CLEARWATER, Fla. — A critic of the Church of Scientology said he is financing a new foundation named after Lisa McPherson, a Scientologist who died in 1995 while in the care of the church.
Robert S. Minton said he would incorporate the Lisa McPherson Educational Foundation.
McPherson, 36, suffered a severe mental breakdown 17 days before she died of a blood clot in her left lung. Her death prompted a wrongful death lawsuit, filed in Tampa, and criminal charges against the church in Pinellas County.
Minton's foundation will reach out to disaffected members of the church and educate the public about what he says are the harmful effects of Scientology.
The new foundation will provide "exit counseling" for people wanting to leave Scientology, said Minton, who has spent about $2.5 million over the past three years fighting the church.
At the same time, Scientologists have used McPherson's name in registering two corporate names.
The Lisa Foundation Inc., or the Lisa McPherson Foundation Inc., would work against the "hate-mongering" and "religious intolerance" of Minton and his allies, said Bennetta Slaughter, a Clearwater businesswoman and a Scientologist. She was McPherson's boss and longtime friend, and will lead the groups.