In one of the most shocking accounts of cult abuse, a lawsuit between the Church of Scientology and former church official Debbie Cook has finally ended today, according to a San Antonio local news website.
We have decided to withdraw our request for an injunction at this time, Scientology lawyer George Spence Jr. told Judge Martha Tanner, reported MySA. Going forward in the case this way will prevent the defendant from using the court as a pulpit for false statements.
The suit was sparked in early Jan. when Cook sent an email detailing the church's outrageous actions, to which they retailed by suing the former official for $300,000 in damages. Cook signed a contract in 2007 binding her to the church and forbidding her from revealing any information about the organization or its practices. In addition to the email that went public, Cook delivered a testimony yesterday detailing beatings, confinement, and forced confessions under direction of church leader David Miscavige.
Although the church claims to have treated the 50-year-old with dignity and respect, Cook said differently. According to her testimony, she was forced to spend seven weeks in The Hole, a punishment center at the church's headquarters in Los Angeles. She said she was sent there with 100 other Church officials, where she and others were forced to sleep on the floor, were given watery slop for meals, and were sometimes beaten into fake confessions, according to MySA.
It had very heavy spiritual and mental effects, she said to the San Antonio paper.
Cook was once again confined on another occasion, and was only released after threatening to commit suicide. A church spokesperson denied these claims, saying that after her expulsion in 2007 she became a heretic spreading lies and false stories.
I'm exhausted but I feel good about it, Cook's lawyer Ray Jeffrey said to MySA after the trial. We've won.
Scientology extends far beyond America's borders. According to a report from the AP, the French appeals court upheld a case filed in 2009 against the Church of Scientology on charges of pressuring members into paying large sums of money for questionable remedies.
The religion, originating in 1954 by science fiction novelist L. Ron Hubbard, is not recognized as a religion in France, although the U.S., Sweden and Spain acknowledge it. Its members include celebrities such as John Travolta and Tom Cruise.