Lawyer Vance Woodward sues Scientology for $200,000

Discussion in 'Leaks & Legal' started by anon8109, Mar 25, 2014.

  1. anon8109 Member

    Lawyer Says Scientologists Took him for $200K

    An attorney sued the Church of Scientology, claiming it cajoled him into paying nearly $200,000 for counseling services he never used.


    He claims that when he handed over the money he was under the "nefarious psychological manipulation and abuse" of Scientology fund raisers, and "was under the deluded belief that Scientology provides the only path to spiritual or psychological betterment."

    Woodward seeks restitution, punitive damages and costs. He declined to comment for this story.
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  2. anon8109 Member

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  3. fishypants Moderator

    Good. Vance FTW.

    I like the word nefarious.



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  4. RightOn Member

    GO GO GO
    moar lawsuits plox
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  5. Random guy Member

    Oh yes, now we are talking!
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  6. wolfbane Member

    Nice! I am no longer disappoint he pulled his excellent e-book from Amazon's shelf.
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  7. tinfoilhatter Member


    Best part of it all, is thanks to the rathburn's, osa fair game tech is known in the courts, so it makes suing the cult that much easier.
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  8. wolfbane Member

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  9. Quentinanon Member

    Nice. Multiple lawsuits against the cult by tenacious, Fair Game savvy lawyers is the Bridge to Total Win. I liken the scientology crime syndicate to a Jurassic monster where you have to latch yourself onto it with meat hooks and ride it until it collapses.
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  10. tinfoilhatter Member

    You left out the money, when you latch onto it, you are rewarded by hemorrhaging money. the cult is stupid, and it has deeeeeep pockets, people have figured this out, and are making their moves.
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  11. Kilia Member

    I am sooo happy to read this!! :)
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  12. Courthouse News Service: Lawyer Says Scientologists Took Him for $200K

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  13. bAnon Member

    According to Graham Berry, karma worked yet again. From Ortega's comments

    Graham Berry [COLOR=rgba(0, 39, 59, 0.498039)]10 hours ago[/COLOR]
    When a party, such as Scientology, files a CCP 170.6 preemptory challenge there is the risk you may end up with an even more unsuitable judge and Scientology has done that just here. It has no further challenge. IMHO Judge Hess is the worst judge they could have drawn. He is as schooled in Scientology chicanery as any Los Angeles Superior Court judge. He was the judge in the Wollersheim judgment collection case and it was his tentative ruling against Scientology that led the church to finally pay Wollersheim a reported approx. $9M in final settlement (of the original $30M judgment). The defense would be foolish not to keep the new judge since they can also file a CCP 170.6 challenge (once). See:
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  14. wolfbane Member

    Graham clarified this comment was meant for the LauraD case where a new judge was assigned, not the Vance case. And I already crossposted it to the relevant thread.
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  15. DeathHamster Member

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  16. tinfoilhatter Member

    "1980, won a $30 million jury verdict against the church, which appealed, eventually winning a remand from the U.S. Supreme Court and a reduction of the award to $2.5 million. The amount, which grew to $8,674,843 with costs and interest, was finally paid into court by the defendants in 2002."

    wow, it took them 20 years to cough up the dough.
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  17. Quentinanon Member

    They had the money in bank accounts, but Miscavige refused to pay the judgment out until the cult was threatened with writs of execution, garnishee defendant, etc.
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  18. The Wrong Guy Member

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  19. wolfbane Member

    BUMP for latest docket updates from:
    Case Number: BC540097

    Future Hearings

    05/30/2014 at 08:30 am in department 52 at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012
    Initial Status Conference(AND/OR ENTRY OF DEFAULT)

    Documents Filed (Filing dates listed in descending order)

    04/11/2014 Notice of Status Conference filed
    Filed by Clerk

    04/08/2014 Proof-Service/Summons (AS TO: Church of Scientology International Church of Scientology Western United)
    Filed by Attorney for Plaintiff/Petitioner

    03/28/2014 OSC-Failure to File Proof of Serv
    Filed by Clerk

    03/21/2014 Complaint

    Notice there is NO response whatsoever filed by TeamScilon. Settlement? Perhaps. And if the cult rolls over and ponies up a refund that easily, well WOOHOO! Let the age of scilon refunds via lawfare begin!
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  20. tinfoilhatter Member

    They would not last long in that age. Could they be tapped out legally?
  21. jensting Member

    More like Captain David "he is NOT insane!" Miscavige has not deemed this worthy of his attention, yet he has not delegated it to anyone who can fight it off.

