Ex-Scientologist story #282, Co$ Crimes in Australia.

This story is about the defection of two formerly fanatical members of Scientology, Ana and Dean Detheridge.  If you want to know what Scientology wants for the rest of us just start reading.  The only thing I can add is that this evil cult is an equal opportunity abuser; they will abuse anyone they get their hands on, member or not. 

Scientology:
Scientology’s dark secrets

BARNEY
ZWARTZ
The Age
November 21, 2009

SCIENTOLOGISTS lured Dean Detheridge off the street using their tried and  tested technique of offering a personality test. He wasn’t much interested, but  they were extremely skilled and persistent persuaders, and he found he couldn’t  say no. Seven days later he was on staff in what turned out to be a very  full-time job. Although he rose to executive director of the Canberra branch,  Detheridge was always below the poverty line. He worked 15-hour days for the  Church of Scientology, plus another three hours in the early morning as a learner to feed his family. Days off were rare.

He told The Age how he learnt to lie, bully, intimidate and humiliate people  and particularly to extort money in service of the church and its ostensible  aim, the greatest good of the greatest number. Now he calls it “a crock of  shit”.

Detheridge lost 17 years to the church, under constant financial and  emotional pressure. He did much of which he is now ashamed, and suffered much  more. This week his story hit the headlines when Senator Nick Xenophon called for an inquiry into the church and tabled several letters from former members.

For decades the celebrity-recruiting group, granted legal status as a  religion in Australia in 1983, has fought to preserve its secrets. These include  a bizarre cosmology involving the galactic dictator Xenu dumping millions of  corpses in volcanoes on Earth 75 million years ago and blowing them up with 17  hydrogen bombs (the last word in high-tech when L. Ron Hubbard founded the group  in the 1950s).

In this schema, the souls, or “thetans”, of the dead were contaminated and in  turn contaminated humans, who can be cleansed only by Scientology. The process  involves vitamins, E-meters and large sums of money.

As commentator Phillip Adams acidly observed, Hubbard launched his ew “science” of dianetics in that scholarly journal Astounding Science Fiction.  The Church of Scientology around the world has just endured a very bad few  months. A French court convicted it of defrauding vulnerable members and fined  it $1 million; a former top executive went public with damning accounts  including claims of violence by world leader David Miscavige; Oscar-winning film  director Paul Haggis resigned with some withering criticisms; a Queensland  inquest found that a soldier had killed himself after spending $25,000 on a month of Scientology courses; and online encyclopedia Wikipedia banned the  church and people associated with it from editing entries.

Then on Tuesday, Senator Xenophon tabled in the Senate a collection of   damaging letters from former members and called for a Senate inquiry into the  church and its activities. He asked the Senate to investigate its tax-exempt  status, occupational health and safety practices, and the adequacy of consumer  protection laws in relation to its fund-raising and charges. Prime Minister  Kevin Rudd felt it necessary to distance himself, saying he had concerns about  the organisation

The shocking allegations included those of coerced abortions, forced , obstructing justice and covering up child abuse. Life for Scientology staff,   former members wrote, featured unbearable hours, constant punishments, lack of  access to medical care, and sometimes physical abuse and imprisonment. They were  at the mercy of the elite, called the Sea Org, and at constant risk of being  separated from friends and family.

In her letter, Carmel Underwood told of being pressured to have an abortion,
which she rejected, though others had succumbed. Women who refused, it was said,
might be put on hard labour in the hope of causing a miscarriage. (Detheridge
explains the reasoning: “The ‘right’ decision is the greatest good of the  greatest number, and the only hope humanity has is Scientology. So anything that enables a member to stay on staff and keep working is good, whereas a baby would  pull you off staff.”)

Underwood said children whose parents worked for the church and who went to  the Scientology school were forced to work for the church after school and saw  rheir parents for only a couple of hours a week. She described punishments  designed to instil subservience, such as manual labour, or scrubbing an already  clean bathroom with a toothbrush.

Peta O’Brien had herself assigned to the Rehabilitation Project Force (the  penal group) so she could see her son, 17, who had been sent there. She did hard labour, breaking rocks with a crowbar and carting them in a wheelbarrow to make  a car park at the church’s Dundas, NSW, base. When she had cervical cancer, it  was alleged, she had to pay for an operation by painting an architectural rendering of the doctor’s home, because the church, having already taken all her  money, would not help. . ..

Church staff also used intimate information about members to silence them, or  to impersonate them to cancel credit cards or plane tickets, he wrote.

Paul Schofield wrote about a Sydney scientologist who had committed suicide because of debt he had incurred making donations to the church. He alleged that another member had systematically abused three daughters, who complained to the  church, but police were not told. Another man who molested his daughter was
turned over to police only after he had fallen out with Scientology.

Ana Detheridge, Dean’s wife, wrote of physical attacks on staff, and  fund-raising sessions where members were locked into rooms until targets were  reached. People had to sit for hours, being pressured to increase donations.

Why did members stay so long if life was so difficult?

According to Dean Detheridge, the church applies intense pressure to those who want to leave, including using personal information against them. Under a  process called “murder routine” members are locked up and harassed for hours
without food or rest until they give in. “They do intense interrogations . . .  They ask, ‘what have you done to small boys?’ and try to get you into  submission. I was kept in a room till 4am, but after 17 years on staff I was  hardened and stuck it out.”

For the entire article follow this link.  http://www.cifs.org.au/dark.php

This site contains mostly older stuff about the cult in Australia, what makes it interesting is that when these stories were written Dean and Ana were on the side of the bad guys.  http://www.suburbia.com.au/~fun/scn/orgs/canb/

When you are done reading you can join us for a sing along.


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Published in: on August 31, 2011 at 8:01 am  Leave a Comment  

Ex-Scientologist story #281, Mission slaves: greed & abuse.

