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Conclusion of Scientology case set

Title: Conclusion of Scientology case set
Date: Friday, 8 June 1984
Publisher: Daily Journal (Los Angeles, California)
Main source: link (42 KiB)

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After five weeks of trial, closing arguments are about to be heard in a Church of Scientology suit against a former church archivist over custody of 10,000 pages of documents, most of which belong to church founder L. Ron Hubbard.

The arguments, scheduled to begin today, are expected to last most of the day, according to attorneys for both sides.

It was not known whether Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Paul Breckenridge Jr., who presided over the non-jury trial, will then rule from the bench or take the matter under submission.

The case revolves around Gerald Armstrong, a disillusioned former church member who, in his role as archivist, was helping a writer prepare a biography of Hubbard.

Before leaving the church in December 1981, Armstrong allegedly discovered frauds perpetrated by Hubbard and the church which were revealed in the documents. According to the defense team, the public has a right to learn about these misrepresentations and Armstrong was justified in taking them.

Defense attorneys want the court or some other party to retain copies of the documents, which are currently under court seal, so they can be used in a series of pending civil suits against the church.

Michael Flynn, Armstrong's attorney, has contended that if the documents are returned to the church, they will never again see the light of day.

But the church and the church founder's wife, Mary Sue Hubbard, want the documents returned, contending that Armstrong took them without permission. They deny any allegations of fraud.

The plaintiffs are also seeking an injunction preventing Armstrong from disclosing the contents of the papers. Mrs. Hubbard has also sued Armstrong for invasion of privacy.

L. Ron Hubbard has been in seclusion for four years and is not a party to the suit.