In October 2014 Pete Griffith a former Scientologist and anti Scientology campaigner was in court having decided to take a case against Zabrina Collins one of the current leaders of Scientology Mission in Dublin. It looked like an open and shut case. He had clearly decided to not address the issue of Scientology at all unless it came up in evidence. I had been asked to attend as an expert witness not so much about the Scientology organisation but rather to give background to Scientology’s presence in Ireland.
So it was with concern that in October 2014 one observed John McGhee and others coming not to observe the case but actually causing general confusion which deflected from the purpose of the case on defamation.
Now that the Judge has heard the cases from January 27 to 28, 2016 the judgements are awaited. It is still not clear why Pete Griffith allowed his court case to be subverted by John McGhee? Why were people funded to come to Ireland in 2014 to try to influence the direction of the case? We have independent evidence that John McGhee funded some of those that came over to “observe,” the court case on defamation.
Pete categorically told me he had not asked anyone to come. So in light of subsequent events it is clear Pete was not able to control his own case and John McGhee had developed his own analysis as to how to how fight the case. So not only did Pete allow himself to be sidetracked from his own case he began to participate in the direct action and protests that John McGhee set in motion.
On that very same day. in October 2014 there was a protest action outside the Mission, followed by other protests culminating in the one which led to the named Scientologists taking a case for Assault on December 24th December 2014. It was that event that led to the injunction against Pete and John on Christmas Eve 2014 for assault. They were not to go near the mission, or parties involved with the legal process. Now in 2016 both cases are over and the judge will give a written judgment on both cases within a month. The Defamation case is 2947/ 14 and the assault case is 0080/15.
This was how I read the cases around this time last year.
“Since the emergence of Anonymous in 2008 we have seen individuals develop a strategy of hostile confrontation and in your face style of trying to get people to leave Scientology. Here outside their premises they ridicule their beliefs and illegally enter their premises. They actually invade their privacy and mock them on the open road. It has reached such a fever pitch that those involved in this form of protest have no inner awareness that this style of engagement is first of all totally counterproductive in regard to helping those deeply involved Scientologists to leave. It has the opposite effect of pushing them deeper in. It also appears that the need to ratchet up the intensity and compulsive nature is close to getting out of control.”
So now with hindsight we can see that Pete was under the undue influence of anti cult cultism by John McGhee which is the mirror image of the very group they were trying to protest against. The own goal of giving the Scientologists a free run and handing them a propaganda victory and the moral high ground is totally the result of McGhee’s actions.
When I was seeking an apology from Pete for the attacks on Facebook last year I was talking to him on Skype and saw how John who was behind him literally tried to control what Pete was writing. When I saw the videos of the way both of them were inappropriately following and harassing a woman it was just too much for me to stomach. John’s idea is that because he is against Scientology everyone must accept his view on the methods he uses. I will not bore people with how he tried to change me from a seasoned campaigner against cults into a kind fellow traveller with them.
So we then had a clear case of defamation joined to a case of assault. When I saw that Justice Linnane looked like she was going to merge the two cases, I immediately, posted they would be heard together but not merged together.
When we returned last November 2015 it was clear that we had a new judge which was good as it could be seen that Justice Linnane had because of the serious lack of deference given to the court be influenced in her hearing of the cases. We then had Justice James O’Donohue and it became clear that he and the Barrister for the Zabrina Collins Frank Beatty had schedule difficulties and as a result the case was started but then delayed till January 27th.
This mainly involved the cross examination of Zabrina Collins, a leading member of of Scientology Organisation in Ireland. She agreed with the judge that she “could have been a little more temperate” about what she had to say in an e-mail to a school principal complaining about a former Church member’s talk to schoolboys on cults.
Collins, who admitted in court to having had a teenage drugs and heavy drinking problem, is being sued for defamation by Peter Griffiths, Cual Gara, Teeling Street, Ballina, Co Mayo, for what his counsel Seamus O Tuathail SC described as “a vicious character attack.”
She told barrister John Smith, who appeared with Mr O Tuathail and solicitor Cormac O Ceallaigh, that she had sent the headmaster a link to an on-line video showing a picture of Griffiths naked, with only a Guy Fawkes mask covering his genitals. She also sent a link of a homo erotic nature to suggest Griffith was engaged in questionable activity. There was also notion that Griffith’s though always unmasked is the leader of Anonymous. She was not challenged when she attributed to Anonymous acts like hacking into the Fine Gael web site etc. In fact in her affidavit she said it was Sinn Fein. How something which is anonymous can be attributed to an actual person without evidence is quite amazing. In fact the public needs to distinguish between Anonymous and Chanology to understand the thinking of those protesting against Scientology.