The Dearings, Suzette and Michael, were two very committed Scientologists.  However, Scientology thrives on people with good intention.   The Dearings  were treated like miserable peons living in near poverty while enduring sleep deprivation and overwork.  This is par for the course in Scientology.    The cult has grown rich exploiting people like this.

“My name is Suzette M. Dearing. I live in Citrus Heights, CA and am a Technical Writer. . .

From January 1975 to July 1983 I was a staff member at the  Church of Scientology, Mission of Davis (COSMOD) at  Sacramento.  At Ms. Wakefield’s request, I am writing down  what I know of  the Church’s illegal and bizarre activities.

The thing that stands out most about my first years on staff  is the sheer lack of sleep. We had staff meetings every  Wednesday night that lasted from midnight until 3:00 – 4:00 in  the morning. We were all required to work six to seven days a  week from 9:00 AM until 11:30 PM (or later), in violation of  local and state labor laws. However, the party line was that we  were “volunteers” who were paid a “parsonage allowance”, as  opposed to salaried employees. (The “parsonage allowance”  ranged, on average, from $0 on bad weeks to $100 on good weeks.)  On Thursdays, then, we were forced to perform our duties on as  little as three hours of sleep.

During these staff meetings, the ED of the Mission, Reggie Caldwell, would alternately chain smoke and yell profanities at  us, telling us we were non-productive, that we had “evil  intentions”, etc.

After a few months of this, I became quite ill and decided to  quit. Staff members who wished to quit were seen by a person  called an “Ethics Officer”, whose job, in retrospect, was to  brainwash us until we “saw the light” and decided to stay. I was  told to remain in a small room, about 8′ by 8′ and write up my “O/W”,  a list of everything bad I had ever done in my entire life. When  I thought I was complete, the Ethics Officer would  look over what I had written, and if I still felt I wanted to  quit he would send me back to the small room to continue  writing. I did this for a couple of days until I “decided” to  remain on staff. Note that this was standard handling for anyone  who wanted to quit staff. I tried to quit staff several times  over the years, and was always forced into a small room to  “confront my O/Ws”.

In the first years I was on staff (1975-1979) we were  actively discouraged from seeking medical help if we were sick.  It was felt that all illnesses were “spiritual” in nature. I  remember one man named Tom Stevens, who had appendicitis that  went untreated for a couple of days until he finally had  emergency surgery. He was forced back on the job by the Church  after only two days of recovery and performed his duties in  considerable pain. On another occasion my supervisor, Cathy  Moore, suffered a miscarriage and called me to her house to  counsel her to make the miscarriage stop. Needless to say, it  didn’t and she eventually was hospitalized.

I remember when I was pregnant with my second child in 1983,  I asked the director of the Church, Jeff Cota, if I could cut  back my hours. I was very ill (during my fifth month I lost five  pounds) and my physician was concerned about me. His response  was that he was convinced that my difficulties were “spiritual”  in origin and that he wanted me to receive counselling rather  than go home and rest. I couldn’t convince him otherwise.”

For the rest of Suzette’s story go here;  http://www.xenu-directory.net/documents/dearing19890810.html

Here is Michael’s story:  http://www.scribd.com/doc/48287109/Scientology-Memoirs-Miscellaneous-Affidavits

Things never get any better inside Scientology; the abuse continues.  Here the former head of Scientology, Clearwater, FL,

Published in: on August 31, 2011 at 4:07 am  Leave a Comment  

Ex-Scientologist story #280, Film maker labeled, “SP” & “Criminal.”

Scientologist Since 1982, Filmmaker Vince Offer is Suing the Church of    Scientology for Being Labeled a ‘Criminal’ and Persecuted for His Movie’s   Artistic Expression, Among Other Things

    LOS ANGELES, May 11 /PRNewswire/ — Ever since late night infomercials ran  on national cable stations for “The Underground Comedy Movie,” co-starring  Michael Clarke Duncan, Slash, Gena Lee Nolin and Joey Buttafuoco, the movie  has become a household name.  LA Weekly crowned it as “The single most  offensive movie ever made!”  And it definitely delivers the goods.  So much  so, the filmmaker was kicked out and branded a “Criminal” by the Church of  Scientology.
    
    In 1997, while in production on his movie, church officials allegedly  orchestrated  a  meticulously covert propaganda campaign against Offer.  To help  galvanize church staff to get of rid Offer, illegally, selected shots of the  movie were taken from a rough cut copy, placed them in a report accompanied by  scarring comments and distributed within the church.
    After setting the stage, the Scientology sub-organization that recruits  and caters to celebrities “Celebrity Center International,” located in  Hollywood and whose motto is “To Create a Safe Space for Artists,” according  to Offer recruited dozens of his Scientology friends, associates and actors  that worked on Underground Comedy, to write false and malicious reports  against him.  If individuals refused to write these reports, they were  threatened with condemnation and punishment that could be lethal to their  careers.  One person reported a statement informing, “They threatened that I  would also be Declared Suppressive if I didn’t write up all the bad stuff I  knew on Vince.”  A Scientology term, “Declared Suppressive,” means being
labeled as an “enemy” of Scientology, expelled from the organization, becoming
“fair game,” and subject to “disconnection” by all family, friends and   associates who are Scientologists.
    Celebrity Center staff executives summoned Offer to face a Scientology  court for the numerous charges that unbeknownst to Offer were recruited by  Scientology officials but were presented to Offer as having been written by  other members on their “own accord.”       This court was run by four scientology church staff members, the youngest  being about 14 years of age, and in March of 1998, a ruling document entitled  “Findings and Recommendations,” held Offer to be guilty of 23 charges, none of  which were ever presented to him in the “court.”  To add insult to injury, the
ruling document labeled him a “Declare Type B,” a Scientology term which means
a person who is a “Criminal” and has “a criminal record.”  This was publicly  distributed or communicated to all associates, future associates of Offer and  general Scientology members, thereby sealing his fate as an outcast.  Offer  suffered irreparable damage due to this, including a lucrative business  enterprise he owned that consisted of many Scientology sales representatives  who abandoned him upon hearing the “Criminal” charge.  The enterprise folded  soon after.      In August 1999, a year and a half after Offer was labeled a “criminal,” a  Scientology appeal board found that the original accusations in the court  ruling were all untrue and that Offer was never even presented with the  charges.  Furthermore, they concluded the imposition of the “Criminal” label  on Offer was an injustice.  But the appeal board never apologized, or  acknowledged the church’s responsibility in the propaganda campaign or offered  reparations.


