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Gerald L. Chaleff, SBN 39552
ORRICK, HERRINGTON & SUTCLIFFE LLP
777 South Figueroa Street, Suite 3200
Los Angeles, California 90017-5832
Telephone: (213) 629-2020

William. T. Drescher, SBN 93737
LAW OFFICES OF WILLIAM T. DRESCHER
PMB 338
23679 Calabasas Road
Calabasas, California 93102-1502
Telephone: (818) 349-8100

Attorneys for Non-Party
CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY INTERNATIONAL

Samuel D. Rosen, pro hac vice
PAUL, HASTINGS, JANOFSKY & WALKER LLP
399 Park Avenue, 3 1 st Floor
New York, New York 10022-4697
Telephone: (212) 318-6000

Alan K. Steinbrecher, SBN 79201
PAUL, HASTINGS, JANOFSKY & WALKER LLP
555 South Flower Street, 23rd Floor
Los Angeles, California 90071-2371
Telephone: (213) 683-6000

Attorneys for Non-Party
RELIGIOUS TECHNOLOGY CENTER

SUPERIOR COURT OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA

FOR THE COUNTY OF LOS ANGELES

LARRY WOLLERSHEIM,

Plaintiff,

vs.

CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY OF
CALIFORNIA,

Defendant.


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Case No. C 332 027

DECLARATION OF
MICHAEL LEE HERTZBERG

DATE: October 15, 1999
TIME: 8:30 a.m.
DEPT: 24
Judge Charles W. McCoy, Jr.

 

 

I, Michael Lee Hertzberg, hereby declare and state:

1. I am an attorney, admitted to practice before the courts of New York
State, the District of Columbia Bar, Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and the
United States Supreme Court. I make the following statement of my own personal
knowledge, and if called to testify thereto, I could and would do so
competently.

2. I was counsel of record in Aznaran v. Church of Scientology of
California, et al
. I was present in May of 1994 in Dallas, Texas when Vicki
Aznaran settled her then pending litigation against several churches of
Scientology and related organizations. I was present to provide legal advice to
the representatives of the defendants who were negotiating directly with Ms.
Aznaran. She was represented by her attorney, Karen MacRae of Dallas.

3. On May 19, 1994 when Ms. Aznaran settled her litigation, she executed
several declarations. Annexed hereto as Exhibits A - E are true and correct
copies of the declarations executed by Ms. Aznaran. Her declarations cover a
wide range of subjects. The most comprehensive declaration is annexed hereto as
Exhibit A. This declaration provides an overview of her experience as a litigant
against churches of Scientology, tactics used by individuals litigating against
churches of Scientology, specific allegations from her complaint that she
formally repudiated and ordered her attorneys to withdraw, the payment of
thousands of dollars to witnesses for sworn statements against the churches of
Scientology, and the addition of eleven pages of one of Ms. Aznaran's
declarations by an attorney representing opponents of Scientology, Graham Berry.

4. The remaining declarations (Exhibits B - E), cover specific topics
related to Ms. Aznaran's experiences as a litigant against churches of
Scientology. Specifically, these declarations cover the following topics:

- Litigation tactics by Lawrence Wollersheim and Gerry Armstrong (Exhibit B);

- A specific refutation of claims that her testimony supports the contention
that Church officials have destroyed documents in litigation (Exhibit C;

- Ms. Aznaran's knowledge regarding Stacy Young (one of Mr. Wollersheim's
witnesses) (Exhibit D);

- In this declaration Ms. Aznaran also repudiates allegations of corporate
irregularities similar to those being made in the instant case (Exhibit A);

- A declaration in which Ms. Aznaran explains why she executed the other
declarations and her response to what she anticipates other apostates will say
about her for having revealed their tactics (Exhibit E).

5. I invite the Court's attention to particular passages relevant to the
claims at issue here. Ms. Aznaran signed her declarations in May 1994, a year
after her most recent statement cited by Wollersheim in support of his motion.
In one declaration Ms. Aznaran explains how witnesses have been conditioned to
sign affidavits to support whatever arguments opponents of churches of
Scientology wish to "prove":

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.

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.

There is a group or "team" of anti-Scientology witnesses who are being paid for
their testimony, and based on my experience, this testimony is being altered and
falsified, either by the witnesses themselves or the attorneys.

(Ex. A, Declaration of Vicki Aznaran; 12, 17, 19.)

6. Ms. Aznaran even predicted that the attached declarations would be attacked
by adverse litigants whose litigation tactics she has exposed:

On May 19, 1994, my husband and I each executed a series of declarations under
penalty of perjury addressing a variety of issues. Among those declarations are
one of mine that demonstrates that perhaps the most common litigation ploy that
is used against Churches of Scientology is for opponents to submit false,
inflammatory and accusatory declarations which make wild accusations
irrespective of their falsity, lack of relevance, or lack of first hand
knowledge.

