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Scientology spokeswoman Karin Pouw responds to lawsuit, Debbie Cook's claims

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Karin Pouw, spokeswoman for the Church of Scientology, released this statement on Friday, Feb. 10, 2012, regarding the lawsuit against Debbie Cook and the former church executive's claims:

 

The only reason the Church brought suit against Debbie Cook and Wayne Baumgarten and sought a preliminary injunction was to uphold the agreement they made not to make disparaging statements about the Scientology religion, Churches of Scientology, its ecclesiastical officials and parishioners. The Church demanded such covenants from Cook for good and sufficient reason: Cook in the past had made similar false and misleading statements and the Church feared that she would do so again.

The Church of Scientology Flag Service Organization has withdrawn its motion for preliminary injunction to preclude the court being used further as a forum for the defendants to violate the rights of the Church and its members with more false and disparaging statements. At the same time, Church counsel is pleased that Ms. Cook has admitted to the facts confirming both her agreement and the irreparable harm caused to the Church through her actions. The Church will use this evidence to seek Summary Judgment against Ms. Cook and her husband.

Using the court to disparage dedicated Church officials who are not even part of this matter is yet another example of the bitter hate campaign Ms. Cook is engaged in, much like the apostates she has joined. It is also evident from her testimony that the entire purpose of violating her agreement is to extort the Church for more money. The Church refuses to let her continue under the guise of judicial privilege to falsely disparage the Church. Further statements in violation of their agreements by Cook and her husband will increase the damages they will ultimately have to pay. The extreme falsity of Cook's statements is evident from the simple fact that, incredibly, in three hours of testimony she did not have a positive statement to make about anyone she ever encountered in her decades long Scientology career. Moreover, true or false, her statement about Church staff clearly violates the ministerial privilege. The Church fully intends to use its ecclesiastical procedures grounded in Church Scripture to expose both Cook's false testimony and her ecclesiastical transgressions.

Cook's agreement makes clear that all disputes Cook and her husband may have had were to be presented to the Church's International Justice Chief for ecclesiastical resolution, and failing that, to arbitration. Cook failed to do either further breaching her agreement.

Cook and Baumgarten have improperly used the court proceeding to entangle the court in fundamental ecclesiastical matters that it must avoid under the First Amendment. Courts cannot interfere with ecclesiastical ethics and justice proceedings even were Cook's one-sided revisionist history true. She has already been expelled from the Church and a court may not interfere with that without violating the First Amendment. For over a century, the Supreme Court has made clear that courts must abstain from examining matters, which concern church discipline. Just last month, in a unanimous decision in the Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. EEOC (132 S.Ct. 694, 704 (January 12, 2012)), the Supreme Court reaffirmed the prohibition of judicial interference with religious liberties and the power to determine matters of discipline, faith, internal organization and explained why it is blatantly unconstitutional.

The proceedings in this Court yesterday clearly violated these proscriptions.

Ms. Cook left the Church clergy over four years ago. Since her departure, the Church has expanded many times over - and particularly where she served in Clearwater. The expansion is coincident with her departure. She has no knowledge of the Church today. She has not attended Church in years as a parishioner and has become a squirrel or a heretic. It is evident that Ms. Cook is extremely bitter that she is no longer part of the Church.

The Church has always been true to L. Ron Hubbard's teachings. Ms. Cook was expelled from the Church for violating Scripture. She and her fellow bitter apostates will never enter a Church of Scientology again.

The ecclesiastical leader of the Scientology religion has dedicated more than 30 years of selfless service for the good of the religion and ten thousand staff and millions of parishioners applaud that service. Further information is available at Scientology.org.

 

Read full story: Former Scientology executive claims abusive treatment from church leader; Church denies her claims

Read the Church of Scientology International's statement on Debbie Cook, released Feb. 15, 2012 (PDF)