|This content originated on WhyWeProtest forums. Click here to see the original thread.|
On February 12, 2010 - second anniversary of the first Anonymous global protest - six ex-members spoke about their experience in scientology at a press conference held in Los Angeles. Here are the transcripts of their speech that can be seen in a full lenght video or in 17 parts mentioned in the transcripts.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Ex-Staff to Expose Abuse and Human Trafficking Within the Church of Scientology
Press Conference – February 12, 2010 10am – Center for Inquiry’s Steve Allen Theater
(Los Angeles, CA) Six former Scientology staff (members of the Sea Org, Scientology’s paramilitary force) will expose abusive conditions inside the church of Scientology, including exploitation, physical abuse, and forced abortions. This press conference coincides with the two-year anniversary of global protests against the church by the internet group Anonymous.
- Marc Headley, author of Blown for Good. For 15 years Marc lived at Scientology’s International Base, where he worked 100-hour work weeks for less than 50 cents an hour, enduring mental and physical abuse. Marc made a dramatic escape from the heavily guarded compound in Hemet, California, and started a new life with his wife, who also escaped.
- Nancy Many, author of My Billion Year Contract. When she was five months pregnant, Nancy was sent to Scientology’s re-indoctrination labor camp, where she was forced to work ten hours a day, followed by five hours of study, while living in a garage. Nancy suffered a mental breakdown after relentless interrogations and confessions.
- Laura Decrescenzo was recruited into Scientology at the age of twelve. Married at sixteen, she became pregnant and was forced to abort her child; Scientology staff are not allowed to have children. In desperation, Laura swallowed bleach to get herself thrown out.
- Jeff Hawkins spent 35 years working for Scientology all over the world, including the top level at the International Base. Jeff left Scientology five years ago after suffering beatings by Scientology’s leader, David Miscavige.
- Will Fry was raised by scientologists, and attended Scientology boarding school while his parents worked for the church. As a teenager, Will joined the Sea Org, but immediately realized he wanted out; it took him almost three years. Afterwards the church billed him $12,000 for a so-called “freeloader debt.”
- Maureen Bolstad , at age 15, “got tricked into making a dumb mistake” and signed a contract to join Scientology staff. Maureen was promised an education and regular pay, but instead worked 18 hours a day, seven days a week, and developed health and emotional problems. She was allowed to leave after three years of being made to “confess her sins and evil intentions.”
- Mark Bunker (moderator) is an Emmy-winning journalist who has been covering Scientology since 1997. His website (xenutv.com) features video and commentary covering the controversial church.
The conference will include a Q&A session and individual interviews. The event is expected to be attended by Anonymous protesters.
Time: Friday, Feb 12, 2010 – 10am Location: Center for Inquiry’s Steve Allen Theater 4773 Hollywood Blvd, Los Angeles, CA 90027
I'm gonna introduce the person who's going to run the press conference, but I did want to make one annoucement that no outbursts or interruptions will be tolerated during this press conference.
Thank you. Mark Bunker will be running the press conference. He is an Emmy award winning journalist. He is the creator of Xenu TV, and a long time critic of the church of Scientology. Mark Bunker.
Thank you. Now my Xenu TV has been up for over ten years now exposing Scientology fraud and abuse through streaming video and streaming audio and I'm very pleased to know that this press conference right now is being streamed live over the web all over the world thanks to Anonymous and we are here today because this is the second anniversary of Project Chanology which is the operation that Anonymous set forth back in February of 2008 to combat Scientology abuse and every month since then Anonymous members have been outside Scientology centres in cities all over the world every month protesting fraud and abuse and they've.
If you check on youtube every day they have new videos that they are putting up. They've created some terrific websites and they are innoculating the new generation of young people who are really the target for Scientology's recruitment. So for the Scientologists, for the Anonymous people who are here today and those of you who are watching around the world I want to thank you for all of your efforts. Its made a big difference. There are - Now I personally was never a Scientologist, but there are five people who are going to be speaking here today, and well six if we are lucky and the stories that they have to tell are really pretty amazing and shocking and in some cases even horrifying, and the abuse - oh if you could please thats a god reminder - turn off your cellphones - or at least put them on silent while you're here.
The stories that they have to tell are pretty amazing and I'm certainly glad that they're standing up and speaking out and more and more people are doing that every day and we're so thankful for all of you folks in the media who are covering this because the problem is the government isn't doing anything about these abuses which have been systematic and they've been going on for decades. So the more attention that's drawn to these abuses, the better and before I introcuse the speakers I think it's important to point out that there are really three different types of Scientologists.
There's your public paying member. Those are the folks like Tom Cruise or John Travolta or folks from any walks of life who have the money that they can actually pay for the very, well the increasingly expensive series of courses that make up Scientology's 'Bridge To Total Freedom.' That's what L.Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology, called his very expensive path to salvation. Now those public members very often are completely in the dark as to the abuses that the staff members and the third type of Scientologist are facing on a daily basis and we hope thorugh some of these type of media events that maybe they'll take a look and maybe they'll call for action too.
The second type of Scientolgists are the Staff members. Those are the folks who go to work every day in the Scientology centres all over the world and they lead somewhat of a normal life. They're working long hours and they're being paid peanuts but they essentially can go home at the end of the day in many cases. But the third type of Scientologist, and this is primarily what we're talking about today, are members of the Sea Org. Now Scientogloy loves abbreviations and instead of calling their centres churches, they're actually called organizations, or orgs, for short.
So you will hear people talking about the Boston org, or the London org or the LA org. That's what theyre talking about. And folks in the Sea Org actually sign a billion year service contract and they pledge to return lifetime after lifetime to work for Scientology in exchange for these expensive courses. And these are the folks that really get the brunt of the abuse from Corporate Scientology, and I say Coporate Scientology because it really is a business.
Unlike most other churches where you're making a donation as a plate is passed, or you're tithing, in Scientology you're actually paying for a self-help course, or a therapy session, or one of L.Ron Hubbard's books or tapes or cassettes and, you know, you have to pay for everything and there are poeple in Scientology who actually get commissions from selling these products.
So in those ways and in other ways, it really is more of a Corporation than a religion and as you're listening to these stories, keep thinking to yourself, well if a corporation did this, if a regular business did to their employees what Scientology is doing to people in the Sea Org, it would never be allowed to happen. Never. But because they have this cloak of religiosity, Scientology has been able to get away with some really horrendous crimes and we're hoping that if enough people speak out that the government will actually do something about it.
Introduction (Mark Bunker)
So, let me bring up our first speaker. His story is so amazing that it had to be put in a book. Marc Headly has written a book called 'Blown For Good,' which is really a terrific book that takes you insde the Sea Org to see what life is like on a daily basis. And especially inside the desert compound near Hemet California where all the top Scientology executives are, and if you would, please welcome Marc Headley.
Thanks a lot. I started working at the international compound in Gilman Hot Springs California, called the Gold base, or the Int base in 1990. I worked there from 1990 until 2005.
I basically started working for the Sea Organization when I was 16 years old. I was recruited from a Scientology school that I went to in Los Angeles and shortly after joining the Sea Organization I was promoted to the international headquarters. When I was originally recruited I was promised good pay, vacations, time off on the weekends and what I actually experienced in the fifteen years I worked there was far from that.
The place that I worked at, the organization that I worked for was called Golden Era Productions. Golden Era Productions produces all the films, videos, lectures and so on that get sold to all of the Scientology organizations all over the world. Our average day at Golden Era started at about 7:30 and went to midnight each night and that was our schedule, seven days a week, pretty much every week of the year.
If we were producing well, at some points our meal breaks would be extended from 15 minutes to 30 minutes. Each day we'd have breakfast, lunch and dinner 15 minutes. If we were doing really good, we'd maybe get 30 minutes.
Also if we were producing really well, we might get part of Christmas day off once a year and if we were doing really well we'd get maybe a 30 or 45 minute meal break on Thanksgiving as a reward, just to give you kind of an idea of the environment there and you know how much time we're not working.
After I escaped the Sea Organization in 2005 and started my life over, I received a bill from Scientology for over $150,000 for the courses I did while I was there. For the entire time that I worked for Golden Era productions as an empoyee, in 15 years I earned a total of $29,000 an hour, which averages out to under 40 cents an hour for the time that I worked there.
We worked over 100 hour work weeks every week. When I got a notice from the Social Security administration after I left I actally got an itemized breakdown for each year that I worked there how much that I made and in one of the years, I think it was the year 2000, I made 1100 dollars for the entire year of the year 2000.
That's how much money I was paid for working a 100 hours a week every week of the year.
This is not an isolated circumstance in terms of the wages. Pretty much all employees that are Sea Org members worldwide, they're paid a maximum of 50 dollars a week and that goes for pretty much all the countries that Scientology operates in.
That's how much all of the Sea Org members are paid. At Golden Era Productions there were staff members there specifically in certain areas where they couldn't get all of the work done that needed to be done for the different products that we were producing and outside professionals would somethimes be brought in to do the same jobs that employees of Golden Era were doing, Sea Org members were doing. In one case a gentlemen that I knew, he was being paid 50 dollars a week - about 7 bucks a day - to do work on videos and they were bringing outside professionals in that they were paying 1200 dollars a day to do the same job that this guy was doing.
So, to give you an idea of how much they might have to pay the people that were working there if they were being paid equivalent wages in the real world - quote unquote. Somebody did the math for me one time and they basically said that based on the amount of hours I was working a week and for the amount of years that I worked there, that if that were translated into a nine to five job in the real world I would have worked 40 years worth of a nine to five job at Golden Era.
I'm not even forty years old right now.
So before I was even 35 years old I had worked 40 years worth of a nine to five job starting at 16 years of age starting at Golden Era Productions.
And a lot of people ask, you know, as long as we're talking about money, well maybe they don't have - it's a group, it has this philosophy, maybe they don't have enough money to pay these people for the amount of work that they're doing and all the employees they have.
I worked in a cassette manufacturing plant when I first started working at Golden Era Productions and it was basically demanded that we produced 50,000 cassettes a week that would get sold to the Scientology Organizations all around the world and those cassettes would sell from anywhere from 20 dollars to 75 dollars each. So just the sheer amount of potential income from our weekly production averaged nearly 4 million dollars that they would make on the products that, you know, ten or fifteen people were producing.
Additionally, during my time there, I designed, built and installed audio/visual systems for Scientology organizations all around the world and these systems are still being sold and installed by Scientology, the ones that I built while I was there during my 15 years of employment. And one set of these systems that would be sold to an average Scientology organization were worth approximately 300,000 dollars. That's how much they would charge the organization to install it and send them these systems and they've probably made upwards of 10 or 15 million dollars, just on the systems that I installed or built for them while I was there.
