Scientology responds to Garcia accusations; sexy Virginia congressional candidate visits an org - 2016-05-18
Scientology has responded to the new accusations by Luis and Rocio Garcia that the church has made it impossible for the couple to abide by federal Judge James Whittemore's order that they take their accusations of fraud to Scientology's internal arbitration.
Scientology has never conducted an internal arbitration, and Judge Whittemore acknowledged, when he put a stay on the Garcias' 2013 lawsuit, that there are no actual procedures in place for such an arbitration. But Whittemore agreed with the church's argument that because arbitration was called for in the contracts the Garcias had signed, that was something he couldn't meddle in for fear of violating Scientology's First Amendment religious rights.
The Garcias have come back to court, however, and are trying to convince Judge Whittemore that Scientology has made it impossible for them to even attempt such an arbitration. According to the church and its "International Justice Chief," Mike Ellis, the Garcias' complaints will be heard by a three-person panel made up of Scientologists in good standing: One that the Garcias choose, one that the church chooses, and a third chosen by the other two arbitrators. But every time the Garcias have tried to get a list of Scientologists to choose from, or have suggested Scientologists they know for their arbitrator, Scientology has refused to turn over a complete list of names or has dismissed the Garcias' choices as people not in good standing. The Garcias say the situation is impossible, the church is not serious about conducting an arbitration, and they want Judge Whittemore to lift the stay in the case and re-activate the lawsuit.