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Sect ordered to pay $300,000 to victim

Title: Sect ordered to pay $300,000 to victim
Date: Saturday, 1 June 1974
Publisher: Los Angeles Times (California)
Main source: link (67 KiB)

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A Superior Court jury Friday awarded $300,000 to L. Gene Allard, 33, a Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., artist, who claimed the Church of Scientology made him a victim of its "fair game" policy.

Allard, the church's former bookkeeper in Los Angeles, sued for malicious prosecution after the Scientologists had him arrested in 1969 for allegedly stealing $27,713.90 in Swiss franc notes and its records.

The criminal charges against Allard were dismissed Dec. 29, 1969, for lack of evidence. He denied ever taking any money.

The civil jury in the court of Superior Judge Parks Stillwell on Friday also denied the Scientologists' countersuit seeking return of the allegedly stolen money and $100,000 in punitive damages.

A deputy district attorney who recommended dismissal of the criminal charges five years ago reported Allard did take the financial records but handed them to Internal Revenue Service officials in Kansas City.

The prosecutor said Scientologists apparently hoped to discredit Allard, whom they considered a witness against them in IRS proceedings.

Charles O'Reilly, Allard's attorney, argued the artist had been persecuted in the criminal case as "fair game" under a policy dictated by Scientologist founder L. Ron Hubbard in 1967 and subdued in 1968. Scientologist attorneys Michael Lawler and Meldon E. Levine countered that Allard had not qualified as "fair game."

Evidence introduced by O'Reilly included a copyrighted "policy letter" signed by Hubbard on Oct. 18, 1967, detailing "penalties and lower conditions" for both land-based and sea organizations. (Hubbard on lives on a Mediterranean-based ship). The letter included the paragraph:

"SP (suppressed person) Order. Fair Game. May be deprived of property or injured by any means by any Scientologist without any discipline of the Scientologist. May be tricked, sued or lied to or destroyed."

Also in evidence was a second copyrighted policy letter by Hubbard dated Oct. 21, 1968, titled "Cancellation of Fair Game." It stated:

"The practice of declaring people fair game will cease. Fair game may not appear on any ethics order. It caused bad public relations. This P/L (policy letter) does not cancel any policy on the treatment or handling of a SP.