So there's no lack of funds to be able to pay the people that are working for them. A lot of times, when people hear my story, or when people hear about what happens there they ask me, "Well, if it was so bad then why didn't you just leave? You know, why didn't you just walk out - walk out and just start over?"
Well, when I finally did have enough courage and had experienced enough abuse that I did finally decide to escape, in January 2005, I drove off of the property on a motorcycle. Within 30 seconds of me leaving I was being followed by and SUV that belonged to the security personnel there at the compound.
They chased me down the highway as I was heading into the local town and they insisted that I come back. They're yelling at me out the window, "You gotta come back, you gotta - You can't leave, you know. Think about what you're doing." And I just refused - continued to drive on and they actually ran me of the road on my motorcycle. They literally, just pushed right me off of the road.
I crashed and when that happened somebody driving by called 911. Within five minutes the Sheriff's deputies arrived. The security personnel had already skedaddled back to the property but the only reason I was able to escape was because I had police assistance and I had 2 Sheriff's deputies escorting me into the local town near the compound.
And this is all detailed in police reports that are available on the internet but the - during the course of 2 Sheriff's deputies escorting me into the nearby town, the Scientology personnel attempted to even still intercept me and follow me while the police were following me - were escorting me and only by the threat of them being arrested by the police did they back off and let the police take me to safety.
So when people say "Why didn't you just leave?" That's why, because when you're there you see and you hear what happens to people that try and leave and most of the time, they're brought back and in rare instances people actually escape successfully and don't end up coming back. So, yeah, it's not the easiest thing for somebody that works there to actually be able to get out.
And then even then once you do get out, you don't have any money, you haven't lived in the real world. You don't even know if you're going to be able to get a job, if your going to be able to eat tomorrow. So there's a lot of aspects to how they're able to keep people there and why more people aren't leaving and getting out and up here on the stage today.
You may - you're gonna hear other people up here today, that are gonna tell similar stories to what I've told you and similar accounts to mine and I hope this gives you a glimpse into what happens and how the different people there are treated and even once people do leave and once people are able to get out a few people here today witnessed just as few as three or four days ago private investigators following me around while I'm driving in Hollywood, attempting to find out who I'm talking to, where I'm going, what I'm doing.
I've had private investigators dig through my trash, follow me to my - taking my kids to school in the morning, following me to the grocery store. So there's no shortage of the things that the things that the Scientology organization will do to silence their critics and in a lot of cases even the people that do finally get out of there, or finally do escape, they're intimidated and they're harassed so much that they would never, ever dare speak out or speak to the media about what goes on.
And finally, in the past few months and the past year, more and more people have had enough courage to say what happened to them and they're not afraid of what's gonna happen to them from the Scientology organization or they're not backing down based on the intimidation that they're getting and hopefully by this and people caring these stories and getting the word out there we can expose the actual things that occur there and yeah, hopefully we can end this and hopefully people don't have to suffer like I have.
Thanks a lot.
Introduction (Mark Bunker)
Well, next, we have a fellow who ... Well, let me start like this. About a half a year ago, the Saint Petersburg Times in Florida started publishing an amazing series of pieces about the really horrendous physical and mental abuse going on in the Sea Org at the hands of Scientology's current leader, David Miscavige. Our next speaker, Jeff Hawkins, worked for 35 years at the upper levels of Scientology, worked right there close to David Miscavige, so close that Miscavige actually beat our next guest. And I'd like to bring up Jeff Hawkins now.
Testimony (Part 1)
Thank you very much.
I'm not actually supposed to be here today, according to the church. Just after I committed to this event, a fellow showed up at my door up in Portland and handed me a subpoena to appear at a deposition and this was at the request of the church lawyers. And I looked at the deposition and it said February 12th at 10:00 A.M. And I thought, "Oh, that's a coincidence!"
But there's other reasons that I'm not supposed to be here. Before I left Scientology's international base, I spent 3 months getting what they call "security checks," which is where they put you on the e-meter with the cans and they ask you, "What are your crimes? What have you done? What crimes do you have against David Miscavige?" On and on and on and on. And they just have you confess to anything and everything. This literally went on for 3 months until they felt that they had enough dirt on me to show that they could shut me up if I decided to speak out. And they've tried that. When I gave an interview to a reporter up in Portland, they contacted the reporter and said, "Oh, this fellow has horrible crimes. He has horrible crimes," and I said, "Good. Good, then expose what those are," you know, because those are going to come right out of my confessional folders. And that's what they do to people. They take their private confessional folders and they'll take anything they've confessed to, and they'll use it to try to shut them up.
The other reason that I'm theoretically not supposed to be here today is that, before they would allow me to leave the church, I had to sit in a room with a bunch of lawyers and sign forms, sign a lot of legal documents saying that I would never, never reveal what went on at Scientology's international base. And this was videotaped and so forth, very official. And what they don't tell you is that there was a burly security guard standing just out of camera range, ready to take me back to the international base and lock me up again if I didn't cooperate, so I cooperated and I signed everything that they asked me to sign, and then I left. But that's another reason I'm not supposed to be there.
But the biggest reason that I'm not supposed to be here today is that I was never supposed to leave the international base. And they take great pains to make sure people don't leave.
I worked for the Church of Scientology for 35 years, some of that in Europe, some of that in the United States. The last 15 years, I was at the international base in Hemet, California. I was a marketing executive.
A lot of you might remember the Dianetics campaign from the 1980s with the exploding volcano. I did those ads. Very successful campaign. And I ... since leaving Scientology, I've spoken out extensively about the human rights violations at that base, the physical abuse, the mental and emotional abuse, and the most common question that I get, which Marc talked a bit about, is, "Why didn't you leave? Why didn't you just get up and leave?"
And the church will tell you, "Oh, they could have left at any time. They were free to leave." And so forth. And I want to give you a little bit of background about that question, because it's a subject with some depth and it goes right to the core of Scientology's philosophy.
Now, the church tries to characterize me as a hatemonger, and they try to say that I ... They love the phrase "anti-religious bigot" and they like to say that me and these other people are bigots and are haters and hate Scientology, and so forth.
Well, I don't hate Scientology and, in fact, I have many friends who have left the church and have continued to practice Scientology, and I say, "Well, more power to you." A person's religious beliefs are their religious beliefs and I don't interfere with that. But my friends are not abusing anyone, they're not defrauding anyone, they are not doing anything illegal, and their beliefs and their practices are their own. And I'm also in touch with many people still currently in the church, and I can hear the church's ears pricking up on that one. And they're very nice people, and most of them very conscientious, very wonderful people. They have been indoctrinated into the Scientology thought system.
Now, when I first got into Scientology -- and I've told people this -- if there hadn't been anything good in Scientology, if there hadn't been anything workable, I wouldn't have spent 5 minutes with it. And I spent 35 years with it, so obviously there were some things I found good about it, to stay that long. And I was very enthusiastic about it in the beginning. This idea of communicating to others and helping others and helping the planet and so forth. That all appealed to me, being an idealistic young man.
But above all of that is really this idea of immortality. In the view of Scientology, this is a prison planet and everybody is trapped on this planet, and so forth. And one is condemned to live life after life after life not knowing anything, in complete darkness and ignorance, and this is supposedly the trap that we're in. And by moving up the bridge to Operating Thetan, or OT, which is supposed to be a state of high spiritual awareness and power, one is supposed to be fully conscious and aware, and one is supposed to be able to then live life after life remembering everything that went on in your previous lives. And this is what they mean when they talk about "total freedom" or "your eternity", and so forth and so on.
And I heard a funny story yesterday. Somebody was telling me that a Scientologist is talking about his successes in Scientology, and he says, "I know I have secured my eternity and the eternity after that, and the eternity ..." I don't know what that meant.
But for a Scientologist, this isn't just some Sunday prayer meeting thing, where they show up once a week, and so forth. This is, like, very, very serious activity, and this is what Hubbard said about it. He said, "We are not playing some minor game in Scientology. It isn't cute or something to do for lack of something better. The whole agonized future of this planet, every man, woman, and child on it, and your own destiny for the next endless trillions of years depend on what you do here and now with and in Scientology. This is a deadly serious activity."
So this is the kind of tone of the people Scientology activity. When I was a Scientologist, well, I believed that. I believed this was serious and that the fate of the planet was at stake, and so forth.
So the greatest fear of any Scientologist, whether they're Sea Org or public or anything like that, is that, not that they'll lose their friends or their family or anything like this, but that the topmost fear is that they'll lose what they call "their eternity."
And I just want to read from a suppressive person order that was issued by the church some years ago. And it says, "He will never, never, ever again, which I promise you, in any life, ever again, receive any auditing," which is the counseling, "or ever have a chance to get out of his trap, and those who are on OT3," OT level, Operating Thetan level 3, "Know what that means. It means to die and die and die and die again."
Okay. So it's not just a death threat. It's a death, death, death, death threat that they're holding over their heads, and this is serious. If you believe in Scientology's belief system, this is a serious threat. They've done the mafia one better. It's not just, you know, a death threat. It's like dying over and over and over again.
Testimony (Part 2)
So this is both the carrot and the stick of Scientologists. It's both what they're striving for, which is the immortality, and the stick is, "Well, we could take that away." They can't do that. They can't do either one of those things, but if you believe in the belief system, you think that they can.
So the most important thing for Scientology to maintain control over their people is to keep that belief system intact. If they can keep that belief system intact, then, you know, they can keep control.
If you look at all their rules and restrictions, and so forth, in that light, you kind of see where they're going with this.
For instance, they have disconnection. And they say they don't, but they do. And there's many, many thousands of people that have been disconnected from family, children, parents, because they voiced some criticism of Scientology. And if your family or your wife, your husband or your children voice any criticism of Scientology, bang! You're disconnected from them. You cannot talk to them. Well, they say "handle or disconnect." "Handle" means you get them so that they agree with Scientology, or at least shut up about it. My mother, for instance, never cared for Scientology, but she learned to keep her mouth shut, because she knew it would get me in trouble if she spoke out, so she kept quiet. And so you either stay quiet or you go into agreement with what it is.
So it's ... The irony is that the Church of Scientology says that it's all about freedom, but ultimately, it's really about control. And the further up you go, the more controlled you are. And when you get up to the higher Operating Thetan levels -- OT7 -- you are very, very tightly controlled by the church. You have to report in to the Clearwater headquarters every 6 months. You have to have security checks. You have to ... And they examine every part of their life and they make sure they're not reading any critical Internet sites, they're not reading any critical books, they don't have any critical thoughts, and so forth. They really clamp down on these people.
