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Cases added to this page should be legal cases lost by Scientology organisations (not by individual Scientologists) and should follow the format:

  • Date of judgment - Parties - Court or Quasi-judicial body. [Citation hotlinked to a copy of the judgment] Outcome. One sentence describing the tenor of the litigation.
 History - Date of judgment appealed from - Court - Outcome (Scientology lost/won)

legal support Ukraine


Criminal ConvictionsEdit

  • 17 September 1996 - R v. Church of Scientology of Toronto and Jacqueline Matz - Court of Appeal for Ontario 1996 CanLII 1650. Appeals from conviction dismissed. Appeal of Scientology from sentence dismissed. The convictions were for criminal breach of trust in relation the infiltration of, and removal of documents from, the Ontario Provincial Police and the Ministry of the Attorney General of Ontario. Scientology fined $250,000. Matz fined $5,000.
 History - 25 June 1992 - Ontario Court (before a jury) - Convicted on two counts


Human Rights LitigationEdit

  • 5 May 1979 - X and Church of Scientology v. Sweden - European Court of Human Rights 7805/77 {1979} ECHR 9. Application declared inadmissible. Scientology failed to overturn restrictions imposed on the wording used in e-meter advertisements in Sweden.


  • 14 July 1980 - Church of Scientology and 128 of its members v. Sweden - European Court of Human Rights 8282/78 (1980) ECHR 8. Application declared inadmissible. Scientology failed to cause Swedish courts to allow it to sue criminally or civilly someone who "agitated" against it. Scientology had tried to sue the publisher of a newspaper who quoted a Professor who said in a lecture: "Scientology is the most untruthful movement there is. It is the cholera of spiritual life. That is how dangerous it is."


  • 9 January 1995 - Church of Scientology of Paris v. France - European Court of Human Rights 19509/92 {1995} ECHR 107 . Application declared inadmissible. Scientology failed to get access to files of the French Criminal Intelligence Department
 History - 13 March 1985 - Paris Administrative Court - Scientology lost.
         - 15 February 1991 - State Council (Conseil d'Etat) - Scientology lost.


  • 7 April 1997 - Scientology Kirche Deutschland v Germany - European Court of Human Rights 34614/97 {1997} ECHR 197 . Application declared inadmissible. Scientology failed to remedy a long list of perceived discriminations against its members by German government and non-government organisations and individuals.


Defamation Litigation Edit

  • 16 January 1984 - Church of Scientology of California, Plaintiff, v. Michael J. Flynn, Defendant - United States District Court, D. Massachusetts Civ. A. No. 83-2386-MA.. Dismissed Scientology's claim for libel against attorney Flynn over allegation that Scientologists had stolen a court filing fee.


  • 27 July 1984 - Church of Scientology of California, Plaintiff, v. Michael J. Flynn, Defendant - United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit Church of Scientology of California v. Flynn . Decision of CA District Court Affirmed.


  • 4 May 1993 - Church of Scientology International Inc. v. Mitchell Daniels - United States Court of Appeals, Fourth Circuit 992 F.2d 1329 Judgment of US District Court affirmed. Summary judgment against Scientology, which failed to prove that Mitch Daniels had defamed it by stating, "...the Church of Scientology is no church. It's a commercial enterprise. Every judge and every investigative journalist who has ever looked at it has come away with that conclusion. It is organized for only one purpose, which is to make money."


  • 20 July 1995 - Casey Hill (Respondent) v. Church of Scientology of Toronto and Morris Manning (Appellants) - Supreme Court of Canada {1995} 2 S.C.R. 1130. Appeal dismissed. Hill awarded $1.6m in damages, comprising: general damages of $300,000; aggravated damages of $500,000 (against Scientology); and a further $800,000 in punitive damages (against Scientology).
 History - 19 November 1993 - Court of Appeal for Ontario - Appeal dismissed in all but one minor respect.


  • 12 January 2001 - Church of Scientology International Inc. v. Time Warner Inc., Time Inc. Magazine Company and Richard Behar - 238 F.3d 168 US Courts of Appeals, Second Circuit. All appeals dismissed. Scientology lost its claim for $416 million in damages over 13 statements made in a 1991 Time Magazine article by Richard Behar: Scientology: The Thriving Cult of Greed and Power.
 History - 23 November 1992 - 806 F.Supp. 1157 (S.D.N.Y. 1992) ("Time I"). US District Court - Scientology lost
           14 November 1995 - 903 F.Supp. 637, 642-44 (S.D.N.Y. 1995) ("Time II"). US District Court - Scientology lost 
           - 932 F. Supp. 589, 595 (S.D.N.Y. 1996) ("Time III"). US District Court - Scientology lost
           27 August 1997 - No. 92 Civ. 3024, 1997 WL 538912, at *2 (S.D.N.Y.) ("Time IV"), US District Court - Scientology lost
           9 September 1999 - 1998 WL 575194, at *3 (S.D.N.Y.) ("Time V"). US District Court - Scientology lost
           1 October 2001 534 U.S. 814 Supreme Court - Certiorari denied - Scientology lost


