Ex-Scientology story #367, The song of an early SP.

A suppressive person or an “SP’ is supposed to be a person entirely given over to criminality; an enemy of mankind; or person so foul as to have no redeeming qualities.  In other words a person who has found fault with L. Ron Hubbard or Scientology.  How such dark souls could have made it into Scientology, armed as they are with the E-Meter, remains a mystery.

The following is taken from chapter ten of, The Scandal of Scientology by Paulette Cooper, A Tower Book, 1971. 

Another Scientology “suppressive,” now an outspoken critic of the group, called Scientology “the beginnings of a Nazi party” in court, during an American tax case. Mr. Raymond J. D. Buckingham, a very accomplished English basso who administers a voice school in Manhattan, initially got into Scientology through one of his pupils. She agreed to give him $30 worth of processing in return for an equal amount in voice lessons. 

When he complained about the situation to the Scientologists, however, they said they would speak to him about it only if he would agree to pay them $25 for the first session of “advice.” He agreed, but they then said they wouldn’t talk to him unless he “disconnected” from a business partner. It seemed that the Scientologists had also labeled the partner a “suppressive person” because he was connected to a suppressive. 

Buckingham then had the incredible courage to speak against Scientology on a radio show, and the Scientologists countered by declaring him a “suppressive person, outside their protection,” and “fair game.” Those of his students who had become Scientologists (at his recommendation) were ordered to “disconnect” from him — and also from any money they legally owed him. (This represented a loss of about $200 a week for him.) 

One of his students, a famous singer, in whom he had invested almost $30,000 as her agent, told him that she had learned in her auditing sessions that “you killed me in my past fifteen lives.” Then she not only disconnected from him, but also from the arrangements he had made for her to perform in summer stock theatres. The loss almost ruined him, and her as well, since she was fined by Actors’ Equity and left the country. 

During this time, he was also receiving phone calls in the middle of the night from men and women threatening to kill him. And his fiancé, who at first didn’t leave Scientology and join him, was held in a room at the Org for four hours until she agreed to sign a statement saying that Buckingham had threatened to kill her. The story does have a happy ending. Three in fact. Mr. Buckingham and his fiancé eventually did get married.

To read the rest of the chapter go here:  http://www.xenu.net/archive/books/tsos/sos-10.html

“Show me any person who is critical of us and I’ll show you crimes and intended crimes that would stand a magistrate’s hair on end.”

– L. Ron Hubbard, Hubbard Communications Office Bulletin, 4 April 1965

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Published in: on November 25, 2011 at 7:41 pm  Comments (1)  

Ex-Scientologist story #366, “Allied Scientists of the World.”

Contrary to the pabulum that official Scientology sites pass off as history things did not always work out well for the future Commodore.  One project that came to grief was Hubbard’s attempt to gather the scientists of the world under his control.  He put one of his students, a store clerk named Perry Chapdelaine, in charge of this scheme.   The history of Scientology is replete with grandiose plans that came to naught.

Hubbard’s major attempt to establish himself among scientific elites occurred in the closing months of 1951, when he created what became a short-lived organization, the Allied Scientists of the World (Miller, 1987: 198; Wallis, 1977: 74-75; see Atack, 1990: 125).  Hubbard’s plan for the Allied Scientists “was to establish an alliance of leading international scientists and to store all the latest scientific research on microfilm in an atom-bomb-proof archive somewhere in Arizona.  In that way, he argued somewhat obscurely, individual nations would be denied the technical capacity to wage a nuclear war” (Miller, 1987: 198).  Perry Chapdelaine, whom Hubbard had placed in charge of the project, insisted years later that Hubbard “‘thought with Allied Scientists he could control war and in that way control the world.  That was what he wanted, no question” (quoted in Miller, 1987: 198).  The organization’s mailing to scientists elicited little response except to the FBI from recipients who thought that Allied Scientists might be a communist-backed subversive organization.  Hubbard’s plans, therefore, to unite world scientists died soon after it was born.

The above was taken from an article published in the Cult Awareness and Information Library.

http://www.culthelp.info/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=954&Itemid=12&limit=1&limitstart=3

The foundation mentioned here went bankrupt due to Hubbard’s lack of financial acumen.  He lost control of the product “Dianetics” so he had to come up with a new term: Scientology.  But here he came to grief with the fact, still a factor today, of people going insane while on Scientology auditing.

