UNITED STATES BANKRUPTCY COURT
NORTHERN DISTRICT OF CALIFORNIA
Adv. No 95-1164
DECLARATION OF MICHAEL WALTON IN SUPPORT OF GERALD ARMSTRONG’S OBJECTION TO TRUSTEE’S ABANDONMENT OF ESTATE
In re: GERALD ARMSTRONG, Debtor.
CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY, INTERNATIONAL
DECLARATION OF MICHAEL L. WALTON1
I, Michael Walton, declare under penalty of perjury under the laws of the State of California that the following recitation is true and correct and that I am an Attorney duly licensed to practice before all the Courts in the State of California.
1. On or about Summer 1994, Declarant was contacted by a man who identified himself as Michael Rinder, an agent for Scientology, who wished to discuss the ongoing litigation between Scientology and Gerald Armstrong. Before speaking directly with Mr. Rinder, Declarant checked with Ms. Laurie Bartilson, Scientology’s attorney to obtain her permission to speak with Mr. Rinder. Ms. Bartilson encouraged the communication.
2. Declarant spoke with Mr. Rinder on at least two separate ocasions. Mr. Rinder discussed the California Superior Court case of Scientology vs. Gerald Armstrong and Michael Walton (Declarant herein)(hereinafter referred to as the “Fraudulent Transfer Action”). Mr. Rinder indicated that Scientology was not interested in money nor was it interested in trying to take away Declarant’s residence.
3. Mr. Rinder stated that what Scientology really wanted was to get out from under the decision in the case of Scientology vs. Armstrong (hereinafter Armstrong I) decided in 1984 and referred to as the Breckenridge decision. Mr. Rinder said that the decision was used to Scientology’s detriment every time Scientology was involved in litigation.
4. Mr. Rinder suggested that what Scientology really wanted was for Mr. Armstrong to sign a document recanting some of the testimony that was relied upon in the formulation of the Breckenridge decision. Mr. Rinder said that he was not requesting that Mr. Armstrong admit to perjury. He indicated that Scientology would provide Mr. Armstrong with certain information to which he did not have access when he testified in Armstrong I. Mr. Armstrong could then reach a different, more informed conclusion and sign a document indicating his change of opinions.
5. Mr. Rinder said that since Declarant was a good friend of Mr. Armstrong, Declarant could use his influence to convince Mr. Armstrong to sign such a document. Mr. Rinder indicated that the “pressure” would continue to be put on Mr. Armstrong and upon Declarant and declarant’s family until such a document was signed.
6. Mr. Rinder stated that there was no way to make the Fraudulent Transfer Action go away absent Mr. Armstrong’s signing of the document.
7. On or about September 12, 194, in a telephone conversation with Ms. Bartilson some days after the final conversation with Mr. Rinder, Ms. Bartilson confirmed to Declarant Mr. Rinder’s articulation of Scientology’s position.
8. Specifically, Ms. Bartilson, in a hostile and threatening manner, told Declarant that Scientology would never allow the Fraudulent Transfer Action to settle with respect to Declarant and would only make things worse for him unless Declarant would agree to “put pressure on your friend” (Mr. Armstrong) to capitulate in a separate breach of contract case that was then being litigated between Scientology and Armstrong.
9. Declarant declined to attempt to put any kind of pressure on Mr. Armstrong. The next day Scientology named Declarant’s wife as a DOE defendant in the Fraudulent Transfer Action.
10. Appended hereto are true and correct copies of Declarant’s opposition and supporting declaration filed December 8, 1994 in the Fraudulent Conveyance case. These documents contain Declarant’s recitation of his conversation with Ms.Bartilson.
The facts hereinabove recited are personally known to me and if called upon to testify, I could and would competently do so.
Dated: June 6, 1996
Place: Larkspur, CA
Michael L. Walton