§   What's New  ||  Search   ||  Legal Archive  ||  Wog Media  ||  Cult Media  ||  CoW ® ||  Writings  ||  Fun  ||  Disclaimer  ||  Contact  §

   

 1

 2

 3

 4

 5

 6

 7

 8

 9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

ANDREW H. WILSON, SBN 63209
SHAUNA T. RAJKOWSKI, SBN 148239
WILSON CAMPILONGO LLP
475 Gate 5 Road, Suite 212
Sausalito, CA 94965-1475
Telephone: (415) 289-7100
Facsimile: (415) 289-7110

Attorneys for Plaintiff
CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY INTERNATIONAL

 

SUPERIOR COURT OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA

FOR THE COUNTY OF MARIN

CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY
INTERNATIONAL, a California
nonprofit religious corporation,

Plaintiff,

vs.

GERALD ARMSTRONG, an
individual; ROBERT MINTON, an
individual; THE LISA McPHERSON
TRUST, a for-profit Florida corporation;
and DOES 1 THROUGH 50, inclusive,

Defendants.


 

)
)
)
)
)
)
)
)
)
)
)
)
)
)
)
)
)

CASE NO. CV 021632

COMPLAINT FOR DAMAGES FOR:

(1) BREACH OF CONTRACT;

(2) INTENTIONAL INTERFERENCE
WITH CONTRACTUAL RELATIONS;

(3) CONSPIRACY TO BREACH
CONTRACT AND TO INTERFERE
WITH CONTRACTUAL RELATIONS

20

21

22

23

24

25

26

27

28

 

INTRODUCTION

      1.  This action is brought by Plaintiff CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY

INTERNATIONAL ("CSI") to recover damages for breach of a Mutual Release of All

Claims and Settlement Agreement (the "Settlement Agreement") entered into between

CSI and Defendant Gerald Armstrong ("Armstrong") on December 6, 1986.     

      2.  Beginning in late 1989, Armstrong systematically began breaching virtually

every material covenant to which he had agreed by entering into the Settlement

Agreement. In 1992, CSI instituted suit against Armstrong seeking damages for his

repeated breaches and provisional and permanent injunctive relief against future breaches.

 
1
   

 1

 2

 3

 4

 5

 6

 7

 8

 9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25

26

27

28

 

CSI obtained a monetary judgment and a permanent injunction (" the Injunction") in this

Court. Armstrong, who characterizes this Court's Injunction as "illegal" and

"unconstitutional," and "a great stupidity," began almost immediately to violate the terms

of the Injunction. As a result, Armstrong has been found by this Court to be in contempt

on two separate occasions, citing 14 separate violations, and is the subject of two

outstanding bench warrants. On July 13, 2001, Armstrong was again found to be in

contempt of the Injunction on no less than 131 additional occasions. Armstrong has

evaded both the fines and the imprisonment to which he has been sentenced by fleeing the

jurisdiction and relocating to British Columbia, Canada.

     3.  This action seeks redress for a total of 201 breaches of paragraph 7D of the

Settlement Agreement. CSI asserts claims for breach of contract against Armstrong, as

the contracting party, claims for intentional interference with contractual relations against

Defendants Robert Minton and the Lisa McPherson Trust whose financial resources were

intended to, and specifically enabled them to act in concert and conspiracy with

Armstrong to perpetuate his ongoing contempt of this Court and to violate on virtually a

daily basis CSI's contractual rights.

PARTIES

     4.  Plaintiff CSI is a nonprofit religions corporation organized and existing

under the laws of the State of California with its headquarters located in Los Angeles,

California.

     5.  Armstrong, a long-time resident of Marin County, is presently a fugitive

from this jurisdiction, having fled the jurisdiction and relocated in Canada to avoid

incarceration for his three criminal contempt convictions arising from his wilful, repeated

violations of the Injunction, which was entered on May 28, 1992 by this Court, the

Honorable Gary Thomas, Superior Court Judge, presiding.

     6.  Defendant Robert Minton ("Minton") is an individual who maintains

multiple residences in Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Florida, and perhaps elsewhere.

     7.  Despite its deceptive and misleading name, Defendant Lisa McPherson Trust

 

 
2
   

 1

 2

 3

 4

 5

 6

 7

 8

 9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16.

