Scientology case settled out of court

RTE News Ireland/March 13, 2003

A High Court action for damages by a Dublin sports shop owner against the Church of Scientology has ended after out of court talks.

The case taken by Mary Johnston was expected to last until May. However, Mr Justice Peart was told at lunchtime today that the case appeared to be settled.

No details of the settlement were disclosed but costs in the action are estimated to be around ¬2 million.

Mary Johnston joined the Church of Scientology in 1992.

In her legal proceedings against the Church and three members of the Dublin Mission, she claimed she suffered a personality charge after being sucked into the grasp of the church and subjected to mind control techniques.

She claimed efforts were made to prevent her leaving the church and to silence, devalue and intimidate her and prevent her taking her legal proceedings.

She claimed she suffered psychological and psychiatric injuries.

Ms Johnson's legal action against the Church of Scientology and three of its members - John Keane, Tom Cunningham and Gerard Ryan - began three and a half months ago.

The court heard 31 days of evidence and submissions before today's surprise settlement.

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