Monday, November 28, 2011

The prison ship, Freewinds

This is but one example of people held against their will in the Church of Scientology.  For more examples of how this so-called church treats it's parishioners,  Please CLICK HERE!
An Australian resident claims the Church of Scientology imprisoned her on a cruise ship for over a decade in a bid to stop her leaving the religion.

Swiss-born Valeska Paris told ABC's Lateline that she was forced to live on the ship 'The Freewinds' for 12 years from the age of 17, after signing a contract binding her to the church for "a billion years".

"I did not want to be there, I made it clear I did not want to be there and that was considered bad ethics, meaning it was considered not right," she said.

"They take your passport when you go on the ship and you're in the middle of an island."

At the age of six, Ms Paris moved from Switzerland to Scientology's headquarters in England with her parents, who had joined the church before she was born.

As a 14-year-old she was allegedly compelled to disconnect herself from her entire family after her mother denounced the church on French television.

Her mother had left the church after the suicide of Ms Paris's father, a self-made millionaire who said Scientology had fleeced him of his fortune.

For the first six years of her time on 'The Freewinds', Ms Paris said she was unable to leave without an escort and was often asked to do hard labour by herself in the ship's engine room.

Former 'Freewinds' executive director Ramana Dienes-Browning has backed up the claims, but the church itself has said Ms Paris's claims were "false".

Ms Paris left the church soon after meeting and marrying fellow Scientologist and former St George Dragons captain Chris Guider.
Here is the transcript from the TV Show:
ALI MOORE, PRESENTER: An Australian resident has told Lateline the Church of Scientology imprisoned her on its cruise ship, The Freewinds.

Valeska Paris says the Church of Scientology's leader, David Miscavige, sent her to the ship when she was 17 to prevent her mother taking her away from Scientology.

Ms Paris says she ended up being on the ship for 12 years and was unable to leave The Freewinds for the first six years without an escort.

She's described the Church's leader as a psychopath and says he should be put on trial.

Steve Cannane has this exclusive report.

STEVE CANNANE, REPORTER: Valeska Paris was born into a Scientology family in Switzerland. At the age of six she moved to Scientology's headquarters in the UK and was placed in its then youth wing, the Cadet Org.

At 14 she joined the Church's elite Sea Organization, signing a contract binding her for a billion years.

It was a commitment that would override her bond with her own family. Valeska Paris says at seventeen the Church told her she could no longer see her mother.

VALESKA PARIS, FORMER SCIENTOLOGIST: I was basically pulled in and told that my mum had attacked the Church and that I needed to disconnect from her because she was suppressive. And ...

STEVE CANNANE: And what does that mean, to disconnect?

VALESKA PARIS: It means no connections at all with her or with anyone that she's connected to.

STEVE CANNANE: Her mother had denounced Scientology on French TV after her ex-husband, Albert Jaquier, had committed suicide. A self-made millionaire, his last days were spent in poverty. In a diary he kept, he blamed the Church of Scientology for fleecing him of his fortune.

Valeska Paris says the Church was so worried her mother would take her away that Scientology's leader David Miscavige intervened, ordering she be taken to the Church's cruise ship, The Freewinds.

VALESKA PARIS: He decided the ship. And I found out two hours before my plane left - I was woken up in the morning and I was sent to the ship for “two weeks”.

STEVE CANNANE: And how long did that end up lasting?

VALESKA PARIS: 12 years.

STEVE CANNANE: Valeska Paris says she was held on The Freewinds against her will.

VALESKA PARIS: I did not want to be there. I made it clear that I didn't want to be there. And that was considered bad ethics, meaning it was considered not right.

STEVE CANNANE: Did you try to escape?


STEVE CANNANE: Could you escape?

VALESKA PARIS: No. They take your passport when you go on the ship, so - and you're in the middle of an island, so it's a bit hard. And I was like - by that time I was 18. So, I didn't really - I'd been in Scientology my whole life. It's not like I knew how to escape and ... .

STEVE CANNANE: The Freewinds is used as a base to deliver Scientology's highest level counselling course, known as Operating Thetan Level Eight.

It cruises around the Caribbean, docking at small islands. The Church says ships have religious significance to Scientologists because its founder L. Ron Hubbard had researched and ministered the first Operating Thetan levels aboard a ship.

But for Valeska Paris, there was no freedom on The Freewinds. She says she was not allowed off the ship for the first six years without an escort and was forced to do hard labour in the engine room.

VALESKA PARIS: It's hot, it's extremely loud, it's smelly, it's not nice. But I was sent down there at first for 48 hours straight on almost no sleep and I had to work by myself. I wasn't allowed to work with anyone else. And I don't know if I went unconscious or if I fell asleep, but I was cleaning some part of an engine and it's extremely loud and I was just out for like four hours, and then this guy came and shook me four hours later and he said that I was unconscious.

STEVE CANNANE: The Church of Scientology in the US refused to be interviewed for this story. Their lawyers sent Lateline a letter threatening legal action over a breach of a confidentiality agreement between the Church and Valeska Paris. Valeska Paris says she signed this agreement under duress.

In a statement, the Church of Scientology said, "She certainly wasn't 'forced' to be there. She was also never forced to perform labour in the engine room. The Freewinds is a wonderful place, as even Valeska said on numerous occasions. Her allegation that she could only leave the ship with an escort is totally false."

RAMANA DIENES-BROWNING, FORMER SCIENTOLOGIST: Their response is a lie. Their response is a cover-up.

STEVE CANNANE: Ramana Dienes-Browning is a former a senior executive on The Freewinds. She was responsible for monitoring staff behaviour and performance on the ship.

RAMANA DIENES-BROWNING: She made it very clear she did not want to be there. You know, she had been sent to the ship so as not to be in contact with one of her parents and that's not what she wanted. She was very, very distressed.

STEVE CANNANE: Ramana Dienes-Browning is now working on a photographic exhibition re-enacting her time in Scientology. She says she too was held against her will on The Freewinds and suffered abuse.

RAMANA DIENES-BROWNING: I have been dealing with that trauma, and as a result I've experienced depression and post-traumatic stress and had to go through a process of dealing with that and healing.

STEVE CANNANE: In a statement, the Church of Scientology said, "We have no facts that would support Ms Dienes-Browning's opposite opinion."

Ramana Dienes-Browning says after five years of trying, she was finally able to leave the Sea Org and The Freewinds.

Valeska Paris left The Freewinds when she was sent to the Rehabilitation Project Force in Sydney. Scientologists describe the RPF as a voluntary religious retreat. Defectors describe it as a punitive re-education camp.

It was here she met former St George rugby league captain Chris Guider. Soon after, they got married and left the Church.

Valeska Paris says she'd like to see the head of the Church of Scientology, the man who she says sent her to The Freewinds, put on trial.

VALESKA PARIS: It's not right for someone to be running the Church and basically take advantage of, you know, a church and hiding behind religion to live like a king and to abuse people around him. That man doesn't like anyone. He's a psychopath.

STEVE CANNANE: The Church of Scientology denies their leader David Miscavige sent Valeska Paris to The Freewinds. When asked if this allegation was put to Mr Miscavige, the Church of Scientology failed to respond.

Steve Cannane, Lateline.

ALI MOORE: And the full statement from the Church of Scientology will be posted on our website shortly.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The very strange story of Paulette Cooper.

In discussing how to handle people who questioned the actions of the Church of Scientology,  L. Ron Hubbard wrote, "always attack, never defend".  I don't know anyone who wouldn't question the actions and ethics of this so called "church" after reading the below.  As always, if you have any questions about Scientology, PLEASE CLICK HERE TO GO TO OUR FORUM.


Clearwater Testimony

In January 1976, following surreptitious purchases of real estate, Scientologists surfaced in Clearwater, Florida. They promptly slapped its Mayor, Gabe Cazares, with a million-dollar libel suit for questioning their civic virtues; by March, they had attempted to implicate him in a hit-and-run car accident.
After living for some years with Scientology's brand of citizenship, an alarmed Clearwater City Council convened a week of locally-televised hearings, May 5-10, 1982. Attorney Michael Flynn, who had represented Paulette Cooper and other plaintiffs in legal actions against the Church of Scientology, was hired as counsel.
Paulette Cooper was preceded by a roster of ex-Scientologists who detailed the abuse, misery, and crimes they had witnessed while members of the Church. Robert Dardano, once an agent of the Guardian's Office, testified that he had stolen Cooper's files from her psychiatrist's office in 1974.

City of Clearwater Commission Hearings
Regarding the Church of Scientology

Transcript Volume 4 (Saturday, 8 May 1982), pages 4-314 to 4-347
MR. FLYNN: Okay. We'll now go forward with Paulette Cooper.
I will have these other documents marked on how to commit burglaries, evaluations of which types of covert operations are successful and unsuccessful, as well as the drills that one goes through, such as Mr. Mayer, Mr. Dardano, Mrs. Peterson, Mr. Walters, and others have described as to how you're trained to do very specific things.

(A copy of Operation Freakout was marked as Exhibit No. 49, as of this date;
Documents on how to commit burglaries, evaluations of covert operations, and drills were marked as Exhibit Nos. 50, 51, and 52, as of this date.)
MR. [Charles] LeCHER [Mayor of Clearwater]: Would you like to call your next witness, now?
MR. [Michael] FLYNN [Outside counsel]: Miss Cooper, please.
MR. LeCHER: Miss Cooper, will you be sworn in, please?