    By January 2002, Offer’s life was destroyed, as he was now broke, alone  and was left with an unfinished movie.  To keep from going under, he undertook  his inherent marketing abilities and pitched kitchen vegetable choppers at  swap meets.  In the span of 5 years, Offer went from owning an enterprise with  dozens of sales reps in 1997, to selling on his own in a swap meet.  In April  of 2002, against all odds, he managed to generate enough money from swap meet  sales to launch a successful infomercial campaign for his movie.  It is the  first movie ever to be marketed in this medium, which propelled DVD sales to  almost 100,000 units in the US.
    Offer is using his proceeds from the sales of the movie to fight the  Church in court.  Armed with evidence and the passion of obtaining redress for  injustice, he has pursued an unrelenting quest to expose the human cruelty and  destructive practices committed, still to this day, by the Church of  Scientology’s leadership helmed by David Miscavage.
    The preliminary case discussion starts in LA judicial court June 24, 2004. Offer is represented by attorney Ford Greene of Marin County, California, a  recent finalist for the Trial Lawyers for Public Justice 2003 Trial Lawyer of  the Year for collecting almost $8.7 million from Scientology in a case they  swore “Not One Thin Dime for Wollersheim” the man they drove into insanity and  then punished with fair game.

To read more of his story go here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vince_Offer

Published in: on August 31, 2011 at 12:06 am  Leave a Comment  

Ex-Scientologist story #279, Mutiny in the Netherlands.

Wooden shoes maybe, wooden minds, not so much.

Mutiny at Dutch Scientology organization

Het Parool, Netherlands
Oct. 25, 2003
SLADJANA LABOVIC en BART MIDDELBURG

Caspar De Rijk started doubting a few years ago for the first time, after he was taken hostage for some time by thick-necks of the sect in Copenhagen (where a large department of Scientology is located). “I was with the Sea-Org, a  para-military elite-department, with ranks and standings of the American  navy. If you disagree with something, have criticism or are angry about  something, you are interrogated and put on the E-meter. Then you are tested for bad intentions – but I did not have those, so I refused.” According to the “ethics” of Scientology, such a refusal is considered a capital crime: the adherents are not expected to think for themselves or to have an opinion of their own. Because of that, in line with the  jurisprudence of the Sea Org, De Rijk was transferred to the RPF, the rehabilitation Project, [a slave labor force] for internment in a kind of re-education camp. “And I refused that too.” says De Rijk. “Then they panicked a bit, because that apparently never happened before. Then they locked me up in a room with  a few bodyguards for an afternoon. They considered me a danger of course at  that moment, because I also had a high OT level. I was then thrown out, and  so I started thinking bit by bit: what am I still searching for here? And  what are others still searching for here? For sometimes a thousand dollars per hour.” For Scientology Church Netherlands (rumored to be loss-making for years  anyhow), the departure of dozens of active members must be a large financial drain. Not only does the sect miss out on income, on the site of Ronsorg apostates are also accurately instructed on how course moneys and donations can be reclaimed by the International Association of Scientologists in East Grinstead, England. With such a reclaim action Scientology will go to great lengths, warns Ronsorg: “What you can expect, is that they will try to make you change your mind by pushing all of your buttons that are known to them.” Scientologists are continually being “audited” for years during their stay  on the “bridge to clear”. During that, very personal things also come up for discussion, that will be put in a file. Future deserters or apostates with wild plans only need to be reminded that they once, for example, cheated on their spouse or have used drugs, to make them change their minds. Scientology does not hesitate to start extensive smear campaigns and to use member`s files for that. The apostates who have been swindled for hundreds of thousands of euros by other Scientologists via national and international little companies, take  measures. They study on reclaim procedures and damage claims with a lawyer.

For the rest of the story go here:  http://www.religionnewsblog.com/4828/mutiny-at-dutch-scientology-organization

Published in: on August 30, 2011 at 11:32 pm  Leave a Comment  

Ex-Scientologist story #278, A Prisoner Escapes.

There are a couple of positive aspects to this otherwise horrific story of Scientology abuse and they are that love, in the end, did conquer all and also that Gene and his wife finally both got out of this nasty and dreary cult.  This story can be found on Marc Headley’s “Blown for Good,”  October, 2009 and can be seen at web site at http://blownforgood.com/

REUNITED
By Gene Decheff

I have told my story of leaving the Gold/Int base at various times to various people over the last 19 years and decided to put it out there for anyone who is interested. I also decided to refuse to be intimidated, and use my real name, as the story makes it obvious who I am anyway. I have also already been part of an investigation by a private investigator sent by the Church and they found nothing. This is a factual account of my experience, not an attack on the Church or anyone in it. The Church should have nothing to fear from the truth of what occurred.

In the fall of 1990 I was a Gold staff member working in Estates after getting off the RPF for the third time. My wife had been approved for RTC after several successful years as CO CMO IXU in PAC. DM found out about this and cancelled the approval and put her in HCO Gold. She had also recently done a successful recruit mission that got a lot of people approved and sent to Gold from PAC.

In September of 1990 it was decided to send her back to PAC to recruit more people for Gold. She was given a quota and a time target to do this. This time it did not go as well. On October 8th she was ordered back to Gold. She knew she would end up digging ditches or worse. At that time we were sharing a two bedroom apartment at the Devonshire Apartments in Hemet. The couple we were sharing with just happened to be the CO Gold, Wendell Reynolds and his wife. Getting the recall was the final straw for my wife. We were one of the lucky few Gold/Int staff who had a car. She left LA, drove to the apartment, packed some clothes and hit the road.

