Ex-Scientologist story #141, “Not one thin dime for Wollersheim.”

Lawrence Dominick Wollersheim, known to Scientologists as “Wolly,” is known for having been in one of the most protracted, savage and brutal lawsuits that ever involved Scientology.  That is saying a lot if you are familiar with the subject of lawsuits and Scientology.  Wikipedia has this to say:

In 1986, a jury awarded Wollersheim $5 million in compensatory damages and $25 million in punitive damages for what jurors called intentional and negligent “infliction of emotional distress.” On appeal this was reduced to $2.5 million. Scientology officials vowed never to pay, and the phrase “not one thin dime for Wollersheim,” was chanted by Scientologists at court hearings. The church challenged the $2.5 million award, but the case was dismissed and Wollersheim was awarded an additional $130,506.71 in attorney’s fees. 

 In their 1991 appeal, the Church of Scientology said that “fair game” was a “core practice of Scientology”, and protected as “religious expression”. This was also stated by Scientology attorneys in the case against Gerry Armstrong in 1984, by religious expert Frank K. Flinn.  After over 20 years, the Church agreed to settle the case and pay an $8.7 million settlement on May 9, 2002.

What is not mentioned here is the fact that the cult only paid after they found out the attorneys representing Wollersheim had some very damning and potentially explosive evidence that they were planning to release.  To the great surprise of everyone they came to court check in hand.  None of this made Larry rich; most or all went for court and attorney fees.  The true cost to Scientology is not known but their attorney fees had to have been even higher than Wollersheims.  Not to mention the beating they took in the press.

This case is too complex to go into great detail here but simply put, Wollersheim was treated brutally when he was a member of the Sea Org; they put him in their internal prison system which caused him great physical and mental stress.  He won the case, he made Scientology look like the villans they really are but the cost to himself was great.

In 1993, he co-founded Fight Against Coercive Tactics Network (FACTNet or F.A.C.T.Net) as an information resource on cults. FACTNet has had legal battles with Scientology.

Here is Larry with Jason Beghe at an anti-Scientology picket.

For the full Wikipedia article go here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lawrence_Wollersheim

Here is an interesting article on the broader issue of Scientology and the legal system, also from Wikipediahttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Scientology_and_the_legal_system

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Published in: on May 19, 2011 at 12:17 am  Leave a Comment  

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