From Bare-Faced Messiah, p.169:

In October, Hubbard returned to the East Coast for a few days and was greeted at Elizabeth with the news that the Foundation was approaching a financial crisis — its monthly income could no longer even cover the payroll — and Joseph Winter, the man who had done so much to validate Dianetics, was about to resign.

Winter was deeply disillusioned with the Hubbard Dianetic Research Foundation. He no longer believed that Dianetics was free from risk — two pre-clears had developed acute psychoses during auditing — and he was extremely worried by the Foundation’s continuing willingness to accept anyone for training as an auditor.

`People had breakdowns quite often,’ said Perry Chapdelaine, a Sears Roebuck clerk from Mason City, Iowa, who was a student at Elizabeth. `It was always hushed up before anyone found out about it. It happened to a guy on my course, a chemical engineer. They wanted to get him out of the school and I volunteered to stay with him in an adjoining building. He never slept or ate and was in a terrible state, no one could do anything with him and in the end they took him off to an asylum.”

A favorite quote from Hubbard:

“Arthritis vanishes, myopia gets better, heart illness decreases, asthma disappears, stomachs function properly and the whole catalogue of illnesses goes away and stays away.” L. Ron Hubbard, DIANETICS: THE MODERN SCIENCE OF MENTAL HEALTH, 1987 Ed., p. 72

Published in: on November 25, 2011 at 4:29 pm  Leave a Comment  

Ex-Scientologist story #365, Scientology: Never Enough Money.

The cult of greed and snot.

Here The St. Petersburg Times, beats up on the nasty, grasping cult of Scientology again.  One wonders how long this can keep going before this scam falls apart?  Hundreds of millions of dollars flowed into the cult’s coffers but the golden geese are beginning to fly the coop.

Scientology amped up donation requests to save the Earth starting in 2001

By Joe Childs and Thomas C. Tobin, Times Staff Writers In Print: Sunday, November 20, 2011.

Lynne Hoverson and Bert Schippers quickly pitched in with a $12,000 donation when Seattle Scientologists started raising money for a new church in 2000. They later boosted their gift to $160,000.     

      On a late-autumn evening in 2005, a trio of church fundraisers arrived at the couple’s home. They wanted more cash for the $13 million project.      

      Ninety thousand dollars.     

      Hoverson explained that she and her husband already had borrowed heavily to donate to church causes. Borrowing $90,000 more would mean another several months of payments.      

      She told them no.     

      A few days later, one of the fundraisers sent a complaint called a “Knowledge Report” to church officials. She was turning the couple in.     

      Their sin: insufficient generosity.      

      “The fact that it would only take them 1 ½ years to handle their debts if they donated this amount to the building tells me that they can do more if they were willing to,” wrote Kelly Brown, a member of Scientology’s religious order, the Sea Org.     

      Hoverson and Schippers were aghast when the Knowledge Report came in the mail.      

      This was how you asked people for a donation?      

      But the church’s brazen sense of entitlement would not even register with them until years later.     

      “We were so used to being asked for money,” Schippers said, “that you kind of get numb to it.”     

The St. Petersburg Times’ investigative series “The Money Machine” has shown how the Church of Scientology relentlessly hounds its parishioners for money, using intimidation and even deception against those it professes to serve.      

      Church defectors told how religious workers in Clearwater schemed and scrambled to bring in cash. Weary former parishioners recalled how church staffers harangued them to buy $3,000 sets of scripture.     

      But Scientology’s fundraising reached another dimension in the 2000s as the church pursued two key initiatives — expand its influence and build gleaming new churches around the world.      

      Dozens of former church members, speaking out for the first time, said fundraisers resorted to extreme tactics:      

• Block the exits. In Minneapolis, church staffers followed a woman and her husband to the restrooms to make sure they didn’t leave a fundraising event. On the Scientology cruise ship Freewinds, staffers stood side by side and locked arms to block the stairway leading back to the guest rooms.     

      In Santa Barbara, Calif., Scientology workers arranged meeting rooms so anybody leaving would have to walk conspicuously past the speaker’s podium.     

      “You don’t want multiple avenues of escape,” said Linda McCarthy, former executive director of the Santa Barbara church.     

• Do not let them think it over. Get parishioners to donate now. A fundraiser on the Freewinds told a young parishioner — newly married and struggling financially — not to consult her husband before she put a $10,000 donation on her credit card. She listened, and still regrets it.     

• When they give, make them give more. At a banquet in Chicago, a parishioner announced that she was giving $100,000 to a Scientology cause, drawing a big ovation. When she returned to her table, she was set upon by somebody raising money for something else.     

