" provide a connection to CSI sufficient to satisfy the "of and concerning" requirement. CSI alleged in the complaint that
The aforesaid statements were understood by the public who read or was informed of them to have the false and defamatory meanings that the plaintiff was responsible for Noah Lottick's death, that plaintiff had bankrupted him causing him to commit suicide, that because Noah Lottick's parents were frightened by the Church, they have not sued it, and that Church staff members were unfeeling and unsupportive, interested only in Noah Lottick while he was alive.
Complaint P 59. As discussed supra, CSI's position in the structure of the Church of Scientology is such that a reader familiar with CSI could reasonably conclude that the passage referred to CSI. Thus, Paragraph 58 of the complaint satisfies the "of and concerning" requirement.
5. Paragraph 62
Paragraph 62 of the complaint alleges that the following passage in the Article libeled CSI:
"The next month the Rowes flew to Glendale, Calif., where they shuttled daily from a local hotel to a Dianetics center. 'We thought they were brilliant people because they seemed to know so much about us,' recalls Dee. 'Then we realized our hotel room must have been bugged.' After bolting from the center, $ 23,000 poorer, the Rowes say, they were chased repeatedly by Scientologists on foot and in cars."
Complaint P 62. The Court finds that CSI has failed to demonstrate a reasonable connection to this statement. Permitting CSI to prosecute a libel claim on every occasion where any Scientology entity is discussed in a negative light would be too great an imposition on society's interest in ensuring an open forum for vigorous public debate. The above passage, whether read alone or in conjunction with the rest of the article, and informed by knowledge of the hierarchical structure of Scientology, could not support a jury finding that the statement refers to CSI. See Provisional Government of the Republic of New Afrika, 609 F. Supp. at 108; Handelman, 469 F. Supp. at 1050. Thus, paragraph 62 does not allege a statement that could reasonably considered to be of and concerning CSI.
6. Paragraph 67
Paragraph 67 of the complaint alleges that the following statement in the Article libeled CSI:
"In a court filing, one of the cult's many entities--the Church of Spiritual Technology --listed $ 503 million in income just for 1987."
Complaint P 67. The Court can discern no reference to CSI in this passage. Rather, the passage specifically identifies another Scientology entity, as distinguished from CSI. The Court explicitly rejects the suggestion that the statement must refer to CSI because all references to all Scientology entities are necessarily of and concerning CSI. CSI has failed to allege a reasonable connection between itself and the alleged libel. See Mullenmeister, 587 F. Supp. at 872. Thus, paragraph 67 fails to allege a statement of and concerning CSI.
Thus, the Court has determined that the allegations in paragraphs 40, 45, 52, and 58 are sufficiently pleaded to withstand the instant motion to dismiss the complaint for failure to state a cause of action upon which relief can be granted.
For all the foregoing reasons, the motion of defendants Time Warner, Inc., Time Inc. Magazine Co., and Richard Behar for dismissal of the complaint pursuant to Rule 12(b)(6) of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure hereby is denied.
Dated: November 23, 1992
New York, New York
Peter K. Leisure