The Church of Scientology is Suing Debbie Cook

Hello readers! Fresh from The Tampa Bay Times from my friend Joe Childs, I just got the news that David Miscavige did not like Debbie’s New Year email and her quoting LRH. It probably made waves and he is doing what he does best: Hate and destruction!

I want to point out the following things in this litigation:

* By suing her the Church is disclosing their own documents that are not suposed to be disclosed.

* It is a high crime for a Scientologist to sue another scientologist, therefore they are in fact violating policy.

* She didn’t state anything that isn’t already known or publicly available, and she did not technically make a public statement.

* “Signing under ‘extreme duress” will be hard to prove since they each received $50,000 for signing the agreement. She also received thousands of dollars in bonuses over the years for her reg cycles.

* For those who are interested, hearing is set for Thursday 9 February 2012 at 9 a.m. in the Bexar County 150th District Court in San Antonio Texas.

* The Creed of the Church says:
“That all men have inalienable rights to think freely, to talk freely, to write freely their own opinions and to counter or utter or write upon the opinions of others”.

Here it is from Joe Childs:

Church of Scientology sues longtime Clearwater leader over New Year’s Eve email

By Joe Childs and Thomas C.Tobin,

Times Staff Writers
Tampa Bay Times Posted: Jan 30, 2012 07:58 PM

The Church of Scientology has sued its longtime Clearwater leader Debbie Cook after she publicly questioned the church’s aggressive fundraising tactics and other practices.

The lawsuit — filed Friday in San Antonio, Texas, where Cook lives — reveals that the church paid Cook and her husband, Wayne Baumgarten, $50,000 each to remain silent about their time on church staff.

Cook, 50, worked 17 years as the church’s top official in Clearwater, Scientology’s worldwide spiritual headquarters. Serving in the post of “captain,” she presided over an operation that brought in $1.7 billion for the church during that time.

Cook and Baumgarten each signed non-disclosure agreements as they left the staff in October 2007. All told, Cook had worked in the church’s religious order, the Sea Org, for 29 years.

The church alleges in the lawsuit that the couple violated the agreements when Cook circulated a New Year’s Eve letter urging Scientologists to work internally to reform the church. The letter went to thousands of church members.

Arguing that it faced “substantial risk of imminent harm and irreparable injury,” the church asked for and received an order temporarily restraining Cook and Baumgarten from saying anything more.

In a statement to the Tampa Bay Times, church spokesman Karin Pouw described the payments to the couple as “help,” saying each willingly accepted the money as part of a legally binding agreement. “Only with recent violations of that agreement was it necessary for the church to pursue and protect its rights,” Pouw said.

The agreements, filed with the lawsuit, provide a rare look at the extraordinary lengths the church goes to to keep its inner workings secret. Among the restrictions on Cook and Baumgarten:

• They waived their First Amendment rights to free speech.

• They can never, “in perpetuity,” disclose any information about the church, its staff or former staff.

• They can never publish, attempt to publish or help anyone publish any information about the church in any media, including newspapers, television, radio or the Internet.

• They can never utter a disparaging word about the church, either directly or indirectly.

The couple agreed to stiff penalties for violating the agreement, including a minimum of $100,000 for each disparaging Internet posting, each television broadcast or each newspaper story.

The church alleges in the lawsuit that news of Cook’s “disparaging emails” reached more than 24 million people via television and radio shows and newspaper stories, including reports in the Times.

Her letter criticized “extreme” money raising tactics used by church staff and said the church had amassed well over $1 billion in reserves. It questioned the church’s strategy of building new churches called “Ideal Orgs” around the world, calling the buildings unnecessarily “posh.”

It alleged that the “complex and balanced command structure” put in place by the late Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard no longer existed, and it said Scientology was being run by a single leader, David Miscavige.

The letter also said many Scientologists are reaching the upper levels of spiritual awareness only to be told they must redo lower-level services at great expense.

These practices are against Hubbard’s policies, and all members are obligated under those policies to report and correct internal problems, the letter stated.

Pouw did not answer several questions about the agreements signed by Cook and Baumgarten and said the newspaper’s inquiry “fits your controversy-laden agenda.” She said the Times should be reporting on the 15 “Ideal Orgs” set to open this year, including two recent ribbon cuttings in Hamburg, Germany, and Sacramento, Calif.

Before filing the lawsuit, the church wrote Cook to demand she stop violating the agreement. The lawsuit said Cook responded last Thursday, stating in an email that she would not give up her right to free speech and declaring: “If you sue me, it really doesn’t matter … I have no money to spend on an attorney.”