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25

26

27

28

 

("LMT") is neither a trust nor any other sort of nonprofit enterprise. LMT, at all times

until its dissolution in December 2001, was a for-profit corporation, organized and

existing under the laws of the State of Florida, with its principal place of business in

Clearwater, Florida. Minton is the founder, sole incorporator, and is the source of the

financing of LMT.

     8.  LMT is, and at all times since its incorporation was, the alter ego of Minton

and there exists, and at all times since LMT's incorporation has existed, a unity of interest

and ownership between these two defendants such that any separateness between them

has ceased to exist, in that Minton has completely controlled, dominated, managed and

operated LMT since its incorporation for his own personal benefit.

     9.  LMT is, and at all times herein mentioned was, a mere shell, instrumentality

and conduit through which defendant Minton carried on his own activities in the

corporate name, exercising such complete control and dominance of the activities of LMT

to such and extent that any individuality or separateness of LMT and Minton does not, and at all

relevant times mentioned herein, did not exist. LMT made the barest pretense ofadherence to

corporate formalities. Indeed, Minton sold his entire interest in LMT to his

mistress, Stacy Brooks ("Brooks"), for the sum of one dollar, yet continues to exercise

complete control over LMT. Brooks, the President and sole shareholder of LMT, ran its

affairs entirely under Minton's direction and for his benefit. Following the nominal

transfer of ownership, Minton continued to finance LMT's operations. His control of

LMT's finances was illustrated by the fact that he arranged for anonymous donors to

transfer in excess of $500,000 to LMT's bank accounts. Upon receipt of these funds

by LMT, Brooks immediately paid them out to Minton as a " repayment" of undocumented

"loans" now claimed to be owed Minton by LMT.

     10.  Adherence to the fiction of the separate existence of LMT as an entity

distinct and apart from Minton would permit an abuse of the corporate privilege and

would promote injustice in that Minton has used LMT as a means of financing,

supporting, and enabling Armstrong to breach the Settlement Agreement on virtually a

 

 
3
   

 1

 2

 3

 4

 5

 6

 7

 8

 9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25

26

27

28

 

daily basis.

     11.  The activities of LMT and Minton are and have been regular and systematic

throughout California since its incorporation in 1999. Indeed, seven of LMT's key

officials and members of its Advisory Board, as identified in LMT's own materials, are

are citizens and residents of California, and not resident or officed in Florida. Armstrong

himself is a member of LMT's Advisory Board and was a Marin County resident until he

absconded to Canada to avoid paying his fines and serving his jail time. Minton, through

his own actions and those of his alter ego, LMT, has purposefully flouted an Injunction

issued by this Court, thereby directly interfering with the lawful authority of the courts of

the State of California.

     12.  At all relevant times herein Armstrong on the one hand and Minton and

LMT on the other hand combined, conspired, and agreed to perform the unlawful acts

which are the subject of this Complaint and to conceal from discovery both the unlawful

acts and the unlawful, conspiratorial participation of Minton and LMT therein.

     13.  The true names and capacities of the person and/or entities that are sued

herein as Defendant DOES 1 through 50, inclusive, are unknown to Plaintiff at this time,

who therefore sues said Defendants by such fictitious names. Plaintiff will amend this

Complaint to show their true names and capacities when the same are ascertained.

Plaintiff is informed and believes and thereon alleges that each of the DOE Defendants is

responsible in some manner for the acts complained of herein.

FACTS COMMON TO ALL CLAIMS FOR RELIEF

     14.  On December 6, 1986, CSI and Armstrong entered into the Settlement

Agreement, a true and correct copy of which is attached hereto and incorporated herein

by reference as Exhibit [A] . The Settlement Agreement was designed to end, once and for

all, bitter litigation, including several separate cases then pending. In consideration for a

settlement payment of $800,000, Armstrong and CSI exchanged mutual, general releases.

