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Court Passes on Scientology Libel Case (fwd)



Viel Spass:

---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Mon, 1 Oct 2001 15:30:05 -0500
Subject: Court Passes on Scientology Libel Case

     Court Passes on Scientology Libel Case

   The Associated Press
   Monday, Oct. 1, 2001; 11:40 a.m. EDT

   WASHINGTON -- Ten years after Time magazine ran an award-winning
   article portraying the Church of Scientology as a greedy cult, the
   Supreme Court refused Monday to consider reinstating the church's
   libel case.

   Time Warner Inc. had steadfastly defended the 10-page article and said
   it refused to be "intimidated by the church's apparently limitless
   legal resources."

   The church contended that the writer was biased and only interviewed
   critics.

   Scientology, founded by science-fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard,
   requires members to take classes and counseling that can cost
   thousands of dollars.

   The May 1991 article entitled, "Scientology: The Cult of Greed," said
   that the so-called religion is "really a ruthless global scam."

   Time said the cover story was awarded the Gerald Loeb Award for
   distinguished business and financial journalism, the Worth Bingham
   Prize and the Conscience in Media Awards from the American Society of
   Journalists and Authors.

   The church had said the story had multiple defamatory comments.

   "While in the past certain church officials concededly committed
   improper acts ... most of the allegations of past misconduct were
   false and distorted, the result of the misunderstanding, suspicion and
   prejudice that typically greet a new religion," the church told the
   Supreme Court.

   A judge had dismissed the lawsuit and the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of
   Appeals ruled that Time was not guilty of writing the report with
   actual malice, which is the standard for libel cases involving public
   groups or people.

   The church told the Supreme Court that the rulings "rather than
   encouraging the search for truth, provide a safe harbor for biased
   journalism."

   The case is Church of Scientology International v. Time Warner Inc.,
   00-1683.

   ---

   On the Net:

   U.S. Supreme Court: http://www.supremecourtus.gov

                    Copyright 2001 The Associated Press

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