Jesse Prince: David Miscavige’s Rise to Corruption (or: Ding Dong the King is Dead)–Reformatted (September 5, 1998)

Title: David Miscavige’s Rise to Corruption (or: Ding Dong the King is Dead)–Reformatted1
Author: jesse.prince@gte.net (Jesse Prince)
Date: Sat, 05 Sep 1998 23:15:50 GMT

The following is an account of my opinion based on eye witness events and secret
meetings I either witnessed or actively participated in while I was in the inner
sanctum of the cult known as “The Church of Scientology.” I write this in an
effort to provide an insight into the truth of the actual motives and agenda of
Scientology, which is no religion at all.

On Thursday, August 20, 1998, I attended a hearing at 8:30 a.m. in U.S. District
Court in Denver, Colorado. I had been in deposition all day the day before.
Scientology was deposing me, supposedly concerning the declaration I had filed
in the FACTNet case, but in fact I had been asked very few questions that
related in any way to the FACTNet copyright case. Most of the deposition had
concerned my personal history, much of which had been culled from my pc folders.
It was obvious to me that they were using the deposition to gather intelligence
information about me, which they would then use to discredit me. But I remained
courteous and answered all of their questions as well as I could. I have nothing
to hide. I am not ashamed of anything I”ve done in my life.

The issues before the magistrate were twofold. One was a letter which Lawrence
Wollersheim”s attorney Dan Leipold had sent to Scientology attorney Samuel
Rosen, in which Dan promised to turn the entire transcript of my deposition over
to Ken Dandar, the attorney for Lisa McPherson”s estate, if Rosen dared to bring
up any information from my confidential pc folders. The other issue was the
length of time Scientology would be allowed to keep me in deposition. Dan and my
attorney Ford Greene wanted to limit the amount of time they could keep me;
Scientology wanted unlimited access to me.

So I am sitting in the courtroom next to my friend Stacy Young, who is there as
a director of FACTNet. Suddenly I hear Samuel Rosen say: “Your honor, the
witness they are bringing into this case, Jesse Prince, was second in command of
the Church of Scientology. He signed a confidential non-discolosure agreement
not to divulge any information he obtained as a result of his being second in
command of Scientology.”

Rosen continued to do his best to persuade the magistrate not to allow Dan to
send the deposition transcript to the McPherson case (the outcome was that the
magistrate told Dan not to send the transcripts without getting his OK first,
and, by the way, we convinced the magistrate not to allow them to depose me past
noon of the following day).

But I sat there stunned that I had just heard Scientology admit, on the record,
that I was second in command of Scientology. For me, that was the high point of
the entire deposition experience.

Now let”s go back in time to an afternoon in the late summer of 1984. I am
sitting in one of many legal/litigation meetings at Author Services, Inc., or
ASI. I am in RTC, a nonprofit religious corporation which ostensibly has
absolutely nothing to do wth ASI, a for-profit corporation. But David Miscavige
finds it convenient at the moment to be the Chairman of the Board of ASI, and,
since David Miscavige runs Scientology (no matter where he places himself
corporately), he can order all of us to meet wherever and whenever he wants us
to.

The subject of this particular meeting concerns the LRH probate case in
Riverside, California, and, as always, more corporate “sort-out.” Lawyers have
advised that there is still too much evidence to prove that LRH is incompetent
to manage his own affairs. This is crucial, since the case has been brought by
LRH”s son Nibbs, who has claimed that LRH is incompetent to manage his own
affairs and that his estate is being stolen by the Church of Scientology under
David Miscavige”s leadership. Nibbs is hoping to take over LRH”s assets if he
can prove that LRH is incompetent. So this is a very serious threat.

LRH has repeatedly said he wants different lawyers to represent him, and that he
wants different legal advice on how to win this case against Nibbs. But DM has
decided that the lawyers LRH already has (and who were chosen, of course, by DM)
are the best possible legal counsel. LRH specifically doesn”t like the fact that
these attorneys are advising him to back away from managing Scientology”s
affairs. Part of the reason for this is that DM feels (and has told the
attorneys) that LRH is losing his grip on reality.

In truth, DM was not the only one who knew that LRH was an old man past his
prime, with no real “new ideas” or “brilliant revelations” for quite some time.
All he could do was say the same thing, over and over: “There are more BTs! Many
more than people realize!” Hubbard really was a bit senile at the end there –
his brain pretty well fried by a wide range of drugs which he used for his
“research” — and this scared the hell out of his top messengers and others near
him.

For many years, LRH’s top aide, Pat Broeker, and his wife, Annie Broeker, looked
after the daily care of LRH. Pat was the financial conduit between LRH and the
vast reserves of liquid cash mounting in the multiple corporations of
Scientology which LRH always had at his disposal. David Miscavige would be
called by Pat to bring hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars in cash in
briefcases to cover “basic expenses” for LRH and his small crew of four staff.
Often the prearranged meeting place was near Las Vegas. On many of these
occasions, Pat and Dave would go to a casino and gamble away thousands of
dollars of  LRH’s money, just hanging out having a good time together.

But as LRH felt his grasp on the Scientology empire weakening, he became
extremely suspicious of Dave and ordered me to give him a security check to see
if Dave was trying to prevent LRH from having his way with the church as he was
used to having. Basically, LRH was upset that he could not simply romp from one
fake corporation to another, wreaking havoc in his wake, as he had always done.
And he was being advised by attorneys whom Dave had hired that in order to
protect his money, he should disappear for a while. All of these circumstances
added up for LRH, and he was not at all sure he could trust DM. He was afraid DM
was trying to take over. Sure, he had practically raised Dave from a pup, but
still, who could be trusted in this business?

So I was ordered to sec check DM to determine his real motives for passing along
legal advice that he back off from his own church. When I walked into Dave”s
office he was crying like a child who had taken a crap in his pants and now
stank to high heaven. Dave swore up and down to me that he was only following
LRH”s own orders to get an “All Clear” — meaning to get LRH dismissed from all
the outstanding litigation — so that LRH could travel freely again, without
fear of subpoenas or worse.

LRH had been in hiding, not only from the public but also from 95 percent of all
his staff, for the last fifteen to twenty years anyway. Dave was extremely
indignant at being asked such incriminating questions, but because of the
questions I was asking him, he was fairly certain that LRH would soon assign him
to the RPF (the Rehabilitation Project Force, Scientology”s political prison).

In the security check Dave made sure he told me about the trips to the casinoes,
the heavy drinking and the women he and Pat had enjoyed together. Dave freely
confessed his sins and Pat Broeker”s sins as well. He said if he was going to go
down, he was going to make sure Pat Broeker went down as well. He was very
critical of Pat, saying he had a long history of alcohol abuse and recklessly
spending LRH’s money. Of course, the person who received the report of Dave”s
sec check was Pat Broeker. So it didn”t surprise me a bit when Dave and Pat
suddenly became best buddies again. I seriously doubt that anything but reports
full of glowing praise for Dave ever went to LRH. In retrospect I realize both
Pat Broeker and David Miscavige had an interest in keeping the status quo with
LRH, since both of them had dreams of one day being the new dictator of
Scientology once the current Ding Dong king was dead.

LRH went on spending his millions freely on property and “research” (all this
really meant was that he was buying more and more drugs for himself) and buying
exotic animals like buffalo, llamas, swans and  peacocks at the ranch at
Creston.

LRH seemed resigned to follow the legal advice of Dave”s lawyers and stayed away
from Scientology. However, he made it known that he was still very salty about
the whole deal and refused to make contact as he had done in the past.

About a year and a half later he became very ill.

I will continue this story very soon. It is not my intention to post a book on
this newsgroup all at one time. However, I will say this: What I am relating to
you here will never cost you a dime. It will always be free on the internet. I
am not a writer, nor am I trying to be. (And here is a good place to say thanks
to Stacy for being my editor — she”s making sure my posts to you are readable!)
If I could have anything I wanted in return for exposing the true nature of the
inner workings of Scientology, I would ask its current members and staff to run
away as fast as possible to recover their lives. That”s all I want.

Part of the agreement we all made when we became cult slaves was to turn our
backs on our friends and family, so I know that many people literally have no
place to go if they leave Scientology, particularly the Sea Org. But there are
people working to resolve this problem. This will change soon.

Respectfully Submitted,

Jesse Prince

Notes

Former RTC Inspector General Jesse Prince discusses the death of L. Ron Hubbard (September 5, 1998)

Former RTC Inspector General Jesse Prince
discusses the death of L. Ron Hubbard

Jesse Prince is one of the highest ranking former officers of the Church of Scientology to have to courage to come forward and tell his story. In this post, he discusses the tension between current CoS head David Miscavige and his then-rival to the throne, Pat Broeker, in the months preceding Hubbard’s death.

In the weeks since he first came forward with his story, Jesse Prince has been travelling around the country to meet with many CoS opponents, and, in some cases, filing affidavits on their behalf. For these actions, he has been targeted as ‘fair game’ for the CoS, which has put both him and his friends and supporters under extreme pressure from the Office of Special Affairs (OSA), the church’s investigation unit, also known as ‘Scientology’s Secret Service.’ He has nonetheless made several posts to alt.religion.scientology, including that from which this excerpt has been taken.

From a post by Jesse Prince (September 5, 1998):1

[ … ]

Now let”s go back in time to an afternoon in the late summer of 1984. I am sitting in one of many legal/litigation meetings at Author Services, Inc., or ASI. I am in RTC, a nonprofit religious corporation which ostensibly has absolutely nothing to do wth ASI, a for-profit corporation. But David Miscavige finds it convenient at the moment to be the Chairman of the Board of ASI, and, since David Miscavige runs Scientology (no matter where he places himself corporately), he can order all of us to meet wherever and whenever he wants us to.

The subject of this particular meeting concerns the LRH probate case in Riverside, California, and, as always, more corporate “sort-out.” Lawyers have advised that there is still too much evidence to prove that LRH is incompetent to manage his own affairs. This is crucial, since the case has been brought by LRH”s son Nibbs, who has claimed that LRH is incompetent to manage his own affairs and that his estate is being stolen by the Church of Scientology under David Miscavige’s leadership. Nibbs is hoping to take over LRH’s assets if he can prove that LRH is incompetent. So this is a very serious threat.

LRH has repeatedly said he wants different lawyers to represent him, and that he wants different legal advice on how to win this case against Nibbs. But DM has decided that the lawyers LRH already has (and who were chosen, of course, by DM) are the best possible legal counsel. LRH specifically doesn”t like the fact that these attorneys are advising him to back away from managing Scientology”s affairs. Part of the reason for this is that DM feels (and has told the attorneys) that LRH is losing his grip on reality.

In truth, DM was not the only one who knew that LRH was an old man past his prime, with no real “new ideas” or “brilliant revelations” for quite some time. All he could do was say the same thing, over and over: “There are more BTs! Many more than people realize!” Hubbard really was a bit senile at the end there – his brain pretty well fried by a wide range of drugs which he used for his “research” — and this scared the hell out of his top messengers and others near him.

For many years, LRH’s top aide, Pat Broeker, and his wife, Annie Broeker, looked after the daily care of LRH. Pat was the financial conduit between LRH and the vast reserves of liquid cash mounting in the multiple corporations of Scientology which LRH always had at his disposal. David Miscavige would be called by Pat to bring hundreds of thousands or millions of dollars in cash in briefcases to cover “basic expenses” for LRH and his small crew of four staff. Often the prearranged meeting place was near Las Vegas. On many of these occasions, Pat and Dave would go to a casino and gamble away thousands of dollars of LRH’s money, just hanging out having a good time together.

But as LRH felt his grasp on the Scientology empire weakening, he became extremely suspicious of Dave and ordered me to give him a security check to see if Dave was trying to prevent LRH from having his way with the church as he was used to having. Basically, LRH was upset that he could not simply romp from one fake corporation to another, wreaking havoc in his wake, as he had always done. And he was being advised by attorneys whom Dave had hired that in order to protect his money, he should disappear for a while. All of these circumstances added up for LRH, and he was not at all sure he could trust DM. He was afraid DM was trying to take over. Sure, he had practically raised Dave from a pup, but still, who could be trusted in this business?

So I was ordered to sec check DM to determine his real motives for passing along legal advice that he back off from his own church. When I walked into Dave”s office he was crying like a child who had taken a crap in his pants and now stank to high heaven. Dave swore up and down to me that he was only following LRH”s own orders to get an “All Clear” — meaning to get LRH dismissed from all the outstanding litigation — so that LRH could travel freely again, without fear of subpoenas or worse.

LRH had been in hiding, not only from the public but also from 95 percent of all his staff, for the last fifteen to twenty years anyway. Dave was extremely indignant at being asked such incriminating questions, but because of the questions I was asking him, he was fairly certain that LRH would soon assign him to the RPF (the Rehabilitation Project Force, Scientology”s political prison).

In the security check Dave made sure he told me about the trips to the casinoes, the heavy drinking and the women he and Pat had enjoyed together. Dave freely confessed his sins and Pat Broeker”s sins as well. He said if he was going to go down, he was going to make sure Pat Broeker went down as well. He was very critical of Pat, saying he had a long history of alcohol abuse and recklessly spending LRH’s money. Of course, the person who received the report of Dave”s sec check was Pat Broeker. So it didn”t surprise me a bit when Dave and Pat suddenly became best buddies again. I seriously doubt that anything but reports full of glowing praise for Dave ever went to LRH. In retrospect I realize both Pat Broeker and David Miscavige had an interest in keeping the status quo with LRH, since both of them had dreams of one day being the new dictator of Scientology once the current Ding Dong king was dead.

LRH went on spending his millions freely on property and “research” (all this really meant was that he was buying more and more drugs for himself) and buying exotic animals like buffalo, llamas, swans and peacocks at the ranch at Creston.

LRH seemed resigned to follow the legal advice of Dave”s lawyers and stayed away from Scientology. However, he made it known that he was still very salty about the whole deal and refused to make contact as he had done in the past.

About a year and a half later he became very ill.

– From a post by Jesse Prince (jesse.princeatgte.net)

Notes

Stacy Brooks Young: Scientology’s reign of terrorism is at an end (September 3, 1998)

Title: Scientology’s reign of terrorism is at an end
Author: stacy8@gte.net (Stacy Brooks Young)
Date: Thu, 03 Sep 1998 05:52:14 GMT

By now everyone should have seen the lengthy message Vaughn posted last night.
For various reasons he did not want to discuss what he has been doing until now,
and I realize this silence has created concern and allowed Scientology to hope
for the worst. But Vaughn is, more than  ever, doing what he does best in this
battle with Scientology. He and I are in daily contact, and I suggest that any
hope Scientology may have had that they could drive a wedge between Vaughn and
me is just as futile now as it ever was when we were inside the cult. It will
never happen.

Now it is time to bring everyone up to date on the relentless campaign of
intimidation and harassment to which both Bob Minton and I have been subjected
recently. It is a campaign which has increased dramatically since Jesse Prince
emailed Bob at FACTNet after hearing about the Dateline program and, shortly
thereafter, met with me in Columbus, Ohio. It will become clear as you read this
report that Scientology is terrified of what Jesse’s information is going to do.
So terrified, in fact, that they have literally made death threats against him.
But let me start earlier.

It began on July 7, while I was in Columbus, Ohio, for a meeting with Brian
Haney and Bob. That evening when I checked my email I found that the executive
director of FACTNet had forwarded a message to me that Jesse Prince had sent to
Bob Minton. In the email message Jesse suggested to Bob that he check with
Vaughn and me about who he was, since the three of us had worked together
extensively when we were in Scientology. He included a cell phone number in his
message. I called him immediately and left a message giving him my hotel phone
number.

I had known Jesse since 1976 in Scientology and was thrilled to see that he was
reaching out to re-establish contact. He had been third in command of
Scientology, under David Miscavige and Vicki Aznaran, from 1982 until he was
busted, along with Vicki and many others (including Vaughn), by DM in 1987.
Jesse had always been a kind-hearted person, even when he had every reason to
advance his own position by becoming one of DM’s vicious lieutenants. Jesse
never crossed that threshold. He always remained my friend and someone that I
and others could trust not to sell us out.

I also knew that Jesse would be David Miscavige’s worst nightmare if he decided
to come forward to expose what he knows about Scientology. He was not just in
the inner circle; Jesse was in the innermost inner sanctum, privy to all of the
illegalities, covert operations, destruction of enemies, and degradation of Sea
Org staff – all order by Miscavige. He was also a direct witness to the rift
between LRH, Pat Broeker and DM which began in 1981 and increased as LRH and
Broeker realized with growing alarm that DM was wresting control of Scientology
away from them. I was electrified at the possibility that Jesse and I might
re-connect. The ramifications for the battle being waged to reform Scientology
were staggering. I knew that if Jesse came forward with the information he had,
it would mean the end of DM’s reign of terror. I also knew that Jesse would be
in serious danger as soon as DM found that that he had contacted me. But Jesse
had always been fearless when I knew him. I hoped he would still be that way.

On Wednesday, July 8, Bob left Columbus in the morning and I spent several hours
finishing up some business with Brian. When I got back to my hotel at 3:30 I had
a message from Jesse Prince asking me to call him on his cell phone. When I
heard Jesse’s voice again, after not having seen or heard from him for nine
years, I literally cried with joy. I called him right away and he answered on
the first ring. He was sitting in a bar in downtown Boston with some friends
when I reached him. We were so happy to hear each other’s voices that we
practically shouted at each other, it was such an emotional moment for us. The
idea that we had both survived so much, and that our friendship had survived all
these years and was as strong as ever, was just too much for us. I was the first
friend Jesse had contacted since he had gone into hiding after he left
Scientology and they began coming after him.

Immediately, without even thinking about it, my support for Jesse was
unconditional. Whatever you need to recover, I told him, I’ll help you get it.
This is how I feel about Jesse and every other victim of the unspeakable abuse
and degradation to which DM subjects his subordinates. I experienced the
nightmare  myself. I know the horror he survived. Jesse is my friend. He is a
decent, kind-hearted, caring person. He’s no angel and never claimed to be, any
more than I am. But I will help him in any way I can. He knows it, and we trust
each other, and nothing Scientology can do will ever drive a wedge between us.

I arranged for Jesse to fly to Columbus that very night. He didn’t even have
time to go back to his hotel to get his suitcase. Brian and I met him at the
airport and when he walked down that ramp I can’t remember ever being happier to
see anyone than I was to see Jesse that night. We stayed up for hours just
catching up on each other’s experiences. He filled in the missing pieces for me
about the dismal failure of the 1987 attempted  coup, when Pat Broeker sent
Vicki Aznaran, Jesse Prince and Spike Bush on a mission to the secret base of
international Scientology management in Gilman Hot Springs to remove Miscavige
from post and take over command of Scientology. I won’t retell the whole story
here because Jesse can do that much better than I, but it answered many
questions that I had had. At the same time, I was able to fill in missing pieces
for Jesse, since I had been in the LRH biography unit in LA under Vaughn and
Broeker at the time, and had therefore been directly and catastrophically
affected by the upheaval caused by their failed coup.

Jesse and I spent all day Thursday together, just catching each other up and
re-establishing our friendship. Jesse told me how difficult it had been for him
to make the transition back to the real world after sixteen years in the bizaare
“through-the-looking-glass” world of the Sea Org. He told me that during the
first five years after he escaped, he felt he had hit rock bottom and it seemed
as if he had suffered just about all the loss possible for him. He said he had
felt as if he had nothing else to lose for a time. He had been forced to declare
bankruptcy in 1994 and start all over again. He said he found that he was so
unsocialized that he literally could not work with other people, because no
matter what he did, he just couldn’t fit in. He said he would experience a
physical revulsion to being around too many people, and sometimes he couldn’t
bear to be around even one other person. To his credit, Jesse started his own
company and was able to pull himself up by his bootstraps and begin the long
journey toward becoming a functioning member of society. By the time he and I
met, Jesse said he felt he was finally gaining some stability personally and
some success in his business. He was coming back to himself, he said, and coming
back to the world, and it was finally OK for him to be doing that.

Jesse told me that for several years after he left, he had avoided any contact
with Scientology or Scientologists to try to separate himself from the deep
deception and delusion that, as far as Jesse was concerned, happens to anyone
who practices and associates with Scientology for any length of time. But at the
end of June, he said, he was in Chicago visiting his family, and his cousin told
him she had seen a program on NBC’s Dateline about a guy named Bob Minton. She
told Jesse that Bob helped people get out of Scientology and exposed the abusive
and deceptive practices of the Scientology cult.

Two weeks later, for the first time ever, Jesse logged onto the Internet. He did
it via a computer at a cyber-cafe in Minneapolis, and he found
alt.religion.scientology. According to Jesse, he could hardly believe what he
was seeing! He had never seen so many people unafraid to stand up and tell the
truth about the misery that families and friends have suffered at the hands of
Scientology. He came across the FACTNet web page and saw something about Vaughn
and me, and that was how it all began. The more we talked, the more Jesse’s
conviction grew that it was time for him to stand up and tell his story and do
everything possible to end the abuse of Scientology. We talked about how
Scientology would go after him, how they would do everything they could to ruin
his life, discredit him, portray him as a criminal, a pervert and worse. He knew
he would be subjecting his own family to harassment and abuse if he took a
public stand against them. And he knew it was very possible he could be in
physical danger. But Jesse’s strength and courage increased before my very eyes.
By Thursday evening, Jesse was committed to exposing the evil of Scientology,
whatever the cost.

Although I didn’t know it until several days later, it was on July 9 that the
Boston Globe published its huge article about Bob’s battle with the Church of
Scientology. It was extremely favorable toward Bob, and extremely critical of
Scientology.

After an emotionally exhausting couple of days with Jesse, on Friday morning,
July 10, I flew to Boston to meet my family for a week-long vacation on Cape
Cod, while Jesse returned home to Minneapolis to prepare for his life to change
radically. We were in touch every day while I was in South Harwich, because as
soon as Jesse touched down in Minneapolis he discovered he was being followed,
and we realized that Scientology had had us under surveillance in Columbus.
Because of the information Jesse has, we had to assume he and I both would at
the very least be under continual surveillance once Scientology found out he had
hooked up with me.

I suggested it would be wise for Jesse to meet with attorney Dan Leipold in
Santa Ana, California, just south of Los Angeles. I thought Jesse should speak
to an attorney as soon as possible about the legal risks to which he was
exposing himself by taking on Scientology. Dan is one of the most experienced
attorneys I know in the strange world of Scientology litigation. He is also
representing Lawrence Wollersheim in the FACTNet litigation and I thought he
would probably be interested in what Jesse knew about possible fraud concerning
the copyrights in question in the FACTNet case. Jesse was extremely apprehensive
about flying to LA, since it was in that city that much of his nightmarish
Scientology experiences occurred. I offered to meet him in LA so that he would
not have to deal with the painful memories alone. He accepted my offer with
great relief and I arranged for both of us to fly into Los Angeles on Saturday
evening, July 18, after my family vacation was over. .

Little did either of us realize that painful memories would be the least of
Jesse’s difficulties during his stay in Los Angeles.

I arrived several hours before Jesse, on Saturday evening, July 18. A dear
friend of both Jesse’s and mine met me at the airport and treated me to a
leisurely dinner until it was time to meet Jesse’s plane. Jesse and our friend
had not seen each other since the late 1970s, so it was a dramatic reunion.
Moreover, they had much to reminisce about, since they were both on the infamous
1977-78 RPF in Los Angeles, when the RPF was forced to renovate the
newly-acquired Cedars of Lebanon Hospital, now known simply as “the Complex” and
best-known for the fact that the entire complex of buildings is painted light
blue. Thirty hours on, three off, that was the schedule during the horrific
sixteen months they spent together in the RPF. Our friend told Jesse the story
of how she escaped, a heartbreaking story Jesse had never heard before, and
Jesse told her what had happened to him after she left Scientology.

The reunion of the three of us was deeply moving. I imagine it to be very much
like the emotion that victims of any totalitarian, terrorist regime must
experience when they are reunited after so many years. For us as former Sea Org
members, our relief was in finding that the three of us had survived with our
sanity at least relatively in tact. We are three of the lucky ones. I have
encountered many former Sea Org members who have seemingly irreparable
psychological, emotional and physical damage, and it is heartbreaking to realize
that they may very well never fully recover. That night Jesse, our mutual friend
and I were poignantly aware of our good fortune.

The next day the harassment began.

Jesse and I took a short drive for some morning coffee at Starbuck’s and quickly
realized we were being followed. We decided to confirm our suspicion by taking a
circuitous route and, sure enough, we confirmed without a shadow of a doubt that
we had tail. There were two different cars on us, and wherever we went one or
the other was always behind us.

The next day we visited a former Scientologist in a suburb north of Los Angeles.
While we were there, a neighbor called to say there were two cars parked outside
of her house, and that a man had actually come to her door trying to get
information about Jesse and me. The neighbor described the cars  for us and gave
us the license plates. She also assured us that she had totally refused to
cooperate with Scientology’s hired thugss.

When Jesse and I left our friend’s house several hours later, sure enough, the
two cars the neighbor had described pulled out and began to follow us. It was
dark by then, and the truth is that neither Jesse nor I see very well at night.
So we got lost several times and ended up driving around in circles trying to
get home. Somehow our tail got in front of us, and we laughed as we pulled up
behind them at a stoplight. When the light turned green, our Scientology friends
sped off into the darkness, undoubtedly embarrassed at their clumsy attempt at
surveillance. By the way, Scientology has no idea how many quiet enemies it has.
The friend with whom Jesse and I were staying had another houseguest at the
time, a non-Scientologist. He jumped right into the fray, directing us to park
our car in a parking lot near our friend’s house, picking us up in his own car,
getting us to lie down on the back seat so the Scientology tails wouldn’t see
us, and safely delivering us home. All the while, private investigators were
circling the house as if we were carrion. And Jesse hadn’t said a word about
Scientology yet!

I had to leave Jesse in LA to go to Wellspring (that will be the subject of a
separate post coming very soon), but Vaughn flew down to be with him so he
wouldn’t be alone. The day after I left, Vaughn and Jesse were at Dan Leipold’s
officeworking on a declaration for the FACTNet case concerning Scientology’s
extensive copyright fraud. Suddenly Jesse heard someone shouting his name
through the window.

“Hey, Jesse! Come out here!” they were yelling. It was obvious that the two
people were OSA operatives, so, of course, Jesse didn’t go outside. One of the
operatives finally opened the door himself and threw a letter addressed to Jesse
inside the door. It was a letter threatening to sue Jesse if he said a word
about what he knew about Scientology. But, as Jesse told me on the phone that
night, it was too late to frighten him. The blanket of fear was being rolled
back, and the war was on.

Two days later Jesse was falsely detained by two private investigators at four
in the morning as he returned to his hotel. As he pulled into the parking lot,
they pulled up behind him so that he couldn’t move his car and handed him
another threatening letter. Jesse lost his temper at them, and one of the PI’s
responded by screaming at Jesse, “You black motherfucker! I’m going to blow your
damn head off!”

As Jesse said later, that PI obviously didn’t realize that as a veteran Sea Org
member, Jesse was quite used to racial slurs. Jesse just watched the guy spit
and stammer, and then he chased him to the highway in his red convertible
Mustang.

Meanwhile, I left Los Angeles and flew to Boston on Friday, July 24. I was
literally exhausted after the harassment Jesse and I had been subjected to in
L.A., and I badly needed a rest. Bob met me at the airport and told me that
someone pretending to be my “travel agent” had called the house in Boston the
night before and told Therese what flight I was coming in on. Although Therese
already knew about the relationship between Bob and me and knew that I was
flying to Boston, having an obvious Scientology operative call her and throw
this in her face had been extremely upsetting for her, particularly because she
was scheduled to leave for England Friday morning with the two girls. Bob told
me about this phone call on the way to his house in Sandown, New Hampshire,
where we planned to spend a quiet weekend before I went to Wellspring. But as
all of you know by now, it turned out to be anything but a quiet weekend in New
Hampshire.

