Ex-Scientologist story #158, The Prisoner of “Happy Valley.”

Bill Franks graduated from Hobart College in 1968 with a degree in economics.  That same year he became a Scientologist and in 1970 he joined the Sea Org, the paramilitary part of Scientology that delivers the “tech” of L. Ron Hubbard.  He attracted the notice of Hubbard himself when Franks went for training on the ship Apollo.  Franks worked closely with Hubbard who as a reward made him commanding officer of the LA org.  However, being “noticed” by L. Ron Hubbard every bit as bad as being promoted by him as many of the high-flying Scientologists found out; it was the kiss of death to their future in Scientology.  Franks said the following in an affidavit he gave for the Gerry Armstrong trial.

In December 1980, I was appointed by L. Ron Hubbard to be “Executive Director International” of all Churches of Scientology throughout the world. I saw an order written by L. Ron Hubbard himself appointing me to this position. The last Executive Director International was L. Ron Hubbard himself, who allegedly resigned from that position in 1966.  Therefore, by virtue of this appointment, which was a lifetime appointment, I was senior to every Scientology executive throughout the world.  Theoretically, since I held the post of Executive Director International, no person, even L. Ron Hubbard, could countermand my orders. However, as I learned shortly after my appointment, this was not how Hubbard intended me to operate.  Within a period of weeks following my appointment, I learned that I was required to sign and file a written resignation as Executive Director International   undated and which could be used at any time to remove me by Hubbard. This was in keeping with the policy of Hubbard that every Church of Scientology corporation officer or director must resign in advance of their appointment and sign undated letters of resignation so that they could be removed by Hubbard at will. . . Throughout the period of time that I served as Executive Director International, I observed the highest leaders of the Church use documents and activities relating to illegal, criminal, and tortious conduct against many individuals who have been designated enemies of the Church. These individuals include Attorney Michael J. Flynn and many of his clients. At this time, Michael Flynn was one of the three top enemies of Scientology.

In 1980 and 1981, I have personal knowledge of many orders issued by L. Ron Hubbard concerning attacks against Michael Flynn. Hubbard considered Flynn to be a “whore” and Hubbard ordered him to be totally ruined. We were ordered to do a complete investigation of Flynn, find or “manufacture” crime he had committed, expose his “crimes” to his clients and to law enforcement officials, ruin his law practice, have him disbarred.   In 1980, L. Ron Hubbard personally ordered Michael Flynn’s trash to be picked up and gone through on a daily basis. This was part of a huge investigation of Flynn which Hubbard had ordered. According to Hubbard, and Scientology policy, any individual who attacked Scientology must be a criminal. Therefore, Hubbard ordered us to do as thorough an investigation of Flynn as possible, to uncover Flynn’s crimes. We were ordered to go all the way back to his days in law school and file numerous law suits or bar complaints against him without regard to whether the complaints were meritorious or not. L. Ron Hubbard personally ordered all these activities and I saw many of the orders.  When Hubbard ordered someone’s crimes to be found, his agents would “manufacture” crimes, if actual crimes could not be found or did not exist.

Franks didn’t like the way things were being done, too many crimes and excesses on the part of his associates which included the young David Miscavige.  In the end he was made to walk the plank.

In November 1981, I came into increasing conflict with David Miscavige, the man who relayed Hubbard’s orders to me and everyone else in Scientology. The reason for this conflict was because I attempted to block many of the criminal and illegal operations implemented by Miscavige and the Guardian’s Office on behalf of Hubbard. In December 1981, I was removed from my position, and then held against my will and locked up in Gilman Hotsprings, California for a period of weeks.

In this series we have run across a number of cases where people ended up at various Scientology compounds.  It is doubtful from what others have said that he was kept in a five-star hotel with room service.  More likely scorpions and spiders were his bunk mates.

I found an interesting newspaper article suggesting that things at Gilman Hot Springs would not be recommended for the casual tourist.   In the Sunday Times Magazine, 28 October 1984, Sinking of the Master Mariner it tells of the mission holder fiasco and how the big shots fared:

A remarkable story is told by Jay Hurwitz, who was Commanding Officer of the Church in Los Angeles – until the summer of 1982, that is, when he was told to report to the Gillman Hot Springs headquarters for a briefing. The first night there, guards came for him in his room and dragged him off for a “sec check” (interrogation) by David Miscavige and three other leaders of the Church. “Their first question to me was ‘Who is paying you?’ I didn’t understand what he was talking about. I was then subjected to enormous duress with statements like: “We will stay here all night until you tell us who is running you”

Hurwitz said that for the first five days we and others were kept locked up under guard. “We were brought our food and we slept on the floor. We had to use the same toilet facilities in the presence of one another.”

Although Hurwitz didn’t know it at the time, he was actually in the Scientology penal camp called “Happy Valley” in an Indian reservation several miles from Gillman Hot Springs. At least 18 other senior Scientology staffers were there at the same time in different rooms – one of them Ron Hubbard’s former closest associate, David Mayo.

The whole world of Bill Franks had collapsed around his head.  From being the top Scientologist in the world he was put into prison camp in the desert.  The mighty had fallen.

For the affidavit in the Armstrong case go here: http://www.gerryarmstrong.org/50grand/legal/affi-franks-1985-04-03.html

Franks testified at a hearing in the Lisa McPherson case: http://www.xenu-directory.net/mirrors/www.whyaretheydead.net/lisa_mcpherson/bob/_06_13_AM.htm

For the article in Sunday Times Magazine, 28 October 1984 (very interesting) go here:http://cosmedia.freewinds.be/media/articles/stm281084.html

Here is a radio interview with Bill:

Published in: on May 25, 2011 at 9:36 pm  Leave a Comment  

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