At this time we had already been married for 10 years. Our marriage had survived through thick and thin, including my 3 RPF assignments when I would not see her for months at a time, missions all over the world, transfers, etc.
This is where it gets interesting. At the time my wife was on her way to freedom, I was chosen to go on a project ordered by DM to complete the security fencing around the Base. I was in briefing for this project in CMO Gold when I was told my wife had blown. This was a shocker, to say the least. I knew she had not been happy since being transferred to Int/Gold, but I did not expect her to blow.

Anyone reading this that is familiar with “Mission Tech” knows that before you fire on a mission or project, you have to be approved by HCO and Qual. This means you have to be in a good state of mind, with no “case” issues, no ethics issues, and no PRESENT TIME PROBLEMS in your life. Well, after a phone call to my wife at her parents’ with Security present, I was fired on the project. Security and everyone else I talked to assured me that she would be back. I knew different.
This was the point I decided I was done. I continued on the project, with Andre Tabayoyn as the Project In Charge, and Kevin O’Hare.

One night after work I returned to the Devonshire Apartments. They had an outside pay phone and I used it to call my wife. That is when told her was done and was going to join her. I continued to call her from that pay phone a few times a week for a couple weeks. I was very afraid someone would see me and report it. They never did. I figured either everyone really did think she was coming back, or they really were clueless of what was going on.

I started quietly packing a few small boxes of personal belongings at night and hiding them in my closet. I don’t even remember how I got the boxes as this would have been a dead giveaway if I had been seen.  I decided on the date I would leave and made the last call to my wife.

Here is another amazing key part of the story. One obvious factor in leaving the Sea Org after 11 years is MONEY. Few SO members were able to accumulate any savings, myself included. Somehow a few months earlier I received a pre-approved letter from Discover Card. I accepted the card and it made it to me through Security. This was especially odd since I had previously had a Visa card while at Flag that had to be charged off due to months in the RPF and no way to pay off the balance.

On the morning of 22 October, I got up at about 4am and with Discover Card in hand, quietly slipped out of the apartment and walked about 5 miles to the Ryder truck rental store in Hemet. I waited until they opened and rented a box van. I drove around Hemet until I knew the last bus had left to take the crew to the Base.

I knew it would only be a matter of time before I was missed and someone would come looking for me. I was loading everything I could, as fast as I could, into the truck when Andre arrived. He asked what I was doing and I told him I was leaving. Of course he tried any way he could to get me to change my mind. I continued loading the truck. Then, knowing it was also HIS ass if I were to succeed in leaving, he asked me to stay until he called Security. This is where everyone is going to think I was nuts. I agreed. I guess I figured that if I cooperated, they would eventually let me go, as opposed to fighting them.

About thirty minutes later, Jackson [Gary Morehead,left Scientology, to read his story go here https://androvillans.wordpress.com/2011/07/06/ex-scientologist-story-216-gary-morehead-witness-of-abuse/  ] from Security arrived. He also tried every possible way he could think of to get me to stay. Finally as a last resort got me to agree to come back to the Base so Security could go through the truck. Again, I agreed, for the same reason. My biggest fear about this was that I would no longer be in a public area like the apartments if I needed help. I would now be on private property behind a fence with gates and no way to get help.

I arrived back at the Base between noon and 1pm. I was met by two security guards. They got into the back of the truck and got busy searching everything that I had.
They went through every page, of every book I had. They took any photos out of my albums that had ANY Scientology significance, i.e.; anyone in SO uniform, any Church buildings, etc. After being in the CMO for a total of 4 years, I had some gifts that I had received from LRH that were given on special occasions, like Birthday, SO Day, etc. Those were also confiscated. At one point I sensed that they were getting frustrated about not finding enough booty to confiscate. One of the guards happened to look down at my feet and said; “are those uniform issue?” He was referring to the work boots I was wearing. They had been issued to me as part of my Estates uniform. He told me I would have to leave them as they were Church property. I took off the boots and handed them to him. I dug through some things in the truck and came up with an old pair of cowboy boots I had and put them on.

Now it was about 4pm, and after over 3 hours of searching the truck, to my surprise and relief I was allowed to leave the Base. I drove to the Denny’s in Beaumont and called my wife. I was free. I had lunch and hit the road and never looked back. I reunited with my wife at her sisters’ in Vancouver, Washington and we started rebuilding our life. We will celebrate our 29th anniversary this December.

What amazes me is that he let himself be taken back to the base.  Of course they stole his photographs.  He was too conditioned by the Sea Borg, which include three stints in the RPF, to put up a fuss.

Published in: on August 28, 2011 at 10:18 pm  Leave a Comment  

“A Biography of L. Ron Hubbard,” -the first crack in the wall.

In 1975 Michael Linn Shannon stumbled upon Scientology and L. Ron Hubbard.  After reading some Scientology books he became highly suspicious of Hubbards claims concerning his life and personal achievements.  Four years later he had amassed findings that would eventually rock the world of this secretive cult. 

 The following excerpts are from chapter One, “A Piece of Blue Sky: Scientology, Dianetics and L. Ron Hubbard Exposed.”  By John Atack,  

“Novelists often elaborate their own mundane experience into fictional adventures. Hubbard did not confine his creativity to his fictional work. He reconstructed his entire past, exaggerating his background to fashion a hero, a superhero even. Although Hubbard wrote many imaginative stories, his own past became his most elaborate work of fiction.

Hubbard’s works are peppered with references to his achievements. He often broke off when lecturing to relate an anecdote about his wartime experience or his Hollywood career. Even before he generated a following he would tell tall stories to anyone who cared to listen. He stretched his tales to the ridiculous, claiming he broke broncos at the age of three and a half, for example. Most Scientologists believe these tales. Few have bothered to compare the anecdotes or the many and varied biographical sketches published by Hubbard’s Church, so the many discrepancies pass largely unnoticed. The pattern of Hubbard’s reconstructed past is the translation of the actual, sometimes mediocre, sometimes sordid, reality into a stirring tale of heroic deeds.

