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Scientologists pressed for answers by Cazares

Title: Scientologists pressed for answers by Cazares
Date: Tuesday, 15 June 1976
Publisher: Clearwater Sun (Florida)
Author: Stephen "Steve" Advokat
Main source: link (103 KiB)

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Attorneys representing Mayor Gabriel Cazares in his $8-million libel suit against the Church of Scientology have served the other side with a series of questions that, if answered, would resolve many of the doubts still lingering about the group.

Perhaps the most bizarre question sent to the Scientologists' counselor, Sarasota attorney Clyde H. Wilson, involves Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard.

Clearwater attorney Patrick D. Doherty has asked that representatives from the organization that owns the former Fort Harrison hotel and the old Bank of Clearwater building "indicate any trips away from the planet Earth which he (Hubbard) claims to have made with particular attention to dates, places visited, method of travel, and other persons, giving names and addresses, who accompanied him."

Hubbard has written that he visited both Heaven and Venus, citing the exact times of the travels and detailing the surroundings.

It is obvious from the questions that Cazares' attorney hopes to question Hubbard personally in the case, which was filed after the Scientologists sued the mayor for $1-million for allegedly violating their civil rights when he questioned the true identity of the purchasers of the two Clearwater properties.

That suit was dismissed last month because parts were too vague. However, the organization was given an option to file an amended suit within 30 days.

Doherty wants to know exactly where Hubbard has lived since 1940, and when the Scientologist visited this area, including the date of each arrival, the purpose of the visit, where he stayed and the date he left.

The Scientologists have contended that although Hubbard was in the area in January, he is no longer here, adding he is seeking a retirement estate in Ireland.

Doherty wants to know when he is expected back here, and he has also requested a list of the dates in July and August Hubbard could be available "for discovery purposes."

Other questions include:

* Any known plans to change the Church of Scientology of California, or its subsidiary, United Churches of Florida, Inc.

* Whether any member of the organization ever investigated Cazares or his wife Margaret.

* A list of all the "contributors, subscribers, members or whatever they may be referred to by defendant's lingo) of persons who have contributed or paid to the defendants (Scientologists) or any of the subsidiary organizations in the Pinellas County area."

* The names, salaries and purpose of the guards who regularly patrol the buildings.

* A specific description of the background and training of Scientology ministers.

* An explanation of the "method of securing financial support...used by the religion of Scientology."

Doherty has also asked for an explanation of why the Scientologists transferred the deed of the hotel from Southern Land Leasing and Development Corp. another of its subsidiaries, to the Church of Scientology of California through a quit claim.

The 10-page interrogatory was filed in the county courthouse Friday.

It is uncertain when, or if, Doherty will receive answers to his questions.