Scientology Critical Information Directory

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Mary Johnston

Former scientologist.
Sued the Church of Scientology, settled out of court.

RTE News (2002): "Dublin woman sues Scientology church"

«A Dublin woman who claims she was controlled by a cult has begun a High Court legal action for damages.

40-year-old sports shop owner Mary Johnson from Westwood, Foxrock, was a member of the Church of Scientology for two years between 1992 and 1994.

She is now suing the organisation because of the experiences and pressures she claims she suffered while a member and the threats and intimidation when she tried to leave.»

The Irish Examiner (2002): "Woman was 'psychologically injured'" by Vivion Kilfeather

«A woman who claims she was brainwashed by the Church of Scientology is suing for damages. Dundalk-born Mary Johnson, 40, who has a sports equipment shop at Westwood, Foxrock, is also suing three members of the church: John Keane, Tom Cunningham and Gerard Ryan.

In the High Court yesterday, Sean Ryan SC for Ms Johnson, said she was "sucked in" by the organisation which brought her under its control and influence.

She was recruited to the church in 1992. Efforts were made to prevent her leaving the organisation, to silence her and to devalue her. The court was also told efforts had been made to intimidate her and to prevent her suing.

Mr Ryan said the court would be introduced to a language of psycho religious-mythical scope and expressions and words with no meaning other than being defined as Scientology.

Ms Johnson had suffered psychological, psychiatric injuries, panic attacks and post traumatic stress disorder, together with loss of short term memory and that condition had been exacerbated by the subsequent illegitimate conduct of the defendants.»

Irish Times (2002): "Scientology case woman tells of abortion confession"

«A woman who is suing the Church of Scientology told the High Court yesterday she became very distressed during a church "auditing session" in 1992 and had recounted an event that nobody else knew about her, that she had been pregnant and had had an abortion.

Ms Mary Johnston, who has a sports shop in Foxrock, Co Dublin, was giving evidence on the second day of her action against the Church of Scientology Mission of Dublin Ltd and three of its members: John Keane, Tom Cunningham and Gerard Ryan.

She is seeking damages under a number of headings, including conspiracy, misrepresentation and breach of constitutional rights.

Yesterday Ms Johnston (40) said she had had a number of auditing sessions with Mr Cunningham from late 1991. At one session in January 1992 she was unable to recall anything.

Mr Cunningham had told her there "must be something". She ultimately remembered the one thing in the world that nobody knew about her and said she wanted to stop the session.»

Irish Times (2002): "Church pressed woman to sell shop, court told"

«"By the time they had finished with me after five hours had elapsed, I had agreed I was going to sell my business. I was elated," she said. She tried to borrow from her boyfriend at the time, who turned down her request.

As a result of her involvement with the church, she became withdrawn from her family and friends. She tried to recruit people into scientology but was unsuccessful in most cases. She had many rows with her boyfriend in which she "screamed, shouted, ranted and raved". Her short-term memory started to be affected.

Ms Johnston is suing the Church of Scientology Mission of Dublin Ltd and three of its members, Mr John Keane, Mr Tom Cunningham and Mr Gerard Ryan, for alleged conspiracy, misrepresentation and breach of constitutional rights.

Earlier, Ms Johnston said she was told she could not read an article in the Evening Herald which was critical of scientology. She had heard the article had made reference to a person who had left Scientology in California. The article also made reference to Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman having been visitors to that place.»

Irish Times (2002): "Woman suing Scientologists feared private life would be made public"

«From May 1994, having left Scientology, Ms Johnston said she lived in dread and fear because she knew what she had told the movement in confidence "risked being breached". She believed her private life in some way was going to become public.

Towards October, she began to have very bad and prolonged headaches and was dizzy. She went to a doctor. She linked the headaches to Scientology.

She was invited to speak at a meeting in Clonliffe College in late 1994. Afterwards, a letter was sent by Mr Gerard Ryan to Stephen O'Brien, a journalist then with the Irish Independent. The letter came into her possession shortly afterwards. When she read it she was gutted because she knew then that the fears she had were well founded. She was grieved by what she read and she also felt betrayed.»

Irish Times (2002): "Church of Scientology 'coercive'"

«Ms Johnston said she felt she had carried out things on a human being without having had the medical background to do so. She had done this through following the commands given by L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of the church.

Asked about carrying placards outside a Church of Scientology meeting, Ms Johnston said she believed the church was coercive and destructive and altered people's perception of reality.

"I defend people's rights to believe what they like, but if people carry out acts which harm people by taking them away from their families, then I have a problem with that and have a duty to speak."»

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