By Barrett Feinberg
n the field of ersatz expert witnesses is a small stable of hired guns every bit as subversive and unreliable as psychiatrists and their dupes described in the previous articles. They are called apostates individuals the dictionary characterizes as guilty of abandoning their religious faith, political party, cause, or principles.
The vast majority who leave a group or religion simply depart and get on with their lives.
Then there is a small but insidious class of people who elect to leave and then elevate their greed over their integrity. They renounce their beliefs and manufacture venomous attacks on their former religion and colleagues all for a profit.
In a world where religion too often is allowed to become an issue in court (See First Amendment in Jeopardy), this handful of apostates seeks a profitable niche by crafting themselves into the tools of lawyers in anti-religious litigation, and in the media.
They create unnecessary confusion and waste valuable court time trying to sort through their outrageous claims.
Predictable and Unoriginal
Apostates who try to exploit their former religion for personal gain are not new. Nineteenth century literature is replete with Mormon and Catholic so-called atrocity tales concocted by former members seeking notoriety and a fast buck from sales of their sensationalized stories.
Dr. Bryan Wilson, world-renowned scholar on religious matters, has studied this phenomenon. He has conducted research into religions around the world for more than 40 years and written for numerous journals and publications. He has also served as an expert witness on religion for many courts in the United States, the United Kingdom, France, Australia, Great Britain and South Africa, among others.
To Dr. Wilson and other scholars of religious history, there is nothing original in the conduct of hired-gun apostates. Wilson observes that an apostate is a classic enemy of his former religion because of an inability to face personal shortcomings and an intention to assign the blame for his life and its nonstop failures to someone or something else.
In his analysis, Wilson states:
Apostates, sensationalized by the press, have sometimes sought to make a profit from accounts of their experiences in stories sold to newspapers or produced as books. ... Neither the objective sociological researcher nor the court of law can readily regard the apostate as a credible or reliable source of evidence. He must always be seen as one whose personal history predisposes him to bias with respect to both his previous religious commitment and to his former associates.
What kind of person fills such a role?
For the Right Price, Anything Goes
Imagine an unemployed man who has quit his job because his history of a violent temper, irrational mood swings, bullying co-workers, and virtually nonstop incompetence finally got the better of him. He is perpetually sullen, takes comfort only in his own rage, finds companionship in his cache of firearms, lashes out at everyone and everything around him, and blames everyone but himself for his lot.
He is close to 50 years old and despite many opportunities to grow into challenging and responsible positions, his own ineptitude and reliance upon screaming and threatening as substitutes for competence has made him a laborer who is sour and desperate to find someone to blame for the chronicle of failure that is his life.
No, this is not Oklahoma bombing suspect Timothy McVeigh. Although media accounts of his life bear striking parallels, the life and career capsulized above are those of one Andre Tabayoyon who, in the time-honored tradition of apostasy, moved into a career of criticizing the very people who sustained him for 20 years in the Church of Scientology.
Tabayoyons reaction to his chronic failure in life is rage. On numerous occasions, he threatened co-workers with physical violence and more than once he even attacked fellow staff members. He threatened to kill his son and to chop his daughter-in-law into little pieces and feed her to the coyotes, emphasizing that he wanted to be taken seriously about these threats.
Apostates who try to exploit their former religion for personal gain are not new. Nineteenth century literature is replete with Mormon and Caholic so-called atrocity tales concocted by former members seeking notoriety and a fast buck from sales of their sensationalized stories.
Dr. Bryan Wilson
World renowned scholar on religious matters
Courts in both Arizona and Florida, confronted with the facts of Tabayoyons violent past, his virulent temper, and his deadly threats, have issued orders requiring him under pain of jail for contempt to stay away from Scientologists and Church facilities.
Yet, for the right amount of money, Tabayoyon has shown himself willing to say whatever he is paid to say, by lawyers who needed testimony to bolster their case. Thus, under the guise of being an expert, he was paid more than $17,000 by attorneys receiving their fees from an insurance carrier for his declaration in a lawsuit in which he swore to matters of which he had no knowledge, swore to the truth of things he knew to be false, and pretended to have expertise in matters ranging from Scientology scriptures to United States tax law. Aside from the distasteful deceit involved, such acts both perpetrate injustices and escalate insurance costs for all.
The courts seem ready to ignore the lack of qualifications, resulting in unnecessary time and expense required to resolve the allegations inserted into the litigation by someone who should not be there in the first place. Another illustration of the anything goes approach to sworn testimony comes from a couple, Vaughn and Stacy Young, prime examples of apostates whose perception of truth is governed solely by the amount of money they are paid. According to court papers, they have admitted that their statements about their former religion were knowingly false and were made solely for financial motives. Vaughn Young even claims an ability to put a spin on anything he writes to create a picture that feeds a demand for controversy and, therefore, for his services. In this way, the Youngs attempt to manipulate the media into acting as their mouthpiece, and the courts into providing them with a market for their fabricated testimony.
The Youngs have frankly admitted that they wrote what was asked for by attorneys or they would not get paid. Stacy Young stated that it was obvious they would not be paid to write things that would be helpful to the Church. When challenged on the morality of their position, they responded that it was not a matter of right and wrong, but merely a matter of money, and that they could not hold down any other job.
The unholy use and abuse of such bought-and-paid-for testimony that poisons judges and news reporters alike, is described by an apostate who once participated in the con game herself:
The abusive device most consistently utilized by litigants and counsel adverse to the Church occurs in connection with the filing of declarations or affidavits. It is common knowledge among [those] who supply such sworn statements that the attorneys dictate the desired content of such testimony with the primary, often sole purpose of presenting inflammatory accusations that prejudice the Church in the eyes of the Court. In such declarations or affidavits, context, the truth and relevance to the issues in the case are disregarded altogether.
Long ago, the Roman Emperor Tacitus taught us that it is human nature to hate the man whom you have hurt. He could have illustrated his observation with photographs of apostates such as Tabayoyon and the Youngs. Apostates-for-hire offend all but the mean-spirited, anger the well-intentioned, and insult those who respect the truth and admire people who take responsibility for their own failures and shortcomings. They are thoroughly discreditable and ultimately deserve only to be ignored and left to wallow alone with their own shortcomings.
Apostate testimony is purchased testimony, and anything but expert. It attempts to come across in expert guise, but inevitably it is neither expert opinion nor factually reliable, both because it is drenched with bias and because it is bought.
The wonder is why courts would even hear such evidence, as its only role in the justice system is to subvert justice through the relentless translation into lies of hate, frustration and cash.