John Smith asked her if she was aware of the Fair Game policy and she said in evidence only after the court case had commenced. He put it to her that she was engaged in Fair Gaming Pete and she denied it. The Judge was made aware of this Scientology doctrine.
The Fair Game policy: the true spirit of Scientology
ENEMY: SP Order. Fair game. 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.
— HCO Policy Letter of 18 October 1967, Issue IV, L. RON HUBBARD
Collins in fact claimed that their policy of not responding to the taunts is similar to Buddhist non violence teaching. The judge as noted earlier picked her up on her claim that Pete was under surveillance and was engaged in criminal activity. She had to admit that he was not.
Collins, a Dublin chiropractic clinic director, of The Boulevard, Mount Eustace, Tyrelstown, Dublin 15, told Judge James O’Donohue she had written to the school principal as a concerned parent and not to besmirch Mr Griffiths.
She earlier told her barrister Frank Beatty that while she did not have a child attending St David’s she was involved in tutoring children on drugs awareness and felt she had a duty to complain.
In her e-mail Collins alleged that Griffiths’ talk had centred on the Scientology religion which counts Tom Cruise and John Travolta as members and accused him of “openly and viciously” slandering the church. She accused him of being “an avid hate campaigner against Scientologists” and “hate mongering” against the church and of being under Garda surveillance. The Justice pulled her up on this and suggested this was not the case.
The court heard that a teacher from St David’s had asked Griffiths to address school pupils on cults and that it was Mr Griffiths who had posted on the internet an audio of his talk which warned the boys of the dangers of getting involved with the Church of Scientology which, he said, might destroy their lives.
Mr Griffiths said he had been shocked, horrified and appalled when he had obtained sight of Ms Collins’s allegations in which there was “not a grain of truth.” He said her statements had lowered his reputation in the minds of right-thinking people while holding him up to hatred, ridicule and contempt.
Judge O’Donohue has reserved his judgment on the defamation case which he has heard over several days. As he concluded he asked the question as to whether the Assault case would cloud his mind and prejudice him? Would there be a cross pollination between the two cases? He on reflection decided to proceed.
On Thursday 28th January, he started hearing a second case in which Collins and fellow Scientologist Michael O’Donnell, a marketing consultant of Cherrywood Lawn, Clondalkin, are suing Griffiths and John McGhee, an embalmer, of Armstrong Grove, Clara, Co Offaly, for alleged assault, battery, trespass and nuisance which both men deny.
Anti-Church of Scientology protesters stage a demonstration outside the Four Courts in Dublin before an action involving a member of the church, Zabrina Collins. Photograph: Courts Collins
Massimo from OSA, (The Office of Special Affairs,) Peter Hodkin a well known Scientologist solicitor were present but they were very disciplined in not trying to be seen to intervene in the case. The Judge began to watch the video of the attempt by McGhee filmed by Griffith to disrupt the activities of Collins and fellow Scientologist Michael O’Donnell in distributing anti drug leaflets.
McGhee, a father of two, and Peter Griffiths, of Cual Gara, Teeling Street, Ballina, Co Mayo, have been sued by Zabrina Collins and fellow church member Michael O’Donnell for assault while they distributed anti drugs literature in Capel Street in December 2014.
After about four minutes the judge jumped up and he was visibly shocked at the content of the videos. He wanted immediately to obtain another judge and recuse himself from the new case. He was away for 30 minutes and when he came back he said no other judge was available till the afternoon. He mentioned the possibility of contamination of opinion. He then puts it to counsel and both sides thanked him for his honesty and suggested he continue the case. He asks John McGhee about representation and John suggests he knows more about Scientology than any barrister. The Judge reminds him that this case does not involve Scientology but rather legal argument about the issue of assault.
It is clear that those present in the court were moved when they saw McGhee snatching leaflets out of Ms Collins’s hand. What was quite depressing was the fact that both men were ideologically driven in their reactions to the Scientologists and were speaking Scientology speak for the 28 minutes that the video ran. John McGhee expected that the Scientologists would have reached such a high level that whatever they did would be taken without any reaction. Rather as the super humans they were supposed to have become within Scientology they would not react. In other words both parties are under undue influence, one group under cultist influence and the other parties under anti cultist influence.