On Saturday afternoon, July 25, Bob and I were swimming in the pool on his
property in New Hampshire. Bob was telling me about a phone call he had received
from high-level Scientology operative Mike Rinder. Bob was telling me that
Scientology had had Jesse and me under surveillance when we met for the first
time in Columbus, Ohio, on Wednesday, July 8, and that the reason he knew this
was that on Sunday, July 19, he had received a telephone call from Rinder.
During the phone call Rinder let Bob know that he was aware that Jesse Prince
had met with me in Ohio, and he demanded to know if Jesse Prince was on Bob’s
payroll, meaning was he now paying Jesse to do anti-Scientology work. Bob told
me he had replied that he was not, but because of that  phone call Bob had known
the harassment of both Jesse and me was going to increase, and that was exactly
what had happened in Los Angeles.

This was at about 5:00 p.m. on Saturday afternoon. I suddenly looked up the hill
toward the driveway and saw someone standing at the top of the hill near the
barn, looking down at us in the pool. When another person appeared and began to
shout my name along with outrageous obscenities, we both realized with alarm
that it was Scientologists on Bob’s property.

As Bob wrote in his report to the New Hampshire prosecutor, “At that point I
knew that the Scientologists were trespassing on my property and invading my
privacy for the express purpose of continuing their campaign of harassment and
intimidation against Stacy Young and myself. Having experienced this harassment
for the past year, I was fully aware that these people are fanatical in their
beliefs and that they had been indoctrinated into believing that both Stacy
Young and I were dangerous criminals. There is a policy in Scientology known as
“Fair Game,” which states that anyone who is a threat to Scientology can be
“lied to, tricked, sued, and destroyed” in any way necessary without the
perpetrator being punished in any way. I fully believed this to be the state of
mind of the Scientologists on my property and considered that both Stacy Young
and I were in physical danger as long as these people were trespassing on my
property.

As everyone knows, the final outcome of this incident was that no charges were
filed against Bob and the Scientologists were warned never to set foot on his
property again. But it was an extremely stressful weekend.

The next day, Sunday, July 26, Bob got a call from Therese in England saying
that a letter had been hand-delivered to her father’s house outside of London.
The letter was signed by Mike Rinder and was filled with terrible information
about a number of people that Bob has assisted, but the majority of the letter
was filled with scurrilous information about me, clearly calculated to upset
Therese as much as possible.

Later that day, Bob drove me down to Boston so I could take a flight to
Columbus, Ohio, and from there I drove south to Wellspring. As soon as I
arrived, I arranged for Jesse to fly to New Hampshire to stay with Bob to make
sure he was safe while I was in Ohio. Jesse flew to Boston on July 27 and was
there until August 8. As I had expected, Jesse and Bob became the best of
friends during the week he stayed there.

Later Jesse would tell me that he was amazed to meet Bob, and utterly surprised
to meet someone who has compassion for people who have had a bad experience that
he has not personally had. As Jesse pointed out, the common reaction of people
toward ex-cult members is that they are strange and somehow basically stupid ,
easily manipulated people. But the fact of the matter is that it’s just plain
bad luck when a person gets into a cult, and it could and does happen to almost
anyone. Bob understands that, and Jesse loves him for it.

As Jesse told me after his trip to New Hampshire, “Bob restored my faith and
belief in humanity. I don’t know how else to describe it beyond that. Bob has
the courage of a lion and the heart and mind of an angel. He is not afraid of
anything I’ve seen yet.”

From New Hampshire Jesse flew to Minneapolis to pack up his things and get ready
for his life to change radically. Vaughn flew to Minneapolis to meet Jesse so
that he would have someone with him while he prepared to move to Boulder. The
most difficult part about getting Vaughn to Minneapolis was that MacPherson, our
85-pound dog, had to go with him. Mac is the dog who was kidnapped last February
and beaten brutally while Vaughn was in Germany testifying against Scientology.
You’ll be glad to know that he has fully recovered from the beating. The only
vestige of it is that he is missing all of his bottom front teeth, but that
doesn’t bother Mac at all. He and Vaughn are inseparable, so, of course, he goes
everywhere Vaughn goes. He is a very large dog (and an excellent watchdog – if
anyone ever tried to hurt Vaughn they would probably lose an arm) so it took a
while to find a crate big enough to hold him, and then we had to find a flight
that would allow him on. But we solved all of these logistical problems and
Vaughn and Mac arrived safely in Minneapolis.

FACTNet purchased a car for Jesse’s use when he got to Minneapolis. Two days
later, one of Scientology’s hired thugs kicked in the passenger door of the car
(there is a picture of kicked-in door on alt.binaries.scientology).

Jesse took Vaughn on a fairly wild journey to Chicago, where he got a chance to
meet Jesse’s Blues/Rock Star brother Ron. In vintage Jesse style, the two of
them ran all around the North and South sides of Chicago, visting old friends
and having a good time meeting new people.

They left Chicago and went to visit Jesse’s daughter and his grandchildren in a
small town in southern Illinois, then headed for Memphis, Tennesse, where
Jesse’s father and sister live. As it happened, Vaughn checked into a hotel
right across the street from Graceland, and it happened to be Elvis week. So
Vaughn enjoyed the Elvis celebration while Jesse had a great time with his
father and sister, whose birthday happened to be just when they were there. The
best part of the trip for Jesse, though, was that he met his great-nephew
Malachi, who is two years old and, according to Jesse, is a “joy to behold.”

While Jesse and Vaughn were ennroute to Denver, I was finishing my stay at
Wellspring. What an incredible place!

Because of several extremely harassive visits from Scientology private
investigator Eugene Ingram a few years back, Wellspring has a gate at the
beginning of their driveway which they kept locked most of the time while I was
there to protect me from being harassed. So my two-week stay was wonderfully
free of Scientologists or private investigators — until Bob Minton arrived
toward the end of my stay. He came to Wellspring so that he and I could speak to
one of the counselors there together. As he drove up to the Wellspring gate he
was met with several scruffy looking individuals who soon made it clear that
they were Scientologists, there to take photographs of Bob and me.

We took down their license plate numbers and reported them to the local sheriff,
who was already familiar with their tactics because of the trouble Wellspring
had had with Scientology earlier. The sheriff was very supportive and told us to
let him know immediately if we had any further instances of being followed or
harassed in any way. We assumed the Scientologists found out that the sheriff
was on the look-out for them, because we didn’t see them again for the duration
of our stay.

When we left Wellspring Bob and I stopped briefly in Washington, D.C., to have
dinner with a high-level media contact, and then on Sunday, August 9, I returned
to Vashon Island and he flew back to Boston.

Vaughn and Jesse made it to Denver in time for Jesse to be deposed in the
FACTNet case in a grueling three-day confrontation with Scientology attorney
Samuel Rosen. I met Jesse in Denver on Tuesday, August 18, so that I could
attend the deposition as a FACTNet director. Also attending were Ford Greene,
representing Jesse, Dan Leipold, representing Lawrence Wollersheim, Lawrence
himself (who is also named in the suit as an individual), and, sitting on
Rosen’s side of the table for Scientology, Mike Rinder and RTC staff member
Allan Cartwright. Jesse was senior to both of these Scientology operatives when
he was in RTC, so it was fascinating to observe these two as they reacted to
Jesse’s testimony. I won’t go into details here about the deposition, because it
will be the subject of another post once Scientology’s protective order is
lifted. I will say, however, that I have never seen anyone treated with more
contempt, discourtesy and blatant racism than Jesse was by Sam Rosen in that
deposition. It was staggering. To Jesse’s credit, he maintained his composure
throughout the deposition and never once rose to Rosen’s bait. Jesse is truly
and profoundly a gentleman.

One night while we were all in Denver, Scientology sent a call girl in on Jesse
to try to entrap him. The woman stole a  $100 bill that Jesse put on the table
to pay for the drink he had bought her in the bar of the hotel where we were
staying. Jesse was so irritated that she had stolen his money!

“Now, I know this girl was being well paid,” Jesse laughingly complained to me
later. “Why did she have to rob poor me?”

Oddly, Scientology also hired a gay man to try to entrap Jesse. Anyone who knows
Jesse Prince at all can tell you that he has never had any interest and probably
never will have any interest in anything but women. As Jesse put it, “With all
the pc folder information they have about me and use against me, I have no idea
why they thought I might go for a gay guy.”

Needless to say, Jesse didn’t fall for either of Scientology’s attempts to
entrap him.

After the deposition Jesse remained in Boulder to begin a thorough debriefing
with Lawrence Wollersheim, and I returned to Vashon Island. (This debriefing
will be the subject of a series of stunning posts in the near future.)

Neither Ford Greene, Dan Leipold, Jesse nor I had been aware of any surveillance
while the deposition was ongoing. But as soon as Ford, Dan and I left and Jesse
was alone in Boulder, the PIs descended upon him in force. Jesse told me that
one day the PIs were following him in such a harassive way that he was forced to
call the police four times. The police ordered a female PI to leave Jesse alone
and watched to make sure she didn’t follow Jesse as he drove away. But when he
arrived at the house where he was staying, the very same female PI was waiting
for him, laughing, in front of the house.

During this same period of time, on Monday, August 24, Scientologists picketed
the financial district in Boston and for several hours distributed fliers
concerning the relationship between Bob Minton and me. It was the distribution
of these fliers that prompted Bob to post his now-famous message on a.r.s. in
which he announced that he and I are getting married. What immediately preceeded
this post was a private email from one of the regulars on a.r.s. attacking Bob
really harshly for “not living up to proper moral standards.” He was extremely
upset by the distribution of the fliers, and the private message just hit him
the wrong way. He tried to reach me before he posted his announcement but I was
in Seattle and unreachable. When he finally reached me in the early evening, he
was extremely upset about what had happened that day and told me the stress of
Scientology’s harassment had nearly broken him. He read me what he had posted
about our relationship. I suppose it was because of the stress of having
Scientology turn our personal lives into a fishbowl that we decided that night
that we would no longer hide our relationship in any way.

The next morning Bob flew into Seattle. I was there to meet him, and as we got
off the escalator from the gate, we nearly ran into four picketers holding signs
about Bob Minton and me. This was the first of a series of pickets which have
happened everywhere we have flown in the past two weeks. Somehow the
Scientologists know when both of us are flying, what airlines we are taking, our
flight number and the gate where we will arrive in the airport. They have met
every plane either of us has taken since Bob’s post on August 23.

They have picketed not only our flghts. Bob was in Seattle from Tuesday, August
24, until Thursday, August 26, when we both flew to San Francisco. While he was
in Seattle the Scientologists picketed the hotel where we were staying in
downtown Seattle and my cat sanctuary on Vashon Island. The hotel security ran
them off at the hotel, and Vashon’s local sheriff ordered them off the island
when he discovered them on Vashon.

On Wednesday, August 25, my assistant at the sanctuary reported to me that she
had received two telephone death threats. The calls seemed to come from two
different people, and both callers assumed that it was I who answered the phone.
The callers said roughly the following:

“Listen, you fucking cunt, you better get that black bastard in the witness
protection program because we’re going to fucking kill him. Do you understand,
you fucking whore?”

Forgive my language, but I want you to have the full impact of these calls. My
assistant was terrified, and Bob and I were both extremely alarmed at this
dramatic shift in Scientology’s approach. I called Jesse and Lawrence
immediately to let them both know Scientology was now threatening to kill Jesse.
Soon afterwards I received two telephone calls from the FBI wanting full details
of the telephone death threats. I spoke to the FBI agents at great length,
briefing them on the full implications of Jesse’s knowledge of Scientology’s
crimes and assuring them that the Scientology leadership is perfectly capable of
murdering Jesse to keep his knowledge from ever surfacing. To my knowledge, the
FBI has had Jesse under surveillance protection ever since and is keeping
detailed records of all the Scientology tails they are able to ascertain.

Bob and I flew to San Francisco on Friday, August 28, to meet with Ford Greene
and several other people. Our departure was not without incident, as a lone
picketer said goodbye to us as we boarded the plane at the Seattle airport. When
we arrived at the San Francisco airport we were confronted with several
picketers with signs about Bob and me. They were extremely rude and continued to
harass us until we reached the baggage claim area of the airport.

The next day Bob and I, along with Grady Ward, Keith Henson, and several others,
picketed the San Franicisco org. Several Scientologists came out and distributed
leaflets about Bob Minton and me to anyone who received a flier about Lisa
McPherson from Grady Ward or a flier about Xenu from Kristi. Kristi, I might
add, is better at working a crowd than anyone I’ve seen at any trade show.
Otherwise, it was a peaceful demonstration that concluded without further
incident.

The next morning Therese Minton called Bob to let him know that Scientologists
had picketed their homes in Boston and New Hampshire, in both locations passing
out fliers about Bob and me. She was angry at the despicable tactics of the
Scientologists and concerned that these fliers were being passed out where
friends of the Minton children might recieve them. Therese had gone out and
photographed the picketers. She was not in the least bit intimidated by them.
She was merely furious at them for their hypocrisy in feigning concern for the
children while doing everything possible to hurt them.

This incident upset Bob a great deal, and after a meeting with Grady, we were
ready for a long walk in downtown San Francisco just to try to relax. We set out
from our hotel toward Fisherman’s Wharf. When we had walked several blocks Bob
decided we should turn back and get a map from the Fairmont Hotel. We were
nearly to the front door of the Fairmont when we suddenly realized that one of
the Scientology operatives we had seen at the org the day before was standing
with his back to us in front of the Fairmont, holding a walkie-talkie to his
mouth, and saying, “They’re heading back toward their hotel now; they’re in
front of the Fairmont.”

We were flabbergasted that we were being stalked like this by Scientology. Bob
was in no mood to be cordial to this Scientology goon. He walked over to him and
demanded to know why he was following us. The Scientologist sneered at Bob and
said, “I’m a citizen of San Francisco. I have as much right to be here as you
do.”

At that, Bob called the San Franicisco police and reported that we were being
stalked, that we had been met at our gate at the San Francisco airport by
Scientologists, that they were stalking us all across the country, meeting us
wherever we fly, and now here they were stalking us through the streets of San
Francisco. We followed this man for many blocks, deep into the heart of
Chinatown, keeping tabs on him until the police could arrive. Every few feet the
Scientologist (we later found out his name was Mark Warlick) stopped and
pretended to be videoing scenes from Chinatown as if he were a tourist. Later
one of the police officers suggested that he was probably erasing the footage he
had taken of Bob and me in case they confiscated his camera. When the police
arrived the officer did take the video camera, although he later returned it.

This Scientologist, Mark Warlick, admitted to the police that he was one of the
people who met us at our gate two days before, so it was obvious to the police
that the Scientologists were harassing us. But when the police sergeant finally
arrived and interviewed both the Scientologist and Bob and me, he came to the
conclusion, albeit reluctantly, that Mark Warlick had not technically broken any
law.

“Listen,” he said to us, “you two are celebrities, and there is just no way to
control what people are going to do when you arrive in town. It’s the same
problem politicians have. People picket them, they follow them, they yell at
them, and what can the police do? Unless these people actually break the law, we
can’t arrest them.”

This was unnerving to hear from a law enforcement officer. Bob and I looked at
each other in dismay as we realized that what this policeman had just told us
was that Scientology would be able to continue to harass us and there was
nothing the law of the United States could do to stop them.

The sergeant did warn Mark Warlick that he had come dangerously close to
breaking the stalking law, and he did tell him to let all the other Scientology
operatives know that if they crossed the line and broke the law they would be
arrested. The sneer on Mark Warlick’s face that he had had when we first saw him
in front of the Fairmont Hotel was definitely gone by the time the police let
him go. But the incident had had a profound effect on Bob and me.

We returned to our hotel room and talked about what had happened. What we
realized was that the only way we can deal with the harassment from Scientology
is to refuse to be intimidated by them in any way.

We went out and purchased a large portfolio case that holds up to ten picket
signs and sticks. When we left San Francisco for Boulder, Colorado, to visit
Jesse and to have a board meeting with Lawrence Wollersheim, we carried our
portfolio case on board the airplane with us. When we landed in Denver, I got
out my digital camera, and Bob carried the portfolio case with him as we walked
out to the gate.

I saw Jesse with several picketers as I rounded the corner to the gate and I
immediately started shooting pictures. Bob pulled out picket signs, handed one
to Jesse and held up one himself, and we immediately turned the tables on these
Scientology picketers. Bob and Jesse were following the picketers and I was
taking photographs of the entire incidents. Bob was announcing to everyone in
the airport that these were Scientologists who were stalking us, following us
everywhere we go and trying to frighten us into silence so we won’t expose the
true nature of their so-called “church.”

We got on the shuttle to baggage claim and noticed that the Scientology
picketers purposely did not get on the shuttle. So when our shuttle arrived, we
waited for the next one. When the picketers got off, we began shooting their
photos again and following them with our own picket signs, again announcing
loudly who they were and why they were there. By the time we were finished with
them, these four picketers had their signs between their legs and they were
running out of the airport.

The next night Jesse, Lawrence, Bob and I had dinner at the Boulderado Hotel. At
a certain point we recognized someone from the ARSCC Boulder Underground
standing outside the restaurant. Bob went out to say hello and when he came
back, he reported that there were approximately seven to ten Scientology PIs
surrounding the hotel, but that the ARSCC Boulder Underground had successfully
scrambled the radio signals of the PIs and disrupted their surveillance so
effectively that most of them had given up and left.

Today I flew home to Seattle and Bob and Jesse flew to Boston. When I arrived on
Vashon Island I was met with picketers right up the street from the sanctuary,
undoubtedly because the sheriff warned them if they trespassed on private
property again he would arrest them.

When Jesse and Bob got off their plane in Boston they were met by seven
picketers, including the DSA Maureen O’Keefe, OSA operative Gerard Renna, Frank
Hall, and several others who have picketed in Boston before.

Immediately Bob pulled picket signs out of his portfolio case and both of them
held picket signs up while Bob also took photos with his digital camera, so he
could download them right away to post on alt.binries.scientology.

Maureen came at Bob with, as he put it, “a stomach that stuck out three feet
from her face,” and holding the taunting a.r.s. post that Bob had sent from the
airplane announcing that he and Jesse were arriving in Boston and providing OSA
with their flight number. Gerard Renna was also trying to get in Bob’s face,
although he is so short that he wasn’t able to reach.

Both Jesse and Bob pointed out to Renna on several occasions that he was in
serious need of mouthwash, as they were having a very difficult time every time
he got close to them.

The Scientologists were extremely hostile all along, but they were unable to
stop the verbal tech of the tag-team duo, Bob and Jesse. Finally in the baggage
claim area the encounter became so boisterous that the Massachusetts state
troopers had to come in to restore order. When they found out that Jesse and Bob
were passengers who had arrived on a flight from Denver, had been stalked
through the terminal, and were trying to pick up their bags, they told the
Scientologists that had they known they were demonstating at the gate or
anywhere in the airport, for that matter, they would have arrested them, as FAA
regulations prohibit such activities.

The Scientologists were removed to a neutral location, where they couldn’t
bother Bob and Jesse while they left the airport.

Bob called Therese from the car and told her what had happened at the airport,
but Therese said she wasn’t afraid of “those fools” and told them to go ahead
and go to the house. But four Scientologist followed Bob and Jesse to a house
they knew Bob no longer lives in, specifically for the purpose of upsetting
Therese and the children. Jesse went outside of the Beacon Hill house and spoke
to the four Scientologists. DSA Maureen O’Keefe told the other three to stay
away from Jesse, but Gerard Renna and the other two Scientologists gathered
round him and listened, spellbound, as he told them the real story of life in
the inner circle of Scientology leadership.

This conversation with Jesse continued until two Boston police cars arrived and
ordered the Scientologists to leave.

From now on, we will document every instance of harassment or attempted
intimidation by Scientology. Soon we’ll have a web page set up that will get
daily updates of harassment from all over the country, complete with photographs
and video footage where appropriate.

The reign of terrrorism by these bullies is at an end.

Notes

Robert Vaughn Young: RVY Update by RVY (September 2, 1998)

Title: repost: RVY Update by RVY (Robert Vaughn Young)
Author: writer@eskimo.com (Robert Vaughn Young)
Date: 2 Sep 1998 20:53:21 GMT

INTRODUCTION: The length of this post is relevant to its subject. It does
include some Scientologese. If you find a word you don’t understand, call
your local Dianetics or Scientology organization and ask them to define
it. They like people to do this. Be sure to tell them you are reading
alt.religion.scientology.

Hi, guys. Long time no write, which is what this post is really about.

I’ve been posting to ARS for a few years now and then I disappeared,
although I was occasionally in touch with several of you via email. I
want to tell you what’s been going on. Plus it will give the criminal cult
something to whine, bitch, carp, natter, scream, cry, rant about which
might get someone’s stats up there so they can get a day off to do their
laundry. (Boy, do I remember that routine!)

For those who don’t know me, I was in the cult for nearly 21 years. (I
know that Martin Hunt has archived some of my posts at
<http://www.islandnet.com/~martinh/rvy/rvy.htm>.) Because I spoke out,
they had to have spent hundreds of thousands of dollars in the last five
years trying to silence me and probably even think they finally did it.
Right. Read on.

If you can manage about 7,000 words, this post will tell you more than the
cult wants you to know.

TRAVELS WITH JESSE

You’ve heard about Jesse Prince. Well, I was with him having a great time
in Southern California back in July, when he was at Dan Leipold’s law
offices. Of course, we were being followed by the Church of Paranoia’s
criminal Dept. 20 and typical of their ineptness, we slipped in behind
them and followed them for awhile. It was hilarious they way they
panicked, zipping and dashing about through traffic while we kept on their
tails, sometimes bumper-to-bumper, reading license plates and laughing our
heads off in this darling red Mustang convertible, with the top down.
(Hey, do it in style!) If this was a paid PI, Rinder should ask for a
refund as they were a pathetic joke. Anyway, we did it for a while and
then tired and left them, wondering if they would tell the truth in their
report how they screwed it up. Again.

Later I went back to Minneapolis, where Jesse lived. We spent a few days
there while he wrapped up things and then we toodled on over to Chicago to
visit relatives and hung out in the Windy City for a few days, checking
out everything from the music clubs to Lake Michigan. I had my dog Mac
with me and we romped on the sands and down in the water, having a great
time. (Meanwhile someone told me the OSA sock puppets on ARS were saying
how I’ve disappeared. Yup. With Jesse in a red Mustang convertible. LOL!)

From there we went south to visit more relatives, caring less if the
paranoid criminal cult was tracking us. Let em spend Travolta’s money to
get nuttin’. After a few days here and there, we turned west and ambled
across Kansas  (spare me from EVER driving across Kansas again) and into
Colorado.

HELP! RVY IS MISSING!

So while the OSA sock puppets were claiming I was missing, they were lying
to you. (I’m shocked!) They knew I was with Jesse. (In fact, we enjoyed it
that they knew. It’s called “critical mass.”) They just hated it that two
very good friends were having such a good time!

I should have mentioned that earlier. Jesse and I go back many years, into
the cult. He and I are old buddies and it was great spending many weeks
with him. He is as outrageous as ever. Runt leader David Miscavige was
always afraid of him and as evidenced by the tantrums of his sock puppets,
he’s still afraid. (By the way, if you ever want to see a good portrayal
of the runt-punk, watch Al Pachino’s character in the movie “Scarface,”
who can’t complete a sentence without three forms of the word “fuck.” But
perhaps the best example of life with DM is truly Kevin Spacey’s abusive
character in the movie “Swimming With Sharks,” which takes place in
Hollywood. Small world. But then so is DM.)

ON BEING A WRITER

As to what I else I have been doing and will be doing, I am doing some
intense writing and in such an effort – for those of you who haven’t had
the experience – it requires considerable time and solitude. And in my
case, more than usual, as you will find out.

It was no accident that I chose the handle “writer” when I set up my
Eskimo.com account years ago. I’ve been writing all of my life. It is
not only a love of the Muse but it can be a curse, as many a writer will
tell you. Mine was both.

I did a lot of writing in the cult, but there is little there of any
pride. Since then, I won some awards but nothing else captivated me until
now. So sit back and let me tell you how it happened. I think some of you
will find some of this interesting.

THE HUBBARD ARCHIVES

Let’s start in late 1981, when I happened to acquire the archives that
contained Hubbard’s private papers. (These were the ones that Gerry
Armstrong started.) The truly essential material came down to perhaps 15
linear feet of paper. Over the months, with nothing else to do, I had a
chance to read private letters, papers and manuscripts (including the
three, yes, three, versions of the infamous Excalibur, which has to be the
most overblown piece of hype he EVER produced and, no, it has NOTHING to
do with OT3), which also gave me the full uncensored view of this man. I
read everything from love letters to (and from and about) his mistresses,
his girlfriends (such as Fern, who gave him the clap, forcing him to
secretly take sulfa), his private pornographic ramblings (he liked to draw
penises and vaginas around the margins in red ink, which gave the page a
grisly look), his black magic material, his letters to family, wives (in
the early 1950s, while having mistress Barbara on the side and at the same
time preaching about the dangers of illicit relationships), editors and
even to himself, as journals.

There was one problem with what I read. It didn’t match what we
(collectively then, meaning the organization) were saying about Hubbard
and what Hubbard, based on what he had say to say. When I tried to gently
point this out, the Shinola hit the fan. It didn’t matter that it was in
Hubbard’s own hand. It didn’t match the story he put out so – straight out
of “1984” – it didn’t exist. (These documents were later confiscated and
sealed away to make sure no staff see them but enough of us did –
including a few still on staff (hi, guys!) – so it can be verified
someday, if it comes to that. But that is another story.)

WRITING FOR HUBBARD

In the years that followed, Hubbard and I had a fascinating relationship
because I was intrigued with him as a writer and I found I could easily
mimick his style, which came in handy later.

But in 1982, drawing from the archival material, I proposed the idea of
the “Ron” magazines. Hubbard loved the idea and we cranked out the first
issue which is a serious collector’s item. (Because Stacy and I produced
it, it no longer officially exists. It is an Orwellian non-mag.)

BIOGRAPHIES AND GHOSTS

At one point I was tagged to be his biographer but the biography went the
way of all the other attempts, ranging from Omar Garrison to Fletcher
Prouty. (Meanwhile I was identified as such, from the San Luis Obispo
paper to the Washington Post in Scientology-produced stories that it is
difficult for the cult to rewrite.)

I also ghosted for Hubbard, meaning I wrote material for which he was
credited, which was not uncommon. I wrote everything from these short
little greetings that were sent to events (staff and public always thought
that Hubbard was writing to them, which always showed us how gullible they
were) to policy letters (I wrote the current disconnection policy with
some help at the end of it by Ray Mitoff, who ghosted a lot of the
technical material and issued it under Hubbard’s name) to ghosting
sections of his “Mission Earth” series, while I was editing it. (And boy,
is THAT another story! Whew!)

HUBBARD’S DEATH

When Hubbard died, everything changed. (duh) I went to the death site (his
ranch at Creston, near San Luis Obispo CA) that night along with David
Miscavige and some attorneys. Since none of us – including Miscavige – had
ever been there, we were met at a restaurant by Pat Broeker who took us to
the ranch. We arrived at perhaps 4 a.m. (Hubbard was found dead at about 8
p.m. I was told at 10. We left LA at perhaps 1 a.m. I wasn’t always
watching the clock, given the circumstances.)

What’s amusing in the cult’s attempt to DA me is their saying that I went
to the ranch along with some gardeners and cooks. Right. Gardeners and
cooks were the first to be rushed up that night, before the authorities
were called or the body taken away. ROFL! Don’t you just love these guys!

Creston was where the story was put together that he had moved on to the
next level of research, or however it was worded, when it was announced at
the Palladium and to the world. The event was so carefully constructed
that no one noticed that something essential was missing, but Ill get to
that in a moment. But during the event, I stayed at the ranch to deal with
any media who might show up or call. None did and less than 48 hours
later, the Challenger space shuttle blew up, bumping news of his death and
any serious questions from the media. I was monitoring the TV news via a
satellite dish and watched it happen and reported it. While the rest of
the world was in shock, DM was happy because we had been bumped from the
news. But that is how one comes to view the world at that echelon.