And where I was, at Scientology's international base, with Sea Org members, that's the ultimate in control. That is the most tightly, tightly controlled place in Scientology. I spent 15 years there. And Marc told you some of what it's like. The place is surrounded by razor wire fences. They've got cameras and motion sensors. There's no way that you can get out of there, you know, without touching off these sensors or alerting the security guards who patrol the grounds, and so forth. And if you want to leave that Hemet compound, you have to get permission from your boss and from your boss's boss, and so forth, to be able to leave the compound. You can't just walk in and out. You have to have an okay.
All letters in are opened, which is against federal law, but they do it anyway. If you get a letter from your parents, they open it first before it goes to you, and if it contains anything critical of Scientology, well, you're hauled in and, you know, you say, "Well, you have to handle your parents or disconnect," and so forth. And when you write a letter out, same thing. It gets censored.
And there are musters, there are this, there are that.
In addition to that, there are physical punishments. People get thrown in the lake out there, they have to run around the buildings. And it's true, there are also ... There's also physical abuse. And I was personally beat up on 5 separate occasions by the head of Scientology, David Miscavige, who is supposed to be the leader. He likes to call himself "the pope of Scientology." Well, he's a bully. He's a bully. And interesting we're in the Steve Allen Theater. Steve Allen called Scientology "a religion of bullies." And I think that's pretty accurate. And it's led by the biggest bully of all, which is David Miscavige.
So why didn't I leave? Well, it was the carrot and stick. I didn't want to lose my eternity. I still had ... I still had my faith, even though I was being physically and mentally abused. But I finally said, "I don't care! I don't care if I'm damning my soul for eternity or whatever this means. I don't care. I have to leave this place, because I will not be abused any more. And I walked out. And I had to ... I lost my wife, wonderful woman that I love very much. I lost all my friends, all my family, who were still in Scientology at that point. I couldn't talk to them. And I had to go out with a few dollars in my pocket at age 58 and start a whole new life from scratch. They gave me no money. They gave me no help. And I knew no one outside of Scientology. And I had to just pick up in a strange city where I knew nobody and build a new life, which I did.
But I have a lot of friends who are still there. They are still in Scientology. They are still at the Int Base. And if I were able to get them one message, I would tell them this: that leaving Scientology doesn't mean losing your eternity. It means gaining your freedom.
Introduction (Mark Bunker)
Now Jeff mentioned the fact that you’re living lifetime after lifetime and I’ve mentioned that too, and we’re not attacking Scientology’s beliefs. They can believe anything that they want. They just can’t behave anyway that they desire and one of the, you know, byproducts of believing you’ve lived millions of lifetimes in Scientology is that they believe that children are really, you know, ageless beings and they can be plucked away from their families at a very young age and put to work.
And our next speaker faced that very thing and she was recruited at an extraordinary young age to work for Scientology and if you would please welcome Laura Decrescenzo.
Testimony (Part 1)
Thank you. As he’s mentioned I joined the Sea Org actually when I was 12 years old. I was actually born into Scientology but both my parents were Scientologists and had been doing courses in Scientology in Portland Oregon and I actually did my first course when I was about 6 or 7 years old and signed my first contract, the billion-year contract that was mentioned at the age of 7 or 8.
I started working in an organization in Alberqueue, New Mexico at the age of 9. I got a worker’s permit, somehow, I don’t even know how I managed to do this, but when I was 10 I got a worker’s permit and was getting paid peanuts for, you know, working usually about 30 or 40 hours a week at, you know, 9 until I was about 12 when I joined the Sea Org.
The person who came to Alberqueque, to recruit me, basically promised all of these things that seemed great to my parents, so, somehow they convinced them to let me go which meant I moved to Los Angeles. They included things like, I would continue my schooling, I would be able to have kids when I got older, and you know, I’d be able to have kids and move back to Alberqueque or I would do what was called the “Bridge to Total Freedom” as other people had mentioned.
I would get all that for free because I was working for them. All of my medical and dental expenses which at the age of 12, as you can imagine, most kids have cavities, have, you know, dental work that needs to be done. I’d be able to go home and visit my parents, even up to once a month if I wanted to, because of my age.
All of these promises were made and it was made to seem like something that was going to be a wonderful experience. Unfortunately, most of those all turned out to be completely and utterly false. Because I was 12, I was considered what they – I was very qualified. I had no life.
As I’m sure you can imagine most 12 year olds got to school, play video games and don’t really have any history that would make them unqualified for what they considered the higher organizations in the Sea Organization. In fact one of the things they make you do when you’re in the Sea Org is they fill out what’s called a “life history form”.
It’s about 8 pages of extremely personal questions. Everything from every medication you’ve ever taken to any drugs you’ve taken, every date you’ve ever gone on, every sexual experience you’ve ever had in great detail and then they put you on an e-meter, their lie detector basically, to verify that you’re telling the truth and at twelve, my life history had nothing.
It was a bunch of no, no, no, no, no, so I was like considered prime pickings for them. Not to mention the fact at twelve, your mind’s basically an open slate. You can be programmed however they want you to be. So, I joined the Sea Org. I left my parents and moved to Los Angeles.
As I mentioned, pretty much everything they had promised me was a lie. I didn’t continue my schooling hardly at all. I would go once a week, maybe, with no trained teacher.
And then it came to visiting my parents. Here I am, twelve years old, I wanted to go home and see my parents for a weekend. My first visit home was a complete and utter nightmare.
I was supposed to leave on a plane and within a few hours of the plane leaving I was told that I couldn’t leave unless I had gone on their e-meter and done a security check and I was like “Well my mom has bought me a non-refundable ticket. How am I supposed to do this? I’m supposed to leave in a couple of hours.”
They said “Well you can’t. If you do, you’re going to be subject to ‘justice’ when you come back.” That basically means that my position in the organization that I was in would be negated. It meant a lot of things.
When you’re in the Sea Organization, a justice action’s considered scary. Anyway, so I was like OK, well, how am I supposed to do this? I’m supposed to get on this plane, you don’t mess with my mom’s money, you know what I mean, this is a non-refundable ticket.
So I said, OK, I’m gonna go anyway, so I actually went to the complex where I had my berthing at the time. I had gone from the H2B over to the complex and I got into the super shuttle in the horseshoe of the complex and security actually came out and physically prevented me from leaving.
I had locked the door ‘cause I saw somebody from security coming. I was freaking out. I was, like, I have to go and he reached in an unlocked the door, opened the door, preventing the super shuttle from leaving. So from the very beginning you can see, it was taught to me that you don’t mess with them.
They’re going to keep you here even if you don’t want to be there and anyway I ended up catching the plane about 24 hours later and it was on a flight that was arranged by them. Here I am, 12 years old, I left LAX at about 11 PM at night, with an hour layover in Las Vegas, Nevada. As a mother now myself I cringe at the thought because here I am 12 years old in Las Vegas airport in the middle of the night arriving at Alberqueque at 3 AM.
Anyway, pretty much every time I wanted time off, it became a similar thing it was a nightmare every single time. I ended up getting married at 16. In the Sea Org that’s very common, because you really can’t do anything physically with the person that you’re dating or whatever until you’re married and I got married and I wanted kids, I’d said that when I joined the Sea Org. I was planning on having children.
Testimony (Part 2)
And I’m about to talk to you about something that is extremely personal, but I’m bringing this to light because it shows how extreme they are when it comes to keeping their people and controlling them and that is in regards to having children.
I actually became pregnant in February 1996 with full intention of having a kid with my husband. I was 17 at the time. When I told my husband, he was understandably a bit surprised and scared and, I mean, who wouldn’t be scared as a young couple, or even not being that young, you know, you’re first kid is something that you could have nerves with, you know.
When we informed the commanding officers of our organizations, I was told by the commanding officer of my organization that, she immediately started telling me that at this point, the baby wasn’t a baby, it was just tissue and earlier, about a few months earlier she had found herself pregnant.
And in fact, she hadn’t realized she was pregnant until she was about 14 weeks pregnant and had gotten an abortion because it was the greatest good - quote unquote. She started pushing how important my job was, how it would be so detrimental to the organization if I were to leave, how neither me nor my husband had any money, nor would we, when we left, if we had children.
And after 2 days of this, of constant pressure and, you know being threatened with if I left I would have no money, I would have no life. You know, most people, even at an older age, don’t succeed. I had no schooling. There would be no way that I would be able to support a child and that was what they were continually repeating to me.
I know for a fact that I would have been able to support a child had I gone through with it. But after, you know, days of this, I conceded and had an abortion and, you know, the other day, about a week and a half ago I went in for a deposition and the lawyer for the Church of Scientology actually asked me, actually he kept rewording questions to get me to say that I agreed to have an abortion.
I never agreed to have an abortion. Did I concede? Yes, I did. Does it kill me every day? Yes, it does. In fact the last, you know, my last thought, when I went in to get the abortion, in fact I said the word, I said “Wait.”
It was not what I wanted, but, you know, unfortunately, the circumstances went down as they did and the whole subject of wanting to have kids continually came up with me while I was in the Sea Organization to the point where finally in 2001, I was sent to what’s called the Rehabilitation Project Force, also know as the RPF in the Sea Organization. What that is, is it’s basically - you’re sent there for punishment.
They consider it, you know, their wanting to rehabilitate you quote unquote to get you back and working on a regular post, but really what it is, is you’re just sent there to do intensive hard labor for them and you know you’re put in total segregation from the rest of the world.
I was separated from my spouse. I was separated from everyone that was important to me. I wasn’t allowed to speak to my family. You’re not allowed to have more than 20 dollars on you at any given time. You’re not allowed to go anywhere without another person. You’re watched 24/7. There’s always someone, you know, out in the hallway awake, outside your rooms and I was there for almost 3 years in the RPF.
I could go on and on, unfortunately, I don’t have too much more time but in the end I knew that if I had said, you know, I don’t want to do this anymore, I want to leave, as others you know have said, you go through extensive handlings to be kept there.
I knew that if I said I wanted to leave, I would be put on what’s called the RPF’s RPF, which, you know, I’m already working, it’s already untolerable circumstances. It’s even more untolerable in the RPF’s RPF. And in fact a friend of mine had been there for 8 months in the RPF’s RPF trying to leave.
So I did something that I knew that would get me kicked out immediately and I actually took a gulp of bleach, because I knew that if I was considered a suicide risk that they would get rid of me immediately. And they did. I was not suicidal, but that was the extreme I went to to get myself out of there immediately.
