger Smith, CO CMO Uk at the time, around 1990?

I remember him from the NOTs unit at that time, where I was working in Tech Services for a couple of years around 1980/1981 (unless I completely imagined it). I left SH in 1986, and was never on staff there again. Wasn't Ginger in GOWW earlier too? GOWW got nuked in what, 1982?

Paul
 

Free to shine

Shiny & Free
More news:
Scientology gets judge disqualified in forced-abortion lawsuit and wants recent order voided

Judge Doyle described his interactions with the Smith family as minimal, but he acknowledged that if Scientology called any of his relatives as witnesses, his position as judge on the case would be “untenable.”

Now we have a copy of Scientology’s response, which reveals that the church does, indeed, plan to call one of the Smith family to testify in the lawsuit, and is therefore asking that Judge Doyle be disqualified from handling the lawsuit any further. And more importantly, Scientology is asking that Judge Doyle’s only action on the seven-year lawsuit, his April 27 denial of a Scientology motion for summary judgment, be voided so the motion can be heard again by a new judge.

Although Scientology filed its response only this week, the superior court has already indicated that Doyle is now off the case and the lawsuit will be reassigned. But will Scientology convince the new judge to void Judge Doyle’s ruling, which was a crucial step that had cleared the way for an actual trial? Scientology argues that the law is on its side…
http://tonyortega.org/2016/05/20/sc...ortion-lawsuit-and-wants-recent-order-voided/
 

Leland

Crusader
Sounds to me like it has nothing to do with some distant relatives being in the Cult....but rather just that they are his relatives...and might end up on the witness stand.

I can believe how long these trials drag on.....!

I wonder if this Cult Smith person....was "disconnected".....but now is a problem for the Trail?
 

Free to shine

Shiny & Free
There's a lot of discussion at The Underground Bunker about this. Does anyone here have an opinion?
Personally I don't understand a 'justice system' that drags this on for years and years and they are not even at trial yet! I hope Laura remains strong.

Draco • 11 hours ago

Knowing how the CoS works, I am pretty sure that they knew all about Judge Doyle's family connections to scn, but decided to keep quiet for now. They were probably pretty pissed off that he decided to disclose this himself. They would have preferred to disclose it about 2 weeks before the court case was due to start, thereby wasting another year's work and putting it all on hold again for who knows how long.

I don't for one second believe they did not find this out in their routine investigation of absolutely any legal figure that has anything to do with a big case like this.

I think the Judge threw a spanner in their works by disclosing at this early stage of his involvement.
http://tonyortega.org/2016/05/20/sc...wants-recent-order-voided/#comment-2686185915

Andrea 'i-Betty' Garner • 13 hours ago

"Scientology says it was unaware, until Doyle’s disclosure last week, that the judge had family ties to the Sea Organization."

Bullshit! Doing a deep background check into any judge involved in Scientology court proceedings has to be top of their must-do list. They have known all along.
http://tonyortega.org/2016/05/20/sc...wants-recent-order-voided/#comment-2685922231

Once_Born • 14 hours ago

The CofS will do everything possible to avoid this case going to trial. They know that whatever happens in front of a jury will do them irreparable damage. They also know they don't have a case so, if they are to save the situation, the process has to be stopped right now. They are teetering on the edge of a calamity.

The only weapons they have are technical legal arguments which create delays, in the hope that the principal will finally give up. That, and offering Laura a large sum of money in settlement.

If she keeps at it, and refuses a settlement, the CofS will face an unprecedented PR disaster, that will drag on for years and might even draw the courts attention to the role of one David Miscavige. If Laura where to prevail in a jury trial, they would face many similar cases.

It is, of course, up to her what she does - but there are lots of people out here hoping for someone who will take a stand on principle and for the interests of all the other people who have abused in the same way she was.

The CofS is balanced on a knife edge, right now.

Finally, I would also like to see the CofS argue that having Scientologists in the family is likely to make the judge prejudiced against them. I probably will. They are desperate now, and all they can do is delay, delay, delay because justice delayed is justice denied.
http://tonyortega.org/2016/05/20/sc...wants-recent-order-voided/#comment-2685913183
 

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Forced-abortion lawsuit has a new judge as Scientology appeals ruling on religious grounds

Scientology then claimed that it did, in fact, plan to call one or more of his cousins as witnesses if the trial were to happen, and Doyle had no choice but to disqualify himself.

Now, the Los Angeles Superior Court has assigned Judge Samantha Jessner to the case, and Scientology has appealed Judge Doyle’s ruling, not only on its merits, but also because, the church argues, Judge Doyle should have disqualified himself before making it. We have the document for you, and we look forward to your thoughts on it.

http://tonyortega.org/2016/06/24/fo...entology-appeals-ruling-on-religious-grounds/
 

Free to shine

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More news on this seemingly never ending saga.
Scientology’s appeal denied, trial date to be set

Soon after Judge Doyle made that decision in April, he had to disqualify himself when it turned out that he had cousins in the Sea Org, at least one of whom Scientology planned to call at trial as a witness. So the church then petitioned for a writ with California’s second appellate court district saying not only that Doyle’s decision was wrong, but that it should be voided anyway because he was obviously disqualified when he made it.

But this week the appellate court refused to take up the case, issuing a document with a single line: “The petition for writ of mandate or other extraordinary relief filed June 2, 2016, has been read and considered and is denied.”

<snip>

We’re told that a hearing has been scheduled in the court where the lawsuit landed after Doyle’s disqualification, before Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Samantha Jessner, during which the issue of a new trial date will be discussed. Previously, Judge Doyle had talked about a spring 2017 date as likely.

Docs and article here: http://tonyortega.org/2016/07/16/sc...al-date-to-be-set-in-forced-abortion-lawsuit/
 

Phoenix8

Patron with Honors
Can someone explain to me what this means for Laura in layman's terms, please?

But this week the appellate court refused to take up the case, issuing a document with a single line: “The petition for writ of mandate or other extraordinary relief filed June 2, 2016, has been read and considered and is denied.”
 

Jump

Operating teatime
Can someone explain to me what this means for Laura in layman's terms, please?


Scientology goons tried to dick with the legal system by asking a higher court to throw out a previous legal advance by Laura.

The higher court replied back to the Scientology goons with the one liner "Up your nose with a rubber hose."
 
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Can someone explain to me what this means for Laura in layman's terms, please?
Laura won this round, and can proceed with her case. The delaying tactic by Scientology didn't work. That said, there are two higher courts of appeal they can bother: the state supreme court and the federal supreme court.

Hubbard said (in a nutshell) you use the legal system to delay, harass and use up the opponents resources. You don't really care if you win, you want to wear down, or scare off adversaries.

It is an interesting point of view, because it presupposes the writer knew Scientology was an indefensible scam.

Mimsey
 
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