PAULETTE COOPER, a witness herein, having first been duly sworn by a Clerk for the City of Clearwater, was examined and testified as follows: MR. LeCHER: Miss Cooper, are you appearing here today and testifying under oath voluntarily?
MR. LeCHER: Have you been paid by anyone for your testimony, other than the expenses for coming to the City of Clearwater?
MR. LeCHER: Do you have a lawsuit against the Church of Scientology?
MR. LeCHER: Does the Church of Scientology have a lawsuit against you?
MR. LeCHER: How many, eighteen?
MR. FLYNN: And for the record, the Commissioners may remember that one of the earlier exhibits on the purpose of a lawsuit, which was read, to harass and discourage and to destroy the person.
MR. LeCHER: Has anyone suggested to you that you should state anything but the truth or has anyone suggested that you change your testimony for any reason?
MR. LeCHER: How do you defend yourself against eighteen lawsuits?
MS. COOPER: I work day and night to support the lawyers.
MR. LeCHER: I don't know how you could simply afford it.
MS. COOPER: I figured out just recently that it's cost over fifty thousand dollars for legal fees on the suits.
MR. FLYNN: For the record, I haven't received any of that.
MR. LeCHER: Start at the beginning, please.
I'm a freelance writer; I live in Manhattan. I'm the author of several hundred articles, two of which are about Scientology; I'm also the author of six books, one of which is The Scandal of Scientology. I have been studying Scientology since 1968.
The last couple of years, the Scientologists --
MR. LeCHER: I don't think they can hear you, Miss Cooper, in the back of the room.
The last couple of years, the Scientologists have been telling the people of Clearwater that they've changed and they've advanced a lot in the last couple of years. I certainly haven't noticed it. As I said, the eighteenth lawsuit was just served on me last week.
I am being sued now repeatedly by individual Scientologists, who, in some cases, I don't even know, suits for supposedly distributing literature at functions I didn't even attend.
Part of the purpose in harassing people with lawsuits is to keep deposing them and preventing you from writing or making a living and making you show up at legal depositions. I've been deposed for nineteen days total since this started, with four more coming up in a couple of weeks.
There has also been some other harassment in the past six months or so: continued calls to me, calls to my family. The Scientologists find out what the person's buttons are, as they put it, and the way to get to them. And they know that a way to get me is to harass my parents. So, they have been under a great deal of harassment, as well as my harassment.
They've put out libelous publications about me; they've sent letters saying that I was soon to be imprisoned. And you saw the Operation Freakout and attempts that have been made to put me in prison. They've sent false reports about me to the Justice Department, the District Attorney's Office, the IRS. As you know, government agencies have to investigate any complaints that they get. So, then, Scientology sends out press releases that I am under investigation by the Attorney General's Office, I am under investigation by the DA, and so on.
They have put detectives on me; they have put spies on me. A few months ago, they put an attempted spy on my mother to try to get information about me from her and to fix me up with the woman's son, so they could get direct to me. They cancelled my plane to -- well, somebody cancelled my plane to Florida about a month ago, and that is the third time that happened to me this year while I was traveling.
I'd like to say that this was a very good year compared to the previous years. And I'd like to discuss a little bit what it was like to fight Scientology alone, starting in 1968, because I was the only one who was speaking out. This is a wonderful thing that there are people speaking out now. But when I started, absolutely nobody else did it. And I was the only person until -- from 1968 until 1973.
In 1973, Nan McLean joined, and the two of us spoke out publicly. And then in 1976, Gabe Cazares joined, and there were the three of us.
When I started in 1968, there was no support from the press, there were no rallies, there were no grand juries looking into Scientology, there were no lawyers like Mike, Mr. Flynn. There was no peer acceptance about what you were doing; there was just no understanding that anything was wrong. It was somewhat like a social group that people were joining and it had a veneer that everything was going along well, although, based on the testimony you've had here, you know, these dirty tricks were going on. But if I said that they were, people thought that I was the one that was making these things up about them.
I'd like to give a little background as to how I got interested in the subject. I never was a Scientologist. My basic interest is as a writer; I like investigative things. In addition, I have a Master's Degree in Psychology, and I studied Comparative Religion at Harvard for a summer.
A friend of mine, in 1968, joined Scientology and he ended up in a mental institution. I'm not saying that one caused the other, but it certainly piqued my curiosity. When he escaped, he came to visit me and he told me that he was Jesus Christ. I then had --
MR. [James] BERFIELD [City Commissioner]: He was who?
MS. COOPER: Jesus Christ. And he'd been a pretty normal person before then.
I then called our mutual friend who had gotten him in and said, "He thinks he's Christ." And my friend said, "Well, he really is." So, I thought, "Well, this bears some investigation."
I went in and took their weekend course. During the time, I wandered away from the group where they were teaching the particular, well, TRs, as they call them, and I came upon a list of people, who -- I don't remember for sure if it was a Fair Game Order, but I think it was, because these people were being declared enemies of mankind. And it was very odd terminology. I remember one woman's name was on there and it declared her enemy of mankind for pushing five men down a flight of stairs. And what -- how could she do that? It just didn't ring like true.
And I decided to contact some of these people when I came home. And I think I took about five names, the five top people, and every one of them had an unlisted number, disconnected phone. Well, this is 1968, and the people it was attracting were twenty-two, twenty-three years old. And just by chance, a whole group of people are not going to have five unlisted numbers unless there's a reason for people to unlist their number.
So, it began to bother me that, you know, was this so-called respectable Church perhaps harassing people? And in that one weekend, I had noted that they had lied about certain things, and I wondered about a church lying to people. And I decided to look in the library and see if I could get any information, any book. And I discovered that all the stories had been clipped out of every single magazine pertaining to Scientology, and I wondered whether this Church was, perhaps, possibly stealing things.
Well, I spent the next couple of years doing research into Scientology. And my first article came out in December of 1969. That's also the month that I received my first death threat. And then a number of mysterious events occurred, both then and during the time within the next year and a half until my book came out. I was followed on several occasions; we found a phone tap on my phone; I was being multiply sued already at that time. A number of -- oh, people kept calling me and trying to take me out, and it seemed like people were trying to get to me.
And this went on for four unpleasant years, including four lawsuits, one of which was for somebody else's book. And when that happened, I got really annoyed. And I became the first person to sue them for harassment, and this was actually shocking to them because Hubbard had written that an enemy of -- that no one would ever sue Scientology, that they had too much to hide and that the people were criminals whoever attacked the Church, and, therefore, we were going to just wither away and die.
So, they then decided -- as we know later and I'm going to discuss this later -- at that time that they were out to get me and they would have to silence me because, after my book came out, I began to receive very, very disturbing calls. And the type of things that you've been hearing for the last few days were the type of things that people would call and tell me what -- mysterious things happening to them, that -- all kinds of very unpleasant things. And that everybody had a sort of paranoid feeling and they were afraid to speak out; people were very afraid to speak out. And yet, when enough people who don't know each other tell you the same thing happening to them, you begin to realize that something is going on.
Well, about October of 1972, they started a big campaign to finally silence me or attempt to stop me. The -- that month I received the second of what was ultimately to be five anonymous, absolutely disgusting smear letters about me. This particular one called me a part-time prostitute, and you can imagine how upsetting it is to open up something like that and read it.
During this same period of time, there were a large number of attempts to get into my apartment, which was on the ground floor of the building that I lived in at the time; it was not well guarded, and I was quite concerned. I received a tremendous number of really disgusting calls, and I remember one day counting eleven calls.
Remember that I work as a freelance writer. That means that if I get upsetting calls and I'm unhappy, it's very hard to just pick up and to write what you were working on. A lot of abusive calls then and over the years, just the sort of -- you pick up the phone and somebody says, "Oh, what are you doing?" And they'd hang up and call back, so you have to take the phone off the hook. And if you're trying to reach somebody, they can't call you back.
Well, I finally decided that I was going to move to a higher-security apartment, even though I really could not afford to do so at the time. I moved on December 15th. On December -- the person who took over the apartment was my second cousin. We bore a physical resemblance, but -- basically, because we're about the same age and she was very petite and we both had short, brown hair at the time.
And a series of mysterious circumstances occurred. The important thing was that she opened up the door to someone who had flowers and rang my bell. And I was no longer living there, although, my name was still on the door. And so, Eddie Walters told you about R2-45, and you've heard the policy. When Joy opened the door to get these flowers, he unwrapped the gun -- he unwrapped the flowers and there was a gun in it. And he took the gun and he put it at Joy's temple and he cocked the gun, and we don't know whether it misfired, whether it was empty and it was a scare technique, what happened, but, somehow, the gun did not go off. And the -- he started choking her, and she was able to break away and she started to scream. And the person ran away.
And so, she called a detective and he said, "It's a very wild attack because there doesn't seem to be any motive for it." There was no attempted rape, there was no attempted robbery, and why should somebody just suddenly try to kill her.
The -- about a week or two later at my new apartment, I received a visit from the FBI. And they informed [me] that the public relations person for Scientology had claimed that she had received a couple of bomb threats and asked -- and had named me as somebody likely to send bomb threats. So, the -- I didn't take the whole thing very seriously, and the FBI asked me if I would mind being fingerprinted. And I said that I would not, and I was fingerprinted.
At the same time my cousin Joy's boyfriend had been very, very upset about what happened. And he said, "Boy, you better let your Scientology spies know that you have moved and where you are because I don't want anything to happen to her again." And I did.
And shortly thereafter, in my -- to my new building, half the tenants, which is approximately three hundred tenants in the building, received a very, very disgusting anonymous smear letter about me, trying to get me kicked out of the apartment, and saying that I had venereal disease, that I would sexually molest little children. The only thing that was true in the letter was my age, which was not something I wanted known anyway. And it was very, very embarrassing. As I was walking through the building -- and I've heard people talking about me in the elevator, and I was just sort of slinking along and I was really -- a month later my parents received an anonymous smear letter about me, accusing me of practicing sexual perversions with their clergyman. These were not very good months.
