Scientology: Former employees of Diskeeper sue owner for violation of First Amendment rights

23 12 2008

Crossposted at Counterknowledge.com

Craig Jensen

Two ex-employees of Diskeeper Corporation have filed a lawsuit against their former employer after they were wrongfully dismissed for refusing to undergo compulsory “religious” indoctrination. Alexander Godelman, the former CIO, and Marc Le Shay allege that the owner of Diskeeper, Craig Jensen, forced them to “study, learn, and apply the fundamental principles of the Scientology religion”. Their refusal to comply with this company requirement (Godelman and Le Shay are both Jewish) led to the termination of their employment on October 16th, 2006. The two plaintiffs allege that the firing was unlawful according to the California Fair Employment and Housing Act, which is supposed to prevent discrimination because of age, race, sex, disability, and religion, among other things.

Clearly, this is a violation of California and even Federal law. But the lawyers for Diskeeper argued that the lawsuit ought to be dismissed in a “motion to strike” filed in December. The motion alleges Godelman and Le Shay “seek to have the Court dismantle Mr. Jensen’s and defendent’s entire way of doing business, as these methods, the Hubbard Management Technology and the Hubbard Study Technology, are supposedly religious”. In a word, yes: they are definitely religious. Study Technology is supposedly a “secular” off-shoot of the “spiritual technology” of the “Church” of Scientology. Yet, in an executive directive issued in 1972, Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard wrote “Study Tech is our primary bridge to Society”. The Study Tech manuals often bear striking similarities to the “Church” of Scientology’s “religious” literature. You can find examples of that in this essay written by Columbia University professor Dr. David Touretzky.

For a time, the insurance company AllState trained it’s managment using Hubbard Management Technology. Scientology concepts such as the “tone scale” and the concept of “up stats” were taught to upper level management from 1988 to 1992. The whole “up stat” concept is what also drives the “religious” aspect of Scientology: in this Hubbard Policy Letter, L. Ron Hubbard wrote:

We are not in the business of being good boys and girls. We’re in the business of going free and getting the org production roaring. Nothing else is of any interest then to Ethics but (a) getting tech in, getting it run and getting it run right and (b) getting production up and the org roaring along. Therefore if a staff member is getting production up by having his own statistic excellent. Ethics sure isn’t interested. But if a staff member isn’t producing, shown by his bad statistic for his post, Ethics is fascinated with his smallest misdemeanor.

A “stat” in Scientology is an individual new recruit to Scientology, so if a Scientology staff member brings in a lot of new recruits, they are considered “up stat” and “[i]n short a staff member can get away with murder so long as his statistic is up and can’t sneeze without a chop if it’s down”.

With enough proof, plaintiffs Godelman and Le Shay can prove that Diskeeper, which is a major supplier of software to Microsoft, improperly forced “religious” indoctrination on them, violating their First Amendment rights.

But what if Diskeeper is successful in getting the lawsuit dismissed? This could pave the way for an evangelical Christian to require all employees to attend church on Sunday. Or for a Muslim to require all female employees to wear the hijab, regardless of their faith.