In this subparagraph, the Service has asked for a copy
of any verdict, decision or judicial finding that any Scientology-related' organization
or individual was involved in the commission of an intentional tort or violation
of criminal law. Copies of these documents are attached as Exhibit 10-P. There
were verdicts, or decisions with judicial findings of intentional torts in only
four of the cases discussed on the pages of the prior submission referenced in
this question, and all of these cases were discussed in the response to Question
4.d of the Service's May letter -- the Stifler case, the Christofferson case,
the Wollersheim case, and the Armstrong case, discussed at pages 10-12;
10-15 to 10-16; 10-16; and, 10-12 respectively, of our prior response.
The Service has asked the Church to state whether it
agrees with the findings of the Courts in each of the above decisions. The Church's
response to this part of the question follows: [...]
Church of Scientology v. Gerald Armstrong:
We have included some background information here and
an epilogue to the decision in question. That is because the Service has continuously
thrust the Armstrong case at us, demanding an explanation. The Armstrong
case decision was so inflammatory and intemperate that it was used to stigmatize
the Church in the legal arena and make other outrageous decisions possible. As
we shall demonstrate below, all this decision ever involved was Armstrong's
state of mind, which subsequently obtained evidence proved conclusively to be
one sordid, sado-masochistic nightmare. Furthermore, Armstrong's state
of mind horror stories have fallen on deaf ears in recent litigation. Relying
on Armstrong or the Armstrong decision is wholly unjustified.
During the later years of his tenure as an employee
of the Church, Gerald Armstrong was placed in charge of a huge quantity
of documents that belonged to Mr. Hubbard that contained private and personal
information regarding Mr. Hubbard. Part of his duties included research to support
the work of an author who had been retained to write an authorized biography of
In late 1981 after the initial clean out of the higher
levels of the Guardian's Office, and when investigations were turning toward identifying
those in alliance or sympathy with the GO, Armstrong suddenly vacated Church
premises and left its employ, taking with him huge numbers of confidential documents
that belonged to Mr. Hubbard or his wife which the Church was holding as bailee.
It was no coincidence that Armstrong left at that time because he had repeatedly
expressed his ambition to join the GO and work in Bureau 1 (Information Bureau),
the same area of GO that had been responsible for the criminal acts of the 70's.
Armstrong also had been a long-time friend and confidant of Laurel Sullivan.
Just prior to the take over the GO taking place, Sullivan had made a
proposal to place convicted GO members into corporate
positions of control throughout the top of the ecclesiastical hierarchy. She was
also found to be spying on the CMO for the GO during the early days of the CMO's
investigation into the GO. Armstrong assisted and supported Sullivan in
In the summer of 1982 the Church received evidence that
Armstrong had stolen thousands of documents from archives when he left
the Church. Church counsel wrote to Armstrong, demanding that he return
them. Armstrong denied the theft.
Once the demand for return of documents was made, Armstrong
turned the stolen documents over to Michael Flynn, with whom Armstrong
decided he could make a lot of money.
In August 1982, the Church sued Armstrong for
conversion, breach of fiduciary duty and confidence, and invasion of privacy based
on Armstrong's theft of extensive amounts of private papers owned by the
Church or the Hubbards. The Church sought return of the papers and the imposition
of a constructive trust over them, and any proceeds derived from them, as well
as preliminary and permanent injunctive relief against dissemination or disclosure
of the private documents.
In September 1982, Armstrong, represented by
Flynn, answered the complaint and raised the defense that he was justified in
stealing the documents entrusted to him as a fiduciary because he wished to make
public information about Mr. Hubbard and the Church out of fear for his safety
and well-being. His defense was stricken on four different occasions by three
In April 1984, the case was assigned for trial before
Judge Paul Breckenridge, Jr. At that time, the Church presented motions in limine
to prevent Armstrong from introducing the stolen, confidential documents
since their introduction into evidence would vitiate the very rights of privacy
the action sought to protect. The Court not only allowed Armstrong to introduce
the confidential documents, but also allowed him to raise his four-times stricken
defense with a new perverted twist. He would not have to prove there was anything
to fear from the Church, but only his state of mind when he stole the documents.
The Church was completely ambushed in the trial by these documents, as in most
cases Armstrong had stolen the only copy that existed. Then, after he and
Flynn had ample time to prepare their case from them, the documents were placed
under seal in the Court. Although the inflammatory allegations that Armstrong
made and purported to support with these documents could have been shown to be
false or grossly distorted by other evidence, the Church had no chance to prepare
and put on that evidence before being hit with the documents in court.
During the trial, Armstrong presented testimony
from numerous witnesses who testified for the purpose of establishing Armstrong's
supposed "state of mind" with regard to his alleged justification for
stealing the documents. Each of the witnesses was hostile to the Church and, in
fact, was a plaintiff against or taking a position adverse to the Church in other
litigation in which Flynn was the counsel. Each witness gave general testimony
about his or her own viewpoint on relationships with the Church in an effort to
bolster Armstrong's state of mind justification defense.
The Court did not allow the Church to put on evidence
to rebut the testimony of those witnesses. The Court also declined to allow the
Church to put on evidence explaining the confidential documents and precluded
the Church's proffered rebuttal evidence on the ground that the adverse testimony
was admitted only for the purpose of establishing Armstrong's state of
mind and not for the truth or falsity of the matter testified about.
On July 20, 1984, Judge Breckenridge issued a Statement
of Intended Decision which became final a month later, which held that the Church
had "made out a prima facie case of conversion.... breach of fiduciary duty,
and breach of confidence" (as the former employer who provided confidential
materials to its then employee for certain specific purposes, which the employee
later used for other purposes to employer's detriment). Judgment, however, was
entered in favor of Armstrong. The Statement of Decision adopted as the
facts of the case the allegations which Armstrong had made in his trial
brief. These allegations included the statements on which Armstrong premised
his justification defense; i.e., that defendant "... became terrified and
feared that his life and the life of his wife were in danger, and he also feared
he would be the target of costly and harassing lawsuits." The judge went
on to pontificate on the psychological mind-set of not only Mr. Hubbard, but Scientology
at large. The only lawsuit that there was to fear was the one that was ultimately
filed for return of the stolen documents. It never would have been brought had
Armstrong voluntarily returned the documents when asked, despite the theft.
The IRS CID, however, absorbed Breckenridge's findings
as the definitive statement of what Scientology is, and used this decision and
the Flynn witnesses who testified at the trial as the nucleus of their investigation.
The Church tried repeatedly to explain to the IRS that the Armstrong decision
was nothing more than a statement concerning Armstrong's state of mind.
The CID and EO weren't interested, as they found in Armstrong a kindred
spirit who echoed their own sentiments. They therefore embraced Armstrong
and the Flynn witnesses and used their fabrications as the basis for their investigations
and denials of exemption.
Evidence found after the Armstrong trial proves
not only that Armstrong never was afraid of the Church as he claimed at