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$42 Million suit filed against Scientologists

Title: $42 Million suit filed against Scientologists
Date: Thursday, 14 July 1983
Publisher: Associated Press
Main source:

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Members of a Church of Scientology splinter group have filed a $42 million suit against the church, alleging fraud, slander and breach of contract.

The suit was filed here last week on behalf of Bent Corydon, former director of the Riverside Scientology mission and member of the new Church of Sciologos. It seeks $40 million in punitive damages plus real damages of $1.83 million, said Corydon's attorney, Paul Morantz of Pacific Palisades.

The suit is a cross-complaint to a $6.2 million suit filed by Scientologists earlier this year against Corydon and his associates.

The latest suit alleges the church used money "to fund 'secret missions' from the Guardian Office designed to harass and destroy people perceived to be enemies of Scientology, including people who left the organization."

It also contends that Scientology used "terrorist acts," including "threats, harassment, framing of political charges, financial destruction and other plans to destroy a person mentally and-or financially."

The suit filed against Corydon by the new Riverside Scientology mission alleges fraud and illegal occupancy of the building at University Avenue and Lemon Street.

Defendants in the latest suit include Scientology Missions International; the church's Guardian Office or administrative bureau; the Religious Technology Center, which Scientologists say is concerned with maintaining the teachings of founder L. Ron Hubbard; the church's "Finance Police" organization, which Corydon says assesses and collects money from Scientology missions; and Church of Scientology International president Heber Jentzsch of Los Angeles.

In a statement issued Wednesday through spokeswoman Kathy Heard, the church said: "This tiny handful of people are accusing others of acts of which they themselves are guilty. Their little group is floundering and trying to pay its rent with videogames and it doesn't look like it will be long until they sink from the weight of their own self-serving and harmful acts.

Corydon, who helped organize the Church of Sciologos after leaving the Church of Scientology in November, claims he is owed $138,567 in back wages by Scientology; that his wife, Mary, is owed $159,336; and that one of his associates, Mark Lutovsky, is owed $10,004.

He also claims he and his wife are owed $100,765 for money they lent to the Church of Scientology in 1974.