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Letter // Profit motive behind attack on Scientology

Title: Letter // Profit motive behind attack on Scientology
Date: Friday, 22 April 1994
Publisher: East Grinstead Courier (UK)
Main source: link (144 KiB)

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YOUR story Ex-Scientologists to 'Expose' Cult (March 4) completely missed the point.

What your readers were not told is that the two Scientology "ex-members" in question have been involved in removing materials from church premises and using these for their own ends.

The true story is this. Robin Scott and Ron Lawley engaged in a criminal conspiracy in 1983. In furtherance of' that conspiracy, Scott and others went to Denmark, entered a church using a subterfuge, and stole sacred religious scriptures. Why? So Scott and others could exploit them for profit.

Part of Scott and Lawley's plans was to start up new Scientology organisations under a different name and provide the church services described in the stolen materials.

Why an organisation separate from the church? So they could personally profit and enrich themselves.

These materials are held in a great deal of respect by church members and it is part of church procedures that Scientologists be prepared to receive counselling with these materials. Much the same as in other religions, preparation is needed before one can move to this higher spiritual level.

Not only have Scott and Lawley taken the materials for their own use, but they have deliberately aired them in public, knowing this to be upsetting and offensive to Scientologists.

Lawley made a point of bringing up in court the contents of these materials even though this information was not part of the general discussion and had no need to be. Not only is that act offensive to the church, but the theft of sacred religious material with the intention of black marketing for gain is abhorrent to society at large.

Scott was arrested by Danish authorities, tried, convicted and jailed for his involvement in the removal of the church materials.

Ron Lawley had escaped from Denmark before the police could arrest him.

As a further result from the theft, a court ordered that Scott and Lawley together pay the church over £125,000.

That is what the suit was about. Since it was filed, the original materials that Scott and Lawley stole were collected by the police and Scott's and Lawley's organisations have shut down.

So in fact the Church of Scientology had no need to continue with the litigation. Their businesses, based on their stolen inventory, were no more.

Why were Scott and Lawley still attempting to litigate this issue? Again — money. No longer having organisations that any person in the UK or anywhere else in the world is willing to frequent, they now want to profit by stating that the materials they stole prove Scientology is bad.

Several years ago they deemed the materials to be so valuable they were worth the risk of theft and incarceration. Now, suddenly, they claim otherwise.

The only common denominator is their disguised profit motive. Another minor detail Scott failed to mention is that his barrister would not represent him any more.

Scott had been made a valid and generous offer for settlement which had already been accepted by three of the five defendants in the case. Scott refused to accept, at which point his barrister could no longer ethically advise him and left the case.

This was all borne out in the final hearing on March 8. The judge, rather than return the copies to Lawley and Scott unconditionally, granted an indefinite stay of his order pending appeal, barring the defendants from obtaining copies of the stolen materials.

Further, the judge made Lawley agree to an undertaking that, should he ever get the copies back, he would not violate the copyright of the materials or use them for publication.

Robin Scott refused to co-operate with the court on this, thus revealing his real intentions, whereupon the judge ordered him placed under an injunction on the same terms.

Both defendants were admonished and instructed that a violation of those terms could result in a jail sentence of up to two years.

Appeal has now been filed in the case and the materials are being held until the completion of the appeal action.

Your article incorrectly stated that the church faces massive costs in this case. Contrary to boisterous claims of Lawley and Scott, at the March 8 hearing the judge made it clear the only costs Lawley and Scott are entitled to are for those hearings where the church has not already won orders for costs — and the church has won costs orders at almost every hearing throughout the case.

When it is added up and balanced out it is Scott and Lawley who will probably owe the church money.

In fact Lawley seems to understand this perfectly. He wrote to the church's solicitor the day before the last hearing that "If these costs are enforced against us then we could face financial ruin".

Mr Lawley and Mr Scott should have thought of that before they decided to travel to Denmark to steal the church's material in order to line their own pockets. Scientology is thriving. That is a story you have not printed.

Public affairs director
Church of Scientology Saint Hill Manor
East Grinstead

* EDITOR'S NOTE: The Courier invited Mr Lawley and Mr Scott to comment on this letter. Mr Lawley told us: "Eighty per cent of what they say we consider not true and 20 per cent debatable, but it seems to us that as we are right in the middle of an appeal it would be best not to make any further comment.

"When the appeal is over we would be happy to go into it in more detail."