    Instant fail.
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  22. DeathHamster Member

    He has to keep track of all these cases. How high can he count?
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  23. vaLLarrr Member

    Old Kendrick Moxon is a walking embodiment of what it is to fail at life.
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  24. Quentinanon Member

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  25. The Wrong Guy Member

    OY VEY: Scientology invokes Jewish Law to answer lawsuit by attorney Vance Woodward

    By Tony Ortega

    In March, the Church of Scientology was sued by former member Vance Woodward, an attorney in the Los Angeles area. Readers at the Underground Bunker were familiar with Vance — he helped us do a comprehensive and fun series, reading L. Ron Hubbard’s essential text, Dianetics, cover to cover. Over his 22-year career in the church, Vance estimated that he’d spent about $600,000 and about a third of that was for services he never received.

    As part of its 1993 agreement with the IRS that gained Scientology tax-exempt status, the church is required to give refunds to members who qualify for them. But Vance is one of many former members who say Scientology’s refund process is a sham. He’s suing because he says there’s no way to get his money back through the church’s own procedures.

    Now, Scientology has answered Vance’s lawsuit in a predictable way — the church has filed a motion asking the Los Angeles Superior Court to find that Woodward should subject himself to Scientology’s internal arbitration rules and dismiss his lawsuit.

    It’s the usual response Scientology makes to such lawsuits. In Florida, Luis and Rocio Garcia are waiting to hear if Scientology’s attempt to force them into arbitration is going to derail their federal fraud claim.

    As we pointed out when Woodward first filed his lawsuit, Vance explained at length that Scientology’s arbitration system is “unconscionable.” But Scientology, in these cases, tries its best to portray itself as a legitimate religion with a sophisticated internal justice apparatus, and that its internal disputes should not be the subject of a civil court.

    For that reason, the motion filed by the church really lays on thick the notion that Scientology is among the world’s great religions. Attorneys Gary Soter and Kendrick Moxon even invoke Jewish Law to help explain why Woodward’s suit isn’t properly the stuff of civil court.

    The Scientology doctrine that any dispute arising from participation in the church or any dispute between Scientologists or between Scientologists and their churches will be submitted to and resolved by the Scientology internal arbitration system and not the civil courts, is hardly unique. Similar provisions apply in many religions….See also Karo, J. Code of Jewish Law: Laws of the Judges…Prevailing view of Jewish Law, codified in the “Code of Jewish Law,” is that Jews must seek resolution of disputes before rabbinical courts applying Jewish law, not a secular court;

    The motion then quotes from the New Testament: “1 Corinthians 6:1-7 ‘If any of you has a dispute with another, dare he take it before the ungodly for judgment instead of before the saints?’”

    ‘Before the saints.’ Yeah, that’s a good one.

    Continued at
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  26. The Wrong Guy Member

    Hearing set in Vance Woodward lawsuit

    By Tony Ortega

    Our legal team has spotted a new development in Vance Woodward’s lawsuit against the Church of Scientology. Recently, we told you that the church had fired back at Vance’s claim that he was being denied a refund by filing a motion to force the case into arbitration. The church usually argues in these cases that such disputes should be handled internally, and not in a court of law. Vance had anticipated that move, and in his very detailed complaint he accused the church of running a sham arbitration system.

    Now, a hearing has been set for June 24, and we only wish we could be there. Perhaps some of our LA friends could attend on our behalf?

