EMBASSY OF THE FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF GERMANY [in Washington]
December 13, 2001
posted on de.soc.weltanschauung.scientology December 13, 2001
Note Nr.: /2001
The Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany communicated to the US State Department its recommendations concerning the basis of the lawsuit filed by Mr. Hubert Heller, complainant, against Mrs. Ursula Caberta, defendant, in the US Federal District Court, district of central Florida, Tampa court district, file number 8:00-CV-1528-T-27C. The Embassy directed attention to the fact that Caberta, a member of the German state, holds a position with the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, a state of the Federal Republic of Germany.
The subject of the complaint is devoted entirely to the activities of Mrs. Caberta or her staff in Germany in their official capacities as staff of the Senate of the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg.
Mrs. Caberta has consistently maintained that she is not the correct party against whom a complaint should be filed and has indicated that she is an agency employee so that, if a suit were to be filed, the proper addressee would be the Interior Senator at the Hamburg Senate. The State Court in Hamburg would have jurisdiction over the matter.
Based on the fact that the complaint may only be validly directed to the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg, the Federal Republic of Germany, representing the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg in accordance with international law, invokes state immunity and requests immediate withdrawal of the complaint. A court in the United States does not have jurisdiction in the Free and Hanseatic City of Hamburg in the Federal Republic of Germany, and is not in the position to institute court proceedings there.
The Federal Republic of Germany does not intend to waive its immunity, and, in accordance with international law, it does not appear as a defendant or as a party to a defendant in a foreign court of law.
The Federal Republic of Germany requests the esteemed State Department to intervene in a timely manner so that the legal complaint, in accordance with the principles of international law - as detailed above - will be withdrawn.
A copy of this verbal note will be made available to Mrs. Caberta by a legal representative of the court. She has been instructed by her Hamburg agency not to appear before the court in Tampa.
The Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany seizes this opportunity to convey anew its highest esteem to the US State Department.
Washington, [date removed] 2001
June 13, 2000
Clearwater Fla., (Reuters) - On Tuesday, officials of the Scientology Church greeted the suspense of criminal charges against the church for the death of a member, while a critic promised that the legal dispute would continue in civil court.
On Monday, district attorney Bernie McCabe of Pinellas County let drop the criminal charges against the church for mistreatment of an incapacitated adult and practicing medicine without a license in the fatal case of Lisa McPherson, who died in 1995 after 17 days of care by members of the church.
McCabe explained that the case by Joan Wood, the Pinellas medical expert had been undermined when she, in February, changed her findings in McPherson's death from "undetermined" to "accidental," after experts hired by the church had put the results of her autopsy in question.
"We are very happy. We think that was was the appropriate thing to do," said Scientology speaker Mike Rinder about McCabe's decision. The church denies having caused McPherson's death.
But Ken Dandar, the attorney of McPherson's next of kin, promised to continue a separate suit against the church.
"That has absolutely no influence on the civil suit," Dandar stated to the St. Petersburg Times.
No trial date has yet been set for the civil proceedings.
On November 18, 1995, McPherson was involved in an insignificant traffic accident in Clearwater. After the accident, she took her clothes off and asked a rescue work for help and was brought to a local hospital.
A few hours later she went away with several members of Scientology and was brought to the headquarters of the church in a former hotel in the center of Clearwater.
On December 5, her condition deteriorated and she was brought to a hospital where a doctor of the Scientologists was on duty, many miles further than one only a few blocks away. When she arrived in the hospital, she was declared dead.
According to sworn testimony by an investigator who worked for the district attorney's office, McPherson was psychotic and delusional when she was in the care of staff members of Scientology.
The investigator stated that she had been restrained and medically treated with force by unqualified staff members. The investigator said that much of his information came from interviews with those who cared for McPherson.
McCabe's criminal charges were against the church and not against any staff members. In the event the church would have been found guilty in both charges, the punishment would have consisted only of fines.