THE NEWBERRY RANCH

I later moved to another ranch Hubbard owned, at Newberry Springs, east
of Barstow CA and stayed there for a couple of months. Hubbard never
visited it (it was merely a fallback location for him) and I never did see
that anyone learned about this one, even the media. I guess they were all
hung up on the Creston property, near San Luis Obispo, where he died.

The most lasting benefit of my stay at Newberry was that that was where I
stopped smoking. One day DM, Mitoff, Pat Broeker, Mike Eldridge and I were
sitting around and we all agreed to stop smoking, although Broeker was the
only non-smoker. Mitoff had a horrible time of it. He ended up on Skoal
Bandits, spitting disgustingly into a bucket while driving back and forth
to LA, and also addicting me to the little cusses. In the end, I was the
only one who stopped, making me wish we had put some money in a pool.

In the months I spent between the Creston and Newberry ranches, Pat and I
became good friends. He had been Hubbard’s closest and most trusted aide
and confident for those final years. With what I already  knew about
Hubbard, Pat and I had the greatest talks. Sometimes Pat and I were the
only ones at the ranch, so we eould chat while moving horses or going to
town to shop. I began to learn about the life Hubbard had lead while in
hiding for those last years, moving between towns in the Bluebird bus and
finally settling down in Creston. (BTIAS)

THE STRUGGLE STARTS – WHO WILL REPLACE HUBBARD?

Meanwhile, a power struggle was brewing to see who would take control of
Scientology and Newberry was the place where many of the discussions
occurred while DM stayed either in LA or in Hemet. (Jesse will have
something to say about that someday because he was seriously involved in
the ensuing explosion.) It would result in a number of people fleeing
(such as Jesse) or going to the RPF (such as me).

A key element in the power struggle was Hubbard’s last message to the
rank-and-file. Those who were in the cult back in 1986-87 will remember
this incident. It was a message from Hubbard that was issued as a Sea Org
directive. It said goodbye, wishing them well and establishing a new
rank/position called Loyal Officer or LO. (The term is taken from OT3.)
Pat was to be the  LO1 and his wife Annie was to be LO2 and it basically
turned the management of the Sea Org over to them. And since the SO ran
Scientology, that meant they were at the top of the heap. DM was not
mentioned in the directive. It was later was issued to all staff –
with DM’s approval and authority – reduced in size and put in a small
fram with a photo of Hubbard for the desk of every staff member.

In the meantime, Pat began to slowly take control. I would often get phone
calls from him. He would never identify himself on the phone, going back
to his years of tight security, but merely would say, “Hi, it’s me.”

I won’t try to give the details of the ensuing power struggle because I
was in LA and it was happened at Creston, Newberry and Hemet. (I leave it
to Jesse, who was there.) But the outcome was that Miscavige won. And
typical of any political coup, there was a sudden purge as he consolidated
his power. Anyone DM thought might be a friend of Broeker’s who would pose
a threat were sent to Scientology’s equivalent of Lubayanka Prison or
Siberia: the RPF, so I went. For 16 months and three escape attempts.

Now here is where it gets interesting, folks.

MISCAVIGE CANCELS HUBBARD’S MESSAGE

While I was on the RPF, a directive came out from Miscavige saying the
supposed final message from Hubbard that named Broeker was a forgery by
Broeker and it was being canceled. That same day, Annie Broeker appeared
on the RPF. This was not the Annie I had come to know. What stumbled into
the RPF was a completely broken person. She was pale and hollow and her
eyes were empty. There was no mistaking it. She had been broken and only
now was she being thrown away into the trash heap called the RPF. Even
then, she was kept under guard, just to be sure.

TWO IMPORTANT OMITTEDS

With the cancellation of the message from Hubbard, there were now two
vital things missing that were 100% Hubbard and 100% standard tech and
yet no one seemed to notice or, if they did, no one dared to remark on it.
But then, as Hubbard correctly pointed out, the hardest thing to notice is
the thing that is omitted.

What was now missing was (1) something from Hubbard to all Scientologists
saying goodbye and what he was doing and (2) something that passed his
hat, which is one of the most basic tenets in the organization. They had
been missing at the event announcing his death but with the cancellation
by Miscavige, they were missing more than ever.

WHERE WAS HUBBARD’S MESSAGE?

One does not require much knowledge about L. Ron Hubbard to know that it
would be completely unlike him to simply leave – especially if the story
about his going off to do more research were true – and not leave a
message. So if he HAD left as Scientologists were told, where was the
message if the other was a forgery?

But perhaps more importantly, where was the hat turnover? I don’t mean the
volumes of policies and bulletins. I mean something that says, I hereby
appoint Joe Blow to take over as… Would Hubbard leave the planet and not
pass on the command? Hardly.

Or let’s put it in one of the most basic tenets from Hubbard: if it isn’t
written, it isn’t true.

(Note: Hubbard’s will was hardly a Scientology hat turnover and has not
been issued to the rank and file as policy.)

So the question became (to those of us who wondered), if the LO directive
was a forgery, where was the real one? Where were Hubbard’s wishes IN
WRITING?

MISCAVIGE HAD NOTHING FROM HUBBARD

Of course, DM never provided anything and no one was willing to ask and
risk being sent to the RPF with the rest of us. He said it was a forgery
and that was that. End of discussion.

For the rest of my stay in the cult, Pat Broeker was never mentioned
because, in the cult, you learn what to not talk about. Pat became what in
Orwell’s “1984” is a non-person. He had been written out of history, with
anyone who cared (such as me) being sent to the RPF or interrogated
(security checked) until they got the point, which meant (per the head on
a pike policy) that everyone else got the message.

So without a shred of WRITTEN evidence from Hubbard and by canceling what
even DM had first agreed was from Hubbard, Miscavige was now in control
while Broeker had disappeared.

Can you say, “coup”?

But hold on! It gets better.

READING THE MATERIAL ANEW

After Stacy and I fled the cult in 1989, I put it all behind me. I simply
wanted my life back and the last thing I needed was to think about the
cult. They had taken enough of my life without my adding more. But after a
couple of years of drying out, Stacy and I were invited to help with some
legal cases and this gave us a chance to handle the material that once
handled us. We could now read Hubbard and TALK about the material, which
is completely forbidden in the cult. It was like back-flushing a radiator
and watching what comes out.

I came across a copy of Miscavige’s cancellation of Hubbards final message
and I began to kick it around with Stacy. As we talked, I started to
comment on the various little oddities, starting with the cancellation
itself. I began to remember a few others that I had packed away at the
time. We were having a conversation that Sea Org staff could no more do
than a loyal Communists might question the a change of power in the
Kremlin, and for the same reasons.

AN “ACCEPTABLE TRUTH” IS FED SCIENTOLOGISTS

In the weeks and months that followed, I couldn’t shake the events
surrounding Hubbard’s death and DM’s takeover. Little oddities took on
forms like pieces of a jig saw puzzle. I felt like an amnesiac trying to
recover his memory yet what was there to recover? I was there at the
ranch. I was there when Hubbard’s body was taken out. I was there when the
execs were called up the ranch and told to get an event together, but not
being told why. I was there when the attorneys reported his death and then
scurried to get the body through the coroner. Etc, etc, etc. So what was
the problem? Yeah, the next higher level of research story was the sort of
pap we used to feed the rank-and-file all the time but it wasn’t as if we
LIED to them. (Sort of the way Clinton said he didn’t LEGALLY lie.) We
didn’t LEGALLY lie, did we?

Per Hubbard’s policy, they were given an “acceptable truth” because of
“the greatest good for the greatest number of dynamics.” What that means
in plain speak was that there would be panic and disaffection in the ranks
if it was thought that Hubbard – the OT of all OTs, of course – was not at
cause over life and death. If the tech couldn’t help him, how could it
help others? That was the myth that had to be protected at all costs and
that was what the story did when his death was announced. It fed the myth
that everyone so wanted to believe. (And it kept the money coming in.)

WORKING WITH PUZZLE PIECES

While in the cult, I had done a lot of investigative reporting and some of
the best I did was working on some of the CIA’s mind control documents
created under the code name MK ULTRA. When the CIA released them, much was
blanked out and working with a team of people hand-selected by Stacy, we
went through documents that the media had skipped past because they were
so fragmentary and so heavily deleted. In one file, for example, there
were receipts for the installation of mufflers on a 1953 Mercury, a tiny
battery-powered motor, elevator tickets to the Empire State Building, nose
plugs, a receipt for someone to attend a Microscropy convention, etc.

Bit by bit, we struggled to give them meaning until one piece cracked
another, like breaking a code. We came up with the experiment and got
national news on Operation Big City where bacillus were released (through
the mufflers) to test for bacterial warfare. (The elevator tickets were so
agents could go up and measure the amount of released bacteria.) It is a
story the cult still likes to cite, along with several others I did for
them, under my byline in the Freedom rag. Since then, per Orwell, my name
has been deleted, of course.

Pouring over those heavily deleted CIA documents was how I felt like while
I chewed on the oddities around Hubbard’s death, such as nothing in
writing from him, Broeker missing, the fact that Denk (Hubbard’s physician
at the time of death) had also disappeared, Annie’s appearance and little
things that I had seen and learned at the ranch.

THE BLUE FLASH

And then it hit me. It was what Hubbard calls a blue flash, the sudden
insight.

Hubbard didn’t die.

He was killed.

I fell back in my chair, completely stunned. In all of the years since
1986, I had never once considered that possibility. Even with my being
long out of the cult and directing criticism at various practices and
policies, the thought had never crossed my mind that Hubbard might have
been killed.

I got a sheet of paper and began to take notes, my heart pounding and my
breathing hurried. That nagging feeling had turned into an adrenaline rush
that I couldn’t explain.

Who was there at the Creston ranch when Hubbard died?

* Pat Broeker – MIA.

* Annie Broeker – broken, under their control.

* Two Scientology ranch hands. While trusted to work on the ranch, I
came to see how much they were kept out of the loop.

* Gene Denk – Hubbard’s personal physician. (And mine. Small world.)
Denk had disappeared for a year after the death, which was one of those
oddities, before returning to his practice up the street from the main
Hollywood complex.

End of list, a too-short list so I started to add who went up that night
in the three-car caravan that included DM, some attorneys and a couple of
us “gardeners and cooks.” Nothing there.

I looked at the list. Pat Broeker was the only possibility, if he was out
and alive. For all I knew, he was dead or locked up somewhere and in a
mental state that approximated cold oatmeal. There was no middle ground.
He wouldn’t have been given a safe back-lines job or I would have heard
about it.

SEARCHING FOR BROEKER

So how would I find Pat Broeker, if he was alive. I racked my memory,
trying to dig out some clue he might have given me in the months that we
were together but I came up with nothing. My tendency to not inquire about
a person’s personallife had just sold me short. I didn’t even know what
state he was from. Who might? Who would know where he came from or where
he was born? I needed some clue to start the search and the problem was
the security that Pat used for his job. He had explained to me how any
trace of him had been wiped out, to ensure that no one could find Hubbard
by finding him. Plus if Pat had escaped or fled, he was skilled enough to
hide from any search as that was what he had been doing for years to hide
Hubbard from the authorities.

I finally remembered one location he told me about and sent a message
there saying that I was trying to reach him but no reply came. After a few
months I sent another and waited. The months turned into nearly a year and
I basically gave up until one day when the phone rang.

“Hello?” I said.

“Hi,” came a voice. “It’s me.”

I paused, saying nothing.

“Pat?” I finally said with some incredulity. “Is that you?”

“Yeah,” he said, with what I swear was a twinkle in his voice. “How are
you?”

What a question!

RINDER WAKES UP

Let’s jump ahead a few years when I was in a deposition in Denver, in the
FACTNet case. The usual goon squad was there, including Mike Rinder, who
proudly heads up the criminal Dept. 20 where Scientology’s felons are
produced. Rinder was struggling to stay awake in the corner while the cult
attorney was going through a list of names, wanting to know if I had
spoken with any of them. Rinder’s head was bobbing as the attorney asked
monotonously, “Pat Broeker?”

I glanced at Rinder. I had to enjoy this one.

“Yes,” I said.

I couldn’t have gotten a faster reaction with a bucket of water. Rinder
jumped awake and looked at me in shock, fear and hatred. I smiled.

The questions about my involvement with Broeker were routine, from a list
that they asked for each person I named but Broeker wasn’t routine. They
soon stopped to take a break. Like the good sock puppet that he is, Rinder
dashed out of the room, obviously to call DM. (I so wish I could have
watched DM’s face too.) About 15 minutes later, Rinder returned and shoved
some questions at the attorney and the depo continued. But little was
gained and not one question was asked about what Pat might have told me
about Hubbard’s death, if he had at all. They clearly didn’t want it
on the record, under oath. I found it amusing, this great powerful cult
was so terrified of the subject, not to mention Broeker.

So let me tell you a little bit about Pat: he’s doing fine and his sense of
humor has improved. End of a little bit.

THE CORONER’S REPORT

Now lets back up a tad, before Pat and I spent several days together,
going over old times. I went to San Luis Obispo, the county seat for where
Hubbard died. It was there that I got the full coroner’s report from a
very friendly deputy sheriff. I poured over the pages and noticed that
something called Vistaril was found in Hubbard’s blood. Since the cause of
death was a stroke, I assumed it was a stroke medication so I didn’t
bother further. Several days later, I called a physician friend and was
going over the documents and the medical language.

“By the way,? I asked casually, “what’s Vistaril?”

“A psychiatric tranquilizer,” he answered matter-of-factly.

I nearly dropped the phone.

“Excuse me,” I said in near-shock, “but what did you say?”

“Vistaril is a psychiatric tranquilizer, usually injected through the
buttocks.”

I flipped to the document where the Coroner had examined Hubbard’s body. I
read it to my friend, about the needle puncture wounds found on the left
buttock, under a band-aid. “Could that be the Vistaril shots,” I asked.

“Probably,” he said. “That’s where they are usually given.”

I looked at the Coroner’s report and the blood sample report.

Holy shit, I said to myself, in my best French. Holy fucking shit.

THE AUTOPSY IS PROHIBITED

I pulled out another document, signed by Hubbard. It prohibited any
autopsy of his body on religious grounds, which was legally binding on
officials. DM and attorney Earle Cooley had shoved it at the coroner to
stop him, leaving him to take only blood samples, which turned up the
Vistaril.

So, I thought, L. Ron Hubbard, the man who fought psychiatry since 1950
and who railed against the dangers of any psychiatric drugs had died with
them in his brain while signing a new last will.

Plus even the coroner was suspicious of the will as it had been signed by
Hubbard just before he died. Coincidences like that tend to make coroner’s
worry. (I wonder what the coroner would have thought had he known that
Denk was gambling at Lake Tahoe when Hubbard had his stroke, as several
people can attest. The impression the coroner had was that Denk was “in
attendence” with Hubbard not only at death but was there at the stroke,
having stayed at the ranch for months. Hmmm….)

I fell back in my chair, trying to catch my breath.

OUTPOINTS? WHAT OUTPOINTS?

Okay, I said to myself, lets see if we understand this. Hubbard signs a
will while on the psychiatric tranquilizer Vistaril and then dies. The
coroner cannot conduct an autopsy because Hubbard also signed a paper
(also while on Vistaril?) prohibiting an autopsy on religious grounds. The
Scientologist doctor who was in attendance (except when he went to Lake
Tahoe and Hubbard had the stroke) signs the death certificate as the
physician attending to Hubbard and then disappears for a year. Then even
though David Miscavige has nothing else in writing from Hubbard, he
cancels Hubbard’s last message and hat transfer to trusted aide Broeker
and ousts Broeker, who disappears while his wife is turned into a
compliant vegetable, leaving DM in charge.

Nope, nothing wrong here, I facetiously thought. No outpoints, borrowing
Hubbard’s word for oddities.

I had to take a walk.

STARTING WITH A TITLE

I don’t know when it was but I clearly remember a particular moment when I
sat down at my computer keyboard. I am one of those writers who needs
either the opening words of the article or a working title in order to
really start. I had a working title, not for an article, but a book, and I
typed it out. Then I leaned back in my chair, took a deep breath and read
it. It said, “Who Killed L. Ron Hubbard?”

I leaned back and my eyes roamed over each word and letter. I took in the
question and then the words and letters and back to the question. I even
digested the tiny pixels on the screen, as if I hoped the answer would
leap from the phosphorescence but nothing changed but the black cursor
blinking at me, almost mocking my effort. Yes, I thought, it is a
pretentious question but it was the one I had to try to answer, if there
was an answer.

Then I had the exact moment for the opening words. It was on the night
that Terri Gamboa – former Executive Director of Author Services, Inc.
and now out of Scientology – called me to DM’s office where I was told
that Hubbard had died and that I would be going to his ranch.

THE WRITING STARTS

I leaned towards the keyboard and began to write. To my amazement, the
words and the scene poured out effortlessly. I wasn’t striving for
literature. I merely had to capture the scene.

As the cursor flitted across the screen, I began to remember how it
happened that night and into the days that followed. There was more that I
needed to remember but for now, this would do. Let it roll, I told myself.
Let it roll. It was as if I was regaining myself.

Perhaps six or so hours later, I finally stopped, exhausted and
sufficiently satisfied for the moment. But even then, I found it difficult
to sleep as my mind kept returning to the ranch, Broeker, DM, the RPF, the
Challenger disaster, Newberry, the ambulance taking away his body. I was
searching for pieces of a puzzle that had no comprehension.

And how could I possibly answer the question?

HOOKED ON HUBBARD

What ensued over the next few years was more of a personal journey than a
professional quest, meaning – as I came to learn very recently – because
it was as much a search for closure on part of my life as it was a search
for the story. But then, that is so often the case with writers, as anyone
who has studied literature knows.

As I pursued it/him/me, it took me around the country and into subjects
that I never expected, such as meeting with police who were involved in
the investigation of the odd suicide of Flo Barnett, David Miscavige’s
mother-in law. She was found with several shots to the chest with the coup
de grace to the temple, all from a rifle. (At one point, the cult grilled
me in a deposition about her death, asking if I had any evidence of any
foul play. No, I said, which made them happy. They failed to ask me if
anyone else has any evidence. Scientology: Knowing how to know. Yup.)

I even came across people who claimed to know about Miscavige’s
in-the-cult-sex life, via accounts from his wife Shelly. (Scientology
confessional methods have an interesting rippling effect.) If true, I felt
sorry for her.

THE WRITING STALLS

But when I tried to continue my writing, it stalled and I struggled. At
one point I became so disillusioned that I killed the idea for nearly a
year as a ridiculous obsession but then like a weed taking root, it
sprouted again but only to wither and die in my inspirational drought. Was
it the subject or was it me? Had my disregard of the Muse prompted a like
response?

I had not written anything truly worthwhile since 1991, when my article
for San Diego Magazine won two journalism awards, from the Society of
Professional Journalist and the San Diego Press Club. The article was
about the dangers in the flight pattern of the San Diego airport, from the
perspective of the pilots who flew it.

When we fled the cult in 1989, we settled in Ocean Beach, on the Point
Loma Peninsula because of the nearby Dog Beach where a hundred canines
would romp on any given summer day. The downside was that Ocean Beach was
in the westerly flight path of Lindbergh Field and the roar of the jets
above us garnered enough attention to prompt my learning that the flight
path was the target of a citizens group. They in turn introduced me to
pilots who were concerned about the safety of the eastern approach and my
journalistic tendencies took over and the magazine accepted my query.

The article was woven around a hypothetical flight approaching Lindbergh
Field that I had constructed from interviews with a dozen experienced
commercial pilots, moving the reader from cockpit to the airport back to
cockpit to FAA regulations and back to cockpit and then to buildings that
loomed in the pilot’s eyes as he seemingly navigated them like the cars a
few hundred feet below. The pilot’s called it a “white knuckle landing.”

Braiding these elemtns was a thrill and a challenge and the article drew
more letters of praise than anything the magazine had published in years,
the editor told me, prompting them to publish letters for the next three
months. They received only one critical letter, from a Coast Guard pilot
who liked the approach. I guess he loved the thrill.

WRITING FOR THE REAL WORLD

When my name was announced as the best news magazine article at the awards
banquet for the San Diego Press Club, I was stunned for two reasons. Yes,
winning was a thrill. But there was a more important reason: I had
succeeded as a writer. I hadn’t written it according to “policy” or to
fulfill some program step or as an amends project or to attack some
imagined enemy. My editor didn’t require that I include certain buttons and
attack phrases and the article didn’t need i/a or issue authority to be
certain that it forwarded the most current Party Line. It was MY article
and I had chosen the style and techniques and my professional peers
applauded as I walked to the podium to accept the plaque.

THIS was what writing was about, I realized: the freedom to write without
propaganda or Party Line, without a Big Brother looking over my
shoulder, as if I am the old Soviet Union.

Suddenly there was a separation between what I had been doing for 20 years
in the cult and what writing truly was about. All one has to do is pick up
any Scientology publication, especially their rag called Freedom and watch
the propaganda drip off the page like the rotting garbage it is. What
astounded me was how I had come to believe that this was writing, not
unlike how writers for Pravda probably felt during the Communist regime.
But writing for Pravda or Freedom is to writing what prostitutes are to
love and for the same reason.

RETURNING TO THE MUSE

And so I began to long to return to my greatest and dearest love and I
realized that just as the cult had drained my creativity by demanding
propaganda instead of art, so had my post-cult days. A piece that I wrote
for Quill magazine about how Scientology manipulates the media
(http://www.scientology.no.net/archive/media/young-quill.html) was
informative but it was hardly satisfying to me as a writer. Another that I
wrote for Der Spiegel magazine about the top secret Snow White program
(http://cisar.org/g50925ae.htm) was as satisfying as eating cardboard
because it appeared in German. How can a writer see and judge the final
piece if he/she cant even read it? At least it hd some photos.

I began to ask myself, what am I doing? In the cult they wanted propaganda
pieces attacking imagined enemies that made the cult executives feel good
when they read them. (That is always the most important audience for such
propaganda. It makes the members feel as if this is reality and truth when
it is nothing but one’s own sock puppet show.) And outside of the cult, I
was writing stories and giving sound bites about Scientology, whether it
be for a newspaper, magazine or TV show. Where was I as a writer, other
than as an email address? So I turned more to cats than cults. At least
they purred.

HOW IT WENT OFF THE RAILS

With some help, I began to see what had happened to me. During my nearly
21 years in the cult, I had sold my creative soul as certainly as if I had
worked for a money-grubbing ad agency, and in that regard, the two aren’t
any different. My proudest achievement – the San Diego story – came after
the cult and before I started consulting on Scientology cases and writing
about the cult. As a writer, I had moved from one cult to another. It was
no wonder that I had spun my wheels for years on that book. I realized
that if I am to regain that joy of writing so the Muse can inspire me to
the completion of any effort, it had to recapture what I was free to do a
few years earlier. But to do that, to entice the Muse to return, I have to
step away from this arena for as long as it takes, whether it be a month
or a year. The Muse works not by deadlines.

How did I come to all of this? At a little retreat called Wellspring in
southern Ohio, where I was able to relax and write and walk with Mac and
talk with friends about any subject I pleased. I could arise in the middle
of the night, as I often did, to pound out something on my laptop until I
wanted to crash until my next inspiration, whatever the hour. Meanwhile,
the kitchen downstairs was stocked for any meal or snack, or prepared for
me if I wanted to devote my time to my own recovery rather than making
dinner. Or I could walk the rolling hills with Mac and a few others of his
species and enjoy the fading purple Ironwood flowers, indicating the end
of summer. Or if the silence was too much, I could watch TV or go into
nearby Athens (a college town, for Ohio University) and enjoy a coffee
house, movie or a good used bookstore, the kind found only in college
towns.

CULTS VS. CREATIVITY

Yes, I realized, this is definitely the type of place that Scientology
would hate for it allows freedom and creativity. They would have to hate
it and pump the propaganda just as Pravda attacked the institutions west
of the Berlin Wall that represented the antithesis of the official Kremlin
Party Line. Any true freedom challenges boundaries, especially those that
pretend to be otherwise, as Communism pretended to be the bastion of true
peace and freedom. One can even find and measure totalitarian systems by
their knee-jerk party lines and Scientology is among the best. I know
because I did it for so very long from inside, and then became their
target from this other side.

Wellspring was important because they know what it is like to try to be
free in an abusive environment, whether it be a marriage or a cult or a
job. (They work with a lot of abused women.) Abuse is abuse. Terror is
terror. It differs by degrees and it rips away individuality and
creativity and future for the individual.

But at Wellspring, I was free to write and to peel away the barriers to my
own creativity that included not only the cult but post-cult and pre-cult
experiences, even back to the days when I wrote for school papers or for
the anti-war movement in San Francisco or a political campaign, of which
there were several for me in the 1960s. It was no wonder I was so
qualified to produce propaganda for an abusive cult. I had been writing
propaganda for years!

This is what my two weeks at Wellspring gave me, amongst other insights.
(Results will vary, as label disclaimers remind us.)(laugh) But it was
what I needed to regain a personal integrity that any abusive system,
especially a cult, despises.

BACK TO THE FUTURE

So that is what I was doing, am doing and going to do and it will require
concentration and reflection and time which is why I’ve not been on ARS
and won’t be, for as long as I must.

My apologies to many friends who have left messages or sent me mail and
gotten no reply. It’s difficult to explain why one is so involved with an
idea or a project or any creative effort, so that virtually nothing else
exists. I usually don’t even like to talk about it or discuss it. Stacy is
an exception because she has followed this journey since it started. It
was when she told me how many were reaching her to ask about me that I
realized it would be rude to continue to say nothing, given the role I
have played in this endeavor. (I even shared this post with her before
sending it.)

So don’t take it personal if you get no reply. Consider it just the
eccentricity that some writers get into when they latch onto an idea and
lock themselves away or take long walks or won’t talk to anyone and get up
at all hours of the night (it is 4:30 a.m. as I type this), chewing on an
idea, a style, a voice, a scene, a thread and then throwing it all away
and starting again or merely prowling for more information or even
traveling with a friend or a dog to take a break.

My intention is merely to restore and rebuild the creative self I touched
earlier and then decide on my direction. It is not a matter of disdain for
hack writing. That is snobbery. There is a place and time for classic hack
writing just as there is a place for great B movies. Few of us can live on
pure diets of Shakespeare, Mozart and Kant.

KEYBOARDS AND FREEDOM

What does this have to do with the original idea that I was writing about?
The best answer I can give is, we’ll see. Besides, there is more to write
about, including fiction. Or I might find another airport.

Besides, with HTML and the Net, writing (not to mention publication) has
changed. One no longer needs a footnote or an appendix with documents when
HTML can link to a document, a map, a photograph or even a video. A writer
who knows HTML – which I have had the good fortune to learn – has greater
opportunities and options and freedoms.

It used to be said that freedom of the press belonged to those who owned
one. Well, with the Internet, that freedom can now belong to anyone with a
keyboard and THAT is what dries the mouth, puckers the hole and strikes
fear in the heart of every tyrant. What Tom Paine could have done today!

So there you are, a writer’s account of himself, past, present and future.
It is long because it is easier than ever to write. Never has a keyboard
felt so clean and comfortable. I hope each of you, especially those in a
cult or out of a cult, have a chance to find YOUR true talent and purpose.
It is what the world needs.

Keep the faith.

Robert Vaughn Young
with a keyboard as a writer@eskimo.com

P.S Wellspring has a web page at <wellspring.albany.oh.us>.

Notes

 

Affidavit of Jesse Prince (July 27, 1998. Modified August 14, 1998)

AFFIDAVIT OF Jesse Prince

I, Jesse Prince declare as follows:

1. I am over 18 years of age and currently reside in the state of Minnesota, County of Hennepin. This declaration is of my own personal knowledge and if called upon to testify to the facts herein I could and would be competently able to testify thereto.