So -- and I was called for grand jury around this time. At least, I didn't think this was anything very serious and did not bother to retain a lawyer, had very little money because I had used all my money to move to this more expensive, higher-security apartment.
And when I got there, they told me that I was the target of an investigation into the bomb threats. And I went and had to hire a lawyer, and every lawyer wanted -- the least we could get was [a] five thousand-dollar retainer, which, in those years, was like paying ten thousand dollars, you know, today. And to suddenly have to pay this sum of money and find out that you're in serious trouble, and no one would -- the government would not tell my lawyers what the evidence was against me. They wouldn't show me the letters.
Anyway, finally, I went before the grand jury, and I tried to answer every question as truthfully as I could. I never took the Fifth Amendment. And they kept asking me again and again, "Did you ever see this letter? Did you ever touch it? Do you know who might have?" And I said, incidentally, "Yes," that I suspected they might have sent it to themselves because we had some unpleasant confrontations in the press.
And then they asked me to step outside the room. And when I came in, I knew I was in very serious trouble, and they asked me what my social security number was, whether I was on drugs, and did I realize what I had said so far. And again, they asked me the same series of questions.
And then they said, "Well, Miss Cooper, if you've never touched this letter before, could you tell us how your fingerprints got on it?" And I felt like a grand piano had just hit me on the head. I -- I fainted sitting up; the whole room just turned upside down and I didn't know what to do. And then, of course, the lawyers wanted more money.
And on May -- let's see, May 19th, 1973, I was indicted on the three counts of sending bomb threats through the mail; two counts were for two letters. One was for perjury for saying before the grand jury that I hadn't done it and that I thought this public relations person might have done it. On May 29th, ten days later, I was arrested and I was arraigned.
The next eight months were a terrible, terrible nightmare in my life that I still feel sometimes that I suffer from to this day. I had fifteen years in jail over my head and fifteen thousand dollars in fines. I was petrified about going to jail, more so, perhaps, because of my small frame and the fact that I heard that women's federal prisons were rough places.
I risked having my career totally destroyed because -- and I had been successful. And as a freelance writer, what editor is ever going to give an assignment to someone who's been indicted or convicted for sending bomb threats to someone they opposed?
I was very concerned about the indictment and the trial coming out in the newspapers. The public does not know the difference between indict and convict, and they think that if you're on trial for something, you must have done it or where there's smoke, there's fire. I was left with the terrible public humiliation that every person I ever knew in New York would read the details of the trial and these accusations.
I was most concerned about my parents, who had adopted me when I was six years old, and how humiliating it would be for them and their friends to have to explain and to go through a trial like this.
During this period of time, I went through a terrible, terrible depression and a number of my friends, which I can't blame them for, did not stick by me. I was depressing to be with. I had been seeing a man for five years and had intended to marry him, and he left as a result of my depression. I was released on my own recognizance, but I was not allowed to leave the state. And this made it difficult because I had friends in Connecticut and in New Jersey, and it was just all I could do to get away for a weekend. But it was so humiliating to have to go to the court and ask permission to go twenty miles away that I couldn't do it.
I went through a period of very, very acute anxiety. I would go to sleep -- I couldn't fall asleep till about four in the morning and I'd wake up about six with my stomach just in my throat and worrying about what the next day would bring and what was going to happen at the initial hearing. And this went on for eight months, and I was just totally exhausted, sleeping two to four hours a day. I couldn't drag myself around anymore.
All the money I had had gone to lawyers, and I went into debt to try to continue to pay for them. The -- in the end, just the main lawyers cost nineteen thousand dollars.
I was totally unable to write during this period. I was -- the depression was very, very bad and I couldn't concentrate. I attempted to write, but it was really very bad writing. And I stopped eating because I was filled with such nausea and exhaustion. I tried to force myself to have -- I took a sixteen-ounce glass of tomato juice each day and two eggs. About half the time, I would just eat it and then go to [the] bathroom and throw it up; I just couldn't hold food in my stomach.
Oh, a year earlier I had been operated on and a lot of the -- I was physically ill as well during this period. Mentally, I just totally fell apart about half way through. I developed, for the first time in my life, acute agoraphobia; I couldn't leave the house. I think that this really started with this attempted murder that I felt had been intended for me. But then, you have to remember, I didn't want to walk around my building because I was hearing people talking about the lady with VD.
And I had been very concerned when they were going to arrest me that they were going to arrest me in the lobby of my building and humiliate me among my neighbors further. So, this was the genesis of a sudden inability to go out.
And some of my friends were very, very good. They would come over and try to force me to get out and get my mind off what was going on. It worked for a while. Around September/October, it didn't work anymore. One friend came over, alarmed that I had not left the house for a week, and he said, "You've got to walk around the block." And I remember we stepped outside about two or three steps and I just started crying and I said, "Don't make me. I can't do it; I just can't do it." And then I went home and I stayed inside for about two more weeks.
And meanwhile, during this period of time, there was a friend, a new friend, who I met under somewhat mysterious circumstances, but he was very, very helpful. And I obtained an apartment for him in my building, and he did some of the food shopping that I could not get out and do. And his name was Jerry Levin.
And everybody -- the worst period of time was approximately two weeks before the trial. My lawyers informed me that, with a federal case, it was a ninety-five percent chance of conviction. They then gave me the good news that, for the trial, they wanted my parents to be seated in the front row and watch the entire proceedings. And I kept saying, "You can't do that to them. It's going to be awful enough for them to read it in the paper." And they said, "You don't understand, if your parents don't show up, the jury doesn't realize," you know, "that this is what you want. They're just going to" -- they felt that the one circumstance that might get me acquitted was the mutually close relationship with my parents.
On top of that, going through some Scientology material that I had obtained, there was the name of Jerry Levin. Now, I felt horribly betrayed, but at the same time I simply did not want to believe it. I was very naive, and his name was a very common name, especially, in a city like New York.
Meanwhile, we had tried every single move possible to get the trial stopped. And -- but I was in a very, very nervous state and it was impossible for me to be tested correctly. And we went to some doctors who said that they felt the only thing that might work would be if I would go into a state where I didn't know what was going on, meaning sodium pentothal or truth serum, because to do that, you have to be -- you're unconscious; it's like an operation.
So, the problem was we couldn't find a doctor who would give me a sodium pentothal test because, by this time, I weighed eighty-three pounds; I had started about ninety-eight. And it became very, very dangerous to go and put somebody under, as if for an operation, and do that. And I just said I didn't care if the operation -- not the operation, but if the sodium pentothal killed me because, if I had to stand trial for what I didn't do and humiliate everyone and go through this humiliation, that I would just as soon be dead anyway.
And we finally did find a doctor two weeks before trial who gave me a sodium pentothal test. I was unconscious for seven hours. I don't know what I said during that. I do know that, when I came to, my mother was standing there and I said, "What happened? What did I say?" And she just said, "It's okay. It's all over. There won't be a trial."
The government wanted to save face because they don't like to admit that they've made a mistake. So, they said that they wouldn't actually -- they would postpone the trial, but they would not actually drop the charges at that time. They also ordered me to see a psychiatrist which I thought was very humiliating.
The government did not drop the charges and, for two years after all this, I still had to worry on a daily basis whether one day there was going to be a trial and all of these things that I was afraid of, the prison and so on, was going to happen.
The next year was 1974, and there were a number of new lawsuits against me. Oh, continued harassments, including harassments of my family and their clergyman, new spies. By the summer, which was about seven months after the worst period of this whole thing, I remember that one of my friends said that that was the first time he had seen me smile in a year and a half.
And so, I decided, in fact, that I was going to try to get back this gentleman that I was interested in. And I threw a birthday party to have an excuse to invite him to something and I sent an invitation, and he then wrote me the most incredible letter back. And what I found out was that there was then a filthy anonymous smear letter about me, this one sent to him and his bosses, and he would never talk to me again; and he never has.
In 1975, the charges against me were finally dropped. But during this period, they started a new type of harassment. And then I began receiving things in the mail, such as copies of -- I had kept a diary from when I was seventeen to about twenty, and there was my diary suddenly coming back to me, copies of letters that I had sent out -- or my carbon copy of it -- and a psychiatrist's report that Mr. Dardano explained that he stole.
In 1976, the charges were -- no, excuse me. In late '75, the charges were finally dropped. At that point some very bizarre things happened that, it wasn't until later, I would learn were part of another attempt to put me in jail. But -- for example, people were -- somebody was calling a number of my close friends, imitating my voice to a degree that was good enough that some people stopped talking to me, others called and yelled at me: why should I have called and been so rude and so on. And I said, "I didn't call." And then I went to a writers' meeting and someone said, "Gee, how was Washington?" I said, "I haven't been to Washington in two years." They said, "You called from Washington." I didn't understand at the time why these things were being done.
Also, at a -- I was with a group of writers and someone showed me a joke, and I realized afterwards that it appeared to be an attempt to get my fingerprints again. And I became very, very upset because, after all, I had a, quote, record, end quote. And I was very concerned about the possibility of more bomb threats.
In -- there were many, many more things that were done to me over the years, but this is -- I'm trying to summarize a little bit.
In December of 1976, I became very, very tired of it all. By that time there were nine lawsuits against me. Right before I went to court, all the stuff was remailed to me that was mailed in the past, sort of a subtle blackmail: "This is what's going to happen if you don't settle." Scientology wanted me to settle quite badly.
Also, they convinced me at that time that they [had] changed and that they really were a very nice organization, and that, by my continued statements and stance against them and my book, I was preventing them from doing the good deeds that they wanted to do or that they were doing by bringing up the bad things all the time. And in December of '76, I agreed, in a sense, that -- it's easier to just say that I agreed, in a sense, not to bad mouth them and they agreed not to bad mouth me.
While they were telling me that they had changed, unbeknownst to me, there was a man named Michael Meisner -- and he had been a top GO operative -- and they were holding him under gag and handcuff. And this man knew that I had been criminally framed and he knew about a lot of things that had been going on.