After I left the RPF, I actually still considered myself a Scientologist for several years, in fact I paid, you know, I think it was Mark mentioned a $100,000 freeloader bill. I also had a bill from them, saying I owed them $120,000 for the services I had gotten while I was in the Sea Organization.
So after spending 13 years of working 100 hour weeks I owed them money and I actually paid them $10,000 after I left and it took me about 4 years to realize that what happened there is not right and somebody needs to do something about it and that’s why I’m here today to start opening up people’s eyes to what occurs in the Sea Organization because it’s not right and something does need to change. Thank you.
Introduction (Mark Bunker)
Our next speaker grew up in Scientology and he's going to tell you more of what that's like, and working for them at a very young age. He started speaking up just recently at some of the Anonymous events and Anonymous has posted his videos on the web. It's the first time speaking out in public here. This is Will Fry.
Hi. I'm going to need a second. I have ... Just from listening to everyone else, I'm going through, probably, a considerable adrenaline dump. Might be funny, a lot of these things, but it makes me very, very angry.
You know, just to remind everyone, this isn't ... This isn't happening in North Korea. This is in America.
Okay, so ...
I actually did a little YouTube interview leading up to this. You know, we only have about 8 minutes and that's not a lot of time. And in that video, I was talking ... I was speaking about the child Dianetics, the philosophy of L. Ron Hubbard that children aren't actually children, but they're billion-year-old beings occupying smaller bodies than the rest of us and they should be responsible for just as much as the rest of us. And this sort of madness. But rather than just point the finger in that video, I wanted to convey how the abusee becomes the abuser.
And I was ... I was introduced to Scientology when I was 2 years old. I eventually went to their boarding schools in the desert of California and eventually, at the age of 17, I joined the Sea Organization. I wanted to leave right away, but it's hard. It's a hard thing to overcome, the sensation that you're a traitor if you leave. You've got to fulfill your billion years.
Two years later, I just left. I blew, as they say, with no intention of going back, but at the request of my family ... Because they didn't want to ... They didn't want me to be disconnected from them the way my uncle was disconnected from us for being declared a suppressive person in the nineties for taking a refund from the church in Ann Arbor, Michigan, for services undelivered.
The tenth of December this last year, he took his own life.
So I went back, at my family's request, and it took me about 6 months, being on "the decks," where you do slave labor, physical labor, no pay. Much like the RPF, you're under watch and you undergo daily interrogations with their version of a lie detector. And it ... It messed me up.
Because when you leave, they want you to be absolutely unwilling to do what I'm doing today, to speak out, and it took me a long time to get here. I had to wake up and I had to ... I had to figure a lot of things out on my own.
But, once again, I want to talk about how the abusee becomes the abuser, and in that first year after I left the Sea Org, I was 20 years old and I was just trying to escape. Just like, "Give me a fake id, let's go to the bar, let's get drunk, meet girls. And I wanted a girlfriend, but it was kind of hard for any girl to want to have more than a short relationship with me, just because, you know, I had some issues. And I still have them. And I'm in therapy and I'm working all that out, but that's another subject.
One of my girlfriends, well, you know, we were together for about a month, was 15 years old. She was an ex-Sea Org member herself. I spoke about this in the video. We weren't hiding it. Her parents knew. My friends knew. Other Scientologists ... No one was disapproving, but it was wrong, realizing this later, obviously, but ... And I'm not going to mention her name or any of the other names of the people involved in this, but ...
She was kicked out of the Sea Org, and you may not realize ...
You know, obviously, listening to how hard it is to actually leave on your own volition, you might not understand just how hard it is to get kicked out. And she was 14 when she was kicked out. And I had heard the rumors of this when I was in the Sea Org, of why she was kicked out, but didn't really believe them. And, again, I'm not going to say her name. She deserves her privacy, as does the gentleman in question, but ...
There's a church, not too far from here, called the "Advanced Organization of Los Angeles." It's the Church of Scientology responsible for making the OTs up to OT level 5. After that, they have to go to Clearwater, Florida, the "Mecca." And this is in 99, 2000, and the current captain, or the leader of the Advanced Organization in Los Angeles was a ... about 50-year-old, short Italian man, and she was his assistant, and they were having sex.
And when the church found out, they kicked her out. They let her mom and stepfather, who also worked at the AOLA, or Advanced Organization of Los Angeles, leave quietly, to watch over her in the real world, to make sure she wouldn't, you know, reveal anything.
And they put him on the RPF, not the local RPF, you know, they sent him out, I think, overseas or to the Int Base. Someone could probably tell you, but I'm not here to say, you know, "So and so's a pedophile." He could be just as screwed up as I was when I left and, you know ...
The point of what I'm saying is that the willingness of this organization, the Sea Org, the Office of Special Affairs, the Church of Scientology International, to circumvent the justice system in this country, is absolutely paramount to any idea that they would need to suffer any bad public relations. That's their priority.
They don't dial 911 on their own. They never have and they never will. And that's what the RPF is for: to bury people alive. If something happens they don't like, they can go away.
And, you know, there's other people that could confirm this story, not even ... I doubt anyone from the church will, but people have left, since then, that would have full knowledge of this, besides the actual people involved, for example, a guy like Mike Rinder, the former head of the Office of Special Affairs, OSA, formerly known as the Guardian's Office, or the single largest infiltrator of the U.S. Government. You can look that up: "Operation Snow White." Google it. They changed the name, but they didn't change the game plan.
Anyway, he's still a Scientologist, Mike Rinder. He just didn't like the abuses towards him, though he was personally responsible for ruining countless lives. I'm sure he knew about it. And others, but ...
And you'll have to forgive me. Despite the advice of my constituents here, I didn't write anything down. It's just not my style.
Look, I have a lot more stories to tell, and that'll happen in the future. If you want, you can just go on to YouTube and search my name, Will Fry, F R Y. It'll pop right up. And I look forward to talking more with you all and ...
Thank you for having me.
Afterword (Mark Bunker)
You’ll have a chance to talk to Will and the rest of our speakers after our Q & A when we’re finished up here and Will mentioned disconnection.
At the end of our Q & A I’m gonna read a couple of letters from mothers whose children have been disconnected from them. It’s one of the big control issues in Scientology.
Introduction (Mark Bunker)
One of the reasons … One of the ways they keep you in is to threaten taking away all of your relationships with your loved ones, your parents, your children and our next speaker actually has faced that and she also got in at a very young age.
Maureen Bolstad is here to speak.
Testimony (Part 1)
I’ve done a lot of interviews already, in front of cameras and this is the first time I’ve been in front of so many of them at the same time.
I’d like to first say that I currently have a situation where I’ve been disconnected from my own twin sister and it’s a very heart wrenching and hurtful thing to me and the whole reason why she’s not allowed to talk to me, or believes that she can’t talk to me, is because I left the Sea Organization and that’s one of the things that keeps people in once they join is if they have friends or family that are in
And the threat is always there that you’re not going to be able to talk to your family and friends anymore if you just walk out and there’s another option of where if you decide to leave you can properly route out which is where you do a series of steps that gives you the authorization to leave but then you’ll have this debt, which is called a freeloader bill, that you’ll owe for all the services you got while you were a staff member and you won’t be allowed to talk to anybody until you pay that.
But also you know routing out isn’t always easy for everyone because well in my case and I’m pretty sure this is why I was saved for last. I asked to route out from the Sea Organization in February of 1997 and I was not allowed to.
I basically was on the ‘Rehabilitation Project Force’ and I was told that I was not allowed to route out and I was not allowed to leave. I was stuck there and I had somebody watching me always – 24 hours a day.
I had to have a buddy with me. I had someone shining a flashlight in my face at might while I was sleeping every 2 hours to make sure I was still in bed. On the few occasions that I did manage to run away I was tackled and brought back physically.
One of the men that tackled me was a guy named Chris Guider who was an ex professional Australian football player. He was big and I couldn’t go up against that but I kept trying.
One of the last times on the RPF at the end of 1997 I got into a fight with one of the other RPFers and he broke my hand on a table and smashed me into some bookshelves and I was pretty bruised up and I basically said, “Hey, I’m fed up with this.
If you guys don’t let me out of here I’m just going to stop sleeping and eating and I’m just going to die because, you know, I wanted my freedom. I didn’t like being treated like a prisoner when I’d done absolutely nothing wrong besides, you know, not wanting to work there anymore for nothing.
So that night I was talking to – you know it’s OK. You can get some sleep. It doesn’t mean that, you know, they were saying, they would maybe talk to me the next day about why I wanted to leave and treat me nicer, so I actually went to bed.
I didn’t keep my threat of not sleeping or eating and that night I actually was able to run away.
I heard the two people outside my door guarding it, walk away from it and I’d gone to be dressed and I – this is out in Hemet at the place that they called “The Ranch” or Happy Valley, which is – they don’t own it anymore but they used to own it – near the Soboba Indian Reservation and I ran behind the indian’s houses so the security guards couldn’t get me but there was a search party that went out for me.
They even had a dog. They had a couple of trucks, a bunch of people just out at … 4 or 5 in the morning trying to find me and I made it all the way to my Aunt’s house.
Testimony (Part 2)
I hitched rides, I took the bus and when I got to my Aunt’s house and official from the Church Of Scientology showed up at her house and they brought my sister and they said if you come back – sorry – you’ll get to talk to your sister, you’ll get to talk to your husband and you won’t have to do the Rehabilitation Project Force and we’ll treat you better and made all these promises and I wanted it to be true but when I went back I got stuck there for another 3 damn years and my sister didn’t talk to me and my husband divorced me and it was rough.
Three years I was in semi-isolation. I had to do manual labor every day despite the fact that my back and my neck were in bad shape from past injuries. It drove me nuts. I was in so much pain.
I mean I was – I lost my will to live at one point and they finally stopped harassing me because they were afraid I was going to die on them.
And like, “That would be bad public relations for the church for somebody to die on our premises - because it already happened out in Clearwater - Lisa McPherson died.
So we don’t want it to happen again,” so they finally let me go, but at that point I didn’t want to go I needed to be taken care of. I was like a basket case anyway I don’t really want to – obviously I’m still alive.
I made it out and I’m living my life but the reason I’m talking out really is that, I’m not against any of the Scientology belief system that helps people, not against the idea that the mental health system needs to be reformed. I’m not against any of these good things.
I’m against the abuses, the treatment, you know. I worked for the Sea Organization for 18 years. I got involved when I was 16 years old and I worked hard for them.
