“Abuse at the Top,” Ex-Scientology Story #429


In 2009 a series of devastating articles appeared in the St. Petersburg Times entitled, The Truth Rundown.  Top level defectors came forward and accused David Miscavige, the ruler of Scientology, with physical abuse to his top executives.  Of course Scientology claimed that the accusations were from disgruntled former members and that no such activity took place.  While these statements were largely viewed with a jaundiced eye by a public already hostile to the cult it took corroboration from other high level defectors to ram home the true facts of the situation. 

Amy Scobee was a member of the paramilitary arm of Scientology known as the “Sea Org.”  Of course it was long ago since Scientology had ships but these latter day, dry-land sailors still have the fake naval uniforms .  It is their job to deliver Hubbard’s tech, and more importantly to extort money from the non-staff members called “public members.”  Relentless pressure is put on these public Scientologists to persuade or intimidate them into buying courses, books, tapes and of course to get more auditing.  And if money is not coming in at a sufficient rate then there is hell to pay.  The ones who pay that particular hell are the staff members.  The Sea Org members are generally treated like peons or slaves.  They work long hours, get little sleep and their pay is a joke.  But as bad as these conditions are they can get worse, much worse.  The internal prison system of Scientology is known as the RPF, or rehabilitation force project.  On Hubbard’s ships people who screwed up spent their nights in the chain locker, sometimes days too.  Or else they were just tossed over the side of the ship (overboarding)  into the filthy harbor waters below.  Then came the DPF, or the deck project force, which was the less formalized, but equally as sinister, forerunner of the RPF.  It was a steady progression of human rights abuses.  To read Professor Stephen Kent’s study, “Brainwashing in Scientology’s Rehabilitation Project Force (RPF)” follow this link:http://www.lermanet.com/scientology/gulags/BrainwashinginScientology’sRehabilitationProjectForce.htm

Being in the RPF is not a bar to rising in Sea Org, every single top executive that I have read about has been in the RPF at one time or another, if there are exceptions they are few.  Amy Scobee was there and one only has to read her account to feel the honesty of her statements.  In fact I would say that her transparent honesty is one of the most compelling aspects of her book.

  Amy got into Scientology as a young teen when her parents joined the cult.  She spent the next 27 years of her life in Scientology.  She knew all of the top players, she was a top executive  herself as a member of the Watch Dog Committee, WDC.  She was a dedicated Scientologist who sincerely wanted to make the world a better place.   At long last events took place which made the Sea Org and Scientology unendurable for her. 

As I said in my review of Jeff Hawkins book it looks crazy to an outsider like myself to see all the effort that Scientology goes through to recruit staff members but then they turn right around and treat them worse than dogs.  This is the wonderful world of the great humanitarian, L. Ron Hubbard.

 Amy had a bird’s eye view of what went on in top management circles  She was there and saw for herself the savage attacks Miscavige made on those who he thought were not performing well.  Temper tantrums worthy of L. Ron Hubbard himself were seen.  That is saying a lot for Hubbard’s tantrums were legendary.

In rating her book I will give it the full five stars and throw another in for good measure.  Only by shinning the light on predators, like Amy does very well indeed, can we hope to eliminate the criminal abuses of Scientology.

For more on Amy and her book go here: http://www.scobeepublishing.com/

Published in: on October 23, 2013 at 12:14 am  Leave a Comment  

“Declared a Suppressive Person,” Ex-Scientologist Story #428


When Scientology boots somebody out they issue an “SP” declare.  An “SP” means “suppressive Person,” in other words the person is an enemy of Scientology.  This happens a lot and if you look at Scientology history you will see that people have been tossed out slmost since Hubbard started his greedy cult.  Robert Berrington, a former South African member told his story to Tony Ortega in this 2012 story.

Scientology Excommunication: Documents the Church Usually Keeps Under Wraps

We want to thank Robert Berrington, a South African reader, who sent us some rare documents — records of his own Scientology excommunication.  Berrington learned that at the end of last year he was “declared a suppressive person” by the church — in other words, he’d been kicked out, and all church members who want to remain in good standing will be forced to now “disconnect” from him or risk being declared themselves.