In the summer of 1977, the FBI raided the three Scientology organizations. On October 12th, 1977, the FBI called me. Now, remember, this was a five-year period that I had never been able to prove my innocence; the government considered me a criminal; I had a, quote, record, end quote. And the FBI called out of the blue and said, "We have just received evidence that you were innocent of this -- those original charges." And I hung up the phone and cried and I, in fact, tried to reach that person that was no longer talking to me, but he had since remarried.
I worked with the FBI for the next couple of years. I did learn before -- in the investigation that was going on that the murder attempt on Joy was seemingly intended for me by Scientology. I learned that they had broken -- Scientology had broken into my New York lawyer's office and -- this was one of many lawyers to break into, but that was the first one. And I learned, which was, to me, the most important thing, that they had framed me in 1972.
And -- let me skip ahead a little bit to some of the stuff that -- there were more lawsuits.
Anyway, at the end of 1979, I finally saw the documents that had been seized. There were twenty-three thousand documents. And there were documents -- I'm sorry, twenty-three thousand that were available to the public. And there were two documents that finally made it very clear that I had been criminally framed, and it was very important to me that, at last, I was publicly able to proclaim my innocence and not worry about the -- what anybody would say, and that I no longer -- I always felt that I had to hide the fact that I had been arrested. And if I would meet someone and if they had any political ambitions, I wouldn't tell him why, but I would quickly stop seeing him for his sake. So, it was something that I was hiding, and it was affecting my live in various ways.
We found one document that, apparently, indicated that they were considering the use of the Mafia on me, but that they decided instead to criminally frame me, so that Scientology would not look bad. We found a document that -- we found a number of documents that proved that this fellow who had been helping me, I thought, during the period that I was, oh, having such a bad time -- he was calling a diary into Scientology as to what I was doing, how close I was to suicide, and, you know, cheering me on, like, you know: "She can't sleep again, that she's talking suicide. Wouldn't this be great for Scientology?" It's very strange from reading the diary of somebody that you think is a friend and is wishing you dead and working in your behalf towards that direction.
Incidentally, this particular fellow, whose name was Jerry Levin -- they changed his name to Don Alberto, and he became one of the biggest dirty tricks operatives down in Clearwater. He also was the person that was sent to Washington and planted the bug in the IRS.
We saw a document called Operation Freakout, which Mr. Flynn started to show you before. Remember, I mentioned these very bizarre phone calls, people posing as me? We think that they were trying to test my voice because, part of Operation Freakout -- Operation Freakout consisted of six different ways to try to get me jailed again, since the charges had been dropped. One of the ways was to call in bomb threats in a voice that would sound like mine; another was to write bomb threats very similar to the original ones but pasted on Writers' Digest stationery, so that they would come to the conclusion that -- so that the FBI would come to the conclusion that this must have been done by a writer.
Operation Freakout consisted of plans to have somebody pose as me -- find out what I was wearing, have someone dress like me, look like me, and they would crack up publicly and they would try to get me arrested for that person threatening to bomb various places.
The other document that I saw was that a number of these lawsuits against me were being maliciously created. For example, they were bringing my book, The Scandal of Scientology, into countries where it had not even been published and they were saying -- you know, so -- "brought the book in so we can sue."
The reason for those terrible calls that I had mentioned was that they had put my name up on walls throughout Manhattan and -- with my phone number, so that people would give me these calls.
Operation Owl was in there. I don't know if I mentioned that Operation Freakout originated in Clearwater, even though the basis of the attack was against a New York resident, namely, me.
Mr. Flynn showed you Operation Owl, which also originated in Clearwater.
Oh, a copy of my diary -- the one that had been mailed to me -- was found in a file marked "National Council of Churches." They had hidden a lot of their -- the stuff that they shouldn't have had. And there were also things that I didn't even know that they had gotten. For example, my mother once complained to me that she couldn't figure out why for the last few years my father kept being audited again and again, and nothing ever turned up; he's an excrutiatingly honest person. And there was an order to give an anonymous tip to the IRS that my father was evading taxes, and I don't know if that was the cause of it. But I'm saying that it was this type of thing.
I also learned from the documents that they were suing me for things that were true. For example, they repeatedly sued me for saying that Charles Manson was a Scientologist, and there were fifty to a hundred documents showing how they were trying to hide the fact that Charles Manson had studied Scientology.
There were surveillance reports. I think I had mentioned that I'd been followed at various times and was pretty sure of it. It's kind of spooky sitting there and reading, you know, "She turned up Aken Street, walked for five minutes there, stopped in the candy store."
And there were reports that my friends were being harassed. There was a notation to cause trouble with this gentleman that I mentioned. There were spies' reports and taped transcripts of telephone conversations that I had had with people.
The -- I think I spoke to 60 Minutes when I was down here in Clearwater last, and I said then that I had been saying that these types of things had been going on and people kept saying, "Well, what is she talking about? This is a church." And it was incredible vindication to look at these documents and see that everything I had said about Scientology since 1968 was true, and that they had turned out to be worse than anything I had said or even imagined.
Now, Scientology, at that time, had said that they had changed. And I know because Gabe -- Mayor Cazares mailed me the same things from the Clearwater Sun, and I read what they told you.
While they were saying that, they had learned where I was in Washington, D.C., at the Washington Hilton, and planted a bug by my bed there and, also, a bug on the telephone, during this period of time while they were making these statements in Clearwater about how they had changed.
And I do not believe that they have changed, and that -- this is one of the reasons, or the main reason, why I wanted to come here and warn you, because I have been studying this for many years. And I have heard them say that they have changed and, gee, they don't -- they may be issuing that kind of statement after this is over; "Well, you know, there were some things that were said, but, you know, we don't do that anymore" kind of thing.
And I've heard before -- even before I started researching Scientology -- they were saying this. For example, in 1965, there was something called the Australian Inquiry, a Commission to look into Scientology. Anyway, after studying Scientology, the Commission came to the conclusion that Scientology -- quote: "Scientology is evil, its techniques evil. Its practice is a serious threat medically, morally, and socially. Its adherence often establishes it with the mentally ill." And at that time Scientology issued a statement that, of course, they had changed.
[The actual quote in the Report reads:
"Scientology is evil; its techniques evil; its practice a serious threat to the community, medically, morally and socially; and its adherents sadly deluded and often mentally ill." -- "Report of the Board of Inquiry Into Scientology", Victoria, Australia (1965); p.1]
In 1968, I believe, with the Foster Report, when the English held an inquiry to look into Scientology, and Scientology issued a statement that Fair Game had been cancelled, that the Disconnect Policy had been cancelled, and that everything had changed.
In 1975, they had World Prayer Day, and the press all believed at that time that they had changed. In December of 1976, when I settled with them, I believed they had changed. In 1977, when the FBI raided them, they said that they had changed. In '79, when statements came out about what was in the documents, and in 1980, again, they were telling people that they had changed.
And my final point is that I believe that they haven't changed. I believe that their basic policy, ever since the policy was first written, has been the Fair Game Policy. The policy is to trick people; the policy is to sue people; the policy is to lie to people and to destroy them. And I certainly know from a personal standpoint.
And I've only briefly told you some of the things that they've done to me, so that you're not deceived by their true nature. I've been studying them for fourteen years and, unfortunately, I've been a victim of this cult for fourteen years. And I believe that Scientology has never changed, will never change, and will keep issuing statements to people saying that they've changed.
MR. LeCHER: Thank you for your --
MR. FLYNN: If I could just make one point of information for the Commission that I believe is significant: The most relevant portion of Miss Cooper's testimony is the fact that for years she suffered from harassment and framing, which was -- has been proved by some of the documents already in evidence, to which she's testified, and the documents that we put in evidence before this Commission.
The final area for this Commission to examine is that of deception on all of the items that I mentioned earlier: deception of confidential auditing information, Mr. Hubbard's background, the goals, policies, purposes, and practices of the organization to the thousands of people that are coming here to Clearwater and paying millions of dollars.
Miss Cooper's evidence vividly describes the policy of the Church to utilize the Fair Game Policy, of which most Church members who are paying millions of dollars do not know. And that policy has been described, from 1968, in her testimony right up to the present time.
And the Commission will be able to derive whatever inferences are appropriate from her testimony with regard to the practice and deception regarding the goals and purposes and operations of the Church of Scientology in this city.
MR. LeCHER: I'd like to say: Thank you for your story and thank you for the evidence that relates specifically to Clearwater.
I have at various times talked to members of the Church of Scientology who have told me that they've changed, too, as recently as Heber Jentzsch a few months ago, who said that they had changed.
And I thank you for telling us your story. I don't -- every story today seems to get more incredible as the people come on.
And I don't know how you could survive what you have survived, and I think that you must be one hell of a woman.
I -- I really have no questions. I don't know how you even -- you can trust anybody anymore: a man that you might meet that he is one of them and trying to get you again. That must prey on your mind. And what with -- even with just day-to-day contact with business associates and females and family members.
So, I don't want to put you through any more of your story. You've relived it, an aberration for these many years.
And I will then refer to my colleagues, and I hope that they will also be sensitive to that fact and also be brief.
Who do I start with?
MR. [James] BERFIELD [City Commissioner]: I have -- I have just one question, and it's not so related to what happened to you there. But you said you've spent fifteen years in studying Scientology?
MS. COOPER: Well, I started researching in 1968; it's fourteen years.
MR. BERFIELD: In this study --
MR. BERFIELD: -- without any reference to religion --
MS. COOPER: Mm-mm.
MR. BERFIELD: -- and going back, have you found out where they picked up these deceptive ideas from or whose -- were they L. Ron Hubbard's or did he get them from somebody else or what?
MS. COOPER: Well, when I researched the book, I went through a tremendous number of early policy letters by Hubbard, things that he wrote about in the early 1950's, even when it was Dianetics. And the fraud was just started way back; Hubbard excelled in it. He was constantly lying to his people. You find that, you know, that one thing just totally negated another. And I think the deception and the lies all stem from Mr. Hubbard.
MR. BERFIELD: Thank you.
MR. LeCHER [Mayor]: Okay.
Does anyone have any questions?
Thank you very much.

