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Church of Scientology sues critic

SAN FRANCISCO, March 25 (UPI) -- The Church of Scientology is suing a former member for $10 million after the San Francisco man continued his critical barbs despite an agreement to stop.

The church has accused Gerry Armstrong of breaching an agreement that he could not talk about the Church of Scientology in public, the San Francisco Chronicle reported Thursday.

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Armstrong joined the church in 1969 and became an insider. But he left the church in 1981 and later became one of Scientology's harshest critics. The church sued Armstrong in 1984 for allegedly stealing thousands of pages of private papers of the movement's founder, the late L. Ron Hubbard. A settlement required Armstrong to no longer make public criticism of Scientology.

Hubbard, a science fiction writer and self-styled philosopher, founded the Church of Scientology in the 1950s. He died in 1986.

Armstrong said his 20-year legal battle against Scientology showed him that "the cult is a flagrant human rights destroyer, and consequently a societal danger, and indeed a willful pariah."

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