Cook wrote to the Times after her letter was made public saying she lamented that the media had gotten word of her New Year’s Eve letter. It was not intended for outside eyes unfamiliar with the church, she wrote. “It was clearly intended as a communication amongst Scientologists.”

Joe Childs can be reached at Thomas C. Tobin can be reached at

Additional information:

Link to the article:…rs-eve/1213102

The lawsuit here:…2/3143_001.pdf

Her agreement she was coerced to sign here:…2/3144_001.pdf

Case Number: 2012CI01272
Business/Last Name: WAYNE BAUMGARTEN
Litigant Type: DEFENDANT
Court: 150
Date Filed: 01/27/2012
Case Status: PENDING

Case Number: 2012CI01272
Litigant Type: DEFENDANT
Court: 150
Date Filed: 01/27/2012
Case Status: PENDING


33 responses to “The Church of Scientology is Suing Debbie Cook

  1. Andre Tabayoyon

    It will be interesting to see the out come. The suit seems to admits that the church paid members to not say anything about the covert intentions and devices the church is using to get money from the scientologist.

  2. It is beyond comprehension that a Church can be this fanatic. In fact what she was pointing out was violation of KSW.

    The ‘church’ publicly states (on their official website) ‘what’ the Church stands for and what it believes per – the Creed of the Church of Scientology. For crying out loud – they state publicly – amongst many other things that – “We of the Church believe that all men have inalienable rights to think freely, to talk freely, to write freely their own opinions and to counter or utter or write upon the opinions of others.”

    Either they believe and practice their own Creed – or they don’t.

    There is also the “Declaration of Human Rights ‘ – used as a money spinner via CCHR – and making a big deal of these rights – yet deprive it’s own members of these very same rights – must be the pinnacle of hypocrisy!.

    Then – there is the Magma Carte, and Constitutional rights guaranteeing such specific rights.

    Such ideals as expressed in ‘the creed of the |Church ‘ – gives the illusion to the public and to those new to the subject – that this is a church with sane ideals ….. and sky high all inclusiveness….. It Makes it very attractive.- for those NOT in the know.

    I don’t know about other countries but in SA – we have a ferocious Consumer Council that came into being about two or three years ago. Currently – any organisation or vendor is OBLIGED to disclose UP FRONT all the pro’s and con’s – on the entire nine yards – in any transaction where money gets handed over for services or goods.

    Thus, for those who sign up for first time ‘services’ at the church – the whole rig-morale of the modus operandi of the church – will have to be made completely transparent UPFRONT. Otherwise they will be in breach. I can not imagine that the church complies with these requirements. This might be worth while to look into. I don’t know of anyone who will willingly ‘sign up’ – full knowing what lies ahead at the end of the road.

    Aida – do you know what is the situation with this kind of thing is in the USA – with Consumer Councils and such entities looking after the interests of the public ?

  3. Another slam dunk Aida.

    It stuns me that the church, as it stands now, thinks it can treat people like garbage forever and still retain employees. Not paying fair wages, taking away rights (such as voting in Gilman Hot Springs and free speech, as we see with Debbie here), and making ridiculous accusations will be the thing that hurts the church more than any leaked email ever could do on it’s own merit.

    • My friend, the thing that I don’t understand is why the Cof$ is not sued by SO members who were recruited under false pretense, where they thought they would be working for he Church of Scientology and instead they ended up working for a corporation called the Church of Spiritual Technology which delivers technology BASED on the works of L. Ron Hubbard.

      I believe that the Debbi Cook court cycle is going to turn into a circus. I don’t know if anything good will come out of this for either side.
      Let’s wait and see.

  4. Media are THE plague of this civilization. One of their major issues is: forwarding contrary facts
    contrary positions and controversy in general. Solutions ? Forget it. Spectators!
    Result: Lawsuit Cook/RCS.
    product accomplished.

  5. I spent 22 years with the church, worked on the ship with Hubbard and helped establish Scientology. Where I first started in Cape Town South Africa I worked mostly for nothing as there was just not enough income to pay the staff. I also witnessed the newly released ethics policies, written by Hubbard, destroy the organization with misapplication. I paid for all my training to become an auditor as I was very impressed with what LRH wrote and decided to make auditing my new found carreer as I liked to help people.

    In 1968 I joined the Sea Organization where I was subjected to all types of abuses in the name of ethics. I was on the Station ship Athena in Denmark where half the time we received no or little pay and there was never enough money for food. I later transferred to the flag ship where Hubbard was and where we were paid regularly and the food was absolutely great.