When Zabrina screams, it is taken as her putting on an act and not the real cry of a woman under stress and who just can’t take anymore. It goes on and on and it was interesting that the judge made the same point as I did, when I originally saw the video namely they were doing it with the Four Courts in the foreground – ironic. The constant bull baiting seen in the earlier video with Brendan Murphy on O’Connell Street is continued with a Scientological commentary which goes on and on and is continued down Capel Street and beyond. The logic here is that this behaviour will jump start their exit whereas it is reinforcing and strengthening their commitment. McGhee’s delusional point about the Scientologists following them shows the upside down world of the two ex Scientologists. This was commented on by the judge.
Zabrina when questioned senses John is stalking her, and mentions the earlier case in a restaurant where Pete and John interrupt their meal with commentary on Scientology . The Judge tells her to stay focused on this case only. What did she sense? Fear, John coming over her from behind, trying to grab leaflets out of her hand. She screams and feels overwhelmed and blocked and bumped into by McGhee. The Judge asks why she did not phone the police but she claims she did call the Gardai but they did not come. He asks why she did not go to the Bridewell Garda Station but she claims she did not know about its existence until this case to court. It was her practice to go to Store Street.
Why did you not call it off? Asked the judge. She replied, she felt duty bound to complete her mission. When Pete is giving evidence he is clear that he did not in anyway participate in anything which could be called assault. Yes they bumped into each other as you would on a bus or train. The judge rejects this explanation. He claims he was filming in a defensive manner to protect himself. It was put to him by the judge, What was is your usual manner of campaigning and he replied it was to visit places after the Scientologists had been there and advise shopkeepers that this was cult literature and it was being used not to educate the public on drugs but to recruit people into Scientology.
Both men denied having assaulted Ms Collins, of The Boulevard, Mount Eustace, Tyrrelstown, Dublin, and Mr O’Donnell, a marketing consultant, of Cherrywood Lawn, Clondalkin, Dublin.
Mr McGhee, who represented himself, when told by Judge O’Donohoe it was possible to assault someone without physically touching them and by putting them in fear, said he would not have done what was alleged against him had he known this.
John then proceeded to make a sustained attack on the legal team of the Scientologists including on Peter Hodkin* and Massimo.* Unbelievably he announced in court that he had protested outside Hodkin’s house in England. Unfortunately, he just does not get appropriate behaviour when engaged in a court case.
He was asked by the judge about a badge he was wearing and about the clothes he was wearing. He admitted to the judge they were meant to denigrate Scientology.
(Peter Hodkin was the guy who in 1996 threatened me when I was involved in setting up a company to distribute Jon Attack’s book, “A Piece of Blue Sky,” with his two brothers. Massimo was the person who threatened me with the police when I phoned demanding the release of John Duignan in 2006 before he left.)
Judge O’Donohue told Mr Seamus O Tuithaill SC, who appeared with barrister John Smith and solicitor Cormac O’Ceallaigh for Griffiths, that he accepted their client had not breached the existing court injunction but he was “not so sure about Mr McGhee.”
Collins and O’Donnell told the court that McGhee had assaulted them while they attempted to deliver anti-drugs leaflets to shops in the Capel Street area. Both said they had been put in fear of both McGhee and Griffiths who had videoed the “protest” with a chest camera. Embalmer John McGhee was given the warning by Judge James O’Donohoe in the Circuit Civil Court after being told by barrister Frank Beatty, counsel for two church members, that Mr McGhee had breached an existing court injunction.
McGhee, of Armstrong Grove, Clara, Co Offaly, told Mr Beatty that he had sent leading Scientology Church member Zabrina Collins a text “connected with the death of Jim Carrey’s girlfriend” in which he had stated: ‘Now you must see why your cult must be stopped.’
A FORMER member of the Church of Scientology was warned by a judge today that he would face serious consequences if he interfered with any member or did not stay away from the church or mission.
He also agreed with Mr Beatty that he had attended the Church on New Year’s Eve and had sent Ms Collins a Christmas card “because she was still on my mailing list.”
When asked by Judge O’Donohoe why the Church had not gone back to court about the breaches of the court injunction, Mr Beatty said: “There is a bit of a circus associated with court appearances and the Church has to perform a balancing act with regard to appearing in court.”