I worked sometimes over 20 hours a day, 7 days a week … for less than 30 cents an hour and yet when I couldn’t do it anymore, I couldn’t be a workhorse for them anymore and I didn’t want to be there, I was treated like I was a criminal …
What happened to me is illegal and I think that I was in such bad shape after it happened that I wasn’t able to deal with it right away but I am now able to speak up about it and explain to people that Scientology has a dark side and it needs to be faced and they shouldn’t be allowed to get away with this kind of stuff just because they’re a religion.
I’ve got one minute left. I’m trying to think of what else I want to say. A lot of people ask me how did you get involved and we’ve had a couple of people here explain the recruitment process and one of the things that happened to me when I was really, really young when I was 15 years old actually, at a Scientology Mission.
I didn’t have enough money to buy the Scientology courses and they’d been marketed to me really well and I was interested and I wanted to study them so joining staff was promoted to me as a work/study program where you join staff and then you are able to get your courses just because you’re on staff.
So I did that. The first year I worked at a mission I didn’t get – I mean, I just worked and worked. I was like a workhorse. I worked mimeograph, I did reception. I wasn’t getting paid and I didn’t get any Scientology courses.
So I was like wanting these Scientology courses, because there were so many people saying how great it was. So then when I was 16, a Sea Organization recruiter came to recruit me. He approached me without my mother around.
He promised me a lot of things; help with my education, that I would get to finish high school and college and that I would get all these wonderful things. I’d get to learn Scientology.
I’d get room and board and medical and dental and I’d get to visit my family every year for 3 weeks and it would be just wonderful. So he went to my mother’s house to get her permission and she was drunk and the recruiter got her to sign the permission slip anyway.
My little brother was there, he was only fourteen, and she said, “Hey, you want to come too?” And my little brother, “Sure.”
So we got stuck on a plane to Clearwater, Florida and I’d say we arrived and we were put to work right away doing laundry for one of the higher organizations there.
I was up ‘til literally 2 o’clock in the morning, 4 o’clock in the morning doing laundry every day – laundry and cleaning rooms for about a month and at the end of it I was like, “Oh my God! What am I doing here? I can’t do this.
I can’t be staying up all night and not going to school and all this and the person who’s my senior said, “Well, actually we were wrong. We made a mistake. You’re not supposed to be doing this work.
We’re going to have you do this other program where you do some staff training first and you’ll get you’ll get enough sleep and you’ll be on a proper schedule and, you know, we just needed to follow L.Ron Hubbard’s rules properly.
We weren’t doing it before and so, you know, we apologize so you can stay because that’s not going to happen again. So then I stayed even if I was to have left, I didn’t have any money, my mom didn’t have any money.
What would I have done in Clearwater, Florida at that age? So I did the next step which was some basic staff training and I had to sign a no charge invoice for $3000. I was 16 years old and I was signing this thing saying that if I left I would owe them $3000 and it just kept piling up over the years. I think by the time I was 17 or 18 I would have owed them $20, $30,000 for just staff training – I didn’t do any Scientology training.
It was just basic administrative stuff like “Here’s your basic 3 basket system and here’s how you write dispatches and here’s how you request purchase orders.” Things like that.
There’s so many things I could say. Eighteen years is a long time. I could tell you story after story and a lot of it you wouldn’t believe it could actually happen here in the state of California and in Clearwater.
The only other thing that I’d say I want to point out is that there is definitely a lack of respect for the human body and health I found just sort of predominantly in a lot of the Sea Organizations and I found that out the hard way because I had an accident in 1993.
I injured myself in a motorcycle crash – injured my neck, my shoulder and I went back to work 2 days after almost breaking my neck in an accident and I want to tell you what I did for a job.
You see this guy here with a camera on his shoulder? That’s what I did for them. So after my accident where I tore a bunch of muscles in my shoulder and my arm and my neck, herniated 3 discs in my neck, I had to go back to work and carry a camera on my shoulder and I was not allowed to take pain-killers and I had to do that for long, long hours and man, that was tough.
I get people saying “Hey, you know, you were nuts.” In Scientology, I got in trouble for having a nervous breakdown. You would too if you were working over 20 hours a day and you had to carry around a camera on a shoulder that you’d almost broken.
It was tough and there’s no – there should be employer’s responsibility for safety and care of the workers and most companies have some sort of oversight on how workers are treated – their safety and their health and within the Scientology Organizations there was really hardly any of that.
That’s another thing that I think really needs to be corrected. Just because something is a religious group doesn’t mean that they can just throw the safety and health of their workers out the window - without taking proper measures to look after their health.
That’s all. Thanks.
Introduction (Mark Bunker)
... and bring up our last speaker, because she's got some fascinating stories to tell as well. She also has written a book and it's really terrific book, called My Billion Year Contract.
She got into Scientology when she was a youth in college and she was hanging out with her stoner friends, thinking there's got to be more than this. And there was. Unfortunately, it was Scientology.
And she's Nancy Many and she's got quite a story to tell.
Testimony (Part 1)
Hello, guys. I haven't ... Jeff and I haven't actually talked about this, but our time ... length of time of involvement is pretty extensive. Because I did join as a teenager, and I still have involvement, not directly from the inside, but from the outside.
I wrote my book, basically as a ... Part of it was this ... the healing kind of a thing. My experiences throughout Scientology are very varied and they are ... They touch upon almost everybody here and some areas that are not there.
I've experienced the RPF. I have worked for their intelligence bureau. Now, I'm talking about deep-cover intelligence from ... for both the Snow White program that was implemented years ago by the Guardian's Office.
The Office of Special Affairs took over the Guardian's Office and said, "We don't do these kind of things any more. We are totally legal and do what we are supposed to do." And I was also a deep-cover under ... spy ... an undercover spy for OSA. And I can categorically state that that's not true.
There is not much difference between what I was asked to do in the Guardian's Office and what I was asked to do in OSA. Intelligence is meant to ... Mike Rinder said it very, very well, "You have an attacker. You have a person who is in your sights and you want to find the most valuable thing about that person, so that then you can threaten it. And by threatening it, you'll get that person to back down."
So that's ... That is the policy, the modus operandi. That was how they worked in the GO and that was how they continue to work now. Now they have the extra buffer of attorneys, hire more private investigators. It's much more expensive now than it was with the GO. And you have the attorney-client privilege, so the church doesn't know whatever their attorney did. They don't know, or even if they did, they wouldn't share it.
I also worked with Hubbard. I was Hubbard's assistant when he was in hiding, and he had basically 7 divisions of his organization. And he had an assistant for each one of these divisions. And I was over the division called "Division 6," which is "public relations and worldwide expansion," which includes celebrities. And it includes how to get people into Scientology. How do you get ... I mean, everybody in this room would probably think, "I would never ..." You could never ... Oh, I'm telling you, you could!
I was on a radio show a number of months ago, where I did a recruitment cycle on the radio announcer, and he was just like, "Whoa, yeah, I'd like that." The training to be able to get somebody into Scientology, whether they're celebrities or not, is basically the same. The difference with the celebrities is they are handled with kid gloves. They are handled a bit ... They don't plow in, because if a regular person blows off and says, "I don't like you," they don't care. But if it's a celebrity, they've got a lot of investment and they want that celebrity. And they don't want that celebrity bad-talking you.
I left the church, the Sea Organization. I stopped working at all for the Sea ... for Scientology in 1986 or 1987. And during that time, I then became a public Scientologist, because I did it backwards. I was not public, I was like many on the stage, I started at the top and then kind of went down.
The end result was they got a hold of a ... an email that I had sent to a woman who was in doubt about Scientology. She was confused. I felt very similar to her. I really felt a kindred spirit there. She was in South Africa and there was a lot of stuff going on. And she wrote to me saying, "How can you talk to me? You're a Scientologist. You're not supposed to talk to me, because I'm declared." And I wrote back, with my real name, saying, "I'm not afraid of talking to you. I'm afraid of the spies that Scientology is going to put near you."
And in actual fact, I found out years later she never got that telex. In 5 months, I was called in to the HGB building, where OSA intelligence is, and I was handed that email. The irony of being handed that email in the inner sanctum of Scientology was not lost on me, but seemed to be lost on the people on the other side of the table. They didn't quite get the concept. I also found out that the woman involved in South Africa never did receive it herself.
They offered me help. They said, "Okay, we have somebody. We're ready to help you. We know you have all kinds of doubts and confusions about Scientology. You've invested a lot of your life, a lot of your time, and we're going to help you." And they brought me in for basically what was an interrogation. It was ... My therapist called it very similar to what they did to the men in ... that were captured in North Korea. And she said, "The one thing, Nancy, that you can say for yourself and your strength is that it took them so long to crack you."
And they did. They cracked me. I had a psychotic break.
And this psychotic break was so intense that I was brought in restraints in an ambulance to a hospital, where I did not even recognize my husband. And this out-of-reality continued. It took me a long time to recover. I didn't have any particular help. The quote-unquote church ... I felt ... They were not helping at all, let's just say that.
The Scientology doctor they had sent me to had put me on a drug called "chloral hydrate," the same drug that they gave to Lisa McPherson, who died. I was told it was the same drug that Doctor Denk had found for L. Ron Hubbard, that was not such a psychiatric drug that he could take. And he has died. It was found in the body of ... It was actually found as the cause of death of Pamela Ander-- not ... is it Pamela Ander--? No, who's the ... Her son died and then she died? Anna Nicole Smith. It was the ... This drug was the cause of her death. That's what the final thing came out. Chloral hydrate. Chloral hydrate was the name of the drug.
I was having my own little opposite day after the hospital and decided that we would do the opposite. So I stopped taking everything that Scientology had told me to take, the huge doses of vitamins that, I found out later, when I found out that Lisa had died. They'd give her huge doses of vitamins. And a specialist doctor got on the line and said it wasn't any one of these vitamins. It was the mixture of these vitamins that they gave her, sometimes forcing down her throat, that killed her.
Testimony (Part 2)
I didn't know that she had died. My interrogation and loss of sanity occurred 6 ... about 6 to 7 weeks after her death. I found out a year later when I was in much better mental health that that had occurred. And it was so similar. And the doctor was ... This ... There was the same doctor involved in both our cases.
I tried to do many things to heal. I don't know if any of you have known someone who's had a breakdown, a psychotic break. You definitely are not here with the rest of us. You are definitely seeing things that others don't see. And you might know that they don't see them, so you have to keep quiet about it. That's how I got to drive a car.
And every year, I did a little something on the anniversary of that, for my healing. And one year, I wrote, under a pseudonym named Kathryn, the story, which was the nutshell of my memoir. And I wrote the story of Kathryn, of how they drove me insane and did nothing to help me arrange it back into life. In fact, if ... if I was ever dumped, I was pretty dumped.
