IN THE HAYWARDS HEATH COUNTY COURT CASE NO. HH 402401 BETWEEN:- JONATHAN CAVEN-ATACK Plaintiff - and - 1. CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY RELIGOUS EDUCATION COLLEGE INC. 2. DIANETICS AND SCIENTOLOGY MISSION OF BOURNEMOUTH 3. DEBBIE LEWIS 4. SHEILA CHALEFF 5. NIGEL TASKER 6. COLIN DECK 7. KENNTETH ECKERSLEY Defendants
In the inside pages, a photograph of the Plaintiff was captioned, "Deprogrammer Jon Atack", and next to the following words:
"DISCRIMINATION FOR PROFIT"
"Although it may seem a foreign concept to some, it has actually become a big business in some parts of the world to attack religious communities. A few individuals, most having no personal convictions of their own, use lies and distortions to stir up conflicts between people of different beliefs. Having created division and upset, they then offer their 'services' (for a considerable fee) to anyone who wants to change the religous convictions of another ...
PARTICULARS OF FALSITY (1) The Plaintiff dos not use lies and distortions deliberately to stir up conflicts between people of different belifs in order to create a market for his 'expensive and unethical' services. (2) The Plaintiff does not use kidnapping and imprisonment or any other criminal or unlawful means in order to coerce people to change their religious beliefs, or for any other purpose. (3) The Plaintiff does not falsely and hypocritically state that he carried out his work solely out of concern for families, when in fact he does it solely for money. (4) The Plaintiff does not falsely and dishonestly represent himself to be an expert on Scientology. (5) The Plaintiff does not have any vested financial or any other hidden ulterior interest in drug use continuing in society.
"Perhaps the first thing to make clear is that his sources, Jon Atack, a convicted drug dealer, and Gary Scarff, a self-confessed perjurer, are engaged in a scam to manipulate the media. They seemed to have found an easy mark in Richard Palmer. The scheme is simple they find gullible reporters and give them sensational lies which make good copy. The reporter gets an easy story. In return, they demand that the Church pays over tens of thousands of pounds, for what? So they will no longer seek out such reporters, and there will be no more 'embarrassing stories' " Palmer, like a foll, fell for it hook, line and sinker.
Jon Atack has a criminal conviction and is known to fratrnize with criminals. One of his close friends went to prison for stealing from the Church another was arrested and jailed for lewdeness. Yet another was convicted for jewel theft. A vicar-fried was exposed in the national press for conducting orgies at his vicarage. Yet Palmer treated him as a reliable source ..
Jon Atack earns what living he makes in two ways: He is paid by the press for his sensational allegations, and he charges families seventy pounds an hour to kidnap members of religious groups to break their faith.
His victims are the ones who should rightly adopt Atacks cry: "I am astonished that the police cannot protect a British subject from such an undesirable as Atack," for they are the people who have really suffered.
Perhaps if Atack got a job and earned an honest living he would not continue to be an menace to those around him. Unfortunately, Palmer fell under Atack's spell, he decided to write the sensational stroy that Atack dictated and damned the facts.
Scientology has been expanding all over the wold for over 4 decades. The ramblings of Atack and Scarff no more tell the stroy of Scientology than the propaganda of Goebbels told the stroy of Judaism. The place to find the truth about Scientology is to read a Scientology book, or visit one of our Chruches and make up ones own mind. Millions have done so, and have found the answers they have been looking for. This is why Scientology continues to grow. Two embittered scam artists do not speak for all those who have been gotten off drugs, improved their family lives and relationships, and become happier and more capable through Scientology.
Thats the ral stroy for your readers. Sincerely, Sheila Chaleff Director of Public Affairs.
The Plaintiff will ask the Court to infer that the First and Fourth Defendants intended that the said letter, or the effect thereof, be published in The Sunday Times, thereby maximising the damage to the Plaintiff.
