Scott Pilutik

I am an attorney and consultant living and working in Manhattan, focusing primarily on church/state constitutional law. I'm a recognized expert on the Church of Scientology organization. I also have strong interests in intellectual property law where it intersects with emerging media, and free speech.

I support the efforts of the Americans United for Separation of Church and State, the Freedom From Religion Foundation, the National Lawyers Guild, the ACLU, Creative Commons, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation. I am a member of the New York County Lawyers Association and the New York State Bar Association. I also enjoy (watching) hockey and (doing) photograhy.

Online I can be found on Facebook, Twitter. My resume can be viewed here. I can be reached by phone at 212.645.6241 or by e-mail at pilutik[at]

Is Scientology a Religion?

I answered this question over at Quora, which seemed like a good idea at the time, but I don’t have much hope for Quora’s long term existence, so I’m going to publish it here as well. The tl:dr answer to the qeustion is as follows: Yes, Scientology is a religion… but it doesn’t really matter [...]

Laura DeCrescenzo's Motion to Compel Scientology & The Priest-Penitent Privilege

Continuing where I left off at Tony Ortega’s post on the latest developments in the Laura DeCrescenzo lawsuit against Scientology, which finds Scientology suddenly between a rock and a hard place as Laura’s attorneys successfully moved to compel Scientology to hand over Laura’s PC folders…

The motion papers contain a fairly interesting dispute concerning the [...]

Free Speech in Burning Theaters

No small amount of ink has been spilled over an alleged film that allegedly caused riots throughout pockets of the middle east, allegedly leading to the death of the US Ambassador to Libya, Chris Stevens, and some of his staff members. I hedge because from the start of this story so many facts have been [...]

Taibbi on Bain, the RNC Convention, and Apple v Samsung

Matt Taibbi has a long piece in Rolling Stone, and basically asks why anyone would think Romney’s business experience makes him fit to run a country probably doesn’t what Bain Capital actually did, i.e., caused flailing companies to accrue massive debt, and paid itself many multiples over its investment for the privilege of firing everyone.


Narconon Finally Getting a Long Overdue Hammering

Narconon Finally Getting a Long Overdue Hammering

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Deaths at Scientology drug treatment program Narconon bring investigation – Tampa Bay Times Deaths at a Narconon facility in Oklahoma prompt an investigation. Already shaken by a series of high-level defections, accounts of abuse among its staffers, and the high-profile breakup of [...]

Prayer Invocation at City Council Meetings

The other day, a good friend and ex-roommate from my yesteryear, now living in Virginia, e-mailed to tell me that a city’s council meeting she recently attended began with a prayer. Ellen, married with three children, is an educated woman who’s father and father-in law are both retired Lutheran ministers. Her kids go to “bible [...]

An Assessment of Pinterest Users' Fair Use Defense

[Disclaimer: Because this article is intended to be both instructive to the general public but also legally relevant, in the course of my splitting the difference and trying to serve two audiences, the general public may find some of it legalistic and dense, while lawyers may find some of it pedantic. Apologies in advance to [...]

Eviction Night for #OWS

In the earliest hours of November 15, 2011, I finally drifted off to sleep after the NHL Network had looped for perhaps a third time. The mumbling TV probably caused me to miss my phone’s space-agey text message notification, even though it lay inches from my head. It wasn’t until a half hour later that [...]

The Ownership of Occupy Wall St.

I’m going to post something more generally about Occupy Wall Street [hereinafter #ows] soon but in the meantime, I want to comment on a tangentially related issue that arose after one protester at Zuccotti Park took it upon himself to file a trademark application for the term “Occupy Wall St.” [Original Smoking Gun story here; [...]

Will Hosanna-Tabor v. EEOC Give Hope to the Headleys?

The “ministerial exception” is finally about to get its long overdue day in court, as the Supreme Court will hear oral arguments on October 5, 2011 in the case of Hosanna-Tabor Evangelical Lutheran Church and School v. EEOC, out of the 6th Circuit [pdf of decision here]. The case’s outcome promises to have significant impact, [...]