• If they don’t give enough, threaten them. In Orange County, Calif., a Scientology fundraiser filed a Knowledge Report about a parishioner who refused to donate $350,000 to a church building campaign. It worked. He gave in.      

To read the rest of this article go here: http://www.tampabay.com/news/scientology/article1201989.ece

Published in: on November 24, 2011 at 10:34 am  Leave a Comment  

Ex-Scientologist story #364, Greed, Fraud & Extortion.

Suzanne Working was a public member of Scientology who was unwise enough to take a cruise on the cult’s crime ship, Freewinds.  The result was that she got their full treatment of heavy-handed sales pitches and extortion.  As always, the cult has no shame when it comes to shaking down their members.  The following was taken from the St. Petersburg Times story from November, 2011,

The St. Petersburg Times’ investigative series “The Money Machine” has shown how the Church of Scientology relentlessly hounds its parishioners for money, using intimidation and even deception against those it professes to serve.      

      Church defectors told how religious workers in Clearwater schemed and scrambled to bring in cash. Weary former parishioners recalled how church staffers harangued them to buy $3,000 sets of scripture.     

      But Scientology’s fundraising reached another dimension in the 2000s as the church pursued two key initiatives — expand its influence and build gleaming new churches around the world.      

      Dozens of former church members, speaking out for the first time, said fundraisers resorted to extreme tactics:      

• Block the exits. In Minneapolis, church staffers followed a woman and her husband to the restrooms to make sure they didn’t leave a fundraising event. On the Scientology cruise ship Freewinds, staffers stood side by side and locked arms to block the stairway leading back to the guest rooms.     

      In Santa Barbara, Calif., Scientology workers arranged meeting rooms so anybody leaving would have to walk conspicuously past the speaker’s podium. 

      “You don’t want multiple avenues of escape,” said Linda McCarthy, former executive director of the Santa Barbara church. . .    

In December 2000, Suzanne Working paid $2,500 to attend a 10-day conference aboard the Freewinds. One day, she was summoned out of a seminar and led to a small room.     

      Ted Bragin closed the door. He insisted she give to the IAS. Her eternal life hung in the balance, Working later married a Scientologist, staying in the church through 2009. She enjoyed some of the counseling and the fellowship but dreaded the constant demands for money.     

      Working and her husband tried to sneak out of “briefings” at the church that touted Scientology’s influence on society and boasted of victories against the evils of psychiatry. The briefings inevitably turned into hours long fundraising sessions for the IAS and Ideal Orgs campaigns.     

      She recalled an Ideal Orgs fundraiser at the Minneapolis Convention Center in 2007. About 100 people attended. Up front, a staffer kept track of amounts on an easel as the audience cheered each donation.     

      After 10 p.m., Working and her husband stood up to go home to their two young sons.     

      They were followed into the restrooms by church ethics officers, who are charged with enforcing good behavior among Scientologists. One told Working: “You absolutely can’t leave.”     

      When the couple returned to the fundraiser, staffers secured the room.     

      “They pushed tables in front of the door to keep us from leaving,” Working said. “I’m not kidding.”     

      In nine years in Scientology, Working, 40, racked up $70,000 in church-related debt.     

      “I would borrow from one card to cover payments for another and it wasn’t working,” she said. “I was extremely stressed out.”     

      Her fellow Scientologists kept saying life would get better if she donated more. Working said her life improved after she drastically cut expenses and walked away from the church.     

        “I specifically remember him saying basically the soul of my mom could end up stuck in a piece of furniture in the future and I needed to do something about it,” Working said.     

      He pressed for a large donation. No way, she told him. She made $22,000 a year selling flooring. She had already put the cost of the cruise on her credit cards.      

      She was 29 years old, far from her home in Minneapolis, a Scientologist for only five months. Bragin was a church registrar, an important staffer with years of experience making sales.     

      When she stood up to leave, he moved toward the door, leaving her no easy way out.     

      “Even though you’re not manhandled, there’s a psychological restraint,” she said.     

      Bragin kept her for 90 minutes, praising her as a “big being” while also making her feel selfish for refusing to give. She reluctantly agreed to donate $10,000, but said she needed to run it past her husband back home. They’d been married for two years.     

      Bragin told her not to tell her husband. A non-Scientologist wouldn’t understand the importance of the donation.     

