U.S. Judge Refuses to Block Use of ‘Sacred Scriptures’ of Scientology
U.S. District Judge Mariana R. Pfaelzer has refused to block the use of “sacred scriptures” the Church of Scientology alleges were stolen from a Denmark church by former members two years ago.
Pfaelzer, who had issued a temporary restraining order Tuesday, said Friday that although she believes that the documents were stolen, church attorneys failed to properly trace their trail from Denmark to the United States. Pfaelzer said she also is reluctant to interfere because the material is key evidence in a $25-million Los Angeles Superior Court fraud case filed against the church by former member Larry Wollersheim.
Wollersheim claims that he suffered financial and psychiatric harm from church teachings. His case, filed in 1980, is scheduled for trial Jan. 5.
Church attorney Earle Cooley argued that the release and possible misuse of the sacred, “upper-level” church materials would create “a death of a thousand cuts.” Another church attorney vowed to return to federal court to seek a new order to protect the material.
Attorneys representing two spinoff churches founded by former Scientologists called Pfaelzer’s ruling a victory.