This article was posted by Kim Baker on the behalf of Gerry Armstrong.
I received the following message in e-mail, purportedly from Gerry Armstrong.
I have decided to post it to a.r.s., so that people can decide for
themselves - I have broken it up into 4 parts, as it is quite long.
Since Kim asked the first question and started the recent threads concerning
the judgement Scientology has against me, and concerning the December, 1986
"settlement agreement" which the judgement enforces, I am sending her this
response to some of the questions which have arisen. Kim may post it to ars if
Much of the language of the judgement, some of the circumstances at the time
of the "settlement", and a quick sketch of my long cult litigation history are
contained in the January 26, 1997 declaration, which I prepared in response to
a document production subpoena from Grady Ward, and which some arscc stalwarts
(I know, there are no stalwarts) have kindly added to their web pages.
Immediately following receipt of Grady's subpoena I received a letter from
Scientology attorney Andrew Wilson threatening enforcement of the judgement if
I produced any documents. Wilson's threat is illegal; nethertheless, because
Marin County Superior Court Judge Gary W. Thomas would be the one ordering
whatever organization lawyers request that he order it didn't make any sense
to stick around. Why Judge Thomas has given Scientology everything it asked
for in its litigations against me and ignored valid defences, evidence, the US
Constitution and common law is not yet known, but that he has done so is fact.
It was a series of similar threats from another orgnasation attorney Lawrence
Heller in the fall of 1989 which brought me back into the cult litigation
after the "settlement". Heller threatened, after I was subpoenaed by Bent
Corydon's attorney Toby Plevin for a deposition in Bent's case, that if I
testified about certain matters, like, specifically, L. Ron Hubbard's lies,
even though pursuant to subpoeana, I would be sued.
During the brief time I had an internet account at the beginning of this year,
and just prior to this most recent threat from Scientology via attorney
Wilson, I discovered the real reason why the organization considers me such a
danger and why it will, I believe, as long as it is under David Miscavige's
control, stop at nothing to eliminate me. When I coupled that discovery, which
I will detail in a future communication, with warnings from certain people
about the grave things Scientology might do to me in jail, I left the US.
Diane Richardson states that I accepted money from Scientology in exchange for
my agreement to remain silent. She also states that she doesn't doubt that any
judge would be willing to void the agreement if I were to return the money I
took in exchange for my silence.
Diane has adopted Scientology's black PR line, and is in error. I accepted
money from Scientology in exchange for my dismissal of my lawsuit then pending
and set to go to trial in early 1987.
My lawsuit was for being defrauded out of and abused throughout twelve plus
years of my life inside the organization, and for five years of fair game
after leaving. I testified to the fraud, abuse and fair game in dozens of
declarations and forty-five or so days of oral testimony before the
"settlement". Scientology got an excellent deal: it paid me some money and I
dismissed my claims.
When I protested to Mike Flynn, when he first showed me the "settlement
agreement," that it was impossible to honor, he said, "It's unenfocable. You
can't contract away your constitutional rights." He pointed out to me the
clauses which called for my release of Scientology for all claims I had up to
the date of the "contract" and for my dismissal of the pending lawsuit and
stated, "That's what they're paying you for."
Stretching silence agreements as far as Scientology stretches them makes the
crime of blackmail legal; which I believe itself is illegal. E.g., A knows B
is having an affair, defrauding customers, or maybe even killed someone. A's
lawyer goes to B's lawyer and says you pay us a pile of dough and we'll draw
up a contract which prevents A from telling anyone about B's affair, all that
fraud or that dead body; and also requires that A avoid service of process in
B's legal matters. In fact, we'll include a liquidated damages clause to
further protect B (so he can continue to have the affair, continue to defraud
the customers, or continue to get away with murder). Since A's lawyer is
proposing a "Scientology-style contract," which has been judicially declared
"legal and binding," B or his lawyer cannot go to law enforcement and accuse A
or his lawyer of blackmail.
[Continued in part 2]
[Continued from Part 1]
I refused to be a party to what could be construed as the lawyers' blackmail
deal. I was willing to not continue to prosecute my lawsuit against
Scientology, and I was willing to voluntarily not speak out and so give the
organization the space it claimed, via Flynn, it needed to end fair game. When
I refused, Flynn stated that the "settlement agreement's" clauses prohibiting
any discussion of my experiences and knowledge of Scientology were "not worth
the paper they're printed on," and he stated that it was my release of claims
and dismissal of my lawsuit for which the organization was paying me.
People in this period in American society seem to take silence agreements and
gag orders as common, standard and unquestioned in "settling" litigation, or
in any number of other contexts. Yet Scientology's use of these "agreements"
demonstartes beyond argument that they result in obstruction of justice,
injustice, and more, not less, litigation. They also give the organization,
and other organizations depending on them, the very bad idea that they can
continue the same tortious or criminal behavior that gave rise to the claims
the "agreements" "settled", instead of altering or curtailing the behavior.
