Scientology Critical Information Directory

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Joseph A. Yanny (Joe Yanny)

Lawyer, formerly represented the Church of Scientology.

«Yanny had been Scientology's lead copyright and trade secrets lawyer. Yanny had stopped representing the Church when it asked him to illegally obtain the confidential medical records of former scientologist Larry Wollersheim's lawyer who had sued the Church of Scientology and won a judgment of $30 million USD for fraud and harassment.» — Graham E. Berry, "An Introduction To Scientology's Corruption of the United States Government and Its Legal System", May 2002

Graham Berry: "An Introduction To Scientology's Corruption of the United States Government and Its Legal System"

Yanny fired that lawyer and hired new lawyers, which included me. We conducted a very effective defense and we won the second Yanny case. We also successfully defended the two Yanny cases on appeal. Scientology was particularly annoyed by the devastating manner in which I had conducted discovery against the church, which had set the stage for Scientology's loss of the second Yanny case.

Gerry Armstrong: "RTC v. Yanny"

Time (May 1991): "Scientology: The Thriving Cult of Greed and Power" by Richard Behar

Another lawyer, Joseph Yanny, believes the church "has so subverted justice and the judicial system that it should be barred from seeking equity in any court." He should know: Yanny represented the cult until 1987, when, he says, he was asked to help church officials steal medical records to blackmail an opposing attorney (who was allegedly beaten up instead). Since Yanny quit representing the church, he has been the target of death threats, burglaries, lawsuits and other harassment.

Los Angeles Times (June 1990): "The Scientology Story: On the Offensive Against an Array of Suspected Foes"

[...] Last year, former church attorney Yanny said in a sworn declaration that he was fed information from confessional folders to help him question former members during pretrial proceedings. Yanny said he complained but was informed by two Scientology executives that it was "standard practice." [...]

St. Petersburg Times (Dec. 1988): "Scientology Faces New Charges Of Harassment" by Stephen Koff

So in the spring of 1987, top-ranking Scientologists and lawyers called a meeting at their headquarters on Sunset Boulevard in Los Angeles to talk over the O'Reilly matter. According to their former lawyer, Joseph Yanny, the Scientologists planned to steal confidential files on O'Reilly from the Betty Ford Center and other alcohol - and drug - treatment centers. Yanny said the Scientologists figured that such records could be used to blackmail O'Reilly. [...]

Joseph Yanny, 38, was one of those lawyers. He has since fallen out with the church, but at the time, he was one of Scientology's top lawyers. Yanny began representing Scientology in trademark matters in 1983. His other clients include Corona Beer and the rock group Grateful Dead. By 1985, Yanny was "closely involved in the formulation of legal strategy," according to court documents filed by Scientologists.

"I and others were told by (Scientology executive) Marty Rathburn that on orders of David Miscavige, the successor of L. Ron Hubbard as the head of the cult, that the medical records of O'Reilly were to be stolen from the Betty Ford Center, and another location in Santa Barbara, to show that he was using cocaine, discredit him, and possibly blackmail him into easing off on his $30-million verdict now on appeal," Yanny said last summer when questioned by Scientology lawyers.

Yanny balked. "I wanted no part of any criminal conduct to obtain the stuff," he said in an interview with the Times. "An alternative plan was quickly arrived at to settle my nerves," he said when questioned by other lawyers. [...]

Declaration of Joseph A. Yanny (13 July 1988)

b) I also became aware of numerous "cullings" of P.C. folders by Cult members. I was actually given P.C. folder data to prepare for depositions of former members. Again I objected. The confidential materials were put in "prep packs". When I objected to this practice, I was told by Mr. McShane and a Mr. Ryerson that this was standard practice in the Cult. I again offered my resignation as their counsel. Within weeks, the prep packs were removed from my office by a team of Cult members headed by a Mrs Joyce van Dyke. Prior to the break-ins into my office, I received receipts for the prep packs as they were turned over to the Cult team. I have not been able to locate them.

c) There was also wholesale destruction of evidence, theft of documents from private persons and attempts to infiltrate the Court chambers of Judges Lilly and Swearinger.

d) This is but the top of the iceberg. Many of the documents in this Court's Jury Room show recent attempts by this Cult to infiltrate courthouses, U.S. government contractors such as Honeywell in Phoenix, to find out what classified projects these contractors were getting from the "Rockefellers" and the "DOD" and other "enemies of mankind".

e) I was also informed of a Cult-organized group of vigilantes known as the "minutemen" who were to go beat up dissidents and had in fact done so. I retained no originals of any documents that belong to the Cult, I simply retained copies, which I am permitted to do. The encrypting diskettes for the Cult computer, were turned over to them prior to the break-ins in my office.

f) I also became aware of a plot to obstruct Justice or at least perpetuate a fraud to the Courts in the form of settlement agreements of numerous pieces of Cult litigation, which required that lawyers never take litigation against the Cult in the future, that no-one (lawyers or parties) testify against the Cult, and that all evidence and files be turned over to the Cult for destruction.

g) Additionally, I became aware that witnesses such as Bill Franks and others signed contracts to keep quiet about what they knew. In other words they were paid hush money.

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