PARTICULARS OF FALSITY (1) The Plaintiff is not a convicted drug dealer. (2) The Plaintiff is not engaged in a scam to maipulate the media and extort money from the Church of Scientology, which scam involved telling sensational lies to gullible reporters about Scientology and then demanding tens of thousands of pounds from the Church of Scientology in return for stopping telling such lies. (3) The Plaintiff has no close friends who was convicted of stealing from the Church or for "lewdness" or for jewel theft. Nor does he have any close friend who was a vicar and was exposed in the national press for conducting orgies at his vicarage. (4) The Plaintiff does not kidnap members of religious groups. (5) The Plaintiff is not a menace to those around him. (6) The Plaintiff does not spread lies and propaganda out of bigotry and hatred.
(1) The Plaintiff repeats Pragraphs 1 and 2 herein. (2) The Church of Scientology was founded by L. Ron Hubbard. It was first incorporated in 1953 and now claims a following of millions around the world. The "Hubbard Communications Office" ("HCO") regularly issues bulletins and policy letters which direct how Scientologists are to operate. These are written in a jargon which is virtually unitelligible to non-Scientologists and for which several dictionaries have been produced. The Church also incorporates the "Sea Organisation", a paramilitary organisation in which members wear pseudo-naval uniform and hold pseudo-naval ranks. (3) The Church of Scientology demands absolute conformity with its ideas and teaching from members and thereby prevents them from thinking for themselves. (4) The Church of Scientology has displayed continual hostility to any criticism and imposes harsh internal rules which isolate its members from the outside world and prevent them from forming an independet view of the merits of Scientology. (5) Scientologists are discouraged from reading anything hostile to Scientology ("entheta") and ordered not to communicate with anyone critical of its teachings. Scientologists are forbidden to chriticise the precepts of Hubbard and Scientology. Even attempting to discuss auditing techniques is known as "verbal tech" and is forbidden. Offenders ar subjected to a "Committee of Evidence" a Scientology tribunal. (6) Harsh punishments, including corporal punishments, withholding of food and the levying of fines, are meted out to members who transgress rules and criticise the organisation. If a member publicly speaks out against Scientology or leaves the organisation, he or she is declared a "Suppressive Person" and deemed to be an enemy of the organisation; no member of the Church (not even members of the Suppressive Person's family) may have any contact with him or her. A Scientologist in contact with or related to someone who is declared a suppressive prson is dubbed a "Potential Trouble Source" and will be ordered to "disconnect" (i.e., sever all communication with) that person. Members have been ordered to disconnect from spouses, close family, friends and business partners. (7) Scientology publications are clearly intended to incite hatred of those critical of its ideas and techniques. The Church of Scientology has a policy of retaliating to investigations and criticisms of its organisation and practices by making personal attacks on the characters of the critics. The aim of the policy ist to deter further investigation and criticism by intimidating and frightening any critics or potential critics of the organisation. In support of this contention the Plaintiff relies, among other things, on policy documents issued by the Church of Scientology, including, but not limited to, the following: (a) A document entitled "HCO Policy Letter of 25 February 1966 -- Attacks of Scientology" issued from the Hubbard Communications Office at the United Kingdom headquarters of the Church of Scientology at Saint Hill, which document includes the following instructions to members of the organisation: "NEVER agree to an investigation of Scientology. ONLY agree to an ivestigation of the attackers." "This is the correct procedure: (1) Spot who is attacking us. (2) Start investigating them promptly for FELONIES or worse using our own professionals, not outside agencies. (3) Double curve our reply saying we welcome an investigation of them. (4) Start feeding lurid blood sex crime actual evidence to the press. "Don't ever submit tamely to an investigation of us. Make it rough, rough on attackers all the way". (b) A document entitled, "HCO Bulletin of 5th November 1967 --Critics of Scientology", which contained the following instruction to members of Scientology: "Our business is helping people to lead better lives. We even help those who have committed crimes, for we are not here to punish. But those who try to make life hard for us are at once at risk." "And we have this technical fact--those who oppose us have crimes to hide. It's perhaps merely