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

You need to watch this video.

Please watch the video. I shows a little about what we are fighting for. And please remember to drop by the Forum (GO HERE) to see what we are all about.

Since January 2008, the internet collective Anonymous has been actively engaged in exposing and destroying the global criminal cult of Scientology. The Project Chanology element of Anonymous, in collaboration with other "old guard" critics and former members, continues to expose the abuses of this cult, enabling more and more victims to speak out.

Scientology's main source of funding comes in the form of "donations" for "religious" courses. The cost for these courses can exceed hundreds of thousands of dollars. These courses, unlike those of any other religion in the United States, are tax deductible due to a secret settlement agreement reached in 1993 between the IRS and Scientology.

Please contact your Congressman and ask why Scientology is America's official religion.

This special treatment by the IRS literally provides the money that allows Scientology to continue its abuse of human rights, exploitation of child labor, suppression of free speech and worldwide human trafficking.

Monday, November 21, 2011

Knowledge Report: Lori Hodgson on Disconnection

There is no doubt that the practice of disconnection is still in effect.  If you want to find out more about Scientology, and the practice of disconnection, GO HERE!  Watch this video to see the effects of disconnection on this one person, and read her entire story after the video.

by Lori Hodgson

February 6, 2011 is a day that I will never forget, a day that haunts me
daily as I struggle with the insurmountable anguish and heartbreak of
being "disconnected" from my children at the hands of the Church Of
Scientology. My children, the very essence of my being were forced to
choose between remaining in contact with me after my resignation from
Scientology or their eternity and good standing in the church. I could
have never imagined that the belief system I once valued would actively
recruit my minor children to work on staff and induct my son into the Sea
Organization (a dedicated group within Scientology in which one signs a
one billion year contract to serve Scientology for this lifetime and
future lifetimes as well) against my wishes, restrict my contact with
them and force my son to sign a three million dollar gag contract,
silencing him from speaking out about his time within the Sea
Organization before he could effectively route out of the Sea
Organization. Unfortunately, this is my reality.

If I had known in 1976 when I joined Scientology at the age of thirteen
as Lori Moore, that if I chose to leave one day, I would lose my
children, my family and friends that remained in Scientology, I would
never have participated in such a cruel organization.

When I first joined, I liked Scientology. I felt it enhanced my
communication skills and improved my life. After two years, at age
fifteen, I signed a five year contract with the Church of Scientology
Stevens Creek Mission as an employee on a part time basis. At the age of
sixteen, I was actively recruited to join the SO myself. I had a sick
feeling at the pit of my stomach, something didn't feel right and my
instincts told me to say no.

In 1982, my fourth year on staff, I witnessed many odd things. I was
being instructed to help the full time staff wash their cars and donate
money to them, it seemed so crazy and I wanted to get out of there. I
stayed one more year finishing my contract with the church and went to
college for six years. I struggled in college due to the fact that I did
not receive a full high school education but I persisted and received my

While being away at college kept me away from actively participating in
Scientology courses, in 1987 I returned as a public parishioner, positive
that I did not want to be on staff.
In the years that followed, I
married a fellow Scientologist, becoming Lori Leake and we had two
children, Jessica and Jeremy. Bearing children while in the Sea
Organization is forbidden, however during my pregnancy with Jessica, I
was approached once again to joining the SO. I told the recruiter that
my then husband, Jim Leake, was not qualified for the SO and the
recruiter said that joining the SO was for the greatest good and not to
worry about my husband. I looked at her with disgust and thought to
myself, you can take your greatest good crap and shove it!!

In 1995, my children were two and four and a half years old, I became the
preschool director of a Scientology school. I remember an instance where
I saw the owner of the school crying. I approached her and asked," Why
are you crying?"

I'll never forget her response, "My daughter is joining the Sea
Organization and there is nothing I can do to stop it!"

I thought to myself, "Wow! That is strange, why would she be unable to
stop her fifteen year old daughter from signing a billion year contract
with the Sea Org!"

I went home that day and shared the incident with my then husband,
Jessica and Jeremy's father. I told him that I would never approve of or
allow our children to join the Sea Org. I thought it was nuts and had
heard horror stories of parents never seeing their children again.

Our opinions on this matter differed. His step son from his first
marriage, Chris Leake, had joined the Sea Org at the age of twelve or
thirteen and went "Over the Rainbow". This meant that he had gone to a
place within Scientology with an extremely high level of security (a
secret place) and his mother was not even aware of his location. I
couldn't imagine how his mother felt. Incidentally, Chris ended up
marrying LRH's granddaughter, Rhoanne.

We divorced in 2002, shortly thereafter; I removed my children from the
Scientology school and placed them in public school. As a single mother,
I could no longer afford the steep prices of the private Scientology
school. After growing up in a Scientology school, Jessica and Jeremy had
to transition to the different setting but adjusted rather well after a
few months.

In 2005, my parental rights began to be violated. Jessica was fifteen and
in her second semester of her sophomore year of high school. She was
excelling in school, receiving all A's and B's, had many friends and was
looking forward to college. However, after reviewing a staff recruiting
film and speaking with recruiters at the Los Gatos Organization of the
Church of Scientology without my knowledge or permission, she came home
repeating the alarming information that the film had suggested.
Essentially, it was a film demonizing psychiatry and implied that public
schools had a larger influence of psychiatric and street drugs, cheap
propaganda that public schools and the environment it provided was an
unsafe place for her. After reviewing this film, she expressed that she
wanted to drop out of school and obtain her GED in addition to joining
staff at the Church Of Scientology. My fifteen year old daughter, a
MINOR was being recruited to join staff! To put her education aside and
work for the "church". I was shocked by her sudden change of behavior, I
told her absolutely not! I told her that once she turned eighteen she
could make that decision but I preferred she go to college first.

The next nine months were a living hell. I was adamantly against Jessica
joining staff, a feeling that was relayed to the church. While attending
counseling within the church myself, I was pulled from what I was working
on and put into "interrogation" counseling. The Church demanded to know
"who" did not agree with Jessica joining staff, even after I told them
repeatedly that I was the only one who did not want her to join staff. In
Scientology they believe strongly that there is a Suppressive Person
behind this. When the "church" couldn't find their "who" they put me in
extensive Chaplain meetings with the Chaplain, my daughter, her father
and myself. This went on for a couple more months. After all the
pressure I had from Scientology and her father, I finally gave in. We
agreed that Jessica would go to a Scientology school and get her high-
school diploma before joining staff. Surprisingly, Jessica got her non-
accredited diploma when she was sixteen.
I was still trying to persuade
her to not join staff, but she did so against my wishes. She signed a
five year contract and was told if she breaks her contract she will have
a debt (called a free loader debt, for staff training and other
"services" received while on staff). Scientology told Jessica that she
would have to pay off her debt before she was allowed to do any more
Scientology services. I reminded Jessica that this would be her debt if
she left. She said "I'm not going to leave."

It was during this time I married a wonderful man on March 4, 2006.
He is the love of my life, I was now Lori Hodgson. I met him outside of
Scientology. He was not a Scientologist, but took a couple classes.
After observing what I was going through with the Church and my children,
he made the decision to no longer affiliate himself with Scientology.