Tort Litigation Edit

  • 18 May 1976 - Allard v. Church of Scientology - Court of Appeal of California, Second Appellate District, Division Two. 58 Cal. App. 3d 439. Cal. App. 2d Dist. 1976. Judgment affirmed. Punitive damages reduced. Scientology lost its appeal against a jury verdict holding it guilty of malicious prosecution. Allard was falsely accused of theft after he decided to leave the employ of the Sea Org. Scientology to pay $50,000 compensatory damages and $50,000 punitive damages plus costs.


  • 18 July 1989 - Larry Wollersheim, Plaintiff and Respondent, v. Church of Scientology of California, Defendant and Appellant, Court of Appeal, Second District, California - (1989) 212 Cal.App.3d 872, 260 Cal.Rptr. 331. Held that auditing, disconnection and fair game were conducted in a coercive environment. Thus, none of them qualified as “voluntary religious practices” entitled to constitutional protection under the First Amendment religious freedom guaranties. Wollersheim was entitled to $2m in damages plus interest. Wollersheim was ultimately paid $8.9m by Scientology. Article "Scientology's Crushing Defeat"


  • 22 May 1996 - Church of Scientology of California, Plaintiff and Appellant, v. Lawrence Wollersheim, Defendant and Respondent, Court of Appeal, Second District, Division 3, California - 42 Cal.App.4th 628, 49 Cal.Rptr.2d 620 - Scientology unsuccessful in getting the 1989 judgment set aside on the ground that the trial judge, Judge Swearinger, harbored actual malice and prejudice against Scientology which affected the jury in that case.


Commercial Litigation Edit

  • 13 July 1979 - Church of Scientology of California v. World Federation for Mental Health, Incorporated - Supreme Court of British Columbia 1979 CanLII 372. Action dismissed. Scientology to pay costs. Scientology failed to collect a judgment debt.


  • 15 March 1983 - Church of Scientology of British Columbia v. Ahmed - Supreme Court of British Columbia(1983), 146 D.L.R. (3d) 219 • (1983), 44 B.C.L.R. 297 . Scientology's claim for fraudulent misrepresentation dismissed. Landlord's claim allowed. Scientology ordered to pay $85,944.54 plus costs.


Freedom of Information Litigation Edit

  • 19 December 1984 - Samuels v. Hubbard and Church of Scientology of California, Inc., and Church of Scientology, Mission of Davis, Intervenors-Appellants - Oregon Court of Appeals 71 Or App 481, 692 P2d 700 (1984). Appeal denied and decision of Circuit Court affirmed. Church of Scientology of California, Inc. and Church of Scientology, Mission of Davis denied leave to intervene in the proceedings.



  • 30 August 1995 - Religious Technology Center Inc v. Washington Post et al - United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit Civil Action No: 95-1107-A Scientology failed to obtain a Temporary Restraining Order against the Washington Post.


Intellectual Property Litigation Edit

  • 8 August 1986 - Religious Technology Center and Church of Scientology International, Inc. v. Larry Wollersheim, et al., and Church of the New Civilization, Harvey Haber, Dede Reisdorf, Jon Zegel and David Mayo - United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit F.2d 1076. Scientology failed to obtain injunctive relief against Wollersheim and his witnesses to prevent them using Advanced Technology materials in court, with claims based on civil RICO and misappropriation of trade secrets. Held that the confidential "religious scriptures" were not capable of being commercial trade secrets.
  • 29 July 1992 - Religious Technology Center; Church of Scientology International v. Larry Wollersheim; Leta Schlosser; Richard Ofshe; Margaret Singer, et al.; Charles B. O'Reilly, United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit - 971 F.2d 364 - Dismissed claims, including conspiracy to commit RICO violations and breaches of copyright made against Wollersheim's lawyers and expert witnesses.
  • 11 April 1996 - Religious Technology Center; Church of Scientology of California; Church of Scientology International v. Robin Scott, Church of the New Civilization; David Mayo - United States Court of Appeals, Ninth Circuit 82 F.3d 423. Scientology failed to obtain injunctions against David Mayo and defendants to restrain their use of Scientology Advanced Technology documents, $2 million in damages plus punitive damages. Scientology was ordered to pay $2.9 million in attorneys' fees to the defendants' lawyers. Mayo's counter-claims for libel and unfair competition were remanded to the lower court.


Other Cases Edit

  • 19 November 1982 - Church of Scientology v. Woodward - High Court of Australia {1982} HCA 78. Scientology's Statement of Claim struck out. Liberty to replead. Scientology failed to stop a national intelligence organisation from gathering intelligence about its activities.

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