Suit Against Scientology Founder Protested

Source: Boston Globe
Date: October 8, 1985

About 200 members of a group calling itself the Religious Freedom Crusade held a rally yesterday morning in Post Office Square after a march from Bunker Hill in Charlestown. The group protested a $30 million suit filed in 1983 in US District Court against L. Ron Hubbard, founder of the Church of Scientology, by Boston lawyer Michael Flynn.

Flynn, whose suit alleges that the church has engaged in harassment against him, has represented former church members in various suits against the church across the country.

The rally was occasioned by a hearing before the US First Circuit Court of Appeals in which the church and Mary Sue Hubbard, wife of L. Ron Hubbard, appealed the district court's ruling against their motion to participate as defendants in the Flynn-Hubbard case. The three-judge panel heard arguments but made no ruling.

The demonstrators laid a tape on the sidewalk outside the courthouse which they said represented the line separating church and state. They also unrolled a computer printout said to be a list of court cases against churches across the country. While court was in session, a white-robed Church of Scientology choir stood on Congress Street, singing patriotic songs.

Rev. Ken Hoden, president of the Church of Scientology of California, said outside the courtroom that Flynn's suit "is an attempt to put our religious beliefs on trial. We want our day in court."

Michael Tabb of Flynn's firm, Flynn and Joyce, said in a telephone interview that "this was not a religion-on-trial day. The lower court said to the church, 'You can't intervene. Hubbard has to appear for himself.' " Hubbard's whereabouts have been unknown since 1980.