In consideration, Armstrong made various covenants, including the following contained

in paragraph 7D of the Settlement Agreement:

 

 
4
   

 1

 2

 3

 4

 5

 6

 7

 8

 9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25

26

27

28

 

Plaintiff agrees never to create or publish, or attempt to publish, and/or
assist another to create for publication by means of magazine, article, book
or other similar form, any writing or broadcast or to assist another to
create write, film, or video tape or audio tape any show, program or
movie, or to grant interviews or discuss with others, concerning their
experiences with the Church of Scientology, or concerning their personal
or indirectly acquired knowledge or information concerning the Church of
Scientology, L. Ron Hubbard or any of the organizations, individuals and
entities listed in Paragraph 1 above. Plaintiff further agrees that he will
maintain strict confidentiality and silence with respect to his experiences
with the Church of Scientology and any knowledge or information he may
have concerning the Church of Scientology, L. Ron Hubbard, or any of the
organizations, individuals or entities listed in Paragraph 1 above....
Plaintiff agrees that if the terms of this paragraph are breached by him,
that CSI and the other Releasees would be entitled to liquidated damages
in the amount of $50,000 for each such breach.


 

     15.  Beginning in late 1989, Armstrong began breaching his obligations under

the Settlement Agreement, including the terms of paragraph 7D. As a result, CSI

instituted suit against Armstrong, Church of Scientology International v. Armstrong,

Marin County Action No. VC 157680 ("Armstrong 1"). Armstrong cross-complained,

alleging that CSI had violated the Settlement Agreement and that the Settlement

Agreement was void and unenforceable on a variety of grounds. Armstrong's claims

were all dismissed as unfounded, and a judgment was entered in favor of CSI against

Armstrong for more than $500,000 in damages, interest, and costs. In addition, the Court

entered a judgment of Injunction against Armstrong barring additional breaches by

Armstrong of the Settlement Agreement. Armstrong, who had conveyed away all of the

assets which he had, including substantial cash and a residence which he had purchased

with the fruits of his $800,000 settlement, and who had subsequently discharged in

Bankruptcy the monetary judgment entered against him, proceeded to violate the

Injunction at will, resulting in the issuance of contempt orders against him on June 3,

1997 and February 11, 1998, respectively, and bench warrants with respect to those

citations on August 6, 1997 and May 15, 1998. (True and correct copies of said orders

and bench warrants are attached hereto and incorporated herein by reference as Exhibits

[B] and [C] respectively.) Armstrong was again found in contempt by Order dated July 13,

2001. (A true and correct copy of this Order is attached hereto and incorporated herein

 

 
5
   

 1

 2

 3

 4

 5

 6

 7

 8

 9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25

26

27

28

 

by reference as Exhibit [D].)

     16.  Armstrong, having fled the jurisdiction, continued his contumacious conduct

virtually unabated. Since the February 1998 contempt order, Armstrong made oral

statements and statements created and transmitted vial e-mail and by "posting" to the

Internet newsgroup alt.religion.scientology thus committing more than 200 separate

breaches of paragraph 7D of the Settlement Agreement and the explicit terms of the

Injunction. The date of each such breach and a short description of the substance of each

is set forth in Exhibit [E] to this Complaint, and is incorporated herein by reference as if set

forth in full.

     17.  Additionally, in December 1999, Armstrong traveled to Clearwater, Florida

at the invitation of Minton and LMT, who paid for the expenses of Armstrong's visit,

with the purpose and intent of enabling Armstrong to violate the Agreement including

media and other public appearances as part of LMT's anti- Scientology campaign. While

in Clearwater, Armstrong appeared at and addressed a gathering assembled and sponsored

by LMT, which also produced a videotape of Armstrong's remarks. So brazen was

Armstrong that he began his videotaped remarks by acknowledging that his address was

prohibited by the Injunction.

     18.  On December 10, 1999, while still in Florida at the request and expense of

Minton and LMT, Armstrong appeared on Radio Station WMNF-AM in Tampa, Florida

and gave an interview on that station which violated paragraph 7D.

     19.  Minton is a self- appointed financial benefactor of persons such as Armstrong

who are devoted to destroying the Scientology religion. Minton is also the sole

incorporator of LMT, and is the source of funding for LMT's purpose -- the demise of the

Scientology religion. One of the earliest manifestations of his commitment to harm and

act against the Scientology religion was Minton's offer, in March of 1996, of the sum of

$360,000 for information leading to a revocation of the tax-exempt status of Scientology

churches. At approximately that time, Minton also gave substantial sums to California

residents Grady Ward and Keith Henson, who were defendants in copyright actions

 

 
6
   

 1

 2

 3

 4

 5

 6

 7

 8

 9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25

26

27

28

 

brought to protect Scientology's intellectual property rights.