After Jessica was on staff for a couple months, she was sent to Florida
for training. She was there three months, battling homesickness before
deciding it was not for her and came home. She then worked back at the
Los Gatos Organization for a couple more months, but came to the
determination that she didn't want to be on staff anymore. She had to
have special "interrogating" counseling and do specific "conditions"
before she left. When she left staff she had a $13,000 debt, mainly from
the counseling she was ordered to get because she wanted to leave. It
was completely asinine. On top of her $13,000 debt (at sixteen years
old) she had to do amends. This meant working 100 plus hours to get back
in "good standing" with the "Church". A couple weeks went by and the Los
Gatos Org told Jessica that they have a "Minor Rates Special". This was
that if Jessica could pay off her debt in full in 3 days, they would
knock her debt down to $6,000. It was rumored that fellow Scientologist
were helping Jessica find someone to loan her the money. My mom ended up
loaning Jessica the money; meanwhile, the Scientologist that assisted her
most likely received a commission on Jessica's debt.

In 2007, Jessica was seventeen, working at a preschool and taking junior
college classes in the evening. Jeremy was fourteen and beginning his
freshman year in public high school and actively trying out for the
football team. After a month in school he told me that he didn't like
public school anymore and wanted to attend the Scientology school his
sister attended. This conversation was eerily similar to the one I had
with Jessica not long ago. I was beginning to suspect an entirely new
nightmare was about to begin.

In November 2008, I went to the hospital for a knee replacement surgery.
It was an extremely complicated surgery entailing four long days in the
hospital. One week later on a Friday night, while I was in recovery, my
son Jeremy, at fifteen years old, attended a Sea Org recruiting event
behind my back. That following Sunday, he came over to visit me and
tells me he wants to join the Sea Org. That didn't go over very well.
At this time, I was in excruciating pain from my surgery and on high
levels of pain medication, I was not functioning properly. Jeremy told
me that joining the Sea Org was his sole purpose in his life and he is
aware that it is a billion year contract. Scientologists believe one
lives many life times, coming back with a new body and continuing their
contract to the organization and the Church. I always thought that was
totally crazy! Jeremy said that he needed to leave in a couple days. I
was hysterical, distraught and felt that I was truly at the verge of
losing it.

The pain and high dosages of Percocet (a strong pain pill)
didn't help my state. I told him absolutely NOT! My daughter heard us
and came to see what was wrong. She saw how upset I was and told me
there was nothing she could do. That she was already in an upsetting
situation with Scientology and she couldn't get in the middle. I told
Jeremy in no uncertain terms that he was not to join the Sea Org. He was
a MINOR, a fifteen year old boy without the life experience to make such
a profound decision.

Later that evening, Jeremy came back and continued to ask permission to
join. Every part of me ached, reeled and screamed from the mental and
physical pain. Seeing me in such distress, my husband tried to diffuse
the situation by asking Jeremy to leave and respect my decision as his
mother. Upon Jeremy's refusal, my husband contacted Pat Wehner who was
the ethics officer and Mission holder where I took services. Pat told us
there was nothing he could do, I had heard that before. In the following
days, I was harassed by recruiters trying to persuade me to allow my son
to join the Sea Org. Once again, I contacted Pat in order to help me
write up reports to Mark Warlick, the man in charge of Internal
Scientology Legal Affairs. My reports stated that as Jeremy Leake’s
mother, I was not allowing him to join the Sea Org and I wanted all
recruiting to stop until he was eighteen. The church had their agenda,
they wanted my son.

Because of all the stress, I was not healing properly physically. While
at home, recruiters arrived and stood outside my living room window
insisting that they talk to me. I told them to leave, I couldn't talk and
I had to leave for physical therapy. The interaction really startled me,
I couldn't stop shaking. My father arrived to take me to physical therapy
just as the recruiters left, barely missing each other. After physical
therapy, my dad brought me home and put me to bed and left. Within
minutes, the recruiters were back, pounding on my door for at least
fifteen minutes. I was frantic and frightened, I tried to call my mom but
she was unavailable so I left a message, the recruiters pounding on my
door was recorded. I then called Pat Wehner and he verbally tried to calm
me down. Although he lived right down the street, he did not come over to
assist me.

Seeing that the harassment and constant recruiting was harming my
recovery, my life- long friend Mari met with the two main recruiters,
Gerald and Alexis, at a Starbucks. Mari took time out of her busy day to
get them to understand my physical condition and state of mind. She got
my drug list and details of my surgery which included the information of
my leg basically as the equivalent of being amputated and put back
together. The recruiters told her that they heard I was watching TV and
that if I was able to watch TV then I was able to handle a recruiting
cycle of my son.

After the Mission Holder, Pat Wehner, failed to assist my mother and I in
our pleas to stop this insanity, my mother called Mari and met up with
her to seek guidance in the situation. Mari is a smart person; she
figured out how to best protect me in my condition and helped me secure a
doctor’s note which she then promptly delivered to Mark Warlick, the
legal officer for the Los Gatos org. Later, after the note had been
delivered Mari went to meet with the recruiters who have been pounding on
my door. She wanted to tell them that she orchestrated the contact with
my doctor and obtaining the note, to have this situation corrected once
and for all. Before she was able to tell them what had occurred, she was
told that whoever got the physicians note is a suppressive person! The
recruiting did not cease or even slow down. In fact, they went to my
parents home twice late at night with Jeremy to get my mom to "handle" me
and get me to allow Jeremy to join the Sea Org. They also showed up at my
mother’s place of employment with my son to talk to her again

My health was not improving, in fact it was deteriorating and I was
rushed back to the emergency room where I remained for ten hours. I had
an ovarian cyst rupture and was diagnosed with pneumonia in addition to
my knee which was not healing from replacement surgery. A rupture of an
ovarian cyst if not treated immediately can lead to death. I was
admitted for three days. During this time, the recruiting did ease
slightly and Jeremy and I were growing even closer. He told me he had
changed his mind and no longer wanted to joining the Sea Org. Hearing
those words filled me with such an immense amount of hope and joy!

That joy was short lived. Unbeknownst to me, recruiting was continuing
behind my back despite the many reports I had written to Mark Warlick
insisting the recruiting stop. Jeremy came back to tell me he did want to
join the Sea Org and they promised him that he would continue his
schooling, obtain his driver’s license and his orthodontic treatment
would progress as scheduled. They promised him his own computer and
trips to play golf as well as enticing him with the attractive girls
there, knowing how badly Jeremy wanted a girlfriend.

They also promised me that I could talk to him anytime I wanted to and he
would be able to come home for his birthday and most major holidays. I
fought the constant begging and the coercion by the COS and I felt
hopeless. I felt as if the only way to keep my son, to keep in contact
with him was to allow him to join. If I refused, he would surely
disconnect from me.

The recruiting within the organization is crude and filled with false
promises and lies, these kids do not know what they are getting into.
They are signing billion year contracts without having lived to

On May 4th, Jeremy left for the Sea Org after signing a one billion year
contract for the Church Of Scientology. I signed a power of attorney and
guardianship to Bob Wright. Bob Wright is Jeremy's uncle and worked very
closely under David Miscavige, the leader of the Church. Because Bob is
Jeremy's uncle, I believed he would look after Jeremy's best interest and
well being while in the Sea Org. What I didn't understand fully at the
time is that legally Bob was Jeremy's guardian but many of the decisions
made were made by the COS, not Bob.

The next two weeks, I was preparing for my second knee surgery to replace
my initial knee replacement that had complications. During this time,
Jessica went down to LA with her fiance. She and her fiance were heavily
recruited while she was there to join the Sea Org. Her fiance wanted to
join, but she didn't. The recruiters coerced her by screaming at her to
join, they eventually wore her down and she did join under extreme
pressure and they told her it was her only choice.

While in the hospital, on my second day after surgery, Jessica visits and
says good-bye to me and joins the Sea Org. She also mentioned that she
and Justin (her fiance) were going to get married in a couple days so
they can be together in the SO. I was extremely distraught about not
being there for my only daughter’s wedding and losing her to the SO, but
she was eighteen and as an adult, had the power to make that decision
herself no matter how against it I was. She also signed a billion year
contract like her brother. Now I had lost both of my kids to this
corrupt and cruel, kid stealing organization and the wedding is being
planned while I'm in the hospital! I couldn't wrap my mind around a
"religion" being so cruel and heartless. I was so upset that the next
day I went into shock and luckily my Dad was there, he went to get help,
he didn't think I was going to make it. He ran down the hallway yelling
for help! The medical response team came and pulled me out of the shock.
I felt like I almost died but I got a second chance. I ended up having
to get a full blood transfusion. Since I made it, I was going to make
some changes in my life. Little did I know what was on the horizon for

On my fifth day post op, I was released to my house that used to have the
presence of my two children. I was incredibly grateful that at least I
had my wonderful husband and my loyal dog to greet me and my
compassionate stepson Peter. I had a very difficult recovery, mainly
from the loss of my children being gone and missing them so much! I
remember many heartbreaking nights missing my kids and trying to cope
with all the pain, my stepson Peter would bring me ice packs and just be
there for me.

At this time, my daughter and son were both in the SO, I tried calling
for two weeks, but the SO would not allow me to speak with them. Jeremy
was almost turning sixteen and Jessica was eighteen. Jeremy's sixteenth
birthday was coming up and the SO promised me that my son could come home
for his birthday. Birthdays are very big in my family and we were all
going to have a lovely sixteenth birthday party for my son with his
family who loves him.