    I held a senior post on the flag ship and for some reason Hubbard issued an order for me to appear before a committee of evidence charge with “Trying to destroy Scientology in the West USA. I was in Portugal at the time and was not even aware what was going on there.

    After that episode I returned to South Africa and worked a while at the Johannesburg sea org office and was subjected to further abuse and I landed up in hospital and nearly went on the operating table. I became very dissabused with scientology and decided to leave.
    In 1986 I was asked to return to the Flag land base as they needed my expertise to inspect the ship they wished to purchase and returned with my wife and 3 children. After my wife and I experienced further abuse, one morning early I decided that’s it and we packed our bags and came back to South Africa peniless and in debt as we had to borrow money to pay our airfare.

    The problem with Scientology is as follows:
    In the early days at St Hill, East Grinstead, england, Hubbard started a spiritual movement which became very popular over the world and attracted people from all quarters of life. It changed the lives of many people and although I did not go to St Hill, it changed my life as well.

    Around 1965 Hubbard wrote his ethics policies and information about the surpressive person. Prior to that Scientology was about auditing and making people better.
    After the start of the sea organization, ethics became abused by persons in power including LRH and harsh practices were introduced





    It was the writing and introduction, by Hubbard, of these ethics policies and their evil application which has given Scientology such a bad name and will probably lead to its demise. When in the hands of evil people and used to enforce the breakup of families then that practice should be banned by the authorites of the country in which they are applied.

    Scientology could have been a great spiritual movement and still is in the hands of descent people.

    Travers E Harris
    Ex Parishoner and Sea Org member

    • Dear Travers; thanks for sharing your stories with us. It is obvious that the policy of throwing auditors overboard was not correct.
      However, I studied Law for 5 years at the University and I find the Ethics Conditions very enlighting.

      In my opinion it is not that the ethics policies of Scientology are harsh. It is the evil people who apply them incorrectly in a harsh unjust manner. It is very unfortunate that people of good will had to suffer those bad experiences by bad intentioned staff.

      Debbie Cook in my opinion knew VERY WELL all of those 29 years that David Miscavige was violating policy, for that matter she probably knowingly violated it too. She and her husband received the handsome payment (compared to other SO members who received none) of $100, 000 Dollars Total. It is going to be very hard to prove she signed under duress.

      My only hope is that the Sea Org gets dismantled once and for all and that all the culprits, not just David Miscavige should go to jail. I think that at the end they are all going to bring each other down. The same way they helped each other go up abusing others.

  6. I imagine the case will be about the non-disclosure agreement and not the Church’s fund raising activity but I admire Debbie’s panache.
    I see an interesting spectacle as the Church tries to crush another blithe spirit.
    “Substantial risk of imminent harm and irreparable injury”. Amazing what telling the truth does.
    Thanks for posting this Aida.

    • Well, the funny thing is that it is considered a High Crime in Scientology to sue another Scientologist and technically she still IS one. Therefore, they are violating policy….

  7. The court action by MD will be his demise. Anyone who hears the ‘chairman of the board that does not exist.’ reaction to Debbie Cook’s email will be the same as the famous shakespearian quote;

    “The lady doth protest too much, methinks.
    Hamlet Act 3, scene 2, 222–230

  8. This court action will be the demise of the so called ‘Chairman of the board that does not exist’.

    Anyone who reads about it is going to come to the conclusion spoken of in Hamlet;

    “The lady doth protest too much, methinks.”
    Hamlet Act 3, scene 2, 222–230

    The pressure is building.

  9. Good get Aida. Thank you for passing these clips along.

  10. Thank you very much Aida . I hope it is the very last battle against DM .

  11. What happens if you have no money? Does she do community service forever?

    Lv, Lyn

    • No, if she loses, any wage is garnished and that way she pays little by little over the years.
      However, there are laws that help you against having your wages garnished.
      I am sure that Debbie consulted a lawyer before she took that step.
      And I also hope that people come out and speak and if Debbie has any crimes she should make agreements with the authorities.
      I suggest that to Marty and others who perpetrated many crime while in the CofS.

    • Just take a look at attorney Graham Berry and you’ll see what can happen…

  12. Well, I’m looking at this as though Debbie must have known what would happen. I mean after all the years she spent in that place, how could she not?

    My ideal scene would be that it becomes a sucker punch and knocks the lil man on his arse. Is the existing scene too far away from that to make my dreams come true? 😀

    • If my dream came true, all of the SO members should sue Miscavige and accuse him of slavery and of recruiting them under the pretense of helping the Church of Scientology instead of the Corporation Church of Spiritual Technology.

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