We have copies of Berrington’s “declare,” his responses to its charges, and also a letter from the church he recently received when he asked for a refund of money that he had on account for services that he cannot now use.  As Scientology continues to hemorrhage membership, more and more veteran church members (Berrington had joined in 1998 and was in for more than a decade) are learning that they’ve been declared SPs. But few, we find, end up with copies of their “goldenrod,” the official declaration itself. Sometimes, as in the case of Derek Bloch, a member who is being excommunicated will be asked to come down to the local org to look at the document in person, but cannot take home a copy.  But Berrington has his. And here’s what it looks like. (Berrington has his declare because a friend grabbed a copy of it that was posted at a Scientology church. Because of the dodgy image, we’ve typed up the actual words after each page.)

Church of Scientology in South Africa

Joburg Day Ethics Order #1476
Dec 30, 2011



Robert Berrington of Johannesburg, South Africa, is hereby declared a suppressive person and is expelled from the Church of Scientology pursuant to HCO PL 7 March 1965RB I, SUPPRESSIVE ACTS, SUPPRESSION OF SCIENTOLOGY AND SCIENTOLOGISTS.

Robert has remained affiliated with persons who have been declared suppressive by HCO due to their squirrel and suppressive acts.

Robert has been attempting to covertly divert Scientologists in good standing to join this band of squirrels. He has refused any attempts by Church members to resolve matters with regards the Church and the applied philosophy of Scientology as founded by L. Ron Hubbard.

Robert has attempted to sell squirrel “services” to other public, in violation of the laws of the land, including trademark laws.

Robert is guilty of the following Suppressive Acts:







Any certificates that Berrington has are hereby canceled per HCO PL 7 March 1965II, CERTIFICATE CANCELLATION. Any licensing agreements he may have signed to use the marks of Dianetics and Scientology are cancelled as well. He may not use the marks in any manner whatsoever.

Should Robert come to his senses an recant, he is to do steps A to E as laid out in HCO PL 7 March 1965RB I, SUPPRESSIVE ACTS, SUPPRESSION OF SCIENTOLOGY AND SCIENTOLOGISTS.

His only terminal is the International Justice Chief via the Continental Justice Chief.


Authorized by


Approved by

To read the rest of the story go here: http://tonyortega.org/2012/11/08/scientology-excommunication-documents-the-church-usually-keeps-under-wraps/#post-952

An SP declare is called a “goldenrod,” due to the color of paper it is printed on.  To see this dreaded document go here:

Published in: on October 20, 2013 at 10:16 pm  Leave a Comment  

Outrage in Australia, Ex-Scientology Story #427


money cult

Estelle Baines had a lot to say at this demonstration in Sydney about how she was treated while in Scientology.  She gives a laundry list of offences that include lack of pay and forced disconnection.  She was in the Scientology for five years which included being a member of the Sea Org.  Her points are emotional, and very real.  

How is Scientology faring down under?  None too well according the recent census figures.  Less than 3,000 people call themselves Scientologists.  This video also includes some interesting footage of the Jedi religion which is much larger than Hubbard’s followers.  


Published in: on October 19, 2013 at 8:58 pm  Comments (1)  

The Ice Man Cometh, Ex-Scientology story #426

Robert Almblad joined Scientology in 1972, he worked on staff for a year, with no less than the great thetan himself, L. Ron Hubbard.  Then he left staff to become a public Scientologist until 2007 when he quit after being a member for some 35 years.  He reached the level of New OT V.  After he quit he became an “Independent Scientologist,” in other words he still believed in Hubbard’s tech but not the current management of the cult.  Normally I don’t cover independents as they are technically not former members.  But this story is worth telling as it illustrates that Hubbard’s “fair game” policy is still alive and well. To read more about this policy the Wikipedia has a very accurate description that can be found here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fair_Game_(Scientology)
Almblad made the cardinal mistake in hiring ex-Scientologist Mike Rinder to work with him in marketing an ice maker that could deliver “clean” ice.  Such a machine could find a ready market in the world as standard ice machines can easily become contaminated.  However, since Rinder was a former executive in Scientology who fled the brutality of David Miscavige’s brand of Scientology he got a full measure of the “fair game” policy. 
Tony Ortega went into this affair in some detail in his article dated Oct. 12, 2011.  


