Church wants judge removed in McPherson case - 2000-03-03
LARGO -- The Church of Scientology says it fears Pinellas-Pasco Circuit Judge Brandt C. Downey III cannot be impartial and is asking that he remove himself from presiding in the Lisa McPherson case.
In a motion filed late Thursday, Scientology asserts that several of Downey's former law partners were active in anti-Scientology efforts in the late 1970s and early 1980s, after the church's controversial arrival in Clearwater.
The motion also notes that Downey has been an officer in local mental health groups involved in providing psychiatric and psychological services. Scientology is staunchly opposed to psychiatry and psychology, calling its practitioners "psychs" who are "the sole cause of decline in this universe."