     20.  In late 1997, Minton became a director of FACTNet, a corporation whose

purpose is to maintain a library of negative and misleading, often utterly false, materials

regarding the Church of Scientology. In 1999, Minton resigned as a director of FACTNet

and in November of that year formed LMT.

     21.  Minton was first given notice of the Settlement Agreement and its terms by

letter dated January 14, 1998 from counsel for CSI, which enclosed a copy of the

permanent injunction issued against Armstrong "and those acting in concert" with him.

     22.  Upon facts not fully ascertained until the summer of 2000, it was in or about

January 1998, Minton paid Armstrong at least $90,000, of which at least $25,000 was, by

secret agreement between Minton and Armstrong, for the specific purpose of financing

Armstrong's breaches of paragraph 7D of the Settlement Agreement.

     23.  In December 1999, when LMT was formed, Minton invited Armstrong to

become a member of LMT's "Advisory Committee," with the knowledge that

Armstrong's participation in that committee would of necessity involve a violation of the

Agreement. Armstrong, in turn, served on the committee continuously through 2001 and,

in furtherance of their conspiracy, repeatedly violated the Agreement by promoting

LMT's anti-Scientology agenda through hundreds of Internet postings as well as media

and other public appearances. Minton and his alter ego, LMT, were aware that

Armstrong's primary means for violating paragraph 7D of the Settlement Agreement was

by e-mail and postings to the newsgroup alt.religion.scientology. In December of 1999,

in addition to earlier monetary payment or payments to Armstrong, Minton or his alter

ego, LMT, purchased a computer for Armstrong for the specific purpose of using it to

make publications of writings about CSI and other beneficiaries of the Settlement

Agreement in violation of that Agreement and in furtherance of the conspiratorial scheme

alleged above. Armstrong has testified in other proceedings that Minton knew at the time

that the computer would be used in this fashion and gave it to Armstrong for exactly that

unlawful purpose.

 

 
7
   

 1

 2

 3

 4

 5

 6

 7

 8

 9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25

26

27

28

 

     24.  In June 2000, Armstrong traveled to Germany to attend a public ceremony

where Minton was presented with an award for his anti-Scientology activities by a small

group of like-minded extremists. During this trip, Armstrong met with media

representatives and engaged in further breaches of the Settlement Agreement. On

information and belief, these travels and actions were financed and supported by Minton,

individually or through his alter ego, the LMT, with the knowledge that Armstrong would

use this opportunity to further violate the Settlement Agreement.

     25.  From May through July of 2001, Armstrong traveled to Russia, Germany,

Denmark, the United Kingdom, and other countries where he met with media personnel

and made numerous public statements in violation of the Settlement Agreement. On

information and belief, these travels and actions were financed and supported by Minton,

individually or through his alter ego, the LMT, with the knowledge that Armstrong would

use this opportunity to further violate the Settlement Agreement by making numerous

public appearances where those violations occurred, including in Leipzig, Germany where

Armstrong publicly appeared with Minton, Brooks, and other LMT employees. Minton

encouraged Armstrong in the above violations.


FIRST CAUSE OF ACTION
(Breach of Contract of Gerald Armstrong)

     26.  Plaintiff hereby incorporates by reference the allegations contained in

paragraphs 1 through 25, inclusive.

     27.  By reason of the facts alleged in paragraphs 15, 16, and 17 above, Armstrong

has committed 201 separate and distinct breaches of paragraph 7D of the Settlement

Agreement, as a result of which CSI is entitled to liquidated damages of $50,000 for each

such breach, totaling $10,050,000.


SECOND CAUSE OF ACTION
(Intentional Interference with Contractual Relations Against
Robert Minton and LMT)

     28.  Plaintiff hereby incorporates by reference the allegations contained in

paragraphs 1 through 25, inclusive, and paragraph 27 above.

 

 
8
   

 1

 2

 3

 4

 5

 6

 7

 8

 9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25

26

27

28

 

     29.  By reason of the facts set forth above, Minton and LMT has knowledge and

notice of both the Settlement Agreement and the Injunction and nonetheless wilfully,

deliberately, and maliciously aided and financially rewarded and enabled Armstrong to

breach his contractual obligations, as alleged in paragraphs 15, 16, 17, and 24 above.

