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CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY
PLAINTIFF'S MEMORANDUM OF
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INTERNATIONAL, a corporate
entity, AND DOES 1 - 20,
DATE:
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TIME:
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Defendants.
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.P\Cases\9527\SUM-JUDG\2012-09-06 ·Memorandum in Opposition.wpd

TABLE OF CONTENTS

PAGE

PRELIMINARY STATEMENT .............................................

1

STATEMENT OF FACTS

.................................................

1

A.

B.

C.

D.

E.

F.

G.

H.

L

J.

K.

L.

Plaintiffs Background in Scientology

. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .

Defendants'

Control on Plaintiffs Communications With Her Family

Life History Questionnaires

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Schedule in the Sea Org ..............................................

Schooling

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Plaintiffs Ability to Leave the Sea Org

Plaintiffs Forced Abortion

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Rehabilitation Project Force

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Plaintiffs Departure from the Sea Organization

Plaintiffs Fears Over Filing a Lawsuit

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Events Leading Up to Filing Plaintiffs Lawsuit ...........................

A Reasonable Person In Plaintiffs Position Would Have Feared Filing Suit

. . .

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1

2

3

3

4

4

5

5

6

7

8

10

DEFENDANTS ENGAGED IN CONDUCT THAT PREVENTS THEM FROM

INVOKING A STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS DEFENSE

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10

A.

B.

C.

D.

Defendants Represented to Plaintiff That She Released Her Right to Sue

. . . . .

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Defendants' Representations to Plaintiff Consisted of Threats of Retribution ...

10

11

Given Plaintiffs Background and Experience, It Was Reasonable For Her to

Rely on Defendants' Representations

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11

Defendants' Conduct Did Not Stop Having a Deterrent Effect In 2004 When

Plaintiff Left the Sea Org

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THE COURT IS NOT BARRED BY THE FIRST AMENDMENT FROM ASSESSING

WHETHER THE DOCTRINE OF EQUITABLE ESTOPPEL APPLIES

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16

A.

B.

D.

Application of Equitable Estoppel Does Not Threaten Religious Practices

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Application of the Doctrine of Equitable Estoppel Does Not Violate the Free

Exercise Clause or the Establishment Clause

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16

Defendants' Threatening Conduct That Occurred When Plaintiff Was a

Minor is Subject to Review Based on the State's Overriding Interest in

V.

VI.

E.

Protecting Minors

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Defendants' Conduct Regarding "Suppressive Persons" and "Sec Checks" Is Not The Only Conduct Justifying The Application of Equitable Estoppel

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18

19

PLAINTIFF INSTITUTED HER ACTION WITHIN A REASONABLE TIME AFTER

THE CIRCUMSTANCES INDUCING HER DELAY

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CONCLUSION

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20

PLAINTIFF'S

MEMORANDUM OF

POINTS

AND AUTHORITIES

IN

OPPOSITION

DEFENDANTS'

JOINT

MOTION

FOR

SUMMARY

JUDGMENT

TO

.

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.P\Cases\9527\SUM-JUDG\2•)12-09--06 ·Memorandum in Opposition.wpd

Reynolds v. US.

(1878) 98 U.S. 145

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18

Richelle L. v. Roman Catholic Archbishop

(2003) 106 Cal.App.4th 257

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12

Roman Catholic Archbishop of Los Angeles v. Superior Court

(2005) 131 Cal.App.4th 417

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18

Santee v. Santa Clara County Office of Educ.

(1990) 220 Cal.App.3d 702 ................................................ 20 Seeger v. Odell (1941) 18 Cal.2d 409 ·'"". 12 Superior
(1990) 220 Cal.App.3d 702 ................................................
20
Seeger v. Odell
(1941) 18 Cal.2d 409
·'"".
12
Superior Dispatch, Inc. v. Ins. Corp. of New York
(2010)
181 Cal.App.4th 175
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12, 19
US.
v. Lee
(1982) 455 U.S. 252
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18
Van Hook v. Southern California Waiters Alliance, Local 17
(1958) 158 Cal.App.2d 556 ................................................
20
Watson v. Jones
(1871) 80 U.S. 679 .......................................................
16
STATUTES
Code Civ. Proc.§ 340(c) ........................................................
20
111
PLAINTIFF'S
MEMORANDUM OF
POINTS
AND
AUTHORITIES
IN OPPOSITION
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I.