So I posted that and my experience in OS-- in intelligence knew that, okay, it's on the Internet. They're about reading it now. Okay, let's see. Who's my first phone call? And my first phone call was the person that I expected, and I said, "Okay, I'll have lunch with you." And his first question to me, or one of his first questions to me was, "How often do you speak to Arnie Lerma?" At that time, Arnie Lerma was Target Number 1 within the church and for the church.
Now, what wasn't known was that I didn't send it to Arnie as myself. I do know Arnie and Arnie knows it was me now, but at the time, I just felt he was a very safe person and I wanted to have it put out by him.
Over the years, I've written my memoir for my own personal health, but I've gotten responses from people. I recently went to Boston, to a librarians' show, and put together just about a third of the emails and information that I have gotten from individuals that have gone through similar cases of mine. Worldwide. Families of suicides. Families, now, of murderers who were Scientologists, who've now become murderers.
I was ... I would get these one at a time and just put them in the file folder. And when I sat down to go through them all, I was stunned. I was absolutely stunned that this mental abuse had been going on, worldwide, systemic to Scientology. As a Scien-- Having worked with intelligence, I am more than readily aware of the consequences that could befall me, but I am even more aware this has got to stop. This has got to stop. These are people!
There was one woman that, after a special handling, she found that she couldn't drive on the freeway for a year, because she kind of had this suicidal thing of "What would happen if I just turned into that other car?"
Other people that were really, really traumatized. I became friends with a gentleman, over the phone, who was ... had a pschotic break. He was in Florida. And his name is Greg Bashaw. "Death of a Scientologist." He was from Chicago. He had spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on Scientology. He was on the upper levels. He had quit jobs that Scientology didn't agree with. I mean, $200,000 a year, to quit that job, is ... is pretty much dedicated to Scientology.
In my book, I have the last letter that he wrote to the head of the Scientology organization in Florida. His wife gladly let me print it. And I didn't change a word. And there will be some Scientology words in there that some of you might not understand.
When she was in negotiations for settlement with the Church of Scientology, they caught her without any lawyer, or friend, or person, and at a very down spot, offered her a pittance of money. And I don't know the figure, because that is confidential. But I know it's a pittance, because she's still in danger of losing her home and her husband had paid Scientology over $300,000, mostly on credit cards that she was still liable for.
When she was given the form to sign, there was a line that said, "I will never speak to the press or write a book about what happened to my husband." And she refused to sign it. And she said, "I might write." And she will come out, on her own, and have her own words to say. But the Scientologist that was giving her the pittance of a check said, "Oh, that's okay. I'll just cross out that line, because who would want to hear about your husband anyway? Who would ever care, or read, about the death of a Scientologist?" So he just crossed it off.
I hope you people today can relay the fact that people are dying. People are dying. People are going psychotic, which is, as Greg and I talked on one side ... one of our phone calls before he passed away, we understood why Christopher Reeve kept living. Because he had his mind. If you do not have your mind, you do not have a life.
And Scientology ... The number of people that have just written to me, or on the Internet, or responded to my book, of "Oh, my God! I never told anybody, but 15 years ago, I was psychotic. And I didn't tell anybody. And I somehow brought myself back and out of it."
That's why I speak. It's still happening.
When was that murder? A week ago? The Scientology boss ... [Man's voice: It was December.] It was about a month ago.
We have Jeremy, a psychotic child of Scientologists, refused psychiatric help, who stabbed ... stabbed his mother to death 77 times. This is happening all over the world. I have one communication from just a woman in Copenhagen who, just off the top of her head, I swear she listed 20 people that were dead, that she personally knew. And they were dead because of this group.
I think about, "How does that happen? How come I was ... did not run out of that counseling room when I knew they were really, really interrogating me and driving me to the brink of insanity?"
And I come back to the very first course I ever took in Scientology, which now ... The upper indocs have been separated out and they are called the "training routines." And the upper indocs are the upper levels of them. And everybody talks ... Part of it is the talking to the ashtray. Most of you may have heard about talking to the ashtray and lifting the ashtray. I think someone ... Tom Cruise even had somebody here lifting an ashtray.
But the basics of those ... of that policy called "upper indocs" is control. And control to the fact of physical control. That you are in physical control of the body, of the person, that you are in front of. Your chair is placed strategically in front of the door, so that you can't get out. If they do get out, which I've seen some get out, there's a code word they've called "HCO Bring Order" and that means every able-bodied person in the vicinity is to tackle that person...
Testimony (Part 3)
...and either remove him from the premises or bring him back to where they want him to be. They control. And that 8C, which I don't know what the "8" means, but I know the "C" means "control" -- was in the very first course that I learnt.
So when I was sitting in there, in my final day of interrogation, having the dry heaves over a garbage can, while I could look out the window and see my car and wanted nothing more than to be in that car. Those courses of 8C and the fact that she's got the door and there's a camera in the room, the fact that I was on the eleventh floor of the HGB building, which was ... which is where OSA is. To get from there to my car, if I got past her, I would never get past the security guards, or the cameras, or get on an elevator, or find a stairwell.
And that does bring me back to the very beginning course that they teach in Scientology. Like I said, now, time has changed. They have more initial courses, but the course used to be the first course, and now it's separated out, and it's done at a later time. But it is still out in existence. And it is still called "upper indocs." And it's where you are taught and trained to physically control another person's body against their will. Against their will. You are trained. To control another person's body.
This gentleman is no longer with us. He was on one of the highest levels, OT7. He had given over $300,000. He gave his life. He even also worked in espionage. I don't know if you know that there used to be a group called the "Cult Awareness Network," but that was taken over by Scientologists. And he was an integral part of the espionage and undercover work that went in to that takeover of that building ... I mean of that company.
And there's many other people like him. And the fact that Scientology, in paying his wife "off" with a pittance could say, "I'll just cross this line off, because no one will care."
And it's true. No one has cared.
When I first began to shop my book, they didn't even open the cover. They heard the word "Scientology" and ran. An agent responded to me on the phone and her voice was shaking, "They might even come after me. They might even come after me." And on this second-year anniversary of Anonymous, which is a group of people that weren't even Scientologists, they knew something was wrong. They knew there was no free speech. When they started, I'm sure they didn't know how deep the well went. But they were able to stand up.
So why can't I? Why can't I? And why can't people care about Greg Bashaw? And his son, who had to witness his attempts of suicide ... and his final suicide. And his wife, who was left with the debt of money that he gave to the Church of Scientology. That's all where that money went, was to the Church of Scientology. And they didn't ... And they end up with him dead and she is struggling to keep her home.
So I hope you guys care. I hope you guys will talk about Greg Bashaw and the many others that are out there, that go through this mental abuse on a daily basis, on an international basis.
Because, as somebody here said, the international headquarters are in America. If it's happening in America, it's happening in Australia, it's happening in South Africa, it's happening everywhere. If it's happening at the top, it's happening below. And it doesn't matter what country that is.
European countries know more, because they've had to deal with the Nazis. America is a little gun-shy about religions, because they were based on freedom of religion. So if you want to play with a deadly snake, you can, as part of your religious services. If that snake bites you, it's God's will. You don't take the anti-venom, because if you die, that's God's will. And that is America. We are different with regards to religion. And that is a known. That is very much known by the Scientologists and very much used by them.
My book contains a lot more information than this, and I hope that you guys'll get a chance to read it. I hope you guys will not leave here without looking deeper, and also without the fear.
Anonymous, I've told Anonymous, the people that wear the masks: keep those masks on. Drive in a different car. They take your driver's license down. They find out who you are. This is ... This is a standard thing.
There is a standard thing in intelligence. The first thing they do is they want your picture. That's first. Open the file, put the picture in. Second thing that they want is they want to know where you live. And they want a picture of that home. And then they want to know where you work. And then they want to delve even deeper into the friends in your life.
And if you guys, any of you guys, because you're press and you're liable to this sort of harassment. It's not the people that will get close to you that you have to worry about. It's the people that get close to your spouse or a close friend. Because you will tell that close friend things, and this new person that you don't even know about, these things are shared. And that's how Scientology does their intelligence. It's not right up in your face. When it's right up in your face, it's because they want it that way.
But their real intelligence and how they really gather what happens, happens sliding in under the door.
So, I hope you guys do care that Greg Bashaw died, after giving his life, and money, and credit card limits to Scientology.
Questions and answers
Mark Bunker: Thanks. So, are there any other questions that you have, that you'd like to ask now?
Question 1 ((Nancy Many)
Question: I'd like to ask a question to Nancy.
Nancy Many: Yes.
Question: Nancy, can you talk to the term in Scientology called "end of cycle?" Do you believe that is an order? [inaudible] very controversial and [inaudible].
Nancy Many: "End of cycle" is something that came up with regards to the death of Yvonne Jentsch. And it then became a rumor that L. Ron Hubbard or David Mayo gave her a program for end of cycle. She was fatally dying, which in the regular world, we would put her in hospice and make her go as gently and quietly as she could, because there was no other option. End of cycle as a specific policy, I've never read. Only the rumors, probably the same rumors you have.
Question: Just to all the panel here, and to you, Mark. There was a journalist from Freewinds magazine
Mark Bunker … Their attorney is here – Barry Van Sickle and he’ll be happy to talk to you about that.
Question 2 (Mark Bunker)
Question: Why are you all coming together today? [12 February 2010]
Mark Bunker: Today? Well it’s the second anniversary of the Anonymous movement, and we thought well, let’s mark that in some special way and that’s really why we all gathered together to tell these stories today.
Question 3 (Mark Bunker)
Question: So this is completely separate and apart from the lawsuits?
Mark Bunker: Right.
Question 4 (Mark Bunker)
Question: This is similar to something we’ve had in Australia last November. Are you aware of that?
Mark Bunker: Yes.
Question 5 (Mark Bunker)
Mark Bunker: I didn’t put it together. I would say it probably is a motivating factor. There was also a big thing in Hamburg last year too, where Jeff was part of that I believe, right? No? Oh, Mark was – Mark Headley was. So this has been popping up from time to time. We’re thrilled that we can get the word out anyway…
Question 6 (Jeff Hawkins)
Question: How many of the individuals who spoke were interviewed for the St. Petersburg Times article?
Mark Bunker: Jeff was. You wanna? [Gestures to Geoff]
Jeff Hawkins: Yes. What was the question?
Question:I just wondered if any of the individuals who spoke had previously been interview for the St Petersburg Times series or any other [inaudible].