Even critics of Scientology occasionally swallow part of the myth. Paulette Cooper, in her penetrating exposé of Scientology, assured her readers, quite erroneously, that Hubbard was “severely injured in the war… and in fact was in a lifeboat for many days, badly injuring his body and his eyes in the hot Pacific sun.”

But Hubbard’s accounts are not the only source of information. By the summer of 1984, the fabric of his heroic career had been badly torn, largely through the work of two men: Michael Shannon and Gerald Armstrong.

In July 1975, on a muggy evening in Portland, Oregon, Michael Shannon stood waiting for a bus. A young man approached him, and asked if he wanted to attend a free lecture. Shannon went along, thinking that at least the lecture room would be air-conditioned (it was not). He listened to a short, plausible talk about “Affinity, Reality and Communication,” and after a brief sales pitch signed up for the “Communication Course.”

Many Scientologists’ stories begin this way. Shannon’s soon took a different turn. The next day he decided he did not want to do the Communication Course and, after a “brief but rather heated discussion,” managed to get his money back. He kept and read the copy of Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health which kindled his curiosity, not for Dianetics, but for its originator.

I started buying books. Lots of books. There was a second hand bookstore a few blocks away and they were cheaper, and I discovered they had books by other writers that were about Scientology – I happened on the hard-to-find Scandal of Scientology by Paulette Cooper. Now I was fascinated, and started collecting everything I could get my eager hands on – magazine articles, newspaper clippings, government files, anything.

By 1979, Shannon had spent $4,000 on his project and had collected “a mountain of material which included some flies that no one else had bothered to get copies of – for example, the log books of the Navy ships that Hubbard had served on, and his father’s Navy service file.” Shannon intended to write an exposé of Hubbard.

After failing to find a publisher, Shannon sent the most significant material to a few concerned individuals and ducked out of sight, fearful of reprisals. Five years later, he was still in hiding and my efforts to contact him failed. The hundred pages Shannon sent out included copies of some of Hubbard’s naval and college records, as well as responses to Shannon’s many letters inquiring into Hubbard’s expeditions and other alleged exploits.

The “Shannon documents” also found their way to Gerald Armstrong. Armstrong had been a dedicated Sea Org member for nearly ten years when he began a “biography project” authorized by Hubbard. Much of the immense archive collected by Armstrong consisted of Hubbard’s own papers, not the forgeries that Hubbard claimed had been created by government agencies to discredit Scientology. The archive largely confirmed Shannon’s material. Armstrong and Shannon reached the same eventual destination from opposed starting points.”

This is taken from Shannon’s preface in Hubbard’s biography. 

“In many of the dozens of books published by the Church of Scientology (COS) over the years, there is included, as in many books, some ‘information about the author’. In the case of the COS books, this ranges from a couple of lines on the inside of the dust jacket, to the elaborate 16 page spread in “What is Scientology” in which the life of their founder is depicted in reproductions of a series of oil paintings, with accompanying text.

All of these, when put together, tell of a man who, descended from royalty grew up in the wilds of Montana, became the youngest Eagle Scout in America traveled throughout the world as a teenager, graduated from college with a degree in civil engineering, earned his masters license to command ocean going vessels, was the leader of a number of expeditions to various areas of the world, was a sergeant in the United States Marine Corps, was highly decorated, and a real life hero in the U.S. Navy in WWII, wrote and had published fifteen million words, and spent years and years researching the composition and destiny of man

And did all this before his 35th birthday.

Shannon begins then to chop up each of these lies and exaggerations with the sharp knife of truth.  Here are a couple of favorites of mine.

Ron the scholar and nuclear scientist.  A straight “A: student?  Hardly. See for yourself.

For the year 1931-1932, the second semester.

Integral Calculus D
English, Short Stories B
Physics, electricity
and magnetism D
Nuclear Physics F
 

How about “Ron the war-hero?”  Hubbard puffed himself up with vain glory and told tales about how his combat experiences and how he healed himself from wounds; this healing was to be an important part of Dianetecs at a later date.  It would be incorrect to say that Hubbard never fired a gun or smelled the reek of powder.  But alas, the target was an island belonging to Mexico.  His wounds?  An ulcer and eye inflammation.  He collected a ten percent disability payment for the rest of his life. 

Here is what the navy thought of Hubbard: “On July 7 a fitness report on Hubbard was written by Rear Admiral Braisted, Commander Fleet Operational Training Command, Pacific. In the “Remarks” section, the Rear Admiral said: “Consider this officer lacking in the essential qualities of judgment, leadership and cooperation. He acts without forethought as to probable results. He is believed to have been sincere in his efforts to make his ship efficient and ready. Not considered qualified for command or promotion at this time. Recommend duty on a large vessel where he can be properly supervised.”

In Australia they didn’t think much of Hubbard either, ” “By assuming unauthorized authority and attempting to perform duties for which he has no qualifications, he became the source of much trouble. This, however, was made possible by the representative of the U.S. Army at Brisbane …. This officer is not satisfactory for independent duty assignment. He is garrulous and tries to give impressions of his importance. He also seems to think that he has unusual ability in most lines. These characteristics indicate that he will require close supervision for satisfactory performance of any intelligence duty.”

This continues on and on in Shannon’s biography.  Lie after lie is exposed.  Later researchers would expand his work but he had the honor of being the first one.  This had a big effect on Scientology although to this day they still retail some of the lies to their unwary victims.

For the rest of the Shannon papers go here:  http://www.lermanet.com/shannon/

Here is a link to, “A Piece of Blue Sky.” http://www.xenu.net/archive/books/apobs/contents.htm

Here is a look at some of Hubbard’s followers, this is his legacy.

