from The Evening Argus, April 12, 1994 [According to one netizen, +quot;The Evening Argus
from The Evening Argus, April 12, 1994
[According to one netizen,
"The Evening Argus is a highly respected local newspaper that has
been around for about 150 years. It is published in Brighton,
Sussex, England, and it covers the entire Counties of East and
West Sussex, including parts of Surrey to the north."]
VICTIMS WHO ARE `FAIR GAME'
The Church of Scientology may call itself a religion, but it does not
have a reputation for turning the other cheek.
For a week last month Jon Atack and his family were subjected to
scenes like this outside their home in Cranston Road, East Grinstead.
The placard-carrying demonstrators are Scientologists, and they do
not like Mr. Atack because he is an outspoken critic of the cult.
The police were twice called to disperse the protesters. But they
kept coming back, and on Sunday they were there again.
Asked to explain, Peter Mansell, public affairs officer at Saint
Hill, said: "One Scientologist recently found out Jon Atack persuaded his
family to pay 6,000 UK pounds for him to counsel their son in order to get
him to denounce his religion."
"The young man and his friends have been demonstrating to demand
an end to the socially obnoxious practice of faith-breaking for
In 1984, High Court judge Mr Justice Latey used the same words to
And last month, we revealed how the cult took 22,000 UK pounds off one
young man in a month. He got his money back a year later - with the help
of a barrister.
Responding to Mr. Mansell's comments, Mr. Atack said: "It's a bald-
faced lie. I've never charged anybody stlg6,000 for counselling. That's
The New Testament says: "Whoever slaps you on your right cheek,
turn the other cheek to him also."
You will not find such a quotation in the teachings of L. Ron
Instead, the man who founded Scientology had this to say about
"May be deprived of property or injured by any means by any
Scientologist without any discipline of the Scientologist. May be
tricked, sued or lied to or destroyed."
He called the doctrine Fair Game.
But Mr. Mansell said: "The policy no longer exists, and in fact never
did exist in the way it is disgustingly depicted by a few persons
antipathetic to the Church.
"All the policy ever meant was that persons who were expelled would
not be forwarded protection of Church ethical policies."
That was not the view of an American judge who ruled:
"In addition to violating and abusing its own members' civil rights,
the organisation over the years, with its `Fair Game' doctrine, had
harassed and abused those persons not in the Church whom it
perceives as its enemies."
Mr. Atack, who helps ex-cult members, is in that category.
A leaflet called "the truth about Jon Atack" has been distributed to
It accuses him, among other things, of having an "unprosecuted
history of drug dealing" (in other words, no convictions).
Mr. Mansell said: "Jon Atack has promoted the most scurrilous
leafleting campaigns against the Church, pretending to tell the truth
"Our leaflets do not attack him, but they do tell the truth about
Mr Atack doesn't see it that way. Nor does his lawyer. He is suing.
THE PRIVATE EYE
Friends and relatives of Mr. Atack have also had a house call from
American private eye Eugene Ingram, who works for the law firm
which represents the cult in the U.S.
He flew to Britain following the "theft" of documents from Saint
The incident is not being investigated by East Grinstead police, but
Mr. Ingram has been busy nonetheless.
He has called on Jon Atack's 77-year old mother in Nottingham; his
parents former home in Staffordshire, and his wife's family from the
Sussex clergymen who know both Mr. Atack and Bonnie Woods,
another anti-cult campaigner, have also received a knock at the door.
They tell a similar story.
Canon Roger Brown of St. Swithin's Church, East Grinstead, said:
"He said he wanted to tell me the truth about Jon Atack, and began
waiving papers which appeared to be letters in Jon's handwriting.
"I felt it was a campaign against Jon Atack and I was not going to
The Vicar of Felbridge, the Rev Steven Bowen, got a visit on Easter
He said: "He suggested he had things he could tell me about Bonnie
Woods and I told him I didn't want to listen."
Asked to satisfy the inquiry, Mr. Mansell said: "When investigating a
theft both police and private investigators usually question anyone
who may be able to provide evidence."
Perhaps he should tell that to Mr. Atack's elderly mother.
She had just collected her husband from hospital on the day Mr.
Ingram arrived on her doorstep. Mr Atack said: "She was upset and
Chichester solicitor Beverley Ryall also had a knock at the door - at
midnight. This time the director of the cult's Bournemouth mission
and another man were outside.
They were accompanied by a woman police officer who had been told
Mrs Ryall was holding stolen documents.
Mrs Ryall, who is helping a number of former Scientologists take
legal action against the Church, said: "Obviously, I am frightened of
what they might do next."
She has filed her own complaint with the police.
The cult recently brought a libel action against former member
Steven Fishman in a Californian court.
One of the defence witnesses was Garry Scarff. He used to work in
the Office of Special Affairs at the world headquarters of
Scientology in Los Angeles.
Mr Scarff testified under oath in pre-trial proceedings which began
The cult withdrew from the case in February and on April 4 there
was a hearing to decide costs.
The Evening Argus has copies of his testimony.
Defence-lawyer Graham Berry asked him: "Why have you requested
that security arrangements be in place in this building?"
Mr Scarff replied: "Because of the Church of Scientology's Fair
Game doctrine, which has been unlawfully used in many ways to
intimidate, harass and injure people.
"It has been used by Scientology members to threaten to murder me
and members of my family if I say or do anything whatsoever critical
of the Church of Scientology in any legal proceeding."
In another part of his testimony, he claimed the cult "not only
targets people, they target attorneys, they also go after judges and try to
discredit judges who they do not consider to be positive or unbiased.
"And unbiased in their definition is anyone that would rule against
them in any court proceedings.
"I mean, we are talking about really sick stuff here. And to them
it's just routine."
Mr Mansell said: "The allegations were made in a deposition, a pre-
trial giving of evidence.
"A deposition is not done under the supervision of a judge and is
done by lawyers who are often more interested in complicating the
case and running up a large bill."
The cult should know.
Lawyers acting for the cult in another recent case in America filed
1,737 motions in pre-trial proceedings.
They were, according to the judge, "almost all puffery" and resulted
in massively increasing the costs.
Asked why the Church pulled out of the case, Mr Mansell said: "The
Church withdrew because of the completely harassive legal tactics
being used by Fishman's lawyers."
Perhaps Mr Mansell should read what L. Ron Hubbard had to say
about that very topic:
"The Law can be used very easily to harass and enough harassment
on somebody who is simply on the thin edge anyway will generally be
sufficient to cause his professional decease.
"If possible, of course, ruin him utterly."
Or how about this passage:
"If attacked on some vulnerable point by anyone or anything or any
organisation, always find or manufacture enough threat against them
to cause them to sue for peace.
"Don't ever defend. Always attack."
"We do not want Scientology to be reported in the press, anywhere
else than on the religious pages of newspapers. Therefore, we should
be very alert to sue for slander at the slightest chance as to
discourage the public presses from mentioning Scientology."
We are sorry to disappoint him.
E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank