Ex-Scientologist story #173, Tom De Vocht Walks the plank.

scientology_worseThe first allegation of violence by David Miscavige, head of Scientology and top wearer of Hubbard’s bathtub navy regalia, that I came across was in an affidavit by former Scientologist Vicki Aznaran in 1991.  She was a top-ranking member of the RTC.  Since then there have been repeated questions asked about Miscavige’s reign of terror but nothing of any great substance until the St. Petersburg Times, ran a series called, “The Truth Rundown,” in 2009.  Here is another one of the defectors, Tom De Vocht.  The following quotes from that news article.


Born: Belgium

Age: 45

Joined Scientology: At age 10, in 1974, when mother joined.

Left Scientology: 2005

Family status: Divorced from Sea Org member Jennifer Linson. They had no children.

Career highlights: Supervised numerous church construction projects in downtown Clearwater and, in later years, at the church compound in California. From 1986 through 2000, had administrative authority over Clearwater operations. Started working full-time for church at 14, as bellhop at Fort Harrison Hotel.

Now: Lives in Polk County. Buys and sells used furniture.

Quote: “I was at it for 28 years. … That was my life. Those were my friends. … I respect them. I still consider the vast majority of them my friends. I would love to hear from them. … I’ve never really seen it (Scientology practices) do any harm to anybody.

Even so Tom was made to walk the plank, literally.

Miscavige had the staffers line up at the diving board in their uniforms, and one by one, jump into the pool. Before each person went in, Norman Starkey, once the captain of the Apollo, called on them to be better spiritual beings. He recited a traditional Sea Org saying:

We commit your sins and errors to the deep and trust you will rise a better thetan.

Miscavige ordered the group to go to an office in their wet clothes and stay put until they figured out where they had failed.

Tom De Vocht says he can’t recall what angered Miscavige that chilly night early in 2005. But he well remembers the doubts that crept into his head as he sat wet and shivering.

What am I doing here?

De Vocht had joined the church with his mother when he was just 10 and rose to a top executive post at Scientology’s spiritual headquarters in Clearwater. But in the months after that mass dunking, he no longer recognized the organization.

Neither did Rinder, who went into the pool that night with De Vocht.

For the rest of the “Truth Rundown” go here: http://www.tampabay.com/news/article1012148.ece

To see Tom De Vocht and others on “Anderson Cooper 360.”

Published in: on May 29, 2011 at 9:46 pm  Leave a Comment  

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