PRELIMINARY STATEMENT

-P\Cases\9527\SUM-JUOG\2012-0g

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·Memorandum in Opposition.wpd

In moving for summary judgment on the statute of limitations, defendants claim that the

doctrine of equitable estoppel does not apply because plaintiff purportedly had a mere "crisis in faith"

and that none of defendants' conduct caused her to delay filing suit. Defendants also argue that at the

point plaintiff faked suicide in 2004 to be able to leave defendants' facilities and the Sea Organization,

she could not thereafter have reasonably relied on defendants' threatening conduct.

The Court should deny defendants' motion because plaintiff did not simply have a "crisis in

faith" resulting in the filing of her lawsuit. Instead, starting at age 12, plaintiff entered into a long-term

confide.ntial relationship with defendants, during which defendants controlled all aspects of plaintiffs

life and manipulated and socialized plaintiff to a point where she lost her ability to make clear,

independent decisions and was incapable of objectively evaluating anything she was threatened with

or told. On the day that plaintiff left defendants' facilities in 2004, she was threatened by defendants

when she was forced to sign a sworn affidavit containing negative statements about her and led to

believe that the contents of this affidavit would be used against her if she ever attempted to challenge

defendants in any way. Defendants continued to engage in threatening conduct after plaintiff left their

facilities, and their stronghold over plaintiff continued for another four years. There is no evidence that

plaintiff suddenly became impervious to defendants' threats when she left their facilities in 2004 or that

it was unreasonable for plaintiff to rely on defendants' threats and delay filing suit.

II.

STATEMENT OF FACTS

The things that plaintiff saw, heard, read, and observed CSI do during her time in the Sea

Organization ("Sea Org") made plaintiff believe she could not file a lawsuit against defendants, and

that if she did, she would be st,tbjected to severe retribution. As detailed below, plaintiff was too afraid

to sue defendants until mid-June/July 2008 when her parents told her for the first time that they were

no longer Scientologists, that they believed she had been wronged by CSI, and that they would stand

by her regardless of what defendants did or said. [PSUMF, Nos. 1-2].

A.

Plaintiff's Background in Scientology

Plaintiff was raised in CSI, and attended Scientology schools for most of her young childhood.

She began volunteering with CSI at age 6 or 7, and by age 12, she joined Scientology's Sea Org as a

1

PLAINTIFF'S

MEMORANDUM OF

POINTS

AND AUTHORITIES

IN

OPPOSITION

DEFENDANTS'

JOINT

MOTION

FOR

SUMMARY

JUDGMENT

TO

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.P\Cases\9527\SUM-JUDG\2012-09-06-Memorandum in Opposition.wpd

full-time employee and moved away from her family to live permanently at defendants' facilities in

Los Angeles, California. The Sea Org is an internal organization within Scientology responsible for

overseeing "the delivery of Scientology" throughout the world. At that time, plaintiff had a 7th grade

education, and signed a billion year contract (meaning that she agreed to work for the Sea Org for a

billion years). Plaintiff remained in the Sea Org for

13 years until she was 25. [PSUMF, Nos. 3-8].

  • B. Defendants' Control on Plaintiff's Communications With Her Family

Upon joining the Sea Org, CSI controlled plaintiffs communications with her parents and

family. Before any mail was provided to plaintiff or sent to her family members, it was opened and

approved by CSL Similarly, as a general rule, plaintiff also was not permitted· to call her family

members unless someone else from the Sea Org was present to listen. Plaintiff also was repeatedly

questioned by CSI about her communications with family, such that she would never say anything

negative about Scientology and would only report that she was doing well to her family members.

Plaintiff was fearful she would be subjected to punishment if she told her family members anything

negative, because.she was trained from the time that she entered the Sea Org that she was not to say

anything negative about the Sea Org or Scientology, and that if she did, she would be found in treason

and assigned demeaning tasks outside her normal long working. She also was required to report

anything that her family did that was negative or antagonistic to Scientology. [PSUMF, Nos. 9-40].

Plaintiff also was prevented from regularly seeing her family, and as young as 12, was

physically stopped from leaving to see her family. During plaintiffs entire time in the Sea Org, she was

required to undergo a sec check before leaving to see her family. A sec check is an investigatory tool

used by CSI, consisting of a number of questions. When someone is taking time off, they are required

to undergo a sec check before they leave, and are asked such things as whether they intend to not

return, whether they intend to reveal confidential information, whether they will be in contact with

anyone antagonistic of Scientology, etc. Only when the examiner determines the person is being

truthful and does not intend to leave permanently or for an "improper" purpose will the person be

allowed to leave. [PSUMF, Nos. 38-40].

Additionally, from age 12 forward, plaintiff was

either prevented from leaving when she asked

for time off or was put through angst to get time off and rarely provided such time.

As a minor,

2

PLAINTIFF'S

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AUTHORITIES

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'P\Cases\9527\SUM-JUDG\2012-09-06 - Memorandum in Opposition.wpd

plaintiff went for as long as 2-3 years without returning home or seeing her parents because she was

not provided authorization by CSI to see them. She also had no open contact with her parents and

limited what she said to her parents to comport with what CSI dictated for her communications. This

was true even on the few occasions when she visited her family away from the Sea Org; she remained

convinced that Church officials in the Sea Oi:g would learn if she said anything negative or expressed

. a desire to leave based on their extensive questioning of her. [PSUMF, Nos. 38-40].

  • C. Life History Questionnaires

Both before and during plaintiffs time in the Sea Org, she was required to fill out Life ~istory

Questionnaires, that sought detailed and highly invasive information about her and her family. In a

Questionnaire she filled out at age 12, she was asked the following questions (among others):

"Have you ever been connected to anyone who has threatened or attacked Scientology?"

"Note any instances of homosexual activity from earliest time up to PT. Give

whom? What done? And how often?"

"Please give exact details concerning your current life: whom you live with, whom you spend your free time with or run around with, etc. What is your daily

routine? What do you do with your leisure time?"

Plaintiff knew CSI used these Questionnaires to keep information about her, and that if she did

anything to attack Scientology, this would be used against her. [PSUMF, Nos. 41-43].

  • D. Schedule in the Sea Org

When plaintiff was 12 and for about her first year in the Sea Org, she worked from 8:30 a.m.

until 10:30 p.m. Monday through Sunday. After plaintiffs first year, and until approximately 2001,

she worked from 8:30 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. Monday through Sunday. She would return to her quarters

on a bus between 12:30 a.m. and 1:30 a.m. Plaintiffs only time not working was on Sunday mornings,

but she was not allowed to leave CSI facilities unaccompanied during this time. [PSUMF, Nos. 44-45].

In 2001, plaintiff was sent to the Rehabilitation Project Force (RPF), which is punishment/rehab

program for Sea Org members. During this time, she worked from about 6 or 7 a.m. until 9:00 p.m.

seven days a week with 15 minute meal breaks. Most of her work during this time consisted of heavy

labor. "Lights out" was usually at 10:30 p.m., and there was a quartermaster who came down the

hallway to make sure each person was in their room. The quartermaster would turn out the lights in

3

PLAINTIFF'S

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AUTHORITIES

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OPPOSITION

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JOINT

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-P\Cases\9527\SUM-JUDG\2012--09-06 • MelllOlandum in Opposition.wpd

each room, and would sit in the hallway all night long to make sure that no one left. [PSUMF, No. 46].

Plaintiff recalls regularly being deprived of sleep during her time in the Sea Org to work longer

hours. When plaintiff was 14, she was required to work for 3 days straight without even being allowed

to take a shower or change her clothes. When she received a short shower break after 3 days, she was

told to immediately return and worked for 2 more days without any sleep. [PSUMF, No. 47].

The most plaintiff was ever paid during her entire 13 years in the Sea Org was $50 per week,

and her pay was as low as $10 per week at certain times. [PSUMF, No. 48].

