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Head Scientologist ordered to appear at deposition

Jan. 23, 2014 at 8:30 PM   |   Comments

SAN ANTONIO, Jan. 23 (UPI) -- A Texas judge has ordered Scientology leader David Miscavage to appear at a deposition in a harassment case filed by the wife of a former figure in the church.

The suit filed last year by Monique Rathbun, a non-Scientologist, whose husband, Mark Rathbun, a former first lieutenant to Miscavage, began speaking out against the church after he left in 2004, the San Antonio Express-News reported.

The lawsuit alleges that the Rathbuns were harassed by church unit called the Squirrel Busters starting in 2009 when they lived in Ingleside on the Bay and has been ongoing, even after their move to Comal County last year.

Miscavage is named as a defendant in the suit along with the Church of Scientology and its Religious Technology Center.

Lawyers for Miscavage have said that the deposition of their client would be unconstitutional.

"What's the cost to the First Amendment? What's the cost to freedom of religion? There is far more harm than good done by forcing Mr. Miscavage to take a deposition," Jefferson argued.

"I can't emphasize enough how opposed we are to having Mr. Miscavage sit for a deposition in this case," Scientology lawyer Lamont Jefferson told District Judge Dib Waldrip. "This is the end game. From Day 1, I said their whole goal in this case is not to find out if Mrs. Rathbun has been harassed, it's to depose Mr. Miscavage."

However, Waldrip disagreed, saying, "As I said in December, I think there is enough and I've not been persuaded to the contrary. Actually, I think there is potentially more now."

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