IN THE UNITED STATES DISTRICT COURT
FOR THE EASTERN DISTRICT OF VIRGINIA
RELIGIOUS TECHNOLOGY CENTER, a
California non-profit religious )
corporation, ) CIVIL ACTION NO.
ARNALDO PAGLIARINI LERMA, an )
individual; DIGITAL GATEWAY SYSTEMS, a )
Virginia corporation; THE WASHINGTON )
POST CORPORATION, a District of )
Columbia corporation; MARC FISHER, an )
individual; and RICHARD LEIBY, an )
DECLARATION OF SHERMAN LENSKE
I, Sherman Lenske, declare and say:
1. I am over 18 years of age and a resident of the State of
California. I have personal knowledge of the facts set forth in
this declaration and, if called upon as a witness, I could and
would competently testify thereto.
2. I am an attorney admitted to practice in the State of
California, and before the United States District Court, Central
District of California, the United States Tax Court, and the
United States Supreme Court. I received an LL.B. from the
University of California at Los Angeles. I have practiced law
for almost thirty years, specializing in the areas of corporate
(profit and non-profit), estate planning and general business.
For the past fifteen years I have been a principal in the law
firm of Lenske, Lenske and Abramson, a Law Corporation (formerly
known as Lenske, Lenske, Heller and Magasin).
3. I represented Mr. L. Ron Hubbard in all aspects of his
estate planning from the time he engaged me as his attorney in
approximately April 1981 until his death on January 24, 1986, and
also represented the Executor of his Estate through the probate
of his Will, which was concluded in January 1989. All of the
documents effectuating the estate plan were drafted either by me
or under my supervision, at the direction of Mr. Hubbard.
4. Between May and October of 1981, I conducted research
and worked on developing Mr. Hubbard's estate plan. In or about
October of 1981, Mr. Hubbard informed me of his overall desires
with respect to his estate plan, and particularly with respect to
his intellectual properties.
5. In late 1981, and continuing into 1982, with my direct
participation and under my supervision proposals and documents
were prepared to carry out Mr. Hubbard's estate plan which were
submitted to him. After his review and comments, refinements of
the estate plan were made upon Mr. Hubbard's instructions to
ensure that his intentions were carried out exactly.
6. I have seen documents filed in the above-captioned case
which purport to suggest that there may be some controversy or
dispute regarding certain documents created and executed as part
of Mr. Hubbard's estate plan. Having been the principal
architect of Mr. Hubbard's estate plan and of all the documents
which are part of that plan, I can state conclusively that any
purported controversy or dispute is fabricated and is also
legally invalid, impossible and ineffectual.
7. The defendants here have made much of the fact that
Religious technology Center (RTC) did not produce the original of
the 1982 Advanced Technology Assignment in this case. As seen
below, that issue is a red herring. I have had the original of
the Assignment in my safe for thirteen years since it was
signed. RTC was provided with a photocopy for its records. I
have seen a copy of the Assignment which RTC filed in this case,
and it is an exact duplicate of the original that I have had in
my safe. The non-production of the original copy is truly a non-issue
since I am the custodian of the original, and not RTC. However,
as I am aware that it has been made into an issue, I am attaching
as Exhibit A a true and correct copy that I have made of the
original document, which I am certifying pursuant to Cal.
Evidence Code § 1531. Inspection of this document will reveal
that it matches precisely the one that has been provided in this
case by RTC.
8. Because defendants in this action have tried to
insinuate that there is something mysterious about RTC not having
provided the original document, they thereby imply that the copy
RTC provided may not be a copy of the original. To further
provide the Court with evidence that the copy the Court has in
its possession is genuine (and not a copy of some other or
altered document), I had the L Ron. Hubbard's signature on the
original document newly analyzed by handwriting expert William
Bowman (one of the foremost forensic handwriting experts in the
country). He confirmed that it is L Ron Hubbard's signature,
thereby verifying that the document I have in my safe is the
original, and the copy I have attached is an exact duplicate.
(see exhibit B, William Bowman Declaration). It is a copy of the
document that Mr. Bowman authenticated which I have attached
hereto as Exhibit A and this copy matches exactly with the copy
of the document RTC provided to the Court.
9. The creation of RTC, and its receipt of the Advanced
Technology Assignment, played an important role in protecting the
intellectual properties associated with the Scientology religion.
Mr. Hubbard specifically approved the formation of RTC to help
effectuate his estate plan. As a result, RTC was incorporated on
January 1, 1982 for the purpose of owning the Scientology
trademarks and service marks and the Advanced Technology.
Over the ensuing months assignment documents were reviewed and refined
until they were precisely what Mr. Hubbard wanted.
10. As one part of Mr. Hubbard's estate planning, he
directed that his U.S. rights to the Advanced technology,
exclusive of copyrights, be conveyed to RTC at that time and the
remainder would be transferred to RTC following his death. The
first part of this objective was accomplished in May, 1982 when
Mr. Hubbard signed the Advanced Technology Assignment, and the
remainder was accomplished on November 30, 1988 when Norman F.
