Woman says she was fired for refusing Scientology

She claims she was forced to take religious courses that included screaming at ashtrays and staring at co-workers.

By Jason Notte May 16, 2013 7:27AM
View of the Church of Scientology building in Los Angeles, California
© Paul Mounce/CorbisDoes your office ever make you want to scream at ashtrays, shove people out of doorways and glare at your co-workers for eight hours straight?

In just about any workplace in America, these would be considered unchecked hostility issues worthy of a visit with the human resources rep and, maybe, a bump in the company medical plan's mental health coverage.

At Florida's Dynamic Medical Services, that's just part of the Scientology-based status quo, according to a complaint filed by the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission earlier this month.

Rommy Sanchez, whom Dynamic is accused of firing after she stopped attending the Church of Scientology, completed enough company-mandated courses to be taken to the church by a fellow Dynamic employee. Those "courses" are where all the shoving, prolonged staring and ashtray screaming came in.

After completing those tasks, Sanchez was also required to connect herself to an electro-psycho-meter, or "e-meter," and take a "purification course" that consisted of jogging on a treadmill and taking 20 pills she was told were "vitamins," according to the complaint. When she wanted to quit, the Dynamic employee who ran the courses "tried to convince her that the course was good for her, that it would change her mind and detox her."

The EEOC is seeking back pay for Sanchez and another employee who was fired for refusing to participate, as well as compensation for any workers who were subjected to Dynamic Medical's "hostile work environment."

Beatriz Biscardi, an attorney representing the employees, told The Huffington Post that the employees were clear that the courses were associated with Scientology. Dynamic issued a statement denying the EEOC's "baseless allegations." The Church of Scientology, meanwhile, has remained mum about the case.

The allegedly berated ashtray also remained silent.

More on moneyNOW

May 16, 2013 8:58AM
Scientolgy is a very dangerous sect that should be banned everywhere. Alas, there are too many wealthy people with clout associated with this outfit, which is why Scientology continues to thrive.
Dynamic Medical Services sounds like a company that we all need to stay far, far away from!

This woman has my sympathy. So does the poor defenseless ashtray!

May 16, 2013 8:51AM
Scientology.....how do you even come up with something to comment on such idiocy?
May 16, 2013 9:00AM
The ashtray should sue for verbal abuse. Seriously, a religion based on scifi books that were not even very good. What do they expect besides dysfunctional people.
May 16, 2013 9:15AM
I might be wrong, but i thought Scientolgy taught self healing, "we don't need no stinking doctors", type of attitude.  If this is true, why would they be involved in any health care business?
May 16, 2013 9:39AM
More evidence that Scientology is dangerous and insane. If they will scream at an ashtray it makes you wonder what was the fate of the unmentioned pack of cigarettes or cigar. Seriously , I hope these employees win their case. This CULT  is scary.
May 16, 2013 9:53AM
How in hell can our government(IRS) even vaguely consider this to be a religion?  Tax 'em, and tax 'em good.
May 16, 2013 9:56AM
I believe her.  I've worked for a scientologist in the past  for many years.  I've seen the "techniques" they use.  Staring at each other in absolute silence for hours.   Being "audited" with their "e-meter" and answering personal questions until you are "clear".  Its like taking a lie detector test that never ends until you confess.  Taking 500-question "personality" quiz for new employees to evaluate you psychologically.  All of this information is gathered.  Its seen & evaluated by people who typically are barely qualified to pass a GED exam.  All of the information is stored forever & used against you should you ever appose them.
Scientology's "religious" claim is based SOLELY on the fact that the Internal Revenue Service was tired of the never ending legal battle over their  tax exempt filing.  I'm also sure these people dug into the personal lives of the agents & attorneys and rattled more than a few skeletons to get the case dropped.
I hope this woman know's what she's getting into.  All of the personal information she's given them WILL be used against her.  It WILL be seen by everyone.  They WILL stalk her & keep her under surveillance until they drive her insane or to commit suicide.  At best,  she'll NEVER see a dime of this money!  If she wins, they will appeal and appeal and appeal until she dies of old age or her attorney's drop her case for lack of interest (ie $$)
I believe her claims but unfortunately, she is a victim that will never see justice
May 16, 2013 9:01AM
The last line about the ashtray..,. LMAO
May 16, 2013 9:27AM
Religion ruins everything. It is nothing but other people telling you exactly how you are going to operate within their belief system.
Make your own way.
Connect with your God on your own in your own way.

May 16, 2013 9:22AM

QUEST COMMUNITY church in Lexington KENTUCKY is just as bad. they take young people and brainwash them to leave there familys and turn against them. Telling them that ther family is not pure enough like you and you should stay away from them. If you go visit them it takes to long for you to clense yourself from the visit. It is a Christian based church that whoever is the head of the Christian orginazation should serioiusly check into. They are runining christian chuches name. Our child is lost to them. Brainwashed. She is to far gone to help. Never thought it would happen to us. Since then we have found out of many more who have been done the same way. BEWARE!! of what you get into with these big churches.

May 16, 2013 9:28AM
Actors must master the art of suspending disbelief before they can accurately portray a fictional character.  Sometimes something goes wrong and disbelief never gets suspended again.  Which explains Tom Cruise.
May 16, 2013 9:55AM
why is there a cross on the church of scientology building?
May 16, 2013 9:54AM

Dangerous breach of rights. We live in a country where we are free to practice whatever faith we wish.

Coercive employers need to be stopped now. This is not allowed...

May 16, 2013 9:36AM

That is why it is called "religion", because it is man made, not from God.

May 16, 2013 9:24AM
May 16, 2013 10:11AM
Religion is the oldest scam in history.
May 16, 2013 9:32AM
As with all entries in the religion business, I am very sure that the overriding belief there is in the power of money.  And, the more true believers are convinced to "believe", the more money can be shaken out of them.
May 16, 2013 9:38AM
Well. Anyone that dares to speak in the name of an entity that's has (at least) 15.000 millions years light of existence should be considered demented and dangerous..Especially if that entity writes book with blurry orders that could be understood "only" for their self- declared managers or priest or whatever they call themselves..
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