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  27. The Wrong Guy Member

    Vance Woodward’s lawsuit in Los Angeles heats up

    Two interesting developments in Vance’s suit to tell you about today. Scientology lawyer Kendrick Moxon has filed an objection to Judge Susan Bryant-Deason, saying that she is prejudiced to his client. This may be only a pro forma objection, like the ones we’ve seen recently in Laura DeCrescenzo’s lawsuit, also in L.A.

    In a more entertaining vein, Vance has answered Scientology’s reply to his lawsuit, and he’s done it with style. As we assumed he would, Vance pounces on Scientology’s assertion that Woodward’s lawsuit should be forced into the church’s internal arbitration system because it is a religious dispute, not the stuff of civil court. Vance answers that this is a lawsuit about contracts and promises, not religion, and he does it forcefully, in lines like this, reacting to the way Scientology always lays it on thick about its religious nature…

    “Scientology is a religion, complete with scientifically refuted beliefs coupled with claims to the contrary. Big deal. The Scientology enterprise is acting in bad faith, this very second, by asserting the existence of an internal arbitration procedure that does not in fact exist. The alleged arbitration procedure is a sham.”
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  28. wolfbane Member

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  29. fishypants Moderator

    Lol section title "Limits to the Religious Hall Pass".
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  30. Random guy Member

    The text is even better. It's the section that contain the two following juridical gems:

    "Big deal." and "Good Grief."
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  31. The Wrong Guy Member

    Woodward objects!

    By Tony Ortega

    What is it about California? Apparently, it’s easier to reject a judge in a lawsuit there. After Scientology had filed a peremptory objection in the lawsuit brought against the church by attorney Vance Woodward, now Woodward has objected to the new judge, Malcolm Mackey, and has asked to have him removed.

    Why? Woodward’s not talking, but we can’t help but wonder if Vance was swayed by how well Scientologist John Travolta has been doing in Mackey’s court. But that’s just a guess.
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  32. wolfbane Member

    Mackey was also the judge in the Nancy Cartwright insurance lawsuit over the debts owed by her ex-fiancee Stephen Bracket after he committed suicide.

    From and
    The docket on that case shows that the Plaintiff filed a notice of settlement and then a request for dismissal in April 2011. Prior to that, there was a flurry of actions related to Cartwright's motions to dismiss and strike portions of the complaint, followed by her eventually filing a cross complaint. So it looks things got a little heated on that case after the media stopped paying attention to it and before they finally settled.
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  33. wolfbane Member

    Latest docket updates for CASE NUMBER: BC540097

    Future Hearings - 07/31/2014 at 08:30 am in department 56 at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012
    Conference-Case Management

    Documents Filed - 07/02/2014 Notice (OF 1. ASSIGNMENT TO D55 AND 2. NEW HEARING DATE ON DEFTS PREVIOUSLY FILED JOINT MOTIONS TO COMPEL ) Filed by Attorney for Deft/Respnt

    07/01/2014 Notice-Case Management Conference Filed by Clerk
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  34. wolfbane Member

    /hattip to JBWriter on ESMB who spotted something changed...

    There has been a new hearing date added:

    10/06/2014 at 08:32 am in department 56 at 111 North Hill Street, Los Angeles, CA 90012

    Documents Filed:

    07/16/2014 Statement-Case Management Filed by Attorney for Pltf/Petnr

    07/15/2014 Statement-Case Management Filed by Plaintiff & Plaintiff In Pro Per

    07/03/2014 Notice Filed by Attorney for Deft/Respnt


    Re: the Motion to Compel arbitration on the new hearing date, we already knew about that action. But the anti-SLAPP motion is seemingly new. Yet there is no corresponding dox for that motion showing up on the documents filed list. So we possibly have a clerical fk-up at play where they either they forgot to record the anti-SLAPP filing and just set the hearing, OR the anti-SLAPP motion was noted on the wrong docket/hearing.