I finally got through after three weeks of crying because I couldn't
reach my son on top of recovering from my knee with extensive physical
therapy. Jeremy told me he could not come home for his birthday that he
was not done with his EPF (boot camp type training) and the SO would not
approve for him to come home. Jeremy seemed really upset when he
called but was holding back. I knew how important coming home for his
big day was. The SO monitored his calls and he was not allowed to show
any negative emotions, but only positive emotions when in the SO. I was
extremely upset and so was all my family.

A month passed and Jessica called announcing to me, "I'm coming home!"
She was not allowed to tell me until she had gained authorization from
the SO to do so, another fact I was unaware of at the time. At dinner a
couple months later, Jessica told me what really happened. When Jessica
was packing to go to the SO a day before she left, the SO said there is a
problem with her fiance going with her to FLAG. She and Justin had
planned to marry once they had both arrived in Florida so that they could
remain together while in the SO.

Justin had an Ethics situation and was not approved to go with her, but needed
to go to the Mexico SO to get this handled before he could join her.
Jessica was DEVASTATED about this as she was joining the SO mainly for him,
so they could be together.

The SO promised her that her fiancé would be able to join her soon. After
only two days, she could clearly see that her fiancé wasn't coming soon;
she wanted to leave the SO and come home. They were able to talk and he
decided to leave and go back home too. The SO tried to "handle" Jessica
to stay and kept her there for one month against her will and made her
perform menial tasks like wash dishes. She told the people in charge
that she reported to daily that she wanted to come home. Jessica is very
feisty and was determined to get out of there, after one month of
persistence, she was home. I was so happy and relieved to have her back
with me. She told me that the SO in charge yelled at her and would not
let her go home until she did her official route out. Then she said, "Oh
mom please doesn’t tell anyone I said this I could get in big trouble!!!"
I was beyond furious! That they treated her this way and lied to her
about her fiance joining her, this was all so surreal and shocking to me.

At the seven month mark, I still struggled to recover from my surgery but
the emotional trauma from missing my son was not helping I was still on
pain pills when needed and Advil. In the time that Jeremy was in the SO,
I was only able to speak to him five times. My husband would see me
crying because they would not let me talk to him and he was infuriated
and ready to fly me to Florida to get Jeremy even though my immense knee
pain rendered me unable to do so. During the minimal times we did talk,
I could tell something was wrong and Jeremy told me a couple times that
he was in school and doing well. On the contrary, Jeremy had sufficient
schooling only a handful of times, a total disregard for the “Power Of
Attorney for Care Of Minor Child” that clearly stated he would attend
regular schooling. I didn't believe he was doing well at all, I guess
it's a mothers intuition!! The Sea Org had promised me that Jeremy would
continue his orthodontic treatment that he had been in the process of for
the past three years and now he was ready for his final stage of
treatment, braces. He never got any orthodontic treatment, another
broken promise and the "Power Of Attorney for Medical Care Of Minor”
violated. Jeremy had his drivers permit and needed to continue his hours
of driving, another promise the church had ensured me, yet he never had
an opportunity to practice while he was there.

Jeremy was in the CMO (Commanders Messenger Organization, a very high
ranking section in the SO) and for three months was in the regular EPF
(boot-camp training) then went to the CMO EPF. In the seven month time
period that he was a member of the Sea Org, he had only a few days off
and was paid just $30.00 a week. I got a call from Jeremy that he wanted
to come home and that he was going to leave the SO. I was so excited, I
was beside myself. Jeremy said it would be a couple of days. The very
thought of having him home for Thanksgiving was overwhelmingly thrilling.
A couple days later and he says, "I'm still going through the procedure
of routing out and I won't be there for Thanksgiving." I was extremely
upset! I called Jeremy on Thanksgiving three times, very angered because
I couldn't get through.

When I did finally get through, I asked if he
was having Thanksgiving dinner to which he replied, "No mom, I am not
allowed to be on the SO base and around the SO members." He was off the
base in isolation and under guard. He had to stay away from the members
in "good standing".

I was really pissed now and so was the family!!!
The following week, I called three to four times a day attempting to get
my son home; Jeremy was isolated and kept under guard for seven to ten
days. Jeremy was only sixteen, held against his will and in isolation for
seven to ten days, to a teenager, that must seem like forever. My
multiple daily calls went unanswered while he sat in isolation wanting
nothing more than to come home. Fortunately, he was finally able to come

In leaving the Sea Organization, Jeremy was issued a "free loader" debt
of $950.00. Until this debt was paid, he could not take any courses or
services with the church. He got a job at a motorcycle shop and made
payments with the church over a six month time frame to pay what they
claimed he owed them in order to remain in good standing with the church.
At seventeen, a minor legally unable to sign or adhere to a contract, he
paid the debt in full.

I was ecstatic!!
I got to the airport early and sat by the gate with
anticipation of seeing my son that I haven't seen in seven months. As he
approached, I was flowing with excitement to see him, we hugged and I
cried. Then we went to our favorite place for dinner, Chili's. I asked
Jeremy about his seven months in the SO. He told me "I don't want to
talk about it and what is important is that I am home now."
I kept trying to find out what he did there, but he adamantly made it clear he
did not want to discuss it. I thought this was very strange. Jeremy and
I usually talk about everything, so this was ODD to me.

I was full of JOY to finally have both of my kids back home. Slowly,
Jeremy opened up to me and said, "Mom, I know you had a really hard time
crying and missing me, but I want you to know it was even harder for me,
I cried many nights to come home and I couldn't tell you because the SO
said I shouldn't tell you while you're recovering from your knee
replacement”. He said that being there was really hard on him and that
he missed me a lot and was very homesick. I was furious that the church
kept this from me.

I got Jeremy back in school and found that he was very behind because he
had no schooling when he was in the SO. Per the law, he was required to
be in school and he only went approximately three days in the seven
months he was in the SO. Another violation that the SO committed. A few
months later, Jeremy mentioned that his toe was hurting. I asked him
about it and he said, "I had an ingrown toenail and had a toe procedure
done in the Sea Org by a doctor and it was very painful." I told Jeremy
that I should have been told about this being his mom. He seemed upset
about this procedure, but he was quite reluctant to divulge any
information regarding this procedure. His toe continued to hurt and when
I asked Jeremy if he wanted to go to the doctor he said "NO!!!” This put
up another red flag for me as a mom; I had an uneasy feeling about this
"toe procedure".

Six months later, we went to Clear Lake for my Moms 4th July Birthday
week. Jeremy was talking to his Grandma, my mom. My mom was asking him
about his stay in the SO. Jeremy slipped and said," Oh Nonie, I am not
allowed to talk about that I signed a 3 MILLION DOLLAR CONTRACT TO NEVER
ETERNITY!" Additionally, he added that if he were to break this contract,
he would no longer be able to take any Scientology courses. My mom said,"
WHAT!!!!" That is not legal or binding you were only sixteen years old.
She asked if he received a copy and he said no. My mom told me this and
we both thought...HUGE RED FLAG THIS IS INSANE!!!!

I couldn't fathom any reason why a "church" would order anyone to sign a
contract blackmailing them into silence. What could have taken place that
was so damning and horrible that they required a gag contract?

Effective August 30, 2010, my mother and I resigned from the Church of
Scientology. Neither of us could deny that we were obviously a part of a
corrupt and manipulating organization and we no longer wanted any part of
it. The day we resigned, my mom and I met my kids at our office to
explain to them that we resigned and why. Jessica got very upset, she
voiced her concerns that her grandmother and I would be declared
suppressive (a bad person) and if she kept in contact with us then she
would be declared as well. Jeremy was more receptive and agreed with a
lot of things we were saying. We told them to take a couple days to
think about what we said.

The next weekend was Labor Day and I was told by a friend that their
father said to Jessica and Jeremy this, “If you don't disconnect from
your Mom then I will disconnect from you because no one is going to take
my eternity away from me!” We were all up at the lake for Labor Day, a
big family weekend and my daughter was very upset with me for resigning,
my son was a little more understanding.

After my mom and I resigned, Pat Wehner and Maryjoe Hyland came over to
me and my mom’s work to talk to my mom and try to handle her and convince
her not to resign. Pat told my mom, "This will be a shock wave across
the planet!" My mom said clearly, “Lori and I are done." They both
looked sick about this and left. In the following weeks Mary Joe
attempted to try to handle my mom and coerce her to not resign from the
COS and to not get a repayment of my mom’s money on account. She tried
to show her COS policies and tell her the consequences of her leaving and
getting her money back that was owed to her. My Mom and I have a lot of
integrity and stayed firm on our decision to leave the COS.

My Children were very upset with me and they would not listen to why I
wanted to leave. I was extremely upset about possibly losing my children
and what I had gone through the past five years with my kids. I was not
doing well; I struggled trying to sort out my feelings in addition to
figure out for myself if I could salvage what I did find helpful about
Scientology initially. I found Marty Rathbun, a former high ranking
member of the COS who counsels other ex members to help them with their
betrayals from the COS and if they choose to continue their counseling.
I visited him in December 2010. He was in Texas and I had not told
anyone of my whereabouts or what I was doing. The COS strongly opposes
anyone of their members or ex- members to practice Scientology outside
The Church; they refer to it as "squirreling".

After arriving home the following day from my visit with Marty in Texas,
I was harassed and threatened by John Allender, an undercover operative
for the Church of Scientology. He approached me in the parking lot at my
office in an aggressive manner and asked, “Do you enjoy beatings?"
Apparently, he was aware of my whereabouts, this became obvious when he
said, "You've been doing some squirreling over the weekend." I
immediately reported this incident to the authorities. It became rather
clear to me that I was being followed.

