Garcias' appeal rejected; now the couple faces the real possibility of Scientology arbitration - 2015-08-02
Another setback for the Garcias, and this one seems to leave little else for them to do but to submit to Scientology's internal arbitration scheme.
As we told you earlier, Luis and Rocio Garcia appealed the ruling by federal Judge James Whittemore granting Scientology's motion to compel the Garcias to use the church's arbitration process — even though Whittemore himself admitted that there was significant evidence that the arbitration scheme was a sham and didn't exist.
The Garcias first sued Scientology in January 2013, alleging that they had been defrauded when they were convinced to donate more than a million dollars to the organization. Specifically, about $400,000 in donations they said were solicited from them in a deceptive manner. But Scientology pointed out that the Garcias had signed numerous contracts which called for all disputes to be handled internally, with refund requests hashed out through an internal arbitration scheme. The Garcias countered with testimony by former church officials who said that the contracts were designed to confound members who complained, and that no arbitration had ever occurred, and even that there were no actual policies for an arbitration to take place.