Celebrities, Church of Scientology / Scientologists, Free Speech, Religion, Social Networking Websites, Weirdness, YouTube

The Church of Scientology: A Latham & Watkins Client?

Tom Cruise Oprah Winfrey couch jumping Above the Law blog.jpgThe law firm of Latham & Watkins has lots of things going for it: eye-popping profits, ample prestige, and a promise of no layoffs. What more could you ask for?
How about…. a powerful and glamorous client, with deep connections in Hollywood? Reported over at Radar Online:

Recently, Radar reported on Scientology’s short-lived attempt to beat its Guy Fawkes mask-clad antagonists “Anonymous” at their own game: scary YouTube videos. A clip posted by a Sciento associate under the name “AnonymousFacts” displayed the names and personal information of several supposed Anonymous members and accused the group of violent threats and terrorism. YouTube quickly took the video down and suspended AnonymousFacts. But the hassle for at least one of the three men shown didn’t end there.

A little more than a week ago, Jonathan (he asked his last name not be repeated again), who’d joined a Facebook group called “I Support Anonymous” and attended their protests, answered a knock at the door of his parents’ L.A.-area home, where he lives while attending community college. A mustachioed man in a suit and claiming to be from the law firm of Latham and Watkins was holding a “file” and asked to speak to Jonathan’s parents by name, he recently told Radar. He told the mystery man his parents weren’t available and offered to take the package for them. “No,” the man said. “I can’t legally give this to you.” Jonathan shrugged and told him to come back later. That’s when things got weird.

Later a friend of the family came over and said Mr. Mustachio was hanging out in front of the house and had asked her if she was Jonathan’s mom. When she said no, he waited until Jonathan’s parents did arrive, then handed them the file and said, “This is a courtesy letter. No charges are being filed yet. But your son may be involved in terrorist activity.” And then he left. Inside the package was a letter accusing Jonathan of terrorism and a DVD copy of the YouTube video, he says.

Sounds like a pretty fun assignment for a junior associate — anything to get out of the office. But the “Church” denies this ever happened:

A Church of Scientology spokesperson says the group does employ various lawyers across the country to deal with what she tells Radar are “acts of violence, terrorism, and death threats,” but adds, “It is not true that lawyers from any firm representing the Church have visited anyone. If anyone is suggesting otherwise, that is false.”

We’ve contacted Latham for comment. We’ll let you know if and when we hear back from them.
Update: We have our doubts about the firm’s involvement. Writes a commenter:

It is highly unlikely that the person hounding this kid is actually from Latham. Scientologists have a policy (called the “Fair Game” policy) that allows them to lie, cheat, impersonate, physically threaten/assault, etc. if it will further the aims of the “church”. Although that policy was ostensibly cancelled at some point (in name only), scientologists continue to live by it in practice. It’s pretty much guaranteed that the man with the file was not from Latham but was instead a scientology poser.

Seriously–would an associate from Latham actually serve papers on anyone? F**k, no. We use process servers!!

We feel bad for Latham. Some imposter is going around making it look like they represent the Church of Scientology. And their lawyers have mustaches.
Further Update: Or maybe Latham DOES represent the Church of Scientology? See here. (Gavel bang: commenter.)
We have reiterated our inquiry to Latham concerning whether or not the firm represents the Church of Scientology. We’ll let you know what we find out. (They did not respond to an earlier request for comment on this subject.)
Final Update: Read more in this update.
‘Anonymous’ Kid Outed by Scientologists Gets House Call [Fresh Intelligence: Radar Online]

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