Scientology Hates Clean Ice: The “Fair Game” Operation That Should Turn Your Stomach

One of the first things people ask me when they hear that I cover Scientology on a regular basis is whether I’ve been targeted for harassment by the church.

Despite some evidence that the church does intend to “handle” me, I’ve been left alone for the most part. But I am always mindful of how vindictive Scientology can be, and to what lengths and costs it will go to attack a perceived enemy.

There are countless examples of “Fair Game,” Scientology’s notorious policy of retaliation against perceived enemies, and I’ve written about many of them over the years. But what’s happening in Florida right now with a man named Robert Almblad appears to be some of the worst, most vicious, and most reprehensible activity by the church since the 1970s, when it actually tried to get people killed and imprisoned.

And this does affect you. Or anyone you know in a hospital who wants to go home without a life-threatening infection.  According to the Centers for Disease Control about 99,000 Americans die each year from the 1.7 million infections they pick up during hospital stays.

If you’ve read Atul Gawande’s book, The Checklist Manifesto: How to Get Things Right, you know that hospitals spend enormous amounts trying to track down and prevent every source of infection.

One of those sources is ice machines. They are notoriously filthy. In a famous 2006 study, a Florida seventh grader showed that the ice at local fast food restaurants had more bacteria than the water in their toilets. (And as I write that, I can’t help thinking about my grandfather, in his last few days at a hospital, capable of little more than sucking on ice chips. Christ.)

So you may be pleased to hear that a man named Robert Almblad has invented a machine that reliably puts out bacteria-free ice. Using the kind of forced-air technology that “clean rooms” employ, his machine essentially makes ice from bottled water without allowing any contaminants in it.  You should be able to grasp how important this technology could turn out to be.

For six years, Almblad has been developing his machine, and after perfecting it, he has spent a few years meeting with billion-dollar companies, trying to interest them in building copies of the machine for themselves.

For the last year and a half, however, employees of the Church of Scientology have been going to extraordinary lengths to keep Almblad from marketing his machine, traveling around the country to frighten businesses out of dealing with the inventor, even bursting in on business meetings to scare people out of working with Almblad.

Why? What could Scientology possibly have against clean ice? The answer, of course, is maddeningly absurd, and completely consistent with what passes for logic in the organization started by science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard.

Almblad, it turns out, employs a man named Mike Rinder who used to be one of the highest-ranking executives in Scientology, but has left and is now critical of the church. For employing Rinder, Almblad’s business has been targeted for utter ruination.

Let that sink in a moment. Because a man dares to criticize a church, that church is now trying to prevent the world from getting life-saving technologysimply as a form of revenge.  Let me back up a minute and help you understand just how insane this situation is.

Almblad, 64, has his own lengthy history with Scientology. He joined in 1972, worked for a year on staff — with L. Ron Hubbard — and then was a regular non-staff parishioner (a “public”) until 2007. That’s a total of 35 years in the organization.

During that time, he made a living as an inventor. In the 1990s, he was hugely successful with technology he developed to automate the copying of house keys. Recently, a company that uses his invention sold for $850 million. He sold his interest in that company long ago, tried for a while to export a similar product to Europe, but that wasn’t as successful, and he notified his small number of investors that he was closing that company last year.  By then, however, he was deeply involved in his new project, the clean-ice machine. There are no investors in this project, he says, just his own company trying to sell the idea of clean ice to huge companies, the ones big enough to put the machines all around the world.

