Statement of Claim - May 9, 1974

[Note: I haven't corrected any of the OCR errors in this draft. This document is presented here exactly how it arrived in my email.]

Statement of Claim

Paul K. Champagne

Barrister & Solicitor, Suite SC1, 481 University Avenue, Toronto, Ontario N5G 1W8

Solicitor for the Plaintiff

In the Supreme Court of Ontario

Between:

Church of Scientology of Toronto — Plaintiff

And

John McLean First Defendant

Nancy McLean Second Defendant

Eric McLean Third Defendant

Dawn McLean Fourth Defendant

Bruce McLean Fifth Defendant

C.T.V. Television Network Ltd. Sixth Defendant

Robert Reguly Seventh Defendant

C.P.T.O. Limited Eighth Defendant

John Saunders Ninth Defendant

 

Statement of Claim

(Writ issued the 9th day of May, 1974)

 

  1. The Plaintiff, Church of Scientology of Toronto, is a religious corporation organized and existing, under the laws of the province of Ontario and has its principle place of business in the Province of Ontario.
  2. The First Defendant resides in or about the Village of Sutton West in the Province of Ontario.
  3. The Second and Third Defendants reside in the Village of Sutton West, in the Province of Ontario, and married to each other.
  4. The Fourth and Fifth Defendants reside in or about the Village of Sutton West, in the Province of Ontario, and are married to each other.
  5. The Sixth Defendant (hereafter called "C. T. V.") is a corporation organized and existing under the laws of the Dominion of Canada, and by means of a network of television stations affiliated with it located in various locations across Canada does produce and broadcast television programs to the Canadian viewing public.
  6. The Seventh Defendant, Robert Regaly is employed by the defendant, C.T.V. as an investigative reporter.
  7. The Eighth Defendant, C.F.T.O. limited (hereinafter called C.F.T.T.) is corporation organized and existing under the laws of the Province of Ontario and has it’s principal place of business in the City of Toronto in the Province of Ontario and is a CTV affiliate television station.
  8. The Ninth Defendant resides in or about the Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto and is a writer.
  9. The First, Second, Third, Fourth, and Fifth Defendants were members of the Church of Scientology of Toronto.
  10. The Defendant, C.T.V., is the producer of a television programme entitled "W-5" which is broadcast weekly across the Dominion of Canada by means of the said network of television stations on the Sunday of each week of the year from approximately fall until spring.
  11. The Defendant, C.T.V., produces the said television programme in the studios of the Defendant, C.F.T.C. Limited.
  12. The Defendants did conspire together and with each other with common design maliciously to injure the Plaintiff by spreading throuout the Province of Ontario and the Dominion of Canada libelous statements of an concerning it.

 

Particulars

  1. On a date or dates prior to March 31, 1974, the Defendants Nancy McLean, Eric McLean, Dawn McLean, Bruce McLean and John McLean conspired amongst themselves to libel the Plaintiff by spreading throughout the Province of Ontario and the Dominion of Canada false statements of and concerning them.
  2. On a date or dates prior to March 31, 1974, the Defendants John McLean, Dawn McLean, Bruce McLean, Eric McLean,, Nancy McLean, John Saunders, Robert Reguly, C.T.V. and C.F.T.C. did agree and conspire together to libel the Plaintiff by broadcasting or publishing libelous statements of and concerning the Plaintiff.
  3. The Defendants C.T.V. and C.F.T.O. or their employees did obtain a copy of tape recordings of the whole or a portion of interviews of the Defendants John McLean and Nancy McLean which were broadcast on the 4th day of March, 1974, by Radio N.W. Ltd. or radio station CKNW, Vancouver, British Columbia.
  4. The said tape recordings or portions thereof were spliced in such a manner by employees of C.T.V. or C.F.T.O. that it appeared that the speaker, Robert Dobsen-Smith, was threatening the Defendant John McLean. The words on the said tape recording are contained in Paragraph J, page 7.
  5. On the 31st day of march, 1974, an edition of the said television programme was broadcast across the Dominion of Canada by the method aforesaid, and a portion of the said programme did deal with the Plaintiff.
  6. In pursuit of the aforementioned conspiracy the Defendants John McLean, Nancy McLean, Eric McLean, Dawn McLean and each of them did participate and appear on the said television programme as guests and were interviewed at that time and did discuss and answer questions of and concerning the Plaintiff.
  7. The Defendant Robert Reguly did gather together certain background information for use on the said programme and all or a portion of the said information was used in the production of the said programme.
  8. The studios of the Defendant C.F.T.O. were used to produce the said programme and the said Defendant did show the persons in and around the Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto in the Province of Ontario.
  9. All of the aforementioned Defendants and each of them did falsely and maliciously publish or cause to publish and broadcast throughout those geographic areas of the Province of Ontario and the Dominion of Canada, where the said programme is viewed, of the Plaintiff and of and concerning it in the way of its vocation, profession and business in the following words:
  10. Announcer C.T.V.: "Now a story of harassment from a family who dared to leave an organization which calls itself the Church of Scientology. That’s tonight on W-t.

