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DECLARATION OF VICKI J. AZNARAN

I, VICKI J. AZNARAN, hereby declare as follows:

1. I am over 18 years of age and a resident of the State

of Texas. I have personal knowledge of the matters set forth

herein and, if called upon to do so, could and would competently

testify thereto.

2. From 1972 until 1987, I was a member of various Church

of Scientology ("Church") entities. During that time I held a

number of important positions in the corporate and ecclesiastical

hierarchy of the Church. I was also a devout believer in the

religion of Scientology. In March of 1987, my husband Richard

Aznaran and I left our positions with the Church and returned

home to Texas from California. At the time we left, Richard and

I voluntarily executed certain releases and waivers in full

settlement of any and all disputes we had with the Church. In

April 1988, notwithstanding our execution of those releases and

waivers, Richard and I filed a lawsuit against several Church

entities and individuals in the United States District Court for

the Central District of California.

3. During the time I was a senior Church executive, I

gained first hand knowledge of the manner in which some apostate

former Church members had pursued civil claims against the

Church, and obtained successful verdicts or judgments or

favorable settlements notwithstanding the merits. The courts

consistently allowed the Church's adversaries leeway to introduce

allegations without regard to the normal rules of procedure and

evidence. At the time, this was a source of great concern to me,

both as a Scientologist and a Church executive, particularly

 

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since my staff duties included responsibilities regarding certain

areas of litigation.

4. Thus, having participated in Scientology litigation

both as a Church executive and as a litigant against the Church,

I bring two distinct, but related, perspectives to this

declaration from my personal knowledge and observation. First,

at the time my husband and I brought our own suit I understood

that the legal system could be used to pursue my position.

Later, upon having sued various Scientology churches and having

allied myself with other litigants and their counsel suing

Scientology churches, I observed first hand the ways in which the

legal system is successfully used by litigants and counsel

opposing the Church.

5. The fundamental premise upon which the Church's

adversaries and their lawyers operate is the likelihood that

courts and juries are willing to believe any allegation made

against the Church by a former member, without regard to

plausibility, contrary evidence or the true facts. That concept

was most succinctly expressed, on videotape, by anti-Scientology

litigant, Gerald Armstrong, when he stated that a lack of

documents or evidence was no impediment to litigating against the

Church when the litigant can "just allege it." The active

pursuit of that litigation approach has now led to the formation

of a small group of disaffected Scientologists who are now

employed by an even smaller number of attorneys who are making a

practice of litigating against the Church. This stable of

witnesses can be relied upon to furnish "corroboration" for any

allegation which an attorney wishes to make against the Church in

 

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pleadings, at deposition, in affidavits, and ultimately in trial

testimony.

6. The abusive device most consistently utilized by

litigants and counsel adverse to the Church occurs in connection

with the filing of declarations or affidavits. It is common

knowledge among the stable of disaffected ex-Scientologists who

supply such sworn statements that the attorneys dictate the

desired content of such testimony with the primary, often sole,

purpose of presenting inflammatory accusations that prejudice the

Church in the eyes of the court. In such declarations or

affidavits, context, the truth, and relevance to the issues in

the case are disregarded altogether. As time has passed and this

technique has evolved, anti-Church litigants and their counsel

have become more and more emboldened in making such declarations

and affidavits because the tactic has proven to be so effective

in poisoning courts and juries against the Church.

7. The most common and probably the most devastating

manifestation of this tactic is the use of allegations concerning

the so-called "Fair Game" policy of the Church. The term "Fair

Game" has been misrepresented and repeatedly used by the Church's

litigation adversaries as a means to create prejudice against the

Church. To accomplish that end, counsel fashions a declaration

in which the witness identifies an ugly event -- real, imagined,

or just plain invented -- and then alleges that it was a

deliberate act which was committed by the Church. The idea is to

create the false impression that the Church is committing acts of

retribution in pursuit of "Fair Game.