About the same time Almblad left Scientology, so did Mike Rinder, who had a very different career in the church.  Rinder, an Australian, was only 5 or 6 when his parents brought him into Scientology. He rose through its ranks and by his early twenties was helping the church deal with negative publicity by replacing its notorious Guardian’s Office with a new covert-operations wing, the Office of Special Affairs. Rinder became OSA’s executive director, and eventually, Scientology’s chief spokesman. He worked very closely with church leader David Miscavige until he left the organization in 2007, and then went public in 2009 with allegations that Miscavige regularly got violent with him and other employees.

The Voice, in many articles this year, has already established how Scientology leader Miscavige perceives Rinder and another former high-ranking employee, Marty Rathbun to be serious threats to the church, and is sparing no expense to have them followed, intimidated and harassed.  Almblad, however, was never a high-ranking official in the church. He left Scientology quietly, and has not publicly criticized the organization.  But about two years ago, he committed what is apparently, in the mind of Miscavige, an unpardonable sin: he gave Rinder a job.  “I’ve done a lot of new products. As you finish it, you get involved in public relations,” Almblad told me yesterday by phone from Florida. Rinder’s long experience in media seemed like a good fit.

“I’d been working on this ice machine for 6 years. We had gotten to a point where we had good technology. I met Mike for the first time two years ago. I asked him if he would give us some consulting help.”

Rinder says he warned Almblad, however, that there could be consequences.

“Mike warned me that if I was still a member of the church, I couldn’t talk to him because he was declared a suppressive person,” Almblad says, using Scientology jargon for “heretic.” But Almblad told him that he too was out of the church, and that there shouldn’t be a problem for them to work together.

Neither one of them seem to have been prepared for the level of church activity that followed.

“The first time a private investigator showed up at my house was a year and a half ago. It was Dave Lubow,” Almblad says. Lubow is a longtime Scientology operative who is often used by OSA, through an attorney named Elliot Abelson.

“He just knocked on my door and said he wanted to talk to me about Mike Rinder. As soon as he did that I knew he was from the church and I said I didn’t have anything to say to him. I told him to go away,” Almblad says.

But Lubow didn’t take no for an answer. Soon, Almblad says, he was being followed constantly by the private eye. “Lubow and some cameramen would follow me everywhere. They stayed behind me in two vehicles,” he says. The cars followed him from his house to his job, to restaurants — anywhere he was going.

Almblad says his neighbors were contacted in what is a classic Scientology operation: “They were talking to people, asking them, ‘Have you seen him commit any crimes? Have you seen anything unusual happening in his house?'” As both Rinder and Rathbun have pointed out, this is intended to put doubts in the minds of a target’s neighbors, to make it an uncomfortable place to live. (When Rathbun was undergoing similar harassment this summer in South Texas, the Scientology squad sent to intimidate him claimed to the local press that they were not involved with the church at all, and were only there to make a “documentary.” Soon,  It was revealed that Lubow was behind the operation, and had told squad members that its only goal was to make Rathbun’s life a “living hell.” When Rinder and Rathbun say these harassment operations are being directed by Scientology leader Miscavige himself, they are talking from experience: both of them, while they were in the church, ran similar operations. Rinder has talked about working directly with Lubow.  Both Rinder and Rathbun, meanwhile, acknowledge the irony that they are now the targets of an intimidation operation they helped run while they worked for Miscavige.)

At one point, Almblad confronted Lubow when he was at a neighbor’s house. He wanted the neighbor to know who was behind the surveillance and strange questions. But when he was challenged, Lubow said he worked for Abelson, the attorney. “I asked him, who does Abelson work for? He said Abelson works for the RTC.” But Lubow wouldn’t explain to the neighbor what that was, Almblad says — the Religious Technology Center is a controlling entity in the church of Scientology.

Almblad says there are 14 houses in his neighborhood, and he went to every one, trying to explain why the Scientology squad was there. “It was very difficult to do. Nobody has ever heard of this kind of harassment. It’s really unusual in America. Who would spend so much money to do something like this? And they count on people figuring, where there’s smoke, there’s fire.”