Minton's intention in making payments to Armstrong and in causing LMT to make

payments to Armstrong was to provide Armstrong with the financial wherewithal to allow

him to continue his admitted breaches of the Settlement Agreement, to reward him for his

earlier breaches, and to frustrate CSI and deny in the benefits of the Settlement Agreement

to which it was and is entitled. In addition, in December 1999, Minton gave a computer

to Armstrong as a reward for Armstrong's past breaches and to assist Armstrong to

continue breaching paragraph 7D of the Settlement Agreement through e-mails and

postings to the newsgroup alt.religion.scientology, thereby further frustrating CSI's

efforts to obtain the benefits of the Settlement Agreement to which it was and is entitled.

     30.  As a direct and proximate result of the conduct of Minton and LMT as

alleged above, CSI has been damaged in an amount in excess of the jurisdictional

minimum of this Court, the exact amount of which will be proven at trial.

     31.  Minton and LMT harbor actual ill will and malice toward Plaintiff, and

interfered with CSI's enjoyment of the benefits to which it was and is entitled under

the Settlement Agreement as alleged above as part of Minton's and LMT's avowed plan to

destroy the Scientology religion. Such conduct is wilful, malicious, and despicable, and

justifies an award of punitive damages in accordance with proof.


THIRD CAUSE OF ACTION
(Conspiracy to Breach Contract And To Interfere
With Contractual Relations Against
Gerald Armstrong, Robert Minton and LMT)

     32.  Plaintiff hereby incorporates by reference the allegations contained in

paragraphs 1 through 25, inclusive.

     33.  As alleged in the First and Second Causes of Action, Defendants agreed and

knowingly and wilfully conspired between themselves to enable Armstrong to breach his

 

 
9
   

 1

 2

 3

 4

 5

 6

 7

 8

 9

10

11

12

13

14

15

16

17

18

19

20

21

22

23

24

25

26

27

28

 

contractual obligations and deliberately interfered with the contractual relations between

Plaintiff and Armstrong and did the acts and things herein alleged pursuant to, and in

furtherance of, the conspiracy and agreement as alleged above.

     34.  As the proximate result of the wrongful acts herein alleged, Plaintiff has been

generally damaged in a sum to be proven at trial.

     35.  Further, at all times herein alleged, Defendants knew of the provisions of

Plaintiff's Settlement Agreement with Armstrong. Notwithstanding this knowledge, the

Defendants intentionally, wilfully, fraudulently, and maliciously did the things herein

alleged to defraud and oppress Plaintiff. Plaintiff is therefore entitled to exemplary or

punitive damages in the sum of One Million Dollars ($1,000,000).

PRAYER FOR RELIEF

Plaintiff prays for relief as follows:

     1.  For damages in the amount of $10,050,000 for the breaches alleged in the

First Cause of Action;

     2.  For damages in accordance with proof on the Second and Third Causes of

Action;

     3.  For punitive and exemplary damages on the Second and Third Causes of

Action;

     4.  For costs of suit herein; and

     5.  For such other and further relief as the Court may deem just and equitable.

Dated: April 2, 2002

Respectfully submitted,

WILSON CAMPILONGO LLP

 

By: [signed] Shauna T Rajkowski
Andrew H. Wilson
Shauna T. Rajkowski

Attorneys for Plaintiff
CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY INTERNATIONAL

 

 

10

   

 

Exhibit [A]
Mutual Release and Settlement Agreement [ .pdf ]

Exhibit [B]
Order of Contempt 06-03-1997 [ .pdf ]
Bench Warrant 08-06-1997 [ .pdf ]

Exhibit [C]
Order of Contempt 02-20-1998 [ .pdf ]
Bench Warrant 05-15-1998 [ .pdf ]

Exhibit [D]
Order of Contempt 07-13-2001 [ .pdf ]

Exhibit [E]
"Breaches of Settlement Agreement "

   

§   What's New  ||  Search   ||  Legal Archive  ||  Wog Media  ||  Cult Media  ||  CoW ® ||  Writings  ||  Fun  ||  Disclaimer  ||  Contact  §