Jeff Hawkins: Yes I was. I was interviewed for St. Petersburg Times and I know Mark was as well and other people that are not here but there are a lot of people speaking out now. More and more people are speaking out, because it is becoming safer to do so. They can’t pretty much go after everybody.
Question 7 (Jeff Hawkins)
Question: Why do you think that there has been this momentum now?
Jeff Hawkins: Because it was partly due to the Anonymous Movement, because they started these pickets and that absorbed a lot of church attention and it also made it safe for individuals to then step forward and say “I was abused. I was abused.” That started happening and that started snowballing with more and more people speaking out and now it has become very safe to speak out against the church because like I say, they can’t go after everybody and in previous years there were so few people speaking out that they could narrow in on those few people, follow them with private investigators and harass them until they shut up and now it’s just becoming very widespread and part of the reason for that I think is because the Church itself is disintegrating
Question 8 (Marc Headley)
Question: [Question regarding action being taken in current lawsuits].
Marc Headley: I’ll just tell you exactly. In my case, I gave you some of the details concerning my employment history with the Scientology organization and basically what’s happened is I brought a lawsuit. My case was filed last year and my case is basically saying they’ve broken the labor laws and they’re involved in human trafficking and my wife has also brought a case against them for coerced and forced abortions as well as violations of the labor laws and human trafficking and essentially what’s occurring is that they are producing products, they’re employing people, they’re telling the people that work for them, their employees that they’re volunteers and that they don’t have to be paid and they’re not paying these people. The reason why I get followed by private investigators and they’ve spent millions and millions of dollars fighting my case is that currently they have 5000 employees worldwide. They pay each of those people $50 a week. If they were found in violation of the labor laws and they were enforced with the Scientology organization their weekly pay of $250,000 dollars that they spend on labor would go up to nearly $4,000,000 a week which is $200,000,000 a year. So this is a very big deal. There’s a lot at stake. When I first came out and when I first started speaking I was one of a handful of people that had spoken out against them and in the years that I’ve been speaking out against them I’ve experienced insane amounts of harassment and intimidation and the fact that more and more people are coming out, they’re getting spread thinner and thinner and like Jeff said, they can’t go after everybody. Now there’s approximately anywhere from 20 to 50 people that are now speaking out and this is occurring in America, this is occurring in Germany, this is occurring in Australia, this is occurring in Europe. It’s basically the exact the same thing – Scientology only has one set of policies and those are applied worldwide. So if it’s happening here in Hemet, California, it’s happening in Los Angeles, it’s happening in Sacramento, it’s happening everywhere. So what’s happening with the cases; the cases are scheduled for November 2010 trial date right now. That’s my case specifically. There are another 3 cases that have been filed against them that are very similar to mine and they’ve hired the best labor attorneys money can buy – multiple firms to represent them and their various organizations and this is definitely not over.
Question 9 (Marc Headley)
Question: [re: whether Senator Xenophon’s proposed inquiry into Scientology in Australia entails investigating the same organization in America].
Marc Headley: I’m not aware of how that works but all of the money from all of the various organizations around the world all goes to the top so if they’re fighting, or they’re inquiring into Scientology in Australia, they’re most definitely inquiring the exact same people that run the organization here in Los Angeles and everywhere around the world.
Question 10 (Nancy Many)
-- The following audio segment is difficult to hear and was omitted from the YouTube video: --
Just to all the panel here, and to you, Mark. There was a journalist from Freewinds magazine, a Scientology publication, filming everyone coming in [inaudible]. Are you surprised by that? What will it be used for?
-- End of omitted audio segment --
Question: regarding the Scientology spies who posed as media for this conference, photographed everyone and then left.
Mark Bunker: Not surprised at all. You won't ...
Will Fry: Not at all, no, [inaudible].
Mark Bunker: Yeah, you ... Unlike what you're shooting, that won't be seen in public. That ... That's used for intelligence gathering. They'll want to take that back and show it to David Miscavige and the executives, and they'll find out who was here and what they can do to handle you.
Question: Have any of you dealt with that kind of material, taken at this kind of event in the past? Do you have first-hand knowledge of that?
Nancy Many: First-hand knowledge of what?
Will Fry: Say it again, sir.
Question: First-hand knowledge of films, photography being taken of people ...
Will Fry: Oh, yeah. I've been in a mall ... I've been in a mall and I've had a little kid come up to me with a cell phone and go "click!"
Question: No, no, no, no ...
Will Fry: I've had people come up
Question: While you were in Scientology ...
Question: Step up to the mike, please.
Question: While you were in Scientology, any of you, did you handle that material?
Will Fry: I think, maybe ...
Nancy Many: I did.
Will Fry: Yeah, OSA.
Nancy Many: I did. It's the way that they're ... When the FBI did the raids on Scientology, way back when it was the Guardian's Office and the Snow White program, one of the FBI people that went through their organization said that this rivals most countries' intelligence networks.
It's a need-to-know basis. I had one person that I communicated with. That was it. I only knew that one person. And he would tell me he was talking to one person higher. And it was funny, years later, when we met the one person higher, and he was, like, "You were that woman?" And I said, "Yeah, you were that guy!" And that's how closed it is.
I ... When I was spying on a certain group or location, they had other spies there, spying on me and saying what I was doing. So you always knew you were watched, even as a spy.
Mark Bunker: Let me ... Let me add one thing, specifically to what you were asking.
The closest thing I can think of is, a year or two ago on the BBC, Panorama did a half-hour episode called "Scientology and Me" and John Sweeney was the reporter on that show. And they had cameras following him everywhere.
And at one point, here in LA, they pushed John Sweeney over the edge, and you probably have seen the clip of him shouting at their spokesperson in his face, just saying, "You weren't there!" And he was screaming and there was spittle. And Scientology took all this footage and, the weekend before the BBC aired their Panorama program, they leaked that clip of John Sweeney on to YouTube to ... to kind of mute the impact of the BBC's show. Unfortunately, what it did was -- unfortunately for Scientology -- it drew more attention to the show and it made it the most watched program on the BBC that week. And ...
But they had crews following him everywhere, from LA to ... to Florida. And they actually compiled a complete mini-documentary of their own and Scientology released this "exposé" of BBC's news practices. They burned about a hundred thousand copies onto DVDs and they released that to every official that they could throughout the UK. They sent it to every journalist, they sent it to every ... every politician, and they made sure that they tried to blunt the impact of that broadcast before it aired. But it didn't work.
Any other questions? Yes.
-- The following audio segment is difficult to hear and was omitted from the YouTube video: --
Inasmuch as celebrity is foundational of Scientology, perhaps maybe one of its greatest assets, as they, you know pursue celebrity. It also probably what could be one of its greatest vulnerability. Two recent episodes, I wonder if you could comment, or anybody, could comment on. The first one was when Paul Haggis went public and told them that he was leaving, and he expected retaliation. What status that is in? And the second one is, and I know nothing about it other than rumor, and that is the death of John Travolta's son because of a want of a drug which Scientology frowns upon and how that may or may not affect this position of the church.
-- End of omitted audio segment --
Question 11 (Mark Bunker)
Question: regarding the death of John Travolta's son and whether he died for want of a drug forbidden by Scientology.
Mark Bunker: Right. Well, John Travolta has ... has come out and said that he is still a very strong believer in Scientology. He attended an event just a few weeks ago in the UK, and he made it clear that Scientology has allegedly helped him through this tragedy, and ... and I'll take him at his word there.
But I also understand that Travolta and the family was giving Jett some drugs to handle it. But did he ... did Jett get the proper care that he needed all the way through? I don't know and I don't think any of us are really in a position to comment on.
Question: And Paul Haggis?
Mark Bunker: Paul Haggis, that was explosive. It was a major story, and I think we'll see more of those. Celebrity defections are probably their biggest fear right now.
Paul Haggis, Oscar-winning writer-director, denounced Scientology in the strongest terms, and did so on the Internet, through Marty Rathbun's blog. And Marty Rathbun was one of the top executives who have left Scientology and has spoken out, and has caused all sorts of problems for David Miscavige, the current leader.
Also, it's not as big a profile to those of us who ... who aren't Scientologists, but in the world of Scientology, there was another huge blow just a couple of weeks ago, when the star of their orientation film publicly left. And this is an introductory film that all new recruits to Scientology see. He is the face of Scientology.
And it's a wonderfully hilarious 20-minute short film, if you ever have a chance to see it. Right now, they're re-shooting it, I'm sure. But he's like actor [imitating Troy McClure] Troy McClure.
And he's walking you through the org, going [imitating Troy McClure] "Now let's go over to the library. I think you should have this book and this book. You'll want to buy this book and this book."
And he's the happiest, nicest guy you could possibly meet, until the end of the film, when the lights come down and the music becomes very ominous. And he says [imitating Troy McClure], "Of course, you could walk out that door right now and never mention Scientology again, but you might as well blow your brains out."
And, I mean, it's lunacy! And I remember the first time I saw it with a Scientologist friend, the two of us in the screening room, I was laughing hysterically by that point.
But everybody in Scientology knows this fellow, Larry Anderson. And for him to publicly depart was big news to Scientology as well. And what made it even bigger news is when he asked for his money back, he set a tape recorder on the table and had this hour-long conversation with Tommy Davis, the current PR person for Scientology, and their entire conversation was recorded. And that was given to the Saint Petersburg Times and was just published on the Net just a few weeks ago. And that was explosive, because, clearly in the audio tape, Scientology is lying about their process of giving money back if you're unhappy. And that's an agreement they have with the IRS. They said, "If you ask for your money, and do it the proper way, we'll give you your money back. Well, here he is on tape doing it and they're refusing to give him the money back.
So things like that are explosive.
Question 12 (Nancy Many)
-- The following audio segment is difficult to hear and was omitted from the YouTube video: --
Thank you. Thanks to the panelists for sharing their stories.
About Paul Haggis, one thing to note that's very interesting is ... is that Haggis recently, on his own, raised 8 million dollars for Haiti relief, legitimate charity, which is, you know, this soon after blowing from an organization that, by Hubbard's rule, does not believe in charity without fair exchange. So, you know, I mean, I think that should be noted.
But at the same time a question to the panel, maybe Nancy could answer this. Whenever there's a disaster from 9/11 to the Virginia Tech massacre to, you know, to what recently ... the tragedy in Haiti. You see the, you know, the face of Scientology is always the yellow shirt, via volunteer ministers. Personally, I've witnessed them getting in the way of legitimate rescue efforts in 9/11, at Ground Zero.