  • E. Schooling

Plaintiff never received any formal schooling in traditional subjects such as math, science, or

history during her time in the Sea Org. She took her high school proficiency exam at age fifteen or

sixteen, and received no further "schooling" in non-Scientology subjects. [PSUMF, Nos. 49-52].

  • F. Plaintiff's Abili~ to Leave the Sea Org

Plaintiffs ability to leave the Sea Org was severely restricted from the time she entered the Sea

- Org at age 12 until the time that she left at age 25. [PSUMF, No. 53].

As a general rule, she was not allowed to leave CSI facilities without an escort or without

receiving a leave of absence after undergoing a sec check in which she was cleared as not being a

permanent flight risk. There were a few times when plaintiff was able to get away without approval

and without an escort. However, on each of these occasions, she returned to the Sea Org because she

had no money, no experience, no car or driver's license, no understanding of the non-Scientology

world, and because CSI officials told her that if she did not return, she would be subject to a Freeloader

bill (meaning a financial bill for all of the services that she received during her time in the Sea Org).

Plaintiff also was told that by leaving, she was hiding crimes or bad acts she had committed and that

she would lose all contact with her family and friends. She also observed that CSI tracked down and

followed anyone who left without permission; this was referred to as a "blow drill." This included

tracking activity on the person's bank accounts, going to airports to search for the person, calling

family members, and similar conduct. As a result, plaintiff believed .that even if she tried to leave, she

would be tracked down and returned to the Sea Org as others had been. [PSUMF, No. 53-55].

On the few occasions when plaintiff asked to leave the Sea Org, CSI officials prevented her

4

PLAINTIFF'S

MEMORANDUM OF

POINTS

AND AUTHORITIES

IN

OPPOSITION

DEFENDANTS'

JOINT

MOTION

FOR

SUMMARY

JUDGMENT

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from doing so by "handling" her to stay. On at least one occasion, this included having someone sleep

with her and watch her 24 hours a day and having various people drill her with reasons why she should

stay, including_ that she would be subject to a Freeloader bill, that she had done bad things or

committed crimes that she was hiding, and that she would lose all contact with her family and friends.

In 2001, CSI spent two weeks "handling" her to stay, and she eventually stayed out of sheer exhaustion.

Plaintiff was never left alone during this time period and was always being watched. On other

occasions, this "handling" included assigning plaintiff manual labor. The challenges and fears of

leaving the Sea Org are affirmed by other former members of the Sea Org. [PSUMF, Nos. 54-68].

  • G. Plaintiff's Forced Abortion

Plaintiff always wanted to have children, but was forced by CSI to have an abortion in 1996,

due to CSI's practice of coercing members of the Sea Org to have abortions. [PSUMF, Nos. 69-71].

  • H. Rehabilitation Project Force

In 2001, plaintiff was sent to the RPF. Plaintiff wanted to leave the Sea Org at that time, but

she was "beaten down to the point that she agreed" to go to the RPF. During her time in the RPF from

2001 to 2004, plaintiff left Scientology's facilities less than 20 times, and did not have unfiltered access

to her identification or to any money. She was only allowed to have $20 on her at any given time, her

passport was locked up in a Scientology office (this was her only form of identification), and any trips

out of Scientology's facilities always involved at least two escorts. Plaintiff spent her time performing

manual labor, and attempting to complete "programs" that were required of her. She also was regularly

"punished," which consisted of running around a basement or doing push-ups. [PSUMF, Nos. 72- 7 5].

During plaintiffs last year in the RPF, she became extremely distraught and mentally unstable.

Each of the times that she expressed wanting to leave during this time, she was "handled" to stay and

stayed out of fear about what would happen to her if she tried to leave. [PSUMF, No. 76- 77].

In April 2004, after nearly three years of participating in the RPF, plaintiff completed

everything that was required of her, and was awaiting approval to end the RPF. However, she was told

that she was being removed from her job position, and that she was being reassigned to perform hard

labor for 10 hours each day. Plaintiff was mentally unstable and physically exhausted by this point.

On all previous occasions when she asked to leave the Sea Org, CSI prevented her from doing so. As

5

PLAINTIFF'S

MEMORANDUM OF

POINTS

AND AUTHORITIES

IN

OPPOSITION

DEFENDANTS'

JOINT

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