Litigation loses its intended salutary action in restraining such behavior. I
wonder if any lawyer/researcher reading this can determine when silence
conditions, with or without liquidated damages penalties, started and became
commonplace in American jurisprudence, or society itself.
Because it is so easy to demonstrate serious abuses flowing from the Armstrong
"settlement agreement", and the whole set of similar "agreements," it is
possible that Scientology will provide the legal community an opportunity to
rethink its dependence on such "agreements", and do something about the danger
of this evil in a free society.
Regarding my returning whatever money I received from Scientology, and the
organisation voiding the "settlement agreement", I made this offer, but they
refused. It is not a matter of my giving back money and then being able to
speak freely. That again is Scientology's black PR line. I would give back
money, and the two parties to the lawsuit - the cult and I - would return to
the state of our relationship in December, 1986.
Scientology would not only have to allow me to speak and act freely, but: 1.
allow me to put on my case against it at trial in Los Angeles Superior Court;
2. release Mike Flynn and my other attorneys from any "contracts" which
prevented them from assisting or representing me; 3. release all my witnesses
from any "contracts" which prevented them from voluntarily testifying at trial
(Laurel Sullivan, Ed Walters, Homer Schomer, Nancy Dincalci, Michale Douglas,
Kima Douglas, Martin Samuels, Bill Franks, etc); 4. return to Flynn, the other
attorneys, all the witnesses and me all of our documentary evidence; and 5.
return to the LASC the "Armstrong documents" which had been the subject of the
underlying case which resulted in the 1984 Breckenridge decision.
I made this offer to Mike Rinder during discussions we had in 1994 and 1995,
which, on my insistence, he specifically agreed in advance would not be
confidential. Rinder, on behalf of the organisation, refused my offer to
return to our respective December 1986 positions.
During these meetings Rinder kept using the term "DA," and I kept correcting
him because what Scientology actually means when it says "DA" (or disprove
lies) is "black PR" (or tell lies). He acknowledged that what the organization
was disseminating about me was black PR, and he stated that they were going to
continue to black PR me until I shut up. Ford Greene and Mike Sutter were also
present during these meetings.
Rinder said that they would dismiss the lawsuits against me if I signed a
statement invalidating the 1984 Breckenridge decision. Rinder said the
organization had such a statement prepared for me to sign, but he refused to
show it to me. Much of the organization's attack on me since the 1986
"settlement" has been an effort to destroy my credibility in order to
undermine that decision.
The "settlement agreement" includes a $50,000 liquidated damages clause, which
clearly, and unlawfully, acts as punishment. Every time I say anything about
anything about Scientology (now 28 years of my life, five lawsuits and endless
attacks) to anyone I am supposed to pay them $50K, without the organization
having to prove one penny in actual damages.
For liquidated damages to be legally valid there must be reasonable
relationaship between their amount and actual damages. One of the ways a court
is to determine if liquidated damages are reasonable is whether there were
good faith negotiations to arrive at a reasonable monetary figure prior to the
execution of the contract which contains them as a condition. Mike Flynn has
stated to me a number of times since the "settlement" that there were no such
negotiations whatsoever. There certainly were no such such negotiations
involving me. There were no negotiations becuase Flynn stated to me when I
protested the ridiculousness of $50K per utterance, "Gerry, it's not worth the
paper it's printed on"
Another person Nancy Dincalci testified in Scientology's contract enforcement
case against me that to get her to sign a "settlement agreement" Flynn told
her the same thing. Nancy didn't have a lawsuit against Scientology and was
paid $7,500, but had the same $50K liquidated damages clause. Judge Thomas
ignored these facts and awarded the organization $300,000 in liquidated
damages, without them having to prove that there was any actual damage of any
kind or in any amount whatsoever.
[Continued in Part 3]
[Continued from Part 2]
Ron's Inspector's Inspector, commenting on Judge Thomas's enforcement of the
Armstrong "settlement agreement" says, "This is quite as it should be. If you
sell your soul, why should you be able to go running to the courts to get it
I have no idea who Ron's II is, although he or she sounds like an old flame of
Koos; and I sure wouldn't want to say anything critical or insensitive in case
he or she is carrying a torch for me; so I'll simply say that he or she is
just plain wrong. It's the courts whose job it is to prevent the sale of
souls, and, if a soul has been sold, to invalidate the sale. The Emancipation
Proclamation of 1863 was to end soul selling, and soul sales are still illegal
no matter what the lawyers say.
