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 [...]

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, [...]

Laura Decrescenzo v. Church of Scientology International, Inc., et al.

In a potentially devastating blow to the Church of Scientology, a lawsuit filed by Laura Decrescenzo (nee Dieckman)–alleging Forced abortion; Deprivation of liberty; False imprisonment; Intentional infliction of emotional distress; and various violations of California labor law statutes–which was dismissed as time-barred by the (federal) District Court for the Central District of California in November [...]

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Scientology owes the City of Clearwater a half million dollars in fines and doesn’t want to pay it. The St. Pete Times thinks they should.

There will be no shortage of comparisons made between Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann, but where Palin’s beliefs are 7 parts opportunism to 1 part Christianity, Bachmann is the real [...]

The Case for Inurement Against the Church of Scientology

In the wake of Lawrence Wright’s New Yorker article on Scientology in February 2011, additional allegations were revealed by Tony Ortega in the Village Voice that former Sea Org member John Brousseau had customized Harley-Davidson motorcycles belonging to Tom Cruise and David Miscavige and an S.U.V. belonging to Cruise – and this time there were [...]

Diskeeper loses on Summary Judgment motion

On May 21, 2009, the Los Angeles Superior Court ruled against Diskeeper’s Motion for summary judgment in its case against Godelman and Le Shay, although it did find for Diskeeper in part by preemptively removing the availability of punitive damages from the case, likely to prompt settlement. Jury trial is now set for July 13, [...]

Souter’s concurrence in Lee v. Weisman

David Souter’s announced retirement from the Supreme Court today is somewhat of a blow to establishment clause separationists, for whom there was no more eloquent a proponent than Souter. I’ve come back to Souter’s inspired concurrence in Lee v. Weisman more than once, so I thought I’d post some of that concurrence here. In Lee [...]

Claire Headley v. CSI, RTC

Claire Headley ("Claire"), wife of Marc Headley ("Marc"), who recently filed a lawsuit alleging labor law violations (which I wrote about here), has followed up her husband’s lawsuit with a similar lawsuit of her own. Claire’s complaint (which I converted to html here–the pdf can be read here) makes allegations similar to those by her [...]

Marc Headley v. Church of Scientology International

A potentially devastating lawsuit [PDF] was filed by Marc Headley in Los Angeles County Court on January 5 against the Church of Scientology International (CSI), alleging that CSI violated California labor law by failing to pay Headley, and others similarly situated, minimum wage or for the overtime he routinely worked as an employee of Golden [...]