Almblad says he began to call local police every time the squad showed up, and the police advised him to get a restraining order against them.

“I did that, for my employees,” Almblad says. “All of my employees were being followed wherever they went. They were followed into parking lots, banks, schools, churches — legitimate churches, I mean. So I did spend some money to have my employees hire attorneys and get restraining orders.”  Now, one of his female employees, for example, is carrying court papers that she can serve on the Scientology squad if it shows up again. “She feels a little more comfortable,” Almblad says.

But the constant surveillance is nerve-wracking, he says, even if you know it’s coming.  “There are two cameramen, a bodyguard, and one with a clipboard and a microphone who starts asking you extraordinarily stupid questions when you come out of a building,” he says.

But that was just the beginning.  At the first of the year, an empty office building across the street from his own laboratory was suddenly occupied, but not before a bizarre occurrence.  “Over Christmas, someone sawed down all four mature oak trees that were in front of our offices.  And then someone rented the office across the street that had a window facing our office,” he says.  The view from that window was suddenly unobstructed, after the trees had been chainsawed.  Almblad says he went over at one point to look around, and saw that the new occupants had put up a black curtain surrounding the window, which had been blacked out.

“I asked them, what are you guys doing? They said they were selling surveillance cameras and repairing computers. Now, this place is a 4,000-square-foot building they rented. Just a couple of guys, and in the whole year they’ve been there, not a single customer has walked in,” Almblad says.  But he noticed that anyone who now came to visit his lab to see the ice machine was very shortly afterwards paid a visit by Scientology’s private eyes. Almblad suspects that license plates are being recorded as visiting cars sit in his parking lot. After seeing him at the lab, businesspeople can shortly expect Lubow’s crew to show up at their firm, saying that they’ve arrived to “investigate” Almblad. “Have you seen him doing any crimes?” they ask.

“The interference of our business is just incredible,” Almblad says.  “We had to arrange meetings in secrecy,” he adds. At one point, during a meeting at what he thought was a secret location, Jim Lynch, a reporter Scientology employs for its Freedompropaganda magazine, suddenly burst in.  “Halfway though the meeting, a Squirrel Busters guy and a church official [Lynch] burst open the door, knocked over a person, and threw down a document about me on the table that contained material about me pulled from my supposedly confidential church folder.”

(Scientology has repeatedly violated the supposed priest-penitent confidentiality of such “pre-clear” files, which are filled with the private confessions of Scientologists as they are “audited” while hooked up to a crude lie-detector machine called an “e-meter.” Recently, we reported that Placido Domingo, Jr. son of the famous tenor, accused Scientology of smearing him with material from his supposedly secret files.)

“I had to physically throw them out of the room and call the cops. That’s how bad it got,” Almblad says.

At a trade show, we reported earlier, a high-level Scientologist named Ed Bryan was arrested when he tried to disrupt Almblad and Rinder’s presentation to clients.   Any businessman, under these conditions, is going to say, what are you getting me into? It’s so disturbing,” Almblad says. But he adds that he doesn’t have a lot of options, other than to try to conduct his business in as much secrecy as possible.

“I can’t stop [work on the ice machine] to bring a lawsuit against them. They have more money than God, and in the meanwhile my business goes to hell. I can’t afford to sue them,” he points out.

“It’s difficult to do new product development. You have to gain the cooperation of many companies. That is extraordinarily difficult for me. We are not successful at achieving normal work. By now I would have companies lined up. But these companies are scared. Management companies are not made for handling this kind of thing at all.”

