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.
Editorial from Joe Cisar
The Church of Greed (called a 'church' here out of respect for cults, who have gotten a disproportionately bad shake in this deal) prides itself on adapting to its environment. Be that as it may, It definitely must have learned from the Fishman case, thanks to Behar's article which won the 1992 Gerald Loeb Award for Distinguished Business and Financial Journalism and a Conscience-in-Media from the Society of Journalists and Authors (an award also once received by Paulette Cooper incidentally). Nowadays the Church of Scientology, at least in the event it is caught red-handed, is returning without a whimper the millions which members defraud from an unsuspecting public. From http://www.azcentral.com/news/0105invest05.html
$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.
German Scientology News