      Working kept her husband in the dark and put the $10,000 on plastic. “I had no business doing that,” she said. The marriage later ended, though not because of the donation. She never told him about it.  

For more of the story go here:       http://www.tampabay.com/specials/2009/reports/project/#part1     

For more fun here is the son of the great L. Ron Hubbard telling the truth about his father.

Published in: on November 24, 2011 at 5:44 am  Leave a Comment  

Ex-Scientologist story #363, The Riverside Raid; Fraud & Abuse.

Gay Anne Marie Doucette felt that she had been swindled.  She had good reason to think so for she was dealing with Scientology, a money-grubbing scheme designed to empty your bank account.  This is from 1979 yet the very same thing is being done today.  When the cult tries to lie their way out of a predicament by saying. “we don’t do that anymore” or “we got rid of those people,” don’t fall for it.  These people are some of the biggest liars on earth.  The following is from “The LA Times,” June, 14, 1979.

Riverside Mission is Searched for Evidence of False Loan Scheme

Sheriff’s deputies seized 17 boxes of documents from the Riverside mission of the Church of Scientology Wednesday in a search for evidence that possibly as many as 100 past and current members fraudulently obtained bank loans and then gave the money to Scientology.

Gay Anne Marie Doucette, 30, told sheriff’s deputies she obtained a $6,500 bank loan at the behest of a church staff member who allegedly told her around April, 1976, to use her house as collateral and use false sums of money on the loan application.

Staff member Jeff Kovack was said to have told Miss Doucette to put her monthly income on the loan application as $450 rather than the $297 she actually received from Social Security.

“Kovack advised Miss Doucette that he would take care of having the church verify the $450 amount by telling them that she was employed as a baby sitter for other church members and earned approximately $250 a month for this service,” Jensen’s affidavit said.

Later feeling that she had been “swindled,” Jensen said, she sought to have her house and money returned to her. Instead, she allegedly was physically restrained from leaving the mission by church members and taken against her will to the home of Thomas Steiner, head of the mission, where she was kept for a day before being released.

More than two dozen Riverside County sheriff’s deputies spent six hours searching through the offices of the mission for tax, payroll and other records on 20 named individuals who, an informant asserts, took part in the alleged scheme.

Riverside Sheriff’s Capt. Jack Reid said authorities have no idea how much money may have been fraudulently obtained. But there is reason to believe, he said, some loans as high as $10,000 were obtained by Scientologists by making allegedly false financial statements—subsequently verified by church officials—on loan applications to banks and finance companies.

Although only 20 names plus the informant’s are cited in the court-approved search warrant authorizing the seizure, Reid said he has information the practice of filing fraudulent loan applications was a common one and as many as 100 persons may be involved.

For the full story go here:  http://www.xenu-directory.net/news/library-item.php?iid=2200

Here is a related story from 8-15-79  http://www.xenu-directory.net/news/library-item.php?iid=2204

Published in: on November 23, 2011 at 11:03 am  Leave a Comment  

Ex-Scientologist story #362, What happaned in Elmira.

By Lisa Bennett Published in the Elmira Star-Gazette, February 1988.  [Elmira, NY,  is SSW of Syracuse close to the PA border.]

Those who follow Scientology will recognize the common themes in this story.  There is one point, however, that is different.  In this case the victim. Margie Kuentz Hoffman. looked up and read the negative press, yet she still joined!  Otherwise it is business as usual.  First comes the rigged “personality” test designed to find fault with you so that you can be sold life improvement courses.  The first courses are based on common sense and have some legitimate value.  By the time you finish it you hear about other courses including those that can make you super-human,  The hook gets set.  Later comes the disillusionment when you find out you have been fleeced.  The only worse outcome is when you don’t get to that understanding about the fraud you have been a victim of.  Most people just walk away at that point.  Some try and fight back as this woman did; of course Scientology was ready for her, they had all her nasty thoughts in their folders all primed for blackmail.