8. A central element of exploiting the "Fair Game" tactic

 

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is to make certain that the allegations are crafted so they

cannot be objectively disproved. In other words, the declarant

makes an allegation of a bad or harmful or harassing act that

cannot be documented in a tangible form and then alleges that it

was done by the Church pursuant to the Fair Game "Policy." By so

doing, the declarant has put the Church in the impossible

position of trying to prove a negative and trying to prove it

without documentation. It becomes a matter of the declarant's

word against that of the Church, and by making the act alleged

sufficiently despicable, the result is prejudice against the

Church.

9. The Fair Game policy was a policy to forward

Scientology's belief that any attacks on Scientology by those

seeking to destroy it were to be vigorously defended by legal

means and never ignored. It was not a policy condoning or

encouraging illegal or criminal activities. The policy was

misinterpreted by others and was thus canceled. It has since

been used by litigants over the years as a vehicle to give

credibility to allegations to try to prejudice courts against

Scientology. An event happens such as someone's wife dies in a

car accident, and the allegation is made that this is a murder

committed by the Church pursuant to "Fair Game" policy. This

technique is known to those who attack the Church and so they

continue to use this term to try to prejudice the courts. These

people feel comfortable making scandalous allegations, knowing

that the Church does not have such a policy. I am unaware of any

allegations of "Fair Game" being made by persons who have simply

left the Church. Rather, the charges of Fair Game are invariably

 

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made by parties who have subsequently become involved in

litigation with the Church and who have started working with

other anti-Scientology litigants familiar with this tactic.

10. It has been my experience that these litigants and

lawyers become emboldened because the history of Scientology

litigation demonstrates that virtually any charge leveled against

the Church in litigation by an avowed enemy, no matter how

outrageous or unfounded, will be accepted and believed. Based on

my experience it is a matter of common knowledge that efforts by

the Church to refute such prejudicial allegations have commonly

not been believed in the courts.

11. Thus, it has become a routine practice of litigants to

make accusations against the Church, including even false

allegations of threats of murder, which would be summarily thrown

out of court as unsupported and scandalous in other litigation.

They do it because it works, and they do it by deliberately

mischaracterizing the term "Fair Game". They do it as an

intentional means to destroy the reputation of the Church in the

context of litigation so that they can win money or force the

Church to settle.

12. While I was in the Church I witnessed the "Fair Game"

allegations made by Gerry Armstrong and Larry Wollersheim in

their litigation against the Church. My position in the Church

at the time gave me broad access to what was occurring and I

would have known were the allegations made by Armstrong and

Wollersheim true. Wollersheim, for example, made the allegation

that a pipe bomb was found on his parent's lawn and, without any

corroboration, blamed the Church. I know from my own personal

 

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knowledge that this outrageous allegation of Church involvement

is absolutely false. During the Wollersheim trial, rumors began

to spread throughout the trial courtroom that Judge Ronald

Swearinger had been followed, his tires had been slashed, and his

pet dog had drowned, and that the Church was responsible for that

supposed activity. All of those allegations of Church complicity

were false, as well, as I now personally attest. Armstrong

alleged the Church was trying to kill him and this allegation

also was just made up. I know of its falsity of my own personal

knowledge. Both Armstrong and Wollersheim continue to make the

same type of outrageous allegations of Fair Game to forward their

litigation to this day, due in no small measure to the fact that

they practiced Fair Game so effectively in their earlier,

victorious litigation against the Church.

13. The term "fair game" has become a catch phrase for

those who attack the Church. When I was in the Church I never

heard it referred to as a policy to be used, the only time it was

discussed was in reference to litigation in which it was being

alleged by Church adversaries. When I was in the Church, I knew

that litigants opposing the Church were constantly making fair

game allegations against us and that those allegations were

nonsense. I also know the frustration those allegations caused

because of the willingness of courts and juries to embrace them.

From my experience in litigating against the Church, I can see

that nothing has changed in this regard. I also know from my

experiences in suing the Church and from my association with

other litigation adversaries of the Church that they know that

"Fair Game" as they portray it is not Church policy. "Fair Game"

 

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exists only as a litigation tactic employed against the Church.

I declare under the penalty of perjury under the laws of the

United States of America, and under the laws of each individual

state thereof, including the laws of the states of California and

Texas, that the foregoing is true and correct.

Executed this 19th day of May, 1994 in Dallas, Texas.

 

[signed]

Vicki Aznaran

 

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