Published in: on August 26, 2011 at 7:20 pm  Leave a Comment  

Ex-Scientologist story #277, Jerry E. Smith in the cult.

Back in the late ’60s three friends, Jim Keith and Larry Neilson, and myself were publishing a small press science fiction fan magazine [fanzine]. We received an article for our fanzine from an old time science fiction fan and Dianetic “Clear” named Jack Harness (for an understanding of “Clear” read Dianetics: Modern Science of Mental Health) (more on “Clear” below). Jack’s article was entitled Non-fiction and was a discription of incidents that he said he had remembered from 3 billion years worth of his past lives, with connective material of scenes from the Dianetic “auditing” that had allowed him to remember it.

 I thought it was all hogwash. I had known Jack for a short while through science fiction “fandom” before receiving his article – we were all members of The Los Angeles Science Fantasy Society – and I thought that if he was clear then Clear was something that I very definitely never wanted to be. Poor Jack struck me as being about as clear as mud.

 But Jim Keith was intrigued and launched into reading every book on or about L. Ron Hubbard [LRH], Dianetics [Dn] or Scientology [Scn] he could get his hands on. About that time our untitled fanzine died and I went to Klamath Falls [K Falls], Oregon [OR] and Jim Keith went to Kansas City [KC], Missouri [MO]. 

By the time I saw him again nearly four years later in K Falls, in 1974, he was a devotee of LRH, had been on staff for a while and had had quite a bit of “auditing” (also called “processing” or “pastoral counseling”). Larry Neilson too had gotten into, and out of, Scn.

 Jim Keith moved into my place in K Falls. Just about every day he would go on about his great “wins” and the superiority of the “Tech.” At first I was still a scoffer, but eventually he got me reading LRH and soon I was hooked. 

Jim, Larry and Jack are all now deceased. Jack recently died of old age, Jim broke his knee at Burning Man and died of a blood clot to the lung a few days later – I am convinced it was medical malpractice and/or a “hit” that did him in. Larry was the first to go and Jim and I held Scientology partially responsible for his death. Scn does not allow its practitioners to use drugs. And they get rather carried away on this point. The most abject example of this is Larry’s. He was an epileptic. He took drugs to curb this problem. Scn doesn’t like drugs, and especially what it considers “psychiatric drugs.” They ordered him to stay off his anti-epileptic drugs. One day while bathing (in 1984, I think) he had a seizure and drowned. If he had been on his medication he might be alive today.

Jerry E. Smith spent ten years in Scientology, much of it in the Sea Org.  He gives a detailed account of his time in the cult in his blog.  Much of it is similar to other stories of the Sea Borg we have run across in this series.  The usual lack of sleep, terrible diet, miserable pay, poverty level living conditions and in general, life in a  group where being nice to each other is not considered a virtue.  One thing he mentions that has not received as much attention as it should is Scientology’s manipulation of the book market in order to, in the end, gain members.

I once overheard how Bridge Publications, Inc. keeps D:MSMH on the best seller list, and Battlefield Earth too. If either book was not selling particularly well in a given area, BPI sent an order to the local Scn org to have some staff or students go into the B. Dalton’s or Walden’s and buy copies. They then shipped the copies back to BPI who in turn shipped them back to their distributors who in turn restocked it in the B. Dalton’s! Why would they do this, when it certainly would lose a lot of money? Primarily because they know that people are sheep and “best sellers” are best sellers because people have heard about them as best sellers and felt compelled to read them; and Scn wants, at all costs, for people to read Hubbard’s books. As Hubbard said “books are the first line of dissemination.” The primary route into Scn is: a person buys a book, reads it, gets interested, comes in. BPI might lose $5 on a paperback D:MSMH this way but Scn will make thousands, perhaps tens of thousands of dollars on this “book buyer” over the years. Hell, that’s how Jim Keith and I got in! With sales directly to the Scn orgs it gets even wilder. Since book buyers make up a big percentage of new starts, BPI insures books get sold, or that they, at least, get their stat up. It’s called a “cat handling” (cat for catastrophe). When BPI thinks an org doesn’t have enough books on stock, or has not been ordering “enough” recently, they will invoke a “cat handling” and go directly into the bank account of the org, and take out what they want and ship that many books, without asking the org word one about it! More than once while I was there ASHO F could not make some vital payment (like food for the staff or child care payments to the Cadet Org) because BPI had helped itself to ASHO funds.

The ‘Birthday Game” is a big money-maker for Scientology.  However, with fewer and fewer members to hound for contributions one wonders where it will all end up.

Each year on Ron’s Birthday the highest stat producers are rewarded with special plaques and Certificates and such. I used to do the calligraphy on many of these. One year the highest stats for any SO Division Six (Public Division) went to ASHO F. At ASHO, the Public Div is actually divided up into three full Divisions, Divs 6A, 6B, & 6C. The Public Executive Secretary [Public Exec Sec or PES] was a guy named Jim Frankel. He was, shall we say, rather creative in how he got his stats reported. All three of his Div 6 Div’s won First Place as the best (highest stats) Div 6’s in the SO. Only, in two of the three there was no one posted! Empty, nobody home!

This could be said for a lot of cult activities.  These are the people who intend to run the world, yet they are totally inept.

Published in: on August 26, 2011 at 3:55 am  Leave a Comment  

Ex-Scientologist story #276, Perry Scott takes a deeper look.

Perry Scott and his wife took some introductory courses in the 1980’s and then drifted away from it.  Later he would discover what a close shave he had with a greedy, paranoid and dangerous cult.  When he understood how close to the edge of the cliff he had been dancing he took a long look over his shoulder at what he missed.  He posted a lot of this during the wild days of ARS in the 1990’s.  This did not endear him to the cult.