For Hoffman, it began in May 1975. She was studying hairdressing in Syracuse when her 22-year-old boyfriend, Wink, died in a car accident. She was devastated. “it haunted me,” she remembered. “Why did he die so young? I wanted to be happy. How come I couldn’t make myself?”  Then, months after returning home to Elmira to work as a hairdresser, a customer one day told her about Scientology and Palmer’s center, just down the street from her.
“He gave me a personality questionnaire — one of those famous personality questionnaires,” Hoffman said, referring to the hundreds of forms that were tucked under windshield wipers, between front doors and into the hands of people waiting in the laundromat next to the center.  She filled out the form and brought it in. palmer offered her this diagnosis: “He said I was at a low point. I had a goal. I had a strong personality. My communication level was down. I liked people, but I felt they didn’t like me. I felt I was different from most people.” It was as general as the analysis a card-reader gives for $5 at a street fair, but it clicked for Hoffman.
She spent an afternoon at the library investigating the claims she had heard about the religion, including some of its strange rules like barring members from taking aspirin.  “I got out every bad article about Scientology,” she said. “I read in Reader’s Digest about L. Ron Hubbard (Scientology’s founder) putting his cigarette out on people; and in Time Magazine about how they lured you in to get all your money and all the weird rituals.”  The money didn’t bother her. “I didn’t care about the money. I was single. I made a lot of money.” And she was skeptical about the more outrageous allegations. “I never saw those things happening. I decided I would continue until I saw something.”  So she dug out $45 and signed up for the first Scientology course, a four-week lesson in communication. . .

When Hoffman was offered a second course, called Life Repair, the price soared to $1,750. “I said, ‘You’re kidding. Come on, Really, how much is it?'” But Scientologists do not joke about money.
So Hoffman paid. Within two years, she had spent $20,000 and was making loan payments like “a good little Scientologist.” By Scientology standards, that’s moderate. . .
But that’s the way Scientology works, Hoffman said: “First, you put your toe in and it feels OK, nice and warm. Pretty soon you’re swimming.”

[Bit by bit they chip away at your personal freedoms through “ethics” programs which are designed to invalidate you and cave you in.  The purpose is to make you a compliant slave to Scientology.]

. . . What disturbed her most and what she still finds most difficult to talk about, was the “heavy, heavy discipline.”  Discipline wasn’t new to Hoffman — Scientology is based on discipline and that, in part, attracted her — but it became particularly rough from 1981 to 1983. She made efforts to rebel, twice leaving the group. Then, at the urging of other leaders, she came back both times. now, she says: “I missed my chance twice.”
   The main disciplinary practices took place in the “ethics room” and through “amends projects.”

 . . .  Complaints, doubts and missed classes could land a member in the ethics room. Or, explained Hoffman “if your graph was not constantly going up, you were in ethics.”

[When the point comes that you can’t take the poverty and abuse any longer they will try to keep you in with blackmail.  The “PC” folders have all the dirt on you from auditing; Scientology has shown a willingness over and over to use them against whistle-blowers.]

Margie Kuentz Hoffman, the focus of this week’s Star-Gazette series, “a Scientologists story”, complained to police Tuesday that she had received a threatening note.
Checking into her report, Elmira City police questioned Harry Palmer, director of the Center for Creative Learning at police headquarters. They also questioned his partner, Avra Honey Smith, at the center.
Hoffman received a note Monday which threatened to expose private, embarrassing statements about her if she failed to “clean up” things she said about her experience at the center.
It read (with typographical errors): “Maybe its time the wold knowxz the kind of person you azre. Clean up the 3rd party on H or they will”. In Scientology, “Third party” refers to negative talk. Palmer commonly signed his correspondence with “H” according to several former employees.

Note: the man who ran this mission, Palmer, later founded “Avatar.” which is some sort of rip-off of Scientology.  For the rest of the story go here:  http://jeta.home.xs4all.nl/avatar/avatar-elmira-star-margie-hoffman.html

Published in: on November 17, 2011 at 10:13 pm  Leave a Comment  

Ex-Scientologist story #361, “Buy more basics,” or else!

Jamie Sorrentini

In the annals of shameless greed and avarice Scientology stands alone.  There is no level of sleaze they won’t attempt in order to pry money away from their victims.  In this case the victims are fellow believers in the teachings of L. Ron Hubbard.  The St. Petersburg Times has once again pounded the greedy head of the cult using the hammer of truth.  Among those who were so sickened by this rampant fraud was a young actress.  Here are some excerpts from that story:

Pervasive pitch: Scientology book and lecture series, ‘The Basics,’ unleashes a sales frenzy

By Joe Childs and Thomas C. Tobin, Times Staff Writers  In Print: Monday, November 14, 2011.

Actor Jamie Sorrentini, who has had small roles in The Sopranos, Desperate Housewives and CSI: Miami, said two church workers called her into a room at Scientology’s Los Angeles church in 2008. They said she needed to buy Basics sets if she wanted to advance to the Operating Thetan spiritual levels.   

   Sorrentini was stunned. She felt she had earned the right to be an OT.   

   She had racked up $70,000 in debt for counseling services and donations, putting the charges on five credit cards a church staffer had helped her get. She had spent $10,000 of that on Basics, which were sitting unopened in her garage. She had volunteered for a church human rights campaign and spent thousands hosting a fundraiser at her home. Her family had given $50,000 to the International Association of Scientologists.  

   It wasn’t enough, the staffers told her. She needed to buy more Basics.  

   “No way,” Sorrentini said.  

   Scientology had tapped her out.  She tended bar to supplement her acting income and needed family help to make her monthly debt payments. Her cards were maxed out.  

   The staffers’ solution: They would call the credit card companies and get her limits raised.  

   “I told them: ‘I feel like you’re telling me that I have to buy my spiritual freedom.’ ”  

   Oh, no, she remembers them saying. We’re not suggesting that.  

   “Well, you are because you’re not going to let me out of the room until I buy (more Basics) and say yes.”  

   They went back and forth for hours, two church staffers and Sorrentini in a room with the door closed. She didn’t walk out because she wanted the advanced services.   

   “By the end I was so exhausted I just said, ‘Okay, fine. I’ll buy them. I’ll buy two sets.’ Because I couldn’t take it anymore. It was like, get me out of this room, get me out of this situation. If that’s what I have to do to get on to the OT levels, then fine. I guess I’ll just do it.”  

   Filled with regret, she canceled the purchase the next day, angering church staffers who said they had already counted it as income. “It was like the world was going to end,” she said.   

   Then she got in trouble for telling her Scientologist father about the matter. The church frowns on spreading “entheta,” or bad news.  

   Ethics officers told her she needed additional training to get back in good graces. The cost? Fifteen thousand dollars.  

   The church denied that it ever pressured members to take on debt. Fed up and still owing money, Sorrentini left the church last year.   

For the full story go here: http://www.tampabay.com/news/scientology/pervasive-pitch-scientology-book-and-lecture-series-the-basics-unleashes-a/1201177

The story gets worse though, here is what happened as reported on Marty Rathbun’s blog.  She quit and her mom but her dad and sister stayed in; disconnection followed.  http://markrathbun.wordpress.com/2010/07/15/jamies-adventure/

Published in: on November 17, 2011 at 4:04 am  Leave a Comment  

Ex-Scientologist story #360, Even The Dead Bought The “Basics.”

SO: the skunk org. Liars and cheats welcome.

Every time I thought that Scientology had reached a new low that they couldn’t sink lower from they proved me wrong.  Here former Sea Org member Lisa Hamilton talks about what she witnessed.  Excerpts taken from a recent newspaper story.  The only thing I would change would be the title which should read, “Shitty Business.”

Shifty business: Times inquiry finds secret debits, deception after Scientology ‘Basics’ released

By Joe Childs and Thomas C. Tobin, Times Staff Writers  In Print: Monday, November 14, 2011.

In Los Angeles, even dead parishioners “bought” the Basics.

A senior Sea Org officer logged sales by debiting the dormant accounts of the deceased, said Lisa Hamilton, who supervised several departments.

She said she personally saw the officer, Jon Lundeen, and his deputies searching computers for such accounts. A Sea Org investigation determined that Lundeen debited five accounts.

“I absolutely know that,” Hamilton said.

The church said it would not discuss Lundeen or the cases of any other staff members.

The Times asked to interview the Sea Org members named in this story. They work and live in a highly restricted environment and are not reachable by phone. The church declined to make them available.

Hamilton left the church in the summer of 2008 after 22 years in the Sea Org, dismayed that the Basics push and other appeals for money were taking staffers away from religious work.

She said Lundeen faced a “Committee of Evidence,” a key part of the church’s internal justice system. The “ComEv” recommended that Lundeen be removed from his post, but he never was, Hamilton said.

“He was protected. If you could make money, you were protected,” she said.

In Scientology, that kind of immunity is called “ethics protection,” a term coined by Hubbard.

The founder valued a worker’s statistics over all else. Productivity outweighed wrongdoing.

“We are not in the business of being good boys and girls,” Hubbard wrote in a September 1965 policy letter. “We’re in the business of going free and getting the (church) production roaring.”

He said a worker “can get away with murder so long as his statistic is up.” And if someone reports a top producer for doing something wrong, “what you investigate is the person who turned in the report.”

