Filmmaker Sues Church of Scientology

Scientologist Since 1982, Filmmaker Vince Offer is Suing the Church of

Scientology for Being Labeled a 'Criminal' and Persecuted for His Movie's

Artistic Expression, Among Other Things

May 11, 2004, 01:00 ET from SquareOne Entertainment

    LOS ANGELES, May 11 /PRNewswire/ -- Ever since late night infomercials ran
 on national cable stations for "The Underground Comedy Movie," co-starring
 Michael Clarke Duncan, Slash, Gena Lee Nolin and Joey Buttafuoco, the movie
 has become a household name.  LA Weekly crowned it as "The single most
 offensive movie ever made!"  And it definitely delivers the goods.  So much
 so, the filmmaker was kicked out and branded a "Criminal" by the Church of
     In 1997, while in production on his movie, church officials allegedly
 orchestrated a meticulously covert propaganda campaign against Offer.  To help
 galvanize church staff to get of rid Offer, illegally, selected shots of the
 movie were taken from a rough cut copy, placed them in a report accompanied by
 scarring comments and distributed within the church.
     After setting the stage, the Scientology sub-organization that recruits
 and caters to celebrities "Celebrity Center International," located in
 Hollywood and whose motto is "To Create a Safe Space for Artists," according
 to Offer recruited dozens of his Scientology friends, associates and actors
 that worked on Underground Comedy, to write false and malicious reports
 against him.  If individuals refused to write these reports, they were
 threatened with condemnation and punishment that could be lethal to their
 careers.  One person reported a statement informing, "They threatened that I
 would also be Declared Suppressive if I didn't write up all the bad stuff I
 knew on Vince."  A Scientology term, "Declared Suppressive," means being
 labeled as an "enemy" of Scientology, expelled from the organization, becoming
 "fair game," and subject to "disconnection" by all family, friends and
 associates who are Scientologists.
     Celebrity Center staff executives summoned Offer to face a Scientology
 court for the numerous charges that unbeknownst to Offer were recruited by
 Scientology officials but were presented to Offer as having been written by
 other members on their "own accord."
     This court was run by four scientology church staff members, the youngest
 being about 14 years of age, and in March of 1998, a ruling document entitled
 "Findings and Recommendations," held Offer to be guilty of 23 charges, none of
 which were ever presented to him in the "court."  To add insult to injury, the
 ruling document labeled him a "Declare Type B," a Scientology term which means
 a person who is a "Criminal" and has "a criminal record."  This was publicly
 distributed or communicated to all associates, future associates of Offer and
 general Scientology members, thereby sealing his fate as an outcast.  Offer
 suffered irreparable damage due to this, including a lucrative business
 enterprise he owned that consisted of many Scientology sales representatives
 who abandoned him upon hearing the "Criminal" charge.  The enterprise folded
 soon after.
     In August 1999, a year and a half after Offer was labeled a "criminal," a
 Scientology appeal board found that the original accusations in the court
 ruling were all untrue and that Offer was never even presented with the
 charges.  Furthermore, they concluded the imposition of the "Criminal" label
 on Offer was an injustice.  But the appeal board never apologized, or
 acknowledged the church's responsibility in the propaganda campaign or offered
     By January 2002, Offer's life was destroyed, as he was now broke, alone
 and was left with an unfinished movie.  To keep from going under, he undertook
 his inherent marketing abilities and pitched kitchen vegetable choppers at
 swap meets.  In the span of 5 years, Offer went from owning an enterprise with
 dozens of sales reps in 1997, to selling on his own in a swap meet.  In April
 of 2002, against all odds, he managed to generate enough money from swap meet
 sales to launch a successful infomercial campaign for his movie.  It is the
 first movie ever to be marketed in this medium, which propelled DVD sales to
 almost 100,000 units in the US.
     Offer is using his proceeds from the sales of the movie to fight the
 Church in court.  Armed with evidence and the passion of obtaining redress for
 injustice, he has pursued an unrelenting quest to expose the human cruelty and
 destructive practices committed, still to this day, by the Church of
 Scientology's leadership helmed by David Miscavage.
     The preliminary case discussion starts in LA judicial court June 24, 2004.
 Offer is represented by attorney Ford Greene of Marin County, California, a
 recent finalist for the Trial Lawyers for Public Justice 2003 Trial Lawyer of
 the Year for collecting almost $8.7 million from Scientology in a case they
 swore "Not One Thin Dime for Wollersheim" the man they drove into insanity and
 then punished with fair game.

SOURCE SquareOne Entertainment