lucky that this is true. But it is true. And we handle opposition well only when wi use it." The Plaintiff relies on the full content of these documents. (8) From aabout 1967 the Church operated the policy of "Fair Game" which meant that any Suppressive Person could be "deprived of property or injured by any means by any Scientologist without any discipline of the Scientologist" and could be "tricked, sued, lied to or destroyed". The said quotations come from a document, the whole of which the Plaintiff relies on, entitled "HCO Policy Letter of 18th Ocotober 1967 -- Penalties for Lower Conditions", written by L. Ron Hubbard. (9) After the "fair game" doctrine came under the scrutiny of the public and the courts in the United States during the 1970s the Church of Scientology claimed in 1980 that it abrogated the policy. The Plaintiff contends that notwithstanding the official abrogation of the policy the vengeful spirit and ethos of "fair game" survived within the organisation. (10) The Plaintiff was a member of the Church of Scientology from December 1974 until his resignation in October 1983. The Plaintiff left the organisation because he disagreed with certain church practises. (11) After leaving the organisation, the Plaintiff began zu counsel people who were or had been members and wanted help to overcome psychological problems caused by their assocation with the Church of Scientology. The Plaintiff also undertook research into the life and writings of L. Ron Hubbard. The Plaintiff's researches resulted in a book, "A Piece of Blue Sky", which was published in the United States, Canada, Australia, Holland and England in 1990. In 1992 the Plaintiff published in England another book on Scientology entitled "The Total Freedom Trap". The Plaintiff also acts regularly as an expert witness giving evidence about the Chruch of Scientology, its techniques and practises. (12) As a consequence of the Plaintiff leaving the Church and of his counselling and reasearch work, the Plaintiff was labelled a "Suppressive Person" by the ruling body of the Chruch, the Sea Organisation, on 31 March 1984. The Plaintiff will rely on the terms of the written document declaring the Plaintiff's status as a "Suppressive Person" as evidence of the Defendants' hostility towards the Plaintiff. (13) From 1983, the Church, in linde with its policy towards dissenters and critics set out in (2) to (8) above, has conducted a malicious campaign of harrasment to intimidate the Plaintiff and prevent him from continuing his work in the area of Scientology. The Plaintiff will reply on the following facts and matters in support of his contention. (14) On various occasions between 1983 to date, members of the Church of Scientology have visited the Plaintiff's home, kept watch on his property, visitors and movements. The Plaintiff relies on the following: (a) At the end of 1983, a member of the Church whom the Plaintiff recognised as Michael Rogers, also known as Michael McFarland, kept the Plaintiff's hime in East Grinstead under surveillance. (b) During 1985, Plaintiff's house was watched by his neighbour, Jeremy Stevens, who is a member of the Church of Scientology. (c) In the summer of 1991, two Scientologists whom the Plaintiff recognised as Stephen Lake and Dale Bulbrook came to the Plaintiff's door and told him that if he set foot in the United STates again he would be served with court proceedings. (d) Again in the summer of 1991, two Scientologists whom the Plaintiff cannot identify persuaded the Planintiff's neighbour, by falsely claiming that they were the Plaintiff's friends, to let them into the Plaintiff's house. The Plaintiff was in fact at home asleep and the Scientologists accused him of lying to the press. (e) In October 1991, the Plaintiff was accosted outside his home by Cathy Sproule, an officer of the First Defendant at its East Grinstead branch, and 2 video cameramen, who obstructed the Plaintiff's movement. Miss Sproule was verbally abusive to the Plaintiff. (f) Towards the end of 1992, members of the Church of Scientology began to appear in pairs at the Plaintiff's house about once a week. On 16 December 1992, one Vince Nash and another woman who did not give her name appeared at the Plaintiff's house and stated that the Plaintiffwas persecuting his religion and that he told lies. On 22 December 1992, Scientologists John Bradley and John Nash arrived at 11.15 p.m. at the Plaintiff's house, and was asked to leave by the Plaintiff. On 12. January 1993, Scientologists John King and Jenny Gray arrived at the Plaintiff's house and repeatedly called him a failure. In January 1993, Scientologist Graham Zimmatore arrived at the Plaintiff's house and entered uninvited through the front door. He made abusive remarks to the Plaintiff and had to be pushed out through the door. (15) On 13 March 1994, the Fifth and Sixth Defendants and one other Scientologist whom the Plaintiff cannot identify on