McGhee stated in evidence that Zabrina was egging it as he had been in her home, which she denied. He also said, she knew he was no threat but he seemed emotionally incapable of understanding how his actions appear to others.
When Pete was cross examined by the judge as to why he had not stopped this madness he said he could not once it had started. What he in fact was admitting is that he is unable to break from the undue influence of McGhee. However, towards the end of the 3 hours devoted to this case Pete made the first break with John since this sorry saga started. He admitted to Frank Beatty that he does not agree with the aggressive mode of protest John partakes in. ‘Snatching leaflets out of a woman’s hand,’ ‘physically coming close to them.’ Frank asks him does he believe this is bad behaviour and Pete refuses to condemn the behaviour. Pete simply made the point that John goes beyond where he is willing to go. John really believes that belittling Scientologists by using a camera is a successful strategy to get them to leave. Pete uses the camera as a defence but others felt he also used it as a weapon. Pete also agreed that he had deleted approximately 4 minutes of the video the judge viewed which showed John in a bad light. If they were confident that the content was ok it suggests that by removing a section and by totally removing it from the web their argument that they stood over its contents was undermined. Basically the position John took and openly expressed to the judge is that error has no rights. He believes because Scientology is a criminal conspiracy he has the right to take the law into his own hands. The judge had warned him about his attitude, and called him back to warn him again about the serious nature of his position. It seems that this will not limit John’s activity. It is likely we will have an episode of contempt of court before the judgements are given.
Judge O’Donohue, continuing the injunction until he has given his reserved judgment, told McGhee not to have any further contact with the Church, its members or lawyers, pending further order of the court.
On Friday January 29th, the day after the hearings ended I received this text from McGhee,
“We were protesting Dublin mission now, legalities be damned lol. Come along.”
I contacted a hairdresser in the area who told me there was no one there at all. I assume he wanted me to say he had breached the injunction and then show how I had made it up.
In What’s App audio messages McGhee claimed I had approached Massimo, OSA and Hodkin and offered to testify against him in the court case? This is slightly problematic as the case is over. He sent me pictures of the two ex Scientologists who came over for the court case this time protesting outside the Four Courts.
In conclusion he surmised I had one of three conditions, “a Sociopath, a retard or I have Aspergers. In fact all three.” I wrote this earlier this morning, “I will see if he breaches the conditions placed on him by the judge as it is clear he still does not understand the seriousness of the situation he is in.” In light of the fact that I have received over 100 phone, mobile and Skype calls today so far and after I had sent him this communication by text he still persisted in contacting me.
I am giving you notice that in light of your persistent calls on my landline, Skype and on my mobile I do not wish to receive any communication from you. I will if after this text you persist ask the Gardai at Mountjoy to act on my behalf against you for harassment under section 10 of the non fatal offences against the person act 1997. Be warned any call, text or communication will activate this action by me. You are free to disagree with anything I have written. You have free access to our blog to reply and argue your case without censorship. Mike Garde
Non-Fatal Offences Against the Person Act, 1997
10.—(1) Any person who, without lawful authority or reasonable excuse, by any means including by use of the telephone, harasses another by persistently following, watching, pestering, besetting or communicating with him or her, shall be guilty of an offence.
(2) For the purposes of this section a person harasses another where—
(a) he or she, by his or her acts intentionally or recklessly, seriously interferes with the other’s peace and privacy or causes alarm, distress or harm to the other, and
(b) his or her acts are such that a reasonable person would realise that the acts would seriously interfere with the other’s peace and privacy or cause alarm, distress or harm to the other.
(3) Where a person is guilty of an offence under subsection (1), the court may, in addition to or as an alternative to any other penalty, order that the person shall not, for such period as the court may specify, communicate by any means with the other person or that the person shall not approach within such distance as the court shall specify of the place of residence or employment of the other person.
(4) A person who fails to comply with the terms of an order under subsection (3) shall be guilty of an offence.
(5) If on the evidence the court is not satisfied that the person should be convicted of an offence under subsection (1), the court may nevertheless make an order under subsection (3) upon an application to it in that behalf if, having regard to the evidence, the court is satisfied that it is in the interests of justice so to do.
(6) A person guilty of an offence under this section shall be liable—
(a) on summary conviction to a fine not exceeding £1,500 or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 12 months or to both, or
(b) on conviction on indictment to a fine or to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 7 years or to both.
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