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Enrollment in Scientology course told

Title: Enrollment in Scientology course told
Date: Friday, 3 May 1985
Publisher: The Oregonian (Portland)
Author: Fred Leeson
Main source: link (57 KiB)

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A former Portland man who enrolled Julie Christofferson Titchbourne in her first Scientology course in 1975 testified Thursday that Titchbourne willingly signed up for the class and that she was advised that the course material involved religion.

"She came in already wanting to do the course," said William M. Landers, describing Titchbourne's first appearance at the Portland Church of Scientology mission in July 1975 when Titchbourne was 17.

Titchbourne is suing the church and its founder, L. Ron Hubbard, in Multnomah County Circuit Court for fraud based on representations she said were made to her that led her to become involved in Scientology for a nine-month period ending in 1976.

Landers, who now resides in Mill Valley, Calif., said he went over an introductory pamphlet with Titchbourne, which on several of its pages referred to Scientology as a religion.

Titchbourne testified last March that she was told Scientology was a science and its founder was a civil engineer, a profession she planned to pursue. She also said she was told Scientology training would help cure her weak eyesight.

Landers testified he did not make any representations to Titchbourne about Hubbard being a civil engineer or about the curing powers claimed for Scientology in one of many Scientology books written by Hubbard.

Landers also denied he showed Titchbourne a church-produced biography of Hubbard that Titchbourne's lawyers say contain numerous false statements about Hubbard's college education and professional training.

Under cross-examination, Landers said he may have mentioned engineering in connection with Hubbard, but added he never represented to Titchbourne that Hubbard was a civil engineer.

Asked if Titchbourne talked about wanting to improve her poor eyesight, Landers replied, "She said absolutely nothing about that."

Landers said he did tell Titchbourne that Hubbard was paralyzed and blind as a result of World War II injuries and that he cured himself using Scientology techniques.

Titchbourne's attorneys presented evidence earlier in the trial that Hubbard did not serve in combat during the war and was never injured. When Landers was asked what evidence he had of Hubbard's injuries, he replied, "None."

Asked If he ever verified a statement in one church document describing Scientology as a "precision science," Landers said, "No. I didn't think it was necessary."

Titchbourne testified in March that she was told Scientology was a church "for tax purposes" and that she thought the courses and materials were based on science, not religion.

Landers said he worked on the staff of the Portland church from 1974 to 1977.