A pimp cannot judicially enforce a "contract" with a woman requiring her to
have sex with someone. A court cannot enforce a "contract" between a judge and
a party requiring the judge to rule for the party, even though it may be legal
for that judge to rule for that party (a criminal cult for example). If
someone high up in the US government sold his soul to Scientology, or if, for
example, US intelligence formed an unholy alliance with this "religious"
organization, such a slae or alliance would be illegal and the courts must,
providing they had not also sold their souls, not only not enforce the
"contract", but punish the parties procuring it. When we know that the courts
have sold their souls, then Ron's II is right, and we should not run or look
to them for restraint of evil.
Contracts for the sale of souls are judicially unenforcable because they are
either illegal or, although not specifically illegal, unconscionable.
Scientology's "settlement agreement" is both illegal and unconscionable. Evil
contracts are made to be broken. That is in fact the message of true religion.
The contract with evil is ended, your soul is yours, stand up and walk free.
Scientology, if only by its hatching, requiring and enforcing its evil
contracts, reveals its anti-religious nature.
Peopnage or slavery, made illegal in the US by the thirteenth amendment, and
certainly illegal in every other western country (including, in case the US
State Department is listening, Germany) is essentially a condition in which
the slave is under the domination of another without the recourse available to
a free person. Scientology's position is that it can say whatever it wants
about me, and do whatever it wants to me, and I, having "contracted" to be its
slave, have no recourse.
After the December, 1986 "settlement", Scientology subbjected me to its ugly
black PR attack - publishing ugly lies about me, having Gene Ingram distribute
his ugly and illegal product to the media, and filing ugly flase sworn
statements about me in court proceedings - before I ever responded. I have,
therefore, a valid defense of self defense. I did not agree to be
Scientology's punching bag, nor its slave.
Mike Flynn never asked me if he could sell me into slavery, and when I asked
him about the "contract", which I recognized as a standard Scientology slave
traders' document, he said "it's unenforcable." Even if Flynn had asked me if
he could sell me into slavery, and even if I had said "Ya sure ya betcha," he
couldn't legally do it, and in the US, unlike perhaps Sudan, such a contract
must be, one would think, judicially, indeed, unenforceable.
Judge Thomas, however, on summary judgement has agreed with Scientology's
position, dismissing the fact that Scientology had attacked and black PRed me
before I responded, and dismissing my defense of self-defense, with the brief
comment that the contract doesn't state that I can respond to Scientology's
attacks, therefore I can't. I will for now leave others to further comment on
the inanity and the effect of such a jurisprudential proposition.
Scientology's argument in response to questions about the justice, fairness or
wisdom of their "settlement agreement" has been that "we paid for it,
therefore it's legal, and we want it." That's the same argument that the slave
owners before them used: we paid for them, therefore it's legal, and it's what
we want. In slavery the slaves cannot question the masters. Scientologists
cannot question their masters. Scientologists have grown so used to slavery
that they don't question it anymore. They do not, being slaves, question the
justice, fairness or wisdom of what is done to them or what they do.
To the Scientologists who might read this I ask these questions:
1. Do you, a Scientologist, believe that it is just, fair or wise, or even
legal, that your organization's leaders, lawyers and spokespeople can say or
publish whatever they want about me, and file whatever they want about me in
court proceedings, no matter how flase or libelous, and that I may not respond
to correct the falsehoods, libels or court record?
Note that your organization wants me silenced not because I was myself telling
falsehoods or libelling anyone, but because I was telling the truth. Do not
fall for your organization's black PR line that the "settlement" agreement is
to stop me from spreading falsehoods. Defamation law adequately provides such
2. Do you, a Scientologist, believe that your organization's tax exempt monies
should be spent enforcing a "contract" so that your organization's leaders,
lawyers and spokespeople can say or publish whatever they want about me in
court proceedings, no matter how false or libelous, without my being able to
respond to correct the flasehoods, libels or court record?
3. Do you, a Scientologist, want a world in which any organization's leaders,
lawyers or spokespeople can say whatever they want about that someone in court
proceedings, no matter how false or libelous, and that person may not respond
to correct the flasehoods, libels or court record?
4. Is that a world without insanity in which honest beings have rights; or
isn't it a world of insanity in which the honest beings have no rights?
5. And isn't that insane world in which honest beings have no rights what your
organization practices within its borders; and what it is trying, through its
misuse of your money and the fruits of your hard work and sacrifice, to impose
outside its borders?
Various people asked about the extent to which Conbstitutionally guarenteed
freedoms can be limited by contract. My present conviction is that at some
time in the future (not too distant, as we are fast leaving the age of
stupidity (R) it will be shown that these freedoms are and should be
unlimited, including unlimited by contract, except as qualified by safety,
courtesy and wisdom.
The case on which Scientology, and Judge Thomas, depend for their eradication
of my Constitutional freedoms concerns (I believe, since I don't have my files
with me) someone using a freedom of speech defense in a lawsuit concerning his
delivery of his employer's trade secrets to a competitor company. The
appellate court stated in rejection of that defense something like, "a person
can contract away his freedom of speech." Scientology, and Judge Thomas, have
used this language to arrive at the conclusion that thus it is perfectly fine
that I "contracted away" not only my right of speech, but religion, assembly
and due process.