    Nan McLean: The funeral symbolized, ‘The McLeans, you’re on our list, we’re out to get you’.

    John McLean: Calls were made stating that my father was an embezzler; that I was having an illicit affair with a minor, a drug addict; my father and mother were both adulterers; somebody loosened 5 wheel nuts on my half-ton truck and while I was driving down the road, I just about lost the wheel.

    Dawn McLean: They want us to be afraid so that we won’t speak out against them at all.

    Interviewer C.T.V.: That’s the McLean family of Sutton, Ontario. They appeared on the W-5 show a year ago to tell about their experiences with Scientology. They and W-5 are being sued by Scientology over that programme. Scientology is a cult calling itself a religion. It claims to help people get rid of their personality problems through courses, there can cost thousands of dollars. The McLean Family paid out thousands before leaving Scientology. The organization tried to pressure them from going public with their inside knowledge but the family did and this is their story of what’s been happening to them after they went on W-5.

    John McLean: The Church of Scientology actually admitted that fact, by publishing an Ethics Order, the order said ‘To All Staff: RE: Bruce, Dawn, Nan and John McLean: We would like to point out that the above terminals are and always have been in good standing as Scientologists. It has come to our attention that from a staff meeting on the 12th day of May insinuations were made that this was no the case, which resulted in enturbulation and some harassment of the McLeans. This is to stop’.

    Interviewr C.T.V.: Despite this order the McLean family was subjected to further harassment. Have you received phone calls from people purporting to uh … have had an affair with your husband?

    Nan McLean: Yes.

    Interviewr C.T.V.: What was your reaction to that?

    Nan McLean: Well … what would any woman’s reaction be to the fact that her husband is having an affair … ah … I was … very upset, although I knew in my heart that it wasn’t true.

    Interviewer C.T.V.: What sort of phone calls were received by your employer?

    Eric McLean: One was received by the um … Associate Director of the Education of York County which um … implied that I had been stealing from the school in which I was employed and ah … when the caller was pressed to identify himself, he refused to do this and uh … the report was that he was afraid that I would um … take some measure of um … action against um … children in the school … The man identified himself as the man from the Credit Bureau checking on Mr. McLean … asking what kind of a man he was and ah … he said that he owed back taxes and ah … stuff like that. I received a second call from a man that pretended to be drunk, which I though he was and uh, and uh … he said, um, that Mr. McLean was playing around with his wife and I should watch my wife when Mr. McLean was around.

    John McLean: We were taken to court by Bryan Levman … uh, who was at that time president of the Church of Scientology of Canada, on a charge of causing to be harassed or harassing g by telephone, one Bryan C. Levman. Now, I personally had never called Bryan Levman on the telephone. He had made three telephone calls to me, trying to get me to stop going publicly with the information that I had about the organization. Now .. our lawyer got him on the stand and had had to admit that I had never instituted a call to him uhhh … just lately, there was a girl by the name of Peggy Goodman from the Church of Scientology of Ottawa, she is now studying in Toronto, who laid a complaint at 52nd Division in Toronto to s Sergeant Carter. Now she stated that she was attacked, physically attacked, by a person calling himself McLean. This girl and another Guardian Office staff member from Toronto by the name of Joanne Lye came up to identify me. Sunt … er ah Stunt, now uh … [illegible] different place however, and the girl said it was not me.

    Eric McLean: Within the month of February there were particular instances of what I would term harassment. On the 6th of February my house in Sutton, Ontario, was picketed by a group of Scientologists. The following week, on the Tuesday, a group of Scienologists uh, drove into the town of Sutton and uh held a mock uh funeral service for the McLean Family. The uh implication of a mock funeral has to do with a reputed policy procedure named R2-45. This procedure has been described uh by Bob Dobsen-Smith, the uh Public Relations Officer for the Toronto Church of Scentology, as being a jest but meaning uh … a condition where a person is uh … shot.

