Lawrence Wollersheim

Lawrence Dominick Wollersheim is an American former Scientologist. He has been an active director of several specialized non-profit organizations since 2002.


Wollersheim sued the Church of Scientology in 1980. The story of Xenu was made public when Church materials detailing the Operating Thetan Level 3 were used as exhibits. In Wollersheim's court case, Scientology's "top secret" materials about Xenu and their beliefs in past alien invasions of Earth was filed with the Los Angeles court on his behalf and then copied from court records and published by media all over the world.

Wollersheim helped co-found in 1993, an organization whose stated goal is to help other victims of cult abuse. He is currently a director of FactNet.

Legal actionsEdit

In 1986, a jury awarded Wollersheim 5 million USD in compensatory damages and 25 million USD in punitive damages for what jurors called intentional and negligent "infliction of emotional distress." On appeal this was reduced to 2.5 million USD.[1] Scientology officials vowed never to pay, and the phrase "not one thin dime for Wollersheim," was chanted by Scientologists at court hearings.[2] The church challenged the 2.5 million USD award, but the case was dismissed and Wollersheim was awarded an additional 130,506.71 USD in attorney's fees.[3]

In 1997, Wollersheim's Boulder apartment was raided by federal marshals with Church of Scientology officials and his computers were seized as evidence.[4][5]

After over 20 years, the Church agreed to settle the case and pay an 8.7 million USD settlement on May 9, 2002.[2][6]

On October 28, 2005, the Metropolitan News-Enterprise, a Los Angeles daily legal publication, reported that the Wollersheim case was ongoing and a trial was forthcoming regarding the claim. It said that his attorney had received 100,000 USD, but she was suing for more.[7] On December 8, 2006, Wollersheim won the case on appeal, as the plaintiff lacked an enforceable lien under the Rules of Professional Conduct.[8]


In 1993, he co-founded Fight Against Coercive Tactics Network (FACTNet or F.A.C.T.Net) with Bob Penny.[9][10][4]


  1. ^ California, Court of Appeal, Second District. Wollersheim v. Church of Scientology (1989).
  2. ^ a b Richard Leiby, "Ex-Scientologist Collects $8.7 Million In 22-Year-Old Case," Washington Post, May 10, 2002.
  3. ^ s:Church of Scientology v. Wollersheim
  4. ^ a b Prendergast, Alan. "Nightmare on the Net". Westword. Retrieved 2022-08-03.
  5. ^ "CNN U.S. News: Church of Scientology protects secrets". Retrieved 2022-08-03.
  6. ^ Ortega, Tony (2008-06-30). "Scientology's Crushing Defeat". Village Voice. Archived from the original on 2008-07-09. Retrieved 2008-06-30.
  7. ^ Grace, Roger (28 October 2005) "25 Years Later, a High-Profile Superior Court Case Is Still on the Active List Archived 2005-12-15 at the Wayback Machine" Metropolitan News-Enterprise
  8. ^ C.A. Rejects Attorney's Lien Claim in Scientology Case, Metropolitan News-Enterprise, December 8, 2006
  9. ^ Affairs, Bureau of National. 1995. The United States Patents Quarterly: Associated Industry Publications.
  10. ^ Net.wars Wendy Grossman; NYU Press, 1997 page 83