2. I am intimately familiar with the Scientology organization, movement and beliefs because I was in Scientology for 16 years (1976-92) and served in the highest ranks, including as the second in command of the Religious Technology Center (RTC). At that time, my position was “Deputy Inspector General, External” which meant being in charge of all activities outside the body of Scientology. This included being in charge of all litigation by or against any Scientology organization, intelligence (spying, covert operations) brought against perceived or imagined “enemies” (which ranged from critics to media to the courts), trademark registrations, and the licensing of trademarks to other Scientology organizations, which was how we tightly controlled all Scientology corporations while creating the false impression of “corporate integrity.”

3. It is incumbent on this and every court, as well as the authorities, to realize the amount of deception, chicanery, lying, manipulation and outright criminality that Scientology will employ to hide the truth about their criminal activities. They will spend any amount of money to do this. I know because I was part of it for years. I received orders to break the law. I issued orders to break the law. I got others to break the law, and then I helped to hide these criminal activities just as they are hiding them now.

4. In fact, this tactic is one of the most coercive used by the Scientology hierarchy: to involve members in criminal acts for which they are then liable, which then prevents the person from speaking out. Even if the member manages to leave or flee, they will be reluctant to speak to the courts or the authorities because they were part of criminal activities. Plus the organization is ready to use Mafia-like tactics to threaten an ex-member if the hierarchy is afraid of their testimony. If the ex-member does speak, the organization will claim no knowledge and blames the individual, calling them a criminal when that person was doing nothing more than following orders under duress.

5. Members of Scientology are induced to confess to acts that, if not outright criminal, are embarrassing or possibly destructive to the person’s job, marriage or profession, for example, shoplifting, adultery, masturbation, or drug abuse. The member is urged to write these down in their own handwriting, under the guise that it is a “religious confessional” for the member’s good. The truth is that these “confessions” are kept to blackmail and extort the member should they dare to speak out. The member is also coerced to sign documents that are self-damaging while protecting the organization, solely in case the member dares to leave their control and speak the truth. I know because I watched this done to others, I did it to others and it was done to me. That is why I respectfully urge this court to recognize Scientology’s tactics and treat them for what they are: criminal deceit to defraud this court at any cost.

6. For the past five years since I fled Scientology, I have been silent because it was my intent to create a new life for myself, away from their obsessive control, and it required all the energy that I could muster to do that. About two weeks ago, I finally became curious as to what was happening within the Scientology world and I used the Internet to look up Scientology and was stunned to discover former friends who had also left and the conflicts being waged in the courts. I contacted one (Stacy Young) who had been a close friend for many years in the cult who told me what had been happening, with former members fighting to have the abuses and the criminality exposed.

7. Because I have intimate and personal knowledge of issues in this case, she put me in touch with attorney Dan Leipold and I traveled to his offices in Santa Ana, California. After speaking with him and others, I realized that this level of criminal fraud and deceit can no longer continue without opposition. I could no longer remain silent, regardless of their terrorism. I offered to tell the court how Scientology really operates with trademarks, copyrights and the courts. In fact, I am doing this at the risk of enduring the hate campaign this pseudo-religion will wage against me, as they have against others, including judges.

8. Let me begin with some basic information about my own Scientology history:

I first became involved with Scientology in September 1976, in San Francisco. In late 1976 I joined the elite Scientology paramilitary organization known as the Sea Organization, also known as the “Sea Org” or the acronym “SO.” The Sea Organization is the actual nexus that controls the Scientology empire. Sea Organization personnel are authorized to take over and control Scientology organizations and to demote personnel, move bank accounts and run the corporation as if the SO personnel were employees or representatives of that corporation but they are not. This is true if the organization was part of the “Church of Scientology” or one of the secular areas such as Bridge Publications. This is possible because the only personnel allowed into executive positions in these organization are those who are in full agreement that the Sea Organization is the commanding organization. This weeding out process guarantees there will be no executives who will resist or protect their corporate integrity. This is how the Sea Organization can operate with impunity, and continue to claim that it is merely a “fraternal organization.” The Sea Organization is a “fraternal organization” the way the Cosa Nostra is.

9. Before I was recruited into the Religious Technology Center (RTC) in 1982, most of my experience was with Scientology technical material; the actual codified techniques used within the organization. This gave me considerable time to become familiar with the material, most of which was written by Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard. It was that familiarity that prompted my promotion to a technical position at RTC.

10. Physically, I was transferred to and lived and worked at what is known as “Golden Era Studios,” near Hemet, California. It is also known as “Gold” or simply “the base.” RTC’s presence at Gold was fully known to all at the base, but was kept hidden from all others, to try to make it appear that Gold was merely a movie/tape production studio when really the movie/tape production is nothing but a front to mask, hide and protect the top of Scientology’s actual power structure so they cannot be served with subpoenas. (The security system is more befitting a top secret military installation, with its motion detectors, buried sensors, high-speed cameras, night cameras, guards on motorcycles, and barbed wire fences wired to detect anyone touching it etc.)

RTC was at that time the most senior, most powerful and most influential organization in all of Scientology. All at RTC were Sea Org members, as are all at the base. But because of RTC’s position, we were the elite at the base.

11. In March 1983, I became the Deputy Inspector General, External, and a member of the Board of Directors for RTC, as Treasurer. (The only other board members were Warren McShane as Secretary and Vicki Aznaran as President, during this time.) At the time I was appointed a member of the Board of Directors of RTC I was forced to sign an undated letter of resignation. This is standard practice with all Scientology board members and is another means by which the Scientology corporations are controlled while giving the appearance of corporate integrity.

12. In that capacity for the next few years, I traveled about the US and outside of the US on behalf of RTC. I traveled to Germany, Italy, Australia, the United Kingdom, Denmark, Mexico and Canada, with several trips to some of these countries. These trips were to put together an infrastructure that would then interface with RTC for the purpose of trademarks. I became familiar with the law with regard to each area, interviewed and approved law firms, and put the personnel in place that would report to RTC and be our on-the-ground representatives in dealing with the attorneys etc.

13. When Hubbard died in 1986, there was a power struggle in Scientology for the next 18 or so months that resulted in Hubbard’s closest and most powerful aide (Pat Broeker) being removed. The power was taken over by David Miscavige who purged the organization of anyone who was friendly with Broeker. In mid-1987, I was removed from my position and put under armed guard at Happy Valley, a property the organization owns that is a few miles west of Gold and located deep in the Soboba Indian Reservation. I assume the undated resignation I provided on being appointed to the Board was then dated and used to make it appear that I had resigned, when I had not. After a few months, it was decided that I would not escape and I was given various jobs at Gold but kept under watch. My pay was standard Sea Org pay, $24 per week.

14. I should clarify why I (and others) tolerated such treatment for so long. The ability to tolerate such abusive conditions and treatment are one of the most basic requirements for promotion in the Sea Organization and RTC. We were selected and promoted because we vowed such loyalty and demonstrated it daily. Not unlike a military unit, it is the ability of the Sea Org member to take orders, carry out the assignment and to tolerate self-degrading conditions that ingratiates them to their seniors and to the system. That was why I was promoted so highly and why I then tolerated more. Looking back on it, I cannot believe that I actually tolerated such denigration and such abuse and actually deluded myself that it was for my good as well as the good of others.

15. In late 1991, my wife Monika became pregnant and although we were elated, she was ordered to abort the child. The reason for the abortion order is that Sea Org members were not allowed to have children. The order devastated both my wife and me. Our dedication as Sea Org members clashed violently with our intentions as parents and we went through a personal nightmare with me opposing it, to no avail. She got the abortion and afterwards she was not the same. She was devastated at the impact of what she did and that was when she told me she wanted to leave. We fled, with the organization close behind us, trying to find us. They finally did and convinced us to return so we could “leave properly.”

16. Once they had us again behind the barbwire and watched by security, my wife was threatened that if we did not sign certain papers, she would no longer be able to see her father and her sister, who were both in the Sea Organization.

17. This is another coercive power that the organization wields. Like a police state, it can order and enforce family members to alter their relations, and even get them to turn against each other. Monika and I knew that if the organization said she would be kept from her father and sister (by control over them), that she would not again be able to talk to them or see them, let alone visit. This is called “disconnection” in Scientology. We agreed to sign the papers and were able to leave.

18. On July 26, 1998, one of the cult’s attorneys sent a long fax to Dan Leipold that is their first not-so-veiled threat to me, warning me to be silent. The attorney included the document they prepared for me and that I signed under the conditions I just described. I am attaching his letter and the documents I was forced to sign under duress as my first evidence of what this criminal cult does to silence anyone speaking out. (Exhibit 1). It does not surprise me, as it is a standard tactic, to force a person to create or sign a self-damaging document to use when ready.

19. I have also been privy to the destruction and alteration of documents to protect the group. On or about April of 1983 I was present at a meeting, which took place in Los Angeles, California at a Scientology office called Author Services, Inc. (ASI). ASI presented itself as the “literary agency” for Hubbard but it was actually the top of the Scientology empire at that time. All of Scientology was being directed from ASI in 1982. ASI was where various Scientology corporations went to receive orders.

20. Present at the meeting was David Miscavige, then the chairman of the board of ASI, Vicki Aznaran then the Deputy Inspector General of Religious Technology Center, (RTC) and Lymon Spurlock, who was “Director of Client Affairs” for ASI. Mr. Miscavige expressed concern at this meeting that there might possibly be a raid on Scientology by the IRS. At that time, none of the churches of Scientology had received tax exempt status.

21. One principle reason why tax exempt status had not been granted was the IRS’s position that Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard (LRH) was actually the managing agent of Scientology in complete disregard of the corporate structure of Scientology. We knew this to be a fact but also knew that it violated IRS rules and thus had to be hidden.

22. There was concern that the IRS would obtain the hundreds of daily, weekly and monthly LRH orders written by Mr. Hubbard and distributed throughout Scientology. These orders were commonly referred to in Scientology as “advices” to avoid the appearance that LRH was actually running Scientology. In fact, LRH was running Scientology. The principle concern expressed at this meeting was that the LRH orders or “advices” would be used to name L. Ron Hubbard as the managing agent of Scientology.

23. Because of an already existing fear that an LRH “advice” might fall into the wrong hands, these orders from him were written in a way that we could deny it was from him. His name was not on them. He was never cited in the dispatch except in the third person. There was no signature and a salutation in reply was never more than “Dear Sir.” The routing at the top referred to him merely as “*,” an asterisk. However if a person (or an agency) got enough of these, there would be little doubt that we were in touch with Hubbard (via ASI) and he was telling us and each corporation what to do to make him more money.

24. David Miscavige specifically stated that ASI was “already dealing with the problem”, ridding ASI of any documents that would implicate L. Ron Hubbard as managing agent of Scientology. He stated that under his directive the LRH orders, or “advices”, were being collected and transferred by truck to a Riverside County recycling plant where the documents were to be “pulped”. This method of destruction was considered to be better than shredding. I was also given instructions that I was in charge of purging the remainder of the Scientology organization of LRH orders. This was to include Church of Scientology of California (CSC); Church of Scientology International (CSI); and RTC.

25. Several weeks after this first meeting I attended a second meeting at the ASI offices concerning the continuing destruction of Scientology corporate documentation. In attendance at the second meeting were David Miscavige, Lymon Spurlock, Vicki Aznaran, Norman Starkey and Marty Rathburn. At this meeting, David Miscavige for the first time stated that Scientology had been ordered by a court to produce various documents concerning a former Scientology member named Lawrence Wollersheim who had a lawsuit pending in Los Angeles against the Church of Scientology of California. The court had ordered Scientology to produce Mr. Wollersheim’s entire “preclear” (PC) file.

26. A “PC ” file is one of several files kept on members. The PC file is the file that includes all written records of all “confessionals” done by the member. This means that it includes not only the most self-damaging material but it also reflects every problem the person might have had with the organization, including complaints. This PC file grows with the person’s tenure in Scientology.

27. Mr. Wollersheim’s PC file was several thousand pages in length and stood as high as a six-foot tall man. Initially at this meeting it was decided that Mr. Wollersheim’s PC file would be redacted and culled of any evidence or documentation which might assist Mr. Wollersheim in his lawsuit against CSC. There was also concern that the materials known as Clear, OT I, OT II, OT III and NED for OT’s (NOTS) would be open to public inspection if Mr. Wollersheim’s files were produced as ordered. Scientologists are taught that a person could catch pneumonia and die if that person is prematurely exposed to these “upper level” materials without first having taken many hours of preparatory auditing. Ultimately, approximately 50 pages were produced pursuant to the court order. Mr. Wollersheim’s PC file was culled based on a direct order from David Miscavige.

28. Later, I was informed that a second court order was issued to produce Mr. Wollersheim’s entire file. Faced with the prospect of having to produce the entire file David Miscavige gave orders that the entire file simply be destroyed by being pulped.

29. Pursuant to Mr. Miscavige’s orders I ordered Rick Aznaran to take Mr. Wollersheim’s PC files to the recycling plant in Riverside to be pulped. Several hours after I gave the order to have Mr. Wollersheim’s PC files destroyed, Mr. Aznaran returned and confirmed that the records had been pulped and even showed me a small bottle of pulped material, saying “Here’s what’s left.”

30. The material that David Miscavige ordered destroyed and which Rick Aznaran had pulped was the same material that the court had ordered produced in Mr. Wollersheim’s Los Angeles court case against CSC.

31. In early 1983 I attended a meeting at Scientology’s ASI office in Los Angeles. In attendance at this meeting were David Miscavige, Lymon Spurlock, Vicki Aznaran, Patricia Brice and Edith Buchele. The meeting concerned Scientology copyrights. In particular, David Miscavige stated that Scientology was “in trouble” concerning the copyright status of the many published materials of founder L Ron Hubbard. Concern was expressed that many of Mr. Hubbard’s published materials had become ‘public domain” because the materials had not been registered with the United States Copyright office for many years. David Miscavige stated that Scientology had failed to register copyrights for thousands of pages of Scientology material written by Mr. Hubbard. These records included the numerous policy letters and bulletins published by Mr. Hubbard. In particular, Mr. Hubbard published “Policy Letters” (always published in green ink on white paper and intended as administrative directives) LRH ED’s (Executive Directives) which are used for various topics, (always issued as blue ink on white paper) and “Technical Bulletins” published with red ink on white paper covering technical aspect of Scientology such as Auditing techniques, Policy and Ethics.

32. At the same meeting in early 1983 David Miscavige specifically ordered Patricia Brice (who at the time was L. Ron Hubbard’s personal secretary and an employee of ASI) to begin the process of mass copyright registration filings for all of L. Ron Hubbard’s materials. This order was given despite the fact that Mr. Miscavige was already aware that many of the materials in question were already in the public domain. Thus, I know from personal knowledge that in mid 1983 Scientology began a massive program to register Mr. Hubbard’s material with the United State’s Copyright office.

33. Based on my many years of reading and studying Scientology directives including my time as a “Co-Audit Supervisor” and “Inspector General Cramming Officer” I became intimately familiar with the content, form, manner of distribution and publication of Scientology works and directives including the works of L. Ron Hubbard. As a Cramming Officer it was my job to insure that those who employ Scientology “tech” properly adhere to the official guidelines adopted by Scientology.

34. I was requested by counsel for Mr. Wollersheim to review the exhibits to BPI’s renewed motion for summary judgement. These were contained in more than 20 banker’s boxes.

In reviewing these boxes of exhibits I selected out documents at random to inspect. The chart below explains the result of my examination of certain of the exhibits. In examining the plaintiff’s exhibits I compared the alleged LRH originals submitted by the plaintiff’s as exhibits to some early editions of Scientology compilations which contains the policy issues in question. I employed a “1st edition” of the Organization Executive Course, and a “First printing of the Scientology Technical Bulletins for comparison to what BPI has claimed are the LRH originals.

35. I have attached hereto copies of various LRH materials that were published by Scientology in the early 1970’s that prove conclusively that the copy right notices on BPI’s purported “LRH originals” were not present then, but placed on the “originals” at a later date.

Exhibit Date Issued Copyright Registration Title  
B-1287 1954 27 January 1975 The Church of Scientology Creed FACTNet copy bears no resemblance to original
B-1289 1953,ca.endMay 2 May 1956 (renewal 7 February 1983) LRH PAB No. 2 A Summary of SOP 8A Copyright notice 1953 Copyright res. for compilation published Dec. 1955
B-1292 1953 ca.end July 2 May 1956 (renewal 7 February 1983) LRH PAB No. 6 No title Copyright notice 1953 Copyright res. for compilation published Dec. 1955
B-1293 1953 ca. mid. August 2 May 1956 (renewal 7 February 1983) LRH PAB No. 7 Six Steps to Better Beingness Copyright notice 1953 Copyright res. for compilation published Dec. 1955
B-1290 1953 ca. mid June 2 May 1956 (renewal 7 February 1983) LRH PAB No. 3 Certainty Processing Copyright notice 1953 Copyright res. for compilation published Dec. 1955
Exhibit Date Issued Copyright Registration Title  
B-4 2 June 1959 22 December 1987 (renewal 22 December 1987) HCO PL Purchasing Liability of Staff Members Copyright notice 1959 but original contains reference to CSI which did not exist until 1981
B-2 2 May 1957 24 December 1985 (renewal 24 December 1985) HCO PL Dissemination Original offered by BPI is substantially different from that published as an original in OEC Vol. II 1st Ed. 1970 ; Copyright notice 1957, registration 1985
B-1291 Ca. mid-July 1953 2 May 1956 (renewal 7 February 1983) LRH PAB No. 5 About PABs B-1291 BIP original contains no copyright notice. However FACTNet copy and copy of document published in 1st printing of Technical Bulletins Vol. I contain 1953 copyright notice. Copyright registration is 1955 as part of compilation
B-1288 20 July 1956 22 September 1983 (renewal 26 December 1984) Article From LRH to HGC Staff “How to really split a valance.” No Copyright notice in claimed original
B-371 16 December 1958 12 May 1983 (renewal 22 January 1986) HCOB Extension Course Curriculum BPI original contains notice 1958, however copy of document published by Scientology in 1976 in Technical Bulletins Vol. III 1st printing contains no copyright notice
Exhibit Date Issued Copyright Registration Title  
B-59 21 March 1965 28 January 1988 (renewal 9 September 1993) HCO PL Staff Members Auditing Outside PCs BPI original contains copyright notice 1958, however, copy of document published in 1970 OEC Vol. I 1st Ed. contains no copyright notice.
B-249 28 April 1973 28 April 1988 HCO PL Good Service BPI original shows on face it was 1st published Dec. 23, 1968, not claimed date of April 28, 1973
B-157 2 September 1968 28 January 1988 HCOPL Chaplain BPI original shows on face 1st appeared as Sea Organization Flag Order
B-94 24 August 1965 28 January 1988 (renewal 3 November 1993) HCO PL Cleanliness of Quarters and Staff Improve Our Image BPI “original” contains 1965 copyright notice. However, “original” references CSI which did not exist until 1981
B-248 27 December 1972 28 January 1988 HCO PL Speed of Service BPI original shows on face published 1968, not claimed date of 1972
Exhibit Date Issued Copyright Registration Title  
B-214 4 January 1971 2 May 1991 HCO PL Competence BPI original contains no copyright notice
C-3 5 February 1958 27 January 1995 HCO PL No New Charters BPI original contains no copyright notice
B-215 25 January 1971 28 January 1988 HCO PL Squirrel Admin Claimed original contains 1971 copyright notice. However, also contains reference to CSI which did not exist until 1981
B-1 25 January 1957 24 December 1985 (24 December 1985) HCO PL Concerning the Separateness of Dianetics and Scientology BPI original shows on face not original but Issue II
B-369 25 November 1958 12 May 1983 (renewal 22 January 1986) HCOB Step 6 BPI “original” contains a 1958 copyright notice. However, 1st printing of Technical Bulletins in 1976 Vol. III contains no copyright notice for this document
Exhibit Date Issued Copyright Registration Title  

36. The above chart documents my observations in reviewing the documents that I selected at random to review. The important points that I believe the Court should note with reference to these documents are as follows:

1. Exhibits B-1289; 1290; 1291; 1292 and 1293 contain a 1953 copyright notice. However, the copyright registrations submitted by BPI are for a compilation published in 1955.

2. Exhibits B4; B-94 and B-215 all contain copyright notices from the 50’s, 60’s and 70’s that contain notations to CSI. CSI is the Church of Scientology International, which did not come into existence until 1981. Therefore, either BPI’s “originals” are not originals as claimed, or the copyright notices were placed on these documents long after they were published. (Exhibits 2, 3 and 4 attached hereto).

3. Exhibits B-59; B-369; and B-371 contain copyright notices from 1958. However, when these originals are compared to first printings or first editions of compilations put out by Scientology in the 1970’s, these copyright notices are not present, indicating that they were placed in the “originals” subsequent to the compilations being published. (Exhibits 5-7).

4. Exhibit B-2 is substantially different from that published as an original in OEC Vol. II, 1st Ed. 1970. (Exhibit 8 attached hereto).

5. Exhibit B-1287. The FACTNet copy bears virtually no resemblance to the BPI original.

6. Exhibits B-1288; B-214; and C-3. The BPI originals contain no copyright notice.

7. Exhibit B-1 shows on its face it is not an original but “Issue II.”

8. Exhibits B-248; B-249; and B-157 show on their face they were published elsewhere prior to the claimed original publication.

37. Based on my knowledge gained as a staff member of Scientology, including my assignment as “Chief Cramming Officer” and based on my examination of the exhibits submitted by BPI in support of their renewed motion for summary judgment, it appears that numerous “originals” submitted by BPI are not originals at all and that copyright notices were placed on documents long after publication back-dating them to the date of publication.

Further declarant sayeth naught.

I declare, under penalty of perjury under the laws of the United States of America and the State of California that the foregoing is true and correct. Executed this 27th day of July, 1998, at Santa Ana, California.

JESSE PRINCE

Notes

Declaration of Vicki Aznaran (October 27, 1988)

I, Vicki Aznaran, declare:1

1. I was involved with the Church of Scientology (“Scientology”) for approximately 15 years. I submit this Declaration on personal knowledge of the facts contained herein and if called upon as a witness I could and would competently testify thereto.

2. I was one of the highest ranking members of Scientology and was involved in upper management. From 1978 through 1987 I was a member of an organization known as the Sea Organization (“Sea Org”), an elite organization within Scientology. The Sea Org has considerable influence and control over other Scientology organizations; it sends its officers to individual organizations with unlimited power to handle ethics, tech and administration. In this regard, a Sea Org member may order a non-Sea Org member on virtually any subject, and the non-Sea Org member must obey. For example, sea Org “missions” are frequently sent to non-Sea Org organizations when those organizations are not sending enough money or public to the Sea Org organizations. These Sea Org members on “mission” can take any action they deem necessary in that non-Sea Org organization to accomplish their ends. They can control the funds of that organization and its personnel. They can remove personnel and post personnel. They can transfer funds to the Sea Org organizations or spend funds as they see fit.

3. Generally, Sea Org members hold the management posts in other organizations within Scientology. In order to be employed at a middle management level or above, one must be in the Sea

1

Organization. In order to be employed at the organizations that make the most money (known as the Sea Org Organizations), such as the Flag Service Org in Clearwater, the Advanced organization of Los Angeles, the Advanced Organization of the U.K., the Advanced Organization of Denmark and the Advanced Organization in Australia, one must be a Sea Org member. Additionally, in order to be employed in the organizations that control the Scientology network, such as the Religious Technology Center, one must be a Sea Org member. From 1984 through early 1987 I was president of Religious Technology Center (“RTC”). By contrast, Scientology management often designates for publicity and other reasons various officers of Scientology organizations who are figure-head officers only and possess little, if any, actual power over the organization they purportedly serve. For example, Hebert Jentzsch was at one time named the titular head of the Church of Scientology International. However, during one of Mr. Jentzsch’s depositions he was unable to answer fundamental questions concerning the management of the Church of Scientology International (“CSI”) and could not name the directors of CSI nor the other officers. During the time I was in the Religious Technology Center, from 1982 until 1987, Mr. Jentzsch had nothing to do with the running of CSI. Mr. Jentzsch was a figure head and public relations man. It was never intended that he would be involved in the administration of CSI whatsoever. There is an order from Hubbard which states that the officers of corporations should be just figure heads; the directors have more power, and then you have trustees who are over the very top corporations who can remove directors. These trustees hold the power as regards

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Scientology’s money, assets, personnel, etc. The top trustees of Scientology when I was a director of RTC were David Miscavige, Lyman Spurlock and Norman Starkey. Patrick Broeker and Ann Broeker were also senior trustees over Scientology in 1982 and for some time thereafter. Miscavige convinced the Broekers to turn over their trusteeships to him in order to avoid the IRS criminal investigation that was ongoing. This left Miscavige, Spurlock and Starkey as the trustees that could control Scientology.

4. Lyman Spurlock and Norman Starkey also are both high-ranking Scientologists. At times, both within and outside my capacity as president of RTC, I have taken direct orders from Mr. Spurlock and from Mr. Starkey.

5. Both Mr. Spurlock and Mr. Starkey are members of the Sea Org. In addition, both these men hold other posts within Scientology. For example, Mr. Starkey was president of Author Services, Inc. (“ASI”), executor of the Estate of L. Ron Hubbard and Trustee of the Author’s Family Trust-B. Mr. Spurlock at various times was the Investment Officer International for the Church of Scientology, an executive of ASI, and president of Church of Spiritual Technology (“CST”). Both men have served together as officers of Galaxy Productions, Inc.

6. Mr. Spurlock controlled virtually all tax matters for the Religious Technology Center, CSI, ASI, CSC and CST. During the time I was an officer and director of RTC, I was asked to sign letters for RTC which had been drafted by Mr. Spurlock or at his request. Mr. Spurlock dealt with the tax attorneys who represented RTC. Sometimes I would be informed of actions he had taken regarding RTC tax matters after the fact, and sometimes

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was never informed. Mr. Spurlock met with the Internal Revenue Service on more than one occasion to negotiate matters for RTC. He did this entirely on his own and made his own decisions regarding RTC’s tax matters and tax exempt status. Mr. Spurlock and Mr. Starkey frequently issues orders to me concerning litigation and tax matters concerning RTC, CSI, CSC and other Scientology entities. Mr. Spurlock also set up the current corporate structure of Scientology. This includes the set up of RTC, CSI and CST. Mr. Spurlock set up these structures and, along with Miscavige and Starkey, chose the directors, trustees and officers.

7. Mr. Starkey gave orders concerning litigation matters for Scientology. In 1982 Norman Starkey and David Miscavige ordered me to get Dick Story of the Guardians Office World Wide to hire a private investigator named Dick Bast to compromise Judge Krentzman, who was the judge on a case against Scientology in Florida. Judge Krentzman had been giving Scientology unfavorable rulings in the case. From 1981 up until the time I left, Starkey, Spurlock and Miscavige closely supervised all litigation brought either for or against the various Scientology corporations. The settlement initiated by Scientology for all of the cases that Michael Flynn had brought against them was ordered by Miscavige, Starkey and Spurlock with no consultation with the various corporations who were sued, such as Church of Scientology of California. In fact, this settlement was considered top secret and the officers and directors of the various corporations who were supposedly settling with Mr. Flynn did not even know the specifics of the settlement. The various officers of the

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Scientology corporations know that they do not, in fact, make decisions about their respective corporations. They are told and understand that they sign what they are told to and that this is done in order to comply with the suppressive government requirements and avoid having to pay taxes to the suppressive IRS. In 1982 Mr. Spurlock ordered the then-head of international management, John Nelson, to buy into a gold mine in Canada using several million dollars worth of church funds. Mr. Nelson disagreed and said that he thought it was a bad investment. Mr Spurlock made the transaction anyway, as he controlled Scientology’s funds. Mr. Spurlock’s position at the time was Deputy Executive Director for Client Affairs at Author Services Inc., a for-profit organization which had been represented to the IRS as having no control whatsoever over tax exempt church funds. Mr. Spurlock’s gold mine venture lost a considerable sum of money for Scientology. Mr. Spurlock also ordered Scientology management, specifically Marc Yager and Wendell Reynolds, to buy into oil wells in Oklahoma. Mr. Yager expressed to me that he had reservations about this venture, but complied anyway. This venture also lost quite a bit of money for Scientology. Additionally, Starkey and Miscavige bought into the oil venture (with their personal funds) in Oklahoma and were able to get much better deal for themselves due to putting Hubbard’s and Scientology money into the venture.

