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CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY SUES ELI LILLY, MAJOR FIRMS; CHARGES MASSIVE, ILLEGAL INDUCEMENT OF CONTRACT BREACHES

 CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY SUES ELI LILLY, MAJOR FIRMS;
 CHARGES MASSIVE, ILLEGAL INDUCEMENT OF CONTRACT BREACHES
 LOS ANGELES, May 4 /PRNewswire/ -- As announced by its president, the Rev. Heber C. Jentzsch, the Church of Scientology International on Friday filed a major lawsuit in Los Angeles Federal Court against giant drug manufacturer Eli Lilly & Company, the British advertising conglomerate, WPP Group, its CEO, Martin Sorrell and WPP's New York and Washington-based public relations subsidiary, Hill & Knowlton, Inc. The suit charges these corporations with having severely violated the church's civil and contractual rights when Eli Lilly executives illegally put pressure on both Sorrell of WPP and Hill & Knowlton, as well as two law firms representing the church, and induced them to sever their working relationships with the church. The lawsuit is seeking $14.7 million in damages, of which $10 million are for punitive damages.
 Jentzsch said that Eli Lilly's motive was "to prevent and undermine the church's continued exposure of the damage caused by Lilly's highly profitable anti-depressant Prozac." The controversial drug had been the target of dozens of lawsuits by Prozac victims and a nationwide public education campaign supported by the church and its social reform group, the Citizens Commission on Human Rights.
 The leading executives of Hill & Knowlton, which had represented the Church of Scientology since 1987, at first refused to stop work for the church but eventually yielded to Sorrell's direct order and dropped the account, said Jentzsch.
 "With the dangers of Prozac getting known, sales were falling way short of their target, and Lilly had to shore up its crashing stock prices. It used its enormous corporate and financial influence to try to discredit the church rather than be responsible and clean up the damage caused by Prozac," explained Jentzsch.
 "Martin Sorrell is a true corporate raider; devoid of compassion, coldly calculating and insensitive to the effects he creates for others. His life seems governed by personal greed and ruthless ambition," charged Jentzsch.
 "Since 1988, Prozac has caused a great many more dead and injured than the L.A. riots this past week," said Jentzsch. "Whereas the L.A. riots are subsiding, the carnage of the killer drug Prozac is continuing to escalate. The public must be told of this hidden danger to their lives," he said.
 This legal action follows on the heels of a widely reported $416 million suit filed against Time Magazine and reporter Richard Behar on Monday last week in New York Federal court. That suit claims that Time intentionally assigned a biased reporter, Behar, to do a May 1991 story on the church for the purpose of destroying the religion rather than reporting on news. Behar's article, according to the church's president, "was another part of Lilly's unscrupulous campaign to salvage a killer drug for profit reasons."
 -0- 5/4/92
 /CONTACT: The Rev. Heber C. Jentzsch of Church of Scientology International, 213-960-3500/ CO: Church of Scientology International; Eli Lilly & Company; WPP
 Group; Hill & Knowlton ST: California IN: SU:


MH -- DC021 -- 6098 05/04/92 13:37 EDT
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:May 4, 1992
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