    Interviewer — radio station CKNW, Vancouver, British Columbia: Robert Dobson-Smith, tell us about this auditing process R2-45 please?

    Robert Dobson-Smith: Auditing process R2-45 is not an auditing process, it is simply something that was named that in jest by Mr. Hubbard in his writing.

    Interviewer — radio station CKNW: All right, well what is it, I am asking you that, what is it please?

    Robert Dobson-Smith: R2-45 is someone being shot, all right, and then leaving the body, and you can tell John as long as he, he carries on these ridiculous outcries which are totally untrue, this is simply a smear job on the Church of Scientology, uh … he is going to be bothered by things that go bump in the night and harassment that he claims exists, which is totally ridiculous.

    Interviewer C.T.V.: Back in the sleepy town of Sutton, the town’s people express disgust at the tactics of the Scientologist’s mock funeral.

    Interviewee 1 — Sutton West, Ontario: Oh that … uh … they were burying the souls of the McLean family or some such nonsense …

    Interviewee 2 — Sutton West, Ontario: I was in fits that they could uh use a person’s uh, uh name uh and harass him and his family without anybody doing anything about it …

    Interviewee 3 — Sutton West, Ontario: My reaction of course was immediately one of anger how this type of thing could happen anywhere in Canada and put me in mind of something that could happen in the Southern States, perhaps, but not in Canada.

    Nan McLean: In some ways, it’s brought us much closer … in other was it has divided us. Now, the reason the division exists is because each of us have our own ideas of the workability of Scientology. I happen to be one of those who still believes in the technology as workable.

    Dawn McLean: Of course, in this type of situation I tend to be a little bit paranoid or wondering whether, can’t you trust anybody … this type of thing … but uh, I don’t intend to live in fear … and I think that’s what they want …"

  11. On a date or dates prior to the 31st day of March, 1974, the Defendants John McLean, Nancy McLean, Dawn McLean, Eric McLean and Bruce McLean contacted or were contacted by the Defendant John Saunders and together they conspired to write and have published an article for the Toronto Daily Star newspaper, containing false statements of and [ILLEGIBLE] the Plaintiff.
  12. The said article has not appeared in the Toronto Daily Star to date, but the Defendant Saunders has contacted certain other newspapers and magazines, and the said article is to be published in the June, 1974 edition of McLean magazine.
  13. L) The Plaintiff pleads that part of the content of the article referred to herein and written by the said Defendant John Saunders contains statements, allegations, and falsities which are similar or identical to the statements, allegations, and falsehoods mad in paragraph I herein and that the source or sources of the said statements, allegations and falsehoods are the Defendants John McLean, Eric McLean, Nancy McLean, Dawn McLean and Bruce McLean herein.
  1. The statements hereinbefore referred to were and are false, unpriviledged libelous and defamatory and were known to the Defendants and each of them to be false.
  2. The Plaintiff pleads and the fact is that the Plaintiff and all institutions, societies, corporations and other organizations of the religion of Scientology throughout the Province of Ontario, the Dominion of Canada and the world have identical or substantially identical objects, forms of service, prayers, creed, forms of observance and methods of instruction and that the words complained of in conjunction with the relevant circumstances herein are reasonably capable of being understood to apply to the Plaintiff in particular by name and description.
  3. By reason of the said publications, the Plaintiff has been gravely injured in it’s credit and reputation both personally and in the way of its profession and business which is the proselytizing of the religious faith known as Scientology and have been brought into public scandal and hatred, ridicule and contempt.

17) The Plaintiff therefor claims:

  1. general damages in the amount of $1,000,000.00;
  2. punitive damages in the amount of $1,000,000.00;
  3. an injunction restraining the Defendants and each of them whether by their agents or servants or any person acting under their instructions from further conspiring to commit libels and from publishing and broadcasting further libels resulting from the said conspiracy or similar words defamatory of the Plaintiff in their affairs or otherwise;
  4. its costs of this action;
  5. such further and other relief as to this Honorable Court may seem just and expedient.

The Plaintiff proposes that this action be tried in the Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto, in the Judicial District of York

 

Delivered at Toronto this 10th day of May, 1974, by Paul K. Champagne, Barrister & Solicitor, Suite SC1, 481 University Avenue, Toronto, Ontario N5G 1W8, Solicitor of r the Plaintiff.