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Church pressed woman to sell shop, court told • Friday December 6, 2002

Irish Times, Dec. 6, 2002

A woman who is suing the Church of Scientology has told the High Court she had been encouraged to sell her business to pay for courses which would advance her within the organisation and which would cost about (pounds) 9,200 sterling.

Ms was told she could not read an article in the Evening Herald which was critical of scientology. She had heard the article had made reference to a person who had left Scientology in California. The article also made reference to Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman having been visitors to that place.

She asked Mr Keane at the Dublin mission if he had a copy of it. He said she could not read it. He said she would need “class-12 auditing” to “repair” her because of what was contained in the article. Class-12 auditing would require “an arm and a leg”, added Ms Johnston. She did not see the article.

On another occasion at the end of 1993, she said, she was taken to a downstairs room in the organisation’s Dublin premises. There was an ashtray on a chair in front of her and she was told by a man to command it as loudly as she could to get it to stand up. She ended up screaming at the ashtray to stand.

She had to lift it up, acknowledging that it had stood up and say “Thank you” to it. She then screamed at the ashtray to “get down”. Then she put it down and said “Thank you.” She found what happened extremely confusing. She did not know why she was screaming at an inanimate object.

Ms Johnston said that just before Christmas 1993, a friend died from a massive heart attack, but she did not go to the funeral because sympathy was “low tone” in the Church of Scientology. At the higher end of the scale it was 40 for the higher tone while sympathy was down at 0.5 per cent. She said she resigned from the organisation in May 1994.

The hearing before Mr Justice Peart continues today.

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