I decided to share my short story on Marty Rathbuns blog, “Moving on up a
Little Higher," and I went public about John Allender's threats towards
me. My children Jeremy and Jessica were coerced and manipulated by the
COS and their father to disconnect from me because I had left the
"church", "squirreled" and went public about John Allender's threat to
me. At this time, I spoke to Pat Wehner to request a refund on the
$11,000 that I had on account with the "church" for future services. My
daughter met with my mother and me and told us that if I got my money
back, I would become an enemy to her and to the "church". I was also told
that Pat had already spent my money and would have to pay it back out of
his own pocket and that I shouldn't have gone public about the threats
made against me by John Allender. I told her that I wanted my money back,
I would not be returning for any services and I had every intention of
going public with details about the injustices that the COS has inflicted
upon me, my family and my children!

My children told me that unless I got back in good standing with the COS
and take their steps to rectify the situation, they could not be around
me. This is the “church’s" disconnection policy, HANDLE OR DISCONNECT!
Since my mom and I could not be "HANDLED", my children were manipulated
to disconnect from us as of Feb 6, 2011. My mom and I have not seen
Jessica or Jeremy since Feb 6, 2011 and they both live near us.

My father, stepmother and brother tried to talk to my children on Easter
to get them to look at what the COS was doing to "fair game" me.
game is a cruel strategy the COS enacts on those who are blowing the
whistle on the "church's" abuses! My kids refused to look at anything
critical of their Church. There is a video showing Scientology's
harassment towards me. (link Squirrel Busters Video)

My children are no longer allowed to be around any member of the family
that is critical of Scientology or any member that has tried to get my
children to see how insane this "church" is and that disconnecting from
family and those who love you most is immoral and wrong! My parents are
in their seventies and cannot be a part of their grand children's lives
because of this disconnection policy. My sister is nine months pregnant
and Jeremy and Jessica cannot be there to revel in the joy of seeing
their new baby cousin and being a part of his life!

I was so upset that I felt I needed to go back to Texas to get help from
Marty. I was mentally unable to handle the pain from the disconnection
and the abuses I received from the "church". In April 2011, I went to
Marty's. On my first day in counseling, John Allender, the man who just
had threatened me in December and Mark Warlick (the man that I asked for
help to stop the recruiting of my son) from San Jose followed me across
state lines to Texas to try to stop me from meeting with Marty. They
showed up with two other men in heinous light blue t-shirts with Marty’s
picture on the front saying, “Squirrel" and cameras taped to their heads
with a camera man. They slammed on Marty's door while I was downstairs
having a lunch break. The slamming on the door was similar to how the
recruiters slammed on my door when they were recruiting my son.
I saw it was John Allender and was terrified, Marty told me to lock my door and
stay inside. Marty called the Sheriff and we reported the harassment and
the stalking me across state lines (all the way from San Jose, CA).
I also reported this to the authorities that I am currently working with.
This incident left me clearly shaken and even more determined to stop
these abuses from occurring. Three days later, a Squirrel Busters van
with the logo on the side drove down the street near Marty's house and we
saw them and they drove away. Then one morning I saw a man watching me
from across the Canal.

Upon arriving home, I found sexual liable about me on the internet. It
was a "blog" written by a person calling themselves Minerva, pretending
to be Marty Rathbun and even uses his name for the website when it isn't
him. In addition to Minerva's slander, a commenter on the blog uses my
name to continue to perpetuate the lies. This "Dear Diary" article has
very personal things probably taken from my confidential counseling
folders and put on the internet for the world to see. It is cruel and
sick and another fair game tactic Scientology uses on ex-members for
leaving and speaking up.

On May 27, 2011 I found a package in my mailbox with no return address
which implies that someone physically placed it in my mailbox. Inside
contained a letter that read, "It has come to our attention that Marty
Rathbun is auditing PCs who are smoking dope. Perhaps you are not fully
aware of the effects drugs can have on an individual. Therefore, I am
sending you this Truth about Drugs booklets, which are very educational
on the dangerous effects of drugs. Minerva".
Included were the
pamphlets that were mentioned.

My mother and I have continued and will always continue to reach out to
Jessica and Jeremy until we are reunited once again.

On February 1, 2011 I received this text message from my daughter:

"OK. Honestly, I don't feel comfortable going to you and CR's (my
husband) birthday dinner and sitting there acting like nothing is wrong
when I am very enturbulated (upset) about what is happening. I do wish
you and CR a very happy birthday, but I'm not going to come on Saturday.
I will be there for Papa's on Sunday to wish him a happy birthday and see
the family."

On Easter my mom and I sent Jessica and Jeremy Easter cards with money
and they both sent them back to us saying they could not accept them
because we are not in good standing with their Church. This past Mothers
day, I invited both of my kids over for a BBQ; they told me they could
not see me. Jeremy turned eighteen in June and I could not share this
very special day with my son. I asked him if we could do something fun
together for his birthday and I got no response. Another birthday we
missed together because of the COS! In July, my Mom turned seventy two
and we had a family celebration at the Lake. My two children always
celebrate this fun week at the lake with us. Jessica and Jeremy were
across the Lake with my cousin but did not come over to see us. Jeremy
sent me another disconnection text.

On July 4, 2011 I received this text message from Jeremy:

"Mom I'm having a very hard time too and I never thought in my right mind
that this would happen to us and it is a big bummer. But you know what
you and Nonie need to do to put this family back together and that's
that. I really hope you guys fix this and we are all a family again. I
miss u very much and hope everything is better soon but I can't be around
u guys with this going on. You are my mother I will love u and miss u

On July 15, 2011 I received this text from Jeremy:

"Mom...Please just handle this situation. You know what steps you need to
do. It’s that easy and if me and sissy aren't worth doing that then I
have nothing else to say. I do love and miss you but I can't be around u
with this going on."

On May 1, 2011 I received this text from Jessica:

"I did. I even watched that video. I am a scientologist and I expect
that to be respected. I told you before that this would be a complete
different story if u just decided not to be a part of the church anymore
and went off and did ur own thing. But u are attacking my group. U are
being part of a squirrel group. By definition and fact they are squirrels
and are trying to put a bad name to my church. And I don't see how we can
have a comm line when u r attacking my group and committing suppressive
acts and by definition in the ethics book u r committing suppressive acts
and that is lrh. I really don't want things to be like this and I’d like
to handle it but we can’t have an OK comm line until this stop.
Scientology and my friends that are scientologists have helped me greatly
in life. I believe in it 100% and that won't change. This has even been
a wakeup call for me and made me realize how important it really is for
me to get up my bridge now."

Jessica turned twenty one in August and I sent her balloons and a
beautiful card to her place of employment and I got no response. I also
asked her if we could do something special for her big day and not tell
anyone so we could be together, no response. My sister is pregnant and
just had a beautiful baby shower which Jessica was invited to, no
response. This was the first summer at the Lake without my kids and it
was so very sad for all of us. We all miss them very much and hope soon
they come back to their loving family who cares so much for them. In July
my son changed his phone number so I can no longer text him. In August
my Facebook was broken into or hacked into three times from Texas and
twice from Washington. I have pictures of this and reported this to the

The San Jose Mission (where I used to take classes at and where my kids
are being coerced to disconnect from me and my family) just moved 1/2
block away from me and my mom’s office. My ex has my son working
construction there. So my son is working a 1/2 block away from me and
yet I can't see him.

I also have been trying to get my money on account (never used for
services) back from the San Jose Mission of the COS.
Pat Wehner, the
Mission Holder of San Jose, will not give me my money back unless I sign
a Claims and Verification form signing away my rights, and do the steps
and "conditions" in Scientology that are required to get my money back.
It states that I can't go to an outside third party etc... This violates
my constitutional rights.

John Allender was watching me from his truck when he drove by me at the
Pruneyard in Campbell in August 2011. Just yesterday members of my ex
husbands family have disconnected from me fearing that staying in contact
with me would jeopardize a member of their family, to what extent I do
not know. They also feared that further contact with me would most
definitely lead to a disconnection from their family. My children are
being told by the "church" that I am crazy and that I am spewing lies
about the church.

The Church of Scientology is a dangerous, paranoid and unjust
organization. They utilize fair game which, in their opinion means that
they can lie, trick and do whatever it takes to destroy me utterly as an
open critic of the church. I have been harassed, threatened, stalked and
continue to be fair gamed even now. They also use disconnection as a
means of power over their members. Having thoughts that are not favorable
towards Scientology will inevitably lead to losing the ones you love
through this forced policy.

I did find value in some of my Scientology courses and counseling.
After leaving the "church", I was unsure of whether or not to continue my
belief in Scientology without the interference of the organization. I
sought help and counsel from Marty Rathbun. He is a phenomenal counselor
and helped me greatly in decompressing from my time and struggles within
the COS. For that, I am truly grateful. After leaving the church, I
spent a lot of time researching LRH and the policies of disconnection and
fair game, both of which I struggle to deal with daily. I am no longer a
Scientologist in any capacity.

Not a second passes that I don't miss my children with every fiber of my
being, that I don't ache to hear their voices and make new memories with
them. I'm telling my story to shed light on the abuses that continue to
go on within the Church of Scientology, to bring my children back where
they belong, with their family, with me.
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