Fair Game is a policy stating that Scientology's enemies "May be deprived of property or injured by any means by any Scientologist without any discipline of the Scientologist. May be tricked, sued or lied to or destroyed."
Gabe Cazares never shied from a fight, regardless of how powerful the opponent. But he was as kind-hearted as he was feisty, and his community benefited because of his service. In the 1970s the former Clearwater mayor and Pinellas County commissioner - who died last week at 86 - took on the Church of Scientology and overcame the church's efforts to smear him with a phony hit-and-run accident.
What had Lerma done to earn the attention of a church he left 16 years ago? He had engaged in freedom of speech. A frequent user of the Internet, Lerma had posted public records - documents from court cases involving Scientology - on the global computer network and on the America Online commercial service. The documents included testimony from former church officials who describe Scientology as a dangerous cult that brainwashes and blackmails its member and harasses defectors and critics. In the church's eyes, Lerma - who once signed a "billion-year contract" to serve Scientology as a member of its quasi-military "Sea Organization" - was now an enemy.
In a staggering blow to the Church of Scientology of California, a Superior Court judge Thursday upheld a jury's $30-million damage award to a former church member who said the organization wrecked him mentally and financially.
The fair-game policy has been a central focus of Scientology's critics - among them former Scientologists - who contend that the church pursues individuals who offend it with the same combativeness it directs toward government agencies and private groups the church counts among its enemies.
The Church of Scientology does not turn the other cheek. Church policy is to find what attackers have to hide. The organization is quick to bring lawsuits challenging unfavorable books and articles. Many persons who leave or who are expelled by the church say that they are frightened by the organization.
Scientologist Lynn Farny writes a declaration attempting to refute the idea that "Fair Game" is a policy of Hubbard's and of Scientology. A week later, Robert Vaughn Young will write a declaration refuting Farny's refutation.