For the rest of the story go here:  http://www.tampabay.com/news/scientology/article1201176.ece

Published in: on November 17, 2011 at 2:00 am  Leave a Comment  

Ex-Scientologist story #359, more financial skullduggery.

Carisa Marion, a long-time Scientologist, was the victim of outright theft and fraud as Sea Org members ruthlessly hounded her to buy more and more useless sets of new “Basics” revamped tapes and books of Hubbard’s tech.  All of this is such an obvious swindle that it is difficult to believe that somebody would ever fall for such crap.

Shifty business: Times inquiry finds secret debits, deception after Scientology ‘Basics’ released

By Joe Childs and Thomas C. Tobin, Times Staff Writers  In Print: Monday, November 14, 2011.

 Church of Scientology staffers were under so much pressure to sell the scriptures known as “The Basics” that some debited thousands of dollars from parishioners’ church accounts without their knowledge or permission, a St. Petersburg Times investigation has found. . .

  Seven members of Scientology’s religious order, the Sea Org, manipulated accounts, the Timesfound. They tapped into church computers to debit accounts for materials parishioners hadn’t ordered — and in some cases had repeatedly refused to buy, according to former church insiders and a review of account statements.       

       In one case, four church staffers in Clearwater diverted $75,000 from the account of a California parishioner. When she found out, she fired off a formal complaint to church brass. “These are criminals stealing money,” wrote Carisa Marion, a Scientologist for more than three decades. . .

Carisa Marion, 50, of Spokane, Wash., once owned a bungalow in Clearwater near the Scientology campus. The church wanted the property to make room for expansion. In October 2005, it paid Marion $1 million for it.      

       As part of the deal, Marion agreed to return $500,000 to the church, putting it in an account for her and her family to use for services.      

       When the Basics went on sale, Marion, then living in Castaic, Calif., still had more than $350,000 in the account. The big balance likely made her a target, she now thinks.      

       She used some of the money to buy three sets of the Basics, one for her, two for family members. Her bookseller was a Sea Org member in Los Angeles who ensured Marion and others received quality counseling sessions at Scientology’s big complex in Hollywood. He had sold her church materials before. She told him: No more Basics.      

       But weeks later, he pitched the sets as a way for her to repay a favor. He called Marion with good news: The counselor she had been waiting three months to see finally was available. He added: We just want you to buy two more Basics packages.       

       “I couldn’t believe it,” she said. Again she told him: No more.      

       About 10:45 that night, three church staffers showed up at her house unexpectedly. They knocked and knocked, but she didn’t answer. She knew they wanted her to buy the Basics, she said.      

       Days later a Sea Org captain asked her to buy a set so the church could give it to the mayor of Santa Clarita, Calif. She told him no.      

       She intended to say no to a Clearwater staffer who called, pleading with her to buy four sets to boost the morale of the sales crew there. Marion gave in to this caller, agreeing to transfer $7,100 from her account for spiritual services to a separate account designated for book purchases.      

       After five months of pitches, she’d had enough. On Dec. 4, 2007, she complained to church officials. “I’m tired of being hounded for more book packages,” she wrote in a formal complaint called a “Knowledge Report.”      

 It didn’t stop the sales pressure. Two months later, while she was waiting to start an important auditing session at the Hollywood church, a staffer took her to the chaplain’s office. More comfortable here, he said.      

       Two more staffers came in. The three Sea Org members asked Marion to buy 16 sets of Basics, she said. Their pitch: The church would deliver the sets to her house and other parishioners would take them and sell them. The sellers would repay her.      

       Marion didn’t want to do it. She wanted to do her auditing. She said the staffers kept telling her: We need your help.      

       She held out for five hours.      

       “It felt like it was never going to end. I finally gave up,” she said.      

       Marion told them they could debit $30,000 from her account. The church delivered 16 Basics sets on a wooden pallet. They sat in her living room for months. No one showed up to sell them.      

Clearwater Sea Org staffer Stephanie Bills tapped into Marion’s account a few days later, Marion’s account statement shows. She pulled out $3,625 — without permission, Marion said — to pay for individual titles in the Basics series. Those books were sent to Marion’s brother in New York City.       

       It was February 2008, seven months into the Basics campaign.       

       Marion found out when her brother called saying: What are these? He already had those titles.      

       Marion contacted Christine Revell, head of the treasury division of the Clearwater church, demanding that the books be picked up and the debits restored. Revell promised to do that, but the sales frenzy continued.      