To illustrate how desperate he’s become to get meetings about his machine, Almblad says he recently drove several states away (“It’s close to Canada,” he says) to conduct a meeting under an assumed name.  “I can’t fly, because I would have to use my real name, and they watch reservations. I had to drive, making a 5,000-mile round trip, and I had to use a throwdown phone and left my own phone at home so they couldn’t track me.” (Update: During our interview, which I originally failed to note here, Almblad told me that for this trip he also used an alias, “Robert August,” to further cover his tracks. In case the people he met with checked on that, he also changed his company’s website to reflect the name. Naturally, OSA has raised this in its online attempts to ruin Almblad’s reputation, hoping that the gullible will assume that the businessman is up to no good.)

At this point, Almblad says he doesn’t think firing Rinder would solve anything. “They have me under such close scrutiny, they know about the technology I’m working on. At first they harassed me because I hired Mike Rinder. But then I think they realized this was useful technology, and so they redoubled their efforts. I think they’re concerned that this is going to be a successful business. They want to crush it rather than see it come to life.”

A simple online search shows that the attempt to ruin Almblad also extends to the Internet. I quickly found a couple of different websites that were dedicated to ruining his reputation, supposedly over how his key-copying European business fizzled out. In typical Freedom magazine style, a number of unconnected documents from his past are jumbled together without much rhyme or reason to give the impression that Almblad is an evil man bent on ruining other people.

“The key business I did here in the US was a very successful business,” he says, when I asked him about the allegations in the websites. “There are no lawsuits. I sold out my part of it. There’s an $850 million company based on my technology. I shut down the other company with no lawsuits and no threatened lawsuits.”

I went over other allegations the websites make about his personal life and the financing on his home: not only were his answers credible, neither subject, of course, had anything to do with life-saving technology that could benefit the public.

And in regards to that: despite all the harassment, Almblad says he is confident that within 60 days, he’ll be making a big announcement about the ice machine.

For the sake of hospital patients everywhere, we’ll be updating that story when it comes.

To read the full story go here: http://blogs.villagevoice.com/runninscared/2011/10/robert_almblad_scientology_clean_ice.php?print=true

For part Two go here: http://blogs.villagevoice.com/runninscared/2011/10/susan_clickner_scientology_hates_clean_ice_2.php

Published in: on October 18, 2013 at 6:30 pm  Leave a Comment  

No OTs in Buffalo, -Ex-Scientology Story #425

Behold the power of the Scientologists.

Behold the power of the Scientology OTs.  At this level they are, “at cause over space and time.”  In other words they can do anything they want by sheer me

Mitch and Kim Brillon have had enough of Scientology; they lost their saving, their time and their self-respect to the sinister Scientology org in Buffalo, NY.  Their story is typical of others who have fallen for the lies of Scientology; they were promised that Scientology could make the world a better place and that they themselves would gain great insights and abilities.  However, her sight of a high-ranking OT caused her some doubt.  Kim states in her story:

Does The Church of Scientology Buffalo Have Any  OT’s?

When I came to the Church of Scientology Buffalo in December 2009 to join staff. I had asked about OT’s how many, where are they, how are they doing.  My first OT Vlll experience was with Mr. Joseph Sgroi. There was an event at the Church of Scientology Buffalo, that I was asked to attend because, “someone very big from Buffalo” was going to be there and the staff wanted everyone to attend.

A man was wheeled in and everyone started clapping. I asked who it was and with admiration from one of the staff members I was told it  was Joe Sgroi and he was an OT Vlll. Why was he in a wheelchair? He had a stroke, but he was OT Vlll. That’s what being in control of MEST is??  This did not make sense to me.

Hell I don’t want to spend all my money getting to that level to be in that kind of shape!! I would rather keep my money and see what life throws at me.

So how did she and her husband end up at the Buffalo org in the first place?

What The Church of Scientology Buffalo Told Me Made Sense

When I started to attend services at the Church of Scientology Buffalo, I had asked one of the staff members (a person that works within the church), “how did L.Ron Hubbard die?” (L.Ron Hubbard the founder of the Scientology “the New religion”)

I was told by not only that staff member but a couple of others was well, that he (L.Ron Hubbard) left his body because he was on a mission. He needed to do more research to clear the planet and save mankind.