8. Additional facts indicative of the management authority possessed and used by both Mr. Spurlock and Mr. Starkey over the entities involved in the Scott/Wollersheim consolidated lawsuits (i.e., Church of Scientology International (“CSI”), Church of

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Scientology of California (“CSC”), Religious Technology Center (“RTC”) and Church of Spiritual Technology (“CST”) include the following:

A. Mr. Spurlock ordered that the original Scott suit be brought. He was involved in all of the major strategy meetings with attorneys concerning both the Scott and Wollersheim cases and, in fact, began planning the suit against David Mayo in 1982, shortly after Mayo opened his Church.

B. Mr. Starkey was also involved in all major meetings with attorneys concerning the Scott/Wollersheim cases. He made active decisions and ordered the attorneys as to actions they were or were not allowed to take in regards to these facts. In fact, Mr. Starkey and Mr. Spurlock accompanied an attorney for Scientology, Mr. Earle Cooley, one night on what was described by them as an attempt to visit the residence of Judge Mariana Pfaelzer Scientology after she had ruled against Scientology at a hearing. He went with Mr. Cooley in order to express their views to Judge Pfaelzer and persuade her to rule favorably for Scientology. Mr. Starkey and Mr. Spurlock stayed up all night that night working on drafting papers for the Scott/Wollersheim cases.

9. One of the reasons why Scientology elects to manage its far-flung enterprises in this manner is to try to sheild its management from legal process. Front men are designated to hold figure-head posts, while the real management power is held by others outside the corporate structure. To this end, Scientology will go to extreme lengths to conceal upper management personnel

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from service of process, subpoenas and depositions. When alive L. Ron Hubbard was protected in this manner. In addition personnel have been driven around the city in covered vans to protect their identities and whereabouts. Moreover, when deemed necessary, personnel are sent out of this country in order to avoid legal process.

For example, in 1984 when the IRS was conducting criminal investigation against various Scientology entities, the personnel who had knowledge of criminal behavior as regards Scientology funds were hidden or sent away. Fran Harris, who was involved with Bridge Publications and Church and L. Ron Hubbard’s funds, was sent to Denmark for a year. Mark Ingber, WDC member for Finance, was also sent to Denmark for a year. Wendel Reynolds, who had similar knowledge, was put away on the RPF in Happy Valley. Miscavige, Starkey and Spurlock took great precautions with their travels, offices and residences so that they could not be found or served. Miscavige has been known to actually rent clandestine quarters away from any Scientology facility, paid for with Scientology funds, simply so that he could hide out from process servers.

10. Both Mr. Spurlock and Mr. Starkey have been afforded this “protection” by Scientology. It is doubtful that either will be deposed if personal service of a subpoena upon them is deemed necessary prerequisite. Scientology will take all measure necessary to keep these men cloistered from view and immunize from service.

11. On the other hand, it is clear that when Scientology wants help from Mr. Spurlock and Mr. Starkey both men stand ready

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to assist. Accordingly, whenever declarations are needed by Scientology in any of their lawsuits or other legal proceedings Scientology has no difficulty in obtaining the assistance of both Mr. Starkey and Mr. Spurlock. In this regard, Miscavige took off for over two months and lived in Portland, Oregon in order to oversee and direct the attorneys for Scientology on a daily basis during the entire trial in the case of Julie Christofferson Titchbourne, which she had brought against Scientology. Mr. Spurlock also spent most of his days in Portland during the trial. During the Wollersheim trial, Miscavige, Starkey and Spurlock supervised the attorneys representing CSC on a daily basis throughout the nearly three-month trial in Los Angeles. Miscavige, Starkey and Spurlock stay briefed on a daily basis on all legal matters of any consequence involving any Scientology entity. All papers filed by the Scientology entities involved in the consolidated Scott/Wollersheim cases had to be sent via Spurlock and Miscavige for authorization before they could be filed.

12. In addition, without revealing any privileged communications, I am able to state that both Mr. Spurlock and Mr. Starkey have been involved directly in the management of CSI, CSC, RTC and CST, and have participated in meetings in which decisions affecting these consolidated Scott/Wollersheim cases have been made. We have worked together in the past and I know that no major decision affecting these entities or these cases are made without their knowledge, participation and/or consent. Based upon all the information personally available to me, I am of the

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opinion that both Mr. Starkey and Mr. Spurlock are managing agents of CSI, CSC, RTC and CST.

13 . I have reason to believe that documents which would normally reflect traditional criteria of the managing agent relationship between Scientology and Messrs. Spurlock and Starkey have been either destroyed or concealed by Scientology. For example, at Mr. Starkey’s direction, I destroyed such information as it related to the involvement and control over Scientology by L. Ron Hubbard, Mr. Starkey and Mr. David Miscavige.

I declare under penalty of perjury under the laws of the United States that the foregoing is true and correct.

Executed this 27th day of October 1988, in Dallas, Texas.

[signed]
Vicki J. Aznaran

Notes

  1. Signature page in image format.

Declaration of Vicki J. Aznaran (August 9, 1988)

I, Vicki J. Aznaran, make the following declarations on personal knowledge except where the context indicates knowledge based upon information and belief.1

My husband Richard Aznaran and I are plaintiffs in the instant action wherein defendants (hereinafter referred to collectively as “Scientology”) have moved to strike our entire complaint and to prevent our attorneys from representing us.

2. As set forth in more detail below, my husband and I were involved with Scientology for approximately 15 years. For much of that time we were members of an organization known as the Sea Organization. This organization is an elite organization within Scientology. The Sea Organization has considerable influence and control over Scientology organizations. Generally, Sea Organization members hold the management posts within Scientology.

3. In 1978, after approximately four years as staff members, my husband and I joined the Sea Organization. From 1978 to early 1987, my husband and I worked most of our waking hours, with very few days off, at our various assignments within Scientology. I eventually became President of Religious Technology Center and, supposedly, the top “ecclesiastical” authority within Scientology. Richard was a high-level security officer. During this period my husband and I became intimately familiar with the structure and activities of various Scientology organizations. Among other things, I was briefed on and sometimes a participant in meetings involving litigation tactics and various

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means used to attack and fight “enemies” of Scientology. In numerous instances I was in the chain of command or approval for such activities. The legal strategy of Scientology and the existence of numerous potential legal problems, some of which are set forth below, were known to me when I was a staff member in Scientology. Contrary to, what I understand to be claimed by defendants herein, Mr. Yanny did not reveal to me the legal strategies or secrets of Scientology. Nor did Mr. Yanny invent or open my eyes to the wrongs that I had suffered at the hands of Scientology.

4. I have become an “enemy” of Scientology. This has certain consequences that will influence what Scientology will do in this litigation. For example, it is important to understand that their value system allows dishonesty if done in the name of Scientology.

5. Enemies of Scientology are deemed to be “suppressive persons”(“SPs”). One becomes a “suppressive person” by doing a suppressive act, such as suing Scientology as a litigant or lawyer. In the jargon of Scientology, when one is “declared” this means that one has been declared a “suppressive person” and, therefore, may be, harassed, hurt, damaged or destroyed without regard to truth, honesty or legal rights. It is considered acceptable within Scientology to lie, cheat, steal and commit illegal acts in the name of dealing with a “suppressive person”.

6. This practice or policy is sometimes referred to as the policy of “fair game”. In the jargon of Scientology, a person who is “declared” is understood to be a suppressive person. This means that the person is “fair game”. The fair game policy was

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issued in the 1960s. It was, never cancelled. A document was issued for public relations reasons that purportedly cancelled “fair game”; however, that document stated that it did not change the manner of handling persons declared “SP.” In reality, the purported cancellation of fair game is at most a matter of semantics. Enemies of Scientology are treated as “fair game.”

7. It is my understanding, and I have so testified in my deposition, that when my husband and I escaped from Scientology we were not immediately declared suppressive persons or subjected to the fair game policy. Among other things, we were compelled to do certain things and sign various documents to escape and avoid being subjected to fair game treatment. As we have now sued Scientology, we are “fair game”.

8. From 1984 through early 1987, I was President of Religious Technology Center (hereinafter “RTC”). As President of RTC and a Sea Organization member, I attended many meetings concerning the numerous legal actions involving Scientology organizations. During this time period, I had personal access to all legal documents having to do with RTC. I received a report every day on my computer that included a synopsis of each ongoing legal case involving Scientology. I received, or so I was told, copies of every major motion filed in cases involving Scientology. I was on the “approval lines” for legal documents dealing with RTC. During this time period, I had the option of attending legal meetings although some were mandatory. I attended many litigation meetings and became generally aware of Scientology’s dirty tricks and legal maneuvers. On specifics, I frequently deferred to in-house and outside counsel, however, at least in theory, I was

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the head of RTC and had access to any business or litigation ” secrets” of Scientology.

9. As President of RTC, I was one of those responsible for retaining the services of Joseph Yanny as counsel for Scientology organizations. I supervised and worked with Mr. Yanny who served as coordinating attorney for RTC in 1985. I am not aware of any legal or corporate information concerning RTC that was available to Mr. Yanny but not available to me.

10. I am informed and believe that various Scientology organizations are contending that Mr. Yanny has somehow improperly educated me on the legal maneuvers, tactics and affairs of Scientology. Although such claims are consistent with litigation tactics of Scientology, which .are not constrained by considerations such as truth and reality, the proposition that I need Mr. Yanny to educate me on the internal affairs of Scientology is simply wrong. I was one of the highest ranking members of Scientology and was involved in upper management. Mr. Yanny was a lawyer hired by management, of which I was a part, to work for it. Further, it was the practice during the time period in question to screen the information given to outside counsel such as Mr Yanny.

11. It is the stated policy and practice of Scientology to use the legal system to abuse and harass its enemies. This crude, fundamental directive of Scientology is no secret. In any event, this information did not come to me from Mr. Yanny. The policy is to do anything and everything possible to harass the opposing litigant without regard to whether any particular motion or maneuver is appropriate or warranted by the facts or applicable law. That policy was followed in every legal case I was involved

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with or learned about while a member of the Sea Organization. The management of Scientology consistently expressed and demonstrated a complete disdain for the court system viewing it as nothing more than a method to harass enemies. Some examples of this are set forth below.

12. During litigation between Gerald Armstrong and Scientology, which was before Judge Breckenridge of Superior Court for Los Angeles County, the court ordered the production of Armstrong’s pre-clear (“PC”) folders. These are files maintained by Scientology on those who submit to interrogation sessions in a process called auditing. During the course of that litigation I was ordered to go through Armstrong’s folders and destroy or conceal anything that might be damaging to Scientology or helpful to Armstrong’s case. As ordered, I went through the files and destroyed contents that might support Armstrong’s claims against Scientology. This practice is known within Scientology as “culling PC folders” and is a common litigation tactic employed by Scientology.

13. During other litigation in Los Angeles known to me as the Wollersheim case, I was told that the. judge had ordered the production of Wollersheim’s folders. As ordered, I “culled” these files. In other words, I removed contents that might have been damaging to Scientology or support Wollersheim’s claims against Scientology. For example, I removed evidence of events involving his family, the anguish this caused him, evidence of disconnection from family and evidence of fair game.

14. I was involved in numerous meetings concerning what is known to me as the Christofferson case in Portland, Oregon. This

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case was tried twice. In the first case, a Scientology witness by the name of Martin Samuels was coached and drilled for hours on how to lie convincingly or avoid telling the truth. Before or during the second trial he admitted to this course of conduct. In this litigation, a Scientologist by the name of Joan Shriver produced responsive documents that may have been incriminating. This was a serious breach of policy for which she was punished. These documents were ordered produced on such short notice that apparently files were not thoroughly “culled”. In another case, Mr. Yanny was severely criticized and almost fired for failing to properly coach and feed the desired answers to Heber Jentzsch. Mr. Jentzsch was, for public relations reasons, the purported head of the Church of Scientology International. During his deposition, Mr. Jentzsch was unable to answer fundamental questions concerning the management of Church of Scientology International. This may be what certain defendants are referring to when they say that they were dissatisfied with Mr. Yanny’s services and I protected him. There were those, including McShane, who were outraged by the embarrassing testimony of Mr. Jentzsch. This was blamed on Mr. Yanny. I did not wish. to discontinue using Mr. Yanny at RTC for this perceived problem.

15. In November, 1985, I was present at a meeting whereat Earle Cooley, a Scientologist lawyer, Lyman Spurlock and Norman Starkey, all high ranking Scientologists, announced that they were going to contact Judge Mariana Pfaelzer. Earlier that day Judge Pfaelzer had denied a Scientology motion for a temporary restraining order. After losing on the application there was a meeting to determine what to do about the situation. At the

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meeting Mr. Cooley had a file, that purportedly contained background and personal information on Judge Pfaelzer. During the meeting Mr. Cooley and the others announced that they were going to attempt to meet with Judge Pfaelzer that evening, at her house if necessary, concerning the litigation in which the temporary restraining order had been sought. Thereafter, Mr. Cooley and two others left with their file on Judge Pfaelzer. They returned several hours later at which time I was told that their attempts to contact Judge Pfaelzer had been unsuccessful.

16. In late 1979 and early 1980, there was a massive document destruction program undertaken to destroy any evidence showing that L. Ron Hubbard (“LRH”) controlled Scientology. I participated in this activity in Clearwater, Florida and am informed that there was also intensive document destruction at facilities in Gilman Hot Springs, California. From at least that point onward there was a continuous effort to hide or destroy any evidence of Hubbard’s control. For example, during an IRS investigation in 1984 and 1985, while in bed with pneumonia, I was ordered out of bed by Norman Starkey who told me that they had received a tip from a Los Angeles Police officer advising them of a pending IRS raid in Los Angeles. Mr. Starkey ordered me to go to a computer facility and insure that all information on the computers in Los Angeles that might show Hubbard’s involvement and control of Scientology’s money was destroyed except for one copy of each document. These copies were to be saved on computer discs which were to be hidden in secure storage places. At the time I was also instructed to destroy anything that would show the control of Mr. Starkey or Mr. Miscavige over Scientology.

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17. I have been informed and believe that a an improper affidavit was filed in a case brought by L. Ron Hubbard, Jr. in Riverside, California. The circumstances were as follows: The document purported to be an affidavit of L. Ron Hubbard. The signature of Hubbard was purportedly notarized by David Miscavige. It is my understanding that this affidavit caused the case to be dismissed. Subsequently, I was told by Pat Broeker, who had been living with Hubbard at the time, and by Miscavige, that Miscavige had not seen Hubbard between 1980 and Hubbard’s death in 1986. Accordingly, the affidavit was apparently signed, notarized and dated during a time period when Hubbard was in seclusion and not seen by the person who purportedly notarized the signature of Hubbard.

18. In or about 1981, while working in a Scientology organization known as the Guardian’s Office, I had access to and observed various written and oral communications pertaining to illegitimate activities participated in by the Guardian’s Office.

The Guardian’s Office attempted to infiltrate both governmental and private agencies including the IRS, the Department of Justice, the American Medical Association and the National Institute of Mental Health. The purpose of this was to steal documents pursuant to Hubbard’s “Snow White” program. The goal of this program was to eliminate any negative reports about Hubbard and Scientology that may have been held by these various agencies.

19. While involved in Scientology I became aware of various operations directed against an author who had written a negative book about Scientology. The author, Paulette Cooper, was subjected to various forms of harassment. One operation included an

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attempt to frame her. A false bomb threat was written. A Scientology agent lifted a fingerprint from Cooper’s apartment. These fingerprints were then transferred to the bomb threat letter. Ms. Cooper was subjected to an investigation and was not cleared until an FBI raid resulted in the seizure of Scientology documents that exposed the operation as a frame-up. There was at least one other operation directed against Ms. Cooper. The substance of it was to plant a boyfriend to reinforce and play upon her suicidal tendencies in the hopes that she would commit suicide.

20. In 1976 and 1977, the then Mayor of Clearwater, Florida, Gabe Cazares was involved with litigation against Scientology. Arrangements were made to have an attorney by the name of Merril [sp. Merrill] Vanniere [sp. Veneer?], a Scientologist, represent Mr. Cazares and sabotage his case. This plot was also exposed by documents obtained in an FBI raid of a .Scientology facility. Also, in response to Mr. Cazares’ litigation against Scientology, an attempt was made to implicate Mr. Cazares in a staged hit-and-run accident.

21. During the time period of my involvement with Scientology, I also learned of various. attempts to influence judges or force their removal from cases. For example, a private investigator named Dick Bast obtained a statement from a prostitute concerning involvement with a certain judge in Washington, D.C. who was sitting on a Scientology case. This was then publicized. The judge did not continue on the case. The same investigator, Dick Bast was also hired for the purpose of attempting to force the removal of a judge in Tampa, Florida. This involved what I know as the Burden case, which was civil

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litigation brought by Michael Flynn. Dick Bast secured a yacht and attempted to get the judge on board for the purpose of filming him under compromising circumstances. The judge declined to go yachting and the operation was unsuccessful. Approximately $250,000.00 was spent on the operation.

22. I have been informed by Mark (Marty) Rathbun, a high ranking Scientologist, that his private investigator, Gene Ingram, “fed” a confession to Ala Tamimi when visiting him in an Italian prison. This false confession was, in substance, that Tamimi had been involved in a bad check scam involving an account of L. Ron Hubbard. This false confession implicated attorney Michael Flynn in the check scam. Michael Flynn was at the time considered a major enemy of Scientology because he represented numerous clients with claims against Scientology. This purported confession was used to slander and attack Michael Flynn. Michael Flynn has also been sued.by Scientology as part of its “strategy” for handling enemies.

23. During an IRS criminal investigation in the 1984 to 1985 time period, the IRS ordered production of various communications between Hubbard and Author Services, Inc. (ASI). The ASI staff worked literally day and night for several days reviewing documents so that unfavorable documents could be destroyed or otherwise concealed from the IRS. Lyman Spurlock and Marion M. Dendui, Scientologists involved in this operation, informed me of this operation. Also during this IRS investigation, my husband, Rick Aznaran, was ordered to remove and conceal any incriminating documents from certain locations. He was also directed to make the computer network “raid proof”. This involved creating a

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system where incriminating documents could be deleted from computer storage rapidly and before the IRS could obtain control over the computers.

24. In 1985, I attended a conference on “squirrels” attended by Miscavige, Starkey, Spurlock, and McShane, members of top management, and others. In Scientology jargon, “squirrels” are people who use or practice some procedures also used by Scientology but who do not submit to the total control of the Scientology organization and, perhaps most importantly, who do not pay a percentage of their auditing or counseling fees to Scientology. At this meeting, David Miscavige ordered that public Scientologists be organized and motivated to physically attack squirrels and disrupt their operations. This was stated to be pursuant to the standard guidelines of Scientology. Pursuant to such directives, efforts were undertaken to intimidate and disrupt these persons and their organizations.

25. In 1981, operation “Juggernaut” was commenced. The purpose of this was to destroy Michael Flynn who, as stated above, was representing various plaintiffs with litigation against Scientology. This operation contemplated the use of infiltration, propaganda and attempts to persuade clients to turn against him.

26. The Guardians’ Office got into so much trouble, and worse yet got caught, that it was decided in the early 1980’s that the Guardians’ Office should be disbanded. This was purely a public relations gimmick. In short, it was decided that the Guardians’ Office and Mary Sue Hubbard, its then leader, were to take the rap for all criticism and improper conduct. This scheme was laid out in various written communications I observed in 1981

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and 1982. (Of course, I was not allowed to keep or escape from Scientology with any such incriminating documents.)

27. Since the early 1970’s, Scientology has operated a forced labor camp known as the Rehabilitation Project Force (“RPF”). Staff members are incarcerated in the RPF for various real or imagined offense. People confined at this camp are forced to perform hard physical labor every day. They eat rice and beans, or left-overs, and wear rags. They are deprived of sufficient sleep. In 1987, I was confined in such a camp at Happy Valley for approximately six weeks. I worked all day and was confined in a room at night. To the best of my knowledge I was guarded 24 hours a day. They would not even let me shower alone. I had to obtain permission to use a bathroom. I was ill and not allowed to obtain medical treatment. I was not allowed to communicate with my husband nor was I allowed to obtain adequate sleep. I was told that I had gone insane and that my husband did not want to communicate with me. I was physically and psychologically abused both at Happy Valley and for numerous days thereafter in a process called “security checking”. Much oversimplified, I was grilled on a primitive lie detector called an E-Meter and made to understand that I would not be released, have my property returned, or escape fair game policy unless I eventually gave all of the “right” answers. Examples of ” right” answers were responses that I would not talk to a lawyer or consider suing Scientology. I had to give such answers before being released.

28. Recovering from the years of brainwashing, thought control and propaganda to which Scientology subjected me is a

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gradual process that I do not fully understand. I am not a psychologist or psychiatrist and do not fully understand the ramifications of what I have been through although I can observe and experience many symptoms. I have many nightmares and a fear of Scientology.

29. The suit brought by Richard Aznaran and myself is based upon real events that happened to real people, namely us. Just as my husband and I do not need Mr. Yanny to educate us on any secrets of Scientology, it is simply untrue that our claims were somehow invented or manufactured by Mr. Yanny. The whimsical notion that Mr. Yanny invented this litigation through my husband and me is simply false.

30. My husband and I consider Mr. Yanny to be a friend. Further, it might be noted that Mr. Yanny was to serve as my personal counsel in a class action against Scientology and numerous individuals including myself. Recent events have changed this, however, .there was a period of time when Mr. Yanny was purportedly designated as my personal counsel with the approval of Scientology.

31. My husband and I feel quite strongly that we want Barry Van Sickle and the firm of Cummins & White to represent us in this case. Our reasons are both subjective and objective. We do not wish to list our subjective reasons, although we will do so if the Court requests it. Objectively, it might be noted that we had considerable difficulty finding counsel willing and in a position to undertake this extremely volatile, time consuming and expensive litigation. We are unable to pay hourly rates to pursue our claims and need a firm willing to work with us on a contingency

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fee basis. I anticipate great difficulty, delay and prejudice if forced to find other counsel.

32. Based upon my experience within Scientology and as a litigant against it, I understand that this is not routine litigation. If I am forced to find other counsel, prospective counsel will be presented with the following situation:

(a) A complex case that must be handled on a contingency fee and cost-advanced basis;

(b) A case that requires a litigation team and substantial financial resources;

(c) A case involving an opponent who has a practice and history of suing opposing lawyers as a tactic in addition to subjecting opposing lawyers to surveillance, depositions, infiltration, bad publicity and the full ramifications of the fair game policy;

(d) A case where the opponent is not constrained by a need to be cost effective, truthful, honest or reasonable; and

(e) A case that requires extraordinary security precautions.

I declare under penalty of perjury under the laws of the State of California that the foregoing is true and correct.

Executed this 9th day of August, 1988, in Dallas, Texas.

[signed]
VICKI J. AZNARAN

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Notes

  1. This document in PDF format.

Declaration of Vicki J. Aznaran (August 8, 1988)

Declaration of Vicki J. Aznaran 1

I, Vicki J. Aznaran, make the following declarations on personal knowledge except where the context indicates knowledge based upon information and belief.

[…]8. From 1984 through early 1987, I was President of Religious Technology Center (hereinafter “RTC”). As President of RTC and a Sea Organization member, I attended many meetings concerning the numerous legal actions involving Scientology organizations. During this time period, I had personal access to all legal documents having to do with RTC. I received a report every day on my computer that included a synopsis of each ongoing legal case involving Scientology. I received, or so I was told, copies of every major motion filed in cases involving Scientology. I was on the “approval lines” for legal documents dealing with RTC. During this time period, I had the option of attending legal meetings although some were mandatory. I attended many litigation meetings and became generally aware of Scientology’s dirty tricks and legal maneuvers. On specifics, I  frequently deferred to in-house and outside counsel, however, at least in theory, I was the head of RTC and had access to any business or litigation secrets” of Scientology.

[…]12. During litigation between Gerald Armstrong and Scientology, which was before Judge Breckenridge of Superior Court for Los Angeles County, the court ordered the production of Armstrong’s pre-clear (“PC”) folders. These are files maintained by Scientology on those who submit to interrogation sessions in a process called auditing. During the course of that litigation it was ordered to go through Armstrong’s folders and destroy or conceal anything that might be damaging to Scientology or helpful to Armstrong’s case. As ordered, I went through the files and destroyed contents that might support Armstrong’s claims against Scientology. This practice is known within Scientology as “culling PC folders” and is a common litigation tactic employed by Scientology.

13. During other litigation in Los Angeles known to me as the Wollersheim case, I was told that the judge had ordered the production of Wollersheim’s folders. As ordered, I “culled” these files. In other words, I removed contents that might have been damaging to Scientology or support Wollersheim’s claims against Scientology. For example, I removed evidence of events involving his family, the anguish this caused him, evidence of disconnection from family and evidence of fair game.

14. I was involved in numerous meetings concerning what is known to me as the Christofferson case in Portland, Oregon. This case was tried twice. In the first case, a Scientology witness by the name of Martin Samuels was coached and drilled for hours on how to lie convincingly or avoid telling the truth. Before or during the second trial he admitted to this course of conduct. In this litigation, a Scientologist by the name of Joan Shriver
produced responsive documents that may have been incriminating. This was a serious breach of policy for which she was punished. These documents were ordered produced on such short notice that apparently files were not thoroughly “culled”. In another case, Mr. Yanny was severely criticized and almost fired for failing to properly coach and feed the desired answers to Heber Jentzsch. Mr. Jentzsch was, for public relations reasons, the purported head of the Church of Scientology International. During his deposition, Mr. Jentzsch was unable to answer fundamental questions concerning the management of Church of Scientology International. This may be what certain defendants are referring to when they say that they were dissatisfied with Mr. Yanny’s services and I protected him. There were those, including McShane, who were outraged by the embarrassing testimony of Mr. Jentzsch. This was blamed on Mr. Yanny. I did not wish to discontinue using Mr. Yanny at RTC for this perceived problem.

15. In November, 1985, I was present at a meeting whereat Earle Cooley, a Scientologist lawyer, Lyman Spurlock and Norman Starkey, all high ranking Scientologists, announced that they were going to contact Judge Mariana Pfaelzer. Earlier that day Judge Pfaelzer had denied a Scientology motion for a temporary restraining order. After losing on the application there was a meeting to determine what to do about the situation. At the
meeting Mr. Cooley had a file that purportedly contained background and personal information on Judge Pfaelzer. During the meeting Mr. Cooley and the others announced that they were going to attempt to meet with Judge Pfaelzer that evening, at her house if necessary, concerning the litigation in which the temporary restraining order had been sought. Thereafter, Mr. Cooley and two others left with their file on Judge Pfaelzer. They returned several hours later at which time I was told that their attempts to contact Judge Pfaelzer had been unsuccessful.

16. In late 1979 and early 1980, there was a massive document destruction program undertaken to destroy any evidence showing that L. Ron Hubbard (“LRH”) controlled Scientology. I participated in this activity in Clearwater, Florida and am informed that there was also intensive document destruction at facilities in Gilman Hot Springs, California. From at least that point onward there was a continuous effort to hide or destroy any
evidence of Hubbard’s control. For example, during an IRS investigation in 1984 and 1985, while in bed with pneumonia, I was ordered out of bed by Norman Starkey who told me that they had received a tip from a Los Angeles Police officer advising them of a pending IRS raid in Los Angeles. Mr. Starkey ordered me to go to a computer facility and insure that all information on the computers in Los Angeles that might show Hubbard’s involvement and control of Scientology’s money was destroyed except for one copy of each document. These copies were to be saved on computer discs which were to be hidden in secure storage places. At the time I was also instructed to destroy anything that would show the control of Mr. Starkey or Mr. Miscavige over Scientology.

