Scientology, Deep in the Heart of Texas: The Voice at the Debbie Cook Hearing - 2012-02-09
Update: For a wrap-up of today's hearing and some analysis of the day's performances, we now have this new piece.
Today, former Scientology executive Debbie Cook will try to convince a Bexar County, Texas district judge to lift the strict terms of a temporary injunction as she defends herself against a lawsuit filed by her former employer. The Church of Scientology is seeking a minimum of $300,000 in damages against Cook and her husband, Wayne Baumgarten, after Cook sent out an e-mail on New Year's Eve to thousands of her fellow church members, criticizing church leader David Miscavige for Scientology's focus on "extreme fundraising."
After 17 years as Scientology's top executive running its spiritual mecca in Clearwater, Florida and then some time in California, Cook left Scientology's "Sea Org" in 2007. She and her husband, who also left the Sea Org, signed non-disclosure agreements (for which they were paid $50,000 each), and moved to San Antonio. Cook left staff, but didn't leave the church, and bided her time until her New Year's Eve salvo proved a major crisis for the organization.