Man killed at Hollywood Scientology center had made prior threats, police say

From fervent believer to attacker

When he was a UCLA student 15 years ago, Mario Majorski was a committed enough Scientologist that he helped file a federal lawsuit against a professor who called the church a cult.

On Sunday, Majorski stormed the church’s Celebrity Centre in Hollywood with a sword in each hand. He was shot dead by a security guard who police say had every reason to fear for his life and the lives of hundreds of others gathered on the property.

The reasons for Majorski’s transformation from fervent believer to attacker remained a mystery Monday.

A church spokesman said the 48-year-old had not participated in Scientology activities for more than a decade, but in recent years he had made a series of threatening phone calls to church offices in Los Angeles and Oregon, where he had been living.

“There were over a dozen threats at various points since 2005,” said spokesman Tommy Davis.

The church alerted police to the calls, which Davis described as ranging from veiled statements that “something bad” would happen to the church to direct threats of violence.

Although Majorski’s name was known to church security, Davis said, guards, including the former police officer who shot him Sunday afternoon, did not know him by sight.

“It was only after it happened that we realized, ‘Oh, it’s that guy,’ ” he said.

Majorski was a church member in good standing in 1993 when he and a classmate sued a psychiatry professor and UCLA.

The professor, Louis West, was an expert on brainwashing and an outspoken critic of Scientology, which he dismissed as a “pyramid scheme.”

Suits filed in state and federal court accused West of activities, including speaking to anti-cult groups, that transgressed the separation of church and state and interfered with Majorski’s practice of religion.

Both suits were dismissed, and court records indicate that Majorski’s role was largely limited to providing his name as a plaintiff.

– Source: Man killed at Hollywood Scientology center had made prior threats, police say, Harriet Ryan and James Wagner, Los Angeles Times, Nov. 25, 2008 — Summarized by Religion News Blog
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Religion News Blog posted this on Tuesday November 25, 2008.
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