Monday, March 26, 2012

The Introspection Rundown - Against Her Will

Please understand that although this story is over 20 years old, this kind of abuse and worse continues to this day in the Church of Scientology.  Commentaries are in blue and not part of the original news stories.


Captivity Case May Be Tied to Faith

January 13, 1990, Los Angeles Times

By John H. Lee and John Johnson, Times Staff Writers

Pomona police said Friday they are investigating whether beliefs espoused by the
Church of Scientology led a family to confine a mentally disabled woman in a cell-
like bedroom at a Phillips Ranch house.

While stressing that neither the church nor its beliefs are under investigation,
police said they want to know if Scientology practices could explain why the woman
was kept in confinement.

Police and Los Angeles County mental health workers discovered Marianne Coenan,
31, locked in a sparsely furnished room with a boarded-up window after they
entered the residence on Jan. 5.

The woman was incoherent and had bruises and scratches on her legs, wrists and
neck, police said. She was kept behind a door into which a small, square opening
was cut and steel bars had been inserted, police said.

Her husband, Edwin Coenan, 41, was arrested the same day and booked on suspicion
of false imprisonment and endangering a dependent adult. He has been released on
$5,000 bail, and no charges have been filed.

This implies answers to some questions - whether false imprisonment by a
family member is legal. Apparently, family relationship does not grant the right
to illegally imprison another adult, even a dependent adult.

The woman's father and stepmother, Floyd and Audrey Twede, as well as the victim's
half-brother, Steven, are also under investigation, police said. The Twedes rented
the house on Rolling Hills Drive where the woman was confined.

Police said they saw Scientology printed material in the house and plan to review
documents written by Scientology's late founder L. Ron Hubbard that describe how
to treat mental breakdowns. In the documents, Hubbard recommended isolation as a
treatment and also warned his followers to avoid conventional psychiatric care.

If Hubbard is describing how to treat mental breakdowns, this sounds like
practicing medicine without a license.

"The family also made statements to the effect that they didn't believe in some forms
of medicine and psychiatric help," Sgt. Elias Valdez said. "We are trying to determine
what connection the beliefs had with the false imprisonment."

Investigators said other relatives and friends of the woman said she had been kept in
the room for at least eight weeks after suffering a mental breakdown in October.

"Attorneys for the husband and parents have said that Marianne became so violent, she
was hurting herself," Lundstrum said. "So they created a space where she could not
harm herself. They said they did it for her own safety."

Isn't this precisely the point at which legal commitment proceedings should take place?

The woman's confinement came to the attention of authorities after Cathy Speer of
Hillsboro, Ore., said her sister failed to arrive in Oregon for the Christmas holidays,
Lundstrum said. Speer asked police to go to the Phillips Ranch home to check on her,
the detective added.

Does this imply that Marianne had previously been healthy enough that her sister was
not aware of her mental breakdown in October?

After Edwin Coenan's arrest, a relative called the Church of Scientology and was
referred to Timothy Bowles, whose Los Angeles law firm represents the church on various
matters. Bowles told The Times that he had been briefly involved in the case, but is not
defending Coenan.

Church spokeswoman Shirley Young confirmed Friday that the Coenan's and Twedes are
Scientologists but added that the care of Marianne Coenan "was not a church matter ...
nor did the church take any stand with relationship to her treatment."

But if the Introspection Rundown, part of Scientology "tech", calls for illegally
detaining people - and I contend that indeed it does - then the church most definitely
does take a stand regarding her treatment.

Specifically, police said they will review a "technical bulletin" authored in 1974 by
Hubbard, in which he describes the "Introspection Rundown" -- a process for treating
people with mental breakdowns.

He wrote that people suffering severe mental anguish, or a "psychotic break," should
be isolated and "destimulated" to protect them and others from possible harm. During
the process, Hubbard added, the "muzzled rule is in force," meaning that no one should
speak to the troubled person or talk within earshot.

The document also articulates Hubbard's understanding of psychosis and his disdain for

Asked if the family was using a church-approved treatment for psychosis, church
spokeswoman Young said Coenan's isolation was "a medical matter" and added that "the
church takes no official stand on it."

Given the contents of the Introspection Rundown document, this is a lie.

However, church officials, relatives and police said Coenan had been under medical
supervision during the two months of confinement.