[Continued in Part 4]
[Continued from Part 3]
Scientology's and the judge's conclusion are clearly silly. E.g., a person is
injured by a drunk driver. He sues the driver. The drunk's insurance company
hires a Gene Ingram lookalike to go after the injured person's lawyer,
threatens his family and sues him fifteen times. The lawyer, desperate to get
away from the attack, tells the injured person he has to settle, but the
settlement agreement is not worth the paper it's printed on. Unbeknonst to the
injured person his lawyer signs a "contract" to not assist him if the
insurance company sues the injured person in the future. The "agreement"
requires that the injured person never ever mention alcohol, cars, lawyers or
insurance again and backs it up with a $50K penalty if he does. Is this goofy
E.g., a man is sued by the US government. Justice department lawyers, hiring
bad intel operatives and bludgeoning him through abusive litigation, ruin his
life, but he prevails through trial and brings a malicious prosecution suit.
The US settles with him. Can it legally require as a condition of settlement
that he never ever again mention the United States, its President, its history
or geography? They wish.
E.g., will any court enforce a contract "settling" a lawsuit against the
Republican Party for fraud and intentional infliction of emotional distress
which requires that the person never mention the Republicans, or for that
matter never vote for the Democrats? The lawyers can work out the language,
But the parallel is this. A Christian church sues an employee for theft of
documents he didn't steal. He countersues for years of abuse. These leaders
sue his lawyer a dozen times, frame him with a crime, threaten his life and
family, steal the man's writings, libel him around the world, attempt half a
dozen times to have him jailed on false charges. The man wins the church's
lawsuit against him. When his case is set for trial, his lawyer, desperate to
end the attacks, cuts a deal with the church lawyers. He presents to his
client a "settlement agreement" and tells him "it isn't worth the paper it's
printed on." He also tells that client that he and twenty friends are going to
have their lives ruined unless he signs. The "agreement" requires that the man
nbever again mention the church, his religious experiences, Jesus Christ, the
Holy Scriptures, or God. If he does, he is to pay the "church" $50K. The
lawyer tells him that that condition too is "not worth the paper it's printed
Does any sane person actually believe that in this age in the great US of A,
where people can still read, such a contract is judicially enforcable? Whether
or not the lawyer had represented that the document was unenforcable, and
whether or not the lawyer had conveyed the church's threat of continued fair
game if the client didn't sign, the contract is legally unenforcable. It is
because Scientology is not a church but a criminal cult that Judge Thomas
agreed to enforce its evil contract.
The US Constitution's guarantee of freedom of religion has come to mean
freedom for religious tyrants to do whatever they want to religious followers.
A correction of this evil can be effectuated to some degree by the US court's
refusal to enforce religions' "contracts" which restrict freedom of religion.
Inside the religion, a follower may agree ("contract") to restrictions on his
behavior; i.e., he can agree to follow the religion's rules, provided the
rules are not illegal or against public policy. But for freedom of religion to
exist the follower must be free to leave, and his expression after leaving
cannot be restricted; i.e., he may freely discuss all his religious
experiences or knowledge gained while inside. That will also have the salutary
effect of making religions less likely to abuse their followers, since the
followers can tell all as soon as they leave. A religious "contract"
prohibiting anyone from telling all must be ruled unenforceble. Without
freedom to express religious experiences and knowledge of and opinions about a
religion there is no freedom of religion. Again, Germany may take note of
America's method of religious persecution.
Prignillius asks if there were two dates, settlement and subsequent gag order.
There was the "settlement" of December, 1986 involving some twenty people
represented by Mike Flynn. And there was the 1986 "settlement agreement." I
was not a party in what became known as the "class action."
kEvib suggests I am a devotee of or interested in Carlos Castaneda. Where that
came from I haven't a clue because I'm neither. I'm certainly aware of some of
the writings ascribed to Castaneda, and I admit to a brief desire in my long
ago youth to track down the wild peyote beast, but that's about it. These days
for wisdom (justice and fairness too for that matter) I look to Jesus of
Nazareth, on whom no one I've found thus far has improved. Hubbard was a fool
when he called Him an implant, and we Scientologists were fools to believe
Hubbard; but religion, I've leanred, is off-topic for ars, so I'll leave it
for another day.
Martin suggests beer, back bacon and babes in beautiful BC. Now those are
things I've been interested in and are always on tpoic for ars. And oh yeah,
hockey, eh? And as for those Canucks, well what the puck.
In this message I have discussed, even criticized, Judge Thomas's judgment.
Pursuant to his judgement I can be jailed for discussing it. He would be the
one sending me to jail. And that's why I do discuss it. The package is just