17. I have been informed and believe that a an improper affidavit was filed in a case brought by L. Ron Hubbard, Jr. in Riverside, California. The circumstances were as follows: The document purported to be an affidavit of
L. Ron Hubbard. The signature of Hubbard was purportedly notarized by David Miscavige. It is my understanding that this affidavit caused the case to be dismissed. Subsequently, I was told by Pat Broeker, who had been
living with Hubbard at the time, and by Miscavige, that Miscavige had not seen Hubbard between 1980 and Hubbard’s death in 1986. Accordingly, the affidavit was apparently signed, notarized and dated during a time period when Hubbard was in seclusion and not seen by the person who purportedly notarized the signature of Hubbard.

18. In or about 1981, while working in a Scientology organization known as the Guardian’s Office, I had access to and observed various written and oral communications pertaining to illegitimate activities participated in by the Guardian’s Office. The Guardian’s Office attempted to infiltrate both governmental and private agencies including the IRS, the Department of Justice, the American Medical Association and the National Institute of Mental Health. The purpose of this was to steal documents pursuant to Hubbard’s “Snow White” program. The goal of this program was to eliminate any negative reports about Hubbard and Scientology that may have been held by these various agencies.

19. While involved in Scientology I became aware of various operations directed against an author who had written a negative book about Scientology. The author, Paulette Cooper, was subjected to various forms of
harassment. One operation included an attempt to frame her. A false bomb threat was written. A Scientology agent lifted a fingerprint from Cooper’s apartment. These fingerprints were then transferred to the bomb threat
letter. Ms. Cooper was subjected to an investigation and was not cleared until an FBI raid resulted in the seizure of Scientology documents that exposed the operation as a frame-up. There was at least one other operation directed against Ms. Cooper. The substance of it was to plant a boyfriend to reinforce and play upon her suicidal tendencies in the hopes that she would commit suicide.

20. In 1976 and 1977, the then Mayor of Clearwater, Florida, Gabe Cazares was involved with litigation against Scientology. Arrangements were made to have an attorney by the name of Merril Vanniere, a Scientologist, represent Mr. Cazares and sabotage his case. This plot was also exposed by documents obtained in an FBI raid of a Scientology facility. Also, in response to Mr. Cazares’ litigation against Scientology, an attempt was made to implicate Mr. Cazares in a staged hit-and-run accident.

21. During the time period of my involvement with Scientology, I also learned of various attempts to influence judges or force their removal from cases. For example, a private investigator named Dick East obtained a statement from a prostitute concerning involvement with a certain judge in Washington, D.C. who was sitting on a Scientology case. This was then publicized. The judge did not continue on the case. The same investigator, Dick Bast was also hired for the purpose of attempting to force the removal of a judge in Tampa, Florida. This involved what I know as the Burden case, which was civil litigation brought by Michael Flynn. Dick Bast secured a yacht and attempted to get the judge on board for the purpose of filming him under compromising circumstances. The judge declined to go yachting and the operation was unsuccessful. Approximately $250,000.00 was spent on the operation.

22. I have been informed by Mark (Marty) Rathbun, a high ranking Scientologist, that his private investigator, Gene Ingram, “fed” a confession to Ala Tamimi when visiting him in an Italian prison. This false confession was, in substance, that Tamimi had been involved in a bad check scam involving an account of L. Ron Hubbard. This false confession implicated attorney Michael Flynn in the check scam. Michael Flynn was at the time considered a major enemy of Scientology because he represented numerous clients with claims against Scientology. This purported confession was used to slander and attack Michael Flynn. Michael Flynn has also been sued by Scientology as part of its “strategy” for handling enemies.

23. During an IRS criminal investigation in the 1984 to 1985 time period, the IRS ordered production of various communications between Hubbard and Author Services, Inc. (ASI). The ASI staff worked literally day and night for several days reviewing documents so that unfavorable documents could be destroyed or otherwise concealed from the IRS. Lyman Spurlock and Marion M. Dendui, Scientologists involved in this operation, informed me of this operation. Also during this IRS investigation, my husband, Rick Aznaran, was ordered to remove and conceal any incriminating documents from certain locations. He was also directed to make the computer network “raid proof”. This involved creating a system where incriminating documents could be deleted from computer storage rapidly and before the IRS could obtain control over the computers.

24. In 1985, I attended a conference on “squirrels” attended by Miscavige, Starkey, Spurlock, and McShane, members of top management, and others. In Scientology jargon, “squirrels” are people who use or practice some procedures also used by Scientology but who do not submit to the total control of the Scientology organization and, perhaps most importantly, who do not pay a percentage of their auditing or counseling fees to Scientology. At this meeting, David Miscavige ordered that public Scientologists be organized and motivated to physically attack squirrels and disrupt their operations. This was stated to be pursuant to the standard guidelines of Scientology. Pursuant to such directives, efforts were undertaken to intimidate and disrupt these persons and their organizations.

25. In 1981, operation “Juggernaut” was commenced. The purpose of this was to destroy Michael Flynn who, as stated above, was representing various plaintiffs with litigation against Scientology. This operation contemplated the use of infiltration, propaganda and attempts to persuade clients to turn against him.

26. The Guardians’ Office got into so much trouble, and worse yet got caught, that it was decided in the early 1980’s that the Guardians’ Office should be disbanded. This was purely a public relations gimmick. In short, it was decided that the Guardians’ Office and Mary Sue Hubbard, its then leader, were to take the rap for all criticism and improper conduct. This scheme was laid out in various written communications I observed in 1981 and 1982. (Of course, I was not allowed to keep or escape from Scientology with any such incriminating documents.)

[…]

I declare under penalty of perjury under the laws of the State of California that the foregoing is true and correct.

Executed this day of August, 1988, in Dallas, Texas.

Vicki J. Aznaran

Notes

  1. This document in PDF format.

LA Weekly: Inside Scientology: The Other Side of the Looking Glass (April 4-10, 1986)

Inside Scientology: The Other Side Of The Looking Glass (April 4-10, 1986)

Inside Scientology: The Other Side Of The Looking Glass (April 4-10, 1986)

by Ron Curran with Jennifer Pratt 1

LA Weekly

Inside Scientology: The Other Side Of The Looking Glass (p.20)

Inside Scientology: The Other Side Of The Looking Glass (p.20)

The most visible non-traditional “religion” in Los Angeles is Scientology. Everybody sees its buildings; few know what goes on inside them. Critics call it a “Moonie-like” cult; devotees such as John Travolta, Chick Corea Al Jarreau and Karen Black swear it has changed their lives for the better. Opponents say it coerces, menaces and manipulates members and critical outsiders alike; supporters say it has merely defended itself against outside assaults. One thing is certain: Scientology is different.

(L. Ron Hubbard) has now moved on to his next level of… research. This level is beyond anything any of us has ever imagined. It is a level, in fact done in an exterior state, completely exterior from the body. In this level . . . … the body is nothing more than an impediment, an encumbrance, to any further gain … Thus, at 2000 hours, Friday, the 24th of January A.D. [1986,] L. Ron Hubbard discarded the body he had used in this lifetime for 74 years, 10 months and 11 days

-Hubbard protege “Captain” David Miscavige to 1,800 Scientologists at the Hollywood Palladium January 27, 1986

Hubbard’s “Freedom” Army

L. Ron Hubbard

Inside Scientology: The Other Side of the Looking Glass (p. 21)

THE CHURCH OF SCIENTOLOGY’s headquarters on Berendo Street off Sunset Boulevard is the busy mecca, of L.A.’s substantial Scientology community.

Approach the “blue building” and young children scurry up and offer to sell you copies of Scientology magazines. As you enter the lobby and near the reception desk (which bears a banner urging members to “Get Trained”), staffers wearing the naval-motif uniform of the church are quick to greet you, eager to help current members or recruit new members. A steady stream, of non-staff Scientologists floods the lobby around you. Some are on their way to or from counseling sessions, others have just dropped by to peruse, the latest Scientology “technology” for sale (such as a set of taped L. Ron Hubbard lectures, selling for $1,888). The Church of Scientology is indeed a world of bustling activity — and bristling anxiety.

For when the staffers learn that you are a “wog” (Scientology-speak for non-Scientologist) or, worse yet, a wog journalist their warm smiles change instantly to icy defensiveness. “What do you want?” snaps the receptionist, who only seconds earlier wanted to be your best friend. It doesn’t take long to realize that although church literature stresses that ” ‘Love thy neighbor’ is a basic tenet,” unless a Scientologist’s neighbor is a fellow member of the church, Scientologists can be zealously self protective.

A closer look behind the facade of good will offers further evidence of this. Security guards are everywhere. Sophisticated locks (whose combinations are continually changed) seal off the building’s catacomb of offices, files and counseling cubicles. A wanted poster offering a $500 reward for incriminating information on several church “enemies” hangs near one of the corridors. And though Scientology claims to be , a “major religion” encouraging “all man’s inalienable rights . . .” to think freely, to talk freely to write freely their own opinions and to counter or utter or write upon the opinions of others,” its “mother church” seems more like a fortress than a forum to an outsider, its atmosphere more like a city under siege than a citadel of learning.

But to Church of Scientology officials, this hyperprotectionism is a basic necessity if the mission that L. Ron Hubbard has bestowed upon his flock – nothing less than “building a new civilization” – is to be achieved. That the battle lines had been drawn was clear when three of the Scientology leaders most responsible for fulfilling Hubbard’s vision gathered one recent Sunday morning in the office of Church of Scientology International’s 51-year-old president, the Reverend Heber Jentzsch. Seated in front of a wall-size photo of the Andromeda galaxy were Jentzsch, with an ornate Scientology cross hanging from the cleric’s collar of his powder-blue shirt; the Reverend Ken Hoden, the gaunt, intense, president of L.A.’s Scientology flock; and Earle Cooley, a blustery man of considerable girth who serves as the church’s primary attorney. Three well-groomed young aides sat at the ready should the leaders need documents in support their pending points. And above all (literally and figuratively) was L Ron Hubbard, keeping a watchful eye from a portrait hanging high on the south wall. (Though Hubbard officially “resigned” from church leadership in 1966, disappeared from the public eye altogether in 1981 and died last January, the spectre of “Ron” still hangs heavy over every nook and cranny of the Scientology scene.)

The Reverend Jentzsch offered to explain the reason for the Church of Scientology’s history of controversy. “We are the victim of an international assault led by the psychiatric community, Cointelpro, the Rockefellers and governments throughout the world,” said Jentzsch, a former journalist (LA. Free Press) and actor (Paint Your Wagon) who joined the church in 1967 and became president of Church of Scientology International, its management arm, in 1981. “The Church of Scientology is determined to stand up against this attack on First Amendment rights.”(See Sidebar The Government’s War Against Scientology.”)

“I think it goes much deeper,” added Cooley, who has served as the church’s attorney for 16 months, but who has been a church member for only six months. “What we’re dealing with is really a deep underlying problem. Since the dawn of time, mankind has been interested in unlocking the secrets of the mind, of human nature. All religions are engaged in this pursuit, but Scientology focuses on it more intensely. This places Scientology on a collision course with psychiatry, psychology and the forces of government who are committed to behavior modification, thought control and the manipulation of mankind. We are engaged in a war for the human spirit.”

“So we have to protect our church and our freedom to believe in the religion of our choice,” interjected Hoden. “We have been singled out and been the center of so much attention because we have discovered a workable way for man to achieve total freedom. The freedom of mankind is our goal, and we will defend our right to strive for that freedom. ”

L. Ron Hubbard surveyed the scene from his portrait. He seemed pleased.

L.A.’s Most Conspicuous “Cult”?

Scientology is certainly no stranger to attention, and when the reclusive L. Ron Hubbard died of a stroke at his San Lois Obispo, ranch, the bright light of public scrutiny was again cast upon his progeny. But despite the walls of defense evident at Scientology headquarters, the church has, ironically, done everything in its power to keep its product, if not its parishioners, in the public eye. For in the 35 years since Hubbard founded Scientology, basing it on principles propounded in his 1950 bestseller Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health, it has consciously positioned itself as L.A.’s most conspicuous religion. (Some say “cult.”

Just look around. In a city of outlandish architecture, Scientology’s bright blue Berendo Street headquarters (once Cedars of Lebanon hospital) certainly catches the eye, while its 70-foot-tall green neon “SCIENTOLOGY” marquee dominates the Hollywood strip. Celebrities such as John Travolta, Karen Black and Al Jarreau publicly praise Scientology’s role in their success. Glossy newspaper supplements trumpet Scientology as a “major religion … [like] Protestantism, Buddhism, Judaism, Catholicism.” TV commercials show attractive woman scaling mighty cliffs thanks to Scientology principles. Circus like court trials brought by and against Scientology continually grab prominent coverage in the local and national press. (A $100 million fraud suit against the church is currently being tried in federal court here.) Indeed, in Los Angeles, where a high profile is often more important than high standards, the Church of Scientology has made itself a star.

But despite its pervasive presence, Scientology remains an enigma to most people.

The questions are many: What exactly is Scientology? Is it really a religion or is it a business disguised as a religion? How many members does it have? Who wields the power? Why does it generate so much controversy? Has it, as critics have charged, been taken over by a moneyhungry, manipulative and exploitive coterie who deceive and use the members for their own ends, turning them into fanatics, or is it run by a truly conscientious group? Is Scientology “the only road to total freedom,” as its many supporters insist, or a “greedy, brainwashing money machine and vicious cult engaging in sometimes despicable acts,” as detractors claim? Or is it something in between?

To answer these questions, LA Weekly spent the better part of a year tracing Scientology’s history, studying its doctrines and interviewing former members and other critics of the church. Perhaps most important, the Weekly’s editors approached the press-paranoid leader of Scientology with a deal; “Allow us to examine Scientology from the inside – to interview current church members, tour restricted church buildings and experiment with Scientology technology. In return, we promise to print a fair and accurate presentation of our findings.”

Initially, the offer was met with resistance. During a meeting with these reporters early last year at a restaurant across from Scientology headquarters, Ken Hoden made it clear that, because of previous critical articles in the Weekly, “We don’t want anything to do with your story.” Days later, a prominent advertiser who is a Scientologist threatened to pull his ads if an article critical of the church appeared. But a meeting between senior officials of the church and a Weekly editor eventually took place, the deal was, struck (“We’ve taken so many shots from the press, we have to be careful,” apologized Hoden) and the Weekly was granted unprecedented access to the inner workings of the Church of Scientology. (Not without restrictions, however. Church finances were ruled a taboo subject. We were barred from random interviewing of church members and allowed to tour Scientology grounds only with Hoden as our guide. This defensiveness, seems to stem from a combination of justified apprehension resulting from past press fixation on Scientology’s controversial aspects and a paranoia inherited from L. Ron Hubbard, who considered reporters pawns in the global psychiatric conspiracy. Hoden confirmed that all Scientology officials receive instruction on how to deal with reporters.)

Still, Hoden was surprisingly cooperative, spending nearly 50 hours explaining the structure and philosophy of his church, arranging interviews with current Scientologists and rebutting the allegations of some 30 representative former Scientologists. (There is also an official opposition group called FAIR – Freedom for All in Religion – consisting of about 200 former church members, many of whom still practice “auditing” at independent centers; but who oppose the current church hierarchy as “lying, fraudulent, and “Gestapo-like” to quote one FAIR member.)

Both sides had their axes to grind. Hoden and current church members feel Scientology is a ground-breaking religion unfairly persecuted because of its unique effectiveness. Former members, (vastly outnumbered by current members) claim that abusive church policies have left them emotionally, spiritually and financially bankrupt and feel that attacks on the church are justified.

What did we conclude? That Scientology is neither patently good nor patently evil. Rather, there is a curious dichotomy. The majority of Scientologists attest in being perfectly happy with the church, while former members tend to carry with them intense bitterness and resentment. The church criticizes psychiatry while selling pseudo-Freudian counseling. Scientologists accuse its enemies of launching malicious attacks against the church, but the church itself has a history of harassment and of vengeful (and sometimes illegal) clandestine operations against enemies, real or imagined. But above all, Scientology promises total freedom while undermining that noble theory too often with disturbing practices.

Therapy as Religion

Hubbard's shrine; Builders of a new civilization; E-meter auditing

Inside Scientology: The Other Side of the Looking Glass (p. 22)

Though the Berendo Street headquarters is the hub of Scientology activity in Los Angeles, the church’s showplace is in Celebrity Center at Franklin and Bronson. A grand gothic chateau built for William Randolph Hearst in the 1920s, this complex of Scientology offices and apartments has retained much of its charm, replete with garden grounds and flowing fountains. The idyllic setting is reinforced as you enter the mansion’s foyer. The walls are lined with original art, and music from a grand piano wafts around you. Indeed, it is a serene setting.

That is, until one is confronted in the main lobby by a large advertising display selling a series of taped lectures by L. Ron Hubbard titled “Radiation and Your Survival.” A brochure quotes Hubbard from a lecture: “There is actually such a point where a person’s beingness can be sufficiently great that he becomes practically indestructible.” The inference? With Scientology training, you will survive radiation poisoning. The cost of the lecture tape? Nearly $300. Welcome to the schizophrenic world that is the Church of Scientology: Enlightenment costs money;

It was at the Celebrity Center that we met 39-year old Ken Hoden for the first of several formal interviews. A former electrical engineer who is the son of a Baptist minister, Hoden says he became attracted to Scientology after reading Dianetics in 1973 and realizing he “was not as effective as [he] wanted to be.” He joined the staff the following year and was named titular head of Scientology’s influential L.A. congregation in 1984.

Henceforth, Hoden would be our personal guide through the church’s complex labyrinth of “freedom” and finance. Wearing a traditional priest collar under a well-tailored gray suit, and sipping coffee from a sterling silver service set in one of the Celebrity Center’s conference rooms, Hoden articulated his confidence in the church. “Scientology is the best way I’ve found to help people improve their lives. If Dianetics and Scientology are applied standardly, it will work 100 percent of the time with every single person everywhere. Compared in anything else, it is the only road to total freedom.

According to Hoden, the Church of Scientology currently boasts more than 40,000 members in Los Angeles and 6 million throughout the world. (Church officials concede the world total includes anyone who has taken any Scientology course over the last five years, though of course many of these people now have no affiliation with the church.) Of the L.A. members, 1,500 are full-time staff, 760 of them living and working out of the Berendo complex, earning $24 per week plus minimal room, board and expenses as members of the “Sea Organization,” an elite, almost monastic segment of the Scientology community.

The remainder of Scientology’s L.A. members are those who take courses at any of the five area churches or numerous franchise missions in the L.A. area. (Scientology claims to operate 600 churches and missions worldwide.) L.A. also serves as home to Scientology’s more upper-level Continental and American Saint Hill churches, as well as to “Advanced Org,” at which progressively more sophisticated (and expensive) services are offered.

The day-to-day management of the church is carried out by Heber Jentzsch as president of the Church of Scientology International. Vicki Azneran is head of one of the church’s two major business subsidiaries, Religious Technology Corporation, (RTC), which controls Hubbard’s trade-marks. David Miscavige runs the second subsidiary, the for-profit Author Services Inc. (ASI), which handles Hubbard’s non Scientology literary works (such a the best-selling sci-fi novel, Battlefield Earth). The “ecclesiastical top” of Scientology is in Flag Service Org in Clearwater, Florida. Mark Yeager is the church’s highest ranking ecclesiastic official, assisted by Ray Mithoff. Earle Cooley coordinates all legal affairs, while Lyman Spurlock is church accountant and Norman Starkey serves as its marketing expert.

According to Hoden, these people assumed power “based on their record of production. If you make things go, You’ll move up in the church. It’s based on statistics … on graphs.” (QUOTAS are imposed on Scientologists to encourage the maximum number of new recruits and the highest level of production. Critics claim these quotas often lead to over aggressive recruiting and fraudulent promises of results that warp the church’s altruistic goals. The church’s “Code of Ethics” lists “mistakes resulting in financial loss” as a ‘misdemeanor’ offense.)

Ken Hoden also confirms that same of the church’s most influential advisors come from an inner circle of aides who served Hubbard in his final years. People like Pat and Anne Broeker (who Hoden says serve as “consultants” ) are rumored to have gained substantial power in the church. Miscavige’s role as announcer of Hubbard’s death and host of his annual New Year’s message seem to confirm this special influence.

Obviously, spiritual “enlightenment,” or higher levels getting ‘Clear’ is no requisite for advancement in the church.

Scientology is based on principles Hubbard first expressed in Dianetics – basically that man can achieve “total freedom” by controlling his “reactive mind.” Hubbard later expanded his theories into the more elaborate scenario of human existence and improvement known as Scientology. Upper-level Scientologists are exposed to Hubbard’s theories that abberrant behavior was implanted in humans 75 million years ago by an evil ruler named Xenu, who froze people and dropped them into 10 volcanos, After killing the humans with hydrogen bombs to combat over population, Xenu collected their spirits as they rose in clusters from the volcanos, and implanted the spirits with evil thoughts. Hubbard dubbed these clusters of brainwashed spirits “body thetans.” These thetans according to Hubbard, literally attach themselves to humans as we are reincarnated over the eons and are responsible for all aberrant behavior we commit. (Hubbard collected these and thousands of additional theories into a series of “red books” that serve as the bible of Scientology “technology.” A series of “green books” detail his daily rules and policies for church management.)

It needs to be noted here that Scientologists are not exposed to the “Xenu” theories until they have moved well up through the Scientology courses. These courses deal with more mundane behavioral patterns and relationships, much as any therapy does, and Scientologists insist they are effective aids to human growth, even without acceptance of any of Hubbard’s “higher” principles or theorems.

Hoden and other Scientologists argue that most other churches, at their core, have creation myths that are as strange to outsiders as Scientology’s – “Do you know what Mormons really believe?” one Scientologist asked. (Hoden was so troubled by the impending discussion of the Xenu material that he asked the Weekly not to print it. The material originally appeared in the L.A. Times.) And at any rate, church supporters argue, getting “clear” of psychological trauma is paramount in church practices, not forcing members to accept unusual theories; and members may hold traditional religious beliefs as well.

To eventually rid oneself of the “negative influence, of the mind,” a person must begin by “confronting” memory images of painful experiences accumulated in past and present lives. These negative mental images me called “engrams” and carry with them a negative electric charge. (Scientologists don’t consider the mind to be the brain, but rather a collection of pictures surrounding the person, accumulated throughout one’s present and previous lives. Scientologists consider a person to be a spirit – called a “thetan” that can be affected by these pictures.)

“Close your eyes and think of an apple,,, offers Hoden as proof that these mental pictures exist. “You can see an image of the apple, right? An engram is also a picture. They’re actual images of negative experiences that exist in your mind, and when you address them in auditing you can eliminate their harmful influence.” In an effort to “destimulate” the negative effect of an engram, Scientologists work their way up a “bridge” of increasingly expensive auditing courses until they eventually “clear” themselves of this “source of aberrant behavior and psychosomatic illness” and achieve ” total Freedom “.

“A Scientologist starts a the bottom of the bridge and works his way up to total freedom one course, at a time,” says Hoden. “He or she spends as much time as they need to achieve the results of each level. They decide when they’re ready to move up.”

Conspiracy pawns, sincere critics or just plain broke?

Inside Scientology: The Other Side of the Looking Glass (p. 24)

The bridge is divided into two sections – “processing” and “training.” The lower levels of the processing bridge, according to Hoden, “deal with the mind’s effect on the body, which would include addressing the subject of drug dependencies and self confidence and the psychosomatic source of illness.”Four courses comprise this lower level: “Purification Rundown,” which promises “freedom from residual effects of drug residues and other toxins” ; “Objectives,” which puts the Scientologist “in present time and able to control and put order in the environment”; “Drug Rundown,” which “releases the Scientologist from the harmful effect of drugs, medicine, or alcohol”; and “ARC Straight wire” which assures that the Scientologist “knows he /she wont get any worse.” (Sixty percent of the recruits, according to officials, have drug problems.)

The next level of processing includes seven auditing steps that lead up to the much sought after “clear” stage. Grade 0 provides the subject with “the ability to communicate freely with anyone on any subject”; Grade 1 provides the “ability to recognize the source of problems and make them vanish”; Grade 2 provides “relief from the the hostilities and sufferings of life”; Grade 3 allows ” freedom from the upsets of the past and ability to face the future”; Grade 4 assures that the Scientologist is “moving out of fixed conditions and gaining abilities to do new things”; “New Era Dianetics” proves that the subject is becoming a “clear or well and happy human being”; and “clear” is the stage where the Scientologist is “a being who no longer has his own reactive mind.”

After the Scientologist has achieved the state of “Clear”, he enters the final stages of processing called the Operating Thetan levels. The OTs “address the person as a spirit, improving the abilities of the spirit with the purpose of achieving total spiritual freedom”, according to Hoden. The ability gained in OT courses I through 7 is listed as “confidential” in church literature, but includes such secret teachings of L Ron Hubbard as his “Xenu” theory of man’s beginnings. OT 8 is due out this year, while courses 9 through 15 are scheduled for release in coming years.

“Auditing is a very specific process,” says Hoden, who himself has reached the level of OT 3, though, like many Scientologists encountered, he consumes vast amounts of coffee, adding to a general air of anxiety in the church (chain-smoking seems; de rigueur). “It is a scientific, spiritual technology that must be practiced in a specific manner in be effective in helping people achieve spiritual freedom. If it is carried out uniformly, it will not fail.” The person responsible for conducting auditing sessions at the various levels a called an “auditor” (or “minister”.) Auditors are trained on the “training” side of the bridge in a series of courses titled “Class 0 Auditor” through “Class 12 Auditor” (though an auditor cannot audit anyone, in a processing course higher than he himself has achieved). When conducting an auditing session, the auditor attaches subjects to an instrument called an “electropsychometer” or E-meter) that consists of two small metal cylinders connected by alligator clips to an elementary control board. As the Scientologist holds a cylinder in each hand, a harmless amount of electricity (about one-half volt) is pumped through his body. The auditor then asks questions regarding possible areas of emotional distress.

At the beginning of most anditing sessions (no matter what level the course), the auditor asks the same three questions of the subject Scientologist who is hooked up to the meter: “Do you have an ‘ARC’ break? (Meaning, “Are you upset about anything?”); “Do you have any present time problems?”); and “Has a withold been missed?” (Meaning, “is there any transgression you have witheld from someone?”)

If there are no specific problems, the auditor asks a series of literally hundreds of predetermined questions specific in that auditing level. For instance, in the lower level of “ARC Straightwire”, the auditor asks such questions as, “Can you remember a time when you were happy?~ Or when you had just finished constructing something? Life was cheerful? Somebody had given you something? You ate something good? You had a friend?” After the subject answers each question, the auditor probes him for “sense memory” details ( e.g. sight, smell, touch, color, emotion) that accompany the memory.

As questions are answered the auditor monitors a needle gauge to see if it registers any changes in “mental” electrical charge. Experiences in the past that contain pain or emotional trauma are believed to cause a change in a person’s electrical charge. The auditing minister then notes the E-meter response, in the person’s “PC (preclear) folder.” Case supervisors later examine these notes to assure that the problems will be addressed at later sessions or in more advanced courses. For each type of problem, there is a series of questions intended to neutralize the charge. (The meter will also indicate when the “mental charge” is removed from the traumatic experience, meaning that the engram in question has been adequately dealt with. An engram that is extremely charged is referred to as a “rock slam.”)

“The E-meter and auditing are really quite extraordinary,” says Tony Hitchman, a former South African journalist who now conducts auditing sessions. “They serve as a wonderfully specific guide to what’s troubling a person. Through auditing and the E=meter we cane help that person remove engrams and better his/her life.”

Our brief experience on the E-meter proved inconclusive. Though the needle registered in varying degrees when we were questioned about general emotional topics such as our families and love lives, it seemed little more than an instrument reacting to physical responses (rather than “spiritual pictures”), much like a lie detector.

