Judge dismisses 'cult' lawsuit filed by food truck

A Hennepin County judge has dismissed a defamation lawsuit filed by Bad Rooster, a Minnetonka based food truck, against a woman who claimed on social media the food truck was financing a cult-like group that destroys families. 

In a July 2022 post on Bad Rooster’s Facebook page, Kelly Abedi wrote, "I think it’s important for all the supporters on here to know that the Bad Rooster, and its owner ‘Soulaire’ aka Lynn Young use the funds they earn to support a cult." 

Soulaire Allerai is the lead minister of Living Faith Spiritual Community (LFSC) and is a co-owner of the Bad Rooster food truck. Allerai claims she has the ability to channel a spiritual being from another dimension, known as ‘G.’ 

Abedi’s mother, Cianna LaJoie, joined Living Faith Spiritual Community (LFSC) in 2006. Abedi claims after her mother joined the group, she distanced herself from family and friends.   

Last August, the FOX 9 Investigators interviewed Abedi, her sister, Angela Hummelgard, and a half-dozen other former members of LFSC and estranged family members, who told remarkably similar stories of how they became enthralled with Allerai.  

LFSC operates out of a building in Minnetonka that is home to the Bad Rooster food truck and several businesses and LLC’s operated by Allerai or her followers.     

Allerai, formerly known as Lynn Young, legally changed her name as have more than a dozen followers to similar sounding names.    

In an order granting summary judgment Thursday, Judge Joseph Klein ruled that the statements made by Abedi were subjective matters of opinion and didn’t meet the legal standard for defamation.   

"First, the accusation that a religious organization is a cult is neither precise nor specific," Klein wrote. 

"In that respect, the statement is not to any degree definitively verifiable. Whether or not a religious organization is a cult is a matter of personal opinion, dependent upon values and beliefs that are personal to an individual," Klein continued.   

Klein said the statements made on Facebook were clearly part of a dispute, and "understood by most to lead to hyperbolic statements of opinion, not fact."  

Likewise, Klein said any allegation that Bad Rooster abuses people are vague, not specific, a matter of opinion and not statements of fact. 

Even the statement "has actively torn families apart," Klein wrote, is "a vague statement, largely dependent upon an individual’s personal point of view, and as such, is an expression of opinion." 

In a statement, the Bad Rooster’s attorney, Steven Liening, said their lawsuit succeeded in establishing that Bad Rooster didn’t prevent Abedi from speaking to her mother.

"The lawsuit demonstrated unmistakably that, although Abedi claimed to have no contact with her mother in 15 years, this too was incorrect: she had spoken to her mother many times, even leaving her mother an obscene voicemail the night before Abedi wrote her Facebook post with its exaggerated claims," the statement from Liening read. 

Abedi’s attorney, Bill Cumming, applauded Judge Klein’s decision to dismiss the lawsuit, writing in a statement that the claims against Abedi and Hummelgard were "ill-conceived and unsustainable."

Hummelgard was removed from the lawsuit last spring.

"Sadly, this litigation has only caused the sisters to have to relive past trauma, and cost them financially to defend against this lawsuit for having made no false statements and only expressing their opinions," Cumming said.

The lawsuit was dismissed nearly a year to the date that it was filed. Summary judgment allows a judge to dismiss lawsuits that are without merit or claims that are unfounded.