Starkey, as Executor of the Will of L Ron Hubbard, assigned the
remainder of Mr. Hubbard's rights to the Advanced technology,
other than the copyrights, to RTC.
11. The Assignment of the United States rights to the
advanced Technology to RTC was prepared under my direction and
approved by Mr. Hubbard, who executed it on May 10, 1982. The
Assignment was executed by RTC on May 16, 1982, by Stephen Glen
Marlowe as president, and Laura Marlowe, as secretary. Mr.
Marlowe inadvertently filled in May 16 on the first page of the
assignment agreement and omitted the year. The Assignment was,
however, supposed to be dated January 1, 1982, the date of RTC's
incorporation, since the rights and obligations stated in the
Assignment were already proceeding before it was executed, and the
Assignment was a formalization of those ongoing activities
into written, enforceable obligations. The assignment of the
U.S. rights to Advanced Technology was done, in part, to
provide RTC with a source of income necessary to discharge its
responsibilities in protecting the marks and the purity of the
Scientology religion, as discussed in paragraph 5.
12. A month or two after execution of the assignment, an
addendum was drafted by my firm under my supervision and executed
by Mr. Hubbard, adding additional Advanced technology materials
to the 1982 Assignment I am advised that the defendants in this
case have attempted to make an issue of the dates of this
addendum and the original Assignment. Once again. they are
attempting to turn a non-issue into a red flag.
13. The January 1, 1982 date on the addendum is explained
by the intention that the document be effective with the January
1, 1982 inception of RTC. The January 19, 1982 date is when the
existence of new Advanced Technology levels, known as New OT VIII
through New OT XI, were announced. The addendum therefore
corrected an oversight in the original Advanced technology
Assignment document by including these new OT Levels back to the
date of their announcement.
14. The defendants have also attempted to raise a
controversy on the subject of the Advanced Technology Assignment
by making it seem suspicious that in a speech by Mr. Hubbard for
New Years' Eve 1983, he mentioned the assignment of the
Scientology trademarks to RTC, but not the Advanced technology.
This argument, however, is a smokescreen because it misapprehends
that the Assignment and Addenda thereto are only portions of Mr.
Hubbard's overall estate plan.
15. There are many other parts of Mr. Hubbard's estate plan
which he does not mention in the tape recorded message either.
The tape was an address to all Scientology parishioners
worldwide, and it is therefore not surprising that Mr. Hubbard
did not discuss the more esoteric issues of his partial
assignment of trade secret rights in the Advanced Technology or
other aspects of his estate planning. The estate plan was an
entire package, of which the Advanced Technology Assignment
documents were only one part. There were also a Will, a trust,
and a separate assignment of the trademarks. The dispute which
the defendants are trying to create is not a dispute at all. An
estate plan of this complexity required implementation through
several different documents, each of which was duly executed.
16. The estate plan was created specifically to carry out
Mr. Hubbard's exact intentions. From 1950 until mid-1982, Mr.
Hubbard had registered, owned and informally licensed the
trademarks, service marks, copyrights, and trade secrets of
Dianetics and Scientology. This provided him with a legal means
of enforcing the orthodox practice of the religion and preventing
misuse of those intellectual property rights by persons who were
trying to pass off their activities as being Dianetics or
Scientology, when they were not. The estate plan was formulated
to ensure continued protection of those intellectual properties
after Mr. Hubbard's death.
17. While I can take credit for the creation of the plan
itself and the documents that effectuated the plan, including the
Advanced Technology Assignment documents, Mr. Hubbard not only
approved the documents, he is also the one who instructed that
they they be prepared in the first place and provided me with the
intentions I embodied in the plan and the documents. The
integrity of these documents is unassailable.
18. Another important aspect of the estate plan was the
assignment of the Scientology trademarks to RTC. Under trademark
law, Mr. Hubbard was burdened with the requirement to personally
enforce these marks as any trademark owner is. There was no
guarantee that this function would be properly fulfilled
following his death, because at that time he did not wish to be
involved in any way in the management of the Churches, but wanted
to carry on with his research, and because he wanted to see the
purity of the Scientology religion safeguarded throughout the
ages, he wanted to convey the trademarks of Scientology to a new
organization that would enforce them. Thus, the trademarks, too,
were given to RTC by Mr. Hubbard.
19. This current "controversy" reminds me of another false
controversy surrounding Advanced Technology Assignment
documents which occurred 12 years ago, prior to Mr. Hubbard's
death, in which my firm and I represented Mr. Hubbard. Any
doubts on this issue were resolved with absolute finality at that
time. In 1983, Mr. Hubbard's estranged son, Ron DeWolf,
challenged the entire handling of Mr. Hubbard's estate and assets
by bringing a frivolous probate action in Riverside county,
20. Mr. Hubbard was in seclusion at that time, involved
principally in research and writing. I advised Mr. Hubbard of
the allegations that were being made about him and his estate and
he disposed of this matter by providing two documents:
A. a handwritten letter to the presiding judge in
which he affirmed that he was in voluntary seclusion in
order to work on his projects, was in full control over his
legal and financial affairs, and that his estate was being
very competently managed, followed by
B. a sworn declaration which repeated and amplified
this same information and also responded to allegations I
advised him had been made about those who were handling his
affairs, including David Miscavige, assuring the Court that
any activities by Mr. Miscavige "at any time concerned [Mr.
