Scientology's Crushing Defeat - 2008-06-24
Even before it started, the 1986 trial of Lawrence Wollersheim v. the Church of Scientology of California caused a mob scene at L.A.'s downtown superior court.
When a judge decided during pretrial motions that documents describing confidential Scientology beliefs should be put in a file open to the public, 1,500 Scientologists swamped the court clerk's office to keep anyone else from requesting them. The next day, the judge resealed those records. But an L.A. Times reporter managed to get past the crush of Scientologists and copy the file. Newspapers around the country had a field day with what the Times reported: the documents showed that high-level Scientologists are taught that each human contains the souls of alien creatures banished to Earth 75 million years ago by a galactic overlord named Xenu.