Scientology hit with another federal lawsuit over refunds - but with a twist - 2015-04-18
A new federal lawsuit was filed this week by former members of the Church of Scientology who are asking the organization to return money that they had put on account. John A. (pictured) and Mary Lou Dettmer of Avon, Indiana are suing Scientology's Illinois branch after it refused to return $77,810 that the Dettmers had paid years ago for courses that they now have no use for.
The lawsuit is so new, Scientology doesn't even know it's coming yet, says Fred Pfenninger, the Indianapolis attorney for the Dettmers, who spoke with us yesterday. "They don't even know, to my knowledge, that it's been filed. We have not sent the summonses out," he said.
We told Pfenninger that we found numerous things about the lawsuit unusual, and we've asked him to put us in touch with the Dettmers. In the meantime, the complaint explains that in 2013, the Dettmers requested, and received, large refunds from two Scientology entities — the Flag Service Organization (FSO) returned $95,216.56 on August 19, and the Flag Ship Service Organization (FSSO) returned $11,687.25 on August 25. But the Church of Scientology of Illinois refused to turn over the $77,810 that are on account for the Dettmers, and so they filed suit.