What is the E-Meter?  Is it Science?  http://www.ezlink.com/~perry/CoS/freq_resp.html

The Training Rountines.  http://www.ezlink.com/~perry/CoS/TRs.critic.html#tr1

OSA Network Orders.  Hubbard’s claim to being “offlines” is debunked.  http://www.ezlink.com/~perry/CoS/OSANWO/

And for a bit of video flavor I have included a little something about the wonderful world of L. Ron Hubbard. 
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uXPpJcuEG0s

Published in: on August 25, 2011 at 10:31 pm  Leave a Comment  

Ex-Scientologist story #275, “free personality test” is a fake.

 

Oxford University has nothing to do with the OCA or any other part of Scientology.

 Julia Llewellyn Smith found out that there is no part of Scientology that is innocent.  Every aspect of the cult has been refined over the years to make is a razor-sharp blade when it comes to cutting open your soul as a short-cut to your bank account.  For many is the start of a long slide towards bankruptcy and poverty.  From Express Newspapers, 7/22/1999.

How I was reduced to black despair by ‘caring’ “church’s” personality test by Julia Llewellyn Smith For hours afterwards I was shaking. It was an idyllic sunny afternoon when I walked into the “Church” of Scientology on London’s Tottenham Court Road but when I walked out an hour later I was cold inside. In the intervening time, I had been told that at times I could be a “total bitch”; that I was over-critical that others felt uncomfortable around me; that I was so withdrawn it was almost impossible for anyone to form a close relationship with me.

My interviewer also told me that I was so timid I was failing in every area of my life. On several occasions, I felt close to tears. Having arrived feeling fine about myself, I left wanting to curl up in a ball and never go out again.

I had just undergone the Oxford Capacity Analysis test, the “free personality test” offered at 30 centres across the country. Anyone who has walked past one of these centres will have been accosted by a smiling young person offering something that sounds as fun and harmless as a quiz in a women’s magazine.

Yet Ian Howarth, of the Cult Information Centre, which has received “numerous” complaints about the Scientologists, urges people to avoid these centres at all costs. “Too many people walk in for a laugh and end up on the inside, parting with thousands of pounds,” he says.

Bonnie Woods, a former Scientologist who has counselled more than 300 families affected by the “religion” says: “I have been in mental asylums and seen the effects that recruitment into Scientology might have on someone who is vulnerable. People think that if you are not a basket case, you will be protected from the Scientologists. But in fact, anyone of any age going down the street can be just as susceptible as anyone else.”

Scientology has been described by Judge Latey in the High Court as “immoral and socially obnoxious… corrupt, sinister and dangerous”. The cult now claims to have about 100,000 members in Britain and eight million worldwide.

Yet right now Scientology is attempting to revamp its image. This month, it embarked on a pan-European “crusade”

to gain new members. Great play has been made of its celebrity followers – Tom Cruise, Nicole Kidman, John Travolta and Kirstie Alley are all members of the “Church”.

Recently, adverts have started to appear on the London Underground. “Scientology helped me to achieve my goals,”

reads the caption and the cult (despite many attempts Scientology has failed in its quest to be defined as a religion in this country) now plans to advertise on national television.

A “What is Scientology?” exhibition at the Selfridge Hotel in central London, presents the organisation as a bit eccentric but basically harmless. It gives glossy information on Scientology’s founder L Ron Hubbard, a former Hollywood scriptwriter and science fiction writer, who reportedly told a colleague that the easiest way to become rich was to start a religion. He died in 1996 with £410million in his bank account.

Hubbard (who claimed to have visited Venus) believed that 75 million years ago an evil prince called Xenu ruled a galactic confederation. When he visited Earth he brought alien beings called Thetans who inhabit humans’ bodies.

The Thetans’ enemies are Engrams, disruptive forces planted in our universe from outside the galaxy. Through “dianetics” -a type of therapy devised by Hubbard – the Engrams can be driven out and we can achieve spiritual peace.

A dianetics video at the show depicted a woman being “audited” – asked by another Scientologist to go over and over a traumatic event or Engram, in this case a row with her husband about going to a party. After many repetitions, the Engram was purged. Then it was on to the next trauma.

As a process, this would surely take a lifetime to complete. Bonnie Woods agrees. “As soon as you have finished one course there is another and then another after that,” she says. “If you ended up doing them all you could spend in the region of £200,000.”

This year, Bonnie, 50, was awarded £55,000 in damages from the Scientologists, after they distributed leaflets around her home in Sussex denouncing her as a hate campaigner.

Scientologists picketed her house, terrifying her two daughters.

“I was studying psychology at college and never thought I could get involved in something like this, yet I ended up giving all my savings to Scientology and working for them, in terrible conditions,” she says. “If I hadn’t had to go to hospital for a while, I might never have got free. The myth is that only slow, suggestible people join cults.

Statistically, it has been shown that recruits are usually highly intelligent, highly motivated individuals. ‘Body routers’ – the people who stand in the street and invite you in – are trained to look for people like that.”

I was convinced that someone like me – level-headed, well-educated and cynical – could never be affected by something as ludicrous as Scientology. I felt relaxed as I entered their “church” – in reality a dilapidated building with a shabby shop front. Inside, I was handed the “personality test”. It consisted of 200 questions, requiring you to tick a box saying Yes, No or Maybe. They included: “Would you buy ‘on credit’ in the hope you can keep up the payments?” (No); “Do you rarely suspect the actions of others?” (No); “Do you have little regret on past misfortunes or failures?” (No). Around me, five young people – mainly women and foreign – were filling it out enthusiastically.

I waited for 10 minutes while the computer analysed the test. Then a man introduced himself to me as Paul and took me into a booth, with a copy of my “graph”, a computer analysis of my answers. It showed that while in some areas I had “good” marks; in others they were appalling. Paul was concerned about this. Was I aware how much these problems were holding me back? Shouldn’t I tackle them?

Wasn’t it a real worry that I was so busy looking after my friends that I forgot to attend to my own needs? Weakly, I agreed.

