Lawsuit goes after Tom Cruise, church
Tom Cruise is named in a $250 million federal lawsuit that is using the RICO statute against the Church of Scientology. Ex-Scientologist Peter Letterese, a longtime critic of the church, filed suit in Southern District Court in Florida on July 15 alleging, among other things, that members of the church harassed him after he left.
In court papers provided to The News by investigator Paul Barresi, Letterese claims a member of the church phoned his lawyer at home, and when the lawyer’s wife answered, said he was her husband’s homosexual lover.
Letterese calls the church a “crime syndicate” and wants it broken up under the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organization law, just as the feds have broken up Mafia families.
He singles out Cruise, who’s made no secret of his religion, saying that Scientology head David Miscavage is “aided and abetted by the actions of Tom Cruise, his right-hand man for foreign and domestic promotion, as well as for foreign and domestic lobbying. He has assisted the syndicate in acquiring funds and [made] his own donations of money believed to be in the multiple tens of millions of dollars.”
One of Letterese’s beefs is that the church allegedly uses a business book, “Effective Sales Closing Techniques,” as part of its teachings. He says this violates his intellectual property rights, since he bought the rights to the book from the widow of author Leslie Dane.
The Church of Scientology has a lengthy history of harassment.