This is what I recently came across on the internet from Robert Vaughn Young who was actively involved in the events surrounding Hubbard’s death. Read the whole article here for the shocking truths of his death.

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

In other words the story about Hubbard’s death was a lie.  This great thetan couldn’t beat the grim reaper anymore than anyone else.  

So how is Scientology doing in Buffalo?  Are they bursting at the seams?  Hardly, this so-called “Ideal Org” is dead in the mud.  Kim states that there are more staff members than public members.  I doesn’t take a genius to know where the outcome of that will be.  To read more of their story go here:


Published in: on October 17, 2013 at 6:20 pm  Leave a Comment  

Sandy Holeman’s Story; Idealism Abused. Ex-Scientology story #424


Sandy Holman was an idealistic young woman in college when she first heard of Scientology.  She heard from her brother word of a group of dedicated people working to improve the lives of people and save the world which in 1970, just as now, was in dire need of saving. 

            Besides these altruistic impulses Sandy also had a very personal goal; to become, “Clear.”  At this time, before Hubbard dreamed up his “OT” or Operating Thetan levels, being clear was everything to a Scientologist.  It meant getting rid of your, “reactive mind,” which was a repository of past failures and misunderstandings.  The reward for this was tremendous.  Hubbard had promised in his book, “Dianetics,” that you would have a perfect memory and freedom past life trauma.  Diseases ranging from arthritis to leukemia could be cured.  Even the wearing of glasses would be obsolete.  These were but a few of the promised benefits of becoming clear; no wonder Scientologists wanted to reach that level very badly. 

            Sandy soon became an ardent Scientologist and enlisted in Hubbard’s Sea Org, the somewhat paramilitary group who delivered his, “tech” and at that time, sailed his ships.  Hubbard had worn out his welcome in England and desired to practice his “science” free from all restraint.  So in February of 1971 she found herself on his flagship the, “Apollo,” which was then in Tangiers, Morocco. 

            Life aboard ship under the gaze of the Commodore himself was some heady stuff back in those days but it was no bed of roses by any stretch of the imagination.  Hubbard had the quaint notion that people really didn’t need much in the way of training for the jobs that they were assigned.  After all, they had all done this work in previous lifetimes so they should be able to do this now.  The results were predictable.  One day you would be doing a highly important job; the next, as a punishment for failure you would be cleaning the ship’s bilges.  Long hours day after day were common; sometimes working three or four days in a row without sleep was required.  It was at this time that she met and fell in love with another Sea Org member, Roger Barnes, who she married while on board the ship.   

            When Hubbard had enough of sailing the ocean blue he came ashore and set up shop in Clearwater, Florida, in 1975 much to the displeasure of the populace.  Sandy and her husband at this time were diligently working their way up the ladder in the Sea Org.  Her son was born in 1979.  Then this couple was assigned to work at one of the larger Scientology organizations in California; they both were given positions of responsibility and authority, all the while being paid a meager twenty-five dollars a week pay while Hubbard’s empire was taking in millions every month.  Hubbard was not much on sharing wealth.  

            During the early 1980’s Scientology was racked by internal disputes; this was the first real crack in the Scientology monolith.  Scientologists were being purged, others were quitting in droves.  Sandy and her husband were both given the Order of the Boot by the young rulers.  Hubbard himself was in deep hiding from the IRS and the lawyers of former members; David Miscavige was at this time first making a name for himself. 

            Scientology treated Sandy with the same contempt as others who were expelled.  She was shoved out the door with almost no money, no bank account, no credit card with little more than the clothes on her back and a young son in her arms.  Her husband got the same treatment. 

            This story is a cautionary tale about belief and betrayal.  Does Scientology still treat it’s members like cattle?  Just read about the death of Lisa McPherson and decide for yourself. 

Lisa McPherson’s death: 


Project Normandy was the plan to take over Clearwater. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Project_Normandy


Published in: on October 8, 2013 at 2:03 pm  Leave a Comment