I am executing this declaration on May 19, 1994 because I am certain that
litigation opponents of the Church will react to one or more of my other
contemporaneously dated declarations in precisely the fashion I describe in the
preceding paragraph.

(Ex. E, Declaration of Vicki Aznaran; 2, 3.)

7. Ms. Aznaran identifies Stacy Young as employed by Graham Berry, Mr. Leipold's
former co-counsel in Wollersheim, to create inaccurate affidavits:

I know from subsequent conversations I have had that Andre Tabayoyon is
similarly employed, as are Vaughn and Stacy Young and others, each paid to
create declarations for Mr. Berry when he needs them. On the basis of my
knowledge of the Church and the declarants, I can state that these individuals
are not "experts" 'in any recognized sense of the word as I understand it. They
are nothing more than witnesses who are being paid to make sworn statements
against the Church. More than just being paid, they are actually employed by Mr.
Berry as a source of signed declarations of testimony or as a " source" of
allegations, the need for such is decided by him.

(Ex. A, Declaration of Vicki Aznaran; 22.)

That Vaughn and Stacy Young are experts is not true. They are being called
experts not due to expertise in Scientology but in order to collect insurance
money for their testimony.

What this creates, and what the Youngs are part of, is a stable of people who,
for pay, write declarations.

(Ex. D, Declaration of Vicki Aznaran; 7, 8.)

8. Ms. Aznaran also swore to Ms. Young's lack of knowledge of inside workings
of churches of Scientology, both corporately and ecclesiastically:

In my staff capacities in the early 1980s, and later in my executive positions
in the Religious Technology Center, I was directly or closely involved in
meetings with senior staff members of various Church corporations. These senior
staff made significant or major decisions which affected the future of the
Church. I know that neither Vaughn nor Stacy Young were included in such senior
decision-making processes. They were never senior or key Church executives. They
were not consulted regarding, nor were they privy to, the meetings where major
issues were discussed an decisions made.

I am informed that the Youngs have made claims to specialized knowledge about
the corporate status and structure of the Church. Such claims are false. Neither
of the Youngs were in a position to have detailed knowledge of the corporate and
fiscal structures and operations of any Church of Scientology. In fact, Vaughn
Young worked in the area of Public Relations for the entire time that I was
acquainted with him. Stacy was primarily a writer in the Church public relations
department.

(Ex. D, Declaration of Vicki Aznaran; 4, 5.)

9. Ms. Aznaran repudiated allegations of corporate irregularities that were
contained in her complaint against the Church of Scientology of California.
These allegations are very similar to those being made by Wollersheim in the
instant case:

Paragraph 16 of the complaint included the allegation that I had been employed
as a "missionaire" to remove assets of Defendant Church of Scientology of
California to overseas trusts where they could not be accessed. This allegation
was false, and it was not an allegation that either my husband or I requested be
included in the complaint....

It was also alleged in paragraph 16 of the complaint that I was employed as a
"missionaire" to "set up sham corporate structures to evade prosecution
generally." This allegation is also false.

(Ex. A, Declaration of Vicki Aznaran; 8, 9.)

10. In another sworn declaration Ms. Aznaran identifies Wollersheim witness
Gerald Armstrong as the source of a litigation technique utilized by this small
group of witnesses:

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 state 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
pleadings, at deposition, in affidavits, and ultimately in trial testimony.

(Ex. A, Declaration of Vicki Aznaran; 5.)

11. Ms. Aznaran even addressed Larry Wollersheim's allegations:

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 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 drowned, and that the
Church was responsible for that supposed activity. All of those allegations of
Church complicity were false, as I now personally attest. Armstrong alleged the
Church was trying to kill him and this allegation 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."

(Ex. B, Declaration of Vicki Aznaran; 12.)

12. An allegation relied upon by Wollersheim is that David Miscavige ordered
Vicki Aznaran and Jesse Prince to destroy documents, including documents
compelled to be produced in this case. However, Ms. Aznaran states in another
declaration:

During the time I was President of RTC, we fully complied to all discovery re
uests, I have never received an order from David Miscavige, Norman Starkey or
Lyman Spurlock to destro any documents related to litigation and I have no
reason to believe that the Church would destroy any documents related to the
consolidated cases...

(Ex. C, Declaration of Vicki Aznaran; 8.)

I declare under penalty of pejury under the laws of the State of California that
the foregoing is true and correct.

Executed this 20th day of September, 1999 at ______________.

MICHAEL LEE HERTZBERG

 

 

Document source: http://bernie.cncfamily.com/sc/Aznaran.htm

 

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