Judge Bars Scientology Rivals From Using Group’s Teachings
LOS ANGELES (AP) _ A judge says she will forbid groups that have broken with the Church of Scientology from using or selling confidential church teachings that were stolen.
The doctrine at issue is Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard’s account of Xemu, a tyrant who supposedly planted the seeds of aberrant behavior in mankind 75 million years ago.
After a two-day hearing, U.S. District Judge Mariana R. Pfaelzer said Friday that the sect’s teachings can be considered trade secrets.
″You’ve just seen history made,″ Scientology attorney Joseph A. Yanny said. ″It’s the first time you’ve ever seen a decision that religious scriptures constitute trade secrets.″
The judge said she will issue a preliminary injunction until a trial can be held on a lawsuit brought by the sect against defectors who have set up competing sects and counseling centers. No indication was given when the injunction would take effect.
David Mayo, who once worked closely with Hubbard and now runs the Church of the New Civilization in Santa Barbara, said ″we could be wiped out″ by the decision.
The suit alleges Mayo and others conspired with former Scientologist Robin Scott to steal secret instructional materials from a sect branch in Denmark.
Under questioning by Scientology attorney Earle C. Cooley, Mayo denied receiving stolen materials, saying he was working from memory.
Mayo said he wrote 80 percent to 90 percent of the materials when he worked as a Scientologistone of the sect’s theoreticians.
The judge said there was a link ″very clearly established″ at the hearing between a program Mayo offers and a Scientology program that was stolen by Scott in December 1983. Scott was subsequently convicted in Denmark of a charge comparable to industrial espionage.
″The church material that was stolen is substantially identical in content to that being used by the Advanced Ability Center,″ the judge said, adding that she was not accusing anyone of ″outright theft.″
According to Superior Court documents obtained previously by the Los Angeles Times, Hubbard contends that Xemu trapped people in a compound of frozen alcohol and deposited them in 10 volcanoes.
Xemu then dropped nuclear bombs on the volcanoes, according to Hubbard’s documents, destroying the bodies but freeing their spirits, which clustered together and were brainwashed by Xemu.
These clusters, called body thetans, attach themselves to people, blocking their path to total freedom, the documents said.
The Church of Scientology, at its Florida headquarters, charges $12,100 for the Xemu course. At Mayo’s center, $1,500 is charged for his version of the course.