behalf of themselves and the First Defendant and/or authorised by the First Defendant staged a public demonstration outside the Plaintiff's house, displaying placards bearing the follwoing flase and damaging allegations against the Plaintiff: "Support your own family instead of destroying ours"; "Stop destroying families"; and "Get job like the rest of us". At about 5.20 p.m. the police arrived and told the the demonstrators to move on. (16) On 15 March 1994, the Sixth Defendnt and other Scientologists whom the Plaintiff cannot identify, on their own behalf and on behalf of the First Defendant and/or authorised by the First Defendant, staged another demonstration outside the Plaintiff's house this time holding placards bearing the allegations: "Do not harm persons of goodwill", "Respect the religious beliefs of others" and "We oppose faith breaking". (17) On 16, 17, 18 and 19 March 1994 the Sixth Defendant and other Scientologists on their own behalf and on behalf of the First Defandant and/or authorised by the First Defendant, again appeared with placards outside the Plaintiff's house. The demonstration lasted between 10 and 40 minutes each day. On 19 March 1994 police confiscated the placards, assured the Plaintiff and warned that if the demonstrators returned they would be arrested. (18) Despite the warning received from the police, on 6 April 1994, the Sixth Defandant, and on 10 April 1994, the Fifth and Sixth Defendant demonstrated outside the Plaintiff's house. Both demonstrations lasted about 10 minutes. (19) The Plaintiff will ask the Court to infer that these demonstrations were held in order to cause the Plaintiff and his family nuisance and inconvenience, fear, embarrassment and distress and also to discredit him in the eyes of the local community by means of publicly making false and damaging accusations against him; and were part of the Church of Scientology's malicious campaign to deter the Plaintiff from his work. (20) Since 1983 the Plaintiff has on frequent occasions received telephone calls from people who immediately hang up upon the Plaintiff answering. It is to be inferred that this the calls are another intimidatory tactic used and/or authorised by the Church of Scientology in their campaign against the Plaintiff. (21) Further, as part of the malicious campaign referred to in (5) above, employees and/or agents of the Church of Scientology made false reports of the criminal behaviour on the part of the Plaintiff to the Police and Social Services. The Plaintiff relies on the following: (a) In November 1992, Scientologist Austin Leniston on behalf of the the Defendants, made a written report to the police which contained the following allegations: "We unfortunately, have some experience already with such abductions, both successful and unsuccessful ... From the data we have collected, the key figure at the back of this is a person named Jon Atack who specialises in trying to damage Scientology with this kind of crime, as part of a bigger criminal activity which is called 'Enforced Deprogramming' ..." The Plaintiff will rely on the whole of the said report. (aa) On 15 November 1994 the Church of Scientology held a public meeting at the Whitehill Centre, Whitehill Road, Crowborough. The spokesman for the Chruch of Scientology was Kenneth Eckersley. Shortly after the meeting, Kenneth Eckersley said to the Reverend Michael John Ovey that the Plaintiff had raped someone and tried to murder someone else, and that he was continually taking drugs. Kenneth Eckersley made the said scurrilous and false accusations against the Plaintiff authorised by and/or on behalf of the Church of Scientology. (b) In or about July 1993, Scientologist Charles Poulter on behalf of the First Defendant and/or authorised by the First Defendant, alleged that there were grounds to suspect the Plaintiff of molesting his 4 year old daughter. As a result of the allegation, the Plaintiff was visited at his home by a policewoman and a social worker. Subsequently the Plaintiff received a letter from Social Services confirming that they would not be taking any further action and a letter of apology froum Charles Poulter. At the time, the First Defendants knew the allegation to be completely groundless, but nonetheless cynically made the report to the police in order to cause the Plaintiff and his family great distress. (22) On various occasions agents an/or employees of the First Defendant, as part of its campaign against the Plaintiff, have publicly made false and damaging allegations concerning the Plaintiff. The Plaintiff relies on the following: (a) In or about February 1993, the Church of Scientology published and/or authorised the publication of a pamphlet entitled "A short Appraisal of Parts of the Novel: 'A Piece of Blue Sky'." The pamphlet contained a critique of the Plaintiff's book and also untruthful assertions concerning the Plaintiff personally, including the allegation