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CALIFORNIA COURT

 

Church of Scientology suing Chilliwack resident who couldn't stop talking

 

Keith Fraser

Canwest News Service

Friday, March 26, 2004

Page A5

 

The Church of Scientology is suing a Chilliwack, B.C., man for more than $10-million for violating an agreement to remain silent about the organization. A trial is scheduled for April in California in which the Church says Gerry Armstrong made numerous Internet postings that breached the deal signed in 1986. The deal called for the Canadian to be fined $50,000 each time he spoke about Scientology. Mr. Armstrong, who worked closely with Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard in California, admits that under the agreement, he was also paid $500,000 to hand back documents he took when he left the Church in 1981. He admits he has breached the agreement "hundreds of thousands of times," but in a document filed in Marin County Superior Court, adds he signed the deal under "shudder-inducing" duress and does not intend to abide by it. Church lawyer Andrew Wilson said the amount of money the Church paid Mr. Armstrong is closer to $800,000. "He was paid a lot of money and he now says he was under duress. But he took the money," said Mr. Wilson, a California lawyer.

Canwest News Service