CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY OF MINNESOTA et al., Appellants,
DEPARTMENT OF HEALTH, EDUCATION & WELFARE, etc., et al., Appellees.
United States Court of Appeals,
Submitted April 10, 1972.
Decided May 3, 1972.
Appeal from the United States District Court for the District of Minnesota;
Gunnar H. Nordbye, Senior Judge.
Craig W. Gagnon, St. Paul, Minn., for appellants.
Ira Leesfield, Atty., Dept. of Justice, Washington, D. C., for appellees.
Before Mr. Justice CLARK [FN*], and VOGEL and LAY, Circuit Judges.
FN* The Honorable Tom C. Clark, Retired Associate Justice of the Supreme
Court of the United States, sitting by special designation.
Plaintiffs-appellants, the Church of Scientology of Minnesota and two of its
ministers, appeal from a decision of the United States District Court for the
District of Minnesota, Honorable Gunnar H. Nordbye, presiding, granting summary
judgment to appellees.
In November, 1968, appellants received notices of detention and hearing,
stating that a device, known as the "Hubbard Electrometer for use in
Scientology" that had been manufactured in the United Kingdom and addressed
to them, was being detained because it failed to comply with the Federal Food,
Drug and Cosmetic Act, 21 U.S.C.A. s 301 et seq. [FN1]
FN1. For a discussion of the religious tenets of the Church of Scientology
and the use of the "Hubbard Electrometer" (E-Meter) by the Church see
Founding Church of Scientology v. United States, 1969, 133 U.S.App.D.C.
229, 409 F.2d 1146, 1151-1153.
After an adverse decision at the hearing, appellants brought the instant suit
to enjoin appellees from (1) refusing admission of E-Meters into the United
States, (2) promulgating any policy or rule or regulation which requires
detention of any E-Meter, and (3) from interfering in any way with the shipment
of E-Meters addressed to appellants.
In January, 1971, a case involving similar factual and legal issues was
decided by the Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit in Church of
Scientology of California v. Richardson, 9 Cir., 1971, 437 F.2d 214. There
summary judgment in favor of the Secretary which had been granted by the
District Court was affirmed on appeal. See, also, United States v. An Article
or Device . . . "Hubbard Electrometer" or "Hubbard E-Meter," etc., Founding
Church of Scientology et al., D.C.D.C., 1971, 333 F.Supp. 357, on remand
from Founding Church of Scientology, supra.
Judge Nordbye examined the literature of the Church of Scientology and found
"* * * the E-meter as used in the auditing ceremony is an instrument which is
used by the Church for certain diagnostic and therapeutic purposes in improving
the health of the person audited, usually after Dianetic auditing, and
therefore the machine and the use thereof come within the scope of Section
352(f) (1), 21 U.S. C., and [the Court also] finds that the machines
transported from the United Kingdom to this country and seized by the
defendants do not bear adequate instructions for their use."
We have reviewed appellant's contentions as against the findings of fact and
law made by the District Court and are in complete agreement with the District
Court. Accordingly, we affirm on the basis of Judge Nordbye's well considered
opinion as published, D.C.Minn., 1972, 341 F.Supp. 563. Cf. Church of
Scientology of California v. Richardson, supra.