that the Plaintiff had written the book dishonestly and in bad faith. The Plaintiff will rely on the whole of the said pamphlet as evidence of malice. (b) In July 1993, the Plaintiff's wife Noella was declared a "Suppressive Person" for publicly leaving the Church and associating with the Plaintiff. Noella Caven-Atack was sent a written declaration dated 14th July 1993 which contained the follwoing words referring to her and to the Plaintiff: "Noella assisted in the writing of Jon Atack's anti-Scientology book, which was a complete failure. This book was intended to spread malicious lies about the Church and its parishioners, in an attempt to mislead and confuse those people seeking better lives". The Plaintiff will rely on the entire contents of the said declaration and on the covering letter received with it. (c) In or about March 1994, the Church of Scientology circulated a leaflet entitled, "Deprogramming Victims Network Newsletter --United kingdom Update" to homes in and around East Grinstead. The leaflet contained various spiteful and false allegations against the character of the Plaintiff, including allegations that: (i) was a drug dealer; (ii) was an avid reader of black magic; (iii) conducted a hate campaign against the Church of Scientology; (iv) had taken part in an international criminal conspiracy to kidnap Scientologists. The Plaintiff will rely on the whole of the Newsletter for its true terms and effect. (d) Further to the letter containing the words set out in Paragraph 7 herein, on or about 5 April 1994 solicitors for the Church of Scientology, Messrs. Hodkin & Company, wrote on behalf of the organisation a letter to Mr. Andrew Neill, the Editor of The Sunday Times, repeating various personal attacks on the character of the Plaintiff, including the allegation that the Plaintiff's aim in his work was to extort a large sum of money from the Church of Scientology. The Defendant will rely on the whole of the said letter. (e) On or about 13 March 1994 33 members of the Church of Scientology wrote a letter headed, "OPEN LETTER RE: YOUR ANTI-SCIENTOLOGY ACTIVITIES" to the Plaintiff containing false and offensive allegations concerning the Plaintiff. It is to be inferred from the heading of the letter that it was sent to persons other than the Plaintiff. The Plaintiff will rely on the whole of the said letter, and in particular the allegations contained therein that he had made threats to destroy tshe Chruch of Scientology which were "the deluded ravings of a madman"; that he sought to profit by spreading lies; that he was evil and an utter fraud. (f) The Plaintiff will further rely on an article published in the issue for March 1994 of CAN Reform Group - Membership news under the heading "British CAN Associate Thrown Out of Court" containing false and misleading allegations of the Plaintiff; and on an article published in or about March 1994 under the heading "Factnet--Perversions, Criminality and Lies" containing further false and damaging accusations about the Plaintiff. (23) The Plaintiff relies on the tone as well as the contents of the publications complained of and those referred to in Particulars (2) and (23) above to show the relentless hostility of the Defendants to the Plaintiff personally, their desire to caouse him distress and hurt the Plaintiff, and their reckless disregard for fairness and the truth. The tone of the Church of Scientology's attacks on the Plaintiff's character was spiteful, vindictive and abusive. (24) The First to Fourth Defendants had no evidence that the allegation complained of were true, but nonetheless recklessly published them not caring whether they were true or false, with the motive of furthering their campaign against the Plaintiff and of destroying or seriously damaging the Plaintiff's personal and professional reputation and hindering his ability from making a living from his expertise on Scientology.
PARTICULARS (1) Particulars (15) to (20) under the Particulars of Malice under Paragraph 9 above are repeated.
AND the Plaintiff claims:-
(1) Against the First to Fourth and Seventh Defendants, damages including aggravated damages, for malicious falsehood. (2) Against the First to Fourth and Seventh Defendants an injunction restraining the said Defendants and each of them whether by themselves their servants agents or otherwise from further publishing the same or any similar false words about the Plaintiff. (3) Against the First, Fifth and Sixth Defandants, damages for nuisance; and interest as aforesaid thereon. (4)Against the First, Fifth and Sixth Defendants, an injunction restraining the said Defendants whether by themselves their servants agents or otherwise from further continuing the said nuisance by: (a) besetting the Plaintiff's property; or (b) harrassing the Plaintiff and/or his family; or by any other means. ALEXANDRA MARZEC BEVERLEY L. RYALL 93 Westgate Chichester PO19 3HB Solicitor for the Plaintiff