Hubbard's] personal or business affairs have been done with
[his] knowledge and authorization and for [his] benefit."
[Ex. B, Bowman Dec. and Exhibits 3 and 4 thereto)
21. The authenticity of Mr. Hubbard's declaration and
handwritten letter was demonstrated to the full satisfaction of
the Court and the general public:
A. The handwritten letter and the declaration bore a
unique specially-prepared, time-dated ink that was
formulated, and later confirmed, by BATF Forensic Chemist
Richard L. Brunelle;
B. Both the handwritten letter and the Declaration bore
Mr. Hubbard's fingerprints on every page and these were
positively identified by Los Angeles police Department
fingerprint expert as belonging to L. Ron Hubbard; and
C. The handwriting and signatures on both the
handwritten letter and the declaration were confirmed by
William Bowman, the top Forensic Document Examiner for the
Los Angeles Police Department, as being, without question,
that of L. Ron Hubbard.
(ex. B, Bowman Dec.)
22. This showing resulted in the dismissal of Mr. DeWolf's
thoroughly frivolous probate action on summary judgement. No other
challenge to the estate plan occurred ether before Mr. Hubbard's
death or thereafter during the pendency of the probate
23. The final step in effectuating the estate plan was, of
course, the ultimate probate of Mr. Hubbard's Will following his
death on January 24, 1986. The 1982 Assignment had given RTC all
U.S. rights, exclusive of copyright, in the Advanced Technology,
Mr. Hubbard retained the copyrights to the Advanced Technology at
that time, as he did the non-U.S. trade secret rights in the
Advanced Technology. In accordance with Mr. Hubbard's wishes,
the Executor of his estate gave an exclusive license for the
copyrighted materials to the Advanced Technology to RTC on
September 17, 1987 and assigned to RTC the non-U.S. trade secret
rights in the Advanced Technology on November 30, 1988. the
exclusive copyright license and assignment of November 30,
1988 were confirmed by the primary beneficiary of Mr. Hubbard's
estate, Church of Spiritual Technology (CST), after the estate
was distributed. The trademarks and the U.S. rights to the
Advanced Technology were not part of Mr. Hubbard's Estate because
he had transferred them to RTC in May, 1982 and they were
conclusively and properly recognized as the property of RTC
by the Executor, the heirs and CST.
24. Because I handled the estate planning, the creation of
the documents pursuant to that plan, and supervised the probate
of Mr. Hubbard's Will until the closing of his Estate, I am the
person most knowledgeable about those events. An important
point, of which the Court must be informed, is that when that
Estate was closed, all issues related to the disposition of Mr.
Hubbard's property were conclusively ended. The probate of the
Will and the proceedings in the Probate Court in San Luis Obispo
County settled the transfers of all properties that passed under
Mr. Hubbard's estate plan, including the 1982 Assignments. The
propriety of the transfers of property can no longer be disputed,
as a matter of California law.
25. The defendants in this case have apparently tried to
create an impression that there is a discrepancy between Mr.
Hubbard's signatures on his January 23, 186 Will and on the 1982
Assignment. There is no issue here -- Mr. Hubbard signed both
documents. The signature on that Will was fully authenticated in
1986 by the same handwriting expert who has analyzed the
signature on the 1982 Assignment and they are both the signature
of L. Ron Hubbard. (Ex. C, 1986 Declaration of William Bowman).
There is no controversy. If the two signatures look different,
it is because the one on the Will was placed there the day before
Mr. Hubbard passed away. It creates no cause for controversy, as
the Probate Court has already probated the Will and ordered
26. It is not credible under the circumstances, that anyone
could even attempt to create a colorable issue of fact over the
authenticity of the Advanced Technology Assignment document, or
any of the other estate documents for that matter. There is
simply no question that RTC owns these rights. I know. I was
Mr. Hubbard's personal attorney. I was the architect of Mr.
Hubbard's estate plan. I crafted the Advanced Technology
Assignment and, indeed, every document concerning his estate plan
pursuant to Mr. Hubbard's instruction. I have had the original
Assignment documents in my office safe continuously since they
were signed. The Advanced Technology Assignment and all other
estate planning documents were open to challenge in the San Luis
Obispo probate action which ended over six years ago without such
challenge. The authenticity of this assignment and RTC's
ownership of the Advanced Technology is established history.
I declare, under penalty of perjury and under the laws of
the State of California, that the forgoing is true and correct.
Executed this 12th day of November, 1995, at Woodland Hills,
Sherman D. Lenske