The woman at the center of it all is Lisa McPherson, who died in 1995 after being involved in a minor traffic accident.
Marty Rathbun, the former number-two man in Scientology, alleges that the organization showered gifts on the Medical Examiner's attorney, Jeff Goodis, to influence her to change the cause of death. Once that happened, the criminal case fell apart.
In addition, Rathbun says the Church hired another attorney, former prosecutor Lee Fugate, to have illegal Ex parte meetings with judges involved in the case.
Rathbun says,"Listen. Lee Fugate, his value was to schmooze. As a matter of fact, that's what David Miscavige and myself used to say. Let's get lee to schmooze; let's get Lee to schmooze."
Download the PDF Marty Rathbun under Oath giving a deposition
Jeff Goodis denies the charges and Attorney Lee Fugate says he can't comment on a federal suit, but it would be shocking to believe that some of Pinellas' top judges could be involved in illegal activity like this.
However Ken Dandar, the attorney who represented McPherson's family against the church, says, "Maybe Mr. Rathbun doesn't know what he is talking about, and maybe it's all his imagination. I don't think so..."
Dandar says the organization has come after him. He's says attorney Wally Pope and Judge Robert Beach have illegally claimed the settlement papers in the McPherson case.
Dandar adds," If what I've been told is correct, I will go after the people who have corrupted the system, and I will go after the members of the system that have been corrupted."
Below, from the ODIT Archives: Lisa McPherson Story
xenutv.com ~ Lisa was a devoted Scientologist for many years. In late 1995, she indicated to family and friends that she would be coming home to Texas. She never made it home. Instead, Lisa spent her last days confined in Scientology’s Fort Harrison Hotel.
During those 17 days, Lisa was undergoing a psychotic breakdown while under constant guard by Scientology staffers who tried to handle her with Hubbard policies. By the time they rushed her to a hospital it was too late. She had lost 40 pounds and was severely dehydrated. Lisa was pronounced dead on arrival.
Lisa's case is a good representation of the many people harmed or even killed by Scientology. Her case is well documented from court proceedings, Scientology documents, and good reporting. It's also a case that DM [David Miscavige] himself had a direct hand in, according to Marty Rathbun.
lisamcpherson.org averages about 250 visitors per day. There are many other sites that tell her story as well, so her life is remembered. Lisa's family wanted her story to be told so her fate would not happen to anyone else. Thanks to the Internet, this will be accomplished. ~ J.Jacobsen
Public Eye, CBS TV, 1/7/98
Since first attracting attention more than 30 years ago the tenets of Scientology have been reviled by critics and revered by supporters. Those same supporters have earned a fierce reputation for relentlessly using the courts to defend Scientology, ultimately gaining it tax exempt status as a recognized religion. In recent years, the church's profile has been enhanced by association with a variety of Hollywood stars, famous folks who have put a shining face on a self-styled church that's often clouded by secrecy and mistrust. All of which brings us to a lawsuit in Florida, a wrongful death suit that has pitted proponents of Scientology against the family of a young woman who died in the prime of her life. Kristin Jeannette-Meyers, herself a lawyer, details the sad end of Lisa McPherson... [complete archived transcript @ lisamcpherson.org]