Young, asked whether the family was applying the "Introspection Rundown," said, "I'm
just becoming abreast of the situation. So far as what they did, this is a sad and
unfortunate case."

What happened to Lisa McPherson, who died while in the custody of Scientology, was also
a sad and unfortunate case. The question is whether this kind of tragedy is illegal,
and whether it can be avoided in the future.

Detective Lundstrum, meanwhile, said the bulletin "may help explain what the people were
doing, but the information has absolutely no legal bearing on the case."

But if Scientology and Hubbard claim a scientific basis for these procedures, isn't that

Detectives visited Marianne Coenan several times this week at a private psychiatric
hospital in Pomona, Lundstrum said. Coenan appeared to be in fair physical condition, and
"she had some lucid moments, but she still has not been able to concentrate," the
detective said.

Relatives told police that her condition deteriorated over the past year, during which
time she had been taken to several doctors.

[One of those doctors,] Privitera said he has no connection to Scientology and the church
has never steered patients to his practice.

Detectives said charges against Edwin Coenan must be formally filed by Thursday. At that
time, charges against any other suspects will be filed, if there are any, Lundstrum said.


Los Angeles Times, January 31, 1990


The Los Angeles County district attorney's office has decided not to file criminal charges
against the husband of a mentally distraught woman who was kept isolated in a cell-like
bedroom for two months , a prosecutor in Pomona said Tuesday.

Edwin Coenan, 41, was arrested Dec. 5 after Pomona police found his wife incoherent, bruised
and confined in a boarded-up room at a residence in the Phillips Ranch area.

Deputy Dist. Atty. John Hayes said the case was being "kicked back to police detectives for
further investigation."

Detective Carolyn Lundstrum said Coenan has refused to discuss the case with police. She
added that the wife's father and stepmother, Floyd and Audrey Twede, who live at the house,
also refused to answer police questions. The Twedes were not arrested.

Attorneys for the husband and the Twedes told investigators that Marianne Coenan, 31, was
isolated so she could safely recover from a mental breakdown suffered in October. When police
and Los Angeles County mental health workers found Coenan, she was locked behind a door into
which a small, square window was cut and steel bars had been inserted.

"Generally speaking, the family was not under obligation to report (the confinement)," Hayes
said. "Our decision not to file charges was based on insufficient information to support the
case. From what I read between the lines, these people actually thought they were benefiting
this woman."

I would like to know why the family was not obligated to report the confinement. In the
earlier story, the clear implication seemed to be that this was a case of false imprisonment.
Hayes' statement does indicate that Marianne was not being helped by being locked up, despite
the apparently good intentions of her family.

The family, which belongs to the Church of Scientology, apparently adhered to beliefs espoused
by the church's late founder, L. Ron Hubbard -- particularly, a disdain for psychiatric

Coenan's confinement was consistent with the method of treating mental breakdowns described in
Scientology literature that police requested and reviewed while investigating the case ,
Lundstrum said.

"Based on the report we submitted, the (district attorney's) office was not convinced that any
criminal activity took place," the detective said.

Prosecutor Hayes said the investigation will continue until additional relatives and friends
of the woman are questioned .

"We want the police to conduct a few more interviews," Hayes said.

" I don't think the wife has been questioned yet," he said. "I believe her condition has improved
greatly, though . The detectives will talk to her when she is able to handle an interview."

So, under horrific and illegal Scientology treatment, she got worse; under traditional
psychiatric care, she improved.


  1. Very sad story but according to this Q&A at Yahoo Answers, Marianne is doing much better :)

    Does anyone know Whatever happened to Marianne Coenan?
    She was found imprisoned in a bedroom in a home in Pomona, CA in 1989. Her family were scientologists. Does anyone know whatever became of her?

    4 years ago Report Abuse Additional Details
    4 years ago

    by HEAVENly EYES ! ! !

    Best Answer - Chosen by Voters
    (YES); I Know "What Happened" to Marianne Coenan !
    Marianne Coenan is Leading a (MUCH BETTER) LIFE than She Was in Pomona, CA in 1989 !

    Janet Reitman wrote about this in her book
    Inside Scientology: The Story of America's Most Secretive Religion - Google Books Janet Reitman - 2011 - Biography 464 pages

    "In October 1989, one Scientologist, thirty-one-year-old Marianne Coenan, suffered a breakdown and was confined in a ranch house in a well-do-to section of..."

  2. Thank you so much for the update. And thanks for reading.