In 1994, McPherson moved from Texas to Clearwater on the west coast of Florida to take courses in the Scientology headquarters. She worked in a publishing house which belonged to Scientologists.
Scientology was founded in 1954 by author L. Ron Hubbard in Los Angeles. The headquarters in Clearwater was established as a spiritual center in 1975 where Scientologists from the United States and other countries could go to take courses.
Clearwater (dpa) - The state attorney's office has dropped the charges against the American Scientology sect in the death of an adherent. It was alleged by the presiding state attorney in Clearwater, Florida, that there were no more grounds for the accusations of mistreatment and negligence of 36-year-old Lisa McPherson. Prior to that, the state's doctor, after new investigations, had determined the death to be the result of an automobile accident. The Scientology Church welcomed the decision on Tuesday. Critics of the controversial organization had been using the McPherson case as an example of the mistreatment of sect members.
Charges against Scientology in Florida
After the death of a sect member
From: "TAZ Nr. 5687"
November 16, 1998
Washington (taz) - After a two year investigation Florida's criminal investigative offices have brought charges against the Church of Scientology. The charges are abuse and neglecting to aid as well as unauthorized practice of medicine. These result from the death of Lisa McPherson, an adherent of the Church of Scientology, who had died after an accident in the care of the sect. After a traffic accident, she got out of her car, took off her clothes and talked in a confused manner. She was to have gotten psychiatric care at a nearby hospital. However, Scientologists brought her to a hotel owned by the sect, where she remained under their care. She died 17 days later as a result of malnourishment and dehydration.
The maximum punishment in a finding of guilty is a fine of $5,000, however the court can also decide upon confiscation of the property of the church.
© Contrapress media GmbH
Scientologists lose law suit
Against Time Magazine
A US appeals court found that an article entitled "Scientology: Cult of Greed" had not been maliciously libelous.
New York, USA
January 17, 2001
New York. The Time cover story for which reporter Richard Behar did almost a year of research, was published back in 1991.
The court found that Richard Behar had not with "intentional avoidance of the truth, as the plaintiff had accused, reported about a stock fraud case and an attempted murder/suicide in which the sect was involved.
The ten-page Time article criticized the sect as a "ruthless global scam" which harasses and fleeces its members in a Mafia-like manner while pretending to represent religious interests.
The article reported about a sect member, Steven Fishman, who lined his nest with fraudulent millions obtained by theft of securities.
Fishman handed over one-third of the dirty money to Scientology for books and cassettes. When the news of the swindle broke, it was said that the sect wanted Fishman to kill the psychiatrist in whom he had confided. Then Fishman was to kill himself.
The article contained interviews with the psychiatrist and with Fishman.
Another accusation in the article was that a young man had committed suicide because he was required to turn over all his money to the sect.
As did the judge in the first appeal, the judge in the second appeal was not able to share the sect's opinion that the reporter had insufficient proof of his assertions thereby committing libel.
$1.2 million recovered in fund scam
Jan. 5, 2001
More than $1.2 million bilked from investors has been recovered by federal officials and will be returned to the fraud victims, authorities said Thursday.
Benjamin Franklin Cook III of Arizona was charged last August with 37 counts of racketeering, fraud and theft in connection with an investment scheme run by his company, Dennel Finance Ltd.
A U.S. Customs Service investigation resulted in a court order this week directing the Church of Scientology to return $1.2 million donated by Dennel Finance.
The church returned the funds to a receiver and has not been accused of any wrongdoing, authorities said.
The indictment alleges that Cook, a former Carefree resident, defrauded more than 300 investors of a total of $41 million, investing only $625,000.
Five government agencies investigated Cook's plan, which promised investors that their money would be placed in a European bank trading program. The agencies allege that Cook used the money to buy cars, airplanes, a house and other real estate.
Cook's assets have been seized and he is being held in Texas.
Will the Church of Greed finally, as a last resort, get religion? Let us pray.