HORROR STORY TOLD IN SECT SUIT
by George Wayne Shelor
November 11, 1984
CLEARWATER-Possibly the highest-ranking, most influential Scientologist to defect from the Clearwater-based, international sect has sued Church of Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard for more than $225 million.
Citing physical abuse, the intentional infliction of emotional distress, false imprisonment and the violation of his civil rights, Howard D. "Homer" Schomer, the 49-year-oid former treasury secretary of the sect's Author Services Inc. branch, is demanding a jury trial and damages of $226,528,200.
Schomer's claims, if proved true, offer a dark view of the inner workings of an arm of the most visible yet secretive of the world's "new religions."
Named in the suit, filed in U.S. District Court of Los Angeles, are Hubbard, Author Services Inc. and two executives of ASI, David Miscavige and Pat Broeker.
"What is so important about the suit is that this is the very first time that ASI, Miscavige and Broeker have been sued," noted Boston attorney Michael Flynn, who represents a number of other former sect members in suits against the Church of Scientology. "Also important is that this time the suit is not against the church, but rather a for-profit organization."
Hubbard, however, has been the subject of several multimillion-dollar lawsuits. Schomer subsequently was placed under guard for two days, locked up and unable to "contact the outside world." But Schomer "escaped„ and traveled to Miami, only to return to sect headquarters Nov. 10 "because of his concern for the security of his daughter.„
He was placed under guard again and not permitted to leave. But he "escaped the CSC (Church of Scientology of California) compound on December 23, 1982 and went to Boulder, Colorado," where he now lives.
According to interviews with former Scientologists: David Miscavige 23, is said to be at once one of the youngest yet most powerful of Hubbard's intimates. He was introduced to Scientology at the age of 8 when his family moved to England.
A diminutive man who suffers from asthma, Miscavige eventually moved to "Flag Land Base" in Clearwater, was put on the staff of Hubbard's Commodore's Messenger Organization (CMO) in 1976, and was assigned to the sects Special Special Unit (The Special Unit a consists of those who work directly for Hubbard.) In time, Miscavige became involved in sect management on an international basis and was assigned to the position of CMO Action Aide International and eventually to ASI.
Pat Broeker, . 35, also one of Hubbard's personal aides, joined the sect's elite "Sea Org" in 1970, where he worked in the Finance Banking Office.
By 1975, Broeker was working with Hubbard's personal messengers on the sect's flagship, the Apollo, and was responsible for communicating Hubbard's orders and wishes to other staff members.
Hubbard, according to a former sect insider, called Broeker "a very irresponsible and unstable character (who) could not make decisions on his own." Nonetheless observed Hubbard: "Those types have their uses."
Broeker traveled to Hubbard's Hemet, Calif., home of seclusion to work at his aide, which subsequently led to his lofty position within ASI.
Neither Miscavige nor sect President Heber Jentzsch returned telephone calls last week, and the Clearwater Sun was unable to reach Broeker. However, the sect issued an unsigned press release in which it called the court action "an old lawsuit and old news.
"This suit is part of a government conspiracy of the IRS and a Boston lawyer who are seeking to destroy religion for and in the name of the psychiatrists they work for."
Although Schomer, in the latter part of his 13 years in the sect, rarely if ever dealt with Hubbard, the 73-year-old writer is named in the suit because he was judged to be the "alter ego" of Scientology in a court case earlier this year, and thus is responsible for the actions of his brainchild
"(Schomer) suffered (the aforementioned alleged actions) be- cause he had been deceived as to Hubbard's qualifications and abilities and the true nature of Hubbard and the Scientology organizations," the complaint reads.
"The representations were part of an elaborate scheme to obtain monies and assets by creating organizations for allegedly taxexempt purposes and subsequently," the complaint continues, -ordering the payment of such assets for (Hubbard's) personal use.
'To implement such a plan, Hubbard organized Scientology Organizations throughout the world that have fraudulently obtained hundreds of millions of dollars since their creation."
"It's terrifying," Schomer said Friday. "Here's a church preach- ing the 'clearing' of the planet for the betterment of mankind, but they do things like this."
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