Hot on the heels of the announcement of the Corbett’s lawsuit against the church in South Africa, yet another lawsuit has been lodged – this time in Israel.
Dani & Tami Lemberger – Scientologists since 1980 and owners of the Dror Mission in Haifa made history in 2012 by being the first Mission who, along with their entire staff, declared independence from the church. Both of them were declared in June 2012.
In addition to the lawsuit just lodged here in South Africa (and more to follow), there are 24 lawsuits against Narconon, the famous Rathbun vs Scientology case and a host of others in progress in the USA. And now Israel has joined in the fray.
One church stat that is definitely straight up & vertical is “number of lawsuits filed against the church”. We predict a very interesting year ahead as this all unfolds.
On with the the Lamberger suit – an article was published on the Free to do Scientology blog today which we have printed in full below:
The leading Israeli newspaper, Yediot Aharonot, published an article today reporting that yesterday, November 2, 2014, a lawsuit was filed against the Church of Scientology. The lawsuit, made by Tami and Dani Lemberger, was filed in the Tel Aviv District Court. They argue that the church declared them Suppressive Persons in June 2012 and then went on to harass them, to publish libel against them and used confidential information from their personal folders in order to destroy their livelihood. The total amount they demand in damages is 3 Million Shekels, about $820,000.
Here is a copy of the article in Hebrew which appeared today. Below it please find the translation into English.
Tel Aviv, Israel
Yediot Aharonot, 3 November 2014
A Couple from Haifa is Suing the Scientology Organization In the amount of 3 Million Shekels
By: Lital Dobrovitsky
A lawsuit in the amount of 3 million Shekels was filed yesterday by a couple from Haifa against the International Center of Scientology and the Center of Scientology in Israel. The couple, who claims they were members of the Church of Scientology for 32 years, allege that they were slandered and libeled by the organization’s management, which caused damage to them and to the self improvement center that they manage in Israel.
The couple, Dani and Tamar Lemberger, claim that until the end of June 2012, they were members of the Church of Scientology, and even progressed markedly on their own “self improvement” process according to Scientology doctrine, to what is considered the next to highest grade in this process.
As part of this process, they had many sessions of the technique of “auditing”, from the word audio – to listen, which is conducted in privacy between the guide and the person receiving the auditing, under a commitment for total secrecy. The couple alleges that this promise of confidentiality was breached in their case.
The lawsuit states that in late 1991, after a long stay in the United States, the couple returned to Israel and opened a private center for the delivery of Scientology consulting services, which operated until June 2012 under license of the Church of Scientology.
They claim that they expanded the center and frequently received commendations for their achievements from the organization’s management in Israel and worldwide.
According to the lawsuit, all changed in March 2012, when Dani Lemberger sent a letter to the chairman of the Church of Scientology, in which he expressed his concern that the church is not operating correctly to achieve its goals, that it focuses on fundraising of huge sums for wrong purposes, and that it does not build local leadership.
According to the plaintiffs, a few months later, in June 2012, they were sent a letter which declared them, “Suppressive Persons,”. This, says the lawsuit, “means, in Scientology terminology, that they are antisocial personalities and that they are unworthy of remaining members of the Church of Scientology”.
Immediately following this, they claim, the organization’s management, in Israel and the world over, embarked upon a punitive and smear campaign against them, while using confidential information from their personal files and from the auditing sessions they received. As a result, they claim, tens of their customers left the self improvement center they manage.
The plaintiffs clarify in the lawsuit that they are no longer willing to be identified with the Church of Scientology, and that their center also announces that it is not connected to Scientology.
The plaintiffs are represented by Adv. Yoram Aviram. The defendants’ statement of defense has not yet been issued.
The Center of Scientology Israel has responded as follows: “No lawsuit has yet been presented to us. If and when we receive such, our legal representatives will study it, and we will submit a response accordingly. On the surface, it looks like false claims are made, aimed at nothing but damaging our good reputation and extorting money unlawfully”.