Scientologists Sued for $6 Million in Suicide of Man

Source: Los Angeles Times
Date: November 26, 1987

A woman filed a $6-million lawsuit in Los Angeles Superior Court on Wednesday against the Church of Scientology for allegedly driving her son to commit suicide last year.

Irene Marshall said in her suit that church officials tried to destroy the close relationship she had with her son, Pedro Rimando, 22, and that their efforts drove him to leap off the sixth floor of a church-owned building in Hollywood on Nov. 25, 1986.

The suit charges the church, the Rev. Ken Hoden and J. Porter with wrongful death, intentional infliction of emotional distress leading to suicide, and with negligence and outrageous conduct.

Officials of the Church of Scientology "held themselves out as particularly competent to provide the decedent with personal and spiritual guidance" to resolve his troubles, the suit said.

After Rimando graduated from high school in 1984, he experienced "inner conflicts, was uncertain, confused and unhappy with himself because he believed that his life lacked purpose, direction and meaning," the suit said.

The church "imposed certain psychologically coercive techniques" on Rimando "to exploit for power, labor and money (his) pre-existing emotional vulnerabilities and inner conflicts," the suit said.

A spokesman for the church said church officials had not seen a copy of the suit.

( categories: )