I'm wondering what is the policy, because, is it more towards dissemination? I mean, I understand that they do the touch assists and that sort of thing. But mostly, what I've seen when they're around, that is them calling in their statistics of how many "Way to Happiness" pamphlets they managed to distribute that day.
-- End of omitted audio segment --
Question: regarding Scientology's insincere motives for relief efforts and charity work.
Nancy Many: Well, I agree with you. And in terms of my tenure in the executive strata of Scientology, I always was very upset that we never did any community service. To me, when you do community service, you don't get it ... you don't do it to get press. You don't do it to wear a yellow T-shirt so everyone knows you're doing it. And that's what they do.
In addition, I read in the newspaper yesterday, or this morning -- it's been a long morning already -- that there are some people from Haiti who are actually doing things to help who said that, "Yes, the yellow shirts went around and they did the touch assists, but they gave no food, no money, no clothing, no real help. But they were there with their yellow shirts, doing their touch assists.
And I do know John Travolta and I do know that he is a good person, and from the inside out. And he does not know about these various things that are happening. In fact, in the celebrity world, which includes the millionaires -- the millionaires are very important, even though you'll never know their names -- when the Saint Petersburg Times article was coming out, they were told, specifically, don't read any newspapers, don't watch any TV, don't go on the Internet, for the next 5 days. We'll tell you when you can. And they obediently do that.
And they are handled outside of the orgs. They are not handled within these "Ideal Orgs" that are being built, because these "Ideal Orgs" are empty, and they don't want the celebrities to know that, that their donations have gone for naught. So they make it sound like they're special. They don't want them to go in there, when that's not why they don't want them to go in there.
Question 13 (Jeff Hawkins)
Question: I have a question for Jeff [Hawkins]. As you mentioned, Scientologists are stepping forward now encouraged by the aid or being encouraged by the work of Anonymous. In your view, are you working in collaboration with Anonymous to make this easier for others to step forward and further your cause and, if so, what are you ... what's being done so that members who were afraid to speak out have the courage to be swayed?
Jeff Hawkins: Well, let me just be clear. I'm not working with Anonymous. I'm not, you know, a "member" of Anonymous. You know, I appreciate the work they've done to expose the church's crimes and I encourage anyone who has experienced similar crimes to come out and speak out. And a lot of people are, right now.
Question: Do you feel that they've ever gone too far with some of their efforts?
Jeff Hawkins: I really don't want to comment on Anonymous. I'm not an expert on it, and I don't know that much about it.
Question: One last question. Are you doing anything personally to make this more accessible for others to speak forward, just from hearing everyone's story, it seems like a ... very compelling as far as what you experienced, and the others. What's being done so that there is assistance or aid or support given to these individuals who don't have any [inaudible], so that there is a support network, so that their voices can be heard?
Jeff Hawkins: I don't know exactly how to address that. There are a lot of people who are former Sea Org and former staff and, you know, we are in touch with each other. And if somebody needs a hand, they do get a hand, basically. It's a very informal kind of thing.
Question: Thank you.
Jeff Hawkins: Okay, good.
Mark Bunker Yeah.
Question 14 (Jeff Hawkins)
Question: With the celebrity disaffection and the work of Anonymous, is there any indication of how this is affecting the rank and file Scientologists [inaudible]?
Mark Bunker: We're seeing more and more people leaving Scientology. The rank and file really don't have access to the media. I mean, the people in the Sea Org, they can't go out to the Internet and see these things. But it does kind of filter in.
For a couple of years, back in 2000 and 2001, I actually moved to Clearwater, Florida and worked with a group called the Lisa McPherson Trust, which was started by my pal, Bob Minton, who just died a few weeks ago. And at that point, we located our office right next door to Scientology's Office of Special Affairs. And we were there, you know, in case Scientologists needed to come to us for help. In that time, you know, no one actually did, because cameras were on us constantly.
The Scientologists who were working there in the buildings, they weren't even allowed to walk on the street anymore. They were shoved into vans, and the vans were ... had windows that were blacked out, because they were afraid that the message might come through. And we had some signs that said things like, "It's safe to look," "It's safe to talk."
And years later, I have heard from people who were there at the time, who said, you know, "I saw that message and that stuck with me. And I ... and all those, you know, all that time, I was thinking, you know, why is that we aren't allowed to see that and they can talk freely to anyone?"
So ... the ... you know ...
And I even heard from people who said that, "Yeah, we ... we ... I remember being shoved into the building and we weren't allowed to go out because one person was walking down the street with a sign. And it did make me think, 'Well, how come these are the most powerful people on the planet, here inside Scientology and they're afraid of one person with a sign?'"
So those messages do kind of seep through. But, for the most part, they're not going to be seeing the videos that are going up on this now, or the news reports.
Question 15 (Will Fry)
Will Fry: Real quick, I just wanted to add something real quick. Who asked about the Haiti relief?
Man's voice: Step up to the mike.
Man's voice: I did.
Will Fry: Okay, I just wanted to go over something real quick, because what I was involved with in the Sea Organization was sales, specifically for Bridge Publications Incorporated. I was the Sea Org sales manager.
And what you have to know is that, when there is a tragedy, when there is a crisis, this gives a very excellent reason to ask its members for money. Right? So any ... any... any relief effort going from the church to Haiti or 9/11 or Columbine, which is ... I left before 9/11, but ...
Man's voice: Katrina.
Will Fry: Yeah. Columbine, Katrina, all of these issues. When these tragedies happen, the salesmen get on the phone, they have a parishioners list this thick. Number, number, number, over and over and over again. And they raise as much money as possible. And yeah. And then they send in the photo opportunity, which is the folks in the yellow shirts, to go and show how the pamphlets are being distributed, you know.
Man's voice: That's fraud.
Will Fry: That is fraud. I am guilty of fraud, as a sales manager for Bridge Publications Incorporated.
Mark Bunker: And will anybody do anything about it? No.
Will Fry: I am willing, just, you know, I haven't been sued yet. I haven't been ... I haven't received a court order yet, and I expect all this to happen. I am fully willing to go to jail or wherever. This is, like, not even a ... an option. I mean, it's not even a choice I have to make. I don't care about the threats.
All I want is that ... I don't want there to be any more kids suffer the way my family suffered. I don't want there to be any more uncle Bob's. That's it.
Man's voice: Thanks, Will.
But in closing, I do want to read these 2 letters that were written by mothers of children who are in the Sea Org now, and they have disconnected from their families.
Susan Talbot (Mark Bunker)
So, let me start with this letter dated February 2010. It's a letter to Mandy Kember. And it starts ...
This letter is from my heart.
I was 17 years old when I gave birth to you and was very young to have a baby. As you know, there is no training manual for parents. I didn't have a clue about being a mother. I had the opportunity to have an abortion, but no way was I going to do that, as I wanted you.
You were born, and I know most mothers say this, but you were so beautiful, perfect in every way, and I loved you. I used to wake up in the mornings and see my lovely little girl. Remember your first day at school.
Life was very hard and money was very short at that time, but I always put you first. I loved and protected you with all my heart. Up to the time you went to LA, I was always there for you. You were 33 years old when you joined Chaz in LA.
Remember when Brook House burnt down and you lost everything? You were married to Chaz then. I looked after you and your husband for over 2 years. I made sure that you always had good food and my support when you were in the Sea Org.
As a mother I would know when things weren't going well for you. I had a mother's instinct and would get a gut feeling that things weren't well. This I felt before I came over to see you in March of 09.
I travelled to LA on a gut feeling. I had never met any of the people that were with me at that point, when we were outside of the HGB building, and I did that because I felt you were not doing well. All I wanted was to see and to hold you one more time before I left this world. I didn't want anything else. Just to hold my daughter again.
I didn't ask for any of this in Scientology, if you remember, after 15 years of contribution to Scientology, I was made an illegal PC again, and you know that means no services, no bridge, so it was taken away from me. This happened after I had just paid for OT4, so I asked for my money back as Scientology couldn't deliver the services.
On my SP declare, it looks as though I received all the money back, but I didn't. Just 5,000 pounds. When I got the payment, Graeme Wilson came to my house and said, "We feel there's been an injustice. You paid for a service and you couldn't have it." Then as he left my house, he said, "You realize you will now be declared." But I was an illegal PC, so what did that matter to me?
Please try and find it in your heart to call me.
I love you, Mandy, and would love to hear your voice again and know that you are OK.
Susan Lentsch (Mark Bunker)
Traduction en français
And this second letter, dated February 2010, is an open letter to Katherine Olson. And it starts ...
My Dear Kate,
I would much rather be speaking to you in person, but that's no longer possible. Since September of 2008 our communication has been severed. This is not my decision. I will never, ever disconnect from you, and I know deep in your heart that you still love me too.
You have been in the Sea Org for nearly 17 years. When I allowed you, then a minor, to join the Sea Org, you signed the staff contract which states that "Holidays are three weeks per continuous active year for Sea Org Members." And this has never happened. Instead, you were granted 3 days in Portland in 1996. Now, each time we spoke and in the letters you wrote me throughout the years, you stated the desire to come home for a visit. During the last visit we had in March of 2008 at the J. Paul Getty Museum in LA, you told me that you would come and visit soon.
Kate, remember the postcards you bought for me at the museum that day? You wrote me notes on the back of them, that said:
These postcards are to remind you of our day together, to remind you that we will always be in communication, no matter the distance, to remind you that you raised a happy, healthy, contributive person, to remind you that I will visit you, to remind you that I love you!
All My Love, Katherine"
Now, I believe you were sincere, because as a child, you were always honest with me.
The OSA handler, Beth, gave me her word that she would help you get the time-off request pushed through. Beth and I shook hands, and I told her that I was trusting her word and that I would hold her to that promise. Beth said she would do everything that she could.
However, when I returned to Portland, some stipulations were presented to me. Beth told me on the phone that I couldn't associate with "certain people." In a phone conversation with you, you wanted me to give you the names of former Scientologists and critics I had been in contact with, and the websites I had been visiting. Because I refused to disclose this information, you were not granted a vacation. Instead, we were tricked, lied to, and now we are disconnected. I can't reach you by phone. I don't even know if you receive my letters, cards, or gifts.
As I said in our last phone conversation, which was September 2008, "I will continue to scream from the mountain top. I will not be silenced. I love you. My heart and my door will always be open to you." I am still waiting for your arrival in Portland for the vacation that we have been promised.
So, with that, I thank you for coming, and I thank you for your attention. I hope we get together again soon, because there are more stories out there to be told and there are more people ready to tell their stories. So, you folks in the media, keep digging, because there is plenty of stories to be shared.
Thank you so much.