Lawsuit: Firm's training was front for Scientology

STNG News Service/June 19, 2007

A former employee of a Southland telecommunications company claims the company's required training included courses "designed to indoctrinate employees" in Scientology, and when she objected to the religious aspects of the training she was fired.

Margaret Warfield, of Montgomery, filed her religious discrimination lawsuit in federal court Monday against BTI Communications Group.

According to the company's Web site, BTI Communications Group is a business telephone and communications technology company headquartered in Lemont, with branch offices in Santa Fe Springs and Sacramento, Calif.

Warfield worked for BTI from Sept. 6, 2005, until she was fired on Dec. 9, 2005. According to the lawsuit, she was required to attend mandatory training courses that were offered through Hubbard College.

"The training courses (were) provided through Hubbard college, known as the Hubbard Management System, based on the teachings of L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of the Church of Scientology," the suit says.

"The teachings in the management courses required by BTI were not truly courses in management but in fact were courses designed to indoctrinate employees in the religion of Scientology," the lawsuit also claims.

Warfield told management of her objections to the courses and that she did not want to attend them based on the Scientology teachings, and as a result, she was fired, the lawsuit says.

BTI, the lawsuit claims, "refused to make any accommodation for (Warfield) and her religious beliefs, and continued to insist, on a regular basis until her time of termination, that (she) embrace the religious teachings of the Scientology Church."

According to the company's Web site, BTI was founded in 1985 in Chicago by Eric Brackett. BTI's clients include The Options Clearing Corporation, Lawndale Christian Health Center and Sea Breeze Financial Services Inc.

The lawsuit seeks unspecified damages.

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