       In mid July, Clearwater ethics officer Jarrod Kelly phoned Marion to propose a deal. Several of her 16 packages were incomplete. Kelly said he would have UPS pick up eight flawed sets and deliver four new sets, plus an additional series of Hubbard lectures that go with the Basics scriptures. He also would put $5,000 back into her account.       

       Marion said okay, but she insisted the debit not go through until her sets were picked up.      

       That didn’t happen. Kelly debited four sets and UPS delivered them to Marion. Now she had 20. The four new sets sat on a pallet in her driveway, sprayed by her sprinklers.      

For more of this story go here:  http://www.tampabay.com/news/scientology/article1201176.ece

Published in: on November 17, 2011 at 12:29 am  Leave a Comment  

Ex-Scientologist story #358, OT VIII, -A Book Too Far.

When L. Ron Hubbard was alive he made sure that his sales force used Les Dane’s book, “Big League Sales.” to hone their sales skills.  His successor, David Miscavige, gives nothing up to his mentor when it comes to the art of the hard sell.  In this latest story about the cult of greed an OT,  Luis Garcia, tells of how he came a cropper to the cynical and hard-bitten sales force in Clearwater, FL.  To say that the cult has no shame when it comes to prying money out of their members is an understatment.

Pervasive pitch: Scientology book and lecture series, ‘The Basics,’ unleashes a sales frenzy.

By Joe Childs and Thomas C. Tobin, Times Staff Writers
In Print: Monday, November 14, 2011.

Standing before a 20-foot-high display of book and CD covers, Miscavige announced the release of the improved scriptures — 18 volumes of books and 280 digitally enhanced lectures called “The Basics.”  

   “If the reality hasn’t sunk in yet, it soon will. This is the event you have been waiting for … in terms of your past, present and future as a Scientologist.”  

   For the 53-year-old Church of Scientology, this was a “golden age of knowledge,” Miscavige said.   

   With the Basics going for $3,000 a set, it was also a golden age of revenue. Selling the scriptures would become an obsession within the church.   

   Longtime Scientologist Luis Garcia of Irvine, Calif., didn’t get a seat at Eckerd Hall but watched Miscavige on closed-circuit TV with an overflow crowd of 600 in the auditorium of the church’s Fort Harrison Hotel in downtown Clearwater.

As he headed out, he noticed something unusual: Church staffers were in the concourse, holding clipboards and standing firm, like colonial soldiers.  

   They stopped Garcia and other church members as soon as they filed out.  

   Cash or credit? staffers asked. How many sets are you getting?  

   Garcia, tipped off about the big announcement that afternoon, had already bought two, one in English, one in Spanish, paying with an American Express card.  

   But as he milled around the snack tables, church staffers kept hitting him up.  

   Garcia told them: I bought two.  

   In his 25 years in the church, he had grown accustomed to Scientology sales pitches. But he wasn’t prepared for what staffers said next.  

   You bought two? Buy more.

After Miscavige’s announcement, the church issued an “all hands” directive: Staffers everywhere must help disseminate the important new scriptures.     Driven by their bosses’ demands and the threat of punishment, Scientology staffers became hard-sell pitchmen, relentlessly pushing the pricey Basics sets on other believers.  

   Former church insiders, including those who sold and those who bought, said the Basics campaign consumed the whole organization, derailing spiritual pursuits and alienating Scientologists who grew weary of the church going for their wallets.  

   The Basics campaign pushed Scientology fundraising to new dimensions:  

• The church set up elaborate telemarketing operations at its major hubs, Clearwater and Los Angeles. Satellite call centers popped up in smaller Scientology churches such as Chicago and Tampa. Day and night, church staffers called active and inactive Scientologists. Parishioners got as many as 15 calls a day.  

• Even Scientology ministers joined the sales effort. Some ended highly personal counseling sessions with sales pitches, insisting church members buy thousands of dollars of Basics.   

• Church-assigned quotas drove sales. Scrambling to meet their individual, daily targets, harried staffers hounded parishioners, imploring them to pay for 10, 16, even 20 sets. Many gave in. Crates of Basics sat on wooden pallets in driveways, garages and basements.  

   The campaign “turned the staff into telemarketers dialing for dollars — just not a spiritual place to be,” said former Chicago-based staffer Synthia Fagen.  

For the rest of this very interesting story go here:  http://www.tampabay.com/news/scientology/article1201177.ece

Luis Garcia and his wife are suing Scientology over their IAS contributions.  

Published in: on November 16, 2011 at 11:01 am  Leave a Comment