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Cult threatens to sue over book

Title: Cult threatens to sue over book
Date: Sunday, 1 November 1987
Publisher: The Sunday Times (UK)
Author: Richard Palmer
Main source:
Alternate and/or complementary: link (48 KiB)

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THE CHURCH of Scientology cult has threatened worldwide legal action against The Sunday Times in an attempt to prevent the newspaper today publishing extracts of a new book on its founder.

Lawyers representing the church last week said they would sue The Sunday Times and its distributors in more than 50 countries if extracts of a book by Russell Miller, published into today's Sunday Times, breach the copyright of the estate of the late L. Ron Hubbard, scientology's founder.

The threats of legal action are the latest in a campaign of harassment against The Sunday Times and Miller, the author of Bare-Faced Messiah: The True Story of L. Ron Hubbard.

Scientologists have employed lawyers and private detectives to mount legal and personal attacks on Miller and his sources to try to discredit him and prevent publication of the biography of Hubbard.

The book, which challenges official scientology accounts of Hubbard's life and work, was published in Britain last week after the cult failed to obtain an injunction delaying publication.

The attempt to block publication was described by Mr Justice Vinelott as "mischievous and misconceived", and his judgment was upheld by Lord Justice Fox 10 days ago. But the cult, still plans to sue Miller for breach of copyright.

Extracts of the book are published on page 55 of today's Sunday Times. Lawyers for the newspaper said the extracts do not breach the copyright of Hubbard's estate.