    Other oddity - the two new dox from July 15-16 have "Unknown" recorded on the extended description.
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  35. The Wrong Guy Member

    On October 6 there’s going to be a potentially very interesting court hearing in Los Angeles. On that date, at 8:30 am in the Stanley Mosk Courthouse, Judge Michael Johnson will be deciding on two of Scientology’s motions in the lawsuit brought by former member Vance Woodward.

    Vance is suing for the $200,000 he says he paid Scientology over his years as a member, accusing the organization of fraud. Scientology responded with the two motions. The firsts asks that the matter go to internal church arbitration and be dismissed from the courts. The second is an “anti-SLAPP” motion, which accuses Woodward of filing a frivolous lawsuit that’s intended to harm Scientology’s free speech rights.

    While the court mulls that over in advance of the October 6 hearing date, both sides were asked to submit documents which discuss their willingness to settle or mediate the matter.

    Scientology’s response accuses Woodward of the usual thing (that he signed a contract and was aware that he was signing his life away, for example). But Woodward’s response is more interesting. He admits, for example, that he’s already approached Scientology for a settlement, but the church wasn’t interested. Also, he says that he expects Scientology will appeal if its motions are denied, which would tack on another year or more for an answer.

    Give each of the documents a look, and let us know if you find anything particularly interesting. And who’s going to the hearing on October 6? We could use some eyes and ears.

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  36. RightOn Member

    DM's nickname Slappy has more than one meaning.
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  37. The Wrong Guy Member

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  38. The Wrong Guy Member

    Vance Woodward files motion to reconsider his dismissed lawsuit against Scientology

    We’ll give him this — Vance Woodward is a fighter. The attorney, who spent more than 20 years in Scientology, then dropped out of it, wrote a book about his experiences in the church (which he later pulled from circulation), helped us read Dianetics cover to cover in one of our favorite series here at the Bunker, and moved to Los Angeles to restart his legal career, is not giving up on his lawsuit over the $200,000 he says he still has on account at Scientology.
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  39. The Wrong Guy Member

    Vance Woodward smacked down in court again

    Yesterday, Vance Woodward had another day in court, asking Judge Michael Johnson of the LA Superior Court to reconsider the decision he had made earlier, to grant Scientology’s anti-SLAPP motion which dismissed the lawsuit Woodward had brought against the organization.

    Woodward spent 22 years in Scientology, then left and wrote a book about his experiences and helped us blog Dianetics from cover to cover. He sued Scientology last year, saying he wanted back $200,000 he had put on account for services he would never receive, but he also targeted much of his lawsuit at Scientology’s processes, which he says harmed him. Judge Johnson granted Scientology’s anti-SLAPP motion, criticizing Woodward for making the suit about the church’s religious practices rather than solely about a refund.

    Woodward filed the motion, asking Johnson to reconsider his decision, complaining that Scientology had sandbagged him when it switched up the order of the motions it wanted heard in court. But Judge Johnson wasn’t swayed.

    Plaintiff’s arguments only constitute further elaboration on the matters presented in his opposition to the motion, and Plaintiff appears to have been aware of them at the time of the hearing. Plaintiff claims that he was misled by Defendants’ arbitration motion which caused him to focus on certain issues to the exclusion of others. But this also could have been raised at the time of the hearing. Plaintiff has not presented any persuasive reasons to re-examine the court’s 10/8/14 ruling, and the motion for reconsideration is denied.

    The judge also granted Scientology’s request for attorney fees and costs, and after some criticism of the high rate being asked for by church attorney Gary Soter ($750 an hour), granted Scientology 70 percent of what it was asking for, saddling Woodward with a bill of $90,507.50.

    Woodward plans to appeal the ruling.

    Here’s the judge’s order:

    Continued here:
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  40. Quentinanon Member

    I empathise with Vance Woodward. The cult made false promises to him and scammed him with their quack psychotherapy. Now, he wants justice.
    In the U.S., you have to keep your legal arguments on matters of commerce, not matters of religion, and what constitutes religion in the U.S. is broad and vague.

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