Scientology Critical Information Directory

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Bonnie Woods

Former scientologist, former Sea Org staff member.


Hartley Patterson: "Woods vs. Scientology Court Case"

The Woods are ex-Scientologists; Bonnie formerly a Sea Org'er on staff in LA and Richard a former public member who took the Communications course, the Personal Integrity Course and some Book One auditing. They have done exit-counselling work and were a point of contact for people with a problem with Scientology in the UK. Since 1995 they have been involved in a hefty court battle: Scientology has passed out defamatory leaflets about them in their neighbourhood, as well as regular venomous articles in "Freedom". Saint Hill's one-time spokesman Peter Mansell went into an extremely hostile verbal denunciation of Bonnie on a programme on Irish TV, when she was not present and had not been mentioned. Most bizarrely of all, when Bonnie and Heber Jentsch were both guests on This Morning with Richard and Judy, a live TV show in the UK, Heber fired off a salvo of defamatory accusations, to the astonishment of the presenters.

Bonnie Woods vs. Scientology Court Case

This page is presented as a source of information on ex-scientologist Bonnie Woods' successful attempt to get justice after being libelled by Scientology and its spokespeople. The latest additions to the page are details of Bonnie's final victory in the case, and a rapidly expanding section of [media coverage]. See also [the Big Guy's page] for commentary on the case.

The Mirror (Nov. 2005): "Mirror investigates: Inside cult castle" by David Edwards

According to former Scientologist Bonnie Woods, 56, who now runs a counselling service for ex-members, Britain is seen as ripe for conversion.

"Make no mistake, the people at the top of Scientology see us as a huge untapped well of easy converts, where many people are apathetic to mainstream religion and have large disposable incomes.

"These are exactly the sort of people they want. They're called 'raw meat'." [...]

The Express (Jul. 1999): "How I was reduced to black despair by 'caring' church's personality test"

Bonnie Woods, a former Scientologist who has counselled more than 300 families affected by the "religion" says: "I have been in mental asylums and seen the effects that recruitment into Scientology might have on someone who is vulnerable. People think that if you are not a basket case, you will be protected from the Scientologists. But in fact, anyone of any age going down the street can be just as susceptible as anyone else."  [...]

Reuter (1999): "UK Scientologists pay damages to former member"

LONDON, June 8, 1999 (Reuters) - The Church of Scientology on Tuesday agreed to pay a former member 55,000 pounds ($88,000) in libel damages and to apologise publicly for calling her a hate campaigner.

The settlement with American-born Bonnie Woods, who was a member of the church in the 1970s, was announced at London's High Court.

Woods left the Los Angeles-based church in 1982 and converted to Christianity in 1991 after moving to Britain. [...]

High Court of Justice (1999): "Scientology Apologises to Bonnie Woods"

As the defendants now accept, the allegations in the leaflet about Mrs Woods were untrue. Bonnie Woods does not hate any religion and would not take any step to force people away from their chosen religion or encourage others to do so. While the Woods have on occasion met with Scientologists and their families at the request of their families and discussed the Church of Scientology with them, the Woods have not put pressure on them or the Church of Scientology to prevent them continuing in Scientology. Mrs Woods is sincere in her Christian faith.

The publication of the allegations to her friends and neighbours in the local community was deeply distressing to Mrs Woods. In order to clear her name, in December 1993 Mrs Woods sued Church of Scientology Religious Education College Incorporated and the individual members who had published the leaflet for libel.

The Defendants have now acknowledge that the allegations about Mrs Woods were untrue. They are here by their Counsel today to withdraw them and to apologise to the Plaintiff. They have agreed to pay Mrs Woods a substantial amount of money in respect of her claim for damages for libel, and to undertake to the Court that they will no longer make these untrue accusations against her.

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