Regardless of whether E-meter auditing is a scientific probe or purely a placebo, it is certainly popular among Scientologists being shown through the blue building by Hoden, we witnessed literally hundreds of church members auditing and being audited in the deep recesses of the former hospital. Though we were not allowed to question Scientologists as they were auditing, many church members interviewed after the session expressed unqualified raves for the process that is the backbone of Scientology study.

“Scientology auditing has added a lot of meaning to my life,” said Barbara Clarke, a 60-year-old former chemist and teacher who has studied Scientology for 18 years and served as a field auditor since 1975. “I got involved because I knew there had to be more to life than just getting up, working and going back to bed. From the very first lecture I attended, Scientology made so much sense I know auditing works, and I’ve never felt my doubts.”

Phil Gilbert, a 31- year-old plumbing company executive who began Scientology auditing after reading Dianetics in 1974, typically shared Clarke’s enthusiasm. “Scientology is the only logical explanation of how the mind works that I’ve come across,” he says. “Auditing has been invaluable. I studied piano as a kid but had forgotten how to play. My mind had just blocked out that talent. But after just a few auditing sessions I suddenly remembered, and I’ve been playing and writing ever since. It’s really something.”

Jonathan Hawks credited a chance Scientology encounter in 1968 with increasing his communicative abilities. “I was having a lot of problems stemming from my frustrated theater career,” said 52-year-old Hawk, who now works as a computer operator. “One day while my analyst was hospitalized, I happened to see an advertisement for a Scientology lecture and I thought, ‘Why not try it?’ As soon as I started auditing, I turned my problems around. I could finally communicate with people.

Even many former members who claim to have been embittered by their experience with the church … say they believe that they benefited from Scientology auditing. “I achieved some benefits.” remarked Jon Zegel who spent 10 years with the church before leaving to help establish an independent auditing group. “I’m more emotionally stable, and there seem improvements in my life.”

Countering this are, of course, the inevitable failures. While no statistics exist about whether auditing has been perceived by a majority of the participants as beneficial . . the church argues that there are more current members undergoing auditing than ex-members – certainly there is at least a vocal minority professing problems from the process.

More objective analysis of auditing is hard to come by (the Periodical Index lists no scientific studies in medical or psychological journals), and independent psychologists and psychiatric professionals are reluctant to be quoted by name, noting that one colleague who did criticize auditing is being sued by the church, which has built a reputation for litigiousness.

However, one L.A therapist who worked with a former Scientologist said: “A lot of the practices these guys use are very close to the truth, but I suspect it’s very dangerous for the average person because there’s a tendency toward coercive rigid misuse of otherwise good material. In this patient’s case, it was hard for him, to have an individualistic view. He saw everything in terms of ‘Scientology’ world view and jargon. It’s clearly not for everybody.”

Still another L.A. therapist who worked with a former Scientologist noted: “The process of simply having these auditing question, put to him didn’t help him. He had serious self-esteem problems and he needed aggressiveness training and emotional release so he could learn to express himself. The auditing was too passive for that. I suspect it doesn’t work on many people for that reason, and also became it doesn’t truly give them a basis to understand the underlying causes of their behavior.”

“Nancy,” 42, is one such example. She claims she left the church after eight years because “I wasn’t getting out of it what I thought I would. I had a drinking problem and my self-esteem was, low because of it. I’d heard from a friend that auditing was supposed to cure people of alcoholism. But I took courses for seven years, spending $12 000, then left. I went back for another year, a year later to give it a second chance and spent another $1,000, but I still wasn’t making progress. I was still drinking. Then I enrolled in Alcoholics Anonymous and I haven’t had a drink since September 1984 . Auditing just didn’t work for me.”

Yet another former member, “Betty” (who also requested anonymity), says she spent come than $80,000 during her 14 years of auditing. “They kept telling me just a little more auditing would solve my problems”, she says. “But all it did was make them $80,000 and make me feel worse about myself.”

Knowledgeable observers told the Weekly that they believe Scientology does have some positive effect, much of it coming from three sources a) that Scientology tends to attract many young drug-damaged, truly “lost” personalities who benefit from the structure as they would from any rigid-rule behavior systems such as prevail in many drug treatment programs b) that many of Scientology’s subjects have so little intercourse with themselves, self-reflection that even what they can pick up from the auditing process is itself the beginnings of self-awareness and therefore changed behavior; and c) the “placebo” effect — the fact that Scientologists believe themselves to be part of a process that helps them, and so they move through life with more confidence and fewer anxieties, creating their own more positive realities.

So what’s the problem? If even many church critics are satisfied that the auditing process has improved their Iives, why has Scientology been the center of so much controversy”?

Payment Before Enlightenment

“Total Freedom” through Scientology does not come, cheap. With registered trademarks affixed to every Scientology term and title, Hubbard’s religion some times more closely resembles K-mart than, say, Catholicism. Scientology’s policy of payment before enlightenment is perhaps the leading cause of questions concerning the church ‘s credibility as an altruistic institution. Although Ken Hoden initially dragged his feet in supplying a promised list of auditing fees because, as he put it, “when you walk into a Baptist church or any other church, [ finances are] just not something you commonly discuss,” He eventually provided a breakdown of prices for Scientology courses and materials.

Scientology’s “Donation Rate Card” shows that “public” Scientologists — who comprise the vast majority of church members — can spend more than $1,000 per hour of auditing (purchases in 12 1/2-hour blocks called ” intensives”) and between $50,000 and $100,000 (and more) to complete the dozens of Scientology courses.

(According to Hoden staff members of Scientology’s elite group whose members receive only $24 per week allowance plus expenses — receive auditing free of charge, and other members receive substantial discounts Hoden also stressed that “people can get Dianetics from a bookstore or library and audit themselves at home for free (up to the “Clear” level), or get their processing free as they study to be an auditing minister. However, the “Donation Rate Card” does not spell out this option, advising potential members to “contact the Registrar at the nearest Church of Scientology for individual consultation and estimate. ‘It also, mentions only ” Scientology churches, missions and field auditors” as outlets for processing services.

According to Hoden more than 90 percent of Scientologists enter the bridge by reading Dianetics and taking any of several “mini-courses” (such, as ‘Anatomy of the Human Mind’) to see if they find Scientology helpful.

The Scientology rate card lists the cost of the lowest-level course on the actual bridge (“Purification Rundown”) at $2,000 total, while intensives for the next nine courses up through “New Era Dianetics” cost $4,3330. A “clear” level intensive goes for $1,690 while OT intensives range from $1,000 to $8,000. There are literally hundreds of periphery Hubbard teachings that range in price from $5 to $16,500. “Recommended” E-meters are also for sale, ranging from, $873 for the Mark V to $3,493 for the Black Mark VI.

Many Scientologists who work their way up to the top of the bridge eventually spend more because the church historically continues to add “revised” auditing levels, each requiring additional investment before “total freedom” can be achieved.

The recent Scientology brochure announcing the addition of a revised OT 5 level provides a good example. The brochure announces a pending “miracle” auditing technology that promises to answer your “wildest dreams” questions about “Ron’s breakthrough into the ‘SECOND WALL OF FIRE.'” The “donation” required is $7,600 per intensive (Through upwards of five intensives my be needed.)

Ken Hoden is quick to justify Scientology’s rates. “There isn’t a legitimate emphasis in the world that doesn’t put an emphasis on money,” says Hoden “People know how much our courses cost when they sign up. Besides, you can’t put a price on total spiritual freedom.” Hoden added that members who question the adding of new study levels “are people who have given up the quest for total freedom. If you talk to people in the church who are up to that point, they’re waiting on pins and needles for the new levels to come out. People in the church have no complaints. Besides, without money the church could not expand and bring further hope to mankind.”

Current church members also insist that Scientology is worth any price. “I’ve found it’s a great bargain because I’m more in control and therefore able to fulfill my potential and make more money,” volunteered Carol Worthy Corns, a 43-year-old professional composer who joined Scientology 15 years ago while still in college. “I’d undergone two years of psychotherapy after spending the 60’s looking for life’s answers in assorted philosophies and the drug culture. But in my first three auditing sessions, I handled a major problem that would have taken me many years and 20 times more money to solve through psychotherapy. Scientology has saved my life at least 10 times. How can you put a monetary value on that kind of help?”

But Scientology’s high prices have caused many members to question the church’s priorities. One such is “Steve” ( who spoke on condition that his real name not be used.) Steve was introduced to Scientology 13 years ago while still in college. He served as a member of Hubbard’s staff for eight years, bringing home the then standard salary of $17 for each of what he describes as “our average six-day, 80 hour work weeks.) Steve claims he spent more than $30,000 on Scientology before joining staff ( borrowing money from his parents and working door-to-door job on his one day off) before beginning to doubt Scientology’s motives.

“When the prices went really high, I started to feel that if Hubbard really thought Scientology worked, it would make it easier, not harder, for people to experience it,” says Steve. “Total Freedom was available, yet we couldn’t afford it.”
Hana Eltringham Whitfield – ex-D/Commodore for L Ron Hubbard and Jerry Whitfield

Caption: Critical Former church members Hana and Jerry Whitfield

Jerry Whitfield, who is on the steering committee of FAIR, is another former member who became disillusioned by the church’s financial priorities. Whitfield spent eight years, and $20,000 in the church before he realized that “though the technology was helpful, the organization was not set up to let people make full use of it. It was arranged to maximize its profit margin.”

A History of Controversy

Hana and Jerry Whitfield

Inside Scientology: The Other Side of the Looking Glass (p. 30)

As anyone who follows the news knows, Scientology has been involved in a series of controversial cases, many of them involving vengeful church actions against its critics. (More on this below.) Although the church always paints itself as the victim, its critics suggest that Scientology hasn’t been persecuted from the outside, but rather is the victim of warped and misplaced priorities inside the church. The critics, – and there are more than the church is willing to admit – assert that the fundamental problems afflicting the church are a direct reflection of the complex personality of the man who sired it, and of the power structure and money-bent of the church itself, as divorced from Scientology Practices.

Step inside the giant brass doors of Scientology headquarters’ Fountain Avenue entrance and you enter a shrine to the legend of Hubbard. Hundreds of proclamations honoring Hubbard from such luminaries as former L.A. Councilwoman Peggy Stevenson, Massachusetts Governor Michael Dukakis and Colorado Senator Gary Hart line the walls. Several portraits and busts of Hubbard are prominently displayed. Collections of his detective, science fiction and Scientology writings are meticulously preserved. Unfortunately for Scientology, it has often proven difficult for church members to separate manufactured legend from reality in Hubbard’s life. Official church biographies have at various times described Hubbard as a nuclear physicist, an earner of a Ph.D., and a Navy hero who was crippled, blinded and twice declared dead in battle (but who completely healed his wound with Dianetics techniques).
In fact, Navy records show that Hubbard’s war record my have been exaggerated and that he was hospitalized due to minor ulcers and a fall from a ladder. In addition, evidence suggests that Hubbard obtained his Ph.D. from a diploma mill known as Sequoia University after failing class and dropping out of George Washington University.

(Hoden claims Hubbard left school because because “they couldn’t teach him what the human spirit was, so he went elsewhere.)”

Hana Eltringham Whitfield has unique insight into the man who was; Lafayette Ron Hubbard. Before leaving the church in 1983, Eltringham Whitfield served as a senior Scientology official for 18 years (after signing the requisite “billion-year contract” with the church), including a stint a a personal aide aboard Hubbard’s 320-foot yacht, the Apollo. (“Commodore” Hubbard established a naval motif throughout his church, requiring staff members to wear sailorlike uniforms and giving them various “officer” titles.) Says Eltringham Whitfield of Hubbard: “He was a very shrewd man, but he always wanted to be something more than he really was. He wanted to be a nuclear physicist, a war hero. He was an insecure man in that respect, so he felt the need in romanticize his past.”

Ken Hoden dismisses Hubbard’s biographical inconsistencies as “errors by former public relations people who have since been removed.” But whatever the cause of the confusion, there is no question that Hubbard was ambitious. After a prolific and successful career writing pulp science fiction and detective stores, Hubbard published a thin volume of his Dianetics theories in 1948. He expanded those rudimentary principles in 1949 and published his full Dianetics book in May 1950. The book was a run away best seller and a favorite among artists, writers and other intelligentsia of the day. (Dianetics has sold more than 7 million copies. Scientology officials put total sales of Hubbard’s 589 published fiction and non-fiction stories and books at more than 50 million.)

Hubbard took the profits from Dianetics and created the Hubbard Dianetic Research Foundation in Elizabeth, New Jersey. When this initial venture proved unsuccessful, Hubbard moved the foundation first to Kansas, then to Phoenix, where he formed the Hubbard Academy of Scientology in 1954. Later that year, a small group of Hubbard’s followers officially established the Founding Church of Scientology, with headquarters in Washington, D.C., and field offices in L.A. Hubbard was named church director and “founder of the Scientology religion.” Less than five years after reportedly telling a 1949 convention of sci-fi writers that “if a man really wanted to make a million dollars, the best way would be to start his own religion,” Hubbard had taken his own advice. (Although Scientology officials have in the past confirmed the quote but claimed Hubbard was only kidding, others dispute the quote entirely, attributing it instead to George Orwell.)

By then, Hubbard’s philosophy had already come under serious attack. His claim that with Dianetics auditing IQs could be greatly increased, that “arthritis vanishes, myopia gets better, heart illness decreases, asthma disappears, stomachs function properly and the whole catalogue of ills goes away and stays away,” had led to a 1951 New Jersey investigation for fraudulent medical practices. Similar claims attracted the attention of federal officials shortly after Scientology was founded, and ensuing years would see Hubbard’s religion investigated by the governments of Australia, Canada, England, France, New Zealand and South Africa (as well as the U.S.).

Scientology was banned outright in much of Australia from 1965 through 1973. From 1968 through 1980, England barred foreign nationals, including Hubbard, from entering the country to practice Scientology. (Hoden claim that the church received apologies from government officials when the bans were lifted.) French officials in 1978 convicted Hubbard and two Scientology associates ( in absentia ) of fraudulent medical practices and fined them $7,000 before higher courts overturned these decisions. Such claims have also been the basis of several lawsuits, including one last year in which a Portland woman was awarded $39 million in damages before the judge, perhaps influenced by pressure from thousands of Scientologists protesting the decision, overturned his ruling on the grounds that it violated Scientology’s right to freedom of religion.

Ken Hoden confirms that Hubbard’s early claims are still taken as gospel by Scientologists. “We’re not saying that if you lose a leg we can grow another for you,” says Hoden (who stresses that the church “encourages members to see a doctor if they are ill. “Through auditing, the psychosomatic causes of illness can be addressed. Once these are handled, the body is capable of healing itself.” Hoden did, however, reassert that church members – including himself – regularly increase their IQs while studying Scientology.

Another major assertion among Scientologists is that the investigations are not only unwarranted but are part of a global conspiracy to destroy the church, orchestrated in part by the psychiatric establishment. (Hubbard often compared psychiatrists to Hitler, and Genghis Khan.)

“Psychiatry is a self perpetuating fraud that realizes we can do a better job of helping people without shock treatment and pills”, says Hoden, who added that Scientology is now practiced without restriction throughout the world. “The governments who have harassed us are threatened by our investigations into their excesses.”

Scientology’s claims of government harassment may, in fact, have some validity. The church is a leading expert in the intricacies of the Freedom of Information Act and publishes Freedom Magazine of tough investigative reporting that has broken several stories embarrassing to its primary government targets: the FBI, CIA and IRS. (For full conspiracy details, see sidebar.)

Scientology and the IRS have long been particularly bitter opponents. Despite the controversy surrounding Hubbard, the popularity of his philosophy – and Scientology’s bank accounts – grew quickly throughout the ’50s. Money came so fast to Scientology that Hubbard, the pulp author who reportedly said he was tired of writing for a penny a word in 1949 – though Scientology officials deny this attribution – was able just 10 years later to buy a 30-room mansion and 57 acre estate I in England, originally built for the Maharajah of Jaipur.

Soon after, the IRS began examining the relationship between Hubbard and his church. The years of investigations led to a 1984 U.S. Tax Court ruling that the Church of Scientology of California (CSC) had “made a business of selling religion” It had blocked the IRS from collecting taxes by storing large amounts of cash in a trust fund controlled by high-ranking church leaders. “Money that was supposed to be used strictly for church activities was going to individuals, ” says IRS spokesman Rob Giannangeli. “That misuse, combined with other violations of public policies on the part of Scientology officials, led us to determine that the Church of Scientology was not acting as a responsible exempt organization. ”

The 1984 denial of tax exempt status led the IRS to bill Scientology for $1.4 million in back taxes for the target period Of 1970-72, with bills for other years to be forthcoming upon investigation. Scientology has appealed the decision to the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals and continues doing business as usual. Ken Hoden insists this policy is fair because we are confident [the court] will overrule the IRS,” though he added that a negative court ruling will “affect the church throughout the country.” But Giannangeli, while confirming that Scientology is technically within the law in still encouraging such donations, questions the practice’s propriety.

“If the courts ultimately uphold the IRS decision, Scientologists will have to pay back taxes on any contributions totaling more than $1,000″ says Gimmangeli. so if a Scientologist wrote off contributions of $50,000 a year, he’s going to have a pretty hefty tax bill.”

Allegations that Hubbard’s immense wealth (estimated at up to $600 million, though Hoden would only put the figure “in the millions, and we’re getting all of it”) was due in large part to funds being illegally transferred from his church’s accounts have dogged Scientology since its inception. Cash flow, certainly, has rarely been a problem for the church. Scientology bought its Berendo headquarters for $5.5 million in cash in 1976 and continues to make major real estate purchases. Former Scientology employees who once held sensitive financial positions within die church have testified that various subsidiaries were used to transfer church funds illegally to Hubbard’s European bank accounts.

But to many Scientology critics, the controversy over financial misappropriation is a secondary concern. To these critics, the true danger of Scientology is the system of “control” used by church officials to keep disgruntled members from reclaiming their money and departing if they feel their funds are being mishandled. Ken Hoden claims that members have that freedom: “If someone says they don’t like the way we do things, we say, “Fine. Leave if you want.”

But critics assert that Scientology policy and practices are designed to manipulate members to stay (and keep their money) in the church, or, if members do leave, to intimidate the “squirrels” (Scientology speak for former members) into not criticizing Scientology.

Ideological Totalism?

Juliann Savage is a clinical social worker in the Cult Clinic, six years a non-sectarian affiliate of Jewish Firmly Services operating out of the United Way building in Van Nuys. Savage has treated more than 70 victims of mind control, from Hare Krishnas to Moonies, in her two and a half years on staff. She insists the 10 former Scientologists with whom she has worked, have been her most difficult assignments.

Juliann Savage

Inside Scientology: The Other Side of the Looking Glass (p. 33)

“These people have given their entire lives over to Scientology in exchange for the promise of ‘total freedom,’ ” says Savage. “But what they really get is the exact opposite. Scientology is a textbook example of systematic mind control and totalism.”

To support her assertion that brainwashing techniques are an inextricable part of Scientology practice – especially with staff members — Savage refers to one of the world’s definitive works on mind control, the much heralded “Chapter 22 Ideological Totalism” of Dr. Robert Jay Lifton’s book entitled Thought Reform the Psychology of Totalism. Here, Lifton describes how such psychological tactics as ” milieu control,” “mandatory confession” and “language loading” are used to control masses of people (in his specific case, the Communist Chinese). It is Savage’s contention that Lifton’s theories, although they can be applied to many subcultures, are especially applicable to Scientology.

“What we have with Scientology is a subculture that insists on absolute control of every aspect of a person’s life,” says Savage as she sips herbal tea in her small Van Nuys office. “Adults are greatly discouraged from having relationships with non-Scientologists. They are worked so many hours per week, either doing staff activities or auditing sessions, that they have no time for outside activities. The church encourages an all or nothing, us versus them, everything-outside-the-church-is-bad-everything-inside-is-good idealogy that can be very harmful. And if you question this, you’re Labeled a ‘supressive person’ who doesn’t have the ability to understand. The insular inbreeding in Scientology is incredible.”

(Statistics and statements provided by Scientology seem to lend a least partial credence to Savage’s claim. Church demographics, indicate that nearly half of all Scientologists have family in the church, while Ken Hoden confirms that many Scientology children attend private schools run by Scientologists – such as Delphi in Monrovia – or the Apollo Training Academy, a church-operated afternoon “day-care center” that operates after regular schools let out. “But the church hopes to run its own schools soon,” added Hoden.)

One Scientology practice that critics single out as a form of control is the church’s “ethics” system. Scientologists are subject to a highly detailed code of ethics drafted by L. Ron Hubbard and governed by “ethics officers” and “justice officers.” This ethics code is divided into four categories of “offenses” against the church: “Errors … .. Misdemeanors,” “Crimes” and “High Crimes.”

Errors are defined as “minor, unintentional goofs” in auditing or administration. Misdemeanors include such offences as “mistakes resulting in financial or traffic loss,” “continued association with squirrels,” and “refusing an E-meter check.” Crimes “cover offenses normally considered criminal,” such as “placing Scientology or Scientologists at risk,” “organizing or allowing a gathering or meeting of staff members or field auditors or the public to protest the order of a senior,” and “impersonating Scientologist or staff member when not authorized.” High crimes consist of “publicly departing Scientology” or committing such “supressive acts” as “public statements against Scientology or Scientologists,” “bringing civil suit against any Scientology organization,” and “giving anti-Scientology advice to the press.”

Errors are dealt with by “corrections, reprimand or warnings.” Misdemeanors are “subject to direct punishment,” which for a staff member is “assignment of a personal condition of Emergency for up to three weeks” and up in three months for an executive staff member. If assigned this “condition of Emergency,” a staffer has his or her pay reduced by one-third. If the staffer appeals his or her case to a “Committee of Evidence” and loses, his or her penalty may be increased to even, stiffer penalties, including minor demotion. Punishments for “crimes” against the church must be dictated by a Committee of Evidence (made up of ministers) and can include demotion or “even dismissal or arrest [for theft].” High crimes include cancellation of all auditing achievements and expulsion by the church’s ultimate ethical authority, the “justice minister.”

According to Hoden, “The purpose of ethics is to keep a person living in such a way that auditing can keep them living an ethical life.” But former members claim that its motives are less noble.

Jerry Whitfield claims to have served on “several” Committees of Evidence. They were just a reason to get people out of the church,” says Whitfield. “We were instructed by seniors on how to decide cases. If the higher-ups didn’t like a certain member they were history.”

Another Scientology policy Savage singles out as a control mechanism is known as “Disconnection,” which takes, two forms, Savage argues. First, current church members are often encouraged by auditing ministers to “disconnect” themselves from “suppressive” relatives. Ken Hoden uses an example from The Color Purple to illustrate what he feels is the positive result of such disconnection.

“In The Color Purple, Celie was connected to a suppressive husband,” explains Hoden. “He used to beat her around and treat her mean. But let’s say one day she walked up to the Church of Scientology. We’d tell her, ‘Gelie, you look like you’ve got a problem with your husband. We want you to sit down and communicate with your husband and try to work it out.’ But if that didn’t work, we’d say, ‘If you don’t disconnect from this person, then your life is going to be miserable forever.’ Disconnection is just common sense in some cases. It is left up to the individual, though.”

Critics claim, however, that Scientology encourages far more than disconnection from harmful persons, which every psychologist urges. Instead critics say, Scientologists are often urged to sever ties with loved ones whose only “problem” is their distaste for Scientology – a practice that reinforces the insular, inbred world of “milieu control” criticized by Savage.

“Robert” is a former member who agrees with Savage. Last year, after 16 years, with the church, the 37-year-old departed. He recalls that shortly after he joined the church, his parents sent him news clippings critical of Scientology. Robert claims his “ethics officer” (who determines if Scientologists stay within the ethical guidelines of the church) told him he had to disconnect from his parents if he was to achieve total freedom.

“Here I was, a 20-year-old kid looking for a little meaning in my life,” recalls Robert, “and all of a sudden there’s this ethics officer telling me I should never talk to my parents again. In retrospect, I can see that my folks were trying to look out for me. But I did what the ethics officer said. I wrote my parents a letter telling them I never wanted to hear or speak to them again.”

A second form of disconnection requires church members to sever all ties with Scientologists who leave the church, no matter how close the friendships. This on pain of being labeled “suppressive” themselves. This practice has proved effective in keeping people in the church, since no one wants to lose all their friends. And “disconnection” from the church has been found to be debilitatingly traumatic to a number of people who have left the fold.

“Betty” is one such person. After spending more than 14 years in and $80,000 on the church, she decided “it was just not economically feasible for me to stay.” Interviewing her, her pain was still apparent, as it was with other former members who agreed to talk to us.

“The entire year after I left was the worst one I ever went through,” Betty said. “I had lived for many of my Scientology years with the same, seven people in a small apartment. We did everything together. We loved each other. But when I said I had to leave, none of these people who I’d known and loved for years would even say hello to me. It was absolutely traumatic.

Robert was also disconnected from longtime friends. “I realized a couple years ago that Hubbard was in this whole thing just for the money and power,” he says, adding that he spent $50,000 to reach the highest level of Scientology study (OT-7), only to become disillusioned when the church added “revised” levels. “So I decided to leave. When I officially left the church I tried talking to the friends I had been closest to for years, tried to tell them that I now thought Scientology was a fraud. But they didn’t want to hear it. They started ignoring me. When I sent them Christmas cards this year, I got back several disconnection letters.”

One letter, from a longtime girlfriend, reads: “This is a disconnection letter. I do not wish any [thrice underlined] type of communication from you. You have chosen to be a squirrel and I am a Scientologist. It makes it very black and white. Do not have any comm to [Scientology speak for “communication with”] me until you have handled your scene and am back in good standing with the church and moving on the bridge (in Scientology, not your squirrel group).” The letter noted that copies had been sent to the church’s “International Justice Chief” and the “Advanced Organization Master at Arms”.

“[Sending copies to ethics and justice] is to let her masters know that she is a good little robot who is still properly brainwashed,” says Robert. “If she’d bothered to talk to me, she’d have found out that I’m not in any ‘squirrel group’ [a church term for groups of former members who I practice Scientology without church sanctions] She’s probably scared shitless that her cult-member peers saw her get a card from a suppressive and will file a ‘knowledge report’ on her. [A church member is required to file such a report if he or she witnesses a fellow member commit such an anti-Scientology crime.] But I don’t really blame her – she’s just another victim of Scientology’s brainwashing techniques.”

The church’s answer to this is that the only individuals considered to be “suppressive” when they leave the church are, in Hoden’ s words, “those who are expelled for doing something in violation of the ethical codes and practices of the Church of Scientology. In that case, people from the church should not associate with that person. But if a church member still wants to associate with the expelled person, fine. But he has to leave the church.” Hoden denied that this is an intimidating practice, though obviously members find it just that.

In arguing for the “thought control” vision of Scientology, Savage and other critics point to other church practices such as “Rehabilitation Project Force” (RPF) duty, “Training Routines” and “security checks,” RPF duty, they say, is forced labor intended to help the church minimize costs, and is used frequently as punishment for church members believed to be out of line. Hoden first explained the RPF as little more than “a work force where church members are assigned so they can get five hours of exercise a day while accomplishing something constructive, like repairing Scientology buildings and mowing lawns.” He later conceded that any senior Sea Org member can put any underling on the RPF as punishment for not working up to his ability. “I was RPFed for nine months in 1982,” says Hoden. “I had been slacking off in some of my administrative duties. But I liked the RPF. I could have gotten off earlier, but I asked to stay on.”

“Who wants to scrub floors or cart trash for a year?” says one former church staffer. “The idea is to make you think twice before doing or saying anything that church officials will RPF you for,”

Critics claim also that “training routines” (TRs) are used in control members in a similar fashion. Former Scientologists have testified that in TRs, Scientologists are often made to sit absolutely stiff without moving at all, not even blinking. They claim this drill is often carried out for hours at a time, every day, for weeks.

