Man Being Sued Files A Countersuit

Los Angeles Times, May 16, 2000
By Danette Goulet

A man being sued for harassment by a religious sect has filed a countersuit, claiming the group is abusing the legal system.

Thomas Halliburton, 26, of Costa Mesa and his lawyer, Joseph Donahue, contend the Piecemakers are using the courts to silence anyone who speaks out against the organization.

But Marie Kolasinski, the unofficial leader of the Piecemakers, said she is not concerned about Halliburton's lawsuit.

The Piecemakers, also known as the Body of Christ Fellowship, are a group of 31 adults who live communally in six Mesa Verde homes. They discard traditional family structure and abstain from sex, viewing each other instead as brothers and sisters.

The organization--of which Halliburton's mother, Donna, has been a member for 20 years--sued Halliburton after he picketed in front of the Piecemakers' store on Adams Avenue in Costa Mesa, and sent e-mails to the organization and to customers who visit the Piecemakers' Web site. Halliburton was not raised by his mother.

The Piecemakers allege Halliburton threatened members and frightened and drove away customers.

Halliburton's complaint, filed Friday, said the group used dangerous tactics on its members, including emotional abuse and humiliation, and was lying about him. Kolasinski denied those charges.

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