1991 Time Magazine Story { original Time Magazine story here }
Time Magazine Wins in court, link to Judge Leisure Opinion
The Atlanta Journal Constitution reported on January 13th that Time
Magazine has won an appeal by Scientology to reverse the dismissal of a
libel lawsuit over the 1991 cover article.

"Time Inc. and another unit of AOL Time Warner Inc. have persuaded a
federal appeals panel to uphold the dismissal of a libel suit brought by
the Church of Scientology International. The lawsuit stemmed from a 1991
cover story in Time magazine titled 'Scientology: The Cult of Greed,'
which called Scientology 'a ruthless global scam.' The 7,500-word story by
journalist Richard Behar said the church survives by 'intimidating members
and critics in a Mafia-like manner,' and called Scientology a 'ruthless
... terroristic' cult. The church sued Behar, Time and Time Warner for
libel, claiming that these and other statements were defamatory."

From the New York Law Journal on January 16th:

"In a libel lawsuit, the Church of Scientology failed to show actual
malice by a writer for Time magazine, which published an expose of the
organization in 1991, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit has
held.  The appeals court, in a suit filed over the Time cover story
'Scientology: The Cult of Greed,' also said that no reasonable jury could
find that reporter Richard Behar published allegations about a stock scam
and murder-suicide involving members of the church 'with purposeful
avoidance of the truth.'

"Mr. Behar's 10-page article criticized Scientology as a 'ruthless global
scam' posing as a religion that survived 'by intimidating members and
critics in a 'Mafia-like' manner.' One allegation in the story, denied by
the church, was that church member Steven Fishman stole stock confirmation
slips in order to join dozens of successful securities class action
lawsuits. Mr. Behar reported that Mr. Fishman spent almost a third of the
million dollars he made from the stock scam on Scientology books and
tapes, and when he was caught, was instructed by the church to kill a
psychiatrist that he had confided in, Dr. Uwe Geertz, and then kill

"The Second Circuit agreed with Judge Leisure that the church could not
make a showing of actual malice in publishing either the stock scam or
murder-suicide allegations.  'The article does not present Fishman's claim
as undisputed fact, but rather makes clear that Scientology denies the
truth of Fishman and Dr. Geertz's charges,' said Chief Judge John M.
Walker Jr., writing for the appeals court. 'In view of the extensive
research Behar conducted and the fact that the death threat was accurately
reported as an allegation, we agree with the district court that no
reasonable jury could find' Mr. Behar was purposefully avoiding the truth
in publishing the allegations.

"Other statements from the article that the court found fell short of
actual malice were the 'Mafia-like' allegation, a second that called the
group 'classically terroristic,' and a third that read: 'Those who
criticize the church--journalists, doctors, lawyers and even judges--often
find themselves framed for fictional crimes, beaten up or threatened with

"Another allegation concerned the suicide of a man named Noah Lottick. Mr.
Behar had written that 'The Lotticks lost their son, Noah, who jumped from
a Manhattan hotel clutching $171, virtually the only money he had not yet
turned over to Scientology. His parents blame the church and would like to
sue but are frightened by the organization's reputation for ruthlessness.'
The church had argued that Mr. Behar had a negative view of Scientology,
and in the words of Judge Walker, 'that his bias pervaded the
investigation and caused him to publish false and defamatory statements'
about the church--a claim Judge Leisure found unsupported by the evidence.
Moreover, Judge Leisure said that the church had failed to show inadequate
investigation on the part of the reporter."

Scientology's lost its last appeal of it's Libel Lawsuit for TIME
Magazine's Cover Story:
The Thriving Cult of Greed and Power
[ Link to the Article ]- has been DENIED by the United States Supreme Court [link to docket entry ]
after being DISMISSED by the 2nd Circuit   Court of Appeals : from the 2nd Circuit's Dismissal: "To the extent that the Behar Article uses the term "Scientology," Chief Judge Walker is of the view that the term as used denotes a belief system,  or, as the Article puts it, a "cult," [page 8]