While being escorted by Hoden through the deep recesses of the basement of the Scientology “mother church,” we inadvertently stumbled upon a TR session. From a distance, we heard a man shouting. When questioned about the source of the scream, Hoden led us to a small room. As we approached, it became clear that the man was shouting “Thank you, thank you” as loudly as he could to a Scientology official. The unusual nature of the scene was not lost on Hoden, who seemed momentarily flustered. “This, is a TR,” Hoden then explained. “Did you ever know someone who was so timid that you could barely hear him speak? This man is being taught to express himself more loudly and clearly. ”

“Security checks” are yet another form of control, disgruntled former members allege. These “sec-checks” are performed while a member is hooked up to an E-meter. One sec-check form submitted as evidence in a recent trial included the following questions:

“Have you ever had any unkind thoughts about LRH [L. Ron Hubbard]?” “Have you ever had anything to do with pornography?” “Have you ever assisted in an abortion?” “Have you ever practiced sodomy?” “Have you ever been a news paper reporter?” “Do you know of any plans to injure a Scientology organization?” “How do you feel about being controlled?” (Hoden confirmed all but the “reporter” and “control” questions, while adding that numbers me asked only if they had “done” anything against Hubbard.)

To outsiders this is obviously a significant invasion of a person’s privacy, but Ken Hoden and many current and former church members insist that the ends justify the means in these practices. “I’ve been in Scientology for 10 years, and I’m here on my own free will,” says Kimberly Nesbig, a non-staff Scientologist who simply takes auditing courses. “These claims [of brainwashing] are ridiculous. Scientology has saved my life. I was on drugs and on my way out. Scientology has given me the technology to do what I want in life.”

“Claims that we’re insulated, isolated and out of touch with the world is just pure propaganda, ” adds Tim Skog, 34, who has served as a Sea Org Public Affairs staff, since 1983. “I read the papers, I listen to the radio, I go outside. More than any other religion, we don’t lead monastic lives.” (Skog added that there is no “us versus the wogs” encouragement in the church. “Definitely us against the psychiatrists, but that’s fine.”)

Says Mike Rinder, a 30-year-old administrative supervisor who’s been with Sea Org since 1973, “I consider [allegations of] cult mind control to be a joke.”

Other Scientologists also add that their practices are not unlike these of more mainstream religions, an assertion that Johanna Savage is quick to rebut. “The difference with Scientology lies in the degree to which these, control practices are carried out and the amount a Scientologist is forced to sacrifice. If a person wants to become a Catholic, they are fully apprised of what they are in for and they are given time to prepare. With Scientology, you are not told that you may have to spend $100,000 or give up your former friends and family.

“The mandatory loss of one’s self into the Church of Scientology is more severe than in my other group I’ve ever dealt with. I don’t know of my group whose members are room fearful and intensely angry after they leave.”

Breach of Faith?

One particular church policy has been partially at the root of the fear and anger: Scientology’s alleged use of personal information in members’ “confidential” PreClear (PC) folders, information confessed during auditing. There is substantial evidence that this information has been culled, perhaps to pressure members either into staying in the church or into, not criticizing the church if they do leave.

Although Hoden denies such practices, (“In all my years here, I have never known of my such action on the part of a church member; the confidentiality of a person’s folder is the most sacred rule of Scientology”), testimony and documents supplied by former church members indicate that, with or without Hoden’s knowledge, there has been abuse of confidential PC folders. According to the testimony of and an interview with one former Scientology intelligence operative, the now defunct church intelligence division known as the Guardian’s Office asked that files be culled for such desirable PC information as “specific things to use for blackmail such in sexual promiscuity, sexual problems, problems with the family, troubles with parents, any alcoholic problem … anything a person would nor want others to know about.”

Several memos from various church offices to the GO seem to confirm claims that PC Code, have been culled for incriminating information. One 1972 memo supplied to the Weekly clearly notes that “the following data was gotten from [name deleted by the Weekly] PC folders.” It then details a female member’s auditing history: “Several self-induced abortions; … two weeks psych treatment … due to alcohol problems … Drug history: Librium, Valium, Miltowns, alcohol, LSD, opium, heroin … Son is in jail … Connected to a suppressive group … probably the IRS … That’s about it. Love, [name deleted by Weekly].”

A second mid-70s memo (which Hoden claims was not culled from a PC folder but from general church files) graphically details the sex life of another female member: “She slept with four or five men during [an early Scientology course] … She has quite a record of promiscuity … She let [three men] touch her genitals during sessions … She masturbated regularly since she was 8 years old, mentioning doing it once with coffee grounds … and once had a puppy lick her.”

Presented with the memos during a recent Sunday morning meeting in the blue building, Hoden was visibly disturbed. “Okay. Fine – Good,” he said after a long pause. “But was there ever my mention that this was used against her? She’s still with the church. She’s testified for us. She knows this exists. I don’t know why someone in the GO would have needed to see this, but I can honestly say that I don’t know of one case in the Church, of Scientology [where] stuff in a person’s folder has been used against them. And this stuff as 10 years old. What I’m saying is very Simply this: Nothing has ever been used against a person out of their folders.”

California Superior Court judge Paul Breckenridge found differently in a 1984 decision in which he agreed with Scientology’s critics that the church has abused the “confidential” folders for unethical purposes. “Each [of the former Scientologists] has broken with the movement for a variety of reasons, but at the same time, each is still bound by the knowledge that the church has in its possession his or her most inner thoughts and confessions, all recorded [in PC folders] or other security files of the organization, and that the church or its minions is fully capable of intimidation and other physical and psychological abuse if it suits their ends,” wrote Breckenridge, siding with several former members – including former church archivist Gerald Armstrong – sued by Scientology The record is repleat with evidence of such abuse … The practice of culling supposedly confidential PC folders or files to obtain information for purposes of intimidation and/or harassment is repugnant and outrageous.”2

The GO was officially disbanded in 1981, and the church now officially disavows its activities, which Hoden insists are not currently being duplicated by other church departments. However, several former church members told the Weekly that abuse of PC folders continues. One former member claims he was contacted as recently as last month by a church operative who warned him that “if I didn’t sign a confession implicating myself and my friends in trumped-up crimes against the church, he would go to authorities with information from my folders that might be incriminating.”

Told this, Hoden again adamantly denied that such abuse of PC folders could happen under the “strict” guidelines in force today. He insisted it was unfair to quote the former member anonymously because the church could not then rebut the allegation. “Maybe the reason they want anonymity is because they are lying to you,”said Hoden and later added, “Get me the name of the person making this allegation and I’ll report it to the police.

“The thing that I find disgusting, Hoden said with an edge to his voice, “is that someone gave those memos to you. Somebody went and dug them up and said, ‘Wow, boy, this will do it . . . ‘ just so they could get some negative article in your paper. And that’s a shame.”

The Minutemen at the Ready

[A ‘suppressive Person’ is ] Fair Game. May be deprived of property or injured by any means by a Scientologist without discipline of the Scientologist [sic] May be tricked, sued or lied to or destroyed

-L. Ron Hubbard

On February 15, six police officers, stood near the door of Lea Baeck Temple, awaiting the confrontation. They had been called by leaders of Freedom for All in Religion (FAIR), a group of former Church of Scientology members who were sponsoring a speech that evening by Boston attorney and anti-Scientology leader Michael Flynn. Flynn, who has represented marry former church members in lawsuits against the church, was appearing to discuss a new, class-action suit intended to compel Scientology to release PC folders of former members. Because of the nature of the evening’s topic, FAIR leaders anticipated a visit from a group of Scientologists who call themselves the “Minutemen” (because of their ability to mobilize quickly).

To members of FAIR and other church critics, they are known as “Scientology’s ‘Fair Game’ Gestapo.” (Though Hoden, stresses that Hubbard’s “Fair Game” doctrine was officially rescinded 20 years ago, it has emerged throughout the years in a rallying cry among former church members.)

Current church members; allegedly had made their presence felt at the temple throughout the week preceding the the speech. A prominent Jewish Scientologist had phoned temple leaders to warn that Michael Flynn attracted troublemakers. Other anonymous calls stressed similar warnings. And according to the temple’s event coordinator, Nancy Lachman, “A group of men came by claiming to be security for the Flynn speech. They asked to check out the auditorium. But since I hire all security, I knew they were not who they said they were.”

Fearing confrontation, FAIR’s leader, refused entry to what they say were 70 known Scientologists. Despite the right security, disruptions began less than a minute into Flynn’s speech to the 200 FAIR members. A man stood up in the audience and shouted, “Isn’t it true, Mr. Flynn, that you are in this for the money?” The heckler was quickly removed from the auditorium amidst a hail of boos, but minutes later another man stood up and shouted at Flynn. Then another. And before the evening’s conclusion, nearly a dozen alleged Minutemen were escorted from the temple.

“The hassle gets frustrating, but I’m used to it,”said Flynn who has been sued by the church more than a dozen times. Flynn asserts he has been followed by Scientology detectives, (including two who took the room next to his at the hotel where he stayed for the speech) and has been set up for the forgery of a $2 million check written on a Hubbard account. “It was actually a quieter evening than I expected”

Hoden dismisses Flynn’s charges with accusations of opportunism, describing Flynn as a major “point man” in the global conspiracy against the church. (See conspiracy sidebar.) Flynn does indeed have a financial stake in his cases against the church. But irrespective of his motives, the Church of Scientology’s history of harassment of its “enemies,” real or imagined, undermines its claims of humanistic priorities.

The seeds for aggressive defense were sown by Hubbard himself in several policy statements, which were fueled by increasing governmental and journalistic attacks. Hubbard was convinced that the “central agency” carrying out the concerted, global conspiracy to destroy Scientology was the World Federation for Mental Health, which he believed controlled the FBI, the CIA, the IRS, the Better Business Bureau, the American Medical Association, the American Psychiatric Association, and the news media.

“Only attacks resolve threats,” wrote Hubbard in 1966. ” . . . Spot [anyone] who is investigating us. Start investigating them promptly for FELONIES or worse using our own professionals, not outside agencies … Start feeding lurid, blood sex crime actual evidence [sic] on the attackers to the press. Don’t ever submit tamely to an investigation of us. Make it rough, rough on the attackers all the way … Remember: Intelligence we do with a whisper. Investigations, we do with a yell.”

To carry out these intelligence and investigative activities, Hubbard formed the Guardian’s Office (GO) in 1966 and named as director, his third wife, Mary Sue. Headquartered in Los Angeles, the GO’s purpose, according to Mrs. Hubbard, was “to sweep, aside opposition sufficiently to create a vacuum into which Scientology could expand.”

“Use all possible lines of approach to obtain files, i.e., job penetration, janitor penetration, suitable guises utilizing covers, etc.,” instructed one GO policy. It wasn’t long before these counterattacks were put into practice. Hoden, a critic of the GO, confirms that the GO soon had agents working in the AMA and California Attorney General’s Office, and breaking into IRS, Justice Department and FBI offices. The World Federation of Mental Health was (coincidentally) burglarized of stationery and a list of delegates for an upcoming conference. Soon after, those delegates received notices on Federation stationery that the location of their conference had been changed from Washington, D.C., to Havana, Cuba.

The AMA was the target of an alleged GO campaign in the mid 1970s. Known as the “Sore Throat” case, it involved the leaking of international AMA memoranda detailing its often unethical political maneuvers and secret attempts to kill a 1970 generic drug bill that it publicly supported. An FBI investigation showed that the memos were most likely leaked by a Scientologist who had recently been hired by the AMA – but who also served as Pacific Secretary of the GO. (The operatives husband had been director of Scientology’s covert activities in Washington, D.C., and was later indicted by a federal grand jury for bugging a high-level IRS meeting in which Scientology’s tax-exempt status was discussed.)

Scientology officially disavowed itself of any knowledge of the “Sore Throat” case and no charges were brought against the Scientologist who had leaked the memoranda. But information made public by the leaks led to IRS, Post Office, Federal Election Commission and congressional investigations into the AMA before the case blew over.

The GO’s covert harassment was not restricted to operations against faceless government agencies. Individuals who church officials claim were “attacking” Scientology were the target of GO efforts as wall. A Hubbard policy released at the GO’s inception offered a blueprint for Scientology operations against individuals:

“As soon as one of these threats starts, you get a Scientologist or Scientologists to investigate noisily. You find out where he or she works or worked, doctor, dentist, friends, neighbors, anyone [sic] and phone up and say, ‘I am investigating Mr./Mrs…. for criminal activities as he/she as been trying to prevent Man’s freedom and is restricting my religious freedom’ just be NOISY – it’s, very odd at first, but makes fantastic sense and WORKS.”

An earlier Hubbard statement was even more explicit: “People who attack Scientology are criminals. Politician A stands up on his hind legs in a parliament and brays for condemnation of Scientology- When we look him over we find crimes – embezzled funds, moral lapses, a thirst for young boys – sordid stuff. ”

Perhaps the most damaging GO operation against an individual had as it’s target one Paulette Cooper, a Near York freelance journalist whose 1971 book “The Scandal of Scientology” examined early Scientology abuses. Upon publication of the book (which Cooper later admitted contained numerous factual inaccuracies), members of the GO initiated a comprehensive campaign, the purpose of which was, according to files uncovered in a 1977 FBI raid of the church’s L.A offices, “getting [Cooper] incarcerated in a mental institution or in jail.” (A file labeled “P.C.’s Personal Diaries” was also found.) Scientology quickly filed several lawsuits, and Cooper’s publisher chose to cease publication.

"Minutemen" line courthouse halls.

Inside Scientology: The Other Side of the Looking Glass (p.41)

In 1973, Cooper found herself under federal investigation on bomb threat and perjury charges after a Scientology undercover agent allegedly stole her personal stationery, and used it to forge two threatening letters to a high ranking Scientology official. Only after two years of unsuccessfully defending herself in the courts did Cooper agree to take a “truth serum” test, which she passed. Cooper’s total costs in clearing her name exceeded $28,000. (Hoden says that the church has since paid Cooper’s attorney’s fees under the condition that Cooper not speak to the press regarding the case, and has “mended the fence” for this old GO activity.)

The GO’s most embarrassing operation took place in 1976, when two Scientologists were caught late at night inside the Federal Courthouse in Washington, D.C. One of the insiders turned government witness, and an ensuing investigation led to the conviction of nine top Scientology leaders – among them, Mary Sue Hubbard – on conspiracy and theft charges. Although Mrs. Hubbard appealed the conviction to the U.S. Supreme Court on the grounds that the FBI raid on the Scientology offices that followed her indictment (in which 90,000 documents, burglar tools and electronic, surveillance equipment were confiscated) was unconstitutional”, she was sentenced to five years in prison (of which she served one) and fined $10,000.

Church documents provide startling insight into the detailed nature of the GO’s intelligence and subsequent cover-up operations. One 1975 document (marked at the top, “DO NOT COPY!!! “) notes as its “PURPOSE: To clean … files of legally actionable evidence against the GO and it personel [sic].” After first explaining the legal definition of “evidence” the memo describes the proper way to “vet”(or censor) internal intelligence reports of “illegal evidence.”

“Using a razor blade, cut out all parts of reports written by us that would indicate something illegal was happening, already did happen or was being planned,” reads the memo: “When shredding all the pieces you have to cut out please ensure you put the particle into the shredder so that the teeth of the shredder cut the line and not between the lines (put it in cross-wise.”)

The same memo outlines the types of information that should be vetted: “Evidence that anything was stolen by one of our guys … Implications of posing as a government agent … Evidence of tapping phone lines or illegal taping of conversations … Mentions of harassment of an individual … Any mention of bribery … Wordings like ‘this will get him’ or ‘let’s wipe him out’ . . – Any mentions, of entrapment setting up someone, to commit a crime either directly or indirectly. ”

Hoden is quick to admit that “a handful” of GO members were out of control. But he repeatedly stresses that “we got rid of the GO and all those people in 1981 and restructured the church to make sure those abuses never happen again. It’s unfair to keep criticizing us for things that took place 10 years ago and have since been rectified.”

In fairness, there is another light in which to view all these activities. According to Hoden, “there was not one criminal violation on the part of the church 1950 until 1966” – but then, faced coordinated attack from government agencies (see sidebar story), it had to strike back – and the GO over did it. “The fools cost us a big black eye,” Hoden says.

Scientology president Jentzsch goes even further, claiming the GO was driven to some of its acts by “agent provocateurs” infiltrated into the organization by government agencies under the federal Cointelpro program (for more information, again see sidebar). Although he cites only one person by name -Michael Meisner, a former member who became a key government witness, in the trial against Mary See Hubbard – Jentzsch, notes accurately that there is considerable documentation that U.S. government agencies did mount a Cointelpro operation against the church and that the use of infiltrated agents to drive organizations into acts they would not otherwise commit was standard Cointelpro fare. Jentzsch, however, does not deny that the GO did some ugly things on its own. “So we’ve had some bad people do some bad things. But look at the whole person. Look at who we are now.”

Hoden, confirmed, however, the existence of the Minutemen, describing them as “a loose organization of church people who stay in very close contact with each other and can be instantly called to respond very quickly to a problem.” Hoden stresses, however, that “they rally against court attacks on the church, not against individuals.” One such Minutemen operation, said Hoden, took place last year when thousands of Scientologists converged on a Portland, Oregon courthouse to protest a $39-million penalty against the church. (That decision was subsequently overturned and must be retired.) Another occurred last November, when 3,000 Scientologists jammed three floors of the L.A. County Courthouse to block public access in the OT-3 “Xenu” documents temporarily made public by a judge in the Wollersheim trial.

Nevertheless, Hoden insists that the disruption of the FAIR meeting at the Leo Block Temple was not a church-sanctioned Minutemen effort. “If I had wanted to organize something, we could have put 4,000 people in there,” says Hoden. “But I feel they have a First Amendment right to do what they’re doing, though what they’ve trying to do is create a fight, create a disturbance so it’ll get covered by the Press and make the church look like it’s something it’s not. They sent a mailer to people within the church announcing the meeting. That’s really stupid. That’s like running into a Jewish temple and saying it was great what Hitler did to the Jews. But, no, we didn’t do anything out there.”

Hoden added that he would definitely know of my such harassment operations. However, in a letter to temple Rabbi Leonard Beerman dated February 13, Hoden made it clear that such harassment can take place without his knowledge and that he has no intention of intervening or stopping it. “[Scientologists] are, as a rule, strong-minded, independent and ready to voice their opinions and feelings,” wrote Hoden. “If my of these protests have been distressing to your temple’s staff, I apologize. However, I cannot control the individual lives of members of my congregation, nor would I consider doing so.”

When asked on another occasion about a recent “Stamp Out Squirrel Tech” demonstration at an independent auditing center (the Advanced Ability Center in Santa Barbara) – one of 20 such incidents identified by church critics as alleged Minutemen operations over the past two years – Hoden admitted, “Oh yeah, I heard something about that.”

Church critics adamantly dispute Hoden’s assertion that the Minutemen do not carry out church-sanctioned, GO-like harassment campaigns. David Mayo, who claims he was abducted by Scientology agents and “imprisoned” on ethics charges in Gilman Hot Springs (the Scientology compound near Palm Springs when Hubbard resided before going underground) before “escaping,” as he puts it, to form the Advanced Ability Center, claims that Scientologists and private investigators hired by the church have harassed him.

“They’ve held demonstrations out front, physically attacked members and circulated wanted posters putting a price on our heads,” says Mayo. “I feel Scientology is a religion or philosophy, and I feel people who believe in it should be allowed to practice it … [ The attitude of church leaders is a huge contradiction. The church says it can give you the ability to reach self-determination, yet it handles dissent in exactly the opposite way.”

Early church member Fred Stansfield alleged "Minutemen victim."

Inside Scientology: The Other Side of the Looking Glass (p. 42)

Three alleged Minutemen incidents involved Fred Stanfield, a disaffected church member who was one of Hubbard’s earliest followers in the mid ’50s- Stansfield claims he received a death threat from a Scientologist “friend” on March 24, 1984 (a threat reported to the FBI). On October 20, 1985, incident allegedly involved a physical attack on Stansfield by four long time church members who also pelted his house with eggs, while a November 11 attack saw Stansfield verbally harassed by several people who identified themselves as Minutemen.

“These Minutemen and Hoden’s office work as the new GO,” says Stansfield. “The harassment is even more prevalent now than it used to be.”

Hoden dismisses the claims of Mayo and Stansfield and, indeed, of most church critics – as a combination of sour grapes, and financial motivation. “We kicked these people out of the church because we didn’t want them anymore,” says Hoden, who notes that a federal court judge recently ruled that Mayo must refrain from using certain religious scriptures until it is determined whether they were stolen from the church. “And many are new involved in lawsuits against the church. But those few people aren’t our problem. They’re just pawns being manipulated. Our actual problem is that we have cut across various plans by psychiatric associations and certain people in government, backed with millions of dollars, to control man with drugs. That’s our real problem.”

None are more hopelessly enslaved than those who falsely believe they are free J.W. von Goethe

The question of who is enslaved and who is free – Scientologists or their critics – is a matter of personal judgment. However, two things seem evident. First, Scientologists should be allowed to practice their religion as long as it operates within the law. The majority of Scientologists seem happy (whether they are, being controlled or not) and the First Amendment guarantees their right to freely choose their beliefs. However, it’s equally clear that if Scientology is to achieve the mantle of “major religion” it insists it deserves, it must set aside its hyperparanoia and consider the constructive criticisms offered by people who obviously care about the Scientology process.

Whether Scientology’s problems are due to a global conspiracy outside the church or misplaced priorities and a “greedy, power hungry” ruling elite inside, as critics charge, or a combination of both, the stubborn insistence of church leaders that, the Church of Scientology is without fault and that everyone who offers criticism is a “wog” pawn of psychiatrists and politicians who most be silenced- betrays, at best, an irresponsible tunnel vision or, at worst a dangerous misunderstanding of the First Amendment and the church’s own putative creed.

As one former member puts it: “‘The Scientology process has done wonderful things for me and can help a lot of people. But the people who run the church have to realize that these problems of high prices and aggressive defense are like engrams blocking Scientology’s road to total freedom. Until they identify these problems and work to solve them, they can’t fault people for questioning their motives.”

The Government’s War Against SCIENTOLOGY

Scientologists say the church is engaged in “a war for the human spirit” against a global conspiracy involving psychiatrists, the Rockefeller family, the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) and the U.S. government (including the FBI, CIA and IRS). According to Ken Hoden, Scientologists feel that although each of these diverse entities have different reasons for attacking the church, their enemies have banded together as one to achieve a common end — “destroying the Church of Scientology. ’’

Whether a conspiracy as vast as this exists is problematical, but certainly Scientology has come under unwarranted investigation and unconstitutional attack from most if not all of these agencies, to an extent that might make any organization paranoid and defensive.

Scientology’s adversarial relationship with the psychiatric community doubtless began with L. Ron Hubbard, whose 1950 Dianetics vilified Freudian psychiatry. Hubbard frequently compared psychiatrists to Hitler and Genghis Khan throughout the final 35 years of his life. In return, in the early ’50s psychiatrists were quick to accuse Hubbard of quackery for his promises of what auditing could do. As the governmental and journalistic investigations into his controversial new religion multiplied during the mid-’S0s, Hubbard focused his attention on the World Federation for Mental Health, a psychiatric society he claimed orchestrated worldwide criticism of the church.

Scientology officials still regard the psychiatric community, fearful of Hubbard’s “bridge to total freedom,” as the driving force behind the church’s problems.

Scientologists believe, in fact, that it was a prominent German psychiatric clinic, one of the Max Planck Institutes, that first drew the International Criminal Police Organization (Interpol) into a “conspiracy” against the church. The Max Planck Institutes, named after the Nobel Prize-winning physicist, were organizations reconstituted after World War II from the Kaiser Wilhelm Society for the Advancement of Science and its subsidiary societies. A German Scientology magazine noted the connections between the Max Planck Institute’s psychiatric wing and its predecessor, the Kaiser Wilhelm Institute for Brain Research, believed responsible for the murder of 275,000 people during the Nazi era.  Scientologists claim the Planck Institute arranged for Interpol to execute an elaborate smear campaign against the church.

To counter this, one of the church’s “reform” groups, the National Commission on Law Enforcement and Social Justice, soon began an investigation of Interpol. Scientologists say its commission discovered that Interpol, until as recently as 1972, had been led by former Nazis. (Their information was accurate.) The allegation infuriated Interpol leaders, who then turned to the U.S. government. Scientologists say the Nixon administration’s shadowy Counter-Intelligence Program (Cointelpro) devised an international network of “harassment and black propaganda” against the church. (Cointelpro, of course, achieved notoriety the Watergate era for its illegal activities against American citizens exercising their rights to freedom of speech and assembly. Two high-ranking FBI officials were ultimately sentenced to prison terms for their roles in Cointelpro.)

According to church officials, government operations involving the FBI, CIA and IRS had sought to undermine Scientology’s credibility since the program’s earliest days. “The strength of those government groups lies in control and manipulation,” says Ken Hoden. “We encourage freedom, so there was immediate conflict. Cointelpro has since infiltrated and disrupted our church, accused us of selling drugs, and generally slandered our church around the world, just like it did to Martin Luther King.”

Although there is considerable documented evidence that some Cointelpro actions against the church took place (including FBI insertion of undercover agents in the church), their extent is not clear. But certainly government agencies sought to get other agencies involved in a campaign against the church and, as Scientologists charge, its freedoms were not respected.

Whether or not at Interpol’s prompting, the church and the U.S. government have been at each other’s throats for more than 30 years. Scientology’s Founding Church in Washington, D.C., was listed on Richard Nixon’s infamous IRS “enemies list,” along with such groups as the Black Panthers and Students for a Democratic Society. Scientologists claim several key letters between Scientology churches have mysteriously found their ways to IRS offices in Fresno and Ogden, Utah. And the FBI staged a massive raid on the church’s Berendo headquarters in 1977 after Scientology operatives were caught in federal courthouses trying to steal government files on Scientology.

The conflict has escalated in recent years as the church, desperate to ward off harassing government investigations and illegal government actions, stepped up its counter-investigation against the government. Scientology’s Freedom magazine has broken several major stories embarrassing to its government targets, including a report of the Army’s mid-1960s experiments in which unsuspecting travelers in Washington, D.C. ’s National Airport were exposed to dangerous bacteria in simulation of a germ-warfare attack. Freedom has also printed confidential IRS memos documenting questionable IRS tax auditing practices, and the magazine continues to solicit testimony on IRS abuses through prominent newspaper ads.

According to church leaders; the current point man for the “legal assault” against Scientology is Michael Flynn, a Boston-based attorney who has represented several former church members in lawsuits against the church. Ken Hoden accuses Flynn of carrying out a “premeditated and very exact plan to destroy the church,” backing the claim with alleged notes removed from Flynn’s trash by Scientologists which detail a plan to enlist witnesses against the church, though not beyond what any good lawyer would do to support his case. Scientologists also accuse Flynn of forging a $2 million check against a personal Hubbard account, a charge that is currently being investigated by a Boston grand jury.

Flynn denies these accusations, and in turn accuses the church of hiring private detectives to follow him around the country and harass his family. Hoden concedes that detectives hired by church attorneys have followed Flynn around the country, but claims the act was justified. “He [Flynn] has worked with the government and taken money to sue the church from the Rockefellers, who feel that Scientology is a threat to their psychiatry and pharmacological interests, in an orchestrated effort to bring down the church.” (Documents show that Flynn has received about $135,000 in grants from a Rockefeller philanthropic trust.)

Critics insist that church leaders have invented this conspiracy scenario to unify members into an “us against them” army fighting for mankind’s freedom. But Ken Hoden and other church leaders express unwavering confidence in their conspiracy theory. “The proof is there,” says Hoden. “Who’s harassing whom?”

“Everybody always points at what the church has done, which was only to defend ourselves,” says church president Heber Jentzsch. “But the real story that nobody wants to look at is what was done to us by government agencies acting illegally. That’s the story.”  -R.C.

Notes

  1. This document in PDF format.
  2. See The Breckenridge Decision, filed 22 June 1984.

L. Ron Hubbard Death Briefing