In retrospect, I may appear pathetic. At the time I was genuinely shocked. The problem with the Oxford test (it was, according to Bonnie, devised by a merchant seaman with no psychological training and no connection with the city or University of Oxford) is that it pinpoints your weaknesses quite accurately. Some of the things Paul said were true. Only later it occurred to me that there had been no mention at all of my good points. I felt embarrassed to be so shaken, but according to Bonnie, my reaction was normal. “The Scientologists put you in a vulnerable position,” she says. “They hammer home your inadequacies. The technique is designed to make you suggestible and vulnerable.”

Next, it was time for the hard sell. I was ushered into another room, and greeted by Raj, a young man with wide, staring eyes. He was much kinder than Paul, explaining how dianetics could help me.

Raj showed me details of the dianetics course he recommended. How much would the course cost? “£20,” Raj said. For 20 hours of instruction, it seemed like a bargain. “Listen,” said Raj. “I’m telling you this as a friend, not as a Scientologist. Why not just go for it?

It’s only £20? What have you got to lose?” Later, I learned that this is standard Scientology sales patter.

Scientology’s income is estimated at £200 million a year, with additional assets of £270 million.

My name may now be put on a Scientology blacklist.

Journalists, along with homosexuals, are not allowed to become Scientologists and those who have criticised the cult in the past say they have been persistently harassed.”What is extraordinary is that the Scientologists are now saying ‘Find out for yourself’,” says Bonnie.

“Well I did find out and by my speaking out about what I didn’t like, I can expect to be harassed for the rest of my life.”

Published in: on August 25, 2011 at 9:43 pm  Leave a Comment  

Ex-Scientologist story #274, “Ten years wasted on Hubbard’s balderdash.”

 

The cult of greed and bullshit,

I Wasted About Ten Years on Hubbard’s Balderdash

Thomas Sorensen joined Scientology and was recruited for the Sea Org in Copenhagen.  Worse yet he was put in the GO or “Guardians Office.”  This is the nasty, criminal part of the cult that took care of critical reporters, SPs, and of course the agents from the drug companies, psychiatrists, the CIA or whatever paranoid fit they happened to be having at the time. Since this was written the GO was replaced by OSA, the Office of Special Affairs which is just old wine in new skins.

“…the book ‘DMSMH’ persuaded me to disregard my own judgment and sanity.”

I wasted about 10 years on Hubbards balderdash. 1.5 years as a staffmember at the Guardians Office Europe, GOEU… That made me wake up!

So about 25 years later I joined the fray at OCMB, hoping that my evil enturbulating SP’ness can help stop the fraud.

I’ll just repost my story here:

How the hell did I ever buy that shit?

This is a rather embarrassing story about me being inexcusably gullible… Unbeknownst to myself. I didn’t feel that I was very gullible. To the contrary I viewed myself as an incarnated skeptical. Then and now…

Looking back.. Man! – I was a cool guy who knew everything back then… I had ‘free will’ and a strong belief in my own cognitive faculties. I’m not smarter than most people now… I take it to be the effects of ageing. – But getting caught up in Scientology! – Guess I have to admit that I wasn’t that smart anyway…

Years earlier a good friend of mine had promoted Scientology to me. I was sceptical, but I did the H.A.S (Hubbard Apprentice Scientologist) course. An inexpensive introductory course. This was about 30 years ago… I can hardly remember.. Doing Training Routines, TR’s. Other students claiming they went ‘exterior’. I had a feeling like wearing a hat and my head tickling at one time. I was never able to check my hairdo from behind. Trying to lift an ashtray with mindpower… Telekinesis… damned ashtray wouldn’t budge! – Having it explained to me that I had to have the real ‘intention’ of making it do so… Well… However. communications and ARC* stuff appealed to me. Made sense.. I used it too..

One day there was a recruiting mission from The Guardians Office Europe ‘GOEU’ at the Org. I let myself be recruited!

Ok.. I knew about the million year contracts of the Sea Org. I took that to mean for life… Still didn’t buy that with living forever. Even being drunk like tits, I would never sign a contract for life, let alone one for a million years. The 5 year contract for GO was more reasonable. And I was promised that I could continue my studies for Auditor when I had done staff training. Plus being on Staff I didn’t have to pay for training. – It all sounded good.

GO orientation was the first course to study. A set of course materials designed to make a new staff member feel welcome… I’m being sarcastic here.. Basically it explained to you that anybody could throw you out again if they felt like it. If they thought you were ugly, or for no specific reason at all. I got the impression from it that the GO was paranoid really. The organization as a whole was paranoid… Oh! – There was some good reasons for being paranoid given. Policy written by Ron Hubbard said that one in five people were PTS, ie: a Potential Trouble Source, and downright dangerous to have around. Then there was 2 percent of population who were suppressive persons. Those were even more dangerous and sometimes hard to spot because they hid their true intentions. They were the types of Hitler and Caligula. The GO were taking precautions not to get these people on staff.

Scientologist are always encouraged to spy on each other just like in totalitarian regimes like in the former Soviet Union or East Germany.

Everyone was supposed to write and send ‘Knowledge Reports’ if someone was observed to be out ethics or not doing something they were supposed to do. Maybe they were ‘plants’ from government intelligence or undercover reporters out to get us. You were supposed to write commendations too… The idea was that a persons pile of bad Knowledge Reports and positive Commendations in his ethics file could be compared.

The place was reminiscent of an intelligence bureau. Security was tight and felt oppressive. Staff seemed to avoid talking to each other. Apparently personal relations were out security. Telefaxes clattered in a room that was off limits for everyone. Offices were generally off limits, unless you worked there. – Instant KR (knowledge Report) on Dev. T (Developed unnecessary and disturbing traffic) shot off from the hip if you asked somebody about, I dare say, anything.

His story is typical of Sea Org paranoia, foolishness and crass ignorance.  Still, it makes interesting reading.   To read the full report go here:  http://www.lermanet.com/thomas-sorensen/thomas-sorenson.htm

Published in: on August 25, 2011 at 1:21 am  Leave a Comment